ACC BBall Bytes

With the Wolfpack suddenly struggling on the hardwood, it’s hard for everyone to pay extremely close attention to everything else that is going on in the league. But, as we have turned the corner on the mid-point of the season there have been some very interesting developments that are worth noting.

* So, the powerful UCLA Bruins dominate the Pac 10 and then lose in a non-conference match-up vs West Virginia. LOL! We have obviously discussed the ACC vs Pac 10 issue multiple times this year and you can get to most of the conversation through this entry. Most recently, kenpom added to the analysis with this entry.

* DaveSez takes a statistical look at individual player rankings. NC State’s Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner are the only Wolfpackers to crack the Top 25. Engin Atsur logs in at #37, but he hasn’t even played in half the Wolfpack’s wins. By contrast, UNC-CH has four players in the top 11. Obviously, I expected Gavin Grant to be ranked somewhere in the rankings. The next time that Gavin dribbles the ball off his foot and you choose to not think it is that big of a deal because of everything else that he does for us; think again. Dave even comments on his ommission:

I really expected Gavin Grant to rate higher. He does so many things for State. His turnovers really kill his overall efficiency though.

* 850TheBuzz always has some great ACC Notes. This week they are asking if Duke is on the bubble? A: Hell no. Sure, if the Blue Devils continue to lose out the rest of the season then their NCAA Tournament berth will be in question. But, anyone who has looked at their #18 RPI, #4 SOS, and FIVE wins vs Top 25 (RPI) can tell you that there aren’t ANY “bubble” teams with 18 overall wins and FIVE victories of Top 25 teams. The Courtmaster also has an interesting entry on the topic today that can be summarized with the following:

This is either a talented team that is underachieving or a group that isn’t as talented as the experts figured based on those high recruiting rankings.

* Right when you think that Georgia Tech and Maryland are in trouble, the Yellow Jackets and Terrapins bounce back with redemption. GT keeps on rolling with a win over FSU. This is good for the ACC. If things continue down the current direction then you may see GT, FSU and Maryland battling for the ACC’s final NCAA Tournament bid(s).

* If you like number crunching, then this entry from Dave Sez is for you. Nice work.

* Virginia got it together over the last few weeks and then got shelled by rival, Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers rocketed up the RPI in the month and now need only another couple of wins to guarantee themselves an NCAA Tournament bid. Funny, their AD and their fans aren’t in ‘make it up mode’ and proclaiming how it takes five or six years to build an NCAA Tournament team. However, if Sean Singletary turns pro after this year then the Cavs may be struggling again soon.

* What would an entry discussing ACC Basketball be without highlighting Virginia Tech. Similar to Virginia, I expect the Hokies to experience quite a drop-off next season as they lose 3 or 4 key seniors, including Zabian Dowdell.

* No reason to be rude and ignore BC. (Link)

06-07 Basketball General

32 Responses to ACC BBall Bytes

  1. Mr O 02/14/2007 at 9:03 AM #

    No need to praise Leitao(sp) at this point. His recruiting has been subpar, so UVA could have a severe dropoff after their backcourt leaves. At this point, he could still be the next Skip Prosser.

    At this point, BC has to be the most impressive team so far. Not just because they are in first place, but because they are in first place after losing one of the best players in the league mid-season(not sure how much the other guy they lost played).

    It will be interesting to see if anyone ever targets the BC basketball coach like we did their football coach.

  2. CedarGroveWolf 02/14/2007 at 9:13 AM #

    A “flash in the pan” year like UVA is having isn’t the way to build a program. Consistently having good seasons & good recruiting classes builds a championship program. Sid is building such a program.

  3. RickJ 02/14/2007 at 9:35 AM #

    Al Skinner is arguably the best evaluator of talent in Division 1. BC doesn’t have a single player on their roster that was rated in the top 100 coming out of high school. Dudley & Marshall are both from California and were not that highly ranked. I just don’t think this formula will continue to work in the ACC.

    Mr. O – I was thinking the same thing about Skinner. There are so many schools that need what Skinner offers and this would be a great year for him to make the move but he is such a Northeast kind of guy. Played at UMASS and his entire coaching career has been in that part of the country. Also, unlike O’Brien, his two kids are still in high school.

