Miami won a tournament.
|Monday's ACC Action|
|LSU vs. Clemson||4:00||CBSSN|
|Savannah State vs. Louisville||7:00||ESPN3|
|Nicholls St. @ Wake Forest||7:00||ESPN3|
|Chaminade vs. Pitt||9:00||ESPNU|
That might not sound like a big deal, but this team was really, really weak last year. Now? Undefeated and the 'Canes won the Charleston Classic. That's outstanding.
Miami had little trouble with Charlotte, winning 77-58, and Charlotte's not a horrible team. Five players scored in double figures.
Joe Harris continues to start despite making no statistical impact, so he must be doing things that don't show up in the box score.
We don't think anyone expected Miami to be where the 'Canes are, certainly not us, even though we thought they'd improve. Jim Larranaga is doing a tremendous job so far.
Different teams and situations have different expectations and that's very true for BC.
Last year was a train wreck and Jim Christian came in with modest expectations at best, though as we pointed out, other than a poor decision to coach the Horned Frogs for a stretch, he's done pretty well.
BC is 2-3 but here's the thing: they've been competitive. New Hampshire was a ragged game but it was also the first of Christian's tenure. UMass was a nine point loss and BC beat New Mexico. West Virginia, currently undefeated, won by just four, and Archie Miller's Dayton squad, so impressive last spring in the post-season, won by just eight.
Speaking of New England and the ACC, Providence can (sort of) claim first place: after taking out Florida State, the Friars clipped Notre Dame, 75-74 behind a great game from LaDontae Henton, who hit 34. And check this - he hit 14-19 overall and 4-8 from three point range. He outscored the rest of his team singlehandedly.
After the game, Mike Brey told him he'd become a hell of a college player. Hard to argue with that.
After his big game the other night, with 10 blocks, Beejay Anya moved into the starting lineup for State against South Florida, and the somewhat smaller big guy had nine rebounds and five blocks. He also scored eight points.
State flirted with disaster but ultimately won 68-65. And perhaps it's time to give Debbie Yow some respect. When she hired Mark Gottfried, remember, a number of people had passed on the job and Gary Williams, Yow believed, was trying to sabotage her search (the two had a famously tense relationship at Maryland).
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Gottfried has not had it easy at State and has had to rebuild constantly. The one year he didn't he had to deal with an overconfident CJ Leslie.
Last year he had to rebuild around TJ Warren. This year, he lost an elite scorer.
Despite all of this, he's made the NCAA Tournament every year. And now, with a guy who looks increasingly like a dominant presence on defense, State can distribute Warren's offensive load to multiple players. The Pack has a nice combination of quick players and bigger guys who can be put out in various combinations.
Gottfried has made a bit of an art of making do with what he has. Based on what we've seen so far, we expect he'll do it again this year and reach the tournament.
On the disappointing side of things: Florida State has fallen to 1-3. Losing to PC and UMass aren't that damaging, but Northeastern might hurt come March.
For a bit of comparison, for whatever it's worth, UMass just lost to Notre Dame by 13 and beat BC by nine, as discussed above.
The Seminoles lost by 76-73. Freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes hit for 22 but missed a free throw, got his own board, and missed the three.
Nice instincts, but no cigar for that.
FSU continues to rotate Kiel Turpin and Boris Bojanovsky in and out of the starting center position. Turpin started this time but Bojanovsky had 18 off the bench.
Impressive: Phil Cofer had 12 boards in a reserve role, including five offensive.