Checking In On… the ACC

Posted by mpatton on December 6th, 2011

Matt Patton is the ACC correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter @rise_and_fire.

Reader’s Take


Top Storylines

  • Kentucky and North Carolina: College basketball’s “Game of the Century” lived up to the hype coming down to the last possession (even if it ended bizarrely) and was fun from start to finish (well, almost finish for Tar Heel fans). The game was a reminder that North Carolina can be the team people thought it would be coming into this season. The Tar Heels were aggressive, knocked down perimeter shots, and controlled a little over half of the game. Harrison Barnes was outplayed by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but Kendall Marshall was passable on defense [Author’s Note: That wasn’t meant to be a bad pun. He actually played solid defense on Teague most of the game.] and his usual self on offense (though I was very surprised he saw as much time guarding Marquis Teague as he did, considering Teague’s turnover woes). I’m not sure any college basketball fan would mind seeing a rematch this spring.
  • Terrell Stoglin Can Score: Unfortunately, his teammates are struggling to keep up their end. Only three BCS-conference teams (Penn State, Washington, and Utah) have players with higher usages, and none have players more likely to take a shot (shot percentage). Stoglin is the only player on the team averaging over 20 points a game with 22.4. His field goal percentage could be a little higher, but right now he’s the best scorer in the conference. For more on Stoglin, check out our post from yesterday on his scoring ability.
  • Sportsman of the Year: Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt joined the prestigious ranks of Sports Illustrated‘s “Sportsman of the Year” winners and are only the third and fourth college basketball coaches to be chosen for the honor (Dean Smith and John Wooden are the other two). Both are worthy choices, as they both signify excellence over the course of 73 combined years of coaching.

Terrell Stoglin is Maryland's Offense.

Power Rankings

1) North Carolina (6-2) lost to the #1 team in the country on the road by one point. But it was the second straight game that the Tar Heels were unable to control the tempo. Is this a problem going forward, or is the defense good enough to win ugly?
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: The only player in Roy Williams’ rotation that is not averaging over a point per possession? James Michael McAdoo (fellow frosh PJ Hairston leads the team with a 129.0 offensive rating).

2) Duke (7-1) hasn’t played since last week. My guess is this means a lot of quality time watching film on Ohio State.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: Duke has the third worst free throw defense in the country, as opponents are shooting a whopping 80.6% from the charity stripe against the Blue Devils this year.

3) Virginia (7-1) blew out a terrible Longwood team at home. A game against George Mason today will be a little more of a test.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: Virginia’s secret to defensive relevance? No second chances. The Cavaliers are second in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage, only allowing opponents to grab 21.3% of their misses.

4) Florida State (6-3) snapped a three-game skid by blowing out a less than mediocre Charleston Southern team at home. Unfortunately, a promising first half (the Seminoles scored 45 points!) yielded a “meh” overall performance that included 21 turnovers. If this team can figure out how to limit turnovers, it could be very dangerous. If not, it’s just another very good defensive team.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: In contrast to North Carolina, only three Florida State players–Michael Snaer, Terrance Shannon and Deividas Dulkys–average a point per possession.

5) Miami (5-2) had an unimpressive win against UMass, but we can’t judge this team until Reggie Johnson is back. Other than Kenny Kadjii, no one with significant minutes is over 6’6″.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott have really struggled inside the arc this season, combining for a putrid 25-71 (35%).

NC State Needs CJ Leslie To Be More Consistent.

6) NC State (5-3) is much more competitive than last season, but close losses where CJ Leslie dominates the first half and disappears in the second are becoming a meme in Raleigh. Mark Gottfried still has plenty of time and (if you couldn’t tell from reading these) a very weak conference to parlay into an NCAA Tournament berth though. He’ll need ten conference wins and a win against Syracuse or eleven wins in conference play though.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: NC State players not named Scott Wood can’t hit the broadside of a backboard from 21 feet this season, as they’ve combined to go 12-57 (21%) from three. To make matters worse, the team is letting opponents shoot over 40% from downtown.

