If you have been paying attention to your local sports reports on whatever device you use, you know that leagues in both pros and college have been reeling with virus cases. In the ACC, it did not take long for games to be moved because of a problem with Covid. This weekend alone, the league has had to make changes to four games that were scheduled for New Year’s Day. Here are the updates on those games.
Duke at Notre Dame has been postponed and the hope is the game can be rescheduled for later in the league season. If the game cannot be played, it will be considered a no contest. North Carolina at Boston College has been moved to Sunday, Jan. 2 at noon. Virginia at Syracuse has been moved up from an 8 pm game to a 6 pm tip-off on Jan. 1. Louisville at Georgia Tech was scheduled for Jan. 1 at 2 pm, now will be played on Jan. 2 at 6 pm. Duke, Boston College, Georgia Tech are following the Covid protocols that have been set up by the conference. A team must have a roster of at least seven players and one coach. If a team cannot play a game with these minimums and decides not to play the game shall be a no contest. If a team does have enough players and a coach and is still electing not to play, then the game is declared a forfeit. That is a lot to digest as the conference season gets started. Now to the rest of the league news.
Syracuse (7-5, 1-0) graduate forward Jimmy Boeheim is off to a hot start shooting the ball. He has scored in double figures in nine of the ten games played by the Orange. He is averaging 14.4 points per game and five and a half rebounds a night. That places him third on the team in both. Boeheim is shooting 43% from 3-point range (12-28) and is fourth in the league in minutes played with 35 minutes a night.
In Virginia’s (7-5, 1-1) loss to Clemson, 67-50 last Wednesday night, sophomore guard Reece Beekman had career highs in both points with 20, and 3-pointers with three. He was especially good in the first half of that game scoring 14 of the 20 points. Beekman can deliver the basketball as well as he is fourth in the league in assists with 52 in 12 games for an average of 4.33 a contest. He is also third in steals with 26 (2.17 a game), and his assists to turnovers are the best in the league with 52 assists to 15 turnovers (3.47 ratio).
The Pittsburgh Panthers (5-8, 0-2) defense is getting better as league play approaches. The Panthers have held five of their last seven opponents to under 60 points. Pittsburgh went 3-4 in those games. They have also been good at defending the 3-point line, holding those teams to six 3-point makes per game and 29% shooting from behind the arc at 37-for-125. The Panthers scoring defense is fourth in the conference (63.67), they are second in rebounding defense at 31.25 a night, and have a rebounding margin of +5.75 which is third in the league.
The Miami Hurricanes have been very good at turning the other team over in their first 13 games (10-3, 2-0) They have forced 171 turnovers while committing 128 for an average margin of +3.75 which is second-best in the ACC. Only once in the twelve games, they have played have they committed more turnover than their opponents. Miami has taken advantage of those mistakes by outsourcing their opponents by a 177-120 count in points off of turnovers, a margin of +4.75
We have Co-Players of the Week in the ACC. First, there is Notre Dame senior guard Dane Goodwin. In a couple of wins for the Irish, Goodwin averaged 19.5 points, five and a half boards, and two steals. Goodwin shot 9-of-13 (69.2%) from three-point range and reached the 1,000 point milestone vs Western Michigan. Pittsburgh sophomore guard Femi Odukale matched a career-high with 28 points in a win over Jacksonville. He was 9-of-13 from the field and a career-best 5-of-7 from three. Odukale scored 17 of his points in the second half.
The Rookie of the Week is Duke’s, Paolo Banchero. This is the third time he has won the weekly award, and the fifth time in seven weeks that a Blue Devil player has been named Rookie of the Week. Banchero led Duke in scoring (23) and rebounds (7) in their conference-opening win over Virginia Tech. 17 of his 23 points came in the second half as the Blue Devils came back from an eight-point deficit to win. Paolo is the leading true freshman scorer among Power-5 conference players at 17.1 points per night.
That’s all for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.