ACC Morning Five: 03.26.12 Edition
Posted by mpatton on March 26th, 2012
- Washington Post: This isn’t directly linked to the ACC (if you’re looking for a more explicit, albeit indirect connection, be my guest), but I think John Feinstein hits the nail on the head regarding officiating. Officials are refereeing too many games. Period. I thought the officiating in Sunday’s Elite Eight games was no different: travels went uncalled and charges and blocks felt decided by reputation. Feinstein argues the NCAA should pay officials more and mandate fewer games. I whole-heartedly agree, though I think the hardest part is how to regulate the regular season pay of officials, especially those from smaller conferences. This is a problem, and I expect the NCAA to at least look into it over the offseason.
- Tobacco Road Blues: Amidst many (including myself) calling for Mike Krzyzewski to win ACC Coach of the Year, at least one Duke fan thinks the polar opposite. The argument: (1) Coach K refused to change his defensive system despite knowing his team’s weaknesses (very similar to the criticism Roy Williams took during 2009-10 for not adapting following Ty Lawson’s departure); (2) he didn’t give Michael Gbinije enough run; and (3) Krzyzewksi didn’t give Quinn Cook enough run. I’m going to have a longer response to this later, but I can see the arguments.
- Raleigh News & Observer: With reports piling up that Austin Rivers will be leaving Duke for the NBA draft, Rick Bonnell hypothesizes that Rivers may be better off in the NBA anyway. I’m not sure I agree that Rivers’ personality caused problems in Durham. It’s clear he clashed at times with Coach K, but nothing ever really boiled over. I also agree Rivers’ game is very suited for the NBA — especially if a team gets someone to reconstruct his jumper during the offseason.
- Testudo Times: I think this is a pretty reasonable look at Alex Len and his future, though I think Dave Tucker is underselling Len’s shot-blocking ability and its importance going forward (he could be a John Henson type of player as he gets more acclimated and stronger). I also think it’s important to temper expectations about Len’s offensive production. Yes, bigs generally make a huge leap between their first two seasons, but Len never struck me as a dominant offensive player. He’s definitely a guy who can average 10 points per game (give or take a couple — many coming off rebounds), but he’s got to develop a reliable 15-footer before he’ll be a serious offensive threat.
- Yahoo! Sports: North Carolina played 32 minutes of great basketball. Somehow the Tar Heels managed to run the offense smoothly without Kendall Marshall. Sure there were signs like blown fast breaks and intercepted passes, but for the most part the Tar Heel offense ran very well, that is, until Bill Self switched to a triangle and two defensive scheme. The hybrid defensive scheme simultaneously locked down Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock, while causing Tyler Zeller and John Henson to virtually disappear. A lot of people will rip Roy Williams for his team’s inability to deal with the switch. But this team doesn’t have elite shot creators (despite what Barnes’ projected skills were). They kill you in transition and with unparalleled passing from Marshall. Without him, it’s pretty surprising Williams had his team playing as well as they did. Still it was fascinating how effective the defensive switch was (only allowing three points in the last eight and a half minutes of play).