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Brice Johnson Named KenPom Player of the Year

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Retire the jersey right?

Ken Pomeroy, college basketball's top advanced metrics guru, has named UNC senior power forward Brice Johnson player of the year. KenPom uses a statistical formula to calculate a top ten and uses the entire season, including postseason play to determine the winner.

This accolade is the latest for Johnson during what ended up being a special season. He was named First Team All-ACC and was consensus First Team All-America and MVP of the East Regional.

Those accolades are a testament to how good Johnson was but a little historical comparison shows his season was statistically on the same level as Tyler Hansrbough's 2008 national player of the year campaign.

First the traditional stats.

Season Games MPG PPG RPG APG BPG SPG P/40 R/40 2P% FT% 3P%
Brice Johnson 2016 40
28.0 17.0 10.4 1.5 1.5 1.1 24.2 14.8 61.4% 78.3% N/A
Tyler Hansbrough 2008 39 33.0 22.6 10.2 0.9 0.4 1.5 27.4 12.4 54.7% 80.6% 0.0%

And the advanced stats.

Season ORtg %Min %Poss eFG% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FTR
Brice Johnson 2016 126.8 70.1
24.6 61.4 11.8 28.5 9.7 14.5 5.5 2.2 42.3
Tyler Hansbrough 2008 125.2 81.4 26.8 54.0 13.0 19.8 4.8 12.7 1.1 2.4 70.5

For the most part, the numbers are comparable. Johnson ended up being a more efficient player, better defensive rebounder, shot blocker and forced more steals. He also had a much higher assist rate and proved himself to be a solid facilitator in certain situations such as the win at Syracuse. Hansbrough scored more points per game and had a higher usage while being a better rebounder on the offensive end.  It also should be noted Hansbrough tended to bigger scoring performances than Johnson.

Gms Double figures
20s 30s Double-doubles
Brice Johnson 40
37 9 1 23
Tyler Hansbrough 39 39 24 3 19

Johnson did have three single digit games this season and only had nine where he scored in the 20s with just one over 30 points.  Hansbrough had twenty four 20 point games in 2008 and three more that went over 30. Johnson on the other hand has more double-doubles. This chart speaks to what the above numbers showed. Hansbrough was a better scorer than Johnson but the latter was a better rebounder.  Hansbrough's games provided more eye popping scoring totals but in the end, both players were models of offensive consistency.  Each player had high offensive ratings and in Johnson's case, historically good defensive rebounding. In doing so both were the anchors to which their teams' successes were tethered.