Opening night in the ACC brought some interesting results, first of all for Wake Forest as the Deacs lost to Stetson at home, 89-79.Â The AP says that "[h]is debut with a young roster was marked by questionable shot selection, carelessness with the ball and a lack of rebounding presence."
Other that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?Â Keep in mind, though, that they started two freshmen, two sophomores, a junior who so far has been unproductive, and a limited senior.Â There's a lot of work to be done.
Somewhat to our surprise, ESPN does not list Ari Stewart as a starter.
UNC beat Lipscomb 80-66, Campbell hung with Virginia Tech, 70-60, continuing the pattern we noted long ago of playing weakly against weak opponents, State beat Tenn. Tech 82-69, Georgia Tech beat Charleston Southern, 52-39, Virginia got past the Tribe 76-52, Miami took Jacksonville 89-77, and Florida State beat North Florida, 75-55.
In the other coaching debuts, BC hammered St. Francis, 79-49, and Clemson knocked the Catamounts of Western Carolina around, 87-64.
We listened to UNC on the radio and it was somewhat surprising that Lipscomb hung around for most of the game, given the talent and height disparity. John Henson, noted fan of Duke women's basketball now, took full advantage, nearly getting a triple double the hard way - 10 points, 17 boards, and seven blocks. Tyler Zeller had 15/7 and Harrison Barnes added 14 points and four boards, though he also picked up four fouls.Â Against Lipscomb?
Something's not adding up here.Â Seth Davis blames Larry Drew via Tweet: "Midway through the second half, North Carolina up by 7 against Lipscomb and T.Zeller has just one field goal. That's a point guard problem."
Well, they have options this time.
So does State:Â Tracy Smith struggled, but CJ Leslie scored 21 in his debut. Ryan Harrow knocked down 16 and Lorenzo Brown 14. Fifty one points from your freshmen is a very promising sign, no?
You know, we just have immense admiration for the Baron family, and it looks like Billy is on the list now too. The son of the Rhode Island coach, Jim, hit 5-6 from three point range and racked up 19.Â Not a bad debut.Â It was a close game for 30 minutes though.
What can you say about Virginia Tech? Campbell was down just 52-45 with 11:18 to go - and that was after giving up a 17 point lead in the first half.Â Why? If it was Duke or UNC, the passion would be there.Â If they want to be a top-flight program, this kind of crap won't cut it.
Good news: limiting your opponent to 39 points. Bad news: scoring just 59 against Charleston Southern. Redshirt freshman Daniel Miller blocked seven shots, which might be a school record for a debut game, and is impressive.
Getting outrebounded 51-39 is not, however.
Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott hit for 43, nearly half of Miami's total against Jacksonville. Reggie Jackson, the not-so-big-big-man-anymore, finished with 13 points and eight boards.
FSU forced 21 turnovers and held Northern Florida to 34% from the floor. Do that, and you'll do well. JUCO transfer Bernard James hit 7-10 and grabbed 10 boards. Nice intro.
Get rid of one Booker, there's another to torment opponents:Â Devin had 16 points and seven boards in Brad Brownell's debut. In a promising note, Milton Jennings had 14 points, four boards, four assists, and two blocks.
And up past Alaska (i.e., Maryland), Steve Donahue had a fun debut, winning by 30.Â Big deal, you say, it's just St. Francis? Well, it could have been Campbell.Â Or Lipscomb.Â Or, God forbid, Stetson.
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