ACC M5: 01.04.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 4th, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. CSNChicago.com: Duke commitment Jabari Parker reached out to a couple of pros for advice on his budding career. On recruiting, he talked to fellow Chicago Simeon HS graduate Derrick Rose, who pointed Parker toward the coach who would most push him instead of coddling him. For injury advice, he sought out Duke alumnus Grant Hill, who stressed the importance of patience. Their advice certainly isn’t mind-blowing, but it’s cool to see someone use those connections to make these kinds of life decisions. It also probably didn’t hurt Duke to have a guy like Hill indirectly (and unofficially of course) representing the school.
  2. Run The Floor: In case Ken Pomeroy’s numbers didn’t give you a full clue into how much better Duke has been than the rest of the ACC, Michael Rogner made up an ACC “Power Rankings” based on efficiency margins. Visually, it’s stunning just how much more impressive Duke has been in the early goings and explains why Pomeroy’s simulations have Duke winning nearly 90% of the time. Duke has the best offense and the best defense in the league by fairly significant margins. And the other schools with an elite offense (really only NC State) or defense (Georgia Tech and Virginia) are very one-dimensional.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Speaking of the Yellow Jackets, Georgia Tech is off to an impressive 10-2 start this season. But while their record should come with a grain of salt, it’s not like Brian Gregory played a schedule of world-beaters in non-conference play last season when his team started 7-7. Georgia Tech’s improvement is mostly on the defensive end, where they’re shutting opponents down and doing a solid job covering the defensive glass. Last year the Yellow Jackets needed a miracle game out of Glen Rice, Jr., to have a chance. This year they might be able to surprise a few teams along the way.
  4. CBSSports.com: Florida State‘s recent “disappoint in the non-conference but force the Selection Committee’s hand with a couple of great conference wins” MO may fall somewhat short this season. In large part, the Seminoles can blame the second item on this list, as there just aren’t that many great wins within the ACC to get this season. Sure, beating Duke in Tallahassee would go a long way, but apart from their one shot at the Blue Devils the Seminoles don’t have any real margin for error. The team just hasn’t gelled defensively, and it shows.
  5. Washington Post: Jontel Evans is out of his boot and may return against North Carolina on Sunday. Assuming Evans fits back into the team seamlessly (and there’s no reason to assume he won’t), Virginia may very well be the second best team in the ACC. Their loss to Old Dominion notwithstanding, the Cavaliers play very tough defense that will only get better when Evans returns to the lineup. Don’t expect too many minutes against the Tar Heels though, as the Cavaliers don’t want to re-aggravate Evans’ foot injury.

EXTRA: Former North Carolina governor Jim Martin wrote a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News & Observer to comment on the criticisms of his recent report about the UNC academic scandal. Long story short, he did everything that was in his power to illuminate the scandal and reported his findings. Unfortunately, without subpoena power at his disposal, though, he couldn’t force anyone to cooperate on the record, a major limitation.

Share this story

ACC M5: 12.10.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on December 10th, 2012

  1. Boston Globe: Steve Donahue is trying to figure out how to best rebuild Boston College, but after losing to Harvard for the fifth straight year (and in non-competitive fashion), he called off practice. He assessed what the team is good at and what it isn’t, and, long story short: shooting and defense, respectively. With that in mind Donahue changed the look of the Eagles. He went out against St. Francis looking to score 75 or 80 points, and focused the defense on aggressiveness instead of implementing complex schemes. When the first half wasn’t going well, Donahue benched his star player Ryan Anderson for most of the second half. If the Eagles start looking better, we might look back and see coaching genius. If they don’t, we’ll see desperation.
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Richard Howell may be the most important player on NC State’s roster this season. He’s definitely not the most talented, but the senior consistently outworks everyone on the floor. Most people expected Lorenzo Brown or CJ Leslie to take the helm of this Wolfpack team, but Howell has been the guy who refuses to quit — he’s the guy that sparks the team and steps up in the big moments. This isn’t to say Howell is perfect, as he still attracts fouls at an alarming rate and lacks the polish to really be an offensive centerpiece. But he’s the type of guy who could bring the talented freshmen into the fold and build on the success Mark Gottfried’s team had to end last season.
  3. Charlottesville Daily Progress: Justin Anderson is going to be a special player for Tony Bennett if he stays all four years. Right now, he’s an incredibly athletic wing who adds a little flash to the slowest team in college basketball. But his greatness still comes in spurts. He’s taking too many threes, especially considering his skill set. Anderson is a guy who is going to give some very good teams fits during his career. Combine him with Bennett’s muck-it-up pack-line defense that keeps things close, and it certainly looks like a recipe for success.
  4. Washington Post: Mark Turgeon is still figuring out his rotation. Mostly Turgeon is trying to find his most effective combinations. Right now the Terrapins are playing a caliber of opponent that allows Turgeon to tinker a lot with very little risk. Even though he wasn’t on the team last year Dez Wells had a quote that certainly harkened back to a certain elite Terrapin from last season:

