The best eight weeks for any college basketball fan are here, so here we go. The conference season is underway in the Atlantic Coast Conference where there are no nights off. Let’s see how things are going in the ACC.
The Clemson Tigers are off to their best start since the 2008-09 campaign when they opened with 16 straight wins. Their appearance in the AP Top 25 poll is their first since January 18, 2010. Their best player is also making headlines. Senior big man Dontre Granthan became the sixth player in Tiger’s basketball history to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists in a career. He was four rebounds shy of the mark when Clemson went to Boston College and beat the Eagles last week. Granthan pulled down 14 boards to reach the goal while scoring 23 points as well. The double-double was the fourth of his career and his third of the season.
Granthan’s coach is also moving up the all-time win ladder at the school. Brad Brownell is getting ever so close to becoming the third-winningest coach in Clemson history and the man he will pass in the very near future is Oliver Purnell. Brownell total stands at 137, one shy of tying Purnell and two away from moving ahead of him.
Another coach chasing history is Notre Dame head man Mike Brey. With his teams win over North Carolina State on January 3, Brey now has 394 career wins at ND in his 18 seasons on the sidelines. It puts him number one on the list ahead of Digger Phelps who reached 393 wins in twenty years on the bench for the Irish.
Duke’s Marvin Bagley III is leading the conference in scoring at 21.9 a game, rebounds at 11.6 and double-doubles 11. He ranks second in field goal percentage at .630. In the Blue Devils win over Florida State, Bagley went off dropping 32 points and grabbing 21 rebounds against the Seminoles. With this performance, he became the first freshman in ACC history to have a 30/20 game and was named Rookie of the week for the fourth time this year.
Virginia sophomore Ty Jerome set career highs for single-game points with 31, field goals 11, and minutes played with 37. This all happened in the Cavaliers conference opener against Boston College. It would help him be named ACC player of the week. Meanwhile, the Virginia defense is still stopping teams as they have already held six opponents to under 50 points. They lead the nation in scoring defense at 52.8 and ranked third in field goal percentage defense at .364.
If Boston College is going anywhere this year, their guard play will be the reason why. All three starting guards Ky Bowman, Jordan Chatman, and Jerome Robinson are in the top ten in minutes played so far. All three average over 30 minutes a game, and all are in the top 20 in scoring as well. Robinson at #6 17.2 a game, Bowman at #9 15.9 a contest, and Chatman at # 20 14.6 an outing. There is no question that the Eagles will live or die based on the play of these three players.
Virginia Tech’s Ahmed Hill has made at least one three-point field goal in 14 straight games. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage at .506 and in three-point field goal per game 3.1.
Next week we will be back with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.