ACC M10: 02.27-28.13 Edition
Posted by mpatton on February 28th, 2013
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Ken Sugiura spent a day with Brian Gregory, taking in the coach’s in-season routine. These stories are always worth a read just because all coaches are so different in their approaches (though at the highest level, nearly all are tireless in their pursuit of winning). The things that stick out at first glance are the emphasis Gregory places on religion and family. Hardly two paragraphs go by without a mention of his faith, and the one thing part of his schedule unrelated to basketball is his family.
- South Florida Sun-Sentinel: After Miami’s loss to Wake Forest, Jim Larranaga took measures to fix the team’s focus issue. That meant trading interviews for film and getting back to basketball. One thing it’s easy to overlook is the amount of time off the court players spend promoting their or their schools’ brands. Not promoting in the usual way, but through media interviews or events on campus. Nearly every article you read that’s published a day removed from game day included an interview. That time adds up–especially if your team is successful. The attention can also be distracting if it alters how you prepare or execute (look at Jeff Bzdelik’s road record if you want to see the reverse situation).
- Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician: John Castillo looks at the alternate universe where Virginia Tech isn’t added to the ACC over Syracuse (with some help from WhatIfSports.com). But the game simulations aren’t the most interesting thing by a mile. Virginia Tech turned out to be a slam-dunk grab by the ACC because of its success in football (Miami on the other hand…). If the ACC chooses another basketball-first school over Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State would rightfully be upset about the conference’s football brand. Also, Virginia’s statehouse would be upset too. Now bring in conference realignment and suddenly the ACC is much less stable than currently.
- Baltimore Sun: Seth Allen suffered a pretty grisly bicycle accident when he was 12. He shattered his elbow and was told he might never play basketball again. Luckily, after a long rehab he is able to play and is one of the more exciting players in the league. Allen still lacks control, but Maryland doesn’t have anyone who’s comfortable running the point and in control. Mark Turgeon likens Allen to a less polished Shane Larkin, but that comparison doesn’t do Larkin justice. Both are exciting point guards with the ability to score, but Larkin’s speed is on another level. Allen’s scoring is probably better than Larkin’s though.
- CBSSports.com: After Florida‘s loss to Tennessee, the conversation about one-seeds is getting a little tighter. What does the Gators’ loss mean for the ACC? Most importantly, it means that Miami and Duke could both get one seeds. A few things need to happen: Duke needs to take care of Miami at home, both teams need to win their remaining games and at least make the semifinals of the ACC Tournament (finals would be better), and Duke needs to look more like its early season self once Ryan Kelly returns. Even then, they’ll probably need some help from the Big Ten and the Big East.
- Duke Basketball Report: Turnovers are killing some ACC teams and players. But Barry Jacobs is right to point out a difference–at least in perception–between aggressive turnovers and effort turnovers. Turnovers (and his team’s conference record) are going to keep CJ Leslie off the first team All-ACC. Mason Plumlee is actually almost averaging the same turnover rate (that’s turnovers per minute) as Leslie, but his turnovers come from being overly aggressive and working too hard (at least so the narrative says), which is part of the reason he’s a lock for the first team.
- ESPN: Currently, the SEC is by far the most diverse in head coaching ranks. Just a couple of years ago, the ACC would’ve claimed that title–or at least given them a run for their money. In all of the coaching turnover, the ACC lost five of its seven African-American coaches (Haith, Hewitt, Lowe, Purnell, and Skinner). All five of those coaches were replaced by white coaches.
- ACC Sports Journal: Speaking of Oliver Purnell, what looked like a clear upgrade for Clemson was really more of a lateral move (and a step back competitively). Part of the issue facing Brad Brownell when he arrived at Clemson was that Purnell didn’t leave a whole lot waiting in the wings. That said, Clemson isn’t an easy place to coach basketball–which says a lot about Depaul: there’s not much in-state talent, and the program has been irrelevant (especially compared to football). This doesn’t mean Brownell will end up a bust, but he’s still trying to claw back to Purnell’s standards.
- Basketball Prospectus: Tuesday Truths still shows three teams on top of the ACC. Miami‘s lead has dwindled with Duke and Virginia closing quickly. However, the efficiency stats are not kind to Duke’s defense, which is averaging a middling 0.99 points per possession (basically average). The issue is that opponents are hitting over 50 percent of their shots inside the arc. Assuming he plays like his old self and reintegrates right away, Ryan Kelly will help a lot with that because of his shot-blocking and ability to guard multiple positions. But that’s still an if at this point.
- Raleigh News & Observer: File this under headlines I never thought I’d read: “UNC-Chapel Hill holding surprise inspections of its classes to make sure they’re real.” Apparently North Carolina has started auditing its classes in an effort to make sure they’re taking place. Needless to say, a portion of the faculty aren’t thrilled. The move appears to be an appeal to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to keep the university’s accreditation.