Jon Scheyer vs. Greivis Vasquez

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With the season nearing an end, talk is turning to the conference awards, particularity the ACC “Player of the Year” award.

The race has come down to two; Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez. Of course, according to some, there really is no contest.

Here’s Michael Wilbon in The Chat House:

"Barno, Md.: Is Greivis Vasquez your ACC player of the year? You going to be at the Duke-Md. game on Wednesday?Michael Wilbon: I think he has to be, right. Jon Scheyer of Duke would be the other guy to seriously consider. But Vasquez had 41 in a game on the road (Saturday at Va. Tech) and 25 in a half to lead a rout of Virginia. You NEVER see that kind of scoring in college hoops. Okay, Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant had those kinds of games. But it’s rare in the time since Chris Jackson at LSU to see that kind of scoring"

This guy at the Bleacher Report says if Vasquez doesn’t win it, it would be a crime.

"Can the ACC deny  his supremacy of any of the fallowing skills? Passing,  is there anyone better in the ACC or even the whole country? The Fast break, is there a better commander on the floor than Vasquez, can anyone see the floor better? Assist, is there a better guard in college basketball at getting  other player involved in the game? Rebounding, at 6’7” he can rebound at a  five per game average, who’s better? Smart, understands the game and his coach loves him for it. Fun to watch, undeniable a great flair on the court! Oh I almost forget, a great scorer, who can at anytime kill you by burning the nets. Can we all agree on that?"

Yes, we can agree on all that. Yet does that mean he’s the player of the year in this conference? For most of the season, I had Jon Scheyer penciled in as the POY. However, Scheyer has struggled with his shot lately, while Vasquez has gotten better and better, after a rough start to the season.

I could understand anyone who gives it to Vasquez, but I certainly don’t think it would be a crime to hand it to Scheyer.

In tight situations like these, Big Duke Balls likes to go to the stats. Let’s compare this season’s numbers between Scheyer and Vasquez.

SCORING
Vasquez (19.5), Scheyer (18.8)

FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Vasquez (43.7), Scheyer (41.7%)

THOUGHTS: Scheyer led Vasquez in scoring and shooting percentage all season long, until just this week, when Jon’s five-game shooting slump allowed Vasquez to jump ahead. Ironically, while everyone is giving Vasquez weekly awards for his 41-pt effort against Virginia Tech, I can’t help but notice he shot 13-33 from the floor that night. 41 is a nice number, but 20 missed shots? Still, he’s shot the ball well in the ACC this season.

THREE-POINTERS MADE
Scheyer (79), Vasquez (58)

THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE
Scheyer (40.1%), Vasquez (37.9)

FREE THROWS MADE/ATTEMPT
Scheyer (141-198 159), Vasquez (113-134)

FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
Scheyer (88.7), Vasquez (84.3)

THOUGHTS: Scheyer has the edge in both three-point shooting and free shooting, but both margins are slime and there’s not a lot of bragging room. However, if I had to give props about something, it’s the fact that Scheyer has done a much better job of getting to the charity stripe.

Scheyer has taken 64 25 more free throws than Vasquez, which is a bit odd considering Vasquez is better at driving into the paint.

REBOUNDS
Vasquez (4.8), Scheyer (3.4)

THOUGHTS: Both are pretty good at getting rebounds, but that’s not surprising since Vasquez is 6’7 and Scheyer is 6’5. Of course Vasquez grabs nearly five per game, which he’s averaged in his entire career.

ASSISTS
Vasquez (6.4), Scheyer (5.4)

ASSIST-TO-TURNOVER
Scheyer (3.1), Vasquez (1.9)

THOUGHTS: Clearly, Vasquez has the edge in assists. In fact, he leads the ACC. Yet, his problem has always been turnovers (more on this below). He is having his best year at 1.9/1, but that’s still well below Scheyer’s ACC leading, 3.1/1.

STEALS
Scheyer (1.6), Vasquez (1.5)

THOUGHTS: Jon’s got the slight lead, but it’s so close, I’ll have to call this category a draw.

SO WHAT DID WE LEARN?
Well, if you want to just stick with the simply numbers; points, rebounds and assists, you have to give the POY to Vasquez. He’s 3-0 in those three categories.

If you believe in digging deeper, then you have to look at the other numbers. Vasquez has a slight advantage in FG percentage, but Scheyer leads in 3-point percentage, FT percentage, FT attempts/made, assists-to-turnover ratio and steals. If those things matter to you, then Scheyer has the slight edge.

One important factor I like to look at is, has this player cost his team wins? This is where Scheyer gets major props. I can’t think of any game where a loss can be pined on Jon.

As for Vasquez, let’s look at the loses:
LOSS TO CINCY: Vasquez shot 5-17, including 0-5 from three.
LOSS TO WISCONSIN: He scored 18, but turned the ball over five times (to two assists).
LOSS TO VILLANOVA: Only 12 points and seven turnovers.
LOSS TO W&M: He scored 26, but need 23 shots, turning the ball over four times.
LOSS TO WAKE: Again, he scored (30 points), but turned it over six times.
LOSS TO CLEMSON: He scored only 11, turning it over a stunning nine times.
LOSS TO DUKE: Not too bad, 17 points, four assists, three turnovers. Of course 15 of his 17 points came in the second half with Duke up 20.

I’m certainly not going to blame those loses on Vasquez, but as any honest Terp fan will admit, there’s a lot to love about Vasquez, but there’s also plenty to hate too. When he has played bad this year, he’s really stunk up the joint.

This to me is what separates these two players. Of course, you can argue that Vasquez is more important to his team. Maybe you’re right, but take both Scheyer and Vasquez off their respected teams and both teams would suddenly have a lot of problems.

So…having said ALL that, if I had to vote right now, I’d give the ACC “Player of the Year” award to Jon Scheyer. But…and there’s always a “but”…

My decision is really going to come down to Wednesday night’s match up. If Maryland wins, it’s going to be because of the play of Vasquez. If Duke wins, Scheyer is going to be a main reason. The winner of that game will be my POY.

The simple fact is, if Maryland wins, Vasquez’s run down the stretch will propel him over Scheyer. If Duke wins though, that would be a sweep (again) and if Vasquez can’t beat Duke at home, then we have nothing to talk about.