ACC B-Ball Preview, Pt. 3: Bottom Three

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 29, 2010 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

Reggie Jackson and the Eagles have a number of veterans back, but is it enough to make a run?

Breaking down the ‘Hoos, Eagles, and Deacs today.

Previews so far…

4-6 – NC State, Florida State, and Miami

7-9 - North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Clemson

10) Virginia Cavaliers

Potential: First round

Actual: NIT

Strengths: A lot of turnover from a 5-11 team, solid pieces in post and at guard back.

Weaknesses: A lot turnover from a 5-11 team, inexperience across the board.

Make or Break Player: F Mike Scott

Grades…

Starting Backcourt – B

Jontel Evans  – 5’11, 8.5 PPG/6 APG

Sammy Zeglinski –  6’0, 8.9 PPG/2.6 APG

Starting Frontcourt – B-

James Johnson – 6’9, Freshman

K.T. Harrell – 6’5, Freshman

Mike Scott – 6’8, 12 PPG/7.2 RPG

Bench – C+

Circle It: UNC, January 8 – The home ACC opener could make a huge statement if they can beat the Heels.

Final Analysis: Year one in Charlottesville had its ups and downs as their top player, Sylven Landesberg, struggled with staying eligible and ultimately left the program…Virginia struggled to a 5-11 record. More transfers ensued in the offseason, but the cupboard isn’t completely bare in ‘Hooville.  Zeglinski’s out for the first few games after knee surgery so it will be up to a young group of guards to get things started for Virginia. Mike Scott down-low has to be a beast if Virginia is going to make a run all the way to the Big Dance.

Why They Could Be Higher: Scott dominates in the paint and the young guards step up.

Why They Could Be Lower: With all the turnover and the injury to Zeglinski, Virginia just never puts it all together.

  • 11) Boston College Eagles

Potential: First round.

Actual: No postseason

Strengths: Experience, new offense under Donahue.

Weaknesses: Depth (7 players returning), inconsistent guard play.

Make or Break Player: G Reggie Jackson

Grades…

Starting Backcourt – B-

Reggie Jackson – 6’5, 12.9 PPG/4.5 APG

Dallas Elmore – 6’2, 3.9 PPG/0.6 APG

Starting Frontcourt – B

Joe Trapani – 6’8, 14.1 PPG/6.4 RPG

Cory Raji – 6’5,11.4 PPG/5.8 RPG

Josh Southern – 6’10, 4.4 PPG/3.2 RPG

Bench – C-

Circle It: Georgia Tech, January 8 – Simple formula to this…teams that I expect to be good – I pick games later in the season…teams that aren’t quite there get the early ones…BC can get off on the right foot with a win over the Yellow Jackets.

Final Analysis: BC has pieces, but also has one of the tougher schedules in the ACC. Trapani’s the star after a solid junior year to third team all-ACC. At guard, Reggie Jackson has shown some flashes of brilliance, but also inconsistency. Of the teams in transition, BC may have taken the biggest hit with a couple transfers and no impact recruits coming in. No question that new coach Steve Donahue brings an impressive resume that could very well bring results to BC basketball, but it will be a tough transition in 2010.

Why They Could Be Higher: Veteran team buys in and learns quickly to a couple big OOC wins and 8-8/7-9 ACC record to get on the bubble.

Why They Could Be Lower: Wake Forest edges them out in the race for last place.

  • 12) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Potential: NIT.

Actual: No postseason.

Strengths: Young talent.

Weaknesses: Inexperience (one returning starter), quality size, new scheme.

Make or Break Player: F Ari Stewart

Grades…

Starting Backcourt – B

Tony Chennault – 6’1, Freshman

C.J. Harris  – 6’2, 9.9/1.2 APG

Starting Frontcourt – C

Ari Stewart – 6’7, 7.3 PPG/3.2 RPG

Carson Desrosiers – 6’11, Freshman

Ty Walker – 7’0, 2.9 PPG/0.9 RPG

Bench – C

Circle It: Gonzaga, January 2 – not sure if they can beat them, but it would be an early marquee win.

Final Analysis: Top two players last season are gone to the pros – top big man coming in gone to Louisville after troubles with the law…tough offseason all-around for new coach Jeff Bzdelik. He has young talent, but they are just that, young, and with Woods’ departure, it’s all on youth in the paint. Bzdelik has a rebuilding project on his hands and I think Wake fans will understand if they aren’t making to back-to-back-to-back NCAA Tourneys.

