Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday ACC Roundup

NC State 92, Wake Forest 82 - The relative experience levels of these teams showed down the stretch. Wake jumped out to an early lead, and was still holding off State until about the 10 minute mark. After State took the lead, the teams traded shots for a while, but State used a late 17-8 run to put the game away. Their offense, as usual, was extremely efficient - 92 points on 76 possessions for a 1.20 PPS. Most surprising was the effectiveness of Engin Atsur inside - he was 4-5 inside the arc, and wasn't shy about taking the ball into the paint - and the total ineffectiveness of Justin Gray - only 14 points on 5 of 22 shooting, for just a 30.5% True Shooting Percentage. Gray's shooting pretty much negated Wake's huge advantage on the boards - they pulled in almost 50% of their own misses with 19 ORBs to State's 23 DRBs (including one sick follow by Chris Ellis).

Maryland 81, Virginia Tech 72 - Maryland used a 26-14 run in the first 13 minutes of the second half to put away Tech. Caner-Medley and McCray exhibited good senior leadership, and made Dowdell work too hard for his 21 points - he had difficulty shooting the ball from outside, going just 1-7 from beyond the arc. Props also to Maryland for keeping the Hokies off the boards. Tech now sits at 0-5 in the ACC, and looks destined for a 4-6 win conference season at best. The one year honeymoon appears to be over.

Boston College 65, Miami FL 61 - BC finally played a road game in a familiar arena, and picked up its first road win. It says here that they don't get real credit for an ACC road win until they win at one of the original 9, but that's neither really here nor there. Craig Smith was huge - 6-8 from the field and 6-6 from the line to go along with 14 rebounds. BC completely dominated the inside - they rebounded 46% of their own missed shots and 70% of Miami's, and also held Miami to a much lower percentage from 2pt FGs than from the arc. Miami was 10 of 24 for 42% from 3 and just 12 of 38 for 31% from 2. No one stepped up to help Hite and Diaz, and the 'Canes were particularly hurt by Harris and King combining for 2-14 and 5 turnovers. The loss drops Miami into a tie for third with Maryland and Virginia (wha???).

Clemson 73, Georgia Tech 63 - Turnovers cancel out offensive rebounds - you can dominate the glass, but if you don't take care of the ball, it won't do you any good. Tech's players vacuumed up missed shots, with more offensive rebounds than Clemson had defensive rebounds (53% of all GT missed shots). Both Ra'Sean Dickey and Jeremis Smith put up double doubles. But they turned the ball over more than once in every 3 possessions, and threw away the extra opportunities they got for themselves. Tech had 27 turnovers - including Mario West, who had 3 in just 6 minutes. Add to that poor shooting from 3 (5 of 19 for 26%, including 3 of 11 from Morrow) and Clemson's ability to hit a few free throws (19 of 29), and you've got game. Tech certainly didn't help themselves by going stone cold in the second half - just 20 points overall, and an astonishing 6 in the last 13+ minutes. They scored only 2 points between the 13:10 and 1:20 marks - yikes. Clemson gets back to even, and picks up a road win to cancel out their home loss. It says here that 8-8 gets them into the tourney - they'd be 19-10, and their schedule isn't quite as bad as one might think. Akron has been playing really well, and Elon hasn't lost since they beat Clemson almost a month ago. If they go 8-8, they'll be 19-10. I think that would be enough.

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