In the latest polls, after this past weekend's competitive greatness in the ACC, UNC is #4/5 in the AP/USAToday, Duke is #7 in both, Clemson is #12/13, Wake is #13/14, and Florida State is #23/25.
|Schedule Correction - FSU Plays at B.C. @ 9 on ESPNU - apologies for the error!|
It took most of this season for this to dawn on people, but like we've been saying for some time now, Oliver Purnell has fundamentally changed Clemson basketball. The Tigers are now able to go toe-to-toe with every ACC team. To a man, Clemson sounds convinced that they can catch UNC and finish first. Of course, a couple of other teams think the same thing. Duke is always in it and Florida State is very close to the top this year. But the fact is, the culture at Clemson has changed.
No great surprise here on either front: Greivis Vasquez is the ACC Player Of The Week and Elliot Williams is the Rookie Of The Week.
It's been a really long season for Georgia Tech, and with UNC getting a week off after their humiliating loss at Maryland, it's probably going to get a lot worse this coming weekend. Gani Lawal pretty much disappeared against Clemson, and star freshman Iman Shumpert sounds like he might be hitting the dreaded freshman wall.
On the other hand, what do you think is happening in practice in Chapel Hill? If we had to guess, not that we have any pipeline there or anything, we'd guess that the Heels are running a lot, practicing without the ball, and ducking a lot of F bombs from Ol' Roy Williams.
Or perhaps not. There is a school of thought that Duke was somehow desperate to turn to Elliot Williams (the evidence so far suggests that it was a smart move). But what about UNC's burning Tyler Zeller's redshirt year?
Given UNC's suddenly thin rotation, and the play of Tyler Hansbrough, who has not been as effective this year as he was last season, bringing Zeller back now is arguably more a sign of desperation. Given Hansbrough's health at the beginning of the season, our guess is that the Heels have been protecting him, and that means limiting time in practice. Translation: they're not about to run him into the ground, and they have to be careful about pacing their guys now with so many holes in the roster.
So as much as Ol' Roy might like to punish his team by wearing them out, that would probably be foolish. So let the F bombs fly!
We've been inserting what we might as well call the Bubble Line in the standings. It's a guess of course, but at least a somewhat educated guess.
Virginia Tech is on the bottom side of that at least partly because Jeff Allen had to sit out against UVa after flipping off the Maryland crowd (his bumping of an official last season probably worked against him as well).
Was it a smart move? Allen has shown previously that he can do some stupid things and this was another. But we can understand the desire. Maryland fans have a long history of abusive behavior. People like to point to Cameron as a place where Bad Things Happen, but at Maryland, things are thrown and fans get violently intimidating to visitors.