ACC Game On: 11.17.11 EditionPosted by KCarpenter on November 17th, 2011
ACC Game On will periodically review recent games involving ACC teams and take a look forward at key upcoming matchups.
The Atlantic Coast Conference remains unbeaten, although it took a timely jumper by North Carolina State’s Deshawn Painter to maintain the currently perfect winning record of all conference teams. The Wolfpack’s game against Princeton was the highlight of a mostly lackluster slate of games last night. Mark Gottfried‘s team, already playing without C.J. Leslie, lost Scott Wood to an ankle injury two minutes into it. That, combined with insanely hot shooting by Princeton in the first half made a manageable game suddenly very challenging. Despite being down by three at the half, N.C. State rallied behind the sterling play of Lorenzo Brown to pull out the win in the final seconds. Brown led the team in points, assists and steals, contributing sixteen, eight, and five respectively, as well as snagging five rebounds.
Clemson and Florida State easily took down their opponents, using highly effective offenses to complement already lethally effective defenses. Both teams shot over 50% from the field, with Florida State managing an impressive 57.1%. For Clemson, the all-round play of Tanner Smith has continued to help the Tigers in myriad ways. Smith led his team in assists and rebounding while also scoring eleven points.
Wake Forest beat Georgia Southern with Travis McKie and C.J. Harris each scoring over twenty points. On the downside, the Demon Deacons seem unable to stop anybody on the defensive end. Georgia Southern managed to shoot 49.1% against Wake Forest as well as outrebounded its ACC foe. A win is a win, but this game should serve as a red flag to Coach Jeff Bzdelik.
The End of Conference Perfection?
- Maryland vs. Alabama at 5:00 PM on ESPN2
The ACC’s perfect record is in serious danger with this game in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Alabama is a very good team, particularly on the defensive end, and particularly in terms of forcing turnovers and guarding the perimeter. Considering that Maryland’s season opening win was marred by frequent turnovers and the inability to hit a single three-point shot, this match-up could offer serious problems for the Terrapins. On the other hand, Maryland has shooting talent on it’s roster, though, for whatever reason, we just haven’t gotten to see it this season. If Nick Faust, the highly touted freshmen shooting guard, can break out in his second game, Maryland could make a big statement by winning this game. On the other hand, Alabama has it’s own highly touted freshman shooting guard in Trevor Lacey to complement the immense talent of senior forward JaMychal Green. It’s a tough draw for the Terps, but this game isn’t out of their reach.
- Georgia Tech vs. Saint Joseph’s at 8:00 PM on ESPN3.com
If I told you that Saint Joseph’s is, at best, a slightly above average team in the Atlantic 10, you might not worry about Georgia Tech’s chances. It’s a new era, however, and with teams like Temple, Xavier, Dayton, and Richmond, the Atlantic 10 may very well be the best league outside of the power six conferences. Saint Joseph’s is no pushover and the Georgia Tech team of the past season might have had some serious issues stopping their talented back court. So far this season, however, the Yellow Jackets have demonstrated a real knack for rebounding that could carry them. Though it’s obviously too early for these numbers to mean too much, Georgia Tech is in the top ten in Division I in terms of offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Strong rebounding, along with a game plan that relies on high percentage shots should lead Georgia Tech to the win in the opening round of the Charleston Classic.