    “Nobody cares about who scores the points, nobody cares about the Terp of the Week, that stuff. That’s good for the team, and that’s good for the school, because they’re really behind us, but as a team we’re not worried about the accolades, we just want to win. Whether somebody scores 50 points or somebody doesn’t score at all, we’ll continue to pick that person up.”

  5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Duke isn’t the only ACC team struggling to crash the boards this season. Georgia Tech has struggled with rebounding margin as well. Somewhat surprisingly, the Yellow Jackets’ advanced splits from Ken Pomeroy don’t back up Brian Gregory’s concerns. It’s true Gregory’s team is in the second half of the country in rebounding its own misses, but the team is actually a solid defensive rebounding team. But stats never give the whole picture, and it’s clear Gregory wants the team to box out more aggressively.

EXTRA: Brian Zoubek is still living the dream as a deluxe cream puff chef based in New Jersey. He planned on giving Duke a sampling of his craft after its trip to the Izod Center to play Temple.

Share this story

Georgia Tech Takes Control of Peach State Rivalry

Posted by rtmsf on December 5th, 2012

Bennet Hayes (@hoopstraveler) is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report after Tuesday night’s Georgia-Georgia Tech game in Atlanta.

When the college basketball season tipped off a month ago, Georgia and Georgia Tech found themselves facing similar expectations. Neither program appeared to be sporting a team capable of making the 2013 NCAA Tournament, but there was hope that both might be improved enough to escape the SEC and ACC cellars, respectively. While the 2-5 Dawgs had slogged their way through the season’s first month (with only wins over Jacksonville and East Tennessee State to brag about), early returns had been slightly more promising for the 5-2 Yellow Jackets, and Tuesday night’s rivalry game in Atlanta only served to further differentiate the Peach State’s two pre-eminent basketball programs.

Georgia Tech Appears to be Headed in the Right Direction (AP)

Mark Fox will surely write off Tuesday’s 62-54 loss as simply another missed opportunity for his team, but boy, this one seemed to resonate on levels far beyond tonight’s 40 minutes of hoops. Maybe that added significance stems from Brian Gregory running his record to 2-0 against Fox and Georgia in his short tenure in Atlanta. Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that, for the first time in 19 years, Tech has won back-to-back games against UGA. Or maybe, just maybe, this one matters more because Gregory seems to have the best Georgia high school basketball talent headed again to Georgia Tech — and far, far away from Athens. All those elements seemed to linger in the backdrop of this one, and the frenzied energy of the sellout crowd of 8,600 at the shiny, new (the three-game old kind of new) McCamish Pavilion drove home the largest message loud and clear — Gregory and Tech are seizing firm control of college basketball in Georgia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

