ACC Roundup

BC Coach Steve Donahue appears to be feeling the pressure of another losing seaon - Adam Hunger

Generally speaking, a disappointing day for the league.

You can toss out Villanova's hot start at Syracuse and really need only remember one thing from that game: For the heart of the game, Syracuse outscored Villanova 71-37.

Keep in mind that Villanova came in ranked #8. That's ridiculous.

Four freshmen have gotten most of the hype in the Year Of The Freshman; SU's Tyler Ennis has forced his way into that conversation.

Ennis, it's becoming clear, is one of those players you can't measure by stats, and those are the most dangerous players of all.

Arizona remains #1, but we're not sure Syracuse is very far behind.

Other than Duke, almost every other ACC game was a disappointment, and in particular Virginia Tech.

It's hard to see how even a lousy Hokie team could lose at home to the Spartans, but there it is.

For the second straight year,  Virginia Tech is way too reliant on one player for points.

Last year, it was Erick Green, who rose magnificently to his team's aid. This year? Jarrell Eddie.

UNCG held Eddie to just four points and 1-12 from the floor.

We're not following the Hokies very closely right now, but it's interesting that in this game at least (and we're assuming more) Joey Van Zegeren has pushed Cadarian Raines pretty firmly to the bench. Van Zegeren got 29 minutes to Raines's seven.

We really don't get BC. Last year, the Eagles were on the verge of going toe to toe with every ACC team. This year, just staying in games is proving a challenge. At 4-9 and with a core group which should be maturing and rising, the Eagles are heading for what could be a disastrous season.

We've said for a long time that VCU is a one-trick pony: they want to suck you into their Havoc, make you cry and send you home with a million turnovers.

But once you can get into the half-court offense, it's a different story. Shaka Smart, too smart by half, doesn't really have a Plan B.

BC fell for it, though, coughing the ball up 14 times in the first half and 23 times for the game.

Last year's promising backcourt of Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahan combined for 12 turnovers and shot 4-17 for the game.

All in all, as usual, the Big Apple tormented Boston sports (the game was in Brooklyn).

Wake's loss to Cincinnati was disappointing, but at least the Deacs are 10-3. Things could be worse.

Remember we warned about Matt Stainbrook? The guy who wanted to be a hipster decided to become a ball player instead and dropped 21 points and 10 boards on the Deacs.

Devin Thomas was held to nine points and four boards. Sticking with the fours, he had four turnovers and four fouls.

Stainbrook took the Deacs to the cleaners inside and Xavier held Codi Miller-McIntyre to just 11 points, well below his impressive standards this season.

The jury's still out on Wake Forest, but this game was a chance for the Deacs to show something. They missed it, unfortunately.

Do we remember correctly that State had just three players - total - back from last year's team? The transfers practiced of course but couldn't play.

So for State to pull this team together and to move from losing to NCCU to nearly upsetting Missouri is disappointing but pretty damn solid.

The disappointing part? The Pack had this game and let it go. Cat Barber missed out on a one-and-one with 26.8 left and State down one point.

But we'd rather be State than Virginia Tech, BC or Wake Forest right now.

If the post-season awards happened now, politics would probably dictate giving Coach Of The Year to Jim Boeheim. You could certainly make an argument for Mark Gottfried. What he's done to date is very impressive.

When we saw Maryland was playing Tulsa Sunday, our first thought was that Tulsa, man, that school cranks out some coaches. Like VCU, Tulsa has a knack for finding highly promising coaches.

So who's coaching now? Why, Greensboro's own Danny Manning.

College teammates with Mark Turgeon, Manning has led his team to a modest 4-8 record so far. To be honest, and fair, Maryland has mostly stunk so far this season. If you don't believe us, you can ask the boobirds or the empty seats in Comcast. However, Seth Allen is getting closer to being back and a solid point guard can only help. Coming back from a broken foot isn't the same as coming back from an ankle sprain or a hand injury. Broken feet can take a really long time to feel good again.

Notre Dame hosts Canisius in what should be an easy win. Thing is, not much has been easy for the Irish so far. And for whatever reason, Georgia Tech agreed to play Charlotte in Charlotte. If Tech wins, it's a useful game and progress. There's a reasonable chance that Charlotte, a program which is always a step or two away from true greatness, can pull another upset.

So far this season the 49ers have beaten Kansas State and Michigan but were upset by Davidson and just pounded by Florida State. Take this game lightly at your own risk.

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