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Beard ACC Player of the Week And Other News

Alana Beard won her fourth ACC Player of the Week award in five tries this year. Of
course, she didn't play during the week when Chrissy Floyd got the nod.
Alana continues to lead the league in scoring at 22.9 ppg (2 ppg ahead of
Georgia Tech's Sonja Mallory), is second in FG% at an obscene 59.9% (ahead
of post players like Kaayla Chones of NC State, Mallory, Candace Sutton of
UNC and Genesis Choice of Florida State), 14th in rebounding at 6.3, 4th
in assists at 4.5 pg, 9th in FT% at 69.8%, 1st in steals at 4.6 (a full
steal ahead of Maryland's Renneika Razor), 11th in 3FG% (35.7%), 12th in
blocked shots (.8 per), 5th in assist/turnover ratio (2.05:1), 15th in
offensive rebounds and 12th in defensive rebounds. To recap, Alana leads
the league in two categories and is in the top 15 in every other one
except threes made. Remember: she's being pulled early in blowout games,
so a lot of these stats are coming in 20-25 minutes a game.

Iciss Tillis certainly isn't far behind Beard. She's 7th in the ACC in
scoring at 15.1 ppg, 18th in rebounding at 6.1, 8th in FG% at 49%, 10th in
steals at 2.3, 4th in 3FG% at 40.6%, 9th in threes made at 1.3, and 12th
in offensive rebounds. That's top 10 in five different categories. It's
clear that Beard & Tillis make each other better. Other Duke players in
the rankings include Mistie Bass (18th in scoring, 9th in FG%, 4th in FT%,
12th in blocks, 12th in offensive rebounds), Vicki Krapohl (9th in
assists, 1st in 3FG%, 4th in threes made, 4th in assist/turnover ratio),
Lindsey Harding (13th in assists, 7th in steals, 7th in assist/turnover
ratio), Wynter Whitley (14th in blocks), Jess Foley (14th in 3FG%),
Michele Matyasovsky (15th in steals), and Sheana Mosch (29th in scoring,
7th in FT%).

Looking at the rest of the ACC, Clemson is chugging along at 7-2. Their
only significant win came against Western Kentucky, and the Tigers were
whipped by both South Carolina and Penn State, the two currently ranked
teams on their schedule. The offense and rebounding have been erratic.
The Tigers have been outrebounded in three of their last four games, and
only beat Marshall by a 45-37 score, shooting 25%. A game against Auburn
should help prepare them for the ACC. Chrissy Floyd continues to impress,
averaging 17 ppg. Frosh Amanda White has been very effective on the
boards and is second in the ACC at 8.6 rpg. Clemson is still in search of
a consistent second scorer, however.

After several impressive wins over lesser competition, FSU was
embarrassed on the road by Northern Arizona. This was their fourth
straight road game and it was at a high altitude, but the Noles were 19
down before rallying a bit. FSU needs to wake up in a hurry, because
unbeaten UConn is coming to Tallahassee on December 30th. Tasheika Morris
is the team's best player, averaging 14 ppg. The post has improved, with
Katelyn Vujas and Genesis Choice emerging as top-ten rebounders.
Playmaking is a big problem right now.

Georgia Tech still looks steady, with seven wins in a row. None were
against big-time competition, however. The upcoming tilt with Georgia
should tell us a lot about the Jackets. Sonja Mallory continues to play
very well; she's second in the ACC in scoring at 20.8 ppg and first in
rebounds at 8.8 and blocked shots at 2.4. Fallon Stokes has also emerged
as a double-digit scorer, along with Megan Isom. Alex Stewart leads the
league in assists at 6.6 per game. Tech has recovered nicely from losing
Nina Barlin, but the real tests lie ahead.

Maryland lost 4 in a row to Rhode Island, ranked Penn State, Richmond
and Virginia Tech. They actually gave Va Tech a scare before folding.
They have a shot at entering ACC play at 7-4, but will have a lot of
trouble once they get in the league. Renneika Razor continues to excel
with 16.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 3.4 steals. Beyond her are many question
marks.

UNC overcame their narrow loss to Oklahoma by beating top 20 South
Carolina on the road and crushing Old Dominion. The team doesn't quite
have the same "Big Three" firepower of last year's squad, but there is a
lot of depth here. Candace Sutton, La'Tangela Atkinson, Correta Brown and
Nikki Bell are all among the top 25 scorers in the league. Sutton, Bell,
Atkinson and Jennifer Thomas are all top 20 rebounders. Their only real
weaknesses right now are free throw shooting and playmaking. Still, this
is a very good looking team that has gelled quickly.

NC State is 5-5 and continues to struggle. The good news is that Alvine
Mendeng is now eligible to play and did so quite well against Seton Hall,
a key NC State road win. Kaayla Chones is having a fine year, scoring
18.5 ppg and grabbing 7.9 rpg. Carisse Moody is playing reasonably well
off the bench, scoring 11.2 ppg. Guard play continues to be an issue
against their very difficult schedule, which has featured 3 ranked teams.
The Pack will have to win 9 or 10 ACC games to make it to the NCAA's.

Virginia continues to be an enigma. They've lost 3 of 4, with their
only win coming against a solid Rutgers team. They managed to lose to
Furman at home and Ohio State on the road. OSU was hammering them until
UVa put on a full court press to get back into it, but it was too little,
too late. Cherrise Graham is scoring impressively (15.4 ppg) but is
having some trouble fitting in with the rest of the team. No Virginia
playmaker is in the top 15 of the league. Teamer's numbers have dropped
off a bit to 12.4 ppg and 47% FG, but she is still grabbing 7.2 rpg. No
other Virginia player is putting up any kind of numbers on a consistent
basis. This team has a lot of talent and could snap back in time for the
ACC season if a regular lineup is worked out.

Wake Forest continues to play well against weak competition, winning 7 in
a row. The interesting thing about the games is that Wake is throttling
their opponents by an average of 17 points! Wake is scoring a lot of
points, still playing pretty solid defense, hitting their free throws,
hitting their threes, and taking care of the ball. Again, while the
competition hasn't been that impressive, Wake had trouble doing any of the
above against bad teams last year. Eafton Hill is a top ten scorer and
rebounder, while Tonia Brown is an able outside shooter and playmaker.
Even center Tiffani Listanbee is getting some points and boards. The
Deacs have a frosh named Cotelia Bond-Young who can shoot and pass, giving
them more legitimate scoring options than they've had in a decade. They
should finish the preseason 9-1 and have a real chance of beating FSU and
Virginia. This is a team to keep an eye on.