We are almost near the end with two weeks left in the ACC season. Things are starting to get a little interesting as we head down the stretch. For the first time since the college basketball season began, there is no virus news to mention. Now that does not mean there is no news, just that the league has decided to put it aside. We can tell you that Tuesday night’s game between North Carolina and Boston College will not be played because of a positive test in the Eagles program. For BC, this makes seven games lost in the conference year due to the virus. Just another example of how difficult this season has been for everybody.
The ACC Player Of The Week is Duke sophomore forward Matthew Hurt. He averaged 22 points and four rebounds in wins over Wake Forest and then #7 Virginia. Hurt was 16-of-22 (72.7%) from the field and was 8-of-12 (66.7%) from three-point range. With just two weeks left in the league calendar, Hurt is second in the scoring race at 18.5 a night, third in field goal percentage at 56% (124-for-221), first in three-point field goal percentage at 47% (45-for-96). He is also first in three-point field goals made at 2.5 a game with 45 in 18 games played. This is Hurt’s second Player of the Week honor.
The Rookie Of The Week is guard Kerwin Walton Of North Carolina. In wins over Northeastern and Louisville, Walton averaged 16.5 points per game. He went 12-for-20 in both games including a blistering 8-of-14 from three-point range in both wins. He would match his season-high in points vs the Huskies with 14, then top that by dropping 19 on the Cardinal. He is 14th in the league in three-point field goals made with 42 in 21 games for an average of two per contest.
A couple of coaches are making some news of late. Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Virginia Tech’s Mike Young were named to the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List. They are two of 15 coaches on this list. The Seminoles enter the last two weeks of the season in first place in the league by a game over both Virginia and Virginia Tech in the standings.
Don’t look now, but the Duke Blue Devils are making a late charge in the league. Winners of three in a row, including a big win over then #7 Virginia on Saturday night, Duke’s late surge, is important because their struggles this year put them in danger of not making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a long time. Duke is getting some help, from freshman D.J. Stewart who is leading all first-year players in the conference in scoring at 12.9 a night.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets recorded their first road win of the year in the ACC last Saturday. The 87-60 win at Miami was the largest margin of victory in an ACC road game in school history eclipsing the previous mark that was set back on March 3, 2011. On that date, the Yellow Jackets defeated Wake Forest on the road by 26 points.
North Carolina State heads into their game on the road at #15 Virginia on Wednesday night with a three-game win streak on the road. They have had two-game road winning streaks two different times in recent history. It was done back in 2002-03 with the last two road games of the season. Then, in 2003-04 with the first two road games of that season. The last time N.C. State won three straight road games in a season was back in 2001-02.
That’s it for this week. We will be back next week with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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