ACC M5: 02.10.14 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on February 10th, 2014

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  1. Raleigh News & Observer: Great piece from Barry Jacobs on officials who are following in their fathers’ footsteps. After reading the article, I really think officiating might be as much of a cult as coaching and playing are. Jacobs talks to Bryan Kersey, Jeff Nichols and Tim Clougherty (whose father John Clougherty is the ACC Coordinator of Officials). I’ll let Jacobs take it away with the best anecdote from the piece: “Like other officiating chips off the old block, Kersey became a referee while a high school student. The 10th grader’s first game might have discouraged some people. When the middle school contest ended, the losing coach punched the younger Kersey in the head as he left the floor.”
  2. Blogger So Dear: Great longform profile of Travis McKie and his four-year career under Jeff Bzdelik. McKie has a had a great career individually while the program has suffered (getting marginally better each season) around him. He may become the first senior in Wake Forest’s time in the ACC (since its founding over 60 years ago) to not win a postseason game.
  3. Washington Post: Jake Layman should be Maryland’s number one option in the halfcourt (meaning road games and end-of-shot clock clear-outs should run through Dez Wells). He’s a mismatch for nearly any defender. But Layman is involved in less possessions than any other starter. That’s why Mark Turgeon is trying to come up with ways to get Layman more involved. And while Seth Allen stole the show Saturday in the win against Florida State, Layman was more aggressive. What’s weird looking at Layman’s statistics over the season is that he’s putting up a lot fewer field goal attempts in conference play.
  4. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh’s near catastrophic loss against Virginia Tech this weekend confirms that Lamar Patterson may not win ACC Player of the Year this season, but he’s likely going to be my pick. Patterson’s thumb was bothering him and his shot in Blacksburgh. Thankfully for the Panthers, a win is a win in the RPI. The bad news is Pittsburgh still doesn’t have any top-shelf wins, which means there’s still a lot of pressure on Patterson and Talib Zanna (both injured) to guide the team to the Big Dance.
  5. Charlottesville Daily Progress: Malcolm Brogdon has been unbelievable in conference play. He’s currently on Ken Pomeroy’s first team All-ACC team (though personally, I’d probably put him and Joe Harris on the second team). Brogdon was a Peach Jam breakout player who sat last season because of injury. He’s continued improving–literally improving every tempo-free statistic since last season. If you’re looking for a reason Harris’s numbers have dropped this season? Brogdon is a great place to start.
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ACC M5: 01.23.14 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on January 23rd, 2014

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  1. John Gasaway: Tuesday Truths are back! And with them, some interesting tidbits. Unfortunately, schedules are far from equal this season, but it appears there’s a top tier now separating itself from the pack. That group is Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Duke. After Duke’s takedown of Miami in Coral Gables last night, I’d expect that foursome to further distinguish itself. As far as future head-to-head match-ups go, Virginia gets Syracuse at home and Pittsburgh away; Syracuse gets Virginia on the road, Duke at home and away, and Pittsburgh away; Pittsburgh gets Virginia at home, Duke at home and Syracuse at home; and Duke gets Syracuse at home and away and Pittsburgh away. Catch all that? On the surface, this schedule favors the Cavaliers and Panthers in the quest for the ACC’s top seed in Greensboro.
  2. Winston-Salem Journal: Don’t look now, but Wake Forest won a conference road game! Sure, it was against a beaten-up Virginia Tech team, but now isn’t the time for qualifiers. It’s a time for celebration. Even better news for the Demon Deacons is that Travis McKie found his shot (he went 5-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to scoring 24 points). The highlight of Dan Collins’ article is the interaction with Jeff Bzdelik, though.
  3. WRAL: ACC media legend Caulton Tudor pulled no punches in his preview of North Carolina and Clemson. Weirdly, he also hit Virginia with an undeserved drive-by insult (as mentioned above). But the goods are his discussion of the three shoulda-coulda-woulda games for the Tigers. The first came in 1982 (yep, the national title team with Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and James Worthy) when Matt Doherty and Jimmy Black dragged the Tar Heels from a 10-point second half deficit to win by five. Both teams should be hungry on Sunday, coming off of bad losses.
  4. Testudo Times: Jake Layman is in a slump and has been for the last five games. And his slump is likely symptomatic of and a reason for Maryland’s ACC skid. This team needs his outside shooting to spread the floor for its penetrators and bigs to work. It’s no coincidence that Maryland’s three least efficient offensive outings this season came during that stretch, although the only head-scratcher was this week’s loss at NC State. The Wolfpack are not a great defensive team, but Maryland looked lost for the entire second half.
  5. Daily Tar Heel: Here’s an editorial calling for North Carolina to relax its rules on the size of the signs students can bring to the Dean Dome. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for letting students bring signs of any size and most any content. But signs won’t erase the “wine and cheese” stereotypes about North Carolina (though the rule certainly enforces them). Letting students vote on ideas to get approved by the athletic department might look like an even more controlled “cheer sheet” that draws so much ire down the road.
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Maryland Backcourt Shows Potential Without Allen

