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 »

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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.

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ACC Weekly Five: 05.07.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on May 7th, 2012

  1. Washington Post: Barry Svrluga tracked down the members of Maryland‘s national championship team from 10 years ago and put together a slideshow with updates. Some aren’t newsworthy (Gary Williams and Steve Blake), but I had no idea how much Lonny Baxter has bounced around since departing for the NBA. He’s currently in Siberia. Juan Dixon is in Turkey. A few are working with local AAU programs or their old high school teams.
  2. Chapelboro.com: The North Carolina assistant coaching search is finally over. ESPN College Gameday host and analyst Hubert Davis was hired by Roy Williams to replace Jerod Haase, who left to take the head coaching job at UAB. Davis has no coaching experience, but I don’t hate the hire. While I think the opinion that he’ll augment North Carolina’s name recognition in recruiting is misrepresenting things, his notoriety from people seeing him on TV will be an asset on the recruiting trail. He also just seems like a personable guy. On the other side of things, the group attacking the hire because he lacks coaching experience should probably pump the brakes too. Davis played more than a decade in the NBA; he knows basketball. It remains to be seen if he’ll be a go-getter, but I thought this was a decent hire.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: With all the recent coverage of coaches restricting transfers, the ACC gotten quite a bit of decent press. After Duke didn’t restrict Michael Gbinije at all (he ended up at Syracuse, which will be an ACC school by the time he starts playing), Brian Gregory talked about Georgia Tech’s policy, which restricts transfers from going to Georgia. The ACC has its own policy that forces athletes to sit out two years if they want to transfer to another ACC school. I think all conferences should move to this model and get rid of restrictions altogether (or maybe allow one regional rival which would also carry the two-year penalty). Nate Hicks and Glen Rice, Jr., are both transferring from Georgia Tech.
  4. Hampton Roads Daily Press: It sounds like James Johnson is taking his new responsibilities at Virginia Tech in stride. This comfort is the biggest advantage to hiring an assistant over going outside the program. Who knows how Johnson will be as a head coach, but I think Virginia Tech made the right move bringing him back to take over for Seth Greenberg.
  5. Raleigh News & Observer: Debbie Yow isn’t stopping at basketball relevance. She wants to put the rest of the NC State athletic department on the map and compete for the Director’s Cup — an award that tracks the top 25 schools across all sports. I also like that Yow prefers “Olympic sports” to “non-revenue sports” because it’s “more respectful.”

EXTRA: Unfortunately, there have been more rumblings about schools jumping ship from the ACC. I agree that the tipping point is Florida State. The Seminoles are a relatively recent addition to the conference and have the most to offer a prospective conference. I still believe that Florida and South Carolina have enough clout with the SEC that Florida State and Clemson have a long way to go before being invited to join the SEC. However, the author raises a very good point about the SEC not wanting to allow the Big 12 into the southeastern recruiting footprint (namely, Florida).

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Morning Five: 03.13.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 13th, 2012

