Will's World: Mike Scott is the ACC POY, And It's Not Even Close - SCACCHoops.com

Will's World: Mike Scott is the ACC POY, And It's Not Even Close

by Will Ojanen

Posted: 2/27/2012 8:05:51 AM

The debate on who should be ACC Player of the Year has really heated up recently, and mostly centered around two players: North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, and Virginia's Mike Scott. Both are worthy candidates, and have made a significant impact on their teams this season. But who should be the ACC Player of the Year? Let's break it down.

First, we can look at the basic stats. Keep in mind that UNC has played one more game than UVA has. Scott has scored more points (468-456). The rebounding edge goes to Zeller (270-221), and while assists aren't big for either guy, Scott has a slight edge (33-30). Zeller holds a hefty advantage in blocks (41-10) and steals (31-16). Scott holds a slight edge in fewer turnovers (53-55) and has committed fewer fouls (44-73). Neither has fouled out in a game this season. Scott has played about 30 more minutes than Zeller as well.

Next, let's look at shooting percentages. Scott holds the edge in field goal percentage (58.8%-54.5%) and free throw percentage (81.2%-79.2). Zeller has taken two more shots than Scott (303-301) and has taken more free throws (159-132). Zeller has not attempted a three pointer, while Scott has attempted 16, and has made six of them, good enough for 37.5 percent.

Next, let's look at the tempo based stats. If you need help with these stats, consult the glossary of terms located here on the site. Zeller holds a slight lead in points per 40 minutes and rebounds per 40 minutes, while Scott holds the lead in assists per 40 minutes. Scott also has a better eFG% by nearly four percent. Assist ratio and turnover ratio also favor Scott slightly. Points per possession are dead even (both are at 1.51). Offensive rating favors Scott, and defensive rating favors Zeller. Basically, Scott is a little better on offense, and Zeller is a little better on defense.

Finally, let's look at one other thing: possessions. UNC averages over 74 possessions per game, while Virginia averages 61. Over the season, UNC has had over 400 more possessions than Virginia has, so it's easier for Zeller to accrue these stats. It also shows that Scott is a lot more efficient player. But if Virginia had the same amount of possessions as UNC does, Scott would be averaging just under 21 points per game and just under 10 rebounds per game. Not only would those numbers lock him for ACC Player of the Year, but you could easily state his case for National Player of the Year. And if Zeller and UNC had the same number of possessions as Virginia, Zeller would only be averaging 12 points and seven rebounds. With those stats, Scott would be second in scoring and rebounding in the ACC, while Zeller would be outside of the top 15 in scoring and would be outside of the top five in rebounding.

I know people will look at the two meetings between the schools and say Zeller should win the award because of that. However, two games does not make a sample size. All of these stats prove to me that what is a race for the ACC Player of the Year really shouldn't be. And if Mike Scott doesn't win the award, it will be a shame.


Twitter: @WillsWorldMN

Recent Articles from Will Ojanen

Recommended Articles

Tarheelbuzz   (Not Registered)
Your crazy - 2/27/2012 11:11:09 AM - Login Verification: None

Are you serious?  ACC POY should go to Tyler Zeller without a doubt.  As many have mentioned before it's how you want to define POY?  Your knocking Zeller's ability because he plays on a highly athletic team where as UVA only has Scott to depend on.  So is he the MVP?  If so, then lets pull Kendall Marshall in the race where would UNC be without him?  All of these opinions that you stated could be argued.  For example why doesn't UVA play uptempo, it would give them more possessions correct?  FG% who has UVA played in the non-conference schedule that Scott had to go against?  I could go on and on but not worth my time.  Zeller is POY because even with UNC having a talented team he still carries them on his back.  Besides Zeller's not a 5th year senior who had an extra year to go against younger guys.  Which one do you see making it in the NBA?

Skeets   (Not Registered)
Mike Scott will be a pick & roll machine in the NBA while Zellar will be a backup center - 2/27/2012 12:10:25 PM - Login Verification: None


Book it!

ShadyHeels   (Not Registered)
UNC had to use cheap tactics to beat UVa and Mike Scott - 2/27/2012 12:44:22 PM - Login Verification: None

@ Tarheelbuzz - Zeller doesn't get the win over Virginia or as many points if Mike Scott isn't sitting the bench with bogus fouls. UNC deliberately went after Scott to get him into foul trouble, and the officials complied - while at the same time not assessing fouls against Henson and Barnes for clear fouls against Scott (Henson went after Scott on three successive shots in the first half by hitting his shooting arm on the follow through, and Barnes was pushing Scott from behind on one of the same plays (2 fouls in space on a single shot, with no call). When a player is so good that one of the nation's elite teams has to resort to shady tactics to win, then it's a clear indication that Scott's the dominant player and one who the Heels felt had to be off the court in order for them to win. If Zeller is so good, then why not play an honest, straight up game? One team clearly has more McD's all americans, yet they feared Scott would beat them. And you're stating he's UVa's only threat, so UNC couldn't beat one player? Sounds like POY to me.

