What’s happened and to come in ACC basketball right here with the weekend wrap-up edition of the ACC B-Ball Report…
St. Johns 93 Duke 78: Personally, I blame the shoes (Blue vs. Blue)
Here are the lines from that game (Georgetown last year) compared with today’s stinker against the Red Storm
Duke v Gtown : 37% FG, 31% 3-pts ( 9-29), FT ( 22-26), 32 Rebs, 11 Asts, 15 TO, 3 Blk, 11 stls
Duke v St. J’s : 42% FG, 19% 3-pts ( 5-26), FT ( 21-27), 28 rebs, 9 Asts, 17 TO, 7 Blk, 7 stls
With , of course, a final score differing by only 5 points.
Now, if I were an optimist ( which is a bit optimistic of me to think) I would say that this must be a fantasticly auspicious omen, since we only lost once after the Georgetown game ( to Maryland, who, we coincidentally play next).
If my glass is half empty ( which is more likely), I’m thinking that our consistent lack of offensive post presence will continue to combine with our periodic and mysterious inablilty to hit wide-open looks from distance to erode our defensive focus, which will cause us to lose more than one game before the end of this year ( and one of them WON’T be the National Championship game).
Tigers use defense to bludgeon No. 22 FSU, 62-44 (OrangeandWhite.com)
Saturday afternoon, Clemson hammered away at No.22 Florida State. They poked. Prodded. Defended mercilessly.
They were rewarded with their biggest win of Brad Brownell’s young tenure. Clemson held the Seminoles to 32.7 percent shooting, forced 22 turnovers and came away with a 62-44 rout before an announced crowd of 10,000 at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson improved to 15-6, 4-3 in ACC play; the Seminoles, who entered the day a half-game out of first in the ACC, fell to 15-6, 5-2. It was the Tigers’ fewest points allowed to an ACC foe since a 51-42 win over N.C. State on Jan. 18, 1997.
Hokies Survive Hurricanes 72-68 (The Key Play)
Garrius Adams missed a potential game-tying three pointer with three seconds remaining and the Hokies escaped a Miami team that would never go away in a 72-68 victory in Cassell Coliseum Sunday. The victory put Tech back up above .500 in ACC play at 4-3, while the Hurricanes lost their fourth straight conference contest (by a combined 11 points) to fall to 1-6…
The win was one Tech needed, especially with two road games on the horizon in Raleigh and Boston this week. It also gave the Hokies a victory over a team with a top 75 RPI, despite the Canes poor conference record.
Wake Forest outplays Virginia for its first ACC win (Streaking the Lawn)
I tried putting this off for a while in hopes that something would change in the past 24 hours. Unfortunately, the final score remains the same: Previously winless Wake Forest rallied from 10 points down in the second half to beat Virginia, 76-71. Virginia has now lost five of its past six ACC games and falls to 11-10 overall, 2-5 in the ACC.
The good news is that junior center Assane Sene earned his first career double-double, leading Virginia with 15 points and 13 rebounds. For the first time this season, five Cavaliers had double-figure scoring:Joe Harris had 14, Mustapha Farrakhan had 13, Sammy Zeglinski had 11 coming off the bench, and Bub Evans had 10.
Maryland pounded away for a 74-63 victory at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, collecting their third straight double-digit conference road victory and nosing above .500 in league play for the first time this season.
The Terps (14-7, 4-3 ACC) did so without one of the standbys of modern college basketball. After 407 straight games with a 3-pointer, Maryland didn’t make one.
It didn’t matter.
“I think we’re a very versatile team,” forward Jordan Williams said. “We can score in many ways. Last game, it was threes. Last game, we beat them with threes. This game, we didn’t hit any threes? That’s what I’m saying.”
Long Road Ahead for Pack Hoops (ACC Rivals)
If you can’t get up for Carolina, who can you get up for? NC State completely laid an egg in an effortless performance in Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon. Its bad enough that the Pack, who were expected to finish as one of the top four teams in the ACC this season, came into the game at 12-8 overall and just 2-4 in ACC play.
