ACC M10: 02.12.14 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on February 12th, 2014

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  1. Fayetteville Observer: Great piece from Bret Strelow with a transcript from a conference call of ACC coaches discussing the Marcus Smart situation. Always good for a quote, Jeff Bzdelik mentioned “Twitter muscle,” noting “there are a lot of unhappy people out there.” Mike Krzyzewski had a lot to say and was the only coach to provide an example of something concrete that’s been done to try and avoid situations like these (in the 1980s, Duke put opposing fans in the 75 seats closest to the bench instead of students). Duke is a special circumstance though because many of its students are right on the court level. It was nice to see Jim Boeheim stick up for Smart (and generally, it feels like people are doing a good job with the post-kneejerk reactions on the incident).
  2. Charlottesville Daily Progress: A lot of disappointed articles have been written about Virginia’s Akil Mitchell this year, as his numbers have dropped significantly from last season. But what hasn’t been getting enough love outside of local media and blogs is attention to his defense. Mitchell consistently draws the opponents’ best large wing/high post players, and he locked down Evan Smotrycz in Virginia’s too-close-for-comfort win against Maryland Monday night.
  3. Macon Telegraph: Even in the slow-tempo ACC, Georgia Tech‘s current offense just isn’t cutting it. The good news is that Robert Carter is back. The bad news is that the team still relies on Chris Bolden (who is making a truly abysmal 28.7 percent of his twos this season) as a scoring option. But the Yellow Jackets need Trae Golden healthy to even be competitive in most conference games.
  4. John Gasaway: Tuesday Truths is back! That means another head-scratching look at the ACC’s tempo and wondering just how Syracuse has averaged 55 possessions per game. That’s ridiculously slow. What’s also becoming clear is that Syracuse is playing with fire right now. The Orange have slipped well below Virginia and Duke in efficiency margin (+0.17 compared with +0.22 and +0.21, respectively), and they still have road games against Pittsburgh, Duke, Virginia and a dangerous Florida State team that may be truly desperate for a resume win. Syracuse could easily go 1-3 in those games, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t lose at least two of them. Long story short: Don’t wrap up the regular season ACC title just yet.
  5. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Speaking of Pittsburgh-Syracuse later tonight, Paul Zeise had a chat about the Panthers. Other than someone calling the Orange uptempo (see above), there’s a lot of good stuff here. Remember, in Pittsburgh’s recent slide, Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna have not been playing at 100 percent. It’s also interesting that despite the injuries, Zeise likes Pittsburgh’s match-up with Syracuse. Clearly, the Panthers have to play better than they did against Virginia Tech last weekend, but that game may have been a worst case scenario (unhealthy trap game).
  6. Duke Basketball Report: Speaking of Syracuse‘s brutal upcoming schedule, Barry Jacobs looked at all of the teams that have finished undefeated in ACC play. The last team to turn the trick was 1998-99 Duke, which was the most dominant ACC team of my cognizant hoops-loving life. Probably the most depressing inclusion was South Carolina, which somehow finished the 1969-70 season undefeated but lost the conference tournament and missed the NCAAs as a result. It probably explains why they promptly left the league after the following season.
  7. AP (via Florida Times-Union): Miami probably put Florida State on the wrong side of the bubble over the weekend in its best offensive output since a November 18 win against College of Charleston. Jim Larranaga started five seniors in a change of pace, and Miami was in control pretty much the entire contest. Props to Larranaga for really making something out of what looked to be a really impossible year on paper. The Hurricanes haven’t had much ACC success, but they’re significantly better than expected.
  8. ACC Sports Journal: Jim Young submitted his current all-ACC teams, which has NC State’s TJ Warren in the top spot.My biggest qualm is that I’d probably swap Tyler Ennis and CJ Fair. I like Ennis’s consistency and I think he’s the most valuable player on the top team in the league. I also might include KJ McDaniels over Rodney Hood. The problem of how to select an all-ACC team will be even more pronounced this season because there are 15 teams to choose from. That’s a lot of players competing for a very small number of spots. Combine that with no guidelines on selection from the league, and you have a recipe for a huge mess.
  9. Tar Heel Blog: Briefly back to dominant teams that didn’t win the title, here’s a good piece from Tar Heel Blog on the stacked 1983-84 North Carolina team. That squad boasted four high-lottery picks: Michael Jordan (third overall pick), Sam Perkins (fourth overall pick), Brad Daugherty (first overall pick) and Kenny Smith (sixth overall pick). This is the team that Dan Dakich talks endlessly about being soft (and how he shut down an injured Jordan).
  10. Raleigh News & Observer: Throwback! Here’s a Caulton Tudor column on five of the best Duke vs. North Carolina games on record just in case you need to drum up some excitement for tonight’s big rivalry game. We’ll also be previewing this one a bit later today on the microsite.
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