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ACC Roundup - NCAA Rules On NC State, Can UNC Bounce Back From After Kentucky?

Big doings in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

CBS Sports Classic - Kentucky v North Carolina
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Hubert Davis (L) of the North Carolina Tar Heels and head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats greet each other on the court before playing in the CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena on December 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It wasn’t funny for long.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In Monday’s ACC Action, Miami beat 4-7 Stetson 82-72 while Notre Dame beat 4-7 Western Michigan 85-52. Miami’s Kameron McGusty shot 9-12 (including 6-8 on threes) for 27 points which is good since the rest of the team hit about 38 percent.

Not a lot to write home about in this one but Miami is now 9-3 which, in this year’s ACC, ain’t bad.

Trivia time! Stetson University is named for John B. Stetson who was responsible for the iconic hat. Trivia time times two! Stetson head coach Donnie Jones is from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a town famous for a supposed curse set by Chief Cornstalk and, more recently, the whole heebie mcjeebie thing with the Mothman. Jones was one year old when the Silver Bridge collapsed in Point Pleasant.

In Monday’s second game, Dane Goodwin hit 4-6 on threes and 6-10 overall for 18 points.

Is Nate Laszewski injured? Or just regressing? It’s not like he’s just an awful player. He’s not. He’s had his moments.

Just not many this season.

Against the Broncs, he got 28 minutes and scored eight points. He also pulled down six boards. But guard - freshman guard, Blake Wesley - had five.

Okay, enough of that crap. On to the good stuff.

NC State got one year of probation for the Adidas black hole former coach Mark Gottfried sucked the Pack into.

State got minimally punished - a $5,000 dollar fine and docked one scholarship in 2022-23. They also have to vacate the wins from 2016-17, including the dramatic win in Cameron.

Gottfried? That’s a different matter.

Although he’s currently employed at Cal-State Northridge, that may not last much longer. He was put on leave last spring following recruiting concerns there and Trent Johnson was hired as interim coach. So it seems likely that Gottfried is done, if not officially.

Now he has a show cause for one year (his assistant, Orlando Early, got six, which hardly seems fair).

Since Gottfried has flamed out at three consecutive jobs and left the last two in NCAA trouble, who in their right mind would hire this guy now? And if you want to look up his mid-season departure from Alabama, go ahead. It was never officially explained but there are some people who have discussed it and what they suggest is pretty bad.

Functionally, he’s done. He could probably coach high school, conceivably work as an NBA assistant, but college? Nope. We doubt he could even get back on ESPN.

Now Kevin Keatts can get on with building his program, which is great. We hope he feels liberated. But no helicopters for recruits!

In Tuesday’s ACC Action, Pitt could move closer to .500 with a win over Jacksonville, the Pack gets Wright State, Georgia Tech gets Georgia State and a chance to avenge last season’s four overtime loss but in Phoenix, not Georgia, while UNC gets Appalachian State...and that could be interesting.

Common sense says UNC should kill ASU after rolling over to Kentucky this weekend, losing 98-69.

The Heels shot 1-13 from behind the line and had just six offensive rebounds with 30 misses. And this hasn’t gotten much mention: 22 points were uncontested as UNC hit 22-28 from the line.

What if they didn’t have that? What if they’d had, say, eight free throws?

This game could have been a lot uglier than it was.

The sane prediction would be to assume they’ll beat Appalachian like a rented drum at a thrash metal bar but don’t be so sure.

We’d feel a lot better about the odds for App State if UNC wasn’t coming off a devastating loss. On the other hand though we saw them play Duke on Thursday and were impressed. Duke won by 25 but ASU is clearly a well-coached team. They have experience and can heat up from outside.

And they pass well, occasionally brilliantly. Against Duke 15 of 24 baskets came from assists. As we saw in our slow watch, they had some brilliant passes they weren’t able to convert. This is an experienced team too. They’ve been together a long time.

So while we expect UNC’s talent to win out, and while you would hope they'd play angry after Kentucky, who the hell knows?

Hubert Davis is juggling a lot of things - first his own transition to head coach, second, his determination to modernize UNC’s approach, which in many ways was the same in 2019 and it was in 1979, third, making sure his team stays together after a painful loss, and fourth, hoping that the fans don’t turn on him.

And remember this: it’s not like everyone is dying to turn out to see UNC-App State. At Duke you can pack the place because, well, it’s Duke, but also the Dean Dome seats 12,436 more than does Cameron. Duke Basketball is an amazing product, but Basketball Paradise is easy to fill. It’s just not that big.

Will the fans turn out after an ugly loss? And during a pandemic?

There are a lot of ways things could build in Appalachian’s favor. We’re not saying they will. But things could certainly get interesting. This may be the only time we’ll ever say this about a game between these two teams: don’t rule App State out. And if by any chance, UNC blows it, we highly recommend heading over to Twitter to read @ICMeltdown. Trust us. You’ll enjoy that very much.

Tuesday’s ACC Action

  • Jacksonville @ Pitt || 2:00 || ACCN
  • Wright State @ NC State || 7:00 || ESPN+/ACCNX
  • Appalachian State @ UNC || 7:00 || ACCN
  • Georgia State vs. Georgia Tech || 9:00 || ACCNX
  • N. Florida @ FSU
  • Cornell @ Syracuse