There are two weeks left in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season. The news is good for the top three teams in the league standings. Duke, Florida State, and Louisville already know they will have double-byes in the post-season based on the results of last Saturday. For everyone else, there is still work to be done before we get to Greensboro, N.C. for the tournament that is set to begin on March 10. With that said, here is some news from the ACC.
It has been a rough go of it for the Clemson Tigers as staying healthy has been a major reason for the season struggles. Heading into Tuesday night’s game at Georgia Tech, the Tigers have had players miss 62 games this year. At times, Clemson has only been able to dress eight scholarships-players. Still, the Tigers, are a .500 team in the league at 8-8, and for the season are two games above .500 at 14-12. It does make you wonder how good this team might have been if they could have stayed away from those injuries. Last Saturday night at Boston College might have been an example of that. The Tigers took care of business winning on the road by an 82-64 score over the Eagles. In doing so, they shot 68.9% from the floor at 31-for-45. It was Clemson’s best shooting night since January 12, 2011, and its best-ever on the road. It’s the sixth-best field-goal percentage single game in Division One this year.
For the sixth straight week, the ACC has three teams ranked in the AP Top-11. It’s the same three teams that have earned double-byes heading to Greensboro N.C. Florida State is #6, Duke is at #7 and Louisville is at #11. For the Blue Devils, the consecutive weeks inside the Top-25 poll now stands at 79. The league can boast having the most teams in the Top-11 of the poll for the sixth straight week.
The ACC Player of the Week is North Carolina State junior Devon Daniels. In games last week against ranked teams, Daniels averaged 21.5 points and nine rebounds in matchups vs Duke and Florida State. In the Wolfpack victory over the Blue Devils, Daniels went for a career-high 25 points.
The Rookie of the Week is Isaiah Wong out of Miami. For Wong, this is back-to-back weeks of winning the weekly award. He averaged 19.5 points and seven and a half boards in games vs Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. In Miami’s triple-OT win over the Hokies, Wong recorded the first double-double of his career. He had 27 points and 12 rebounds and it’s the first double-double by a Hurricane freshman since 2016. Both the points and rebounds in the Virginia Tech game were career highs.
TJ Gibbs of the Irish reached a milestone in their game vs Miami last Sunday. By scoring 19 points in that contest, Gibbs surpassed the 1,500 point mark for his career at ND. He leads all active players in the league in career scoring with 1,513. Gibbs is number one in the league in three-point field goal percentage at .439 (68-for-155) and is second in three-point field goal makes with those 68, averaging 2.52 a game. Gibbs is second in assists/turnovers ratio at 2.90 (90 Assists to 31 Turnovers)
Boston College freshman guard Jay Heath, is within two three-point makes of being in the Top-5 all-time in Eagles freshman history. Heading into their game on Wednesday night vs the Irish, Heath, who has 53, needs just two to catch Scoonie Penn for fifth all-time. Penn knocked down 55 during the 1995-96 season. The all-time freshman leader is Tyrese Rice, who in 2005-06, made 63 treys.
Virginia sophomore guard, Kihei Clark, scored 17 on Saturday at Pittsburgh. It marked the first time in his career that he had scored 15 or more points in back-to-back games. Last Wednesday vs BC, Clark had 17. He is also third in assists in the league averaging a little over six a ballgame and is second in free-throw shooting at 86% (68-for-79). Clark is eighth in assists/turnovers ratio at 1.71 (157 assists to 92 turnovers).
Next week we look at the final set of games before the New York Life-ACC tournament begins.