Looks like CJ Leslie got at least some of the message after the UNC game: after a steady drubbing in Triangle media and from State fans, Leslie had a much better outing against BC, finishing with 10 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. It wasn't a phenomenal performance, but it wasn't like he checked out, either. He was engaged.
|Thursday's ACC Action|
|North Carolina @ Clemson||7:00 PM||ESPN/ESPN2/|
State finished with their now-traditional five guys in double figures: Scott Wood added 17, Lorenzo Brown 11, TJ Warren 13 and Rodney Purvis came off the bench for 21.
Richard Howell had an off game with six points and 10 boards, but that just indicates how high his bar is now.
Maryland's road woes continue with a loss in Atlanta to a pretty weak Georgia Tech team, 78-68. Mark Turgeon was not a happy camper, telling the Baltimore Sun that "Our point guard play in the first half was about as bad it has been. Nick [Faust] was bad and Pe'Shon [Howard]'s decision making was terrible."
The Post picks up the theme:
"Itâs tough. Iâm more disappointed in our intelligence on the defensive end than the offensive end. We got in a panic mode offensively, tried to score quickly. We missed a lot of open shots. Our guys who are supposed to make shots didnât make them. That might not change the outcome, but we missed some open shots. Just didnât play very well.
"We had seven or eight guys who really tried hard. But the decision making is tough. Itâs hard. It wears you out."
Maryland's tourney chances may also be worn out, barring some impressive play in Greensboro. Institutionally, though, reflexively, in their deepest Red Sox doppelganger vein, Maryland convinced themselves decades ago that they can't possibly win the ACC in North Carolina. Think that'll be better now?
Miami apparently was not amused by Wake's little uprising and took it out on Virginia Tech: the halftime score was 38-19. The 'Canes held the remarkable Erick Green to just 16 points. He shot well enough (6-13), but just didn't get as many chances as he usually does.
Kenny Kadji led the Hurricanes with 20 points.
The Miami Herald notes that Miami can clinch the ACC this weekend at Duke.
A very interesting game at Clemson with UNC in town. The Tar Heels have a much better team now with their smallball routine, and Clemson has shown some real life as of late, even though they haven't won as much as they'd like. The Tigers are a tough nut to crack lately. They had a tough time with Maryland and Virginia, but otherwise, they've been very competitive despite their youth and shortcomings. It's a remarkable coaching job by Brad Brownell, even though Clemson is just 13-13.
Just to think about it, here are the guys who should be serious candidates for ACC Coach Of The Year: Jim Larranaga, the presumptive favorite, Tony Bennett, who has overcome an amazing amount of adversity, Coach K, who has also done a remarkable job after losing Ryan Kelly, and Steve Donahue...well, not many will buy that one. Donahue though has taken a very young team and turned it into a dangerous weapon.
Like Maryland, State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech and possibly Florida State,Â BC is extremely young. They're all going to get much, much better next season.
Just consider the young talent in this league: Anderson, Eddie Odio, Olivier Hanlan, Joe Rahan, Rodney Purvis, KJ McDaniel, Shane Larkin, James Michael McAdoo, Devin Thomas, Codi Miller-McIntyre, Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook and Amile Jefferson.
It's going to be a fun ride.