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Pointing The Way

Players of the Year Who Led ACC in Scoring, Listed by Team Finish During Regular Season.

North Carolina's Marcus Paige was sensational in the Tar Heel's overtime win over rival N.C. State
North Carolina's Marcus Paige was sensational in the Tar Heel's overtime win over rival N.C. State
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Roughly speaking, there's a 50-50 chance N.C. State's T.J. Warren will be selected by media voters as the 2014 ACC Player of the Year. That's based on 60 years of precedent, not the least of it that Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer last season, was voted the 2013 ACC POY despite playing for last-place Virginia Tech.

Coaches instead made a better pick, choosing Miami's Shane Larkin, the leader in scoring (14.5), assists (4.6), and steals (a league-best 2.0 per game) on the ACC's top team in '13.

N.C. State, projected to finish 10th in preseason, is a longshot to end up in the ACC's top five in 2014, especially after losing an 85-84 overtime verdict to North Carolina on Wednesday night.

Working in Warren's favor this year is the simple fact that, with 11 days remaining in the regular season, no one jumps out as the ACC's premier player. Not to mention that, in all-conference voting in general, media members tend to be enamored of scoring.

And Warren can certainly score, as he demonstrated with 36 points on 13 of 25 shooting from the floor, 9 of 13 at the line, in what amounted to a shootout with UNC's Marcus Paige, perhaps this season's most deserving candidate for ACC Player of the Year. "He's such a multi-dimensional scorer, it's tough," said Paige, who had 35 points, including the winning basket in the final second of overtime.

So far, 30 of 60 performers chosen as ACC Player of the Year led the league in scoring, as Warren has for this entire season. Warren now has six 30-point efforts to his credit in 2014. Prior to playing North Carolina on Feb. 26, the sophomore forward from Durham was sixth in Division I with an average of 23.31 points per game, just short of the 23.32 points averaged by BYU's Tyler Haws.

(Warren's 36 against the Tar Heels, 26 after halftime, raised his average to 23.78.)

The national leader, Creighton's Doug McDermott, averages 26.0 points, one better than the Hokies' Green achieved in 2013. Arguing in Green's favor as POY, he was only the second ACC player to pace major-college teams in scoring, after South Carolina's Grady Wallace in 1957 (31.2).

Only five of 60 ACC POV's (8.3 percent) failed to rank among the league's top five scorers. All were on teams that finished first or tied for first in the standings, and were essential components in that success: UNC's Ty Lawson in 2009, Duke's Grant Hill in 1994, UNC's Mitch Kupchak in 1976, Duke's Steve Vacendak in 1966, and N.C. State's Ronnie Shavlik in 1956. Lawson's team won the NCAA title, while Hill and Vacendak were on Blue Devil squads that reached the Final Four.

Vacendak was MVP in the '66 ACC Tournament. Voting for the season's top player occurred after the tournament concluded; Vacendak became the sole ACC Player of the Year who didn't make first team all-conference. The voting schedule was changed in the wake of his selection to require ballots be cast prior to the ACC Tournament.

Players of the Year Who Led ACC in Scoring, Listed by Team Finish During Regular Season
(Player, School, Year, Average, Finish If Not First)

Team First Team 2-4 Out of Top 4
T. Hansbrough, NC 2008 (22.6)* N. Smith, D#2 2011 (20.6) E. Green, VT#12 2013 (25.0)
J.J. Redick, D 2006 (26.8) J.J. Redick, D#3 2005 (21.8) L. Bias, M#6 1986 (23.2)
J. Howard, WF 2003 (19.5) A. Jamison, NC#2 1998 (22.2)*
J. Smith, M 1995 (20.8) T. Duncan, WF#2 1997 (20.8)
M. Jordan, NC 1984 (19.6) R. Rogers, WF#3 1993 (21.2)
A. King, M 1980 (21.7) R. Monroe, NS#3 1991 (27.0)
D. Thompson, NS 1974 (26.0)* D. Scott, GT#3 1990 (27.7)*
D. Thompson, NS 1973 (24.7) D. Ferry, D#2 1989 (22.6)*
A. Heyman, D 1963 (24.9)* D. Ferry, D#3 1988 (19.1)*
L. Chappell, WF 1962 (30.1)* H. Grant, C#2 1987 (21.0)
L. Shaffer, NC 1960 (18.2) L. Bias, M#4 1985 (18.9)
D. Thompson, NS#2 1975 (29.9)
B. Parkhill, V#2 1972 (21.6)
C. Davis, WF#4 1971 (26.5)
B. Cunningham, NC#2 1965 (25.4)
L. Chappell, WF#2 1961 (26.6)
P. Brennan, NC#2 1958 (21.3)
* Team Reached Final Four.