The case for Erick Green

Throughout the years the post season awards for the ACC have been…. interesting. Where you play seems to have as much affect as how you play. This year seems to be no different when it comes to the conference player of the year.

There's a widespread notion that POY awards are actually POYFRGT awards (Player of the Year From a Really Good Team). And herein lies the problem. Should voters peg Erick Green from Virginia Tech even if his team is in last place? Personally, I fail to see how a player should be penalized because he doesn't happen to be surrounded by a bunch of future high level professionals. But I understand the argument.

What I don't understand is how people are questioning Erick Green's numbers. There's been a healthy debate all day on Twitter regarding his volume. The tone of the debate makes me understand that many media members (cough cough) don't understand volume. When it comes to Erick Green he's in the exact same predicament that Virginia's Mike Scott was in last year. He is the offense. Every team knows that. And every team schemes to stop him. Mason Plumlee doesn't have that problem. Nor does Joe Harris. Or Richard Howell. Or whoever it is you plan on voting for that is not named Erick Green.

Nevermind that Erick Green has the highest offensive rating of any player in the ACC who uses more than 24% of his team's possessions. If you look at every player in the ACC, regardless of their roles, then Green is 5th. Three of those guys don't even use their share of possessions (<20%, and Scott Wood is under 14%). Ryan Kelly is the only player who uses more than 20% of his team's possessions (21.6%) and he missed 13 games. The ability to maintain efficiency as your usage goes up is tremendously difficult. And Erick Green uses 31.6% of his team's possessions!

To put that into perspective I looked nationally rather than just at the ACC. First I looked at every player who has used as many of their team's possessions as Green in the past decade. There are 151 of those players, and 149 had a lower offensive rating.

Next, I looked at every player in the country this year who uses at least 30% of their team's possessions (there are 45 players) and ranked them according to their offensive rating.

Erick Green is the yellow line, and the black line is the national average. Clearly, four guys stick out at the top. So who are they? No. 1 is Nate Wolters (Summit League Player of the Year), No. 2 is Doug McDermott (Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year), No. 3 is Green, and No. 4 is Mike Muscala (Patriot League Player of the Year).

So if you don't want to vote for him because you think that the POY award is a team award, then that's your thing and I'll respect it. And if you want to vote for one of the other guys, there's at least an argument. But if you can't see what a special season he's having and are dismissing him as just another gunner who shoots too much, then I don't even know what to say. I'm done arguing.