  1. Less than a month after getting kicked off the Georgia Tech team, Glen Rice Jr. has found himself in trouble again, but this time it is with the law. As the article notes, Rice’s involvement in the matter appears to be limited to being in the vehicle with others who were committing more serious crimes (like driving under the influence and discharging a firearm under the influence), but his decision to get involved in a situation like that should raise concern for the Georgia Tech staff, who probably would want to bring back their leading scorer and rebounder.
  2. Over the next few months you are going to be reading countless articles encouraging talented underclassmen to stay an extra year (or two or three) and in the case of Draymond Green it has made a huge difference. As Roger Groves of Forbes notes, Green’s decision to stay in school has proven to be the right one for him and one that Groves believes should be followed by more young players. While we appreciate Groves’ sentiment and Green’s growth, it is worth noting that Green was not even close to a legitimate pro prospect early in his career at East Lansing while many of the players he references in the article are. It is a lot easier to stay in school when you don’t have people waving million-dollar contracts in front of you.
  3. If you are a fan of advanced metrics (and we know some people are not like the author of the article we link to next), Columbus may be the place to be on opening weekend. Several teams at that site appear to be severely underseeded if you believe in the rankings of Ken Pomeroy, which is something that Pomeroy expounds upon in a post on his blog using a log5 analysis (warning for the Luddites, your head may explode when you see that). If you are looking for a more manageable analysis using advanced metrics then Luke Winn should be your go to source (as always).
  4. We already discussed this briefly yesterday, but if you missed Mike Decourcy’s interview with John Calipari it is certainly worth a read. Outside of his rather direct shot at the NCAA, Calipari is refreshingly open about the perception of his program and how he runs his program. For those of us who have had a chance to talk to him before most of this stuff is not new, but for those people who reflexively recoil at the mention of his name based on two of his Final Four appearances being vacated it might shine a light on why recruits, players, and Kentucky fans have fallen for him outside of the impressive record.
  5. South Carolina may not be dancing, but their fans have reason to celebrate with the announcement that their two-sport star Bruce Ellington plans to become “just” a basketball star after deciding to stop playing football. Ellington, who made the SEC All-Freshman team in football after gaining 707 all-purpose yards, actually saw a decline in his output last season on the court going from 12.8 points per game down to 10.6 points per game although his efficiency numbers were up across the board. With his renewed focus on basketball, don’t be surprised if Ellington comes back next November as a significantly improved player.
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ACC Season Wrap-Up and Tournament Preview

Posted by mpatton on March 8th, 2012

First, here’s a quick preview of the ACC Tournament. You can find the rest of the power rankings after the jump.
The two Thursday games you should keep a close eye on are Clemson – Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest – Maryland. I trust Miami and NC State will have no trouble putting away their opponents, though Georgia Tech has played a couple of very good games this year.
While North Carolina is the prohibitive favorite, I think Florida State probably has the second best chance. Hear me out: Duke is playing without Ryan Kelly, which means the Plumlees and Hairston are it inside; factor in a history of ignoring the conference tournament for North Carolina combined with Kendall Marshall feeling “tired,” and I think you’ve got a recipe for a team not from North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament for the first time since Maryland in 2004.
I also expect strong runs from bubble teamers NC State and Miami, as both try to secure their at-large hopes with another marquee win.
  1. North Carolina (27-4, 14-2) – It’s funny how the difference between a successful season can come down to one game. Had North Carolina lost to Duke at Cameron, people would’ve pointed to the Tar Heels’ lofty preseason expectations and how they came up short. Instead, Roy Williams’ squad finally showed the world just why it was ranked so high early in the season. Kendall Marshall hit shots, the defense clicked and the game felt over by the first media timeout. Now the Tar Heels have the inside track for a one-seed, owning the head-to-head victory with Michigan State that will definitely come in handy. There are still legitimate questions about North Carolina’s intensity, but if that intensity is in the ballpark of Saturday night opponents should be scared. Don’t pencil the Tar Heels into the Final Four before seeing the ACC Tournament. This team’s worst enemy until the final weekend will be itself. One person in particular to keep you eye on is Marshall. He was snubbed from first-team All-ACC (he missed by two votes), so I expect him to come out aggressively Friday. He’s also shows recent offensive improvement, coming up with two of his best performances of the year in rivalry games against NC State and Duke. When he’s taking and hitting open looks, the Tar Heels are impossible to guard.
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ACC Afternoon Five: 03.07.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 7th, 2012

Technical difficulties kept us from getting this up this morning. So here goes… an Afternoon Five.

