ACC M5: 01.08.14 Edition
Posted by Matt Patton on January 8th, 2014
- Gobbler Country: And I’ve fallen for SEO devilry! An article titled “Can Syracuse Go Undefeated” turned out to be an incredibly cautious Virginia Tech preview. But I’ll take a stab anyways: no. That said, the Orange may have a better chance than anyone originally thought in the preseason, but their home scare over the weekend against Miami proves that it just takes one off night against a good team (which is bound to happen). The ACC is weaker than expected this year, but Syracuse hasn’t played a murderer’s road of a schedule — I don’t see the Orange finishing with fewer than three losses in conference play.
- Tar Heel Blog: Speaking of a game Syracuse might lose (and soon), North Carolina is heading to upstate New York this Saturday to play a game where anyone who claims to know the outcome is lying. Between Syracuse’s home court advantage and the Tar Heels’ frequent zone struggles, I’ll take Syracuse. But this article is about the recent national media attention on North Carolina’s academic issues. Since the New York Times put the program on the front page last week, Bloomberg, Businessweek and CNN have joined the hunt.
- Baltimore Sun: Mark Turgeon is a more optimistic man than I. Somehow losing on the road to Pittsburgh by 20 made him more positive than when he was started league play with two straight wins. That game only made his team’s flaws seem more deeply rooted. His offense often stalls and struggles taking care of the ball; the defense is prone to giving up big runs (often thanks to the previous point); and, his best two players have a great habit of disappearing. I’m not particularly confident that the turnover problem will go away anytime soon, but he can try to run the offense in a way to force Dez Wells and Jake Layman to be more aggressive.
- Charlottesville Daily Progress: Who’s ready for the inevitable Virginia egg-laying tonight at home against Wake Forest? The Cavaliers are trying to compete with North Carolina and Notre Dame for the ACC’s most volatile team. The fact is that Virginia needs to go undefeated at home in ACC play (with a good record on the road to boot) to stand a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. But that means they have to score enough points to win, and they may have to beat the Demon Deacons with Joe Harris at less than 100 percent. Flip the coin and you have a Wake Forest team looking for its second road conference win in the Jeff Bzdelik era. Should be fun to watch.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Robert Carter‘s injury sounds a lot worse than it did. Meniscus injuries are some of the weirdest injuries in sports. Sometimes players are back literally hours after surgery; sometimes not for months. Brian Gregory tabs Carter’s prospects of a return this season as “very doubtful.” Carter was a huge part of Georgia Tech’s rotation, and the team’s two offensive outings since losing him haven’t been promising. After posting an abysmal 87.0 points per 100 possessions against Maryland, the Yellow Jackets followed it up with a mere 92.9 points per 100 possessions against Duke’s porous defense. Both of their opponents also managed effective field goal percentages over 55.0 — that’s not a good look on either end of the floor.