Luke Winn’s Power Rankings are out! The Seminoles have dropped out, leaving Duke (fifth) and North Carolina (fourth) in the most interesting rankings in the land. But it’s time to get back to the ACC. In other rivalry news Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney took some shots at former ACC member South Carolina and former ACC coach Steve Spurrier. Shots fired starting around the two minute mark, but Swinney saves the big guns for the last line:
That is why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state always has been and always will be Clemson. It’s right here in Clemson, SC. You can print that. Tweet that.
- Duke Basketball Report: There’s a generalization that Clemson is bad at shooting free throws (the Tigers are shooting just under 64% on the year). Turns out, that generalization is correct. Duke Basketball Report looked at free throw shooting percentages historically in light of the fact that Virginia and Maryland seem on pace for historically good and bad years, respectively. The Cavaliers are shooting the ball at a 78.3% clip through the first seven games of the season (which would be good for sixth all-time among ACC teams). The Terrapins, on the other hand, are knocking down 59.4% of their shots from the charity stripe (which would be good for second worst all-time). Interestingly, Clemson owns nine of the worst 15 season free throw performances for the conference.
- Charlotte Observer and Greensboro News-Record: You know things are serious when Roy Williams takes off his jacket (or takes out his BB gun). The normally composed coach tossed his outerwear in a (successful) attempt to inspire his team against Wisconsin. Just because they needed a little extra fire, don’t think the win wasn’t hugely important for the Tar Heels. Perhaps the most interesting part about the win was that it hinged on UNC’s defense. Normally, it’s the other side of Tobacco Road that flaunts an elite defense, while Williams’ teams prefer to steamroll opponents on offense. This year is different. And to Kendall Marshall’s credit he covered Jordan Taylor for the majority of the game against the Badgers, pushing the All-American into a 6-20 shooting night.
- Winston-Salem Journal: The ACC/Big 10 Challenge showcased one elite conference and another that needs a lot of work. Unfortunately, the ACC was the latter. Apart from wins from Virginia and Wake Forest, the conference didn’t manage any upset victories. When North Carolina ekes out a win over a lower-ranked team at the Dean Dome is a highlight, it’s clear that the winds have changed from the decade of dominance the ACC showed during the opening years of the challenge. Mostly, I think, it’s a sign of so many new coaches in the league. Most programs’ success ebbs and flows; it just so happens that many of the ACC’s programs are currently ebbing.
- Charlotte Observer: The end of the NC State game was a little more controversial than Mark Gottfried would have liked. Specifically, the Wolfpack coach took issue with a flagrant one foul on Scott Wood that gave the Hoosiers an extra possession with three minutes left in the second half. Gottfried’s argument was that Wood went for the ball, which is true. It’s also true that Wood used both hands, which made the play look like Wood was trying to wrap up the Indiana player — especially from the referee’s angle. The call was a big one (and the wrong one, even if it was a judgment call).
- Fayetteville Observer: North Carolina‘s most consistent shooter, PJ Hairston, tweeted that he will miss the Kentucky game Saturday because of a sprained wrist suffered during the win over Wisconsin. That’s a blow to the Tar Heels, as Hairston has been the team’s best shooter so far this season at 45% from behind the arc. The loss shouldn’t be back-breaking though, as Reggie Bullock and (to some extent) Harrison Barnes are also good shooters and athletic wings.
EXTRA: If you’ve got a spare minute (or 20, actually) check out Shane Ryan’s interview with John Feinstein on his newest book, which is a retrospective of his first ten books. Feinstein is a Duke alumnus who’s written books on everything from college basketball to tennis. The interview is incredibly long, but just as interesting.