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Hokies’ Green, Cavs’ Harris make 1st team
Erick Green was second to Duke’s Mason Plumlee in both points and first-team votes. Virginia’s Akil Mitchell made the third team and Jontel Evans was first team all-defense.
USA Today Sports
Cavaliers guard Joe Harris (12) shoots the ball over Virginia Tech Hokies guard Robert Brown on Feb. 12 in Charlottesville.Virginia Cavaliers guard Joe Harris (12) shoots the ball over Virginia Tech Hokies guard Robert Brown (1) in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena.]]
Virginia Tech guard Erick Green goes up for a basket in front of Virginia guard Jontel Evans.
North Carolina State forward Richard Howell (center) splits Georgia Tech’s Kammeon Holsey (24) and Daniel Miller in the lane for a layup.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Erick Green achieved one goal Monday. Tuesday he will learn if he achieves another.
The Virginia Tech senior point guard made the All-ACC first team Monday in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Making the first team is on a list of preseason goals in Green’s bedroom.
“I have it right beside my light, so I look at them every day before I head out,” he said Monday. “I set goals and some of them might be a little overboard, but hey, I definitely set them so I can try to reach them. And it just means a lot that a lot of my hard work has paid off this year.
“It’s an honor to be on the first team.”
Virginia junior guard Joe Harris also made the first team. UVa’s Akil Mitchell made the third team. UVa’s Jontel Evans made the all-defensive team for the second straight year.
Green and Harris were joined on the first team by Miami’s Shane Larkin, Duke’s Mason Plumlee and North Carolina State’s Richard Howell.
The ACC player of the year will be announced Tuesday.
Green , the nation’s scoring leader, added player of the year to his list of goals in January.
“I kind of got this hunger in me. I really would like to be player of the year,” Green said.
There were no unanimous first-team picks among the 77 voters.
Plumlee was the leading vote-getter with 73 first-team votes and 226 points. Green had 72 first-team votes and 225 points. Larkin had 72 first-team votes and 224 points. Players earned three points for a first-team vote, two for a second-team vote and one for a third-team vote.
Green averages 25.4 points, but his team has a losing record. Some voters no doubt prefer Larkin or Plumlee for player of the year because they want to vote for someone who helped his team contend for the ACC title.
Green scored 35 points in Sunday’s loss at Wake Forest, including 27 in the second half. But Wake scored the game’s first nine points and led the rest of the way. The Hokies finished in the ACC cellar.
“I’ve always heard they won’t give it to me because I’m in last place, but I think it’s called player of the year,” Green said. “I hope I get it. I think it’d be a well-deserved thing for me to get it, but I think people look at winning. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
The voting for player of the year was conducted separately from the voting for first team. So just because Plumlee got one more first-team vote than Green and Larkin does not guarantee Plumlee will win player of the year. Plumlee and Larkin might split the vote among those who want to vote for someone on a contending team.
Voters for that award choose only one person, with no points given for a second- or third-place pick.
Green made the All-ACC second team a year ago. But this year he has increased his scoring average by 9.8 points per game.
“When I have the ball on-on-one, no one can stay in front of me,” Green said.
He ranks eighth in the ACC in field-goal percentage at 48.2 percent.
“I average 17 shots a game and I’m shooting almost 50 percent from the field. I think that’s pretty impressive,” Green said. “It just shows that I’m not just throwing up any shots.”
Green often has scratches on his arms after games.
“I take a lot of beatings,” said Green, who leads the ACC with an average of 36.6 minutes. “I’m tired. I see double teams. Sometimes I see three people just waiting on me. … I like the challenge of someone trying to stop me, and I want to prove they can’t.
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I can’t even walk.”
Green ranks third in the ACC in free-throw percentage (81.5 percent), sixth in both assists (3.9 apg) and assist-turnover ratio, and seventh in both steals (1.4 spg) and 3-pointers (1.9 per game).
Harris was the fourth-leading vote-getter with 67 first-team votes and 219 points. He ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring with an average of 17 points.
“He took a step [forward] in the workouts in the spring and the fall, the summer [overseas] trip,” said UVa coach Tony Bennett, whose team is seeded fourth in the ACC Tournament.
Harris leads the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage (44.4 percent). He ranks ninth in field-goal percentage (47.8 percent), eighth in free-throw percentage (77.3 percent) and fifth in 3-pointers (2.3 per game).
He had 22 points in a November win over Wisconsin, giving Bennett an indication of the season he would have.
“He just had that look — ‘I’m not going to let you lose’ — and he made the big plays,” Bennett said.
“He added a couple more dimensions to his game than last year with his mid-range [shot] and a little bit more play off the dribble, and physically improved in the weight room.”
Six players made the third team because Mitchell, Duke’s Quinn Cook and Clemson’s Devin Booker tied for the final spot.
Mitchell is averaging 13.1 points. The junior forward ranks third in the ACC in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and fifth in field-goal percentage (54.1 percent).
“He’s really brought it every game in terms of his effort level,” Bennett said. “Whether it’s on the glass, defensively, whatever he has to do, he finds ways to have an impact.”
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