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on November 9th, 2013

When it was announced in late October that sophomore point guard Seth Allen would be out until early January with a broken bone in his foot, we all wondered how Maryland would respond. We got at least a partial answer in Friday night’s 78-77 loss to Connecticut in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Despite facing maybe the best backcourt in the country in the Huskies’ Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright, the Terrapin guards held their own. Looking at this game gives us an excellent picture of how Maryland plans to adjust to playing without Allen and raises questions concerning who should lose minutes when he comes back.

Roddy-Peters

Roddy Peters Helped Spark 2nd Half Rally (Photo: rantsports.com)

When Allen went down, head coach Mark Turgeon had three choices to start at point guard. Freshman Roddy Peters is easily the most natural at the position but Turgeon opted not to throw him into the fire right away. That left two natural wings, juniors Nick Faust and Dez Wells, to pick up the slack. In a telling move, Turgeon decided to give the ball to Wells. Perhaps part of the reason is that Wells is expected to be the team leader, and Turgeon thought having him as the starting point guard would settle the team down. But just as likely, Turgeon realized that no matter which wing he moved, decision-making would be at a premium. Even though he is regarded as a better ball-handler than Wells, Faust has had issues with shot selection and understanding time and score.

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ACC Team Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Posted by Chris Kehoe on November 2nd, 2013

Last year, Maryland had an impressive 13-game winning streak after an opening-night three point loss to the defending champions, Kentucky. Most of that run can be attributed to soft scheduling by head coach Mark Turgeon, but nonetheless it showed promise. Maryland finished out the regular season with a solid record of 20-11 and was rewarded with an NIT bid for its troubles. In addition to a run to the NIT semifinals (losing to Iowa), the Terps had a couple of signature wins on their résumé over #2 Duke late in the season. After the season was finished, they lost Ukrainian center Alex Len to the NBA Draft, but he struggled with inconsistency under Turgeon and never quite lived up to his potential.

Maryland Preview 2013

This season the Terps will be bolstered on the interior by Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz, a versatile 6’8” junior who can play as a stretch-four for this athletic Maryland team. They also have a powerful 260-pound tandem of interior sophomores in Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell, who are expected to shoulder the majority of the rebounding and post defense responsibilities this season. How they are able to perform as two of the biggest players on the Maryland roster will go a long way in determining this team’s ultimate success. This may also speak to Maryland’s lack of frontcourt height, seeing as Cleare is 6’9” and Mitchell is only 6’8”. Going against larger ACC frontcourts, some with legitimate seven-footers, may prove to be a problem for this relatively inexperienced duo. Another particularly relevant story surrounding this year’s Terps will be their pending move to the Big Ten, which will show up in press conference quotes and in the form of cheers (and jeers) from opposing fan bases. Maryland will want to leave the ACC on a positive note, and this team certainly has the requisite talent to make an NCAA run in its ACC finale. If last season proves as any indicator, Maryland’s fate is inextricably tied with Dez Wells‘ output and performance.

