Posted On: 11/13/18 10:57 AM
Taking a note from fellow contributor Adam Ayalew’s “All-Met Candidate” series, we’re going to take a look at 11 guys across the state of Virginia who should compete for the coveted Gatorade State Player of the Year. While taking everything into consideration, we’re going to be looking at three categories in particular: individual production, team performance and the competition level that the programs play. We will release each candidate in alphabetical order over the next few weeks.
To get it started, we look at Gate City senior and Wofford commit Zac Ervin.
Last season, Ervin played second fiddle to now Georgetown freshman Mac McClung, who broke Allen Iverson’s single season and career scoring record, along with breaking JJ Redick’s record of points in the state championship game. While I’m not sure that Ervin will do that, the 6’5” wing will be one of the top scorers in the state barring any kind of injury this year. His blend of size and skill set is something that schools in that area will struggle to match up with, and his ability to score from all over the court will be on full display. I wouldn’t be surprised if he averaged 25 or more points per game this year.
As the reigning Class 2 state champions, Gate City is banking on a repeat before Ervin leaves, and that’s going to be a big bullet point for Ervin in this race if his team can win it all again without McClung. They return three starters from last year, and while they don’t have a ton of local competition, the likes of Radford, Madison County, Robert E. Lee, George Mason and more aren’t going to roll over and let them have it. It will be huge for Ervin to show he can be the man and lead his team to a championship.
This is where Ervin doesn’t stack up against the competition as well as others. While Gate City has done a fine job building their program, and they play in the prestigious Arby’s Classic in Bristol every year, the local competition isn’t as tough in the Southwest corner of VA as it is in the 757, 804 or Northern VA area. It was probably the main reason that McClung didn’t win the award last year.