ACC Basketball News & Notes: Duke falls to Stephen F. Austin in OT

ACC Basketball

Although it will not last when the next AP top 25 poll is released, the ACC for the second straight week had the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the country in Duke and Louisville. The loss by the Blue Devils to Stephen F. Austin at home will change the top part of the poll. Still, for the second straight week, the league has four teams in the Top 25 keeping alive the notion that the league is one of, if not the best, college basketball league in the land.

The league’s non-conference record continues to be outstanding. Heading into Friday’s set of games, the ACC has a 68-17 (.800) record. Just as impressive is the in-season titles the conference has already won. Duke (Empire Classic), Louisville (Global Sports Shootout), Pittsburgh (The Ft. Myers Tip-Off), Notre Dame (MABC Invitational), and Virginia (Air Force Reserve Tip-Off). Not a bad start, and with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on the way, the league could be looking at another marquee event to show its strength.

The ACC has Co-Players of the week. Georgia Tech’s Michael Devoe and Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. Devoe put up 34 points in a loss to the Georgia Bulldogs last Wednesday. He went 12-of-21 from the floor and 5-of-7 from deep. Both were career highs. Devoe also pulled down nine rebounds in that game which is also a personal best. He leads the conference in minutes played at 37.58 per game. Meanwhile, Carey posted back-to-back double-doubles in wins over California and Georgetown. Against the Golden Bears, Carey went for 31 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks in 22 minutes. It was the fewest minutes played in Blue Devils history to reach 30 points and just the sixth game in Duke history. It was also the third by a freshman to have a 30-10-4 contest. Carey was also named Rookie of the week and earned the Oscar Robertson National Player of the week honors.

Notre Dame’s John Mooney is the only current player to average a double-double in the league (14.3 PPG, 13.0 rebounds). Mooney is just one of nine major conference players to average a double-double to this point of the season. He already has four double-doubles to this point and leads the league in defensive rebounding averaging 10.0 a game. Senior guard T.J. Gibbs passed out five assists this past Tuesday night. Those assists allowed Gibbs to reach the 300 assist mark for his career (303). He is the eighth player during head coach Mike Brey’s time with the Fighting Irish to have 1,000 points, 300 assists, 200 rebounds, and 100 steals in his career.

It was bombs away for Virginia Tech on November 20 vs Delaware State in a 100-64 win. The Hokies made 21 3-pointers on 37 attempts. The previous mark was 20 set by Florida State against Maine on December 7, 2007. Freshman Landers Nolley II made the All-Tournament team at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational by averaging 19.7 points per game and 5.7 boards in games vs No.3 Michigan State. Dayton, and BYU.

Boston College freshman Jay Heath is making an impact during his first season in Chestnut Hill. He ranks fifth nationally in 3-point FG Percentage, making 52.2% of his attempts from behind the arc (12-for-23). Junior Steffon Mitchell, through five games, has been really good with the ball in his hands. He had played 136 minutes and has committed only six turnovers. Mitchell is third in the league in steals with 15 in seven games (2.14 a game).

A pair of Demon Deacons have now gone two straight games with double-double performances. Olivier Sarr (14 points,14 boards) and Isaiah Mucius (10 points, 10 rebounds) did it for the second time in a win early this week vs Charleston.

Next week, more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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