Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ACC Basketball Insider With SI's Seth Davis

Seth Davis of SI has put up some inside thoughts from coaches around the country on some of the top teams in the top leagues.

I always find these “scout’s takes” fascinating because you get to hear what people with very valid opinions of teams think without repercussions.


“The Blue Devils' main weakness is their overall team speed. If you can drive the ball against them, if you can beat your man, a lot of times they overplay on the sides so you have a chance to get to the basket.”

Funny because this is how Duke’s offense beats teams. The Blue Devils are one of the best in the nation and getting the ball deep into the half court and then either drawing a foul or kicking it out for a wide open three. And they do it with just three guys (Singler, Smith, Scheyer). The other two are simply space fillers on offense.


“They have very good athletes at Clemson but not necessarily great basketball players. The teams that have hurt them have been able to handle their press.”

I saw this when the Tigers played at Georgia Tech earlier this year. Pack your defense in and make Clemson hit outside shots.

Surprisingly, the Yellow Jackets broke the pressure with relative ease and it always helps to have a guy like Derrick Favors who you can throw an alley oop to on the other end.

Oliver Purnell has brought Clemson to an amazing level of consistency when you look at the Tigers basketball history, but he has yet to get over that hump in the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia Tech

“The biggest problem with Georgia Tech is that the Jackets invent turnovers”

So true, and it isn’t just a ‘this year’ problem either. Something else is at work.

“Iman] Shumpert is very tough, but it looks to me like he's trying to be in the NBA right now. [Mfon] Udofia doesn't understand at this point how to play the point guard position. They're so aggressive that they put you on the line.”

So essentially they don’t have a true point guard, which really hurts you in college basketball. Unless you are Duke.

“They're playing [Gani] Lawal and [Derrick] Favors, who are two mountains masquerading as men, but there's not a lot of room when you play those two guys because they're both low post players. They're almost better when they play [Zachery] Peacock because now they have a four who opens them up a little bit”

I do not necessarily agree with this, but Favors and Lawal need to be doing a better job on the defensive rebounding. They should be leading the ACC in rebounds per game.

Wake Forest

“Also, their free throw shooting problems are real. You can't go very far in the tournament if you can't make free throws.”

Another early exit for the Deacs? I don’t think so because of Ish Smith’s ability to create easy baskets.

“Ish Smith makes this team go. He's not a great shooter, but he's a clutch shooter, and he is the quickest guard in our league foul line to foul line”

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