  1. Tallahassee Democrat: Deividas Dulkys got a pretty special family night surprise when his family from Lithuania surprised him the day before the game by showing up at his girlfriend’s apartment. Dulkys had quite the showing at the game including aunts from Chicago and his host family from Nevada, but no one told him that his parents and sisters were going to make the trip across the globe to see him play at Florida State for the first time. Stepping back a little, the Seminoles are also looking at their best chance to win the ACC Championship in program history.
  2. Wilmington Star News: Speaking of special senior nights, Ty Walker‘s was supposed to be one of redemption. After three years of falling short of expectations and an indefinite suspension that kept him out for the first semester, his senior night was supposed to represent the new leaf he turned over this year. On the basketball court he was more active than ever, blocking shots with reckless abandon and fitting in surprisingly well for his first few games back. “I know people aren’t always going to be satisfied […] but at least I gave them something,” Walker noted. His mom even surprised him by flying across the country for his senior night last week. This article from Brett Friedlander gets at Walker’s side of the story.
  3. Culpepper Star-Exponent: On the heels of the New York Times look at one of college basketball’s vaguest advantages, Whitelaw Reid finds a specific case. Now without seeing more data, I’m a little skeptical. The variable is what brand of basketball teams use. The home teams choose the ball. Virginia uses Nike basketballs; Sammy Zeglinski likes Wilson. The evidence (besides Zeglinski saying it has a “spongy feel”) is that two of the senior’s best games came against Maryland, a team that uses Wilson balls. As Reid points out, the NCAA Tournament also uses Wilson balls, so we should get at least one more data point to evaluate Zeglinski’s claim.
  4. Raleigh New & Observer: It’s a speculation time of year: March Madness, the NFL Draft and that sports purgatory before the NBA Playoffs and baseball season’s starts. It’s also about time to start talking about who is leaving college for the NBA. As Caulton Tudor points out, 13 of 15 All-ACC selections were underclassmen. I don’t really agree with Tudor’s rankings. Maybe I’m naive, but I think Terrell Stoglin will stick it out at least one more year in College Park. He’s far from a sure bet, and needs to show a wider range of skills to attract first round eyes. The same would apply for Glen Rice, Jr., but his indefinite suspension will definitely be a factor. I think the sure-fire departures are Harrison Barnes, John Henson and CJ Leslie. Who knows with Austin Rivers? If he gets a lottery promise, I expect him to leave (which seems likely considering the dearth of good guards this year). Still, this is something that will become very important in a few weeks.
  5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Congratulations Brian Gregory, Mark Turgeon, Jim Larranaga and Mark Gottfried. You finished your rookie year in the ACC. For many coaches, the second year is the toughest, but Turgeon and Gregory were trying to build up programs left in disarray after Gary Williams and Paul Hewitt’s respective departures. Larranaga has plenty of talent, but he only should lose DeQuan Jones and Malcolm Grant from an already talented team; Gottfried’s team will return plenty of firepower and boasts the top recruiting class in the conference. Factor in an extra year of experience against the league titans, and we should expect more success from the conference as a whole next year.
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ACC Game On: 02.21.12

Posted by KCarpenter on February 21st, 2012

In-State Rivalry Rematches

  • North Carolina at North Carolina State at 8:00 PM on ACC Network or ESPN3.com
  • Virginia at Virginia Tech at 9:00 PM on ESPNU

NC State Could Really Use This Win (Star-News)

When North Carolina State played the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, the game turned into a 19-point rout thanks to North Carolina’s domination on the boards. In Raleigh, the Wolfpack will take a stand to try to avenge the January loss and to make a statement that will guarantee them a shot at March Madness. Right now, NC State sits right on the bubble with no wins better than Texas and Miami. A victory over North Carolina would go a long way towards ensuring that the Wolfpack goes dancing. At home, Mark Gottfried’s team will have an edge with what will surely be a raucous home crowd fired up by “Hessgate” and the natural rivalry. NC State is a very good rebounding team and the fluke bad performance in the previous meeting of these teams is largely owed to the foul trouble and limited mintes of Richard Howell, by far the team’s best rebounder. If Howell and all the other key pieces can stay on the floor, the Wolfpack very well might walk away with a signature win.

