Random ACC Rant


With the regular season nearly done, I’ve done a lot of thinking and I figured, why not share those thoughts with you…the public. Let’s just be honest, everyone cares about what some random dude is thinking.

All season long, I’ve had Jon Scheyer penciled in, but when the season ends, I’m not guaranteeing he’ll still be at the top. Don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t really done anything to “lose” the award, it’s just I’ve been so impressed lately with both Grievis Vasquez and Malcolm Delaney.

Delaney is the league’s leading scorer and is a monster at getting to the line. Take him off Virginia Tech and the Hokies win 10 games total this year.

While most of you will point out that Scheyer just abused Vasquez in their head-to-head face off, I’ll hold off judgment for the re-match in Maryland.

If I had to pick a ACC player of the year now, it’d still give it to Jon Scheyer, but it would be a tough call.

Last year, many expected Davis to head to the NBA. He returned but I figured (along with most people) that he would stay for only one more season. Yet this season has actually exposed some of his flaws (limited offensive moves) and now that he’s out for the year. Does this mean he has one more year of growing in Chapel Hill in him or is he still bolting?

Obviously if he comes back, it’s a huge break for the Tar Heels. You see the Heels are going to be overloaded with guards and wing players next year. They’ll have (PG) Drew, (PG) Strickland, (SG) McDonald and (G/F) Graves, along with freshman (G/F) Barnes, (SG) Bullock and (PG) Marshall.

Now if Davis did turn pro (and with Thompson graduating), Carolina’s front line consist of Zeller (who has yet to play a full season) and Jon Henson, who at least is starting to show some promise. The only backups would be the Wear brothers. That’s a thin front line, because you’re asking those four to all make major improvements this off-season.

If Davis comes back and Coach Williams can figure out a rotation for his seven guards/wing players, then Carolina will be returning back to the top of the ACC next season.

With the departure of so much talent at the guard position (Lawson, Teague, McClinton, Douglas, Rice, Ellington, Rivers, E. Williams), the ACC was suppose to become a big man’s league. Of course some have played their part; Aminu is ALL-ACC, Booker continues to dominate down low, Tracy Smith has performed great on a crappy team and Lawal is getting it done in Atlanta, but let’s just be honest with each other…the guards are the difference.

The most important players in this league are Scheyer, Vasquez, Delaney, N. Smith and I. Smith. Three are seniors, two are juniors (Nolan and Delaney) and they’re all putting their teams into the NCAA Tournament. Also, if you’re an opposing coach, you’re game-planning to stop these guys. The great irony is, none would be lottery picks in the 2010 NBA Draft.

I see three underclassmen heading for the NBA bucks. Al-Farouq Aminu…good luck. Derrick Favors….bye-bye. Gani Lawal…good to know you.

Aminu could have gone last year and been a lottery pick. He stay one season and he’s only gotten better and improved his standing. He’s gone. He should be a top-seven draft pick in the 2010 Draft.

Derrick Favors has been a disappointment, but he’s got too much talent to waste it away in Atlanta for no cash. He still has a lot to learn, but he’ll learn it as a millionaire as a top-10 pick in next year’s draft.

Gani Lawal is a bit of a surprise. Sure he’s an athletic big man that makes NBA general managers wet themselves, but he’s raw and has a tendency to foul and miss important minutes. The problem is, one more year of college probably won’t knock him up much higher than he would be now, which is the middle-t0-back end of the first round.

The only other ACC underclassman’s name I see get thrown around in next year’s draft is Solomon Alabi, but he’s coming back. While he’s a defensive force, because he’s still basically new to the game of basketball, he can get better offensively in college. If he stays on more season, he’s a lottery pick in 2011. If he came out now, he’d land at the end of the first round.

No. Right now, three teams are moving in the wrong direction; Miami (Haith), Boston College (Skinner) and NC State (Lowe), but I don’t think any of these three lose their jobs.

Miami won’t make it to the tournament this year, but they did just two years ago and under Coach Haith, they’ve had winning seasons in five of his six seasons on the bench.

