Three weeks left in the Atlantic Coast Conference season. There’s still time for teams to make a move with the post-season championship looming. There are some big games down the stretch for fans to get excited about. And as always, for those nearing the end of their career, Senior Day is closing in as well. It’s that time of year in the ACC, so here is some of what else is happening.
Despite being stunned by Georgia Tech earlier this week the Louisville Cardinals is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. When the week started, the Cardinals were ranked fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 40.4%. The last ACC team to shoot that well from behind the arc was the 1996-97 Duke Blue Devils who shot it at 40.6%. Meanwhile, junior forward Jordan Nwora has scored 467 points so far for the Cardinals. The total is the second-most by a Louisville player through 24 games in the last 20 seasons. Jordan leads the ACC in scoring at 19.5 a game and has scored 20-of-more points in a game 13 times this season.
Notre Dame big man, John Mooney, has been a double-double machine this season for the Irish. He leads the nation in double-doubles with 20 on the season and is second in the nation in rebounding averaging at 13 a game. He is the only player in the ACC averaging a double-double with 16.5 points, and 13 rebounds. He now has 41 career double-doubles at ND. That is fourth among all active Division I players. On Tuesday, Mooney recorded his 20th of the season vs Virginia and he joins two other big-time former conference players with this mark. Duke’s Sheldon Williams and Wake Forest Tim Duncan are the other two players over the last 25 seasons with consecutive 20 double-double season.
Duke sophomore guard, Tre Jones, was named ACC Player of the Week. Jones averaged 23 points and five assists in two wins last week over Boston College and North Carolina. Versus the Tar Heels, Jones drop 22 of his 28 points in the second half and his “beat the clock” jumper sent that game into overtime. He would score the last 15 points for the Blue Devils, nine in regulation, and the first six of OT.
The Rookie of the Week is Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagne. All he did was average 25 points, 10 rebounds, and one-half assists while shooting 54% from the field (20-of-37). This included 5-of-9 from three-point range in games against the Irish and Yellow Jackets. In the Panthers win over Georgia Tech, Justin recorded his fourth 30-plus points game of the season as a freshman. Over his last six games, he is putting up 17.2 points per game, 9.2 rebounds and is shooting 52.6% from the floor (42-for-78). He has scored in double figures in five of his last six games and 16 overall.
A team known for its defense is starting to get some scoring from one of its players. Virginia’s Marradi Diakite put up 20 points last Tuesday night. That was one point off his season-high which came against South Carolina during the non-conference portion of the schedule. In his last nine games, he is averaging 14.7 points a night and six rebounds. Virginia got a big overtime win over the Fighting Irish on Tuesday night at home and Diakite was a big reason why as he torched the Irish for 20 points and five rebounds in 41 minutes.
Georgia Tech’s junior forward Moses Wright has hit double figures in 13 of his last 15 games averaging 14 points and six and a half boards. He is knocking down shots at a 52.4% clip for the Yellow Jackets. In their 64-58 upset win over Louisville on Wednesday night, Wright contributed 12 points and six boards in 32 minutes.
Next week, more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.