ACC Basketball Review – 12/12/06

It’s been a while since I went through the ACC games, so I’ll be pretty brief on most of these.
Wednesday, Nov. 22
Providence 73, BC 64
UVa 81, UNC Asheville 65
Gonzaga 82, UNC 74
UCLA 88, Ga. Tech 73

The first bad day of the ACC season, with three teams going down. The Carolina game was particularly interesting because it was the first game to show that they’re having some adjustment problems mixing in all of the new freshmen. Tyler Hansbrough was suspiciously inactive, seeming to defer to Brandan Wright. I think he learned his lesson though. The UNC offense must go through Hansbrough no matter how talented the other players are.

Thursday, Nov. 23
Western Michigan 71, Va. Tech 68
Friday, Nov. 24
Maryland 81, High Point 63
N.C. State 88, Gardner-Webb 76
Clemson 74, Charleston Southern 50
UNC 101, Tennessee 87

Nice recovery by the Heels. Tennessee wasn’t ranked at this point, but they are a good team with a good coach.
Va. Tech 77, Montana 56
Pitt 88, FSU 66

The Big East has been pounding the ACC so far this year.
Saturday, Nov. 25
Miami 98, Lafayette 66
BC 86, Rhode Island 68
Wake 88, App. State 78
Duke 75, Davidson 47

Nothing really of note here other than to point out that BC took a step towards getting back on track.
Sunday, Nov. 26
UVa 104, UMES 63
Southern Illinois 69, Va. Tech 64

The Hokies were supposed to be good this year, right? They returned just about everyone and last year was an aberration because of all the off-court turmoil. So what’s going on? In fairness, Southern Illinois is actually pretty good. In fact, the MVC is the second rated conference in the RPI right now (standard disclaimer – I don’t like the RPI, but thought this stat was noteworthy).
Monday, Nov. 27
N.C. State 74, Michigan 67
And now the ACC-Big Ten “Challenge” gets under way. I already covered this game here.
Tuesday, Nov. 28
Maryland 72, Illinois 66
Wisconsin 81, FSU 66
GT 77, Penn State 73
Duke 54, Indiana 51
Northwestern 61, Miami 59

A very nice night for the ACC! More about it here.
Wednesday, Nov. 29
BC 65, Michigan State 58
VT 69, Iowa 65
Purdue 61, UVa 59
UNC 98, Ohio State 89
Clemson 90, Minnesota 68

And the ACC wraps up the win. More here.
Air Force 94, Wake 58
Holy crap! Read that score again! Now, losing to Air Force, especially at their place – it’s a long trip and at high altitude – but losing by nearly 40 points? Damn. Keep in mind though, as I wrote here when Duke played them, Air Force is actually really good. They now have three 30+ wins over teams from major conferences. I think if their jerseys said “Big State U” instead of “Air Force,” they’d be in the top 10 right now. You do NOT want to see this team in the NCAA tourney.
Saturday, Dec. 2
UNC 75, Kentucky 63
Clemson 74, South Carolina 53
Georgia 87, Wake 86

And the ACC-SEC Challenge gets under way! Wouldn’t it be nice if that were actually true? Instead, we just have to settle for scheduling quirks like this. Two very good wins for the ACC and actually a pretty good loss for a reeling Wake team. Overall at this point, the ACC is 5-1 against the SEC on the season. More games to come.
Duke 61, Georgetown 52
This was a nice win for Duke. Remember, the Blue Devils lost to G-town last year, and this year’s squad isn’t as good as the Redick-Williams team. Offense is still a major weakness though, particularly the continued soft play of supposed All-American Josh McRoberts.
BC 84, UMass 73
Sunday, Dec. 3
UVa 67, N.C. State 62
And the conference season kicks off! UVA won the game, but I was actually more impressed with NC State. Without Engin Atsur, they were shorthanded, but gave the Cavs all they could handle. This game was one shot from going the other way. State fans have reason for optimism as the Wolfpack appeared to have four of the best six players on the floor.
For the Cavs, they need to get JR Reynolds and Sean Singletary going. Both are too passive early on. Clearly Singletary is trying to get his teammates involved early, but he needs to learn that he do that while still being aggressive. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing a point guard bring the ball up to the top of the key, pass the ball to the wing and then just stand there and watch. That just kills an offense. You have to penetrate or at least cut after you make that pass. When you stand still, the defense can just settle in. Virginia is dangerous when Singletary is pushing the tempo and a threat to drive at any time. Without that, Reynolds isn’t good enough to find his own seams in the defense and there’s no one else on the team who can create his own shot. Hopefully Dave Leitao is working on that.
GW 63, VT 62
Oof. Is it too early to declare that the Hokies ain’t going dancing this year?
Miami 90, GT 82
The second ACC game and the first surprise! This GT loss is actually a dark harbinger of poor games to come. Fortunately the opposite can’t be said of Miami.
FSU 70, Florida 66
Woo! I never would have guessed this one. That Florida team is just ridiculously good, but evidently they have some apathy issues. They are a bit too content. This was a huge win for the perpetual bubble-dwelling Seminoles. You’ll hear about this win in March. 6-1 ACC.
Notre Dame 81, Md 74
Talk about your up and down days for the ACC. The Domers had lost to the only half-decent team they’d played (Butler) while Maryland was looking like a sleeper. Well, I guess the Terps haven’t really fixed everything. This loss makes the ACC just 2-4 against the Big East.
Tuesday, Dec. 5
FSU 82, Stetson 63
Clemson 90, Wofford 66

