It was a rough second week of basketball for the ACC. Sure teams like Duke, Clemson and Florida State won, but four loses over the past two days could be a hint at what to expect from this conference in 2010-2011. Let’s take a peak.
(3) KANSAS STATE OVER VIRGINIA TECH, 73-57
After being ripped for a cupcake schedule last season, Virginia Tech went out of their way to put some meat on their schedule this season. Against Kansas State, the Hokies had a chance to prove something. Saying they came up short might be an understatement.
The Kansas State Wildcats were without power forward Curtis Kelly and preseason all-american, Jacob Pullen missed most of the first half in foul trouble. Everything was coming up Hokie. Yet with a two-point lead with 14 to play, Virginia Tech collapsed. Kansas State went on a 28-9 run and the game was over.
So what went wrong?
The Hokies struggled with K-State’s pressure defense and their length. Malcolm Delaney actually had a double-double, but not the kind you like. He scored 22 (leading all scorers), but he turned it over 10 times. The reality is, if Delaney wants to play at the next level, the 6’3 guard will have to play the point, but in college, he’s most dangerous as the two guard.
In the end, Virginia Tech fans had to be disappointed in the scoring total (57) and the margin of defeat (16), but there is no real shame in losing on the road to the No. 3 team in the land. Their next true test will come in two weeks when Purdue comes to town. If they lose that one, then we have some issues in need of discussion.
(19) MEMPHIS OVER MIAMI, 72-68
Like Virginia Tech, the Miami Hurricanes have put together a more challenging schedule for themselves. While Memphis is no Kansas State, they are ranked (#19) and the game was at midnight. While Miami failed to walk away with a win, there were plenty of positives for this young Canes team.
They played great defense, holding Memphis to only 19 made baskets (including 4-22 from three). Miami also owned the boards, out-rebounding the Tigers 51-31. Miami’s two guards and stars, Durand Scott and Malcolm Scott, did score 38 points, although they needed 27 shots to get it. Too many.
In the end, the game was a tough, physical game. The two teams combined to take an incredible 75 free throw attempts. The Hurricanes actually led by four with just under four to play, but when Memphis took the lead back, they held it for good by hitting six of their last eight free throws.
VCU OVER WAKE FOREST, 90-69
This could really end up being a rough season for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have already dropped two games to what you would think were inferior opponents. They started the season losing at home to Stetson. Yes, Stetson, who turned around and lost to Bethune-Cookman. Unless you’ve lived in Florida your whole live, you probably don’t even know what a Stetson or a Bethune-Cookman is.
Now losing to a team like VCU (who beat Duke in the NCAA Tournament in 2007) is not to0 shameful, but the fact is, in both of Wake’s loses, neither game was even close. Stetson led Wake by 19 in the first half and never trailed. VCU actually trailed by four in the second half, before going on a 29-8 run.
Now no one really expecting the Demon Deacons to really do much this season, not with five freshman getting important minutes. However, the experienced players are struggling too. Senior Gary Clark is just 4-14, while C.J. Harris has only 11 assists to 19 turnovers.
KENNESAW ST. OVER GEORGIA TECH, 80-63
Of course out of all these loses, none are more embarrassing than Georgia Tech’s. The fact is, both Virginia Tech and Miami went on the road against ranked teams a lost. Disappointing, yes, but not unexpected. Wake Forest has looked like crap, but their nine-man rotation consists of five freshman, two sophomores, one junior and one senior.
Granted, Georgia Tech is young too (they start four sophomores and a freshman), but those sophomores have plenty of game-time experience from last year. Of course you would have never known it from watching this game.
The Yellow Jackets were blown out by an Atlantic Sun team…and I mean blown out. The Owls led by as much as 29 points in the first half. Ga Tech never once led and the 17-point margin of defeat doesn’t do justice to how bad Kennesaw State (the 2004 Division II champion) beat on them.
The Yellow Jackets simply don’t have the size. I’m not even sure starting center Daniel Miller could start in the Atlantic Sun, let along the Atlantic Coast Conference. Miller and the Jackets had no answer for the Owls’ center, LaDaris Green, who finished with 19 points, 12 boards and four blocks.
Georgia Tech’s strength was suppose to be their guard play, but in two games Tech has rolled out seven different guards and they have combined to shoot 29% from the floor (18-61).