7) Virginia Tech (5-3) followed a disappointing loss at Minnesota with another one against Kansas State. There aren’t any resume-building wins left on the nonconference slate though. The good news is Erick Green has continued his excellent start (like many predicted).
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact
: The Hokies are the reverse Wolfpack, as they only allow their opponents to shoot 21.8% from deep (good for third in the country).

8) Maryland (4-3) bounced back from a competitive loss to Illinois with a beatdown of Notre Dame. The win may say more about the deficiencies of the Fighting Irish and Terrell Stoglin’s ability to get buckets, but a win is a win.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: Maryland seems physically unable to force turnovers, only creating steals on 5.2% of opponents possessions (341st out of 345 nationally). Oh, and James Padgett is an offensive rebounding machine, collecting over 20% of the team’s misses (which is a whole lot) when on the floor.

9) Wake Forest (5-3) lost a close game at home to Richmond this week. Regardless, it’s impossible to look at the 5-3 start and say you expected much more from Jeff Bzdelik’s rebuilding squad. Travis McKie and CJ Harris are currently scoring 45% of the team’s points.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: The lone dark red squares on Wake Forest’s profile? Offensive rebounding and allowed block percentage (how often they get blocked). Otherwise the Demon Deacons are a vastly improved team from last year on both sides of the ball.

10) Clemson (4-3) lost to the SEC’s worst team (and an in-state rival) at home. I’m not sure what’s going on at Littlejohn, but normally the Tigers are tough to beat there–especially in the non-conference. Not this year: Clemson is 2-3 at home with losses to College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, and now South Carolina.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: Catalin Baciu is the Tigers’ most used player (during the less than seven minutes a game he plays), accounting for 38.7% of possessions. More impressively, Andre Young is absolutely killing it efficiency-wise with an offensive rating of 139.3 (good for 24th overall). Moral of the story: he needs to look for his shot more often.

11) Georgia Tech (4-4) continued its descent with a loss to Tulane (which, for the record, is probably better than most people know). So far Glen Rice Jr. has been the star for Brian Gregory, averaging nearly 15 points and seven rebounds a game.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: What’s the biggest difference between Georgia Tech with and without Iman Shumpert? You’re probably not surprised, but turnovers on both ends of the floor. This year the Yellow Jackets are very safely in the bottom half of D-I in both turnovers committed and turnovers created. With Shumpert, they were in the top half of both. And were excellent on defense, forcing opponents to turn the ball over 23.7% of the time (24th in the country, including third in steals); this year they’re only forcing turnovers 18.2% of the time (291st in the country). That is amazing.

12) Boston College (2-6) lost again. There’s not much else to say other than it’s looking like the Eagles are the fourth-place team in the Boston metro area…
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: The lone bright spot of the Eagles’ defense? They don’t foul. The Eagles are ranked 34th in the country in free thows attempted per field goal. The darkest spot may be the team’s chances of winning: currently it only has three conference games ahead with more than a 15% probability of winning (Wake Forest, NC State, and Georgia Tech at home).


  • Player of the Week: It was a short week, but Terrell Stoglin takes the award with his 31 points, five rebounds, and two assists in the win against Notre Dame.
  • Freshman of the Week: PJ Hairston gets some much needed love after going 3-4 from three in the loss to Kentucky despite rumors that he might miss the game with a sprained wrist. Another interesting tidbit (from Adrian Atkinson): In the Kentucky game, “UNC was -8 in 23.7 min. with [Strickland] at the 2 ([with an offensive efficiency] of 101.3). They were +7 in 16.3 min. with Bullock/Hairston at the 2 ([with an offensive efficiency] of 124.5).” If those numbers hold, Hairston and Reggie Bullock are going to see a lot more time.
mpatton (576 Posts)

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