ACC M5: 11.22.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 22nd, 2012

  1. Sporting News: Reading this convinced me that Brian Gregory may be exactly what Georgia Tech needs. He’s a very good salesman, which is crucial both for future recruiting and getting alumni and fans involved. The two go hand in hand as good recruiting leads to better teams which leads to more alumni support; likewise good alumni support leads to better facilities and more hype around the program and better recruiting. Give Gregory a couple more years and he’ll have Georgia Tech back in the conversation.
  2. Washington Times: As more and more opinion pieces start to turn up regarding Maryland‘s move to the Big Ten, there are a couple of distinct themes: that the Terrapins made the no-brainer choice given the realignment climate, the athletic department spit in the face of tradition, or it was a necessary evil because of the department’s financial woes. This piece clearly falls on the side of the latter. More interesting are the demographics of groups on both sides: In general, current students and the athletic department seem to come down in the first camp, older alumni and fans of other ACC schools in the second camp, and a mixture of the two falling in the third camp. None of the other realignment moves have seemed nearly as polarizing amongst the fan base.
  3. Indy Week: NC State has received a lot of hype this season — even after the ugly loss to Oklahoma State — but a lot of people don’t remember how the program faded to obscurity in the first place (at least as far as national titles are concerned). Through the 1970s and 1980s the Wolfpack were a top program in the ACC and the country, but the school forced Jim Valvano out in 1990 and the program never really recovered to that level under any of Les Robinson, Herb Sendek or Sidney Lowe.
  4. Raleigh News & Observer: It should only be good news that Reggie Johnson is more motivated than ever, has lost weight, and is disciplined. But why are Miami and Johnson struggling to start the season? Johnson and frontcourt partner Kenny Kadji are off to very poor offensive starts. Kadji is turning the ball over far too much, and Johnson just can’t shoot with any accuracy. But in the long run both are proven commodities, and the Hurricanes should be much better than they’ve played so far.
  5. Baltimore Sun: Kevin Coherd’s column about the Terrapins is cautiously optimistic, echoing Mark Turgeon‘s sentiments about his young team. It’s true this team is not a national contender just yet, but it could really rock the boat in the ACC if it can find some consistent offense. Alex Len already deserves any ACC Most Improved Awards we can find for him. Coaches like to spin things down a little at the beginning of the season to keep their teams as clean as possible, but Turgeon has a lot to look forward to this season.

EXTRA: DAILY RUMOR

Could the Big Ten be poaching another ACC (Carolina) blue blood as its 15th or 16th member?

Share this story

ACC M5: 11.16.12 Edition

Posted by EMann on November 16th, 2012

  1. Scout:  Clemson freshman forward Jaron Blossomgame has decided to redshirt this season following a compound leg fracture he suffered in April. Blossomgame had worked very hard to recover from his injury, but since he did not want to return during the middle of the season when the rest of the team was already familiar with its preferred style of play, he and Brad Brownell came to this mutual agreement. While Blossomgame is disappointed he won’t get to start his Clemson career until the 2013-14 season, he thinks that redshirting will be positive for his development. His contributions will be missed, as he would be able to provide some scoring ability and depth for the frontcourt, but ultimately both coach and player think that redshirting is the best pathway forward.
  2. Fox Sports Florida: The Coaches vs. Cancer Classic takes on special meaning for Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton and his program. Hamilton has lost four family members to cancer: his grandmother, father, and two brothers, one of whom lost his battle with the disease shortly following Florida State’s maiden ACC tournament championship in March. Another one of Florida State’s family, former assistant Kenny Williamson, who was on Pat Kennedy’s staff in the early 1990s, also recently passed away due to cancer. Expect Florida State to play with a special chip on their shoulder in this event, which has raised over $85 million since its inception in 1993. The Seminoles are fortunate that this tournament enabled them an automatic berth to the semifinals, as they lost in their first game in the event earlier in the week. The Seminoles will face BYU on Friday night, with a matchup between Notre Dame and St Joseph’s determining the other finalist.
  3. Hampton Roads:  With Jontel Evans slowly recovering from his injury (he played only three minutes in Virginia’s loss to Delaware on Tuesday, and doctors have not cleared him to play more than 10 minutes a game), Tony Bennett’s team has looked for answers at point guard. Unfortunately, Evans’ backup, Malcolm Brogdon, does not appear to be returning from his injury either anytime soon. Brogdon had surgery on his foot on March 7, and Bennett is confident that doctors will clear Brogdon to play at some point this season. But he has not played or practiced this season, which leads to the question of whether there is any point in rushing him back. If Brogdon cannot return and Evans remains limited by his own injury, this would leave only Joe Harris as a reliable creator, and Virginia’s offense would likely struggle as they have for most of the season thus far.
  4. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It took all of one game following Georgia Tech’s opener for the excitement surrounding the new McCamish Pavilion to wear off. Georgia Tech’s struggle to get by Presbyterian had far fewer fans in attendance than the sold-out opener, and the Yellow Jackets’ play possibly was a consequence of the sparser crowd.  Georgia Tech needed a large second half run to put away their overmatched opposition, which led Coach Brian Gregory to comment that “For us to be who we want to be eventually, that stuff can’t matter [referring to the crowd size]… and we’re not there yet.” Georgia Tech will probably need to score more than 52 points and make more than a third of its shots to get the Atlanta crowds excited to see them play.
  5. Thursday was a much better day for the ACC. Conference favorite NC State had a relatively easy victory in Puerto Rico over Penn State, with strong performances from freshmen TJ Warren and Rodney Purvis. Virginia Tech, who has recently committed to a more up-tempo offense, outplayed VMI, who regularly plays one of the fastest tempos in the country, showing that it has at least mastered some parts of this new approach. And Boston College was competitive in a 10-point defeat against a much more athletic Baylor team in Charleston (predicted to finish near or at the top in the Big 12), indicating that they will not be the “guaranteed” victory they so often appeared to be last year. The ACC will need more nights like this in order to show that the conference has legitimate depth, rather than what some of the other ACC teams (looking at the Florida schools and a certain one in Charlottesville) have shown thus far.
Share this story

