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ACC Roundup

In Thursday night ACC action, all the ACC teams prevailed. Georgia Tech beat Tennessee Tech, 83-63, State nipped Seton Hall 79-73, and UNC whipped Nevada 106-70.

State of course played without Farnold Degand, who blew out his knee, something which we somehow failed to mention when it happened. We actually entered an article about it, but something somewhere screwed up and it didn't get published.

Friday Night ACC Action!
Teams Times TV
Delaware @ Maryland 6:00 CSN
Virginia Tech vs. Hofstra 6:30 MSG
Sacred Heart @ B.C. 7:00 Nope
Boston College 1-0 1.000 8-2 .800
Wake Forest 1-0 1.000 8-3 .727
Miami 0-0 .000 12-0 1.000
North Carolina 0-0 .000 12-0 1.000
Clemson 0-0 .000 10-1 .909
Duke 0-0 .000 10-1 .909
Virginia 0-0 .000 9-2 .818
NC State 0-0 .000 8-3 .727
Florida State 0-0 .000 10-4 .714
Georgia Tech 0-0 .000 6-5 .545
Virginia Tech 0-1 .000 6-5 .545
Maryland 0-1 .000 6-6 .500

We won't make that mistake about UNC's Bobby Frasor, who, like Degand blew out an ACL and is done for the year.

Given his injury woes - last season was pretty much a washout - Frasor might consider turning his attentions to a career in coaching.

You have to feel bad for the guy, because he's a talented player, but he comes from a basketball program and we could see him going into coaching. We're not big Roy Williams fans, but the guy is a tremendous coach and a master of organization. There could be worse places and people from whom to learn the craft.

UNC had no significant trouble with Nevada after the first half. Ty Lawson, who has long since supplanted Frasor as point guard, personally put the game away at the end of the first half. Nevada is a solid, well-coached team, but they're not good enough to go down 14 and still win in Chapel Hill. Not many teams are.

Despite that fact that Lawson is clearly the superior point guard, the loss of Frasor is critical to UNC. UNC plays at a very high speed, and in order to facilitate that, Williams shuttles his players in and out. Lawson has averaged only 23.3 minutes per game, whereas Tyler Hansbrough has averaged 30.1, Wayne Ellington 29.5, and Marcus Ginyard 27.2.

Arguably, the only one who is as critical as Lawson is is Hansbrough. We fully realize we see the games from a very limited perspective, and that the criticisms that Williams (and to a lesser and less strident extent Coach K) makes about fans and their knowledge of the game apply to us. But having said that, we wonder why it is that Lawson averages relatively few minutes.

Part of it is surely because Frasor is an excellent backup and one of UNC's best defenders. But you'd think he'd be just as good a backup for Ellington. You'd think, too, with three quality big men, that Hansbrough might get a bit more backup than he does.

Or maybe it's just an illusion since Lawson was injured for a couple of games, playing only two minutes against BYU and sitting out the Ohio State game.

Anyway, whatever the reason, the mix will have to change. Can Quentin Thomas, who has never really lived up to expectations at UNC, come through? If not, who comes after him?

Don't expect UNC to slow down much, but do expect them to do subtle things, like subbing Lawson out a minute before TV timeouts to give him more of a breather without affecting on the court action too much.

By the same token, everyone who plays UNC now is going to try to wear him down and to try to win by attrition.

Adjustments are possible, though. State lost their point guard, of course, and won a tough game against Seton Hall. Let's just note a couple of things.

1) Marques Johnson came through in a big way in his first game since transferring from Tennessee, and 2) this is precisely the sort of a game that State, under Herb Sendek, would have blown.

Seton Hall, which is going to be a tough team by the end of the season, cut State's lead to 66-65 with 2:08, and in a Sendekian mode, State would have collapsed. But Johnson hit a basket and two clutch free throws to push the lead back up and Gavin Grant hit for seven points in the final minute to go home winners.

Ben McCauley seems to have adjusted to J.J. Hickson's presence somewhat and played effectively off the bench.

State had a rocky start to the season, and they still have issues to work out (Javi Gonzalez and Johnson had four turnovers and one assist, for starters), but this was a good confidence game if nothing else. And we think it might be more than that.

Tech's defense completely disrupted Tenn. Tech, limiting them to six first half shots with no three pointers. They coughed the ball up 27 times as well.

Centenary and Tennessee Tech don't amount to much, but at least Tech is back over .500.

On Friday night, Virginia Tech plays Hofstra and B.C. plays Sacred Heart. But the interesting game is Delaware at Maryland. This isn't the Delaware of Mike Brey, but Maryland isn't exactly eating things up, either. If they blow this one, after three straight non-conference losses, things could get nasty in College Park.

James Gist doesn't sound very positive, telling the Washington Times that "I know what we can do to win, but I don't know to get everybody else on the same page. Everybody is on the same page to win, everybody's on the same page to work hard. But on the floor, everybody ... I just don't know what to say."

Finally, here's an update on former Wake star Darius Songaila.