ACC PPP: Duke's Parker, Syracuse's Fair top list - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

ACC Player Power Poll: Too close for comfort

Wake Forest and Devin Thomas took care of Colgate on Friday. (Source: Wake Forest and Devin Thomas took care of Colgate on Friday. (Source:
Blue Devils freshman Jabari Parker has exceeded the considerable hype surrounding him early on in 2013-14. (Source: Duke Photography) Blue Devils freshman Jabari Parker has exceeded the considerable hype surrounding him early on in 2013-14. (Source: Duke Photography)

(RNN) - It's high noon, PPP, and PPP is calling you out. This acronym ain't big enough for the two of us.

No, the PPPollsters are not suffering from an identity crisis - no more than usual, anyway. Our issue is with the shorthand used by "points per possession." Un-italicized PPP is part of that whole evolution of advanced metrics in sports used to measure teams' performances based on balanced equations and equZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…….

Sorry, nodded off there for a minute.

For a more conscious effort to explain it, let's turn to our in-house statistician, Dr. Metric. She's got framed certificates and everything.

"They're called diplomas."

She's always bragging. Take it away, Doc.

"Points per possession is used to measure how effective teams are on offense and defense. It's an improved statistic on the classic 'points scored' and 'points allowed' averages, because it takes into account that teams play at different paces.

"For instance, Virginia (64) and Georgia Tech (64.3) scored nearly the identical amount of points per game in 2012-13. However, UVA played at a much slower pace and scored at a much more efficient rate: 1.04 points per possession vs. Tech's .93 PPP. The difference in efficiency was a big reason they ended up with 11 ACC wins, compared to the Yellow Jackets' six."

OK, it's useful, but Player Power Poll wants to settle this claim to the name once and for all. We feel our three-point argument, based on years of in-depth research, is both accurate and compelling.

Point 1: We were here first.

Editor's note: They were not here first.

Point 2: Our system is far more reliable.

Editor's note: As someone left waiting at the airport can attest, the PPPollsters are not reliable.

Point 3: We are way more recognizable.

Editor's note: HA!

We're losing them … hey, look at that! (Here ya go, mobile users:

How is it possible that a black and white photo makes Coach K's hair appear less black?

Player Power Poll: Nov. 8 to 12.

1. Jabari Parker, Duke Blue Devils

27 points, 9 for 18 shooting, nine rebounds, four 3-pointers Tuesday vs. Kansas (L 94-83)

This guy has a game way more mature than his freshman status suggests, and he is threatening to run away with the PPP Player of the Year trophy two games in.

The spotlight couldn't have been brighter in the Kansas game - A showcase of two top-five teams, a heads-up match with fellow first-year sensation Andrew Wiggins and it was played in front of Jabari's hometown of Chicago. Yet he made it rain jumpers and outmaneuvered defenders like it was a pickup game.

He and his fellow Dukies gave Davidson, a team that won 26 games last year starting three seniors, a drubbing in the 111-77 win Friday. Jabari went for 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting. It looks like these types of performances will be the norm.

2. C.J. Fair, Syracuse Orange

26 points, 9 of 17 shooting, 7 of 7 free throws, six rebounds Tuesday vs. Fordham (W 89-74)

There's something to be said for taking care of business. The preseason ACC POTY looks exactly like the standout who helped his team make the Final Four a year ago.

The Orange fell behind double digits to Cornell in the season opener before coming back to win. Fair didn't allow that to happen again in Game 2, scoring 15 points in the first half against Fordham on his way to a career-high 26.

With a much less experienced team around him, he will need to be "the guy" for Syracuse on a nightly basis. He has the skills to do it.

3. Trevor Cooney, Syracuse Orange

27 points, 10 of 12 shooting, seven 3-pointers, four steals Friday vs. Cornell (W 82-60)

The sophomore busted out of the gate by hitting seven of his eight attempts from behind the arc. His encore left something to be desired offensively (two points, 0 for 4 on 3-point), but he will keep seeing floor time as long as he creates turnovers.

4. Devin Thomas, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

20 points, 17 rebounds, 6 of 9 shooting, two blocks Tuesday vs. VMI (W 98-71)

Wake's 13-18 season kept him under the radar, but Devin turned into one of the better big men in the conference by the end of his freshman outing. He has come back stronger and added some low-post moves that are making defenders look silly. That 20 and 17 he dropped on VMI came in 25 minutes - 15 rebounds in the first half.

The Demon Deacon calendar is a little light on competition, but the young team will get a great chance to show how far they've come Nov. 28, when they meet Kansas.

5. Codi Miller-McIntyre, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

23 points, seven assists, six rebounds Tuesday vs. VMI (W 98-71)

The sophomore tied his career-high with 21 points in the first game, then topped it with 23 in the second. Could be a sign of good things to come.

6. Ben Emelogu, Virginia Tech Hokies

22 points, six rebounds, three 3-pointers, three blocks Tuesday vs. West Virginia (W 87-82)

There wasn't much hope in Hokieland coming into the season, and losing the opener to USC Upstate only made things look worse. A win against a respected program like West Virginia and Emelogu's play may have the folks in Blacksburg feeling better.

The freshman team captain - that should tell people something - was all energy in the contest. We love seeing a guy unafraid to get knocked on the hardwood. We love it even more when he's also there to help his teammates up every time they get knocked down.

7. Okaro White, Florida State Seminoles

13 points, four rebounds, four blocked shots Wednesday at UCF (W 80-68)

No one can question the senior's intensity, and it was on full display in the road win against a solid team. He was swatting shots, blocking out, setting screens, finding his way to the hoop and keeping his fellow Noles fired up all night.

8. Talib Zanna, Pittsburgh Panthers

19 points, 8 of 10 shooting, 10 rebounds Tuesday vs. Fresno State (W 75-54)

He had a strong night in his first game (sat out the opener), and he should put up close to a double-double average for Pitt as its top guy in the paint.

9. Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia Cavaliers

10 points, five rebounds, one steal Tuesday vs. VCU (L 59-56)

The Wahoos lost a close one to VCU thanks to a last-second 3-ball. But Brogdon played well down the stretch at point guard, the position that was the biggest question mark for the team going into the season.

10. K.J. McDaniels, Clemson Tigers

20 points, seven rebounds, 8 of 13 shooting, four 3-pointers Friday vs. Stetson (W 71-51)

There's a decent chance K.J. will lead the Tigers in points, rebounding, blocked shots, steals, 3-point shooting and "most perpetually in motion on a basketball court." Looks like E=MCDaniels, right??

(High fives all around)

This type of well-roundedness has to be unprecedented. It got us wondering, where does it end? Does he do carpentry? Stand-up comedy? Parallel parking? Is he a great listener, too?

We'll be investigating this as the season goes on. To be continued.

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