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A Number of Last Year’s ACC Freshmen Are Poised for Breakout Seasons

Posted by Chris Kehoe on October 16th, 2013

A common theme in college basketball is the jump in productivity from a player’s freshman to sophomore seasons. In a player’s second year with a program they are more apt to be familiar with the defensive schemes and offensive playbook of the coaching staff. They have also hopefully better adjusted to the speed and physicality of the college game and added some weight to their frame with a full offseason of serious strength and conditioning. In a premier basketball conference like the ACC, sometimes blue chip recruits struggle to acclimate to the game in their first year and may even spend a good amount of time on the bench. Their sophomore years represent a time for these players to make their names on the national stage and achieve a breakout campaign that will live up to their prodigious high school reputations. In the ACC, some freshmen have already ‘broken out’ and made a name for themselves with their play, like Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan (2012-13′s ACC ROY) and Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon. Here are 10 ACC sophomores ready to make the leap this coming season (listing in no particular order).

1). Justin Anderson, Virginia

Anderson Returns to a Virginia Team With High Hopes

Anderson Returns to a Virginia Team With High Hopes

This sophomore forward averaged 7.6 points  and 1.2 blocks per game in his freshman campaign. He started 17 of Virginia’s 35 games last season, and at 6’6″, 230 pounds, he has the frame necessary to take some of the burden off of the Cavaliers’ senior stars, Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell. He ended the season strong, leading the Cavaliers in scoring during their NIT run, and can only hope to build off of that positive momentum.

2012-13 stat line: 7.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.2 BPG in 24.0 minutes per game

2). Mike Tobey, Virginia

The 7’0″ behemoth has good hands and is continuing to develop the post moves necessary to make himself a force to be reckoned with in the middle. His elite-level footwork has him poised to make the jump in his second season in the ACC. Making the U.S. U-19 World Championship team has only increased his confidence in his ability to play with the best, and strengthened the bond between coach and player, considering Virginia’s Tony Bennett was the U-19 head coach.

2012-13 stat line: 6.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.6 BPG in 13.9 minutes per game

3). T.J. Warren, N.C. State

The 6’8″ marksman flirted with a jump to the NBA after his freshman campaign, but instead watched teammates C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown make the leap. The incredibly efficient forward had 14 starts for the Wolfpack and shot an impressive 62.2% from the floor, 51.9% from three-point range. The 2012 McDonald’s All-American and Brewster Academy graduate will have plenty of scoring opportunities this year without Brown, Leslie, and Richard Howell to contend with. It also can’t hurt having N.C State’s two-headed point guard tandem of Tyler Lewis and Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber feeding him the ball.

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Rushed Reactions: Maryland 83, Duke 74

Posted by mpatton on March 15th, 2013

rushedreactions

Matt Patton is an RTC correspondent and an ACC microsite writer. He filed this report after tonight’s Maryland-Duke game from the ACC Tournament in Greensboro.

Three Key Takeaways:

Ryan Kelly didn't magically fix Duke's defense.

Ryan Kelly didn’t magically fix Duke’s defense.

  1. Maryland’s offense is fine*: That disclaimer is provided if the Terrapins hit open shots. Maryland torched Duke most of the night, knocking down shot after shot. Duke deserves much of the blame for faulty rotations and miscommunications, but many of Maryland’s struggles this season have come from its inability to take advantage of the opportunities teams present to them. As a team Maryland went 40% (8-of-20) from three and a crisp 23-of-25 from the free throw line. Also Maryland had fewer turnovers than Duke (something that only happened three times in 18 conference games). That’s how to hold onto a lead — especially late in the game. The game wasn’t without mistakes, but those mistakes were far less prominent than usual.
  2. Ryan Kelly didn’t magically fix Duke’s defense: A popular narrative the past two weeks or so is that Ryan Kelly fixed Duke’s issues on defense, but that’s not true. Dez Wells showed that an athletic player with the ability to knock down shots and penetrate can still wreak havoc on Duke’s defense. It wasn’t just Duke’s inability to stay in front of Maryland that was the problem, though. Duke also rotated poorly and when help defense did come, it was often ineffective. Unfortunately because of the small sample size of Duke’s recent games with Ryan Kelly, it’s hard to tell if this game was an anomaly or a crack in the foundation. Duke’s defense is better than this showing (teams aren’t typically going to shoot 92% from the free throw line), but it’s also a cause of concern looking towards the Big Dance.
  3. Freshman poise: Freshmen for both teams played very well for their first time on the ACC Tournament stage. For Maryland, Mark Turgeon got very valuable minutes from Jake Layman, Charles Mitchell, Shaquille Cleare and Seth Allen. They didn’t score tons of points, but all contributed in other ways. Layman in particular was instrumental in guarding Ryan Kelly (who finished 3-of-11 from the floor) for most of the night. Layman also sneakily led the game in rebounding. On Duke’s side, Rasheed Sulaimon kept the Blue Devils in the gym during the first half. He was the only aggressive Duke player, finishing the half with 12 points in 15 minutes. Surprisingly, Mike Krzyzewski sat Sulaimon for the first five minutes of the second half.

