There's nothing more impressive in Tuesday night's ACC action than Virginia Tech's win over West Virginia. After the opening loss to USC Upstate, not many people would have seen this coming.
Tech was led by freshmen Ben Emelogu (22 points) and Devin Wilson (16) and Wilmington transfer (19).
If losing to USC Upstate was humiliating, beating the Mountaineers could be transformative. It's a huge win for Tech.
|Wednesday's ACC Games|
|FSU vs. UCF||7:00||ESPW?|
|Abilene Christian vs. Maryland||7:00||ESPN Full Court|
|Delaware State vs. Clemson||7:00||Nah|
Not surprisingly, Bob Huggins reacted with his usual class: "We screwed the game up in the first half. I got a whole bunch of freshmen that don’t understand how hard you have to play all the time. We stopped guarding."
Like Duke, and in what appears to be an ACC trend, Virginia was crippled by poor free throws against VCU, hitting just 19-33. Duke lost by 11; UVa by just three.
VCU's Treveon Graham hit a clutch 3 with 1.1 left, but better free throw shooting might have made it meaningless.
Talk about the new emphasis: 48 fouls were called in this game. Virginia owned the boards, too. Still wasn't enough.
Given VMI's success with the running game and Wake's poor outing against Colgate, we weren't sure what to expect.
But in retrospect, Wake did rip off 89 points and the Deacs are averaging 93.5 ppg.
Yes, it's early, but that suggests some firepower, and that hasn't been the case around Reynolda lately.
Devin Thomas finished with 20 points and 17 boards, while Codi Miller-McIntyre had 23. Again, consider the competition, but Miller-McIntyre had 21 against Colgate and 23 against the Keydets.
VMI's Dugger Baucom also complained about officiating:
"It just turns the game into a free-throw contest.The emphasizing of the rules — there’s only one rule change.That’s the block-charge. Everything else, there’s no other rules. They’re just going to start enforcing it. And that’s fine and good, but you’ve got to use some common sense. If you don’t, you’ll have a team shoot 25 free throws in a half."
Wake's free throw shooting was better than Duke's or UVa's: the Deacs hit 28-41 for 68.3%. Not great, but much better.
State hung with Cincinnati for most of the game but it slipped away in the last few minutes. Youth showed: State got a technical for six players on the court and rushed some shots. But the Pack will get better from this game.
TJ Warren, usually so efficient, was held to 5-15. Ralston Turner was 4-10 and Desmond Lee was 4-13.
Free throws again: 57.1% from the line for State.
Total fouls: 23 each for 46.
Pitt didn't have too much trouble with Fresno State, holding the Bulldogs to 37.3%. Returning from suspension, Talib Zanna had 19 points and 10 boards. Cameron Wright added 13.
Syracuse has a long tradition of weak scheduling and nothing has changed to date: Fordham is not going to compete unless Syracuse doesn't.
Still, Jim Boeheim concedes his team needs a lot of work:
"First half we were pretty good. We did a pretty good job defensively. But in the second half, I think we felt we had control of the game. We lost our defensive edge and they took advantage of it and that's something that we obviously have to work on.
"Our guards are inexperienced in terms of playing out there and knowing how to play the front of the zone and keeping guys in front of it, and that's the lesson learned."
CJ Fair had 26 for Syracuse, a career high.
Wednesday's games are all basically dogs although FSU is taking a risk playing at UCF. But Abilene Christian? Seriously, Maryland? At least Delaware State is competently coached if at a lower level.