In an otherwise disappointing season, Virgina Tech’s upset of Virginia stands as a clear highlight for the Hokies. For the Cavaliers, the game was their first without starting center Assane Sene and the loss seemed to demonstrate how much they missed him. In the rematch at Blacksburg, Virginia seeks to settle the score and prove that the loss was a fluke and that they have adjusted to life without Sene. The Tar Heel and Wolfpack showdown might get more attention, but there’s liable to be plenty of heat (if not speed) in the clash between these two in-state rivals.

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ACC Morning Five: 02.21.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 21st, 2012

Well, the ACC vs. NC State feud isn’t getting any quieter. The conference reprimanded referee Karl Hess for not following protocol, and he released a statement to NC State explaining his reasoning (he apparently thought Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta were getting too close to the scorers’ table). Apparently, Mark Gottfried talked to the students about the incident. I couldn’t get a working link to the Facebook video, but this is the transcript (h/t Luke DeCock):

I think it was weak. It was bad and I thought the official was completely out of line 100%. I’m disappointed, quite frankly, in the ACC, because not only did he throw out two of NC State’s greats, he threw out two of the ACC’s greats, and the league is supporting the official rather than supporting former great players. The former great players, in my opinion, were embarrassed and wronged when they shouldn’t have been. I don’t think you can have rabbit ears like that if you’re a referee and start throwing people out. I was disappointed in the whole thing. So they gave a reprimand tonight to the official, but it was pretty weak in my opinion.

UPDATE: WTVD uploaded the video.

Your move, Swofford.

  1. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Brian Gregory is doing a good job with one area Paul Hewitt struggled by reaching out to Georgia Tech alumni. He’s invited them to games and practices, trying to keep the school’s myriad alumni connected despite a rough inaugural season. Malcolm Mackey, the Yellow Jackets’ all-time leading rebounder, complimented Gregory on his former boss (Tom Izzo) and his new basketball team. Alumni support should help Gregory recruit the Atlanta area, which is crawling with five-star talent.
  2. Washington Post: Georgetown and Maryland should play each other in basketball. Both schools have plenty of history, but for whatever reason the two programs are at a stalemate. Because of the stalemate, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson laid down an ultimatum: The Terrapins won’t be playing Georgetown in any sport until the basketball series questions are worked out. Mark Turgeon sounds game for it, but there’s a lot of coachspeak going on that makes it difficult to assess Turgeon’s real motive.
  3. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Jim Larranaga knows the CAA well. He coached George Mason long before heading to Coral Gables. He’s been to a Final Four. Why not talk some smack and lobby for your NCAA Tournament chances in the meantime? Basically, Larranaga thinks it’s a down year for the CAA, which lacks quality wins. “In short, Larranaga on Monday was like a politician on the campaign trail. He stretched the truth and went negative.”
  4. Tallahassee Democrat: Florida State‘s senior class is having a special year. They just became the winningest class in Florida State basketball history. It’s pretty impressive to see what Leonard Hamilton has done with the Seminole program. He’s changed it from irrelevant to top-tier and a consistent NCAA Tournament presence.
  5. NBC 41: Really bad news for Georgia Tech, who already owns the worst record in conference play. The team’s best player (seriously he was the best scorer, rebounder and facilitator on the team), Glen Rice Jr., has been suspended indefinitely. If the Yellow Jackets already can’t win, there’s no way they can win without him.
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Morning Five: 02.20.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 20th, 2012