Star of the Game: Dez Wells, hands down. As Dave Telep pointed out late in the game, Wells is from Raleigh and never got much interest from Duke. Whether or not that was the reason, Wells played like a man possessed, going 9-of-13 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free throw line for 30 points to go with six boards and three assists. Duke couldn’t stop him and every time Maryland needed a bucket, he stepped up big. He’s carried Maryland in both of its ACC Tournament games.

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Rushed Reactions: Maryland 72, Clemson 59

Posted by IRenko on February 23rd, 2013

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I. Renko is an RTC correspondent based in D.C. and the author of the weekly column, The Other 26. He filed this report after Saturday afternoon’s game between Maryland and Clemson. Follow him on Twitter @IRenkoHoops.

Three key takeaways:

  • Maryland’s Tournament Hopes Are Alive — Last weekend’s win over Duke gave the Terps’ Tournament hopes a big boost, but a letdown loss at Boston College on Tuesday left them on the thinnest of ice. A loss to Clemson at home would have been a big blow, and it seemed a real possibility when the Tigers pulled to within a point just after halftime. But a 21-6 run gave the Terps a comfortable 16-point cushion with 11:20 to play, and from there, they eased to a comfortable 13-point win, keeping their Tournament hopes alive. While acknowledging his team’s somewhat slow start, head coach Mark Turgeon was quite happy with the Terps’ second-half performance, crediting their defense even more than their offense for enabling them to take control.
  • Maryland’s Freshman Frontcourt May Be Its Future — Sophomore Alex Len has been the focus of the media’s attention for most of the year, but Maryland’s freshmen frontcourt shows signs of being a real force for years to come. Jake Layman, Charles Mitchell, and Shaquille Cleare were averaging just 5.2, 5.5, and 4.2 points coming into today’s game, but they scored 12, 8, and 10 respectively today. More than that, they showed a certain kind of maturity and poise that belied their status as freshmen. The 6′ 8″ Layman is a swing forward with the athleticism, quickness, and shooting touch to play on the perimeter. He has been a full-time starter since late January, and the confidence and skill he displayed against Clemson show why. Mitchell and Cleare are a pair of big bodies who are still refining their post moves, but are strong finishers and rebounders who use their bulk to great effect. They added 6 and 7 boards apiece today and were a big reason Maryland was able to dominate the paint against a typically stout Clemson defense. Their physicality will suit the Terps well when they make the transition to the Big Ten.
  • Clemson’s Offense Is In A Deep Funk – The Tigers have a strong defense, as they showed in taking Miami the distance last week in a 45-43 loss. But their offense has struggled and especially badly of late. This was the fifth straight game in which they scored less than a point per possession. For a team that is likely looking forward to next season already, the news gets worse — two of their three leading scorers, Devin Booker and Milton Jennings, graduate this year. That leaves a heavy load for K.J. McDaniels, who managed seven points against Maryland, and Jordan Roper, who scored a very inefficient 13 points on 5-of-15 FG shooting.

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ACC M5: 01.07.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 7th, 2013

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  1. Fought and Won One: Pack Pride writer Austin Johnson took the time to compare all ACC teams to TV shows, doubling his post as an ACC Power Rankings. If you bumped Virginia and (gasp) Boston College up a couple of notches, Miami up one, and dropped North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest I would be right there with him on the rankings. The best comparison is for Georgia Tech with Parenthood:

    Quietly putting together some really good performances but no one is really watching. Also, I don’t watch Parenthood, I just know its by the same guy who did Friday Night Lights and its apparently been very good this season if you like crying. Hopefully there’s not as much crying on GT’s team.

