ACC M5: 11.22.13 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on November 22nd, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. College Basketball Talk: Huge props to Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton. I think we’ll look back on yesterday’s game seeing that Virginia Commonwealth was somewhat overrated, but the Seminoles gave the Rams an old-fashioned woodshed beating in Puerto Rico. Hamilton’s team has gotten back to its defensive principles this season, and the Seminoles dominated the game from a shot selection standpoint. This team plays smart basketball and is undefeated with a road win against a decent Central Florida team and last night’s whipping of a very good VCU squad. Maybe it’ll turn out to be a flash in the pan, but right now Florida State has the best resume in the ACC by a mile.
  2. ESPN: While this article was only published yesterday, I imagine it was written before Boston College got off to a 1-4 start. Now that start includes a really close loss to Connecticut (Olivier Hanlan missed a layup to tie the game with 11 seconds left), but it also includes a puzzling home loss to Toledo. I still like this team’s makeup and think the Eagles will be a tough game for everyone in the conference. I really think the Eagles have struggled learning to play as a front-runner rather than a plucky underdog. But Steve Donahue has to turn things around quickly — it’s very difficult to make the Big Dance after such a slow start.
  3. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Duke athletic director Kevin White is “unabashedly bullish” on an ACC-centric cable channel in the near future (circa 2016). I tend to disagree. While the network may provide a short-term financial boon, I think the cable TV market is moving quickly towards an online a la carte service. This isn’t to say having a talented and devoted production team wouldn’t be beneficial, but everyone points to the Big Ten Network with its high revenues when I believe it may prove to be a hindrance as people begin to purchase television differently. This will be an interesting story to follow over the next few years.
  4. Washington Post: Jarrell Eddie apparently learned a lot as Erick Green‘s roommate last season. And while the advice he got isn’t mind-blowing, it’s interesting to see how businesslike Green was in his approach to the game: “You’ve got to be in the gym all the time.” The Hokies will only go as far this year as Eddie will take them. He has the potential to be a very good scorer, and as one of two seniors on the squad it’s up to him to set the standards for the team. He admits to being complacent last year (citing it as a reason for his inconsistency), but any complacency this year will prove far worse, as Green isn’t around anymore to save the day.
  5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: With struggling attendance, Georgia Tech is trying some creative marketing tactics to get people to come to its games. I don’t understand this at all, but if you buy your ticket through LivingSocial, you get to shoot a free throw after the game (along with a more sensical hot dog and soda). The free throw isn’t for a contest or anything. Presumably you just wait in line with the other people who sat in the upper deck with LivingSocial tickets and then line one up from the charity stripe afterward. I don’t understand it, but might as well give it a shot, right?
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ACC M5: 12.06.12 Edition

Posted by EMann on December 6th, 2012

  1. ESPN: North Carolina guard/forward PJ Hairston has been playing a new position this year, the power forward spot. Robbi Pickeral discusses how in North Carolina’s small lineup (three guards plus Hairston with James Michael McAdoo), Hairston enjoys his new role because it creates mismatches and allows him to stretch the floor with his outside shooting ability, something atypical from a player at his position. Roy Williams expects to use this lineup often in the future, as it was successful against UAB last weekend. Hairston also plans to take the ball to the basket more to take advantage of his handling skills instead of settling for threes, and he has also gained some additional confidence because of this move. His numbers are so far much improved from last year, and if UNC continues to use this smaller lineup, they can stretch the floor with several three-point shooting options, something a bit out of the norm for a Roy Williams lineup.
  2. Washington Post: Maryland has a renewed focus on defense this season, as typical scouting sessions are focused on closely observing opponents’ offensive tendencies on film. Head coach Mark Turgeon said that the Terps’ victory over George Mason last weekend was the first time he has been happy with his team’s defense all season. One of the most important tasks Turgeon has undertaken is getting his freshmen on board with the team’s defensive focus. Alex Len and Dez Wells have especially bought into the defensive schemes that Turgeon hopes will become contagious amongst his younger players. At the moment, Maryland is ranked 78th in Pomeroy’s defensive efficiency ratings largely due to their opponents very rarely turning over the ball, so that is one area where the Terrapins will need to improve.
  3. While maybe not as important to the average Seminole fan as the triumph over the Seminoles on the gridiron two weeks ago, Florida’s evisceration of Florida State in Tallahassee last night was a sure sign that the Seminoles have a long way to go this season. Yes, Florida is one of the very best teams in the country but FSU was nowhere even near competitive with the Gators, something that they were even in 2006 and 2007 when Florida won their consecutive national championships. In the 25-point defeat (and it didn’t even seem that close), Florida State shot only 35% from the field and committed 22 turnovers, while Florida shot 49% and ran out on the Seminoles from the opening tip. Michael Snaer was the only Seminole in double figures, so if this game does not serve as a wakeup call for Leonard Hamilton’s team after the home embarrassments to South Alabama and Mercer, nothing will.
  4. Local radio voice Mark Thomas was inspired by NC State’s effort in its victory over Connecticut in the Jimmy V Classic two nights ago. The most important takeaway, according to Thomas, is that Mark Gottfried and his team appear to have realized that while they are a very talented, they are not good enough to just roll the basketball out there and out-talent the other team. The game against UConn showed the importance of topping that talent with strong effort, and NC State’s performance in the second half was certainly indicative of that. While it may be tough for NCSU to match Duke in the ACC this season, performances like this one will definitely remind observers as to why they predicted NC State to win the conference in the preseason after all.
  5. Duke extended the contract of athletic director Dr. Kevin White through the end of June 2019. White, since coming from Notre Dame in 2008, has overseen three national titles (including the 2010 men’s basketball title) and 12 ACC titles. Duke’s athletic teams have also been exceptional in the classroom, with only one team earning a GPA below 3.0 last semester. Duke’s athletics have also placed in the top 2o in the Director’s Cup (which measures performances in all sports) in each year during White’s tenure. While no one knows when head coach Mike Krzyzewski will step down, with White seemingly in place for much of the next decade, he may be the one officially making the extremely difficult call on who will replace the sport’s all-time leader in victories, a very difficult call indeed for even an AD with White’s pedigree.
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ACC Morning Five: 10.17.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 17th, 2011

