Blue Devils Went Down To Georgia, Found Their Heart And Soul…

Posted by ARowe on November 14th, 2012

Everyone’s talking about how great Duke’s seniors were against the freshmen of Kentucky. And they deserve every ounce of praise they’re getting.

Seth Curry was amazing down the stretch. He’s been fighting through a shin injury over the last few months and has only been able to participate in four practices so far this season. Even then, he was a limited participant. His first organized game of basketball in two months was Duke’s second exhibition game against Winston-Salem State, where his rust showed. Battling like the tough competitor that he is, Curry logged 34 minutes in an intense game and showed no ill effects of the nagging pain. He somehow seemed to get better as the game wore on, scoring 13 of his 23 points in the final 13:13 with Mason Plumlee on the bench for six of those minutes.

Duke’s Guys Were Ready in Atlanta Last Night (credit: Duke Blue Planet)

Mason Plumlee played like a man possessed early in the game. Kentucky’s defense was clearly geared to stop him, but Nerlens Noel could not contain Plumlee down low. He scored six of Duke’s first nine points and 14 of their first 27. Not only did he put up 18 points on 7-8 shooting, he was perfect from the line and found open shooters on the wing with smart kick-outs as Kentucky’s defense collapsed around him in the paint.

In the battle of “seniors vs. freshmen”, Kentucky had only one player who had logged meaningful minutes last season — Kyle Wiltjer. Watching Kentucky’s game against Maryland, it was clear that Wiltjer was the key to the Wildcats’ offense as he put up 19 points on 67% shooting. Not known as a defensive stopper, Ryan Kelly matched up perfectly with Wiltjer and completely took him out of the game.  Wiltjer was only able to get five shots off against the senior, connecting on two of them for five total points.

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ACC Preseason Awards: All-Conference Team

Posted by ARowe on November 9th, 2012

Yesterday, we released the ACC Microsite Preseason Awards for Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. While they did vary a bit from the ACC’s media and coaches, the four of us came to a consensus and voted Michael Snaer as the Preseason Player of the Year, Rodney Purvis as the Freshman of the Year and Jim Larranaga as the Preseason Coach of the Year. Here are our microsite Preseason First and Second Team All-ACC selections.

Preseason First Team All-ACC

Plumlee Is a Unanimous Selection (US Presswire/M. Stringer)

Ethan Mann

  • Michael Snaer, Lorenzo Brown, Mason Plumlee, James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Johnson

Kellen Carpenter

  • Michael Snaer, Lorenzo Brown, Mason Plumlee, CJ Harris, Erick Green

Matt Patton

  • Michael Snaer, Lorenzo Brown, Mason Plumlee, James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Johnson

Adam Rowe

  • Michael Snaer, Lorenzo Brown, Mason Plumlee, James Michael McAdoo, CJ Harris

As you can see, the first three picks were unanimous as Michael Snaer, Lorenzo Brown and Mason Plumlee were selected by every member of the writing team here. For some reason, Matt declined to include Plumlee in the results for Player of the Year, as he had the award split between Michael Snaer and Lorenzo Brown. Regardless, both players have proven more thus far in their careers, so either pick would’ve likely won the award over the senior center from Duke. James Michael McAdoo showed up on three lists, and could very easily be the best player in the conference by year’s end. CJ Harris and Reggie Johnson also got two nods, and if their teams are going to make any noise this season, they will both have to have the kind of years that would earn this this kind of recognition. Erick Green,Virginia Tech’s stellar point guard, is in a similar situation.

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ACC Team Previews: North Carolina Tar Heels

Posted by ARowe on November 5th, 2012

Throughout the preseason, the ACC microsite will release a preview for each of the 12 teams.  Today’s victim:  the North Carolina Tar Heels.

UNC certainly didn’t end the season like they expected, but the unfortunate timing of injuries to key players was mostly to blame. After Bob Cousy Award winning point guard Kendall Marshall went out with a fractured wrist against Creighton in the Sweet Sixteen, the Tar Heels struggled to recapture the offensive flow that led them to a 27-4 record and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Elite Eight loss to Kansas goes to show that you shouldn’t judge an entire season by that team’s postseason finish, due to the unpredictable nature of a single elimination tournament.

