Sometimes things are just easy to look at and figure out immediately. This is exactly the situation in the battle for the ACC Player of the Year.
No matter how anyone breaks it down, the choice is obviously North Carolina State‘s T.J. Warren. Warren led the conference in scoring at 24.8 points per game, shot 53.2 percent from the field, grabbed 7.1 rebounds per game and was just the best player during the conference year.
Warren scored at least 20 points in 15 ACC games and scored at least 30 points — including a career-high 42 against the Boston College Eagles on Sunday — six times.
The only case against Warren is that the Wolfpack finished 7th in the league. However, the POY is for the best player, not the most valuable player, and even still, he may be both. Warren’s value can be based on how the team’s chances of winning are purely based on his play. No one else on NC State is capable of taking over games, and Warren has to carry the load in every situation. Not only did Warren take over game-in and game-out, but he seemed like he wanted to and thoroughly enjoyed the pressure.
Warren led State to an upset over the Pittsburgh Panthers when he annihilated the Panthers’ defense for 41 points. He almost single-handedly beat the North Carolina Tar Heels when he posted 36 points. But what stands out more than that is just how consistent Warren has been this season. He only had one game where he scored less than 17 points during the conference season. He was held to four points against the Virginia Cavaliers, but he immediately shook off that performance with a 22-point effort against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons just four days later.
Other players may have had good seasons, but Warren had the best and he may be the type of player who can lead his team to a surprising ACC tournament championship. Even if he does not, Warren is the player of the year and that is clear.