Who the hell is Josh Smith? Just kidding - sort of. The Clemson junior had a career moment against Wake Forest, getting a put-back with just half a second left on the clock.
|Sunday's ACC Action|
|Virginia @ Virginia Tech||1:00||ACCN|
|BC @ Georgia Tech||1:00||RSN|
|Duke @ St. John's||2:00||Fox|
|Louisville @ Pitt||4:00||CBS|
|Notre Dame @ NC State||6:30||ESPNU|
And it's not like he came out of nowhere. He was alert throughout the game and played well.
And he absolutely gutted Wake Forest.
Afterwards, Deac big man Devin Thomas moaned "[w]e just gave the game away."
>When asked, coach Danny Manning said "It’s wearing on me.We’ve put ourselves in some situations where we just have to do a better job finishing and a better job closing."
Wake is not a great team right now, but on the bright side, the Deacs led all but 25 seconds and played credibly on the road.
This was a fun game: whether it was Landry Nnoko chasing down Aaron Rountree in the open court or Devonte Graham going behind his back on a drive (he missed, but it was still impressive for a bigger guy) or Rod Hall poking the ball away from Wake's Codi Miller-McIntyre with about :27 seconds left or, for that matter, Smith's heroics, it was really entertaining. You don't see that every day when the 10th and 12th ranked teams play.
Or every league for that matter.
In Chapel Hill, UNC went with just eight players, and of those eight, Marcus Paige played with plantar fasciitis and Nate Britt had 15 stitches in his mouth.
All in all, it was a good day for Brice Johnson to wake up.
Johnson, who has been erratic his entire career, is capable of big days and he had one against FSU.
Johnson hit 7-9 from the floor and finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead UNC to the 74-70 triumph.
Still, it was a narrow miss. UNC had just five turnovers - the best in Roy Williams' time at UNC - and FSU freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes finished with a sensational 35.
And he hit a pair of threes in the last minute to cut the lead to four.
Nonetheless, UNC won, and under some adversity. And here's a bit more, potentially: Johnson had trouble with a stiff back.
And a complication: UNC gets a Saturday-Monday turnaround, with Syracuse in town for the second game.
Syracuse played on Saturday as well, losing to Miami at home. Tonye Jekiri had 13 points and 15 boards, while Angel Rodriguez had 12 points and eight assists.
Miami had 30 points from three point range - basically half of the 66 the 'Canes scored - pretty much negating Jim Boeheim's signature 2-3 zone.
Four conference games on Sunday and the best might be Notre Dame at State. Notre Dame is doing well of course, but State is quietly, consistently improving.
Louisville should blast Pitt and we can't see Virginia Tech taking Virginia, even in Blacksburg.
That dynamic sure has changed: Virginia Tech has had a lot of success against its rival since joining the ACC, both in football and basketball. Virginia's defense is suffocating though, and though Buzz Williams has given the Hokies a buzz of energy, it's not likely to be enough. It won't surprise us if it's close though.
Virginia Tech, BC and Georgia Tech are all winless in the ACC. That ends for at least one team Sunday, but which? Very tough call. We'll go with the Yellow Jackets.