WebMaster   (691 post(s) - All-Conference)
regardless - 2/27/2012 12:51:35 PM - Login Verification: SCACCHoops

Regardless of the last UVA/UNC matchup, the thing that may win Scott the POY award is that I'm still not sure Zeller is the best player on the UNC roster.  Can you say clearly that Zeller is more valuable than Marhall, Barnes, or Henson?  My feeling is that the POY award will be split between the UNC players giving Scott the advantage.  

bobboone   (Not Registered)
Scott is UVA's MVP - 2/27/2012 3:26:44 PM - Login Verification: None

Yay, lets reward Scott for helping his team to a distant 4 place finish behind the good teams in the ACC.  Get real. LOL!  UNC won 70 to 52 and a close one, now we listen to a bunch of UVA crybabies, because their man couldn't man up, and only scored 6.  I think it is encouraging however to give it to someone other than the best player on one of the good teams.  Maybe CJ Harrison should win?  His team is mediocre as hell, and he shoots a lot.  If Barnes played at UVA, he'd average 30 per game, being the only option like Scott is.

bobboone   (Not Registered)
Shady tactics? - 2/27/2012 3:31:05 PM - Login Verification: None

I find the comment funny that UNC resorted to shady tactics to win.  Evidently everyone knows that Scott is VA's only player, and they took the ball at him.  Thats called coaching.  Va was at home, so it definitely wasn't a home cooking scenario.  I guess when you count on one player to win for you, you scrutinize every play and every foul he commits.  If Scott turns out to be a one and doner, I guess UVA is in "rebuilding" mode again next year.

bobboone   (Not Registered)
- 2/27/2012 3:44:41 PM - Login Verification: None

By the way, this is the last one, I promise--Zeller leads Scott in the categories that you would expect a postplayer to lead in, Rebounds, Blocked shots (41-10), the fact that the author touts Scott's assists 33 to Zeller's 20, is really sad.  So what--one guy gets one assist every game, and the other averages about .75 of an assist.  I'm sure if Zeller had more assists, he would be ideal.  I bet Roy lies awake at night trying to figure out how to get Z to pass the ball back out when he's under the basket.  Thats hilarious.  Also, the deal about if VA averaged more posessions, Scott would have X amount of points per game.  Yeah right, well tell them to average that many and we'll see.  LOL.  You can't tout a candidate on what you think might happen if his team did this or that.  If my high school team had won the state championship, I might have been recruited harder my junior year.  So therefore, I should have played in the ACC, based on that.  It comes down to wins/losses, and sadly thats the stat that Scott pales in comparison by.

Hammer   (Not Registered)
- 2/28/2012 6:21:44 AM - Login Verification: None

Your argument and stats are not based on reality.  The fact is, all season as UNC's other players have been in and out of games, Zeller has been the one consistent player.  It will be close, but I think Zeller takes it.

flk6d   (Not Registered)
- 2/28/2012 10:04:31 AM - Login Verification: None

Mike Scott is often double teamed since he isn't surrounded by a bunch of burger boys, which makes the numbers he puts up even more impressive.  Zeller gets a bunch of layups and dunks, while Scott often has to make his own plays and takes a lot of jumpshots (his FG% considering the number of jump shots he takes is really impressive).  As a post player, Scott has even made 3 point baskets over the course of the season.  Yes, Scott was in a funk when we played you all Saturday, but as soon as got his rhythym and made two jump shots in a row, he was sat down on the bench with a foul (the one where it looked like Barnes was doing the heimlich maneuver on him and ended up with an elbow in his face).  Then he comes back in and 30 seconds later, gets another foul from your Academy Award winning Barnes.  Scott played pretty soft when he came back in after that fourth foul so that he wouldn't pick up a fifth.  While I agree Zeller had a better day than him, it was really a fluke performance, partially due to foul trouble and only playing ~20 minutes.  This is ACC player of the YEAR though and Mike Scott has had a monster year.