    He hits the nail on the head with the Yellow Jackets as a potential sleeper team in the conference. Not a great team by any means, but definitely one that should surprise a few people.

  2. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Virginia Tech coach James Johnson got a rude introduction to ACC play Saturday. Part of the Hokies’ issue is with depth. After Seth Greenberg’s late dismissal, Virginia Tech’s recruiting class started to fall apart, leaving the Hokies short on scholarship players. Thanks to injuries two walk-ons–Christian Beyer and Will Johnston–have seen a big uptick in minutes. The two are playing big minutes for Johnson’s undermanned squad, but a feel-good story doesn’t always have good consequences. The Hokies’ depth will be one of their biggest issues all season.
  3. Raleigh News & Observer: NC State gutted out a win at Boston College Saturday. The Eagles were in it until the very end. Joe Giglio came away with three thoughts: an ugly win is still a win; props to Steve Donahue; and ACC officiating can be incredibly irritating. I agree with all three. I thought the game said much more about the Eagles than it did the Wolfpack (though it certainly brought to mind flashbacks to Sidney Lowe’s teams at least in terms of intensity). Donahue has done a very strong coaching job. He is still filling his roster with ACC-caliber players, but the team is much better than last season.
  4. Baltimore Sun: It’s hard to remember because of his struggles to start the season, but Jake Layman was Mark Turgeon’s second best recruit coming into this year. Layman’s issues on and off the court overshadowed his potential (though not his hair). Against Virginia Tech Layman finally found his groove, putting up 18 points in the first half alone. “It’s ACC time, and we all stepped up,” Layman said after the game. You don’t want to read too much into a home blowout over a mediocre Virginia Tech team, but if it lights a fire under Layman things look very good for Mark Turgeon going forward.
  5. Charlotte Observer: Like most expected Wake Forest took a beating on Saturday at Duke. Jeff Bzdelik is still trying to diagnose the symptoms as growing pains, but the “Buzz Out” t-shirts growing in popularity amongst Demon Deacon fans make it clear the fans see a different issue. Bzdelik’s problem is the growth hasn’t come to fruition. First it was this incoming class, which to be fair could still turn things around with time to mature. Now it is Shelton Mitchell (a top-50 2014 recruit). Bzdelik needs to show improvement now not later or Ron Wellman may join the movement.
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Night Line, Saturday Edition: Don’t Look Now, But Terps Quietly Taking Care Of Business

Posted by BHayes on January 5th, 2013

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Bennet Hayes is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @HoopsTraveler on Twitter. Night Line runs on weeknights during the season, highlighting a major storyline development from that day’s games.

It’s January 5 and there is an ACC team boasting a 13-1 record, a deep, talented roster, and a likely top five pick in next June’s draft (should he elect to leave early). No, we aren’t talking about Mason Plumlee and Duke’s sizzling start. Nor are we discussing their Tobacco Road compatriots UNC and NC State – two teams that, despite uneven beginnings, have still found their share of national attention. Instead, we shift our eyes further north, to College Park, Maryland, where at the beginning of 2013 Mark Turgeon has the Terps buzzing along – and ever so quietly.

Alex Len Has Been The Man At The Center Of Maryland's 13-Game Win Streak

Alex Len Has Been The Man At The Center Of Maryland’s 13-Game Win Streak

Maryland kept things rolling today with a 94-71 victory over Virginia Tech, posting its 13th consecutive victory in the process. College basketball fans likely haven’t heard a whole lot about the Maryland surge, as their opening loss to then-#3 Kentucky seemed to have removed the little buzz that surrounded the program in the preseason. But whether it’s being discussed nationally or not, make no mistake about it – behind Duke, Maryland is as likely an ACC runner-up as any team. The 13-game winning streak has not come at the expense of any sort of murderer’s row, but it includes a solid 20-point thrashing of Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan arena (I know, Trey Burke and company might tell you this is no great feat). But still, Maryland has been efficient in ripping through the fluff of their schedule, defeating opponents by an average of 19 points per game during the streak. Let’s also not forget they only fell to Kentucky in that opener by three, and I’m not so sure Kentucky would be a favorite if the two teams played again tomorrow on a neutral court.

