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Where ACC Teams Get Their Points

There are three basic ways here

 SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Duke Blue Devils Forward Jack White (41) shoots a three point jump shot during the second half of the College Basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Syracuse Orange on February 1, 2020, at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By this time in the season most teams have established their identity. Injured players may return to action, altering a squad’s chemistry, or groups may suddenly click in a new way, generating a sudden winning burst. But as the ACC regular season swings into the February straightaway teams are more or less set in their ways.

A quick glance at how each unit goes about scoring can give a read on what it’s trying to do, where strengths lie and what weaknesses must be masked, if not overcome.

Take gimme points, a bounty gathered while standing still.

Wake Forest and Pittsburgh led the league in percentage of points achieved at the foul line through January at 24.59 and 21.94 percent, respectively. North Carolina was third at attacking the basket and cashing in on the resultant free throws (19.03 percent).

That trait is characteristic for the Tar Heels, whose coach, Roy Williams, follows the inside-oriented dictates of his teacher, Dean Smith. Further reflecting a post proclivity, Carolina was second only to Georgia Tech in portion of points derived inside the 3-point arc.

Beyond that line, the Heels were among the ACC’s least accurate shooters (.300), joining the Yellow Jackets in earning the smallest part of their points from afar.

Meanwhile, feasting at the foul line was a hunger unsated by Virginia Tech at 14.52 percent of its points, followed by Notre Dame at 15.73.

You don’t get fouled much while shooting threes. Sure enough, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, then Syracuse and Clemson depended heavily on bonusphere bombing. The Irish are especially known for that.

Those four teams led the ACC in made threes, and conversely collected fewer than half their points on 2-point field goals.

The Hokies under new coach Mike Young, as well as the Orange, under old coach Jim Boeheim, accent threes this season. But Clemson? That’s a new one.

It’s worth noting that, among the three ACC squads projected as likely NCAA participants at February’s doorstep (Duke, Florida State and Louisville), none ranked better than eighth in the league in 3-point scoring production.

FSU and Louisville stood among the league’s top seven in garnering points at the foul line. The Blue Devils and Cardinals were among the best six at inside scoring. Only Chris Mack’s team was among the top seven in two of the key categories charted below.

How ACC Teams Derive Points, Through Games of Jan. 31, 2020
Team % Pts Via FT % Pts Via 3Ptr % Pts Via 2Ptr
BC 18.02 31.46 50.52
C 16.37 36.84 46.78
D 16.99 27.03 55.99
FS 17.87 30.40 51.73
GT 17.64 22.35 60.01
UL 18.02 28.45 53.54
UM 16.88 30.54 52.58
NC 19.03 23.72 57.59
NS 16.31 28.66 55.03
ND 15.73 39.36 44.91
UP 21.94 24.30 53.76
SU 18.53 37.26 44.21
V 17.16 27.73 55.11
VT 14.52 43.55 41.94
WF 24.59 31.08 44.34