ACC M5: 12.12.13 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on December 12th, 2013


  1. Charlotte Observer: Good article from Barry Jacobs on Jordan Vandenberg‘s emergence as an important contributor this season for NC State. The seven-footer from Melbourne, Australia, spent his first four years riding the pine thanks to a combination of depth, conditioning and readiness for the college game. But this season he’s in much better shape and is proving valuable on both ends of the floor thanks to his 70 percent shooting and lack of turnovers along with (awkward) shot-blocking on the other end of the floor. His transformation is Brian Zoubek-ian in some ways, although Vandenberg’s rebounding lags behind substantially.
  2. Gobbler Country: I’m not sure how many road conference games Virginia Tech will win this year, so it’s important to document them all. And the Hokies are now guaranteed to be tied for the top spot for the first three weeks of conference play! I also like rewarding thorough recaps that give a game context (through individual grades). That said, the Hokies are better than I expected and they were definitely the better team versus Miami over the weekend. I’m with Gobbler Country in that I want James Johnson to play Cadarian Raines more. That said Raines also tends to disappoint my lofty expectations, but I really do think he’s got the tools to be the second or third option for this team. But I’ve said that before to no avail. The good news is that Jarrell Eddie is excelling in the go-to guy role, which is especially important considering the rest of the roster.
  3. One Foot Down: In a more timely but less optimistic tone, Notre Dame lost at home to a good (certainly not great) North Dakota State team last night. Slowly that’s becoming the hallmark of the ACC, as everyone but Duke, Syracuse, Florida State and Pittsburgh owns a loss to a plucky mid-major squad. Notre Dame’s interior defense was abysmal, as NDSU’s Marshall Bjorklund scored 26 points on 14 shots. Jerian Grant finally put up a stinker at the worst possible time, making zero field goals for the game. It looks like the Fighting Irish were way overvalued coming into the season, alhough the team still has a couple of shots to get a marquee non-conference win.
  4. USA Today: Nicole Auerbach does a good job writing about the frequent comparisons between Jabari Parker and Grant Hill. Both are in the running for most talented Duke players ever (although there’s no comparison between their accomplishments). It’s interesting that Coach K stressed that Hill was “graceful” but that he wants Parker to be “powerful.” The two certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but it may point to where Krzyzewski would like to see Parker play more as the season progresses. Logically, it makes sense to play Parker out of the post: Duke has a plethora of guards (and Rodney Hood) who can all shoot the three, and Amile Jefferson hasn’t given the team much post balance. Parker in the high post should be lethal against a zone as he continues to make better decisions.
  5. AP (via Sports Illustrated): Sidney Lowe pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns while the head coach at NC State, which brings one of the more puzzling stories of recent memory to a close. Lowe could not have been a more public figure (he coached at North Carolina’s largest university) and he was employed by the state, so it’s not possible he thought the state wouldn’t notice. Lowe was given a suspended sentence (meaning he’ll likely avoid jail time if he avoids breaking the law over the next year), along with $79,000 in restitution.
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