ACC Basketball Review – 11/16/2006

How about a quick rundown of all the games played so far? Who’s up for that? I’ll sprinkle in some comments about the games of interest.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
Maryland 102, Hampton 75
Wednesday, Nov. 8
Maryland 81, Vermont 63
As I wrote about before, those are two nice wins for Maryland after struggling in their exhibitions. Of course that second win looks a lot better now than it did at the time.

Friday, Nov. 10
BC 86, New Hampshire 47
N.C. State 92, Wofford 88
State was led in scoring by Ben McCauley’s 26 points. I guess that’s a good thing.
Va. Tech 94, Coppin State 43
The Hokies gave up just 14 points in the first half.
Ga. Tech 83, Elon 49
Freshmen studs Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young had a nice start, combining for 32 points. “Javaris & Thaddeus” sounds like an Amish law firm.
Clemson 83, Arkansas State 44
Saturday, Nov. 11
Wake 91, James Madison 82
Wake was down at the half, but came back. Maybe they have some heart this year. Apparently Kyle Visser was reanimated and freshman point guard Ishmael Smith had an excellent debut with 11 assists. If Smith can keep playing like that, the Deacs can keep Harvey Hale at the 2 where he is much more comfortable.
Clemson 77, Monmouth 65
Miami 73, FIU 50

Sunday, Nov. 12
Clemson 74, Old Dominion 70
The Tigers are apparently going to play every single night in an attempt to get enough wins to qualify for the dance this year.
Maryland 93, Florida A&M 54
UVa 93, Arizona 90

The best matchup of the season so far for the ACC resulted in the best result so far. UVA was getting blasted in the first half. They were down 19 and Arizona was making them look silly. The Cavaliers fought back though and chipped and chipped until they had the lead. They held it for an excellent win and a great way to open their new building. If this game is any indication, Dave Leitao really is an excellent coach. Arizona had four of the best five players in the game.
BTW, I nearly choked on my popcorn when I saw that they retired Curtis Staples’ jersey during this game. Curtis Staples? Sure, he was a nice player and set the NCAA three-point record, but he was a one-time third-team All-ACC player and was never even the best player on the team. Only later did I read that they made a distinction. They retired his jersey, not his number. It’s a new honor, I guess as a way to fill the rafters in the new John Paul Jones arena. Still, there are many Cavaliers who would have been better choices. At Carolina, you have to be a two-time All-American or national player of the year to get up in the rafters. I know Virginia isn’t UNC, but come on. At least go with someone who made all-conference first team once.
FSU 85, McNeese State 65
Duke 86, Columbia 43

Just like at UNC and Georgia Tech, Duke’s trying to work in a bunch of talented freshmen. The results are going to be uneven for a little while.
Monday, Nov. 13
Vermont 77, BC 63
Doh! Tyler Coppenrath is gone and so is coach Tom Brennan, so this wasn’t supposed to happen. Still, BC is trying to adjust to not having seniors Craig Smith and Louis Hinnant and obviously things aren’t perfect yet. This is still a good team. Remember, Sean Williams and Akida McLain were suspended.
Duke 72, Ga. Southern 48
Notice that the Blue Devils have given up 43 and 48 points in their first two games. This is a more athletic and better defensive team than recent squads.
GT 100, Jackson State 70
FSU 73, Illinois State 59

Illinois State was led by guard Dominitrix Johnson’s 32 points. Dominitrix.
Tuesday, Nov. 14
Wake 86, Bucknell 83 (OT)
Wshew! Hey, like I said, this team is showing more fight already than last year’s team. They may not be a great team, but the first step for this program is just to learn again how to win.
UNC 103, Sacred Heart 81
Carolina’s defense is not good. On the other hand, 11 Tar Heels played at least 7 minutes.
Miami 96, Alcorn 57
Miami was led in scoring by someone named Jack McClinton. Who?
FSU 59, SMU 52
VT 95, West Fla. 47

Two game, two big blowouts for the Hokies. Maybe their run of bad luck has finally ended. If so, they could be a good, balanced team. They certainly should be excellent on the defensive end.
Wednesday, Nov. 15
UNC 73, Winthrop 66
This was my first chance to see the young studs. I give them mixed reviews. Brandan Wright was awesome and is only going to get better. Wow. Wayne Ellington has a pretty stroke, but is going to have to learn how to play the rest of the game. I was most interested in seeing Tywon Lawson and came away underwhelmed. I’d heard how good and fast he was, but he wasn’t nearly as good or fast as Raymond Felton was at the beginning of his freshman year. I’m sure Lawson will get better, but he’s not the superstar I expected. I now understand why Bobby Frasor is still starting over him.
I’m going to go ahead and put out a warning right now. It’s one game in and I’m already sick of hearing how Tyler Hansbrough is such a hard worker. Yeah, I get it. You don’t need to mention it 47 times a game. I have eyes.
Oh, and beware of this Winthrop team. They are pretty damn good. And in case you didn’t know, Gregg Marshall is a hell of a coach. That team was very well prepared.
Clem. 67, Furman 58
Clemson is on pace to win 147 games this year.

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