Roy Must Reload Without the Magician Marshall Leading His Attack (News Observer/Robert Willitt)

The more costly losses in Chapel Hill occurred over the summer, as sophomores Marshall and Harrison Barnes, junior John Henson and senior Tyler Zeller moved on to the NBA. The Tar Heels lost four year-long starters who accounted for 57.5% of minutes played, 66% of points scored, 65% of field goals attempted, 69% of field goals made, 70% of free throws attempted and 73% of free throws made. While Roy Williams and staff have an extremely talented roster returning, there are a number of question marks that will need to be answered this season.

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ACC Team Previews: NC State Wolfpack

Posted by ARowe on October 29th, 2012

Throughout the preseason, the ACC microsite will release a preview for each of the 12 teams. Today’s victim: the NC State Wolfpack.

Newton’s first law of motion states that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. To say that Mark Gottfried’s arrival as the NC State head basketball coach was enough to disrupt the forces behind the program’s motion is an understatement. From the time his tenure began, the attitude and aura surrounding the Wolfpack did a complete 180-degree turn. Gone was the subdued and listless Herb Sendek era, where the team flirted with success but could never conjure up the fire needed to overtake their blue blood neighbors. Also gone were the Sidney Lowe years, where excitement and potential reigned over actual results on the court.

Gottfried and his staff converted that potential into sheer kinetic energy by the end of the 2012 season. It might not have been an immediate shift, as NC State finished just above .500 in conference play and ended the regular season with 22 wins and 11 losses. They were one of the last teams selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament, celebrating like they’d never tasted success before in one of the greatest images in college basketball last year.

Just making the Tournament wasn’t enough for these newfound media darlings. They went on one of the more improbable runs in the postseason, toppling 6-seed San Diego State, 3-seed Georgetown and nearly taking out eventual national runner-up Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen. The momentum generated by that three-game run has carried over into this year, with the ACC coaches and media voting NC State as the favorite to win the league. Gottfried’s second Wolfpack team blends talented veterans led by Lorenzo Brown, CJ Leslie and Richard Howell with heralded freshmen Rodney Purvis and TJ Warren.

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ACC Team Previews: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Posted by ARowe on October 22nd, 2012

Throughout the preseason, the ACC microsite will release a preview for each of the 12 teams. Today’s victim: the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest basketball took a step back last season under third-year coach Jeff Bzdelik. While Wake was on top of the basketball world in January 2009 (undefeated and ranked #1), the Demon Deacons’ program has fallen on hard times ever since. From October 2010 to April 2012, Tony Woods, J.T. Terrell, Ty Walker, Ari Stewart, Carson Desrosiers, Anthony Fields, Tony Chennault and Melvin Tabb all left the school, either by choice or by force. As a result, the Deacs have won only five ACC games since March 7, 2010. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a phrase that comes to mind.

This is Very Much a Make or Break Season For Jeff Bzdelik (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Bzdelik certainly has his detractors. And his record since arriving in Winston-Salem speaks for itself. When a program has as rich of a basketball history (at least over the last three decades) as Wake Forest does, losing records and mass exoduses of players over a two-year period will not be tolerated very long at all. Although athletic director Ron Wellman has put his support thoroughly behind Bzdelik at some point he has to look out for his own job. Fortunately for both of them, help is on the way.


“Baby Deacs” is the name of the freshman class entering Winston-Salem this year to try and turn this program around. Madison Jones, Tyler Cavanaugh, Aaron Rountree, Codi Miller-McIntyre, Arnaud William Adala Moto, Devin Thomas and Andre Washington make up the seven freshmen expected to get Wake Forest basketball back to their winning ways. The class was ranked #21 in the country by ESPN and #23 by

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Presenting the Comprehensive ACC Basketball Twitter List

Posted by ARowe on October 15th, 2012

We are going to do everything we can this season to keep you up to date on the latest news and information regarding the Atlantic Coast Conference here at the ACC Microsite. However, with 12 teams of 13 scholarship players, over 360 total games and 228 conference games, some things are bound to fall through the cracks. To help you stay on top of things, we have collected a comprehensive list of twitter accounts for all 12 ACC teams, their coaches, players, beat writers and bloggers. Please let us know if we missed anyone, as I’m certain there are some worthy follows out there. Hit us up at @rtcAcc.

