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ACC Roundup - Virginia, UNC Struggle Again

This could be a long season around the conference if early trends hold up

Virginia v Houston
 HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 16: Marcus Sasser #0 of the Houston Cougars dribbles past Carson McCorkle #33 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half at Fertitta Center on November 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, UNC came back to beat Charleston 94-83, Miami nipped FAU 68-66, Pitt got its first win, taking out Wilmington 59-51, the Pack attacked Central Connecticut 79-65 and Virginia fell at Houston by 20, 67-47.

Tony Bennett’s offense relies on precision and control and it’s pretty clear they didn’t have either here.

The Cavs had 17 turnovers and shot just 34.9 percent overall and hit just 4-19 on threes. They even struggled at the line where they shot just 13-21. Houston outscored Virginia 33-12 from the bonus-sphere. Coppin State should be a bit of a breather but we liked what we saw from them when they were in Cameron last year, then it’s Georgia and after another breather, Iowa.

Look, Tony Bennett is a great coach. He’s long since proven that. He can still make this a successful year, but this may be a season where he is mortal once again.

We’re only three games into the Hubert Davis era, but we can gain some mild insights. For instance, UNC has given up an average of 79 points so far and 85 in the last two.

Given that the opponents were Brown and Charleston, and both were close in the end says a lot about where UNC is now.

Good thing Armando Bacot had a game: he was 10-12 from the floor and had 12 boards. Dawson Garcia was more or less AWOL. Brady Manek had 17 off the bench but check this out: touted freshmen Dontrez Styles and D’Marco Dunn have combined to play just seven minutes so far. We thought they were better than that.

UNC better figure it out quick: Purdue is up this weekend and Michigan is on December 1st and UCLA on the 18th. Give Hubert credit for aggressive scheduling but UNC could look like Virginia after that.

It’s possible that Isaiah Wong is the most underrated guard in the ACC. He was magnificent for Miami in last year’s injury-plagued campaign and showed the heart for clutch play.

After FAU tied the game on a three with 0:16 left, without a timeout, Miami tossed the ball in to Wong who brought it downcourt and drove on the Florida Atlantic defense, scoring with 0:06 left.

Good thing: Rodney Miller got four fouls in nine minutes and while Sam Waardenburg played for 26 minutes, he too was in foul trouble. The two bigs combined for two points and five boards.

Pitt has some real problems, having lost its backcourt before the season started to injury and suspension.

They still had enough to beat Wilmington.

Jon Hurley, who was suspended last season after some legal issues, has been really good so far. He had 15 points and 11 boards here. Femi Odukale had 15 points and seven boards.

On the downside, William Jefress had five of Pitt’s 17 turnovers.

State has had some bad luck with losing Manny Bates for the season, but Dereon Seabron is coming on fast. He hit 8-12 and had nine boards in State’s 79-65 win over the Blue Devils in the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase. Don’t look now but the kid is averaging All-ACC numbers with 19.5 ppg and 10.5 boards.

No, not those Blue Devils. The ones from Connecticut.

Despite it all, State is still 3-0. Casey Morsell, who left Virginia to play for State and who is averaging 17.5 ppg, must be glad to be missing out on Virginia’s misery.

High Point is not an elite opponent but Notre Dame did something very unusual regardless: three Irish had double-doubles. Dane Goodwin had 12 points and 11, Paul Atkinson had 19 and 11 while Nate Laszewski and 10 and 16.

On Wednesday, we’ll see BC get a tougher opponent in Rhode Island, Wake Forest welcomes Charleston Southern in, NC State plays Oklahoma State in the second game of the Showcase while Florida State gets a chance to take out frustrations on Tulane.

Wednesday’s ACC Schedule

  • BC @ Rhode Island || 6:00 || CBSSN
  • Charleston Southern @ Wake Forest || 7:00 || ACCNX+/ESPN+ ||
  • NC State vs. Oklahoma State || 8:00 || CBSSN
  • Tulane @ Florida State || 8:00 || ACCN