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ACC Noon 5: 01.01.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 1st, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Streaking the Lawn:Awesome future non-conference news out of Charlottesville. One thing that’s been dying lately are home-and-home series with non-conference foes, but Virginia will (hopefully) iron out the details on a future head-to-head with local rival VCU. That should make for a really interesting series, and looks to benefit both parties. The Rams and Cavaliers get another marquee non-conference game to prove its strength come Selection Sunday. Fans get a potential budding rivalry played at a high level. Although there is a chance Tony Bennett’s pack-line, slow-down system will spontaneously combust when it meets Shaka Smart’s HAVOC scheme.
  2. Baltimore Sun: Jake Layman didn’t have a seamless transition when he got to College Park. He struggled academically and athletically in his first semester, but the freshman is looking for a new start for the new year. Layman has the chance to be a great four-year player for Mark Turgeon, but he just has to focus on “getting better every day.” Don’t expect Layman to be the Terrapins’ most important piece this season, but look for him to be more comfortable on and off the floor.
  3. Keeping It Heel: PJ Hairston seems to be growing into a more important role in Chapel Hill this season. He took full advantage of Reggie Bullock’s injury in the Tar Heels’ win over UNLV, playing 32 minutes, scoring 15 points on 10 shots, and grabbing four steals. If Hairston continues to improve — specifically on his shot selection and defensive intensity — don’t be surprised if Roy Williams pushes him to play starter minutes (or replaces Dexter Strickland in the starting lineup).
  4. SBNation Boston: Things are looking better in Chestnut Hill. No, the Eagles aren’t looking like contenders but Boston College has looked much better over its recent five-game winning streak. Specifically, the defense is greatly improved and freshmen Joe Rahon and Olivier Hanlan are both averaging double figures. Steve Donahue’s schedule hasn’t been littered with world-beaters, but there’s a lot to be said for learning how to win. This team should be more competitive — even if they don’t win more games — than last year’s squad.
  5. Chapelboro: Jeremy Gerlach wrote a travel guide for the ACC (albeit leaving Chapel Hill, Tallahassee, Atlanta, Winston-Salem and College Park off the list). With conference play tipping off this Saturday, you may want to do some research before picking your road trips. This article is an OK place to start, but I’d probably look a little more closely.
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ACC Team Previews: Maryland Terrapins

Posted by KCarpenter on October 23rd, 2012

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

Mark Turgeon had a rough first year in College Park, but no one said that following Gary Williams was going to be easy. Maryland technically scraped by with a 16-14 winning season but went only 6-10 in conference play. While the team notched some early non-conference victories against Colorado and Notre Dame,  they wilted in ACC play, with their best win a home victory against Miami. This inability to win on the road haunted the Terrapins all season, with the team walking away with a true road victory only once, at Clemson. A single road win, the loss of the starting backcourt (and the conference’s leading scorer in Terrell Stoglin), and a not-so-graceful exit from the second round of the ACC Tournament make this year seem potentially bleak. Yet, there is reason for a measured amount of excitement in College Park if you look in the right places.

Mark Turgeon Enters Year Two at Maryland With Promise

Newcomers

Turgeon has brought in a whole unit for his freshman class and reinforced his other positions with transfers. Connor Lipinski and Seth Allen will most likely be counted on to play some key minutes off the bench, depending on how the starting guard situation plays out, but won’t be counted on to contribute immediately. Some of the other freshmen, however, may be thrown into the fire right away. Gifted swingman Jake Layman and the twin towers of Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell all stand a good chance of playing heavy minutes for the Terrapins this year, and it wouldn’t be too terribly surprising to see one or two of the three as starters by the end of the year.

