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An Interesting Week For The ACC

There's not a whole lot going on basketball wise, but a few games are on tap
next week:

  • 11/17 - EA Sports vs. Clemson
  • 11/17 - Nike Elite vs. FSU
  • 11/18 - NIT - La. Lafayette vs. Tech
  • 11/18 - Coaches vs. Cancer@Virginia
  • 11/18 - NBDL Roanoke vs. Maryland
  • 11/20 - NIT - Marist or Hofstra vs. Tech/Lafayette winner
  • 11/21 - Gardner Webb vs. Clemson
  • 11/21 - Maine vs. FSU
  • 11/22 - UNCA vs. NCSU
  • 11/22 - Elon vs. Wake Forest
  • 11/22 - Detroit vs. Duke
  • 11/22 - American vs. Maryland
  • 11/22 - ODU vs. UNC
  • 11/23 - Tech vs. Cornell
  • 11/23 - Mt. St. Mary's vs. UVa

Of these, the first two are of interest, since Triangle folk have an idea of
what to expect from those two touring teams. Tech should beat Lafayette, and UVa
should win their exhibition. The NBDL game vs. Maryland is a
smart bit of scheduling, and the hungry recent grads will test Maryland's young
team thoroughly.

For one, this is
not a team of tired almost-retired players.
Almost all of them are
under 25. And there are names you recognize, some flawed players to be
sure - Curtis Staples, Adam Hall, and Josh Asselin spring to mind.

We'll learn a lot about the Terps in this game. But not from Fayetteville: looks like they are playing the Roanoke Dazzle instead. The and Maryland's official site list different opponents, so we'll go with Maryland.

Tech should advance in the second-round NIT game.

A year or two ago, Clemson might have struggled against Gardner-Webb, but
don't count on that. Oliver Purnell has done a lot of work on this team
already, and we also got the impression that Chris Hobbs has not been thrilled
with things in Tiger Town. That seems to have changed.

Maine vs. FSU and UNCA vs. State are basically just continuations of the
exhibition season, as is Elon vs. Wake Forest.

Duke vs. Detroit is not. Perry Watson has done a really nice job at
Detroit, and he has deep, deep roots in the fertile Detroit talent
bed. All but one of the players on the current roster is from the
area. The one player not from Michigan is Muhammad Abdur-Rahim, a 6-4 native of
Georgia, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he's probably the
little brother of NBAer Shareef. He's making a tough transition, from high
school center to collegiate guard.

Duke will almost certainly win this game, but these guys are competitive with
Butler, and as you know, Butler is good enough to shock some people. So is

Playing American is not a particular danger for Maryland, but it could be if
things broke precisely the right way. First of all, Jeff Jones went to American
to rebuild his coaching career after flaming out at UVa, and a win over Maryland
would set him up for an interview sometime soon. He's done a solid job, so
the interviews will come (maybe at Miami, who knows). Jones is 41-46 at
American, but considering what he's up against there, that's not bad.
Pretty good, actually. With several international players, if they ended up hot
offensively, who knows? Unlikely, but could happen, just like snow in
May. It happens sometimes.

ODU vs. UNC is one UNC should win going away, but there are a couple of
things worth noting: first, the Duke angle: assistant
coach Jim Corrigan is a former Duke walk-on
who won the Tedd Mann
Award. Dean's not coaching anymore, but Roy - excuse us, Ol' Roy - has the
same basic principles, so Corrigan may have some insights into the system.
Second, guard Isaiah Hunter is a native of Charlotte, and chances are, if you
look, you'll see him saying he wanted to be recruited by UNC but wasn't.
Every so often, an overlooked instate kid comes back to haunt the Heels.
They also have a kid from Burlington. Just a thought.

Finally, head
man Blaine Taylor
was an assistant at Stanford and likely has a grip on that
system and it's deliberate movements. UNC will want to run. They
have the better talent and coaching, so it's hard to pick against them, but you
can see some interesting scenarios between those points of interest.

The other two games are only worth talking about if the ACC team loses, and
if they do, they ought to be ridiculed widely and often.