Thursday, March 11, 2010

ACC Basketball Round Table Compilation

Last week, I posted some questions and my answers to an ACC Round table of bloggers. Here is a compilation of some of the best answers.

1. The national perception is that the ACC is down this year. Duke has been in the top 10 all year, but no one else has come close. Does the conference deserve this reputation? Why or Why not?

I think the national perception is inherently tied to North Carolina. It's just the truth. When Carolina's down, the conference is down, or something like that. The fact of the matter is that although outside of Duke there are no "dominant" teams, the conference as a whole is one of the top three in the country this year. For me it goes: Big East, Big 12, ACC, Big Ten, SEC.


Sure, Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State are in the Big Ten, but outside of those three teams, with the exception of Wisconsin, the rest of the conference is weak. Yeah, the SEC has Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, but not much else. The fact of the matter is that the ACC will have a good amount of teams in the tournament like they always do. Whether they will play up to their seeding is another story. - Blogger So Dear (Wake)


Yup. And it's not just because UNC isn't one of the top teams. Obviously it's a down year when the ACC loses the Challenge for the first time in history, for starters, but there also just isn't that lineup of dominant players the league usually has. Normally you're happy to take anyone with an ACC tourney bye and pit them against all but the best of the best in any league, but that's not doable this year. VT is a flawed team and probably no more than an 8 or 9 seed in the tournament if they go, and they have an ACC tourney bye. Says something. - From Old Virginia


2. Does Duke have what it takes to make a run to a National Championship? Why or Why not?


This year, I think you could say yes, because of the parity in the entire NCAA. The reason they might come up short is because they get so much of their scoring from the outside, and really don’t run any offense through the bigs. The bigs get their points off offensive rebounds, and that can be effective, but all it takes is for one off night from one or two of Scheyer, Smith, or Singler and they could be out of it in a flash. I do expect them to make a little deeper run this year - Turtle Droppings


Personally, I don't think they've got it in them. Going 17-0 at home was incredibly impressive but the Dookies' spotty performance on the road doesn't bode well for their tournament lifespan. They've got elements of a contender to be sure - great team defense, dynamic guard play, experience - but the Big Three still carry a bit too much of the scoring load for my liking and they've proved one or more of them can get cold simultaneously.

Coupled with the same problems they've had in years past of key guys playing perhaps too many minutes, it's hard for me to see them even making it to Indy, much less taking home the trophy.
In order to win this team has to make jump shots. I think it's that simple.

Can they do that for 6 games in a row? (or 5 in a row since they should likely sleepwalk though whatever lamb they get in the opening round) That is kind of a tall order. I would be shocked if this team wins a title - they just kind of seem to be missing that IT factor that championship teams have. That being said, I would give them a puncher's chance against any team because they play great defense and they have great guard play. - Blue vs Blue (UNC and Duke)


3. We know Duke and Maryland are in, but who else gets in from the ACC? Will we see any surprises on Selection Sunday?


I am thinking six teams from the ACC get in. Georgia Tech’s late season swoon will probably end up costing them a bid unless the Jackets can do some damage at the ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech is 3-6 since the beginning of February with their only wins being over UNC, NC State and Boston College, all at home.

Wake Forest also lost to UNC and NC State but is 5-4 during the same span with a win over Clemson to close the season. The Deacs other two losses of late have been to Virginia Tech and FSU, hardly bad by any measure. FSU, Virginia Tech and Clemson should all be in which means we are spared Seth Greenberg’s perpetual groveling/whining. - Tar Heel Fan


There will be at least six with a possible seventh in Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are trying hard to play themselves out of a tournament berth. They absolutely have to beat UNC in the first round of the tournament and could need another win depending on how other bubble teams fare in their conference tournaments.


Virginia Tech could be in trouble as well if they lose to Miami in the quarterfinals. - Gobbler Country


4. What is the biggest surprise of the season (good or bad)?


It has to be North Carolina's season. I didn't think the Heels would come anywhere close to winning the league, but I didn't think they'd be this miserable. It wasn't a collapse because that would mean they were good at some point in the season. They weren't it was more of a debacle with no leadership or chemistry or desire from the players to turn things around. They mirrored Oklahoma's season pretty well.

- Gobbler Country

Hahahaha surely this question is a joke, right? (*Ahem*) Yeah, I think we all know the biggest surprise was the epic suckitude of the Tar Heels this year. Probably more so that they really weren't able to right the ship at any point - I know they've improved these last two weeks but I think we all expected to see something before that. If we want to get into specifics, I've been totally surprised that a Roy Williams team could have an offense this bad - to not score over 80 in a single ACC game is mind-bottling. There have been a lot of questions asked about Ol Roy's coaching ability this year and I think while he is far, far, far away from the hot seat, there are more than a few people eager to see what he can do with the Heels next year because of the way this year became so debacled.


Agreed that UNC's face-plant that began as soon as the ACC season began was the biggest shocker. I mean can anyone believe they beat MSU and took Kentucky to the wire??? A tie for second would be Maryland's unexpected success and Ga Tech's second half free fall (At the end of January Tech had already beaten Duke, UNC, Clemson, and Wake and was nationally ranked. Wha Happen???)

- Blue vs Blue

5. A couple of teams have had disappointing seasons. Whose seat is the hottest?


I think Sidney Lowe has got to have the hottest seat. It isn’t just this year that the Red Coats have been bottom feeders in the ACC since he was brought in. If they weren’t happy with Herb Sendek, you have to imagine Sidney Lowe is not going please the Wolf Pack faithful. Does the win over Duke buy him another year? Maybe. That certainly has been the biggest win in the program under him and maybe they want to see if he can build on it next year.

- Turtle Droppings

Paul Hewitt. This is about as easy as it gets. Hewitt has a ton of talent and he just doesn't know what to do with it. This team should be a Sweet Sixteen team and they might not even make the tournament.

- Blogger So Dear

There's no other answer here but Paul Hewitt. A couple coaches might be looking over their shoulders (BC's Al Skinner, NC State's Sidney Lowe) but Hewitt has consistently proven himself to be the one coach in the ACC able to squeeze NIT seasons out of NCAA talent.
- From Old Virginia

6. Who is your player and coach of the year? Why?

POY: Greivis Vasquez, MD
COY: Gary Williams, MD

I think Vasquez was the best player in the ACC and I think he meant more to his team as far as elevating the Terps to a regular season co-championship with Duke. Jon Scheyer was good but he clearly had more help along the way. Gary Williams did more with less than anyone else in the ACC. Granted having good guard play solves a variety of ills in college basketball but Williams got significant contributions out of freshman Jordan Williams and a slew of role players. Besides, Maryland was picked for fifth and finished tied for first. - Tar Heel Fan

Editors' Note: Each blogger had Vasquez and Williams as their Player and Coach of the Year

Thanks again to those who participated. Looking forward to an excellent ACC Tournament.
Turtle Droppings
Blogger So Dear
Blue vs Blue
Gobbler Country
Tar Heel Fan
From Old Virginia

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