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March 14, 2013
Virginia Tech senior point guard Erick Green achieved perhaps the improbable this week by being named the ACC Player of the Year despite the Hokies' 13-18 overall record and 4-14 mark in the league.
Green led the nation in scoring with 25.4 points per game, and shot an impressive 48.2 percent from the field and 39.2 on three-pointers. NC State will get another shot at slowing down Green at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum.
NC State junior point guard Lorenzo Brown has become friends with Green over the years and wasn't surprised by his big ACC honor.
"We'll have to make him work for it just like everyone else," Brown said. "[ACC Player of the Year] didn't surprise me at all. It's kind of tough because people were talking about [Miami sophomore point guard Shane] Larkin, and I don't think Larkin had the numbers Erick Green put up this year. Numbers don't lie. You just go with that."
NC State freshman shooting guard Rodney Purvis is also a believer in Green's abilities.
"He isn't the ACC Player of the Year for no reason," Purvis said. "Erick Green is a great player. You can try to draw up many different things, but we all feel like he is going to score. That is what he does. We have a new scheme to shake him up a little bit."
Green has done a good job of playing within the flow of the game, and has shot more than 20 times in just eight games. Ironically, the 6-4, 185-pound Green shot his season-high against NC State in the Wolfpack's 90-86 overtime win. He went 11 of 24 from the field for 29 points, and dished out eight assists in the narrow loss.
Brown, who is trying to recover from a sprained ankle, knows the Hokies will use a lot of ball screens to free Green up for shots.
"It will be very tough, especially with a guy like Erick out there," Brown said. "He can shoot or drive. We just have to be ready to help."
NC State coach Mark Gottfried pointed out following the last matchup that he felt his perimeter players made Green earn his 29 points. Brown, Purvis and freshman point guard Tyler Lewis, all might take turns guarding Green on Thursday.
"I'm just going to try and contain him because he's probably the best scorer in the country," Lewis said. "We'll try to make him make tough shots. He's a great scorer. He doesn't force shots. If I were him, I'd probably shoot more because he's so good. We'll throw some different stuff at him."
Green averaged 15.6 points and 2.8 assists per game last year for the Hokies. He has scored at least 12 points in every game this season, and has tallied 21 or more points in all but three contests. Green saved his best for last with 35 points and went 14 of 18 from the free-throw line in the Hokies' 90-79 loss at Wake Forest on March 10.
DraftExpress.com has Green slotted for the fifth pick in the second round in its latest mock draft, but that includes numerous underclassmen ahead of him, who haven't declared for the NBA Draft yet.
Virginia Tech preview
NC State 2011-12 roster
NC State schedule/results
NC State season stats
Virginia Tech roster
Virginia Tech schedule/results
Virginia Tech season stats
No. 12-seeded Virginia Tech (13-18, 4-14 ACC) vs. No. 5-seeded NC State (22-9, 11-7 ACC)
Game time: Thursday, March 14, 2:30 p.m. — Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
PG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr., 12.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 7.0 apg, 2.0 spg)
SG — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr., 12.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg)
SF — 24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 224, Fr., 12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr., 14.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.2 bpg)
C — 1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.0 bpg)
PG — 11 Erick Green (6-3, 185, Sr., 25.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg)
SG — 1 Robert Brown (6-5, 190, Soph., 8.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.1 apg)
SG — 31 Jarell Eddie (6-7, 218, Jr., 12.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 apg)
PF — 42 C.J. Barksdale (6-8, 232, Soph., 5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.6 apg)
C — 4 Cadarian Raines (6-9, 238, Jr., 6.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg)
Location: Blacksburg, Va.
2011-12 record: 16-17, 4-12 ACC
2012 postseason: None
Coach: James Johnson, 13-18 overall and at VT (first season)
Series: NC State leads 36-14
Last meeting: NC State won 90-86 in overtime on Feb. 16, 2013
Virginia Tech: The Hokies forced overtime in the previous meeting by having junior small forward Jarell Eddie of Charlotte hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left, and then following senior guard Erick Green's intentionally missed free throw — after making the first one — the rebound went right to Eddie, who made the basket to tie the game 78-78 with two seconds left. Eddie's play came with some controversy after the contest, due to him illegally moving on the play, but it wasn't called in the game Freshman combo forward Marshall Wood had arguably his best game of the season with 14 points and 16 rebounds, while shooting 4 of 9 on three-pointers for the Hokies. He has gone scoreless in five of the last six games, with a five-point effort mixed in against Florida State on Feb. 24 NC State held a dominating advantage at the free-throw line, shooting 31 of 43, while Virginia Tech went 5 of 7, with Green shooting all of them. Two of the free throws were given to the Hokies due to NCSU junior power forward C.J. Leslie getting called for a technical foul Eddie went 3 of 5 on 3-pointers to finish with 17 points against the Wolfpack. He has struggled with his shot since then, going a combined 13 of 48 from the field and 5 of 26 from three-point land over the last six games. Eddie shot 44.3 percent on three-pointers last year, but has slumped to 32.5. Eddie exploded for a season-high 28 points and made all five three-pointers in a 96-87 win at UNC Greensboro on Nov. 19. He had an ACC-high 21 points in a 86-75 loss vs. Boston College on Jan. 9. He has scored in double figures in 18 games, and has a pair of double-doubles Raines has scored in double figures in eight games, but hasn't since tallying 10 in a 88-56 home loss to Duke on Feb. 21. Raines has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in four games, and has two double-doubles on the season Brown has struggled the last two games, going a combined 2 of 8 for just six points in road losses at Duke on March 5 and at Wake Forest on March 10. Brown did have a nice flurry of doing well in three games Feb. 24-March 2. He averaged 12 points a game with an ACC-high of 13 against Clemson on March 2. Brown scored 21 points at West Virginia, and he had 18 points in back-to-back games vs. Iowa on Nov. 27 and Oklahoma State on Dec. 1. He is shooting 33.5 percent from the field and 24 percent on three-pointers Barksdale has started up front next to Raines, and has played some of his best ball since the NC State game. Barksdale went on a four-game streak, where he averaged 14.3 points and eight rebounds per game. He had a season-high 17 points, plus nine boards, in a 80-70 home win over Florida State on Feb. 24. Like Brown, he tailed off in the two road games to close out the season, scoring a combined eight points and five boards Redshirt freshman center Joey Van Zegeren of Hoogeveen, Netherlands, attended Canarias Basketball Academy and played with former NC State player Thomas De Thaey. Van Zegeren averages 3.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game Backup point guard Marquis Rankin is from Charlotte and was evaluated by the previous NCSU coaching staff. He is averaging 3.2 points and 0.9 assists in 19.2 minutes per game. He easily had his best game of the season with 15 points on 7 of 10 shooting at Wake Forest to close out the regular season.
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