Sunday, January 21, 2007

Things I Learned From The ACC

North Carolina
The Tar Heels turned up the defensive pressure on Saturday night against a team prone to ball handling mistakes. North Carolina goes 9 deep with solid players who can play offense and defense well. Roy Williams' club should win the ACC regular season with ease. I think Tyler Hansborough has a lot less pressure on himself this year knowing he has multiple players around him who can make plays. Their starting is very good, but it is players like Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard, and an improved Quentin Thomas off the bench where the Tar Heels really separate themselves from other teams.

"Psycho T" is definitely a ringer

Duke
The Blue Devils are turning it around after their sluggish start to the conference season and a main reason why is the improved play of Greg Paulus. The sophomore point guard has responded to his benching with better decision making. Also, Josh McRoberts has answered the call as the go to guy on offense. Duke can take advantage of the dismissal of Sean Williams from Boston College and vault to the second spot in the ACC.

Clemson
The Tigers saw they had a wounded animal in Littlejohn Saturday and didn't waste any time to pounce. After a two game losing streak, Clemson got back to its winning ways which will be very important later in the year. I think Clemson has proven themselves as a team that will not go away quietly this year, especially at home.

Boston College
Sean Williams may have been the most valuable player to the Eagles despite not being well know outside the ACC community. At close to five blocks per game, he could cover up a lot of mistakes on the perimeter and allowed more aggressive defense from the guards. Now the team falls squarely on the shoulders of Jared Dudley who should be up the challenge. The Eagles had a golden opportunity with Duke being down to move up the ACC ladder, but it will be very tough to do without Williams.

Georgia Tech
This team has talent - but sometimes I wonder about getting their ability to all five guys on the floor to buy in all the time. I think Paul Hewitt is struggling to find the right mix of players because he has a few all around players (Javaris Crittenton, Mario West), but some others who are one-dimensional (Jeremis Smith comes to mind first). The Jackets still carry with them a conference road losing streak stretching back to 2005. I can't see them finishing in the upper half of the ACC unless they break that streak.

Florida State
This is a very athletic team, with one really good players (Al Thornton), who can give any team fits on any given night. But the Seminoles still lack consistency and multiple threats on offense from the perimeter.

Ranking the ACC
1. North Carolina
Tar Heels far and away the best team in the ACC
2. Duke
3. Clemson
4. Virginia Tech
5. Georgia Tech
6. Boston College
These teams will likely flip flop with each all year
7. Virginia
8. Maryland
9. Florida State
Most likely will remain in bottom half most of the year; not ready to jump off Maryland yet though
10. Miami
11. NC State
12. Wake Forest
Teams you better hope you don't lose to

Miss this weekend's action?
Game Recaps

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