On New Year’s Eve, the conference schedule returned in full swing with three games featuring six teams. From now until the beginning of March it will be all about ACC league play. So let’s take a look at where things stand as we get back to Atlantic Coast Conference action.
North Carolina head coach, Roy Williams, reached a milestone on Monday in the team’s non-conference finale vs Yale. The three-point win over the Bulldogs gave coach Williams career win number 879. It matches former Tar Heels coach Dean Smith for fourth on the NCAA Division I all-time win list. On Saturday, Williams will look to move up in the ranking as his team will play host to Georgia Tech.
Speaking of those Yellow Jackets, this week’s ACC Player of the Week is Moses Wright. The junior had a solid time in Hawaii as he made the All-Tournament Team in the recently played Diamond Head Classic. In three games played, Wright averaged 17.7 points and 7.3 rebounds as Georgia Tech finished in third place in the event. In the semi-finals vs Houston, Wright posted his third double-double of the season as he went for 19 points and 10 boards. For the fourth time this year, Virginia Tech freshman, Landers Nolley II, is the Rookie of the Week. In the Hokies win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sunday, Nolley II recorded the first double-double of his career. He scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in the victory. He would play just 23 minutes of the game to put up these numbers. Tech is on the road this Saturday as they travel to #19 Virginia.
There was another milestone reached earlier this week. The #2 ranked Duke Blue Devils recorded win number 300 in the decade by defeating Boston College on Tuesday night. In the decade that just ended, the Blue Devils own the fourth most wins and the third-best winning percentage in the 10-year period at .810. Meanwhile, Duke’s point guard, Tre Jones, ranks ninth nationally in assists with 7.1 a game. He is one of three point guards in the league that are ranked in the Top 15. The other two are North Carolina State’s Markell Johnson at #11, with 6.8 assists a game, and Virginia Tech’s Wabissa Bede at #15 with 6.4 a contest.
Florida State is 41-10 over their last 51 games. Only two other teams in the ACC, Virginia, and Duke can claim the same number of wins over the past two seasons. The Seminoles have been something at home during the stretch having won their last 15 home games and their last nine conference games at home. On Tuesday night, Florida State took care of Georgia Tech 70-58. The Seminoles are the third-best scoring team in the league averaging 76.62 a game and have the third-best scoring margin at +13.23. They are the best free-throw shooting team in the league at .766 (200-of-261 in 13 games).
Clemson Tigers senior center, Aamir Simms, has been getting at it for the last-place Tigers. He has scored in double-figures in eight of the 13 games played so far. Simms leads the team in both scoring at 12.6 a contest and in rebounding at 7.7 a night. The rebounding numbers have him ranked tenth in the league and he is ninth in defensive rebounding averaging 5.33 a game.
The Miami Hurricanes have a trio of players that have made up most of the scoring during the non-conference play. Kameron McGusty (15.2), DJ Vasiljevic (15.1), and Chris Lykes (14.9). They are also the lone trio of teammates that are in the Top 15 in scoring in the league and the only trio in the league that is averaging at least 14 points per game. The trio got the job down on Tuesday night at Clemson. In Miami’s five point, 73-68 win, each went for double figures. Lykes went for a game high 27, McGusty for 15, and Vasiljevic for 15.These guys will have to have their “A” game on Saturday when they play host to Duke.
The only team that will have Saturday off is Boston College. In their previous five games before the road test at Duke, sophomore, Jairus Hamilton, had been averaging 11.8 points during a 4-1 stretch. Not only was Hamilton putting the ball in the basket, he was also rebounding the ball at 5.3, while passing out 1.8 assists.
Next week, more from the ACC.
- ACCSeptember 22, 2023Boston College Heads Out on the Road to face Louisville
- ACCSeptember 21, 2023ACC Football News & Notes: The League is Full of 3-0 Teams
- America East ConferenceSeptember 19, 2023America East Basketball News: A Look at UMBC
- ACCSeptember 15, 2023Boston College Begins ACC Play at Home vs #3 Florida State