It wasn't a great day for the ACC as Clemson lost to Coastal Carolina, 69-46 and UNC was stampeded by the Longhorns, 85-67. Only Virginia won, beating Morgan State 75-57.
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Of the two losses, Clemson's is perhaps more explicable. Clemson is rebuilding and Cliff Ellis, whatever his faults, has done a nice turn at Coastal. Over the last three years, he's won 28, 28 and 19 games.Â He's been at it a long time and knows how to build a program and where to find players in the South, certainly but other places as well: his current roster hails from Philly, Darlington, New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Alabama and Ohio, but also from Senegal, Cameroon, Montenegro and the Bahamas.
Clemson shot just 32.1%, had 18 turnovers and got outrebounded. But this is a team with 11 freshmen and sophomores and their best newcomer is redshirting. There are only two seniors, Devin Booker and Milton Jennings, and Jennings is not reliable.
They've done fairly well to this point, all things considered. Check back in February to see how they are doing. Brad Brownell is a very solid coach.
We can't explain what's happening at UNC, other than to echo what Eric Montross said recently, that this is a team with a lot of role players and no definite stars. The closest is James Michael McAdoo, and right now he's not what he appeared to be last spring, though with Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and a number of solid contributors, it's easier to excel than with what Montross described.
Nobody shot well for UNC. Among major contributors, McAdoo was closest to .500 at 4-11. Reggie Bullock was 6-17 and everyone else was off as well, not least of all PJ Hairston, who shot just 2-12.
The Heels were just 3-19 from three point range. In the losses to Butler, Indiana and Texas, UNC has shot just 11-49 from the bonusphere.
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And keep in mind that like Clemson, Texas has 10 underclassmen, but not star guard Myck Kabongo, who may be suspended for the entire season and that the Longhorns have also struggled to date.
Next year, when Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Nate Britt arrive, UNC will have some highly useful weapons. But for now, they have what they have and Williams will see his reputation rise or fall on their success.
Worth saying: good thing for UNC that the new teams - Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and Louisville - aren't on this year's schedule. Jim Sumner has some thoughts on UNC's struggles which you can check out here.
Akil Mitchell continues to impress for Virginia: the junior had 15 points, 12 boards and seven assists to help UVa past Morgan State.
The Bears fall to 3-5. If case you had forgotten, they are coached by Todd Bozeman, formerly of Cal, until he was caught giving money to a player's parents, and was also accused of sexual harassment.
At Morgan State, which produced Marvin Webster, aka The Human Eraser, he has gotten into an incident at a gas station or restaurant (we can't remember which) over some sandwiches and last year was suspended for striking one of his own players.
Clearly one of the more charming coaches around.
Virginia hammered the Bears on the boards, 33-19, but were overly reliant onÂ DeWayne Jackson, who accounted for more than half of Morgan State's offense with 32. Also: no rebounds, no assists, no blocks and one turnover.
Most hopeful name we've seen in a very long time: Shaquille Duncan, who despite the intimations of greatness inherent in both names did not dominate.