The ACC has rarely been noted for standout scorers. Only two league players ever led major colleges in points per game -- Grady Wallace of South Carolina in 1957, with 31.2 before there was an official Division I, and Virginia Tech’s Erick Green, with a 25.0 average in 2013.
Having ACC players finish in the national top 10 is more common. Duke freshman R.J. Barrett is threatening to become the fifth league scorer, and the first freshman, to finish at that elite level over the past 10 years.
Through 17 games Barrett, topped by his 30-point performance against Virginia’s vaunted defense, was averaging 23.8. That was good for 11th in Division I; the leader, Campbell’s Chris Clemons, pours in 29.2 per game.
Barrett’s average, if maintained, would break the ACC mark by a freshman. That record was set long ago – by Duke’s Marvin Bagley III in 2018. (Oddly, although Bagley contributed 21.0 points per outing, the ACC lists Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson as the freshman leader with 20.6 in 1990.)
Bagley’s average last season was good for 28th among Division I teams. Fair to say, few were paying attention; the stat just doesn’t seem to be a big deal in ACC reckoning. Of course when conference teams are regularly fighting for championships such individual achievements pale in importance. Yet it’s still noteworthy how little we seem to care.
By the way, seven of the last 10 ACC scoring leaders came under three different coaches, two no longer in the league.
Mark Gottfried facilitated scoring by Anthony Warren Junior and Anthony Barber at Raleigh. Seth Greenberg was a similar enabler at Virginia Tech with Green and Malcolm Delaney.
Should Barrett finish atop the ACC heap this season he’d be the third Blue Devil to lead in the last decade under Mike Krzyzewski’s tutelage, after Nolan Smith in 2011 and Bagley in ’18.
And one more thing: Bagley was among just two ACC scoring leaders since 2010 to make at least half his shots. His .614 acuity on field goal tries (270-440) paced the league in accuracy too. Warren, another forward, converted at a .525 clip (342-652).
Warren took the most shots to get his points; the Hokies’ Delaney, a guard, was least accurate from the floor at .387 on 483 attempts.
Single-Season ACC Per-Game Scoring Leaders, With National Rank Since 2010
|Year||Player, School||Avg.||Rank||DI Leader, School||Avg|
|2019||R.J. Barrett, D||23.8||11||Chris Clemons, Campbell||29.2|
|2018||Marvin Bagley III, D||21.0||28||Trae Young, Okla||27.4|
|2017||Michael Young, UP||19.6||43||Marcus Keene, Cent. Mich||30.0|
|2016||Cat Barber, NCS||23.5||6||James Daniel III, Howard||27.1|
|2015||Olivier Hanlon, BC||19.5||21||Tyler Harvey, E. Wash||23.1|
|2014||T.J. Warren, NCS||24.9||2||Doug McDermott, Creighton||26.7|
|2013||Erick Green, VT||25.0||1||NA|
|2012||Terrell Stoglin, M||21.6||6||Reggie Hamilton, Oakland||26.2|
|2011||Nolan Smith, D||20.6||16||Jimmer Fredette, BYU||28.9|
|2010||Malcolm Delaney, VT||20.2||26||Aubrey Coleman, Houston||25.6|
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