Time is now becoming a bit of an issue for teams in the ACC. With all the changes to the weekly scheduling, programs are hoping they have enough time to play their games before the post-season begins. The Covid update for this week centers around Boston College who will have to scramble to get their schedule completed before the regular season is over. The Eagles have lost four games to the virus. Last week, games on the road at Virginia Tech (Wednesday night) and a home game last Saturday versus Pittsburgh were postponed. This week’s schedule will not be played as well. Those games were a road game on Wednesday at Clemson and a home game on Saturday against Louisville. The Cardinal will now play Clemson on Wednesday night since both of these programs are ok to play. Louisville will also play on Feb.1 at home vs Georgia Tech. That game will take place in the early afternoon next Monday.
For the second week in a row, Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagnie was named ACC Player of The Week. He is the first player to earn back-to-back honors since Joel Berry of North Carolina did it on Jan. 9 and 16 of 2017. Justin averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, two and a half blocks, and three and a half steals in games against Duke and Wake Forest. At home versus the Blue Devils, Champagnie went for 31 points which ties a career-high, 14 boards, and a career-best five blocks. He becomes the first player in program history to record 30-points, 10-rebounds, and five blocks in a game. Justin leads the league in both scoring, 19 a game, and rebounding at 12 a game. He also leads the ACC in defensive rebounding with nine a game.
The Rookie Of The Week is from North Carolina. Caleb Love averaged 17.5 points, three rebounds, and four assists in two games, both wins, over North Carolina State and Wake Forest. He was 13-for-28 from the field and ran the offense to back-to-back 80 point performances in those victories. It was the first time all season that the Tar Heels have posted consecutive 80 point games. Love was named to the preseason Naismith Award watch list.
#13 Virginia got quite a scare on Saturday from Georgia Tech. The 64-62 win was helped by senior guard Sam Hauser who went for 22 points in the game. The total was a season-high for Hauser. He really got things going in the second half as he scored 13 of his total on a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor. He was also 3-for-3 from deep.
Two of the top rebounding teams in the country are in the ACC. North Carolina is ranked #1 in the country in rebounding at 43.5 boards a game. The Tar Heels are third nationally in rebound margins at +11.5 a game. The Panthers are seventh in the nation in rebounding at 42.3 a game. Virginia’s defense is picking up steam in recent games. They rank sixth in the country in scoring defense allowing 59.6 a game.
Duke may be having a .500 season both in conference play at 3-3 and overall at 5-5, but sophomore forward Matthew Hurt is putting together a solid season. In their loss to Louisville on Saturday, which was the Blue Devils’ third loss in a row, Hurt dropped 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting and was 4-of-5 from three-point land. This was Hurt’s fifth 20-point game of the season and eight of his career at Duke.
Wake Forest was a three-point machine last Saturday in their win over Pittsburgh. The Demon Deacons knocked down 15 of them in their two-point win. That’s the most in conference play since they hit 19 three-pointers versus Clemson on Feb. 13, 2002. Sophomore forward Ismael Massoud recorded a career-high 31 points, He was 8-of-10 from behind the arc in this game.
Next week we will be back with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.