ACC M5: 11.07.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on November 7th, 2012

  1. Tampa Bay Times: It’s entirely possible that Michael Snaer was not going to return to Tallahassee and Florida State. After a sensational junior year where Snaer helped to lead his school to one of its best seasons ever, it would be hard to blame the gifted shooting guard for taking his talents to the NBA. Yet Snaer came back, brimming with confidence and a reputation that clearly makes him an all-ACC favorite on both the offensive and defensive ends. Despite losing a great deal of depth to graduation, Snaer’s leadership, defense, and clutch shooting will again make Florida State a consistently dangerous team.
  2. Shelby Star:  Snaer isn’t alone of course. Leonard Hamilton has recruited and developed a roster filled with skilled athletes, including two players from the Charlotte area. Ian Miller and Terry Whisnant will help to fill the voids left by Luke Loucks and Deividas Dulkys, offering a devastating perimeter attack that should help the Seminoles continue their often back-breaking rain of threes. One of the most underrated aspects of Hamilton’s tenure at Florida State has been his ability to effectively recruit players like Miller and Whisnant away from the back yards of the four Tobacco Road schools. Hamilton’s ties to the area as a Gastonia native has enabled him to effectively recruit North Carolina players to venture south to Tallahassee. Tobacco Road may regret that even more when Miller and Whisnant begin their barrage of three-pointers.
  3. Ledger-Inquirer: While Florida State is relying on the skill of its improved backcourt players, Georgia Tech is looking to the frontcourt for answers. Kammeon Holsey and Daniel Miller were two bright spots in a disappointing season that saw first year coach Brian Gregory trying to hold together a patchwork and mentally weak team. Holsey and Miller, however, emerged as gifted and fierce rebounders on both ends of the court. With the younger Glen Rice now out of the picture, the junior pair figure to be featured more prominently in Georgia Tech’s game plan, a sound idea considering the relatively low usage but high offensive efficiencies of the pair during their sophomore campaigns.
  4. Fox Sports: Reggie Johnson wants to know why you aren’t talking about Miami. The big (maybe biggest) man looks at his teammates and sees a host of talented veterans and a proven coach in Jim Larranaga and he is frustrated that the Hurricanes are not afforded the fawning that North Carolina and Duke receive. He has a point. The case for Miami as an ACC contender is strong, and yet there is plenty of reason for skepticism. The Hurricanes have spent a lot of time looking good on paper, but not nearly enough time winning on the court (particularly in the postseason). Injuries, coaching changes, and extenuating circumstances have always offered an excuse for Miami, but this year, there is nothing left to do but prove it. Miami is capable of winning the ACC championship this season, but they have to do it on the court.
  5. Fayetteville Observer: This is the time of year when coaches are always talking up their players. It’s as reliable as the turning of the leaves, the shortening of the days, and the sure fall chill that creeps into the air. So maybe it’s best not to read too much into what Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has to say about Alex Murphy, but it’s getting fairly impossible to ignore: Murphy has the look and build of the second coming of Kyle Singler, offering his coach a similar rangy forward skill set that will let Duke stretch the floor without playing small on the defensive end. Whether or not Murphy matches Singler’s undeniable skill, he should at least be able to fit a little more neatly into some of the plays and sets designed for the former NCAA Tournament MOP.
Share this story

ACC Team Previews: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Posted by EMann on October 18th, 2012

