How good is Malcolm Brogdon? ACC player of the year good

virginia malcolm brogdonCall the engraver. Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon is your ACC player of the year. And if you have any question about that, ask Cat Barber.

You know Cat. Came into Monday’s game at Virginia leading the ACC in scoring at 24.1 points per game while also averaging a team-best 4.6 assists per game with just short of a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Barber is the key for the NC State attack, obviously, getting into the lane with an ability to finish or penetrate and dish, and able to get to the line – putting up 8.8 free-throw attempts per game on the season.

Those numbers were against guys not named Malcolm Brogdon.

Monday night, Barber scored 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. He got to the line six times, but two of those came in garbage time with Brogdon on the bench with Virginia up 24 in the final two minutes.

Barber also had two assists and five turnovers on the night.

“He was complete tonight. I love complete players,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said of Brogdon, who checked the 6’1 Barber as efficiently and effectively as he did the 6’9” Duke freshman Brandon Ingram two nights ago.

Ingram had 25 for Duke on Saturday, but went just 1-for-7 in the final 12:17 after Bennett switched Brogdon onto Ingram, who had made 9-of-10 over a scintillating 11-minute stretch preceding the Brogdon shutdown.

How many college basketball players can guard a quick 6’1” point guard and an athletic 6’9” stretch four on back-to-back nights?

“It’s definitely challenging,” Brogdon said. “The way you play defense on each of them every night, depending on who you’re guarding and what their skill set is. But your mindset doesn’t change. You have to figure out a way to stop them and frustrate them that night.”

So Brogdon shut down the ACC’s best, again. And, just for giggles, the senior scored a game-high 22 on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, 4-of-7 from three, with five assists and one turnover in 35 minutes.

It was his eighth 20-point game in ACC play, his 13th overall this season.

“We know how prolific he is. Malcolm was efficient offensively in the lane and shooting threes. For the people who make decisions on the next level, the ones that want guys that win and do things that show up in the win column, he is gold in that way,” said Bennett, doing his best to sell Brogdon to NBA decision-makers, who apparently need to be sold.

Right now, you’re not seeing Brogdon’s name on any of the 2016 mock drafts, which is a shame on many levels.

“I know what he brings to the table,” Bennett said. “When Malcolm is right, he has a way about him defensively and is efficient offensively. He lets the game come to him at times but is aggressive. He’s just a heck of a player, and he is showing that. But he’s got a nice group with him. I’m glad to see him playing at such a high level.”

– Story by Chris Graham


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