After a week of league play, the Atlantic Coast Conference returns to non-conference play for the next three weeks. They do so having given up the number one ranking in college basketball. That’s because this past Tuesday night, as part of the Jimmy V Classic, the Louisville Cardinal lost to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in New York. It was quite an early-season run by the ACC, as the league held the top spot in the AP Top 25 poll for months. Here is more news from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Jan.11, 1997 was the last time that Boston College was able to go to South Bend and defeat Notre Dame. This past Saturday afternoon they did just that when the Eagles knocked off the Irish 73-72. The win snapped a 13-game winless streak that dated back to Feb.8, 2005. The backcourt duo of Derrick Thornton and Jay Heath combined for 35 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Boston College won this game having taken only four free throws for the game. The Eagles are 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The win also snapped a four-game losing streak that started with a loss to DePaul on Nov.23.
BC freshman guard, Jay Heath, is putting up some impressive numbers in his first year of ACC play. Heath ranks fourth nationally in 3-point FG knocking down 50% of his attempts (21-for-43). His 21 makes has him tied for 16th nationally among all freshmen. In league play, Heath is third among all rookies in scoring at 12.9 a game, first in 3-point FG, second in 3-point makes and third in steals with 11. He is one of only five freshmen at BC to score 100 points in his first eight collegiate games since 1999.
The Syracuse Orangemen put up 97 points last Saturday in their win over Georgia Tech. The point total and the margin of victory, which was 34 points, are the most by Syracuse vs any league opponent. Junior, Elijah Hughes, scored a career-high 33 against the Yellow Jackets. Syracuse leads the conference in assists with 152 in nine games, an average of 16.89 per game.
When Duke’s Tre Jones put the ball in the basket, the Blue Devils usually win. When he finishes in double-figures, Duke is almost automatic. Last Friday vs Virginia Tech, Jones led his team with 15 points in the Blue Devils win on the road. When Jones finishes in double-digits the team record is 24-2. Jones was Co-Player of the Week in the ACC this week. Duke has the best scoring offense in the league at 83 points a game in ten outings. The Blue Devils also lead in steals with 95, an average of 9.50 a contest.
North Carolina State was very good from long distance in their win at Wake Forest last Saturday. They began the game by hitting their first four from deep in the opening five minutes of the game. They did not cool off as they ended the game with a season-high 12 three-pointers. State leads the league in turnovers margins at +5.00. They turn the ball over 11 times and opponents turn it over 16 times. N.C. State is second in scoring at 82 points a night.
Clemson’s Tevin Mack has scored in double-figures in eight of the first nine games of his career for the Tigers. He leads the team in scoring at 13.8 per game (15th in the league) and is shooting a team-best 41% (20-of-48) from deep. That ranks him 10th in the league. The Tigers rank last in both 3-Point FG percentage at .250 (44-for-176), and in 3-Point FG percentage defense at .351 (81-of-231).
The other Co-Player of the Week is Louisville’s Jordan Nwora. He leads the conference in scoring at 21 a game. This is the junior’s first weekly award. The Rookie of the Week, for the second time, is Duke’s Vernon Carey. He leads in field goal percentage at .598 (67-for-112) and is third in rebounding at 9.20 a game.
Next week, more from the ACC.