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

Brian Gregory’s first season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets was a struggle in more ways than one, although not all of this was due to things Gregory could control. Because of Georgia Tech’s renovation of the Alexander Memorial Coliseum to the new McCamish Pavilion during the season, Georgia Tech was forced to split its home games between the Atlanta Hawks’ Philips Arena (all ACC games and premier non-conference games) and the Gwinnett Arena in the suburbs (five non-conference games).  Being homeless, however, surely does not account for all of Georgia Tech’s struggles during the 2011-12 season. Paul Hewitt didn’t exactly leave the cupboard full of stars when he was let go after the 2010-11 season, and Georgia Tech’s best returning player, Glen Rice, Jr., battled disciplinary issues all season and was suspended for three games at the beginning of the season and six at the end before being kicked off the team in March.  Tech managed only a 4-12 finish in league play (with its only win of note a victory at NC State), and finished 11-20 overall (beating VCU, but losing to the unholy trinity of Kennesaw State, Mercer, and Fordham), polishing off their season by scoring only 36 points in the ACC Tournament’s first round against Miami.  Fortunately for the Yellow Jackets, things cannot really get much worse, and the team returns all five of its starters.

Brian Gregory searches for answers in his second season in Atlanta.

Newcomers

Georgia Tech adds five new players to its roster this season, and has Scout.com’s 19th-ranked recruiting class coming to Atlanta. Four of these players are freshmen, led by five-star 6’9” center Robert Carter, in addition to four-star 6’6” small forward Marcus Georges-Hunt, three-star 6’3” shooting guard Chris Bolden, and unrated guard Corey Heyward. They are all Georgia natives. Georgia Tech also adds Kentucky transfer Stacey Poole, Jr., who will become eligible after December 17. Carter, a top 25 recruit, should immediately compete for starter’s minutes with returning center Daniel Miller. The other players are likely to add depth and compete with the incumbent starters (none of whom were particularly efficient offensively) for minutes this season. Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

ACC Weekly Five: 08.20.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on August 20th, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: The ongoing saga of academic fraud at North Carolina continues as more details emerge, and frankly, things are just getting weirder. While Julius Peppers admitted that the transcript that was posted on the UNC website last weekend was his, he also offered a great deal of disgust at the gross breach of his privacy by the university. The university, after admitting that earlier reviews of academic problems at the school weren’t enough, hired an outside consulting and auditing firm to more thoroughly investigate the irregularities in the grades and transcripts of North Carolina’s student athletes. Hopefully, soon we will have some idea of what exactly has been going on with these student-athletes in Chapel Hill and for how long.
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Meanwhile, down the road, North Carolina State is dealing with an even stranger issue of athlete academic eligibility. Star recruit and Raleigh native Rodney Purvis missed his first few classes because he had not yet been cleared by the NCAA, which is still reviewing Purvis’ high school. While the NCAA guidelines don’t preclude a student from attending class, the guidelines mean that if Purvis for some reason was found ineligible, he would be unable to receive an athletic scholarship and would be forced to pay tuition to NC State out of pocket. Remember everyone: The NCAA wants student-athletes to receive a quality college education. Seriously. Stop laughing.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory is looking forward to this year. In particular he’s excited about the impact of sophomore Julian Royal. Royal played better and better as the season rolled on, and apparently his strength and conditioning has Gregory excited about the potential for the coming year.
  4. ESPN: Make a note to yourself to get excited for the preseason tournaments in 2017. Nike has finalized a truly excellent list of teams for a pair of tournaments designed to honor Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. Considering Nike’s clout in the college basketball world, it’s unsurprising that many of the best teams in the country will be competing. The ACC representatives are, unsurprisingly, Duke and North Carolina. The two blue-bloods will find themselves pitted against the likes of Georgetown, Connecticut, Michigan State, Ohio State, and some other school called Kentucky. It might be a set of games. I suppose we will find out in five years.
  5. Boston Globe:  Gene DeFillipo, the athletic director for Boston College over the last 15 years, will be stepping down from his post in September. DeFillipo has been a steadying presence for BC, overseeing the rebuilding of the program after a gambling scandal devastated the football team and helping to oversee the move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. During his tenure, BC claimed its fair share of NCAA titles, including an impressive four championships in ice hockey.
Share this story

Morning Five: 07.18.12 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 18th, 2012

