Thursday, February 21, 2008

Around the ACC in 96 Points

1) Tough week for the top 4 in the ACC - after all the talk of how stratified the conference was, Duke, Clemson, and Maryland all dropped contests against "lesser" opponents.
2) Welcome to the NCAA conversation Miami and Wake Forest. We're very, very happy to have you a part of this.
3) Vaya con dios from the NCAA conversation NC State - it's a tribute to your pre-season expectations that you remained in the conversation this long.
4) Clemson's conference record is (somewhat) misleading - they're 7-2 against teams not named Duke or UNC.
5) That being said, losing by 9 to FSU?
6) Great game for Jason Rich - 10-13 from the floor on his way to 22 points.
7) Less great game for Toney Douglas, but he did overcome 7 turnovers to lead the Noles with 23.
8) FSU's assist to turnover ratio was 5:21. And they won by 9.
9) Number of 3's missed by KC Rivers.
10) Number of shots missed by James Mays (he was 0-10 from the floor and scored just 1 point)
11) Clemson's 3-point shooting percentage. 3 for 27 is not going to win any games.
12) Number of rebounds for Tyler Hansbrough in the win over NC State
13) Number of free throw attempts for Hansbrough (as Bilas said during the broadcast, he averages a triple double in points, rebounds, and FTAs).
14) Approximate number of minutes NC State played defense. I drank the Kool-Aid on this team all-season, convinced they were always just a game away from turning the corner, despite numbers that placed them at Virginia's level of futility in conference play. No longer. This is, quite simply, the worst and laziest defense in the conference.
15-36) (What, you thought I would actually have 96 items?) Hansbrough added 32 points to his 12 boards and 13 free throw attempts. The next time someone tells you Lawson is more important to this team than Hansbrough, ask yourself whether Lawson would be averaging over 30 points in Hansbrough's absence. Hansbrough's ACC season started slowly, but he has come on like gangbusters in February. As much as it pains me to say this, if he returns for his senior season (and plays like he has the past 3 years), he will be involved in the "greatest players ever" discussion for the ACC and the NCAA.
37-38) Minutes played by Hansbrough and Ellington, respectively. One as-yet unmentioned aspect of Lawson's absence has been the sharp increase in minutes for these two. So far it hasn't taken a toll, but we'll have to see if the heavy usage in February leaves just a little less gas left in the tank when March rolls around.
39) Scoreless bench minutes for the Terrapins. It's the equivalent of having one guy on the court at all times during the game who provides you with no offense.
40) Maryland has a propensity for laying eggs on offense, and last night was one of those nights.
41) Deron Washington is the least efficient scorer in the conference. Last night's shooting (4-10, 1-3 from 3) was one of his best performances of the ACC season.
42) Landon Milbourne's sudden offensive surge hit a bit of a speedbump. His ability to chip-in as a third option will be critical to Maryland's success in the NCAAs
43) The Hokies with Gus Gilchrist would have been a certain NCAA team.
44) Maryland next year with Gus Gilchrist will be a certain NCAA team.
45) Combined wins for Duke and UNC.
46) Combined conference wins for the 6 teams at or above .500 in conference play.
47) Days left in the college basketball season. Seriously. Check a calendar. It's kind of depressing.
48-73) 26 points for Dwayne Collins. Seriously. Check the box score. It's kind of depressing.
74) If you want proof that Gerald Henderson's wrist is bothering him, look no further than his number of attempts. Previously the player who took the highest percentage of shots while on the court, he's taken just 11 in his last 3 games (and made just 2).
75) 45 turnovers in the last 2 games for Duke - very out of character for a team that had been the toughest to turn over in conference play.
76) Duke let Miami put up an EFG of around 63%. By far the worst defensive performance of the season. In brief, in the last two games, Duke has played its 2nd worst offensive game of the year, and followed it up with its worst defensive game of the year.
77) But at least they hit their free throws - 77 percent for the game.
78-92) Duke made 15 threes last night (on 37 attempts). Miami attempted just 14 (and hit 7)
93) Duke opponents, who had been shooting under 30% from 3 in conference play, have hit 22 of their last 51 attempts.
94) I'm not sure I've ever been happier to see the words "St. John's" on our schedule.
95) Can't really blame the offense for the loss last night (although they turned the ball over too much). 95 points in roughly 85 possessions is good numbers. And while we shot better late than early,the Devils did score 45 points on their 37 three point attempts, which is a better point-per-shot number than the 30 points they scored on their 29 two-point attempts. But...
96) 96 points! In a regulation game? To Miami? Duke is still forcing turnovers at its season's pace - 23% for Wake, 25% for Miami. But they're not getting stops in the non-turnover possessions like they used to. Miami last night scored 96 points in roughly 64 non-turnover possessions - exactly 1.5 points in every possession where Duke didn't take the ball away (or equivalent to making a layup three out of every four possessions). That number needs to come back down to the season average (which is somewhere around 1.3). Time to re-commit on the defensive end, and it starts Saturday against St. John's.


Anonymous said...

Thought you'd like to know that on today's episode of Around the Horn, Tony Reali made a comment about "Duke's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" week. Guess that means he reads you blog....

Unknown said...

Hey St. John's fan here I just wanted to come into enemy territory to tell you that you are going to win don't sweat an upset here but if you would like to grasp a little perspective from the opposition a great preview on the game can be seen here.

This is the St. John's fan site which also features and article on 5 reason I could never root for Duke which I'm sure you'll all enjoy. Check it out kill some time at the office and good luck tomorrow not that you'll need it. I'll check back later today and maybe you all have some thoughts on the current state of St. John's basketball that you would like to share.



Paul Rugani said...

I would be shocked if Tony Reali read this - much more likely that he read Alexander and the Terrible ... etc. Although if he does read this - Tony, give me a shout-out next time you use my line. Otherwise it's just "change you can Xerox." [rolling eyes and laughing]