After completing one of the greatest regular seasons in school history, USC Upstate senior guard Ty Greene has been selected as the 2015 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, it was announced by the league office on Monday.
Greene finished the regular season ranked first in the A-Sun and 14th in the nation in scoring with 20.1 points per game and featured 17 games of at least 20 points. His scoring average is the highest by any Spartan since Ulysses Hackett averaged 23.9 points per game during the 1991-92 season, and it’s the highest scoring average by anyone in the A-Sun in the last five seasons. In addition, his 604 total points are the fifth-most by a Spartan in a single season in school history.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native averaged 23.4 points per game in conference play and scored over 20 points against every A-Sun school and twice against Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, North Florida and Northern Kentucky. Greene also turned in two games of over 30 points, which included scoring 39 points Jan. 31 at North Florida to lead the Spartans back from an 11-point deficit for a 79-74 victory over the eventual conference champions. It was the third-highest single game scoring output in school history and the highest during the Division I era.
Greene hit a career-high eight three-pointers in that game against North Florida and finished the regular season with a conference-high 86 treys to rank third on the USC Upstate all-time single season list. He averaged 2.9 treys per game, made five or more in seven games and shot an even 43.0 percent from beyond the arc.
“All the glory goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Greene said. “This is truly a program award. All my coaches, teammates, trainers and everyone else in the USC Upstate Athletic Department made this possible. I am very honored to receive this because so much hard work by so many people went into making it possible.”
Along with all of his offensive numbers, Greene also proved to be one of the top defenders in the league. In fact, Greene led the A-Sun in steals with 2.2 per game and finished the regular season ranked 16th in the NCAA and 12th in total steals.
Greene turned in five games with at least four steals and registered a career-high six steals Dec. 17 at Memphis. His performance on the defensive end helped the Spartans lead the A-Sun in steals for the length of the season while finishing the regular season ranked 18th in the NCAA with 8.3 per game.
He became the first player in the A-Sun since the 2010-11 season to win A-Sun Player of the Week honors four times in the same season, earning the second of those honors Dec. 22 after he hit the game-winning jumper at Mississippi State to give the Spartans their second consecutive win over the SEC.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever had a player more deserving of an award than Ty Greene is this year for A-Sun Player of the Year,” USC Upstate head coach Eddie Payne said. “He has been consistently excellent throughout the year, in particular in conference play. This is certainly a well-deserved and well-earned award for Ty.”
Greene becomes the second Spartan in school history to be named the A-Sun Player of the Year, as former Upstate great Torrey Craig accomplished the feat in 2012.
Spartan fans will have at least one more chance to watch Greene play in person when Upstate hosts Kennesaw State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the A-Sun Tournament quarterfinals inside the Hodge Center.