Why They Could Be Higher: The mantra when a team doesn’t have experience is “talent” – which I’ve mentioned twice already in this preview…they have it, but it’s only enough to get them possibly out of the cellar.

Will any of these teams make a run? Let me know your thoughts…

ACC Football Pick’Em: 10/28-30

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 28, 2010 under ACC Football | 2 Comments to Read

Will Ponder basically clinch the Atlantic with a win tonight?

Will FSU take a big step ahead of the rest of the Atlantic to 5-0 in ACC play? Can Maryland and Clemson keep pace? The headliner game is tonight and it should be a good one…

ACC Pick’Em (47-16 so far on the season)

  • 10/28/10 –  Florida State Seminoles @ NC State Wolfpack / ESPN / 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: It’s quite possibly the difference between a wide-open race…or just a one team tyranny – Atlantic showdown in Raliegh Thursday.

Watch 4: FSU’s improved running attack and D to edge out Pack for road win

If it’s going to unfold like the ACC season has to this point, FSU loses – Atlantic is put wide-open and we’re left crowning another ACC team until they fail…so with that in mind, I’m going the other way. Both are good teams – if Russell Wilson is sharp, NC State probably wins, but FSU’s defense is the wild card and if they can get to Wilson then the Noles take it.

The Pick: ‘Noles 24 Pack 21

  • 10/30/10 Clemson Tigers  @ Boston College Eagles / ACC Network / 12:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: In the antithesis of FSU-NC State, these teams are going in opposite directions, but it’s been a close series up to last year’s Clemson blowout in Death Valley.

Watch 4: Tigers’ D to dominate, offense to put up enough

Ellington will find BC’s D a little tougher to find those holes, he will get his yards and TDs with the ample opportunities that the opposing offense will give him.

The Pick: Tigers 24 Eagles 13

  • Miami Hurricanes @ Virginia Cavaliers / ESPN / 12:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: The ‘Canes go for 4-1 in ACC play as they try to keep pace with the Hokies – ‘Hoos try to build on the Eastern Michigan win.

Watch 4: Miami’s overwhelming talent advantage to take this one

Miami may very well overlook Virginia, but it’s going to take a major letdown to actually lose.

The Pick: ‘Canes 31 ‘Hoos 10

  • Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen / CBS College Sports / 3:30  p.m. ET

The Lead: Blue Devils stay on the road and up to Navy where they probably won’t lose by 37 points (but don’t bet on it).

Watch 4: But they will lose…

Coming into the season, Duke looked pretty similar to their ‘09 squad that got to 5 wins – right now, they are a discombobulated mess that turns it over at an alarming rate (119th in the nation).

The Pick: Midshipmen 34 Devils 17

  • William & Mary Tribe @ North Carolina Tar Heels / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: UNC takes a break from ACC play to finish out the OOC schedule with the FCS Tribe.

Watch 4: William & Mary to be no James Madison

The Tribe are kinda average statistically among the FCS ranks despite the 6-1 record…UNC cruises.

The Pick: Heels 49 Tribe 14

  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Maryland Terrapins / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: The Terps have a really good chance to keep their strong run going and clinch a bowl berth against the well-rested Deacs.

Watch 4: Deacs’ rushing attack to be decent, Terps’ O to be too much

Coming off the bye and a top 25 running O, the Deacs will move the ball, but Maryland seems to be getting in gear offensively and a much better team than Wake Forest.

The Pick: Terps 27 Deacs 21

ATS Section (26-24-1 to date)

  • NC State and under 3.5 vs. Florida State

Take to Bank %: 15%

The ACC’s only home Thursday nighter vs. a BCS team so far was NC State, and they covered – you usually take the home team on a Thursday and that’s what I’m doing here.

  • Miami and over 15 vs. Virginia

Take to Bank %: 45%

This is a tough one if Miami’s heart isn’t in it, but this game cries 17-point or more margin.

  • Clemson and over 7 vs. BC

Take to Bank %: 60%

I don’t know what it is, but Dabo has figured out whatever mystery it was to his predecessor of beating the Eagles – he brings a far better team in and they still have a lot to play for.

  • Maryland and over 5.5 vs. Wake Forest

Take to Bank %: 65%

For a team that went 2-10, can there really ever be a letdown game this season? We’ll see Saturday against the Deacs.

