ACC Morning Five: 11.29.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 29th, 2011

  1. Above the Rim: Harrison Barnes‘ status is in question for Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin. This would obviously be a huge blow to the North Carolina‘s offense as Barnes is one of the few players who creates for himself in the halfcourt. Roy Williams said Barnes sprained his ankle in the loss to UNLV and that PJ Hairston and Reggie Bullock would share his minutes if Barnes had to sit out. I will be surprised if Barnes doesn’t play at all, but I don’t expect him to be 100% or to play his normal minutes.
  2. Charlotte Observer: JP Giglio previews the ACC/Big 10 Challenge as a chance for the ACC to bounce back from a slow start. The best of the conference battles certainly looks to favor the Big 10 this year, but that doesn’t mean most of the match-ups aren’t interesting. Florida State is looking to bounce back after a couple of tough losses with a game at Michigan State; NC State is looking to continue its hot start with a game against Indiana; and Virginia is out to back up its preseason hype with a game against Michigan. We will have more coverage of the Challenge throughout the week.
  3. AnnArbor.com: Speaking of the Michigan – Virginia game, AnnArbor.com takes a look at the keys to the match-up from the Wolverines’ perspective. One thing I’d add: Virginia is going to try to ugly it up, and they cannot play from behind (between a mediocre offense and a slow tempo the Cavaliers can’t play from behind anyone, much less against Michigan).
  4. BC Interruption: The Boston College blog takes a look at the impact of ACC expansion on “Feast Week” tournaments. Essentially, the addition of two more elite programs will make it even harder for most ACC teams to participate in the higher-profile tournaments like the Maui Invitational (and, usually, the NIT Tip-Off). Most tournaments have a four-year “cycle” before a team can participate again. Before adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh only half of the slots were available (with the other two taken by Duke and North Carolina). With the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh those spots will only become harder to come by.
  5. Charlotte Observer: Austin Rivers has been getting plenty of press this season, and a lot of it has been critical. The Duke freshman is taking it in stride: “Those people’s jobs are to critique. The coaches and my teammates are happy with the way I’m playing. It’s sports and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to call ESPN and be like, ‘Hey, can you stop that.’” Also one positive side effect of the (now over) NBA lockout was that Doc Rivers got to watch his son play in Maui.

EXTRA: Speaking of the NBA lockout, CBSSports.com was the first to announce that the lockout would be over with the first games of a 66-game season starting Christmas Day. That gives college basketball another month to grab the attention of NBA fans.

mpatton (466 Posts)


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