ACC Basketball Update(2/29)

Some teams start to get untangled from the weeds.

Grab a Tiger by the Tail: The Tiger survived a huge test in holding off Miami after jumping out big on the Hurricanes earlier in the game. The upside for Clemson is they are a game up in the loss column on Maryland who they face on the road this Sunday night. The downside, Oliver Purnell has to be worried at his team’s penchant for blowing huge leads. Clemson led Miami by 17 at halftime and allowed the Hurricanes to close it to one. Eventually Clemson got separation much the same way they did at NCSU. However, the inability to get ahead and keep distance on opposing teams is going to come back and bit Clemson in the NCAA Tournament. Miami is not necessarily done as an NCAA Tournament team but they need to win their final three to get to 9-7 which is doable versus UVa, BC and at FSU. Beyond that at least one ACCT win is needed maybe even two.

Maryland and Wake: Let me first thank WRAL-TV in Raleigh for sticking this game on one of their digital channels so I could not see the game. I appreciate that. Secondly, Maryland stopped the bleeding and won at Winston-Salem over Wake Forest which is not an easy task, just ask Duke. Maryland now is 8-6 in the ACC and really could use two more wins and a 3rd place finish to get off the bubble. Wake is in much the same boat as Miami. The Deacs need to win their last three for an 9-7 mark and probably one win in the ACCT, two if they can get it.

Yes Duke Won But…: I think the Devils are still showing signs of offensive struggles versus a Georgia Tech team not playing the best basketball in the world right now. Duke won that game because they turned GT over repeatedly and also because GT missed about 10 point blank range layups that literally rimmed out. And I am not even going to get into how bad the officiating was in general for this game. Duke keeps pace with UNC and goes to play NCSU where I expected they will see about 20 minutes of competition before the Pack calls it a day.

NCSU Woes: And finally, what is to be done in Raleigh? Sidney Lowe apparently became fed up with the effort of certain players that he called the starters “awful” in the postgame press conference after the Pack lallygagged their way to a loss at home over an FSU team they previously bested on the road. There appears to be a clear delineation between the players who were recruited by Lowe(Tracy Smith, Trevor Ferguson, Javi Gonzalez) and those leftover from the Herb years(Courtney Fells, Gavin Grant, Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley) when it comes to the effort shown during games. Add to this the chirping J.J. Hickson made this week about being ready for the NBA and what you have is a full blow program in crisis unable to find itself. Lowe is being criticized by some for saying what the fans have been saying all season and that is certain players are not playing with an ounce of heart or effort on the court. At the same time, it is evident Lowe is still feeling his way through coaching a college team and also struggling with the fact he has a mix of personnel which precludes him from installing his offensive style. At this point no one is expecting NCSU to win again this season which will put them at 15-16 once they are eliminated from the ACCT. If that is the case, if I were Lowe, I would put the five guys on the floor who give a crap, it is not like you are winning with the other players. Needless to say Wolfpack nation is restless…well more restless than normal and the whispers of Lowe being done are already starting.


9 Responses to ACC Basketball Update(2/29)

  1. Josh Bowling says:

    I would still give Sidney Lowe 4-5 year curve. Atsur helped make Lowe’s team look better than they probably were. I know a sign of good coaching is being able to do something with what you have, which he did decent with last year. Let’s see what kind of players they can recruit over the next couple of years, and if Lowe can implement his style of play with them. Who would have thought going into the season that Sidney would have a “LOWE” amount of wins?! All excuses will be removed or validified if given the chance. It seems as if there is very strong home court advantage in the ACC this year. It definately helped Duke break away from a pesky GT team that was basically playing them even for a while. We have had good home court advantage this year, with Maryland being the only exception, as they were allowed to body us up most of the game, which were fouls in the prior and post Maryland games there. Looks like Duke, UNC, Clemson, and Maryland will be headed to the dance.

  2. Steve the State Fan says:

    My corner of wolfpack nation (the folks I commiserate with) is disgusted with lack of effort more than anything else. It’s really inexcusable, and I guess the coaching staff has to take some of that blame. I’m not sure why you would need to motivate anyone to play like they give a crap at this level. I can take losing games when you can tell maximum effort is being expended by players and coaches.

    I am trying to remember that Sid is learning how to coach and run a college program, and the jury is still out on whether he can do it. He certainly looked like he knew what he was doing at the end of the season with a decent healthy PG. But this year’s team is killing me. I can’t pull for them to lose, but really wouldn’t mind it if the rest of the season got canceled somehow.

    FWIW, I think Sid should get at least 4 years.

    One benefit to my team taking itself out of the picture for postseason play is that I get to find some other teams to pull for, and I’ll enjoy watching teams who have some heart battle for tourney bids.

  3. william says:

    As a Tar Heel, my favorite NC State coach was probably Les Robinson, but Lowe is off to a great start, losing four of his first five to Carolina.

  4. Steve the State Fan says:

    If losing to Carolina is your criterion, Les Robinson is not your guy. He had a pretty respectable record against the heels, but couldn’t beat anyone else!

  5. william says:

    I actually like Les in general.

  6. Kim says:

    The thing I noticed about NC State is that it appears that they play with heart when they play Duke and UNC. In fact, it seems like every team plays their hardest and with all of their heart when they play Duke and UNC.

    Take VA Tech, for example, when they played Duke, it was a brutal game. They came off as a bunch of thugs who looked like they were playing prison ball…especially Deron Washington. However, when I watched them in subsequent games, they played normal ball.

    If only ACC teams played as hard against other teams as they do against Duke and UNC. As for NC State…it seems like they don’t care about the rest of the season knowing they have no chance to go to the dance and probably won’t even be invited to the NIT, for that matter.

    I agree with ya that Lowe should let the 5 players who show the most heart in practice…play the remainder of the games. It’s not like it would hurt anyone. Come on, Lowe, give the benchwarmers a chance.

  7. Josh Bowling says:

    Exactly Kim. There is nothing to lose. Play the 5 guys that give a damn. I think State should play like VTec. Remember when State had Charles Shackleford & Chris Washburn? You had the fear that if you crossed those guys the wrong way on the court, you may see them off the court, and you wouldn’t want that. They played tough & physical, people were scared of them, and THEY WON!

  8. Steve the State Fan says:

    I know this isn’t a state blog, so I will limit my comments, but Kim touches on one of my pet peeves about my team – lack of toughness. They have shown flashes where they play well for a half – usually the 1st half. But then the other team “punches them in the mouth,” and they just slink away. There is a serious on-court leadership void.

    Maybe a miracle will occur this afternoon and the Pack will deny K his 800th. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

  9. Tar Heel Fan says:


    I would be careful about talking about flying primates from human orfices. I said this during my preview of the Nicholls State at UNC game in December:

    Nicholls State is listed as fluffy with a creamy middle and will be afforded the privilege of playing on the Smith Center floor for 40 minutes while simultaneous getting their collective butts handed to them. Then again NSU did something NC State could not do and that was beat New Orleans so there is a chance they could make a game of it.

    There is also a chance I might have flaming purple monkeys fly out of my ears.

    UNC 108 NSU 61

    UNC only won by 10.

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