ACC Morning Five: 12.05.11 Edition
Posted by mpatton on December 5th, 2011
- SI, ESPN, CBSSports.com and TSN: In case you were looking for some of the major weekend recaps of college basketball’s version of the “Game of the Century” between North Carolina and Kentucky, here you go. Kentucky may have more talent, but I think North Carolina is better (by a hair) right now. Yes, they lost, but the Tar Heels were a last-second freeze and heroic shot away from beating Kentucky in one of the most hostile environments in the country. Expect to see a more detailed reaction from us later today, but it’s hard to argue that those two teams aren’t evenly matched after that game. However, I do offer these words of wisdom in passing: Don’t let this weekend’s win obscure Ohio State’s dismantling of Duke a few days earlier. The Buckeyes look every bit as good as North Carolina and Kentucky right now. But, like all college basketball fans, I was thrilled that the game at Rupp Arena lived up to all of the hype.
- Boston Globe: Boston College has reached a place it hasn’t been in 37 years: one that’s lower than local “rival” Boston University. The Terriers beat the Eagles for the first time in nearly four decades by 14 on Saturday. The win was also BU’s first against a major conference opponent since it beat Michigan in 2004. Steve Donahue sounds frustrated, but is sticking with his team: “I just can’t evaluate my team based on the scoreboard at this point. It’s just not fair to those kids.” For anyone keeping score at home, Boston College is now ranked #271 by Ken Pomeroy and #306 by Jeff Sagarin (in a closely contested battle with Utah for the worst power conference team).
- Washington Post (and the follow-up): Mark Turgeon wanted more scoring balance from his team looking forward to its weekend game against Notre Dame. What’d he get? Terrell Stoglin dropping 31 points in the team’s best win of the season. What Turgeon really wanted was for Stoglin not to force things, but it’s abundantly clear that the Terrapins don’t have any other consistent scoring threats (for instance, Notre Dame started the game on an 8-1 run before Stoglin put up 11 straight for Maryland). The good news for Turgeon is Stoglin’s shot selection improved dramatically: Instead of relying solely on jump shots, he took the ball to the rack. The bad news is there probably won’t be a lot of offensive balance until Pe’Shon Howard gets back from his injury.
- Burlington Times-News: In another prophetic (this time more accurately) preview, Mark Gottfried tempered fans’ expectations, summing up NC State perfectly: “I wouldn’t get real excited just yet, but I think we’ve shown at times we can be very competitive with just about anybody.” Yet again at Stanford, the Wolfpack were very competitive most of the game but couldn’t sustain the momentum during the second half. Both of the team’s other games against likely NCAA Tournament competition (Indiana and Vanderbilt) played out in similar fashion. It’s hard to tell if the team will be able to develop winning ways this season, or if it’s still a year away.
- The Mikan Drill: Virginia has a very mediocre offense. Luckily the Cavaliers back it up with an elite (top ten according to Ken Pomeroy) defense. Just how are they so effective? The Mikan Drill looks at Bennett’s “packline” defense that helps hide what the team lacks in athleticism by controlling dribble-penetration as a group effort (in a way, think of a very help-oriented man-to-man). As always, informative screenshots and video clips here help explain Bennett’s unique system.