ACC Morning Five: 11.22.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 22nd, 2011

The agony and the ecstasy. Not sure there’s a better quip to define the ACC’s night in the eyes of two fanbases. Boston College was absolutely dismantled — at home — by a team picked to finish twelfth in the A-10. The Eagles lost by 36 to Massachusetts. NC State, on the other hand, found itself looking at a tough spot down 18 with eight minutes left in the second half against a talented Texas team. The Wolfpack went on a 28-2 run to take the lead before earning the victory.

  1. ESPN – Grantland: Sebastian Pruiti breaks down Austin Rivers‘ flaws with meticulous detail. And while it’s true the freshman has struggled early, I think this article is a bit of an overreaction. Pruiti readily admits that Rivers has all the tools, he just isn’t consistently making the best decisions. This is to be expected. The college game is much quicker, taller and stronger than anything Rivers has ever played before. It’s still very interesting to look, via screen grabs, at Rivers’ tough transition to the college game, and I love that we’ve got NBA writers now covering college sports. For an example of the types of plays that define Duke’s offense (especially on set plays), check out this gem from The Mikan Drill.
  2. Washington Post – Opinion: In wake of major fiscal issues, Maryland has decided to cut eight varsity sports. Unfortunately, these teams all have incredibly high graduation rates and really represent what the NCAA is supposed to be about. Charles Lane takes a pretty hard stance, but I think his ire is well-grounded (even if I disagree). There’s still a chance the teams could be saved if enough money is raised to cover their costs.
  3. I mentioned the Boston College smackdown earlier, but points out a very interesting side note. Boston College opened as a 2.5 point favorite over the Minutemen, but so much money jumped on the Minutemen that the line was pushed to 4.5 points the other way by game time. Six points (and changing the winner) is a lot of ground to cover, and it should tell you that the betting public and sharps have very little faith in Steve Donahue’s Eagles.
  4. SI Vault: Curious where the Maui invitational got its start? Look no further than a mammoth upset of top-ranked Virginia by host Chaminade in 1982. “From now on, wherever athletes must face an impossible task, the cry will go out, ‘Remember Chaminade!’ Virginia will.” That’s not totally true, but it’s a mind-blowing upset. Since the invitational’s inception Chaminade has pulled off six more upsets, although none quite as astonishing and far-reaching as the victory over Ralph Sampson’s team three decades ago.
  5. Fox Sports Carolinas: Andrew Jones looks at the top coaches in NCAA basketball history. He narrows it down to Bobby Knight, John Wooden, Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski. Shockingly, that’s the order from fourth to first of his final rankings. I agree that Knight falls a cut below the other three. But I don’t agree with leaving Adolph Rupp off the list or placing John Wooden third because of Sam Gilbert’s slush fund and improper benefits. It’s tough to put a man with more than twice the national championships as anyone else at third; Wooden actually has more titles than the rest of Jones’ list combined.

EXTRA: Check out Seth Davis’ Hoop Thoughts to learn what tips he’s got for NBA fans trying out college basketball during the lockout. Also you should get pumped that more NBA writers will be using their brains to look at college basketball. ESPN stat guru John Hollinger is already at it with a look at at a modified version of his Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and a breakdown of what the numbers mean in the long run.

mpatton (576 Posts)

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8 responses to “ACC Morning Five: 11.22.11 Edition”

  1. WakeFan says:

    So BC already with two losses worse than any Wake had last year.

  2. WakeFan says:

    I think it’s reasonable to put K ahead of Wooden (a lot stiffer competition), but Smith? No way.

  3. KCarpenter says:

    Those are some bad losses, but they are not worse than a loss to Stetson or Presbyterian.

    And those rankings are utterly ridiculous. Rupp and Wooden are both not getting enough credit.

  4. rtmsf says:

    In no possible world is it reasonable to put K ahead of Wooden. None. It’s one thing to say he had the best talent, it’s quite another to win every single time out with it. Like 88 games in a row. Or SEVEN straight national titles. There are so many teams scattered throughout history that were “unbeatable” who ended up not only beaten but an embarrassment. And I think you’re not giving CBB credit for being pretty darn good in the 60s and 70s. Presentism at work here, I’m afraid.

  5. AMurawa says:

    CBB was pretty darn good in the 60s and 70s, but there is a lot more parity in the current landscape. Early entry to the NBA and the three-point shot, just for two, level the playing field quite a lot. Obviously Wooden’s record is unimpeachable, but I think a solid argument could be made that K’s achievements are at least as significant as Wooden’s.

    And that’s not a statement I make lightly.

  6. rtmsf says:

    I’d listen to you about the three-pointer, but early entry wasn’t much of a factor for three of Coach K’s four titles. In 91 and 92, most players everywhere stayed three to four years, and certainly all Duke players did. In fact, you could argue that he was playing with a fuller deck in his most successful Duke years b/c he didn’t lose an early entry candidate until (I believe) Brand/Maggette/Avery left in 1999. By that time, most other top schools (UNC, Kentucky, UCLA, etc.) had been ravaged by early entries. On the 2001 team, Battier was a NPOY senior, J-Will, Dunleavy and Boozer were all sophs. All four ended up lottery picks, and none left before they were juniors. Again, that’s more experienced talent than anybody at that time could claim. So maybe the rest of the country had to deal with parity due to early entries, but I’m not sure Coach K did.

    So I dunno. I think it cuts both ways. In the 60s and 70s everyone had three years worth of a player, and there was no such thing as a basketball factory to get kids to the NBA like there is now. To me, that meant more schools had opportunities to get top talent, and explains how a Jacksonville can get to the Final Four in 1970 or a Penn in 1979. The three-ball has certainly made upsets more likely than not, but I’m racking my brain to think of a game where a ridiculous Duke team lost b/c somebody got hot from three on them. I’m sure there is one or more out there, but I don’t think that the three would have made UCLA much more likely to lose games they were already winning easily. When you’re good enough to win 88 in a row and seven titles in a row, you’re typically so much better than everyone else that the game is over as soon as the ball is tipped. The only team I ever thought that about in my lifetime was the 91 UNLV squad, closely followed by the 92 Duke, 99 Duke, and 97 Kansas squads. The fact that only one of those four actually won the national title suggests to me that UCLA was beyond dominant — they were almost playing a different game than everyone else. You can check it yourself, but I believe most of their F4 and title game contests particularly in their 7-year run were not close.

  7. WakeFan says:

    One of Coach K’s keys to success, in my mind anyway, has been his ability to convince players to stay when the draft was an option. Not too many coaches can do that, and I think it all comes down to his ability to get star players to really buy into the team concept. I’ll stick with my original statement.

    Back to BC, a 22 point loss to Holy Cross is absolutely worse than a 1 point loss to Presbyterian or a 9 point loss to Stetson. No question.

  8. mpatton says:

    I’d go Wooden over K myself, but there’s an argument for otherwise (it involves a few more assumptions). I think shorter NCAAT and not accepting at-large bids also factors in along with no 3-point line. Still tough to argue with how many consecutive games they won though.

    As for BC, I think losing at home to UMass by 36 is pretty unbelievably horrendous. Not sure if anyone has KenPom subscription, but the Eagles are now picked to lose every ACC game by a fairly substantial margin (the only close ones are at home against Wake and at home against GTech). They could be really, really bad…

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