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ACC Roundup - Louisville’s Decline Continues; A Very Bad Day For Juli Boeheim

Where do people get off? Geez.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia Tech
Mar 1, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Samuell Williamson (10) drives past Virginia Tech Hokies guard Nahiem Alleyne (4) during the first half at Cassell Coliseum.
Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

We have no idea what’s going on with Louisville’s Malik Williams but it can’t be good: after an earlier suspension, coach Mike Pegues didn’t leave him on the bench for the Virginia Tech game: he left him home.

It might not have mattered. Virginia Tech ripped Louisville apart, winning 75-43. It broke a 17-game losing streak to the Cardinals. Only Sydney Curry played well for Louisville, hitting 8-12 and scoring 18. No one else scored more than nine.

For the Hokies, Justyn Mutts had 14 while Keve Aluma and Darius Maddox both had 11. Virginia Tech has now won nine out of its last 10.

It’s pretty much the opposite for Louisville: this was their 11th loss in 12 games and the Cards are starting to look like a team that’s unhappy and that’s maybe lost interest. They didn’t shoot well - 36.2 percent overall, 31.6 from behind the line and only seven free throw attempts with just three going in. Didn’t rebound well either with 28 to 36 for the Hokies. And they managed to cough up the ball 18 times.

So is it time to switch attention to who takes over after the slow-motion train wreck ends? Well it should be, but the Cards still have an interim AD and an interim president and it’s a tough sell when you don’t know who your boss will be, not to mention your boss’s boss.

Some people have fantasized about Scott Drew, and we could actually see that, if he was clear on what he’s getting into. But he has no idea, so why leave a program he’s made great for one with so many question marks? That probably goes for other mentioned candidates like Mick Cronin, Eric Musselman, Nate Oats and Steve Forbes. All of them are doing fine and don’t need the headache.

The two guys who might make sense are former Louisville star Kenny Payne, who was a sensational assistant for John Calipari before moving on to the New York Knicks, and local coach Scott Davenport, who is currently at Belmont.

Payne has about as much support as anyone could under the circumstances and for Davenport, he wouldn’t have to move and would get a nice raise.

We’re not Louisville people obviously and our observations are from a distance. But here’s our take, for what it’s worth: unless they can find a major home run who’s willing to gamble that things will work out okay, they almost have to go with Payne.

First, he gets rave reviews from everyone. Second, he’s a proven recruiter. And third, he’s a Louisville guy. He’d repair a lot of the bad feelings and divisions and, we think, reunite the fan base.

He also has two rings, one with Louisville as a player in the 1986 win over Duke (bonus points) and one as a Kentucky assistant in 2012.

Our advice to Louisville, if anyone cared what we thought, would be to interview Ben McCollum of D-II Northeast Missouri State because the guy is on one of the great runs in basketball coaching history. He’s simply too good to ignore.

Realistically though, we expect it’s going to be Payne.

Uh-oh! Bad news for the Boeheims of Syracuse! Scary stuff!

Juli Boeheim was robbed at gun point at Destiny USA, a very large mall in Syracuse. Apparently some guy struck up a conversation with her in the parking lot while she was in her car then pulled out a gun, reached in and stole her purse.

You know, the Boeheims have had some real trauma in the last few years. You may remember that Jim accidentally struck and killed a man who was trying to get out of a car that had skidded out of control on I-690. It was ruled an accident and Boeheim was legally blameless but there’s no way that wasn’t traumatic.

Mrs. Boeheim’s experience wasn’t as bad but we’re sure it was terrifying. No one should have to go through something like that.

We’re down to the last 11 days of the regular season with four on Wednesday night. Georgia Tech visits Clemson, Notre Dame goes to FSU, possibly still high as a kite after that crazy win over Virginia, NC State takes a ride up to Winston-Salem to take on the resurgent Demon Deacons while Miami drops in on Earl Grant’s Boston College Eagles.

We really admire what Clemson has done with real adversity so we’ll stick with them out of sheer respect here. Could FSU pull the upset? Why yes, we think they could. Why? A couple of things. First, the Irish are a very thin team. Second, even with the traditional Leonard Hamilton 7-0 space fillers, Florida State can make life very difficult for Paul Atkinson. And they can pressure the three point shooting, even with a limited roster. So it won't be easy for Notre Dame.

This might be the most surprising stat of the season: NC State is the best offensive rebounding team in the ACC.

Unfortunately it’s an anomaly. State’s had a thoroughly bad season. It’s probably not going to get better in Joel.

We’re on record as admiring what Earl Grant has accomplished this season. The record is never going to show that he’s gotten this broken program to fight. Steve Forbes is certain to win Coach Of The Year, unless the media feels guilty and decides to finally give it to Mike Krzyzewski. Grant should get a few votes though. He’s done something really impressive. BC has a pulse again.

Wednesday’s ACC Action

  • Georgia Tech @ Clemson || 7:00 || ACCN
  • Notre Dame @ Florida State || 7:00 || ESPN2
  • NC State @ Wake Forest || 9:00 || ACCNX
  • Miami @ Boston College || 9:00ACCN

ACC Standings