  1. This offseason has been unique in the sense that a newly promulgated NCAA rule has allowed coaches and their players to have considerably more in-person interaction than in previous years. While students (including new freshman) are on campus attending summer school, coaches can provide two hours per week of instruction and training. It may not sound like much on its face, but 24 hours of focused practice when compared with zero is a substantial difference. CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander writes that without question, coaches around the country are 100% behind this new rule and are employing it to the best of their abilities. That is, except in the Ivy League. The wrinkle in the Ancient Eight is that Harvard and Princeton — academic titans though they are — do not offer summer school coursework. Without a level playing field among all eight schools, none of them can (or will) take advantage of the rule. And aside from that, summer courses cost money, a bit of a pinch for non-scholarship athletes. It’s an interesting insight into just how different the priorities are from the rest of Division I basketball, even at a successful time when the league is placing competitive teams (Cornell, Princeton and Harvard) into the NCAA Tournament.
  2. While on the subject of summer basketball, one of the great things about unofficial team pick-up games is that it makes for tremendous message board fodder: “Ivan Renko dropped 45 on Anthony Davis in a half! He’s going to be a first-team All-American!” You know how it goes. Players who are career bench-warmers or otherwise unfulfilled talents seemingly become hoops messiahs under the dim lights in the sweaty gyms of July and August. That isn’t to say that there aren’t clues to be found, though, especially in cases where players have never actually been seen in uniform before. One such storyline coming out of Kansas in the past week is that redshirt freshman Ben McLemore is drawing reasonable comparisons to former Jayhawk star Brandon Rush for his jaw-dropping athletic ability and shot-making prowess. Down on Tobacco Road, UNC’s Leslie McDonald and PJ Hairston may not be getting such a lofty comparison from a former player, but they are receiving lessons in how to play the game from former Tar Heel superstar Rasheed Wallace. So there’s that.
  3. While on the subject of the Heels, one of the slowly smoldering stories in the back rooms and dark alleys of the Internet this summer has related to the ongoing academic scandal involving a large number of football players at the school. Armed with the knowledge that some of UNC’s basketball players took the same tainted courses as the football team, Pat Forde in a piece Tuesday mentioned that UNC has not been as forthcoming as some would like with the release of exculpatory information. He doesn’t go as far as to make any accusations of wrongdoing other than to quote a history professor at UNC who remains skeptical, but it does bring up a question of transparency and whether UNC might be willing to throw football under the bus to save the basketball program.
  4. We’ve mentioned Jabari Parker quite a bit in the last week, as the Class of 2013 prospect made news for narrowing his list of schools down to a more manageable 10 suitors and his family’s decision to let him rest for the remainder of the summer camp period. At least one school that you may have heard of on the recruiting trail — it starts with a K and ends with a Y — may, according to an unnamed head coach “who has been involved” with Parker’s recruitment, be the clubhouse leader. Duke has been mentioned as Parker’s leader numerous times by people supposedly in the know, and BYU has always been in the mix because of the LDS connection. All any prognosticator worth his salt can do at this point is await announcements as to where Parker will take his official visits and work backwards from there.
  5. A number of college basketball head coaches are in North Augusta, South Carolina, this week for the Nike Peach Jam, an elite prep basketball event featuring many of the nation’s top uncommitted players. Local news station WJBF-TV interviewed a few of the attendees about the Penn State/Sandusky scandal, and at least Clemson’s Brad Brownell, Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, and Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory appear to be “using Penn State’s mistakes as a lesson.” For the sake of the next generation of America’s overlooked children, let’s hope so.

Share this story

ACC Weekly Five: 07.17.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on July 17th, 2012

  1. ACC Sports Journal: Props to Robbie Harms over at ACC Sports Journal for putting together this exhaustive mass of links on ACC alumni playing in the NBA summer league. Who would’ve thought Miles Plumlee would be named to the Orlando All-Summer League team? A lot of former ACC stars are participating and this page is sure to catch you up on all of the latest.
  2. Winston-Salem Journal: Jeff Bzdelik is adding seven freshman to his roster for this year. The group is already on campus, prepping for the upcoming season, and without question expectations will be high for this bunch. Wake Forest was a major disappointment the last two years, so everyone is expecting some level of progress this year. In news not directly related to basketball, none of the new additions have cars — so they’re getting plenty of off-court bonding time getting rides from Travis McKie — and Codi Miller-McIntyre can bench 300 pounds.
  3. Run the Floor: Michael Rogner is cautiously bullish on the Hurricanes, as they return more talent than anyone else in the ACC. Assuming Reggie Johnson is back to 100% healthy, Shane Larkin makes the leap towards more consistency and Rion Brown continues to develop, the Hurricanes should be an ACC contender this year. To be fair, many writers have been fooled in the past by a good Miami roster (I submit this quote from my article from January 11 as evidence: “Every year I overrate the Hurricanes.”), but this year feels different.
  4. ESPN: Andy Katz recently sat down with Brian Gregory, who’s keeping expectations for next year, his second season at Georgia Tech, realistic. Gregory talked a little about freshman impact and where his team needs to improve this season. Namely, he put the weight on the guards to become better distributors, naming Mfon Udofia, Brandon Reed and Daniel Miller as the guys who need to step up for the Yellow Jackets. Most interestingly, Katz asked Gregory about whether we can expect this year’s team to look more like his old Dayton teams. Gregory responded by saying that this team would be more like those teams, but still not totally there. All three answers from the head coach emphasize that this year as a rebuilding year.
  5. USA Today: Mike Krzyzewski took a lot of flak for supporting Joe Paterno in the days and weeks after he got fired. Not surprisingly, Coach K updated his comments about Joe Pa with the release of the Freeh Report.