NC State (12-9, 2-5) came into their match-up with North Carolina expecting to get out-rebounded, but not this badly. The Tar Heels won the battle on the boards 48-33, mostly in part to lengthy John Henson’s 16 rebounds. Ironically, the leading rebounder for the Pack was senior guard Javier Gonzalez with nine boards, and he is the shortest scholarship player on the team. Senior Tracy Smith and sophomore DeShawn Painter were completely ineffective on the glass, they finished the game with five rebounds between them.
Observations: Duke – St. Johns (Charlotte Observer)
Sunday’s result wasn’t good for the ACC, which saw its highest-ranked team (No. 3 Duke) fall to an opponent (St. John’s) that has lost five of its nine Big East games.
Even though fans left the arena shouting the praises of the Big East, Krzyzewski downplayed the game’s significance in the rivalry between the conferences.
“It has no reflection on a conference,” Krzyzewski said. “A late January game just talks about St. John’s and Duke.”
Basketball notes: Is Duke ACC’s best? (News & Observer)
Is Duke the best team in the ACC? Here are some thoughts on a weekend that was big for North Carolina and Harrison Barnes, Clemson and St. John’s (at Duke’s expense):
1. Duke’s flaw exposed. The Blue Devils didn’t look like the best team in any conference Sunday, but they must be considered the ACC’s best until some other team proves otherwise.
Duke is 6-1 in the ACC, one game in the win column ahead of North Carolina in a conference with an unbalanced schedule. In Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, Duke has a pair of senior leaders the equal of whom no other team in the conference possesses, and that counts for a lot.
But St. John’s did expose a weakness on Duke’s part. Although the Blue Devils’ big guys are improving, Duke’s backcourt without Kyrie Irving lacks an abundance of quick, confident, experienced players.
Point guard Smith is obviously one of the best in the nation, but sophomores Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins and freshman Tyler Thornton need to develop quickly for Duke to get where it wants to be in March.
ACC Bubble Watch for Week of January 31 (All About Sports)
Bubble But Out
(65) Miami Hurricanes 12-9 (1-6)
Just how many close losses can one team have? A 74-71 loss to UNC and a 72-68 loss at Virginia Tech just keeps adding to the single digit losses. This week the Canes have two winnable home games. They better win them.
Next Games: 2/3 Georgia Tech, 2/5 Virginia
Good Wins: (83) Mississippi, (13) West Virginia, (34) Boston College
Bad Losses: None
(68) Clemson Tigers 15-6 (4-3)
It was a good week for Clemson. They beat NC State 60-50 after trailing by 19, then looked very impressive beating Florida State. 62-44. Brad Brownell has made Tiger fans forget Oliver Purnell.
Next Games: 2/2 @Virginia, 2/5 @Georgia Tech
Good Wins: (93) Seton Hall, (96) Charleston, (65) Miami, (99) NC State, (50) Florida State
Bad Losses: None
Three to look back at/three to look forward to (ACCSports.com)
Duke at Maryland, Wednesday February 2nd, 9 p.m.
Duke won the contest in Cameron by seven, but location should play a factor in this matchup. Maryland has tried some different guard combinations, but Jordan Williams inside has been the constant. The Terps will need his usual double-double in this game (he scored 23 and grabbed 13 rebounds in the first meeting). The Terps’ would probably prefer not to have Duke coming off the loss to St. John’s, as the Blue Devils will undoubtedly be using that as motivation to come out strong in this one. Expect Duke’s defense to be top notch, and to see some sort of strategy to pile up fouls on Williams (on either end of the floor, if you know what I mean).
Keep an eye on: Seth Curry. He followed an excellent outing against Boston College with a dud in the loss to St. John’s. He’s the person most likely to make teams pay for leaning on Smith and Singler too much because he’s typically one pass away. Will he continue to be the barometer for the team?
Full Mid-Week Slate/Our Picks
(10-8 on picks so far)
From the ACC…
How many NCAA bids are we looking at here with the ACC? Maybe as low as 3? Somebody has to step up from the mess in the middle of the ACC standings.