Like Duke, State played an exhibition Saturday, defeating Morehouse 87-62.
Unfortunately for State, Jordan Vandenberg didn't participate and will be out for a few weeks: his ankle injury against UNC Pembroke was fairly serious. He's not a great player by any stretch, but he is an experienced big man, and State doesn't have many of those.
State won the exhibition battle but lost the football war as UNC prevailed and celebrated midfield on State's new logo. Not surprisingly, the State team didn't much appreciate that.
So far anyway, Debbie Yow's firing of Tom O' Brien has worked out poorly: State is 0-5 in the ACC and there's not a lot of optimism.
With ACC basketball significantly upgraded after expansion, the path for Clemson grows more narrow. Ron Morris takes a look at Brad Brownell's situation. What we think a lot of people are missing is that Brownell is likely the best coach Clemson has ever had. He's young, he hasn't proven it on a big stage yet, but the guy is outstanding. His challenge is getting enough talent to prove it.
Jamie Dixon apparently is finding that high school players want to ask about his pace and how it'll work in the ACC. His answer? Looks can be deceiving, so you'd better check the numbers:
"I've looked at the numbers, numbers of possessions, scoring numbers and I know people keep saying this stuff about the ACC playing the game differently, but it really is a case of people not letting the facts get in the way of a good story. I looked at all of the offensive numbers, and it just isn't the case. There are a few outliers -- like North Carolina -- but the style of play in the ACC isn't that much different than the Big East."
Well, yes and no. Pace isn't the big deal. Not many teams shoot well these days either.
The difference between the leagues has always been about physical play. The old Big East was always a more physical league. Stocked with kids from the Northeast, from New York, New Jersey and Philly, the culture was always pretty distinct.
Compare it to say Duke, Kansas or Arizona. The Big East was always rougher.
That style of play is unlikely to work now, especially with the new emphasis on curbing physical play. And even in the Big East, the more skilled teams tended to prevail, and those teams, more often than not, were usually UConn and Syracuse.