Boston College’s Skinner has guided the Eagles to five tournament appearances, including last year. Hell, he’s been a National Coach of the year (200-2001, the year Duke won the title) and Big East coach of the year (2004-2005). You don’t throw him under the bus just because of one bad season.

Of the three, Lowe may be the only one in trouble. This is year four at NC State and he has ZERO NCAA Tournament trips and he’s never produced a winning season in the ACC conference. In the end though, I suspect he’ll get one more year.

If you want a dark horse firing, how about Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech? Sure he brought in the No 7 freshman class last year, but with Favors being a one-and-done, is the pressure on to win now or else? I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I’d keep my eye on Atlanta if Tech goes out early in the NCAA Tournament.

Seth Greenberg, the head coach of Virginia Tech, has been a head coach for 20 years (starting at Long Beach State, moving over to South Florida before settling at Virginia Tech), yet has only tasted the NCAA Tournament  once in his career (in 2007). That year, the Hokies beat Illinois, 54-52 in the first round.

The Stat guru over at USA Today, sure loves himself Duke basketball and ACC Basketball. According to his numbers (which I won’t bother figuring out), he has the Blue Devils No 2 in the land.

In fact, seven of the top 32 are from the ACC (Duke #2, Maryland #19, Wake #23, Fla State #26, Va Tech #28 and Ga Tech #32).

Malcolm Delaney currently leads the ACC in scoring at just over 20+ a game. The way he’s been playing, there is little doubt he won’t win the scoring title. However, we’re not so sure that’s a good thing.

Since Jay Williams (Duke) won the National Title in 2000-2001 and the scoring title at 21.6ppg, no ACC scoring champ has won a title. Hell, none have even reached a title game.

Overall, scoring champs are only 12-7 in the NCAA tournament since 2001-2002, but four of those wins were by Tyler Hansbrough in ’07-08 (when Carolina reached the Final Four).

Below are the decades scoring champs and their records in the tournament (since Jay Williams in 2000-2001).

  • 08-09 – Tony Douglas 21.5ppg (0-1)
  • 07-08 – Tyler Hansbrough 22.5ppg (4-1)
  • 06-07 –  Al Thornton, 19.7ppg (0-0)
  • 05-06 –  J.J. Redick, 26.8ppg (2-1)
  • 04-05 –  J.J. Redick, 21.8ppg (2-1)
  • 03-04 –  Rashad McCants 20.1ppg (1-1)
  • 02-03 –  Josh Howard, 20.0ppg (1-1)
  • 01-02 –  Jay Williams, 21.7ppg (2-1)
  • 00-01 –  Jay Williams, 21.6ppg (6-0)

If you remember, Ross was a shooting guard committed to Maryland, but over the last year, he’s been moving up the high school player rankings. So recently, Ross decided to renege on his commitment to the Terps and just like that, the big boys descended onto Ross, including Kentucky, Kansas and even Duke.

Since then, many, include this blog, have speculated that Ross could end up in Durham. First, Duke was in need of a small forward, with Singler being a junior (with no legit backup), so a starting spot could be his quickly. Secondly, he played for Montrose Christian, which is where Duke commit, Josh Hairston plays. The chips seemed to be in place.

Yet the basketball world was stunned when Ross suddenly left Montrose Christian and landed back home in Oregon. The reason we were told about the move was that it had to do with academics, but who knows for sure.

Of course last week, Ross gave a quick interview to Tim Brown at OregonLive.com. In it, he lists the top five schools currently recruiting him and surprise, surprise, Duke was not one of the five he named. They were Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon.

What happened? Does anyone have answers, because I sure don’t?

It’s never too early for this stuff, is it? Nah. Again, we’re assuming Favors, Aminu and Lawal are all gone.

ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sylven Landesberg (shocking, I know).

FIRST-TEAM ALL-ACC (2010-2011)
G – Nolan Smith
G – Sylven Landesberg
G/F – Harrison Barnes
F – Kyle Singler
F – Ed Davis

G – Kyrie Irving
G – Malcolm Delaney
F – Mason Plumlee
F – Soloman Alabi
F – Tracy Smith