Maryland will also benefit from a few incoming transfers. Logan Aronhalt, a senior wing from Albany, has been cleared to play immediately under the graduate student transfer rule. More interestingly is the case of Xavier transfer Dez Wells. Wells had a brilliant beginning to his career as a gifted scoring wing for the Musketeers until an accusation of sexual assault led the university to dismiss him, though the prosecutor ultimately didn’t even pursue a case against the young man.  Maryland has applied for a waiver for Wells to play immediately given the extraordinary circumstance of his wrongful dismissal, but the school is still awaiting official word. Wells has impressed in open scrimmages and his addition to this year’s roster would give the Terps a lot of extra punch.

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ACC M5: 10.19.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on October 19th, 2012

  1. ESPN: North Carolina coach Roy Williams has had a fairly quotable week, sounding off on changes in academic standards and his tendency to go “wacko” despite a medical injunction to avoid just that. But yesterday, he had some words on what seems to be a fairly silly situation. The NCAA has a rule about how teams aren’t supposed to travel to an away game more than 48 hours before the game in question. This, unlike some provisions, seems fairly reasonable and well-intentioned: Students shouldn’t miss too much class. However, the realities of flight scheduling are not always cooperative. Apparently, the number of infrequent flights from Raleigh-Durham to the west coast means that without a special waiver, UNC will have to wait until Thursday morning to travel across the country rather than simply flying out after class on Wednesday. In a case where the provision in question is doing nothing to achieve it’s purpose (preventing athletes from missing extra classes), it does seem a little silly to make sure UNC does no traveling before 11 PM on Wednesday.
  2. Washington Post: Coach Mark Turgeon is opening the season with a great deal of optimism, despite losing the conference’s most torrid scorer in Terrell Stoglin. Stoglin was suspended from the Maryland Terrapins at the end of the season and subsequently left school to take his chances on the NBA Draft (a move that didn’t pan out so well for the undrafted Stoglin). The cause for Turgeon’s optimism? A wide variety of roster options. Maryland’s primary point guard rotation features guys who are just as comfortable playing shooting guard, opening up the possibility of some guard heavy line-ups with multiple ball-handlers and playmakers. Just as intriguing, Turgeon apparently plans to experiment with freshman swingman Jake Layman at power forward, an interesting option that will give Maryland even more flexibility in cooking up mismatches.
  3. Yahoo! Sports: In  other exciting Maryland news, Under Armor has cooked up some cool new uniforms for the Terrapins to wear in their season debut against Kentucky in the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Just kidding: I meant ugly and hard-to-explain. Maryland will be donning grey, faux-wool jerseys in order to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers. Who among us can forget the deep connection between the Dodgers and the Terrapins? Aside from the sheer oddity of the tribute, the uniforms serve as an untimely reminder of one of the worst uniform trends of last year: gray uniforms. If I never see a gray uniform again (with obvious exceptions for teams that use gray as one of their main colors), it will be too soon. Already, I’m pretty sure I have seen more than enough games played in these Maryland jerseys.
  4. Sports Illustrated: Damarcus Harrison had a rough freshman year playing spot minutes at Brigham Young University. This year, he was supposed to begin serving his mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), but, due to some confusion, this didn’t happen and BYU had already allocated all of their scholarships. It’s an unusual situation that had an unusual outcome: Since Harrison couldn’t go on his mission or return to BYU, he transferred to Clemson. BYU has long scheduled and planned for its Mormon athletes to go on their mission in the middle of their collegiate careers, but when complications arise, as in the case of Harrison, things can get complicated very quickly. However, with the LDS changing the minimum age of their standard mission from 19 to 18, this means that many Mormon athletes may put off entering college until after their mission is complete. While this unsurprisingly has enormous implications for BYU, it also may end up being important to Duke University. Jabari Parker, possibly the top recruit in the country is a devout Mormon also considering Duke.
  5. Winston-Salem Journal: While most teams typically are weeks away from playing any kind of public exhibition game, Wake Forest will be squaring off twice this weekend with a pair of Canadian foes. The Demon Deacons will face Brock University tonight and Ryerson University on Saturday. Different teams use the international travel provision differently, but Jeff Bzdelik‘s novel tactic of delaying the trip to mid-October means that his mostly young team will get a couple of extra early opportunities to get some live-game practice in as a part of the ramp up to the regular season. Canada isn’t as glamorous a destination as Spain, for example, but it might be just what Wake Forest needs.
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