After Florida State steamrolled UNC, the N&O reports two great coaches reactions: first, Roy Williams walked into his lockerroom, couldn't find any words, and just left. And second, after things settled down, Leonard Hamilton picked up the stat sheet, looked at it and, still amazed, said: âThirty-three? What do you think happened?â
To pin it down to a few things: 1) UNC wasn't ready; 2) Florida State's usual stalwart defense, and 3) Deividas Dulkys.
What the hell? The guy is averaging 6.2 ppg.Â He hits double figures on a semi-regular basis, but hasn't gotten past 20 since last year's game with FIU.Â He hasn't even gotten to double figures this year since the UConn game in November.
On top of that, he blocked five shots last time out against Virginia Tech - but only scored four points.
This is only the second time this year he's even taken as many as 10 shots.
So to jump up and score 32 against the #3 team in the country on 12-14 from the floor and 8-10 from three point line.
Of course, it's not the first time someone has lit UNC up from three point range: think Randolph Childress, Tayshawn Prince, and probably JJ Redick, though we'd have to check the records on that. Someone from UVa did it too, probably during the Jeff Jones era.
Florida State had but one block in this game - and it was by Dulkys.
In short, it was a performance for the ages.
Naturally, it's a team game, and you can't expect one guy to do everything. FSU held UNC to 37.3% from the floor.Â Tyler Zeller had a solid game, turnovers aside, but John Henson was held to just three boards.Â Harrison Barnes had 15, but shot just 38.4% and had five turnovers (and no assists).
Kendall Marshall, a passer we admire extravagantly, had just four assists and seven turnovers.
FSU's ballhandling woes continued, with 17 turnovers, but UNC had 22, and 12 of those were steals by the 'Noles.
What we can't figure out is how Dulkys got so many open threes.Â Defense is not a strong point for Marshall, but it is for Strickland, and presumably for Barnes as well.Â You'd think one of them could have gotten on Dulkys.
But as we say, it's not the first time that a deadly three point shooter has decimated the Heels.
It was just a shocking, brilliant performance which is going to hurt UNC's standing and also whoever comes up next for them. Who would that be? Let's see...
Oh my. It's a road trip to Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech, now 0-3, will be bracing for a tsunami.
More on them in a bit.
Incidentally, Roy Williams took some heat for getting his players off the floor early.Â We can understand why he did it: rushing the court is fun but eventually it's going to lead to a real problem somewhere.Â His instinct was fundamentally correct.Â And he had to leave someone on the court to be sure.Â But leaving his walk-ons makes them seem like cannon fodder. Why take most of the team out and leave them in to face whatever happened? A team is a team: the best guys to defend them, had trouble happened, were in the locker room.
State went over to Winston-Salem and more or less did the same thing to Wake Forest, winning 76-40.
This is a win of historic proportions, the biggest ACC road win for State since the first year of the league, which was during the Eisenhower administration.
Wake was held to just 16 baskets for the game and CJ Harris and Travis McKie, both excellent talents, managed just 10 and two points respectively.
Wake had trouble getting inside and jacked up 20 threes, making just two.Â They also had 17 turnovers.
Jeff Bzdelik washed his hands of the disaster in the press conference, saying
"I don't know why we did what we did offensively today. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to say. I really don't. You can ask them."
Incidentally, Scott Wood's free throw streak continues as he was 2-2 in this game. He hasn't missed one in competition since February 2nd of last year and going back to the beginning of last season, has only missed three.
Okay, back to one of our main themes for the ACC: you have to have better coaching to hae better teams.Â BC has had a tough road this year with a whole raft of freshmen and first-year players and only two returning sophomores.
Despite these rather significant challenges (and you can toss weight in as well because this is a skinny team), Steve Donahue has his Eaglets at 2-1 in the ACC, which amounts to a four-way tie for 2nd.
That seemed virtually impossible a few weeks ago.Â In fact, we might have bet on a winless season, were we betting people.
Seth Greenberg wanted more points out of the post, which he got, but in fairness to Tech, they played without Erick Green (sprained knee).
Tech still nearly pulled it off: Jarrell Eddie hit two threes in the last 10 seconds and forced a turnover but the clock ran out.
No one imagined starting 0-3 with Wake and BC on the early schedule and FSU struggling.Â But there you are.
An angry UNC is likely to send them to 0-4.
Now consider this for a minute: in seven seasons, Greenberg has made the NCAA Tournament once and won one game.
He has led Tech to the NIT five times.
We realize this is Virginia Tech and given their history, that's pretty good.Â We also realize that Tech has been pretty competitive in the ACC.
Nonetheless, when do you say enough? When do you get restless and start looking at, say, Archie Miller and see if you can tempt him back to the ACC?
There are probably a dozen great candidates for this job and that doesn't include dynamic young assistants, of whom Shaka Smart was one until not too long ago.
We're just saying: the program seems stalled.
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