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ACC Teams And Turnovers - Not Always A Problem

Some teams win in spite of butterfingers.

Some teams win in spite of butterfingers.
Some teams win in spite of butterfingers.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

It seems axiomatic that a winning team would handle the ball well. Coaches are forever harping on reducing unforced errors (turnovers), sharing the ball (assists), limiting mistakes (turnovers), running the offense (assists). Fewer turnovers should mean more scoring chances for the offense and fewer situations that advantage the opposing attack.

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Yet it's one of the peculiarities of several ACC programs that a positive ratio of assists to turnovers is not necessarily a hallmark of team success.

Take Florida State. Come victory or defeat, NCAA participation or stumbling to the back of the pack, FSU will commit more miscues than it records passes leading directly to baskets. That's been the case at Tallahassee for going on two decades -- since the 1997 season, Pat Kennedy's last as head coach.

This year's struggling FSU squad - which permanently lost its best player, guard Aaron Thomas - is one of eight in the ACC with more turnovers than assists. Last season Leonard Hamilton's 22-win club, which went to the NIT after tying for sixth with N.C. State and Maryland, was one of four with that negative ratio. (As was 23-win Clemson, another NIT entrant.)

Now here comes Louisville, which is stylistically quite different from Florida State but apparently also prone to loose ball discipline.

Currently the majority of ACC members have more turnovers than assists. All would be considered also-rans except Louisville, a top-10 team, and N.C. State. This is the second time in three seasons, and the third time since Rick Pitino replaced Denny Crum for the 2002 season, that the Cardinals had more turnovers than assists.

2015 ACC Teams with More Turnovers Than Assists
(Through Games of Jan. 5, Listed in Alphabetical Order)
School A:TO W-L Last Time More
TO Than Assists
Boston College 0.92 7-5 2012 0.79
Clemson 0.85 8-5 2014 0.96
Florida State 0.87 8-6 2014 0.75
Georgia Tech 0.91 9-4 2013 0.99
Louisville 0.94 13-1 2012 0.95
N.C. State 0.94 11-4 2007 0.85