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Mar
15
2014

Random ACC Men’s Basketball Thoughts

ACC-Tournament

Good afternoon, fellow Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans.  It’s the calm before the storm here in the DC area – winter just won’t seem to go away smh.

This post is going to be about as unstructured as it gets – a bunch of random ACC men’s basketball thoughts.  Here we go:

  • What a job Brad Brownell has done at this year at Clemson.  I think I’ve sung praises for Brad Brownell far more than my blogging and podcast partner, Jeff Fann (@TalkinACCSports on Twitter), who is a Clemson alumnus.  At Operation ACC Basketball, the media picked Clemson 14th (!!!!!) in the conference.  The Tigers finished the season at 6th place in the ACC, including a 10-8 record and was a basket away from sweeping two games with Duke (in fact, make those free throws, and Clemson is in the ACC semifinals today).  Brownell knows that he isn’t going to recruit that talent that Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, or even Pittsburgh will get – so he focuses his team on outstanding defense (had it not been for Virginia’s outstanding season – their best since 1981 – Brownell would have had more ACC Coach of the Year votes).  If K.J. McDaniels comes back next year, you have to think that Clemson might enter the season in the top 6-7 in the ACC media poll (Tigers have a boatload of experience coming back).

  • Pitt looks like they could win the ACC tournament (although Virginia will have much to say about that – and they are my pick to win the ACC tournament) – and many had the Panthers teetering on the bubble, but on the right side.

  • NC State is making a late push to get into the tournament (a monster win vs. Syracuse) – I think the Wolfpack must get to the ACC tournament final to get into the Big Dance (which means NC State must defeat Duke today).

  • North Carolina reverted back to its Jekyl and Hyde ways in its loss to Pittsburgh – I have no idea what this team is going to do when it gets on the court.  Hopefully, the ACC sees Good Roy’s team in the NCAA tournament.

  • Syracuse has to get their act together – soon – or risk an early exit in the NCAA tournament.  FWIW, I think there is time for the Orange to get back on track – but someone must take that leadership role on the team (there’s a vacuum there right now).

  • Duke (who gutted out a win vs. Clemson – and kudos to the Devils for that) needs to start playing defense – soon – today would be a good time vs. the Wolfpack.

  • Looks like we have a couple of coaches that are in important years of their contracts next year.  First, CBS reported that Steve Donahue will be back next year for Boston College. Donahue has his own players in his system and he must start winning now.  Second, Georgia Tech head men’s basketball coach, Brian Gregory, is in the same boat and must win next year.  Gregory has to recruit better talent – and there’s a lot of talent in the Atlanta area.

  • Was Virginia Tech’s loss to Miami the final game for Virginia Tech’s head men’s basketball coach, James Johnson?  Aaron McFarling (@AaronMcFarling) of the Roanoke Times has a very reasonable take on Coach Johnson’s future and recommends that Walt Babcock pull the trigger on a new hire now (the article is a must read).  You can also see @HereGoJayAgain’s take regarding Coach Johnson’s future on our ACC podcast (who advocates the opposition position).  It’s a tough decision for Walt Babcock, Virginia Tech’s new athletic director, but he has experience making the big hire. In any case, Virginia Tech has to put more financial resources toward men’s basketball – or risk getting left behind in the new look ACC (we will blog about this in the future).

Have a great day watching the ACC Tournament Semifinals!!!

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