  4. Rochester 02/14/2007 at 9:43 AM #

    Sid is having the opposite experience of some of the other new coaches in the league. Dave Leitao and Skip Prosser came in and won early with players left from the previous administrations. The jury’s out on their recruiting, but I don’t see many spectacular young players on either roster. Meanwhile, Sid was left with a pretty bare cupboard and the biggest successes he’s scored (aside from the win over UNC) have been on the recruiting trail. I think this bodes well for the growth of our program.

  5. choppack1 02/14/2007 at 9:50 AM #

    “Funny, their AD and their fans aren’t in ‘make it up mode’ and proclaiming how it takes five or six years to build an NCAA Tournament team.”

    Yes it does.

    Peter Gilliam

    Rochester – one thing to remember about Prosser – his first 2 recruiting classes were his best. I think his first 2 classes netted Eric Williams, Gray, and Paul…He basically hasn’t done much since Paul – even though his current class of frosh was ranked in the Top 25 by many experts.

    As for Skinner – I don’t know why you don’t think his style will work. The Big East is historically one of the better conferences around and his style worked there. It’s worked in the ACC for 2 years. His guys run that tight flex beautifully.

  6. Jeff 02/14/2007 at 10:28 AM #

    Do you care about “flash in the pan” years as long as you have one enough of the time to make you happy?

    The idea that “slow building creates a strong foundation for long term success” is hogwash and based on no factual evidence.

    Note, I am not saying that UVa is going to be a Top 20 program anytime soon.

  7. BJD95 02/14/2007 at 10:32 AM #

    BC seems to have the same team, year in and year out (football and basketball). They just hang around the upper division, but never seem to win it all. This, despite whatever personnel losses come along (graduation or otherwise).

    Great stuff from DaveSez. Josh McRoberts may be the most overrated player in ACC history. At this point, he’ll be lucky to make my personal 3rd team. Very surprised at how good Crittenden’s numbers are.

  8. Mr O 02/14/2007 at 10:36 AM #

    Choppack1: I think what Rickj is saying is that he doesn’t think recruiting non-top 100 players will work in the ACC. I tend to agree. But you are exactly right that the execution of their offense and interior passing is as good as any team in the ACC including Duke or UNC.

    Skinner has won at BC for quite a while and he has done it with his own players and even more impressively multiple groups of his own players. His success hasn’t been based on one player or even one recruiting class.

    In the long run, you have to recruit NBA type of players to win big in the ACC and nationally. Coaching is certainly a big part of how a team plays, but it can only take you so far. Is Gary Williams a worse coach now than when he had back to back Final Four teams? Or did he just get lucky by finding some NBA players that weren’t that highly rated in Baxter, Dixon, and Blake? I can’t remember if Taj Holden played in the league, but Chris Wilcox was added the national title year to give them at least four NBA players with three being seniors(almost unheard of in this day and age).

    The amazing thing with Gary is that he then recruited higher rated players and has had worse luck with how those guys turned out at the college level.

    Prosser walked into a perfect situation. He had three NBA players on his roster(J. Howard, D. Songalia, L. Kleiza) plus other good players his first year. Odom’s last class included Taron Downey, Jamal Levy and Linas Kleiza who is now in the NBA. This gave him a very nice nucleus to build around for the next four years.

    At this time, the NC class was loaded with Bennerman, J. Gray, E. Williams, T. Strickland, Mario Boggans, and others….Herb Sendek just missed the tournament for the 5th straight year, lost four seniors, and was virtually 90% out the door the next season. We had almost zero chance of making the tournament based on reasonable expectations.

    So…Prosser swooped up a very nice class that included two future all-ACC players in J. Gray, E. Williams and T. Strickland. If NC State doesn’t have a coach who is on the verge of being fired, then would Prosser have gotten Williams and Gray? Maybe one of them, but I doubt both.

    And during this entire time there was this young, short hometown PG nobody had every heard about. He started playing pickup games with the Wake Players. Prosser got to learn about this kid before anyone else knew about him. Finally, when Chris Paul was a sr. he blew up. UNC had already signed Ray Felton and Duke was getting a top 5 PG from Chicago. We finally found out about him, but it was too little too late and Chris Paul went to Wake.

    Prosser was one of the luckiest coaches I have ever seen come in the ACC and yet somehow he is in danger of finishing in dead last in the ACC for the 2nd straight year. This is after being a top 15 program and higher at times over his first four seasons.

