ACC Stock Watch: 02.06.15 Edition

Posted by Lathan Wells on February 6th, 2015

Another week, another slate of terrific basketball from the ACC. While some teams seemingly riding high got a dose of reality this week (hello Virginia and Notre Dame), others showed their ability to overcome adversity (Duke), while others flew under the radar entirely (Clemson). This is this week’s ACC Stock Watch:

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  • Duke. The Blue Devils showed the dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon was not going to be a distraction for them, as they went into John Paul Jones Arena Saturday and knocked off previously unbeaten Virginia. Avoiding a letdown after that big win in knocking off Georgia Tech at home was nice to see from such a young squad, too.
  • Louisville. The Cardinals had an impressive week, exacting revenge on North Carolina in an impressive comeback fashion at home and emerging victorious from a road trip at Miami. The offense is coming around, making Rick Pitino’s team look as if it may be peaking at the right time.
  • Clemson. How many casual ACC fans realize that the Tigers have reeled off four straight wins? Their demolition of NC State in Raleigh was particularly impressive on January 28th, but taking care of two teams they should defeat in Boston College and Florida State this week showed the team is still battling for a ticket to the Dance for Brad Brownell.
Sidy Djitte and Clemson smothered NC State on their way to another solid week (AP Sports)

Sidy Djitte and Clemson are riding a four-game winning streak in the ACC. (AP)

  • Wake Forest. Danny Manning’s team, so close in so many defeats this year, had a nice week in dispatching of Virginia Tech and defeating a talented (but hard-to-figure out) NC State team. More importantly than that is that the Demon Deacons may be regaining some of the home-court edge they lost during Jeff Bzdelik’s tenure.
  • Terry Rozier, Louisville. Rozier has four straight 20-point games, but his matching 22-point performances this week were huge for Louisville in overcoming the Tar Heels in overtime and winning the tough road test against the Hurricanes. He and Chris Jones continue to make life easier for Montrezl Harrell down low, and some argue Rozier is the Cardinals’ most dangerous offensive threat.
  • Justise Winslow, Duke. Whether or not it was accurate that Winslow was hitting the “freshman wall,” he broke out of it in fine fashion this week. With Jahlil Okafor hounded by Virginia’s double teams, Winslow willed the Blue Devils to victory with a 15-point, 11-rebound performance. He matched that effort with another stat-stuffer against the Yellow Jackets: 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, two steals. Some believe he’s the key cog in the Duke machine going forward.


  • Virginia. In a conference this good, it was always unlikely Virginia would run the table. Losing to Duke, even at home, was in no way a shocking defeat. The way Duke was able to beat the Cavaliers in transition, though, was a surprise. They evened out their week by thoroughly smothering North Carolina in the second half en route to a convincing victory on the road.
  • Notre Dame. Likewise, the Fighting Irish and their 8-1 start was bound to find adversity further along the ACC schedule, and familiar foe Pittsburgh got its biggest win of the season so far at Mike Brey’s club’s expense. Notre Dame righted the ship with a win over Boston College and still sits at 9-2 in the ACC, still looking like a serious contender for the conference title.

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  • Syracuse. No one had a worse week than the Orange, when the ramped-up NCAA investigation hovering over the team since the summer finally ended with a postseason ban for 2015. On the court, Jim Boeheim’s team barely squeaked out a home victory over Virginia Tech. Nothing positive on or off the court this week in upstate New York.
There will be no postseason play for Coach Boeheim and Syracuse this year (USAToday Sports)

There will be no postseason play for Coach Boeheim and Syracuse this year. (USAToday Sports)

  • North Carolina. There’s no particular shame in losing to Louisville on the road or to a Virginia team coming off its first loss, but the way they lost each game is concerning. The Tar Heels blew an 18-point first half lead en route to losing in overtime to the Cardinals, and were thoroughly outplayed in half number two by the Cavaliers. Marcus Paige’s postgame comments about a lack of desire at times following the Virginia game is concerning considering how late we are into the season.
  • NC State. The Wolfpack’s inability to put together two halves continues to haunt them, as they were unable to claw back from a 24-point hole against Wake Forest. They were one miracle three-point heave in overtime from Trevor Lacey from dropping a game to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, too. Consistency continues to elude a team with a discernible amount of talent.
  • Miami. The Hurricanes are one of the most confusing teams in the ACC, obviously talented and well-coached and capable of big wins (see their blowout over Duke in Cameron earlier in the year) coupled with games where they simply don’t show up. The Louisville loss is excusable; the loss to Florida State wasn’t. That’s three L’s in a row for Jim Larranaga and company and an uninspiring 4-5 conference record.
  • J.P. Tokoto, North Carolina. With the Tar Heels battling injuries in the backcourt, Tokoto has been asked to be even more of a facilitator from the wing. This week was not his best showing in that department. His six turnovers, including four in the second half and overtime, helped contribute to the North Carolina collapse against Louisville. His one-point, one-rebound performance in 30 minutes of action didn’t help against Virginia, either.
  • Angel Rodriguez, Miami. In the two games against Louisville and Florida State, Miami’s point guard had a combined 14 points on 25% shooting from the floor, including 2-of-11 from three. The Hurricanes have a tough time overcoming poor nights from Rodriguez on the offensive end, so this is a trend Jim Larranaga badly needs to change quickly.
Lathan Wells (77 Posts)

A 30-year old unabashed college basketball fan, I currently reside in Richmond, Virginia. I especially enjoy following the ACC and the local teams, VCU and the University of Richmond. I hope to continue my journalistic pursuits in the sports arena full-time in the future, but in the meantime I am really enjoying covering the greatest sport there is for RTC. Follow me on Twitter @prohibitivefav.

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