Special thanks to Patrick Stevens (@d1scourse), Matt (@hokieguru), Steven (@akulawolf), Greg Wallace (@aimclemson), Brian Favat (@BCInterruption), Michael Rogner (@RunTheFloor) and Brian (@StreakingTheLawn) for all their help cultivating this list.


  • This is the official site for the Atlantic Coast Conference. They produce valuable video content and provide an easy interface to look up stats, conference standings and historic categories of everything you could want to know about the ACC. Follow on twitter @TheACC
  • ACC Men’s Basketball Direct link to the Official ACC Men’s Basketball site. If you don’t want to sift through all that pesky football, lacrosse and soccer information, this is where to go. Follow on twitter @ACCMBB, mainly for links and breaking news.
  • Jim Young and a litany of veteran ACC writers keep you up to date on just about everything happening in the league. He’s a valuable twitter follower @ACCSports and has a links only twitter account @ACCSportsLinks
  • Jon Pence created this site from scratch where you can play ACC Fantasy Basketball and look at advanced stats for all the teams and players around the league. He also pulls stories from bloggers around the conference to keep you up to date on your favorite teams. Follow @SCACCHoops for links, commentary and occasional updates on his Game Sim application, which he claims knows all.
  • Fox Sports South Andrew Jones covers the ACC, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Carolina Panthers for Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Carolinas. Follow him on twitter @AJonesFoxSports for links and commentary.
  • ACC Insider Brett Friedlander covers all ACC Sports for the Wilmington Star News. He’s always up for a good conversation on twitter @StarNewsACC
  • David Teel ‏ @DavidTeelatDP Covers the ACC for the Daily Press
  • CBSSportsACC ‏ @CBSSportsACC CBS’ ACC-focused Rapid Reports blog
  • Michael Kelly ‏ @MKellyACC ACC Senior Associate Commissioner
  • Bret Strelow ‏ @bretstrelow Covers ACC Basketball for
  • Stephen Schramm ‏ @stephenschramm Covers ACC Basketball for Fayetteville Observer
  • Joe Ovies ‏ @joeovies Half of the Adam and Joe show on 99.9 The Fan ESPN. Mainly covering Tobacco Road athletics.
  • Adam Gold ‏ @AGoldFan The other half of the Adam and Joe show.
  • @Jeffrey Fann ‏@TalkinACCSports Proprietor of, where he and @HokieGuru blog about everything ACC.


Florida State


Bloggers and Beat Writers

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Is There A Method To The (Midnight) Madness? Reviewing the ACC Events This Season…

Posted by ARowe on October 8th, 2012

Every year in the middle of October, college basketball fans get their first sweet taste of honey — the first official practice of the upcoming season. This used to be an unceremonious start to the college basketball year until October 15, 1971. At 12:03 AM that morning, Maryland head basketball coach (and former Duke center) Lefty Driesell had his players report for a one and a half mile run around the track at Byrd Stadium that was watched by 3,000 rabid fans. In 1982, the University of Kentucky officially dubbed the event “Midnight Madness” and the tradition spread like wildfire around the never-ending Keeping Up With The Jones’ culture surrounding college athletics.

With a Clean Bill of Health, Roy Will Have More Reason to Dance This Year

In the past, these events were typically only attended by the most obsessed basketball fans around the country, willing to stay up past midnight to catch a glimpse of their favorite players. Layup lines (a boring, repetitive practice that no one even watches before real games), scrimmages (who do you root against?) and skits that dress up power forwards in tutus dominate the itinerary. In 2005, the NCAA allowed schools to move up the time of the first practice to 7 PM on the closest Friday to October 15. This allowed these made-for-primetime showcases to actually take place in prime time. ESPN now televises these glorified scrimmages across their family of networks, dispatching their TV analysts and color commentators to the blue blood programs and up-and-coming schools to hype up their viewers for the season to come. Schools use the events to showcase their program to recruits, who often schedule their visits to schools during this weekend.

Around the ACC, different schools have taken different approaches to the “Midnight Madness” festivities and often refer to the first public practice by a different name. This year, for the first time I can remember, schools are even spreading out the event on different days. This change may be due to the newer, relaxed practice time rules which took effect for the first time this offseason.

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