  9. Mr O 02/14/2007 at 10:45 AM #

    Jeff: It depends on what those flash in the pan years are based on. In the case of UVa, it is based on two players recruited by Pete Gillen. Not that their new coach isn’t going to be very good(he very well might). But at this point, the jury is still out on UVa long-term under their new coach until he does something with his recruits. They might be back in the NIT or worse next year.

    In Prosser’s case, I can give him some credit for Gray, Williams and Paul, but that is what makes it so mindboggling that Wake is about to finish dead last for the 2nd straight year.

  10. burnbarn 02/14/2007 at 11:01 AM #

    nice interview with Skinner on DG’s blog today. Never knew Skinner was the player he was.

  11. packbackr04 02/14/2007 at 11:07 AM #


  12. Rick 02/14/2007 at 11:12 AM #

    “The idea that “slow building creates a strong foundation for long term success” is hogwash and based on no factual evidence.”

    I think a “flash in the pan” year speeds recruiting and rebuilding. When a coach’s name gets hot it is easier for him to recruit and bring in the players he wants. I agree that the “slow build is best” theory is pure horse manure.

  13. Mr O 02/14/2007 at 11:14 AM #

    Here is more from Glenn on UNC’s recruiting class:

    Why third? Like Miami and several others in the ACC (and almost all of the SEC), the Heels will have to cross their fingers on the academic status of many of their signees, including two of the All-Americans. If they end up with two or three non-qualifiers when it’s time to enroll this summer, that’s a routine year for most ACC schools. If it’s six or seven, it will be the heaviest attrition in school history (see Virginia last year), and the signing-day celebration will have a hollow ring.

  14. BJD95 02/14/2007 at 11:36 AM #

    While we are rightly lauding DaveSez’ work, check out this post detailing our 1974 game with UCLA and its historic relevance to the conference:

  15. Wolfman300 02/14/2007 at 11:43 AM #



    ESPN2 according to gopack

  16. packbackr04 02/14/2007 at 11:47 AM #


  17. BJD95 02/14/2007 at 11:52 AM #

    I think that’s “The Network Formerly Known as ESPN2”, right? All it means to me is “the ESPN without HD for cable subscribers.” Damn it.

  18. Wolfman300 02/14/2007 at 11:53 AM #

    That is why I specified my source – you can apply your own amount of confidence to that.

  19. branjawn 02/14/2007 at 12:03 PM #

    kinda off topic, but I just read about “the Jules” being waived last week. Any idea on his future? He was great for the program, I hope something comes up for him somewhere. We owe a lot to him for re-energizing the fan base and bringing attention to the program again.

  20. gopherfan 02/14/2007 at 12:12 PM #

    Just a thought…after watching the hokies really take it to the tarholes last night I’m even more amazed the pack beat the hokies on the road than beating unc at home.

  21. TNCSU 02/14/2007 at 12:29 PM #


    I’ve already got it set up on my DVR, so unless something changes, ESPN2 is the place. Oh yea, I agree with BJD, the no ESPN2HD is a bunch of Time Warner Cable Crap. WTF do I pay an extra $15-20 a month for if they have the capability to give it to us — and don’t? $$$$$ Same with NFL network, bla, bla, bla. Friggin cable monopoly!

  22. TNCSU 02/14/2007 at 1:15 PM #

    Anyone noticed how a couple of these teams that dismissed players, Ga. Tech and BC, are now coming on strong? Both Skinner and Hewitt should be applauded for their stances — although I’m not sure if they were the Coach’s decision or the Administrations.

  23. VaWolf82 02/14/2007 at 1:40 PM #

    The Cavaliers rocketed up the RPI in the month and now need only another couple of wins to guarantee themselves an NCAA Tournament bid.

    UVa’s remaining schedule is about as easy as it gets in the ACC. They may stumble, but I wouldn’t bet on it right now.

    FSU (H)
    UM (A)
    GT (H)
    VT (H)
    WF (A)

  24. CedarGroveWolf 02/14/2007 at 1:53 PM #

    “Do you care about “flash in the pan” years as long as you have one enough of the time to make you happy?”

    depends on how big of a “flash” & how often.


  1. University Update - 02/14/2007

    ACC BBall Bytes

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