EXTRA: Incoming North Carolina freshman JP Tokoto can dunk.

Share this story

ACC Summer Recess: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Posted by KCarpenter on July 12th, 2012

Over the next four weeks we’ll be taking a step back and looking at each team in the ACC to assess where each program — and the conference as a whole — stands before we totally turn our attention to the 2013-14 season later this fall. Today’s target: Georgia Tech.

Where They Stand Now

Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory Has His Work Cut Out In Atlanta

Last season was a season of transition for Georgia Tech. After the firing of longtime coach Paul Hewitt, Brian Gregory took over a program that had spent the last few years slowly slumping to the bottom of the ACC. As the Yellow Jackets prepared a new home court, his team was left without a true home, forced to make use of Phillips Arena along with a few other venues. A new coach, no home court,  and a legitimate talent deficit made it no surprise that Georgia Tech faltered. In a season when their best moments come in December and January, Georgia Tech didn’t have a lot to celebrate as conference play went on. Still, the future seems promising for Georgia Tech: McCammish Pavillion is finally set to open and Gregory will better know what to expect from his team in the second year.

Who’s Leaving?

The nice part about having a young team is that you don’t have to worry about losing a lot of players to graduation. The Yellow Jackets will lose Pierre Jordan and Nick Foreman, a pair of back-up guards who each averaged about 10 minutes a game in the past season, but that’s the only toll from graduation. Sophomore big man Nate Hicks has transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University. Hicks didn’t get a lot of playing time in Atlanta, averaging a paltry 7.7 minutes per game. The biggest departure is the dismissal of Glen Rice, Jr., from the team. The troubled swingman was benched at the end of his freshman season by Paul Hewitt and served a pair of suspensions last season under Gregory. He was finally dismissed from the team after a run-in with the law that featured Rice driving under the influence while one of his passengers discharged a gun.  Rice was the leading scorer and rebounder for Georgia Tech, but his off-the-court troubles certainly seem serious enough to make his departure seem like the best option for Rice and the team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Who’s Got Next? Top 75 Guard Monte Morris Chooses Iowa State, Zach LaVine To UCLA

Posted by Josh Paunil on June 29th, 2012

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are at the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Lead Story: Class of 2013 Point Guard Monte Morris Commits To Iowa State

Floor General Monte Morris Is Iowa State’s Second Top-100 Guard For the Class of 2013.

Point Guard Gives Cyclones Second Top 100 Guard in Class of 2013. The only person who may have enjoyed Class of 2013 point guard Monte Morris‘ 17th birthday Wednesday more than the Michigan native is Fred Hoiberg as the four-star floor general committed to Iowa State. Morris is Iowa State’s second top 100 guard commitment in the Class of 2013, joining shooting guard Matt Thomas. Morris spurned offers from the likes of Indiana, Georgia Tech and USC to play at a less prestigious school although the Cyclones’ national profile has been improving because of Royce White (who in RTC’s NBA Draft Profile projects as a late first round pick) and Hoiberg’s success in the Class of 2012 with power forward Georges Niang (#52) signing. Morris is a big-time pick-up because of his ability to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. He is a smooth floor general with a good basketball-IQ and pretty good range beyond the three-point line. He has been improving his mid-range game as well but Hoiberg is turning Iowa State into a legitimate player for top 100 prospects year in and year out.

What They’re Saying

  • Senior Greg McClinton on deciding on Wake Forest: “I grew up a Wake kid and it has always been a dream of mine to play there. It is always great to be in front of friends and family and play close to home.” Read the rest of this entry »
Share this story