  • Navy and over 13.5 vs. Duke

Take to Bank %: 55%

Duke’s just not very good.

Check out @ACCBlogger on Twitter as we cover ACC football all day Saturday – also join me at OrangeandWhite.com for a Clemson/Boston College chat!

ACC Midweek Hype Machine – Week #9

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 27, 2010 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

NC State's Wilson hoping to get back on track in a crucial Thursday night game with FSU.

Welcome to your weekly ACC Football Midweek Hype Machine that hopefully bridges your week to the weekend with good reads…

  • 10/28/10 –  Florida State Seminoles @ NC State Wolfpack / ESPN / 7:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: FSU rush attack vs. NC State D

Yes, Ponder is throwing it better in practice, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to believe the ‘Noles will try to get the game going on the ground – make Ponder throw more than FSU would like and that could be your game.

Bringing The Noise: Thursday nights have been kind to the ‘Noles and it doesn’t get any bigger than this one. FSU Raycom Blog breaks it down and who’s underrated for the ‘Noles. Dominoes start to fall in the Atlantic with this one. Backing the Pack has a linkfest of FSU news – including Ponder injury updates. Tomahawk Nation looks over NC State up to this point – not all that impressed. Should be a good atmosphere Thursday night.

Watch This Over…: Glee, I know it will take all your might, but tune it to the most important Atlantic divisional game to this point.

  • 10/30/10 Clemson Tigers  @ Boston College Eagles / ACC Network / 12:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Andre Ellington vs. BC Run D

Despite the offensive woes, BC is still keeping opponents under 85 rushing yards a game – Ellington is averaging 91.7 on the ground per game by himself and leads the ACC in scoring.

Bringing The Noise: OrangeandWhite.com has how Clemson takes it or BC prevails. BC Interruption has the Eagles depth chart changes going into the tangle with the Tigers. BCI also covers the potential scenarios out of the poor start. As you might expect, Clemson’s out-doing BC on the recruiting front. BCI interviews Shakin the Southland on the Tigers coming into Boston.

Watch This Over…: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, apparently this new version sucked according to the review I read so watch Clemson-BC to see if the Tigers avoid the letdown.

  • Miami Hurricanes @ Virginia Cavaliers / ESPN / 12:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Miami’s turnover-hungry D vs. Virginia’s next-to-last turnover margin

If the ‘Hoos are going to pull off the improbable upset, they will need to hold on to the ball against the opportunistic ‘Canes.

Bringing The Noise: Eye of the Hurricane breaks down the ‘Hoos. London had a hard time nailing down all the ways Miami concerns him. He’s hoping Fells-Danzer is a spark to their attack after the 70-yard return TD vs. Eastern Michigan. Big freshman Seantrel Henderson is making an impact early.

Watch This Over…: Syracuse at Cincinnati, you know, this season I’ve been picking on the Big Ten – when the Big East is where it’s at…watch this Coastal clash over the conference without a team in the top 25.

  • Duke Blue Devils @ Navy Midshipmen / CBS College Sports / 3:30  p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Improved Navy rushing attack vs. deficient Duke D

It’s almost not fair. The Midshipmen are  getting it in gear just in time for Duke after dropping 367 rushing yards on Notre Dame last week.

Bringing The Noise: Duke has notes on their matchup with Navy. Blue Devils having trouble translating practice to game day.

Watch This Over…: Tulsa at Notre Dame, why watch a loser team like Notre Dame when you could watch the team that beat them 35-17(!) last week.

  • William & Mary Tribe @ North Carolina Tar Heels / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: UNC off big loss vs. William & Mary off big win

The Heels will try to regroup against a Tribe team fresh off knocking FCS’ no. 2 ranked team in Delaware.

Bringing The Noise: Kendric Burney’s back.

Watch This Over…: Nationwide Tour Championship, golf’s still on?

  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Maryland Terrapins / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Wake rushing O vs. Terps D

If the Deacs know how to do one thing, it’s running the football, and coming off the bye, that’s their chance to come into College Park for a win.

Bringing The Noise: This is the biggest game of the year for the Terps. The headline says it all here: Deacs Have Breakout Star, Absolutely Nothing Else. Grobe’s impressed with the Terps.

Watch This Over…: Lonesome Ghosts, a 15-minute cartoon from 1937 involving Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy…or the Deacs/Terps…you decide.

We’ll have the picks tomorrow – come on back!