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March 14, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's been one of those seasons for senior guard Erick Green where Virginia Tech fans expect him to dominate every game, no matter the competition and score 25-plus points.
That Green has met those expectations individually nearly all season led to him being named the ACC player of the year this week. Entering today's first round game against NC State, he led the country in scoring with 25.4 points per game.
But there will be no continuation for Green, who struggled all game in an 80-63 first round exit to the Wolfpack.
It was uncharacteristic of Green for sure, but Green has come to expect that high level from himself too.
"Everybody was in the gaps," Green said. "When I penetrated, they were right there. Even in transition, I was seeing two or three people back there waiting for me. But I knew that going in, that they were gonna key on me. I sure did try to make plays, but the ball wasn't falling for me and it happens some nights like that."
This season has had plenty of nights where Green has poured in a load of points only to find himself on the losing end. He said this week that it was a childhood dream of his to win the player of the year award, but Green still wanted more as a team and for his coach, James Johnson.
"I learned how much hard work pays off," he said. "I had a great group of guys to be with, a great coach and I wouldn't want to end my career with anybody but this guy (Johnson) who has been with me since junior year of high school and it doesn't get any better than that. Sucks it has to end and I'm going to miss college basketball, miss being in college, hanging out with Coach and laughing and joking with these guys."
Johnson has had fun coaching alongside Green, whom he recruited as a George Mason assistant. He helped bring Green to Virginia Tech when Johnson became a Hokies assistant and helped persuade Green to stick around this season when he became head coach.
"First of all, he's a much better kid than he is a basketball player," Johnson said. "Having had a chance to coach him as the head coach and assistant coach for three of these seasons, that's what I'm most proud of, the type of young man he is. That carried over to our team this year and the guys looked up to him."
Now Green is hoping to carry his game over to the next level. He can now only work on his game individually and wait to hopefully hear his name called in the June 27 NBA Draft.
"My message to everybody is to work hard," Green said. "I mean, no one ever thought I would be where I'm at today and man, it can take you a long way."
For Green, who is only the Hokies' all-time leading scorer in a season, with 801 points, it was a disappointing finish. But it doesn't take away from an exciting season.
Click here for the full post game press conference from Johnson and Green: ACC TOURNAMENT: JAMES JOHNSON, ERICK GREEN POST GM
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