  1. Western Kentucky announced yesterday that its new head coach was its current head coach. Despite starting his career at 4-7 since taking over for Ken McDonald, the school has opted to retain the services of Ray Harper. Citing the difficult circumstances that Harper inherited with taking over the team in early January, the school claimed it had “total confidence his ability to return our program to prominence”. Based on his record at the Division II level where he was named national coach of the year four times in nine season while winning two national titles and claiming four runner-up finishes (one was later vacated) the Hilltoppers might be moving in the right direction very soon.
  2. Critics of the NCAA will have one less thing to rail against at schools opposing the previously accepted proposal allowing schools to award mulityear scholarships failed to reach the veto threshold. When the rule was passed in August 2011 it was hailed as a small, but important concession for athletes, whose scholarships and academic/career goals can swing with a coaching change or an injury. However, a few months later, a large number of schools petitioned the NCAA asking for a repeal of the rule leading to Friday’s vote. Needing 62.5% (more than 206) of the 330 institutions to vote against it for a repeal, the schools were only able to get 62.12% (205 votes) so when the NCAA parades around its new multiyear scholarships remember that it was two votes away from having it repealed and not everybody voted (the NCAA would only say more than 90% voted).
  3. There are a lot of way to have your bubble burst and Purdue appears to have taken the most publicly embarrassing one. On Friday, the team suspended starting point guard D.J. Byrd and dismissed starting guard Kelsey Barlow following an incident that morning where Byrd was arrested for public intoxication while Barlow, who had been thrown out of the bar earlier that night apparently came back with several teammates including Robbie Hummel where Barlow reported hit a bouncer and was arrested. Even though they are still technically in contention for a NCAA Tournament bid with every other team bubble team falling apart this seriously damages their chances of making any kind of run.
  4. It will be an eventful few days for several members of the 1988-89 North Carolina State team. On Saturday, in one of the more bizarre interactions between an official and the crowd that we have seen, veteran official had Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta removed from the stands in a game between NC State and Florida State even though they did not appear to do anything that you typically see fans get ejected for and afterwards did not offer any explanation for his actions. Yesterday, the school announced that tomorrow it would honor that Wolfpack team that Corchiani and Gugliotta were on in a tribute to the team before Tuesday’s game against North Carolina as part of its inaugural “Wolfpack Unlimited” award that honors the spirit of Jim Valvano. According to Debbie Yow, the school’s Athletic Director, the 1988-89 team was up for consideration before Saturday’s events although she did not specify how those events impacted her choice.
  5. “A season with few bright lights grew even dimmer Friday.” That opening sentence from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sums up our thoughts on Georgia Tech dismissing Glen Rice Jr. from its team. Normally, the loss of a player who leads your team in scoring, rebounds, and steals is crippling, but when you had already lost 12 of your last 14 you cannot get much worse. This suspension is Rice’s second of the season as he was also suspended for three games earlier this year for violating unspecified team rules and while the school would not go into detail about what led to the dismissal they did say that it was not basketball-related. Fortunately for the Yellow Jackets their last four games are against four of the teams they are competing against to stay out of the ACC’s cellar. With three of those games at home perhaps they can avoid finishing dead last in the conference.
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ACC Game On: 02.02.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on February 2nd, 2012

Wednesday night was a night of valiant efforts, but no surprises. Despite the underdogs’ collective success at keeping games close, Goliath withstood David’s slings and the ACC standings are starting to finally look understandable. Without Glen Rice Jr., Georgia Tech was no match for the still-hot Florida State Seminoles who put the Yellow Jackets in the rear view with a dynamic closing stretch. Boston College, formerly a high-octane scoring attack, tried a more traditional underdog approach with a hideous burn offense that slowed the game with North Carolina State to a crawl. Despite some notable efforts to try to give away the game in the second half, Boston College still faltered in its end-game execution and Mark Gottfried and his crew walked away with the win.