Yawn. Why does Clemson play so many crappy teams? At least they have a few decent non-conference games this year (MSU, South Carolina, Georgia), but man do they play a lot of cupcakes. Every year!
Wednesday, Dec. 6
BC 75, Fairfield 52
Duke 57, Holy Cross 45
VT 72, ODU 55

Hey, the Hokies got a win! And that’s actually a decent win. ODU beat Georgetown earlier in the year.
West Virginia 71, N.C. State 60
Was I praising Sidney Lowe earlier? He only played six players in this game! And one of those only played eight minutes! Four different guys went the full 40 minutes. Sidney, Sidney, Sidney. That’s just dumb. I don’t care how bad your seventh and eighth best players are, they need to see the floor for a few minutes to give the other guys a rest. You just can’t play 4/5 of your starting lineup for the whole game and expect them to make big plays at the end. This game was winnable, but the Pack just didn’t have the legs late. And don’t get me started on how they handled the Mountaineers 1-3-1 defense. It looked like State hadn’t practiced against a 1-3-1 at all. I hope that isn’t a blind spot from Lowe’s NBA background.
2-5 against the Big East.
Maryland 79, Fordham 59
Thursday, Dec. 7
FSU 87, Georgia State 55
Here is the stretch of FSU opponents between Dec 5 and Dec 23 – Stetson, Georgia State, SE Louisiana, High Point, Coastal Carolina and St. Peters.
Saturday, Dec. 9
Duke 69, George Mason 53
That’s the best I’ve seen Duke’s offense play all year. And they scored 69 points. Josh McRoberts had just seven. This team has serious problems.
Miami 79, Lehigh 58
Vanderbilt 73, Ga. Tech 64

What happened to the Yellow Jackets? They were on top of the world a couple of weeks ago and now have three losses in four games. I guess the freshmen aren’t infallible. 6-2 against the SEC.
UNC 94, High Point 69
N.C. State 74, Savannah State 53

Again, Lowe uses only six players (OK, a seventh played one minute). If you can’t use your bench against Savannah State, when are you going to use it? I think he’s taking a dangerous gamble here. Keep running the guys that much and they might break down when they start losing games. Remember the Vince Lombardi quote, “fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
Sunday, Dec. 10
FSU 88, SE Louisiana 62
VT 69 Appalachian State 37
BC 73, Maryland 62

This was a good game. BC seems to have put things back together and Maryland is now not quite so confident. Just like with Georgia Tech, the freshmen are going to be up and down and the point guards who are so critical to the Terps combined for 11 points (on 4-16 shooting), 5 assists and 6 turnovers.
For the Eagles, Jared Dudley is making his case for best player in the conference right now. It’s basically a two-man contest at this point between Dudley and Hansbrough.
Monday, Dec. 11
Miss. State 70, Miami 52
6-3 ACC. That was quite a thumping on the Hurricane’s home court. This Miami team looks like one that will frustrate fans all year. They have good players, but are not a good team very often. With three losses already to teams ranked 100+ and a 18-point home loss to the only top-30 team they’ve played, there’s plenty of evidence that it’s going to be a long season in Coral Gables.

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