ACC M5: 02.06.13 EditionPosted by mpatton on February 6th, 2013
- US Basketball Writers Association: The USBWA named Miami’s Shane Larkin the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week after Larkin led the Hurricanes to a couple of road wins to move to 8-0 (they’re now 9-0) in conference play. Larkin’s stats from the two games are impressive across the board as he scored 19 points on over 60% shooting with four assists, four steals, three rebounds, and a block to boot. Not bad numbers for a guy who is probably 5’10″ on a good day. The Hurricanes have a very favorable final half of conference play looming. The game at Duke notwithstanding, Miami will likely be favored in the rest of the games.
- Raleigh News & Observer: For the first time since his injury, Dexter Strickland looked like himself defending Erick Green. It’s hard to really notice changes in defense, but it seemed like Strickland has been a step slower this year. Also offensively, my hypothesis for his struggles are that being slightly less explosive has led to more jump shots and more time for defense to get in position. But something underreported so far this season is a new wrinkle in his game: the assist. Last year Strickland’s assist rate was 13.6. This year it’s 23.6! That’s a huge improvement (and shows he’s nearly as effective a distributor as Marcus Paige).
- Shelby Star: Even just halfway through the season, conference awards look like they’re going to be controversial this season. Starting with player of the year, which realistically will go to one of Erick Green, Mason Plumlee or to a player on Miami (right now Larkin has the hot hand, but Kenny Kadji is equally important on both ends of the floor). Rookie of the year should also be interesting, though Olivier Hanlan would get my vote unless Rasheed Sulaimon or TJ Warren goes on a tear. Regardless, individual story-lines are very interesting going into the second half of conference play.
- Gobbler Country: Speaking of Green, this is a takedown of his award candidacy from the Virginia Tech faithful. I would actually be a lot more generous to Green. I think he’s a great player with very solid statistics across the board, but it’s impossible to ignore his team’s struggles. His team is so bad that you have to take him out of consideration for national awards. Virginia Tech isn’t deep enough to handle Robert Brown’s slump or Cadarian Raines’ offensive disappearances. No one player can do it alone. That shouldn’t take away from Green’s abilities as a scorer, but one can’t look at stats in a vacuum.
- Duke Basketball Report: Continuing the theme of midseason reviews, Al Featherston took a look at the ACC’s NCAA chances with four teams sitting squarely on the bubble: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Florida State. The Tar Heels are in the best shape and appear to be trending in the right direction. Virginia has good enough wins to make the Big Dance, but its losses are incredibly troubling. Maryland and Florida State need marquee wins and fast. Both–especially the Seminoles–will need to do major work in the ACC Tournament, barring winning out in conference play.
Video of the Day: Props to Michael Snaer who continued his string of clutch shots with a buzzer beating lay-up at Georgia Tech.