Posted by KCarpenter on November 23rd, 2011
ACC Game On will periodically review recent games involving ACC teams and take a look forward to key upcoming matchups.
Identities are finally coming into focus. Duke and North Carolina each had breakthrough epiphany moments, while Clemson was upset for the second time in a row. Miami also managed to win against Florida Gulf Coast in a performance that I would classify as “okay,” though that’s about all I can say about a game where the ten-point winner shot 32.1% from the field. Back to more intriguing topics.
Duke looked really good against a Michigan team that had just pounded a talented Memphis team the day before. A clever defensive plan (basically smaller guys aggressively fronting) kept Tim Hardaway, Jr., from impacting the game until near the end of the second half. Meanwhile, Austin Rivers, despite putting up impressive scoring numbers in past contests, finally put on a thorough demonstration of the skill he brings to the table, scoring aggressively, efficiently, and with more than a little panache. This performance augurs well for Duke’s future, especially considering how well the team was playing before Rivers’ breakout. For efficiency fans, I’d like to direct you to Ryan Kelly, who scored 17 points on six shots, and Seth Curry who scored 17 points on seven shots. That’s some ridiculously efficient scoring.
Rivers Quieted Some of His Detractors Yesterday
Five time zones away, North Carolina, took a step toward becoming the juggernaut that people whispered about in the offseason. Reggie Bullock led all scorers with 23 points in a performance where he made six out of seven three-pointers and contributed four rebounds, two assists, and a steal in a measly eighteen minutes of play. He didn’t foul or turn the ball over. It was a sterling performance off the bench and one that promises good things for a Tar Heel team that had struggled to reliably hit three-pointers. Of course, Bullock took a back seat to the other command performance of the game: Kendall Marshall‘s 15-assist night. In the first four games of this season, Marshall has had more 15-assist games than any other Tar Heel in history. On nights like these, when Marshall is in passing-Nirvana, the Carolina offense seems fluid and unstoppable: everyone is open. UNC played so well, that John Henson‘s double-double with six assists and four blocks is the third story of this game.
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