NCAA Basketball ACC Basketball

ACC Basketball: Dark Horses for the 2013 ACC Player of the Year

Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports

I assume that Erick Green (Virginia Tech Hokies) or Mason Plumlee (Duke Blue Devils) will take home the coveted 2013 ACC Player of the Year Award. However, there are a few players who may have something to say about this: Joe Harris (Virginia Cavaliers), Richard Howell (North Carolina State Wolfpack), and Durand Scott (Miami Hurricanes).

Joe Harris is the leading scorer for the Cavaliers. Harris  is sixth in scoring in the ACC (15.2), tenth in field goal percentage in the ACC(46.6%), tenth in free throw percentage in the ACC (73.9), and first in three-point field goal percentage in the ACC (45.9%). Although Virginia is ranked last in scoring in the ACC at 62.6 points per game, Harris accounts for 24% of their points. If Virginia wins the regular season crown, then Harris should be a shoe-in for this award.

Richard Howell is low-post threat for the inconsistent Wolfpack. Howell’s averages include being 18th in scoring in the ACC (12.7), second in rebounding in the ACC (11.0), and third in field goal percentage in the ACC (57.5%). As N.C. State’s starting center, Howell is actually second in assists for the team averaging two assists per game.

Howell is the most consistent player on the N.C. State’s roster. C.J. Leslie garners a great deal of attention due to his talent, which is warranted. However, Howell is the anchor down low. He is the low-post presence for the Wolfpack. At 6’8′, 257 pounds, Howell guards individuals who are bigger and/or taller than him a great deal. I could have easily written about Lorenzo Brown here; however, Howell is slightly more important to this team’s success this season. If Howell stays healthy and out of foul trouble, we could possibly see the Wolfpack cutting down the nets 30 years after their second national championship.

Durand Scott is finally starting to get recognition for his great play. He is ranked 11th in scoring in the ACC (14.3), 8th in field goal percentage in the ACC (48.8%), and third in steals per game in the ACC (1.8). He is the leader for the Hurricanes who sit at the top of the ACC with a 7-0 record. Similar to what I stated about Virginia’s Harris, Scott is the ACC Player of the Year if Miami wins the regular season championship. Kenny Kadji comes in close second to Scott as the best player on the Miami’s roster.

It is safe to say that this discussion may actually have several more names added. In several weeks, we will re-visit who the dark horses for the 2013 ACC Player of the Year.