ACC Morning Five: 03.16.12 Edition
Posted by KCarpenter on March 16th, 2012
- Wilmington Star-News: For today’s games, North Carolina‘s John Henson is still a game time decision while Duke‘s Ryan Kelly will only be available for “specialty situations,” which I’m guessing means select end game scenarios that call for three-point shooters or foul trouble to both Plumlees. With both players out, the ACC’s two leaders lost in the conference tournament. Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams seem to feel confident enough to deal with these games with the players available, but both acknowledge that holding out the forwards is a risk.
- Raleigh News and Observer: When North Carolina State finally heard its name called on Selection Sunday, it triggered an automatic extension in Coach Mark Gottfried‘s contract. In his first year at NC State, Gottfried turned around a struggling problem and led them to a tournament berth for the first time in a long time using basically the same players that were available last year. If Florida State, Virginia, and Duke hadn’t all had such extraordinary seasons, Gottfried probably would have been a mortal lock for ACC Coach of the Year. As it stands, however, he stands poised for a long-term stint in Raleigh, leading the Wolfpack back to glory. This article is also interesting for its financial specifics: Gottfried has round-based incentives that total up to nearly a million dollars if his team win a national championship.
- The News-Press: This Florida State team has as much NCAA experience as many of the teams in the tournament after a Sweet Sixteen run last year that was cut short by a Cinderella named VCU. The Seminoles are stacked with veterans who feel good about how their past tournament success has prepared them to handle the distractions and novelties of the tournament. The most interesting comment, for me, however, comes from Deividas Dulkys who expresses ambivalence as the team assumes a new identity in the tournament: the favorite. Dulkys doesn’t quite say it, but there is a clear implication that the senior perhaps was less nervous about playing the underdog with nothing to lose and no target on the team’s back.
- Naples News: The game between Florida and Virginia is a study in different team focuses. While the Gators are an offensive juggernaut, the Cavaliers are a defensive stalwart and when these two teams play today, something has got to give. While, I feel that the author does a good job of eliciting thoughtful quotes from the players and coach on this match-up, I have to object to a bit of the analysis. In terms of schematics, it makes sense to say that Virginia’s pack-line defense is vulnerable to a three-point assault, but the truth is that the Cavaliers have been excellent at guarding the three over the course of the season. Opponents average just 29.5% from beyond the arc against the Wahoos, the 13th best mark in the nation out of 345 Division I schools. While it seems like Virginia should be vulnerable to perimeter shooting because of the pack-line defensive scheme, the truth is that numbers just don’t show this.
- Fox Sports Carolinas: Since the promotion of Reggie Bullock to the starting line-up, the North Carolina bench hasn’t offered many positive contributions to the Tar Heels’ campaign. James Michael McAdoo has been good, but not great, and while P.J. Hairston started the year with a bang, he faltered during conference play, entering a deep shooting slump. Then, suddenly, this past weekend, the Hairston of the non-conference schedule re-emerged, hitting big shots in the tournament and playing with a general confidence that has to be encouraging to his teammates. Hairston is a Greensboro native and it seems like he is eager to make a name for himself playing in the tournament in his home town. If the guard’s play matches his confidence and Hairston knocks down threes consistently for the Tar Heels, one of North Carolina’s primary weaknesses may have just disappeared.