ACC M5: New Year’s Eve Edition
Posted by mpatton on December 31st, 2013
- Tallahassee Democrat: Boris Bojanovsky is a totally new player this season (so is Michael Ojo for that matter, but that’s for another story). After playing basketball in Spain, the athleticism and speed of the game required the 7’3″ center to ratchet up his intensity. This year, those adjustments are paying off big. Currently Bojanovsky is shooting almost 75 percent from the floor and leads the Seminoles in blocked shots. He still needs to work on remaining on the court, though, as he and Ojo tend to draw more whistles than they commit fouls.
- Charlottesville Daily Progress: Pretty sure Virginia has now entered the danger zone. The Cavaliers gave up 87 points at Tennessee (where NC State won last week) and lost by 35 in a pitiful performance. If Jon Pence’s numbers are right, Tennessee finished the game with an offensive efficiency of 142.6, which is Virginia’s second-worst defensive showing in the Tony Bennett era (the first coming in 2010 against Washington). To put that number in context, it would be Boston College’s worst-game defensive efficiency of the season. Somewhat troubling is that this is the second poor defensive performance by the Cavaliers in as many games. Rust coming out of the break may have played a factor — and Tennessee making everything it shot, including a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half certainly contributed — but this performance is inexcusable for a good defensive team.
- Backing the Pack: NC State owned double-figure leads in the second half of its last five games, but all those leads were cut to at least five and the Wolfpack lost the game to Missouri. The trend is concerning, but it also makes some sense with a young team. Even more important factors are an inexperienced primary point guard, streaky shooting, and an over-reliance on TJ Warren’s offense. The experience part will change over time, but Mark Gottfried needs to keep working on his team’s execution with leads, as conference teams will look a lot more like Missouri than Detroit. On the bright side, the transitive property says NC State will beat Virginia by 42 at a neutral site.
- Baltimore Sun: Mark Turgeon may be “starting over” now that Seth Allen is back in the lineup, but he’s got a lot of work to do before the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee joins him. Also, North Carolina Central isn’t a team to overlook (just ask NC State), but it could be a deal-breaker come March. That said, Turgeon’s coachspeak is exactly what the Terrapins need right now, with one primary exception. They need to remember they’re 1-0 in road conference games. That’s big. So is avoiding the inaugural ACC Tournament Wednesday slate of games.
- Inside Carolina: That sound was everyone in Chapel Hill collectively exhaling. Roy Williams quieted some of the retirement rumors recently spurred by Jason King’s Bleacher Report article on his radio show by noting that “I’ve wanted to go six to 10 more years” despite his wife wanting him to quit a decade ago. The x-factor is obviously his health, but it’s clear he wants to keep coaching while he still can. He also talked about Joel James’ return, which Williams expects to happen in the second or third conference game, depending on his continued progress.