ACC Weekend Review: 02.04.19 Edition

Posted by Brad Jenkins on February 4th, 2019

It was not a banner weekend for scoring in the ACC. The main offender, of course, was NC State, which set many dubious records for offensive futility in its 47-24 home loss to Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack weren’t the only squad to struggle to put the ball in the hoop this weekend, however. Eight of the 14 teams in action failed to crack the 60-point barrier, and the league collectively made just 37.1 percent of its field goal attempts. In the big match-up of the weekend, North Carolina earned its revenge on Louisville, handling the Cardinals, 79-69, in the KFC Yum! Center. League leader Virginia beat Miami, 56-46, without the services of Ty Jerome (back injury), while Duke stepped away from league play to throttle St. Johns’s in Durham. Here are the highlights from the weekend around the ACC.

An exasperated Kevin Keatts reacts to N.C. State’s historically bad offensive performance against Virginia Tech. (cbssports.com)
  • Best Win: After suffering the worst home loss during Roy Williams‘ tenure in Chapel Hill a few weeks ago at the hands of Louisville, the Tar Heels redeemed themselves in a big way this weekend. A 30-8 first-half run gave North Carolina a commanding lead that was never really challenged. Luke Maye and Cam Johnson led the way with a pair of double-double performances, and, for Maye, it was a personal measure of revenge, as he was outplayed by Louisville’s Steven Enoch in the first meeting. Saturday was a completely different deal — Maye finished with 20 points and 11 boards while Enoch failed to score in 16 minutes of action.
  • Worst Loss: It looked like a great opportunity for NC State to recover some steadiness entering Saturday’s contest. Kevin Keatts’ team was coming off two emotional home games — last Saturday’s buzzer-beating win over Clemson, and a tough overtime loss to Virginia — with Virginia Tech missing its star point guard Justin Robinson. Unfortunately for Keatts, the Wolfpack forgot to bring their offense to PNC Arena. In scoring only 24 points for the entire game, NC State posted the lowest point total by a Division I team this decade, and the lowest by an ACC school in the shot-clock era. More importantly, Keatts’ squad whiffed on a chance to post a resume-building win that it may need on Selection Sunday.
Cam Johnson led North Carolina to a big revenge win at Louisville on Saturday. (goheels.com)
  • Most Outstanding Player: Cam Johnson continued his outstanding play in ACC games with a 19-point, 10-rebound performance at Louisville on Saturday. The senior shot an efficient 5-of-9 from the floor and buried all six of his free throw attempts. In ACC play he is posting an outstanding offensive rating (132.1) and leads the league in three-point accuracy (46.7%).
  • Unsung Heroes:  Without Justin Robinson in the Virginia Tech lineup, Buzz Williams had only seven available scholarship players when the Hokies rolled into Raleigh. One of those seven, freshman Isaiah Wilkins, came off the bench to post five points and seven points in 17 key minutes. Mike Brey tweaked his starting lineup for Notre Dame’s visit to Boston College on Saturday and it paid off handsomely. Nikola Djogo logged 36 minutes in his first starting assignment of the year and came through with a career-high 21 points in the Irish’s 79-73 win in Conte Forum.
  • Most Efficient Offense/Least Efficient Defense: Since joining the ACC, Notre Dame has typically boasted one of the league’s elite offenses. But with this year’s depleted and inexperienced squad, that has not been the case — the Irish entered Saturday’s game with the league’s 11th-best offense. Brey’s team responded with its best performance this year in ACC play, posting 1.23 points per possession. Notre Dame shot well from every area — making 54.8 percent of its two-point tries; sinking 50.0 percent from three-point range; and connecting on 83.3 percent of its free throws.
  • Most Efficient Defense/Least Efficient Offense: While posting an inept 0.45 points per possession against Virginia Tech, NC State managed to make only 16.7 percent of its shots. Not only is that the worst shooting day in Wolfpack history, it’s the worst by an ACC team since the league was formed 65 years ago. The effect of this game on the Hokies’ defensive rating was dramatic as well. They jumped an incredible 42 spots (58th to 16th) in KenPom’s defensive efficiency ratings after this crazy contest.

Upcoming Week – Four Games to Watch

  • Monday 2/4 – Louisville at Virginia Tech (7:00 ET ESPN)
  • Tuesday 2/5 – N.C. State at North Carolina (8:00 ET Raycom/ACCN) 
  • Saturday 2/9 – Louisville at Florida State (4:00 ET ESPN/2/U)
  • Saturday 2/9 – Duke at Virginia (6:00 ESPN)
Brad Jenkins (368 Posts)


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