Turgeon Got Run, But Maryland Proved It Has Some Fight

The real excitement of the night was in the Maryland at Miami game. While it looked like it was going to be a by-the-numbers blow out, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon took exception to a referee call late in the second half, kept arguing, and finally got ejected. The Terrapins, rallying behind the guy who stood up for them, suddenly started playing some inspired ball. That combined with the absence of any true post players for Miami (Kenny Kadji was injured while both Reggie Johnson and Raphael Akpejiori fouled out) resulted in a remarkable turnaround that turned a double-digit deficit into a double-overtime thriller. It wasn’t the prettiest game, and before all was said and done, Durand Scott, Sean Mosley, and Nick Faust also fouled out of the game. Scott’s 24 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists would prove to be the deciding line of the night. Though Terrell Stoglin scored an impressive 33 points, he did so only after taking an I-still-can’t-believe-it 20 three-point shots. Though Maryland lost, Stoglin’s will, and the key defensive play of Alex Len means that the Terrapins leave Coral Gables feeling that their team is tough enough to hang in the big games and that their coach believes in them.

The Only Game In Town

  • Duke at Virginia Tech at 7:00 PM on ESPN
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ACC Game On: 01.25.12

Posted by KCarpenter on January 25th, 2012

Last night, Miami slammed a terrible-looking Georgia Tech team. The key with this game was the once again the sterling play of Kenny Kadji who has emerged as one of the clear breakthrough players of this season. The Hurricanes played defense and Georgia Tech’s attack basically degenerated into Glen Rice, Jr., and Mfon Udofia chucking shots like they were the only two players on the team. One day both will get hot simultaneously and the pair will annihilate some hapless team. Most days these two take all the shots, however, Georgia Tech will lose.

The Meanest Rivalry in the ACC

  • Duke at Maryland at 9:00 PM at ESPN

Could This Be the Scene in College Park Tonight?

Luckily, the Blue Devils don’t have to play at a hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium, and that’s one of the most underrated bonuses of Duke’s yearly schedule. Year in and year out, the most hostile conference venue for Duke is not in Chapel Hill, but rather in College Park. The Terrapins fans are ferocious at home and their hatred for Duke seems to reach beyond the confines of mere rivalry. For the Blue Devils, this is a tough follow-up after the hard loss at home to Florida State, but there is no doubt that Mike Krzyzewski will have his team ready to play. Maryland hasn’t shown they can play the kind of defense needed to stop Duke, but Terrell Stoglin is the exact kind of player who has the skill set to take advantage of a Duke defense that is softer on the perimeter than in years past. Duke wins this game on paper, but if Stoglin gets hot or the crowd gets really into it, this could be a tough road trip for Austin Rivers and company.

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ACC Game On: 01.24.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on January 24th, 2012

After a weekend where Florida State proved it was for real and Virginia Tech showed they weren’t a lost cause against in-state rival Virginia, we get a thoroughly un-sexy Tuesday night match-up between a pair of teams who have been underachieving. It’s not glamorous, it probably won’t be pretty, but the game should at least be competitive.

The Only Show In Town

  • Miami at Georgia Tech at 9:00 PM on ESPNU

Udofia and Georgia Tech Need a Win Tonight

Fun fact about Georgia Tech: they have won exactly one game in the past month, an increasingly perplexing win over what appears to be a good NC State team. This bright spot, for what it’s worth, still resides in the shadow of underwhelming losses to Mercer, Fordham, Maryland, and Clemson. Still, star Glen Rice, Jr., has generally played well, and plans to give him a greater share of the point guard duties is good news for a team that requires Mfon Udofia to stay on the court for far longer than he needs to.  Meanwhile, Miami has underperformed, even with the return of Reggie Johnson (who looks good when looking at tempo-free stats, but significantly worse on the court). Although the Hurricanes only have a single ACC win against woeful Clemson, this team looks like it is slowly but surely getting better. Despite this, Jim Larranaga‘s team seems to have a traveling problem: Miami is 8-1 at home and 1-7 on the road. Granted, somehow Miami has managed to play true road games against the likes of Purdue, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina already, but even so, teams have to prove they can win on the road before they’re taken seriously. It’s a little late in the season to be slowly getting better and if Miami wants to bust out of the conference’s bottom class, taking care of fellow cellar-dwellers on the road is a simple necessity.

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