The ACC‘s 2013 Defensive Player of the Year was Durand Scott, the starting shooting guard for the Miami (FL) Hurricanes. For the past two seasons, the winner of this award was North Carolina‘s John Henson. Whereas Henson won the award due to his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess, Scott won the award for his steals.
The problem with this year’s award is that Scott did not lead the ACC or his team in steals. Henson was amongst the top three in the ACC in rebounds and blocks last season, whereas Scott is not. This award could have easily been won by Scott’s teammate Shane Larkin. After all, Larkin was tied with North Carolina State‘s Lorenzo Brown as the ACC leader in steals with an average of two steals a game. Scott netted 1.6 steals per game.
Another key statistic is minutes per game. Arguing whether Larkin or Scott were more important to Miami’s success could be tiresome. However, numbers do not lie. Larkin was second in the ACC with an average of 36.2 minutes per game. Virginia Tech‘s Erick Green, also the 2013 ACC Player of the Year, played 36.6 minutes a game. Scott averaged 34.6 minutes a game.
Some people may stress that playing more minutes corresponds to more influence on the team’s success. Although this is a moot point, another angle that can be argued is that Larkin surpassed Scott in two categories.
Nothing should be taken away from Scott’s success. He was a major reason why Miami performed so well this season. However, when it comes to award winners, there should be an obvious reason why an individual won. In this particular case, Scott winning this award is unknown.