And Tarheelbuzz, UVA does not play a more uptempo game because strong defense is our strength.  We know if we were to run up and down the court with you guys we wouldn't win.  That's why we held you to your season low in points when we played you Saturday - we don't have the most talented roster, but Tony Bennett is a great coach and gets the most out of the players he has.  They play with heart on defense, which makes up for the fact that we do not have a bunch of offensive threats.

flk6d   (Not Registered)
- 2/28/2012 10:11:13 AM - Login Verification: None

Also, bobbone, UNC  did not take the ball at Scott to get him in foul trouble.  One of the fouls was an offensive foul and the other was when Mike Scott had clearly boxed Barnes out.  Both were flops by Barnes.  He even admitted it, yet your coach (who wasn't even watching the play) said he definitely took an elbow to the face.  Mike Scott was classy enough not to go off on the refs though like Barnes did when he picked up his fouls in the first half.  Going at a player to get him in foul trouble is one thing - flopping all over the place like the fainting goats in Durham is another.  Your player admitted to doing it and it was obviously endorsed by your coach based on his comments.  Flopping ruins the game of basketball.  I have to say, I have always supported UNC in Duke/UNC rivalry games and in post season play, but I  have lost respect for your team this year.  After what Roy did at FSU and now personal frustrations from that game on Saturday, I think you all are just as obnoxious as Duke.

HooDaMan   (Not Registered)
Home game? - 2/28/2012 12:46:14 PM - Login Verification: None

UNC against UVA is always 8 on 5 regardless of the venue.  UVA fans come to expect that against UNC and Duke.  I think Zeller will win POY and Scott will come in 4th behind Barnes and Rivers from Duke.  Too many North Carolina media members voting. 

Hoovalier   (Not Registered)
- 2/28/2012 5:59:29 PM - Login Verification: None

The All Carolina basketball Conference media will ensure that one of their darling Duke or Carolina golden boys gets it - it's as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow.

@TheUVAFool   (2 post(s) - Manager)
It's not just based on what might happen "if" - 2/29/2012 7:57:28 AM - Login Verification: Twitter

 The author's point is not a matter of "Well if UVA scored more" or "If Virginia won more," but rather it's a matter of scaling the teams so that you can see why Scott's ppg numbers are simply more impressive, more valuable than Zeller's. If you're comparing the most high-flying offense in the country (which is a result of design and coaching, not a result of any particular player speeding it up) to one of the slowest-chugging offenses (again, a result of design and coaching), then we're talking apples and oranges.

I'm obviously biased here, but when we're looking at NATIONAL player of the year, I expect Zeller to get way more votes than Scott will, because those who are voting are going to look straight down the box score at all those stats that don't take into account pace, or therefore how skillful of a player Mike Scott is (not just by virtue of being on Virginia without much support, but by virtue of athleticism, shooting, and playmaking ability). But when we're talking about ACC POY, I expect better out of the voting media, a smaller group that's had the opportunity (hopefully) to watch all these players and to understand that Virginia's style of offense and Carolina's style of offense are vastly different, and that it's the STYLE that accounts for the difference in PPG, APG, RPG, not the players' abilities.

UNC#1   (Not Registered)
Opinions are like...... - 2/29/2012 8:42:39 AM - Login Verification: None

The 'if UVA scored more points and won more games Scott would be POY' argument is laughable. If anything, lets punish UVA and its players for making the rest of us watch their make your eyes bleed style of basketball. Are they trying to set back the game of baseketball 40 years, it appears so, good luck getting recruits with that style of play. Also, is it me or are UVA fans acting like NCSU fans right about now. Ref blaming, Swofford conspiracy accusations, 8-5 type talk is normally found in Rawlee, not Charlottesville.

UNC1999   (Not Registered)
- 2/29/2012 8:52:51 AM - Login Verification: None

Regarding statistics - can we at least limit this conversation to ACC games only?  Not sure it makes sense to reward Scott for accumulating numbers against the worst OOC schedule in KenPom's top 30.  While the ACC schedule may be unbalanced, it's the best way to provide some normalization in schedule strength.  

In ACC games only: Zeller is fourth in scoring, second in rebounding, first in FG%, seventh in FT%, and sixth in blocks.  He also is an absolute lock for the ACC all-defensive team.  

Scott ranks third in scoring, tenth in rebounding, third in FG%, and fifth in FT%.  My guess is that there's zero chance Scott sniffs the all-defensive team.  

This is a very close race and both players are clearly worthy.  My guess is that Scott wins because the Virginia media won't split its vote while the North Carolina media will certainly hand out some votes to Henson and Rivers.  

@bhammond   (2 post(s) - Manager)
The context matters - 2/29/2012 9:05:40 AM - Login Verification: Twitter

If someone hit 40 home runs, you might think they were better than someone who hit 35.  But what if the guy who hit 40 plays for Colorado and the guy who hit 35 plays for San Diego?  Or is Case Keenum automatically a better QB than Andrew Luck because he threw for a lot more yards?

The context matters, and that's what the tempo-based stats are trying to demonstrate. Mike Scott is basically the hitter playing in the massive park in San Diego, while Zeller is enjoying the benefits of hitting 5,000 feet above sea level. 

I don't mean that to denigrate what Zeller is doing in any way.  He's having a great year.  But I think it's absolutely appropriate to consider the context through the use of tempo-based stats, like the author does here.  And when you do, it's hard not to be impressed with what Scott has done.