We’ll have a recap of ACC Midnight Madness up later today, but here are the other stories from this weekend.

  1. Greensboro News Record: A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling assessed whether North Carolinians pull for North Carolina, Duke, NC State or Wake Forest (Demon Deacon fans may wish to stop reading and move onto the next item). In what seems like a conservative number, 25% of voters went with the Tar Heels with 19% and 17% going with the Wolfpack and Blue Devils, respectively. Wake Forest only garnered a cool five percent of votes (which ranked below East Carolina for a reference point). The relative order isn’t surprising, as North Carolina is the most popular school with NC State having the largest alumni base. The poll also looked at perceptions on ACC expansion and state politics.
  2. Winston-Salem Journal: NC State’s Richard Howell dropped twenty pounds during the offseason, now checking in at a still-burly 250 pounds. In addition to working out more, Howell dieted — skipping two of his (and my) favorites, fried chicken and bacon — opting instead for greener dishes. Coach Mark Gottfried is looking to run an up-tempo offense this year, so Howell’s improved conditioning should pay off right away. Furthermore, Tracy Smith’s graduation should open up major minutes in the Wolfpack frontcourt this season.
  3. Charlotte Observer: The Observer writes that Duke is behind when it comes to diversity and head coaching. The Blue Devils are the only ACC school to have never had a black head coach in any sport. Not to take things too far out of perspective, North Carolina’s interim football coach, Everett Withers, is only that school’s second black coach. In an interview on the subject, Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel said, “It’s not something that surprised me [...] I don’t read into it too much, just like at North Carolina. I wish [Withers] luck, I’m rooting for him because any time you get an opportunity, especially as a minority, a person of color, you want to make the most of it not only for yourself and your career but hopefully you can open doors for other people.” As for the future, Duke athletic director Kevin White cites a lack of coaching turnover, having only hired two new head coaches during his tenure (in the same time he’s hired 30 minorities to the athletic department as a whole).
  4. Orlando Sentinel: Florida State senior Bernard James motivates himself by using the faces of the VCU players after they beat the Seminoles by one in overtime to head to the Elite Eight. James said, “That was the toughest loss I’ve ever had to experience,” and Deividas Dulkys is also using the tough loss for inspiration. This year Leonard Hamilton’s team is out to prove that last year was no fluke, even without superstar defender Chris Singleton on the team.
  5. Winston-Salem Journal: North Carolina finally settled on a replacement for Dick Baddour, hiring Tulsa’s Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham as athletic director over the weekend. He got the nickname “Bubba” because his younger siblings struggled to pronounce “brother.” On top of a $525,000 base salary, Cunningham will receive bonuses for success in football and both men’s and women’s basketball. His first task will be dealing with the upcoming meetings with the NCAA and finding a permanent football coach.
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