Through eight league games, Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney leads the ACC in scoring in conference games with 23.0 ppg. He'll be in the discussion for the ACC's player of the year award if he keeps up the pace and the Hokies keep winning, but what else does he need to do to win the award?
Stats may not be the only answer. Delaney is also fourth in the ACC with 5.3 assists per league game and is constantly the highest-scoring player on the floor when Tech plays. Delaney is without a doubt the league's most valuable player because without him I think the Hokies would be 2-6 in conference play, 3-5 at best. With him they may wind up with a bye in the first round of the conference tournament and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
But the league's award doesn't go to the most valuable player, it goes to the player of the year. And Delaney has plenty of competition for that title.
Maryland's Greivis Vasquez and Virginia's Sylven Landesberg, like Delaney, are players that are not only immensely valuable to their team but also playing at a very high level. They both have a chance to take home player of the year at the end of the season. But the real competition comes from the Triangle, as it usually does. Either Duke's Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler will probably win the award, which is a real shame because both are inherently overrated because they play for Duke.
Both are outstanding players, but neither should be considered for the ACC's player of the year. Both Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu and Clemson's Trevor Booker are having better years and are more important to their team's The problem is the ACC media vote is dominated by guys from North Carolina who consider Duke players to be better than they are simply because they play for Duke.
If Delaney played in Durham, Dick Vitale would be building sculptures of him out of mashed potatoes in his living room.
So what are Delaney's chances of winning the conference's player of the year? Pretty good if he does in the second half of the season what he did in the first. He'll need to have a big game against Duke and the Hokies can't lose to someone they have no business losing to (like NC State, who we never beat). As for what other people think of Delaney's chances, here's a sampling from The Twitter. Leave your opinion in the comments section. You know, unless you're a Duke fan.
@hasorey: strong contender-but he has Singler to deal with
@whobigal07: the only other player that could match him is singler, and i'm not sure he has the goods to win it. I think delaney is a better guard than vazquez. But I am a little biased.
@Jc4vthokies: Scheyer will probably get it over him but Delaney deserves it.