JohnThacker   (Not Registered)
- 2/29/2012 9:12:56 AM - Login Verification: None

The irony of a UNC fan blasting anyone for "trying to set back the game of basketball 40 years" by playing slower tempo is impressive.  There's a whole lot of awards for Dean Smith, Phil Ford, and a host of other Carolina greats to take away if that's the case, given Dean's efforts to perfect the Four Corners.  In fact, why don't we go back and award the 1982 ACC Championship to UVa, penalizing Carolina for holding the ball for 7 minutes?  At the very least, take away James Worthy's ACC Tournament MVP for that 47-45 monstrosity.  Of course, that would be equally ridiculous.

Not using tempo-based stats the equivalent of just looking at points scored or free throws made, instead of using FG% (or eFG%) or FT% when judging a player.  It's like looking at assists and ignoring turnovers. 

@bhammond   (2 post(s) - Manager)
Bennett = UVA's Wii-mote - 2/29/2012 9:39:28 AM - Login Verification: Twitter

I really don't understand blasting UVA for its tempo.   One of the things I love most about college sports is the variety of styles.  The games would be a lot less interesting if everyone played the same way. 

Plus, I don't think it would be smart for UVA  to try to just go toe-to-toe with dominant programs like UNC and Duke.  Obviously, UVA  is going to try to recruit the best kids it can, and Bennett is doing well in upgrading the talent.   But it still makes sense to try to play a different way that allows you to compete even if you can't match UNC and Duke on pure horsepower.

This may be silly and is a bit dated, but when UVA hired Bennett, the analogy I made was that UNC and Duke are like the XBOX360 and PS3, with the fast chips, big hard drives, and HD video.  Rather than compete on the technical specs, Nintendo succeeded with the Wii by doing things differently, developing the Wiimote and promoting a completely different style of play.  I  think hiring Bennett is similar - trying to win by playing the game differently rather than trying to match or top them on technology/talent. 

Admittedly, as a UVA fan, I liked this analogy better a few years ago when Wii's were dominating the market ... 



bobboone   (Not Registered)
- 3/2/2012 4:04:20 PM - Login Verification: None

If Barnes played at VA, he'd average 30 per game.

ScooterTwo   (Not Registered)
Zeller. Scott had a good season. But Zeller is POY - 3/3/2012 10:52:00 PM - Login Verification: None

 Zell has been amazing all year, and especially as the ACC season kicked in. His performance at the end of the season ends all speculation. And if he was the only go-to guy on UNC's team, his numbers wuold be even more amazing. Plus his academics -- they are supposed to be student-athletes, right?

HoopsFan   (Not Registered)
Trading Places - 3/6/2012 12:19:40 PM - Login Verification: None

 Most fans of basketball who have any experience coaching already know that Mike Scott is the real POY, but for those masses and media that are not aware of the talent disparity between the two just consider one thing.  If you put Mike Scott in Z's role, he would have no problem replicating his stats.  If you placed Z in Scott's position on UVA's team, Z would not be able to replicate his stats.  I would wager that there is nobody in the ACC who could so what Mike Scott did this year under those circumstances.   Beating double and triple teams by making incredibly difficult shots at such a high percentage throughout the season is something that only Scott is good enough to do.  

ACC Player Of The Week

Mike Scott = 4 times this season

Tyler Zeller = only 1

ACCfan   (Not Registered)
Mike Scott is THE POY - 3/6/2012 12:31:49 PM - Login Verification: None

 The whole inflating the perception of all things Duke and UNC every year is getting old.  Tyler Zeller is in no way comparable to Mike Scott for POY.  There's a reason Zeller was surprised to be considered and it's not modesty.  He knows it's BS.  


ACC POTW stats 4-1 is a good point.  How do we explain that?  Zeller is like these Republican Presidential Nominees......pick the best chance to win the vote even though that person would not be the best President from the group.  Mike Scott is the best and is the POY but he isn't going to garner the national attention that any player from Duke or UNC will no matter how much better he is (and seriously, he's much better).

  (Not Registered)
POY - 3/9/2012 4:17:03 PM - Login Verification: None

Virginia=4th place tie with NCSU

Scott and weak UVA team=Choke against UNC twice, Duke, Fla St twice, and now NCSU today (22 points on 23 shots). 

Its a joke to think that the ACC would reward mediocrity from VA with a POY trophy.  If they played a better pace, think of how many more shots he could have missed!

How the heck did Va even make the NCAA tournament?  That Michigan win should have only went so far with the judges.  I know Texas Christian was "balling" that day...lol

Post a Comment

Posting As:   Remember Me?

Before submitting this form, please type the color of the first character:

SCACC Hoops has no affiliation to the NCAA or the ACC
Team logos are trademarks of their respective organizations (more/credits)