When you talk about the “Blue Bloods” of the Atlantic Coast Conference, schools like Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia come to mind. However, a new school may be joining that list. The Miami Hurricanes (13-1, 4-0) ranked #16 in the nation, were seeking their second straight 5-0 start to the league season when they visited Georgia Tech (7-6, 0-3) last night. But they would come up short losing the game 68-65. The ranking of 16th in the country is the highest the Hurricanes have been in the polls since December 17, 2017. They boast a terrific player in guard Isaiah Wong. They are now 3-0 on the road and at home, they are 9-0. This looks like a team that has a chance to make a lot of noise in the league and in March this year. Let’s see what else is going on in the ACC.
Miami is not the only team that is having an earlier impact in the ACC. The Clemson Tigers (12-3, 4-0) are unbeaten in the conference for the first time since the 2017-18 season. At this early stage, the Tigers are the best 3-point FG percentage team in the league at .388% (118-of-304). They also lead in assists with 223 in 14 games an average of 16 a game. They have the best defensive rebounding percentage at .760%,379 defensive rebounds, and opponents’ offensive rebounds at 120. Graduate forward Hunter Tyson had a monster game last Saturday. His 31 points and 15 rebound performance was the first of its kind since February 18, 1987. Tyson is third in rebounding at 9.7 a game and is second in free throw shooting at 88% (46-of-52), and second in defensive rebounding averaging 7.8 a game (110 in 14 games).
The Boston College Eagles (8-7, 2-2) have been getting great play off the bench from redshirt freshman Devin McGlockton. He leads all players who have not started a game in the league in scoring eight points a game, rebounding at five a game, and steals at just under one a game. Overall, he is 12th in offensive rebounding at two a game (28 in 14 games). Another player who has been steady for the Eagles is Jaeden Zackery who is fifth in free throw percentage at 84% (41-of-49), and third in minutes played at 35.50 a game.
If there has been a surprise in the ACC so far, it would be the struggles of the Louisville Cardinal (2-13, 0-4). Louisville has lost four in a row after their loss to Syracuse at home on Tuesday night. In two of the four losses, the rebounding margin was at a minus -14 on December 20 in a loss to Lipscomb, and -13 in a loss to Kentucky on December 31. The other noticeable thing is in all four losses the opponents have all shot over 40% for the game. One player that may be showing signs of life for Louisville is guard, El Ellis, who in his last five games has averaged 21 points, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals. He is shooting 82% from the free throw line (37-of-45). Ellis is 4th in the league scoring at 17 a game, and 11th in assists with 58 in 14 games (4.14 a game).
The Pittsburgh Panthers (11-4, 4-0) are getting lots of production from junior forward Blake Hinson. He has posted 13 double-figure scoring games already this year. He has nine 15+points efforts, and four 20+points scoring efforts. He leads Pittsburgh in scoring at 17.1 a game which is also seventh in the conference, He also leads in rebounding at 7.3 a game which ranks him eighth in the league. Hinson is 12th in defensive rebounds averaging five a game and is 12th in three-pointers made with two a game (28 in 14 games).
The ACC has Co-Players of the Week. First, there is Clemson’s Hunter Tyson whose big-time performance last Saturday vs NC State of 31 points and 15 rebounds, both were career-high, helped the Tigers to the win. In the second half of that game, Tyson scored 26 of his 31 points, including one stretch where he scored 17 straight Clemson points. His rebounding number of 9.7 is 18th in the country. Pittsburgh’s Jamarius Burton shared the award with Tyson. He dropped 31 on North Carolina by shooting 14-of-17 from the field in helping the Panthers win over the Tar Heels. He added six rebounds and converted three 3-point plays in the game. He was also named Nationally Player of the Week by NCAA March Madness and Andy Katz. He is 10th in assists averaging 4.17 a game (50 in 12 games).
The league Rookie of the Week is Syracuse’s, Judah Mintz. He has won this award in three of the past four weeks. In the victory over the Eagles, Mintz went for 18 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals. He was 8-of-15 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line. He is 11th in the conference in scoring at 16 a game, 14th in field goal percentage at .436% (79-of-181), and ninth in assists at 4.21 a game (59 in 14 games). He leads in steals with an average of 2.29 a game (32 in 14 games), and is seventh in assists to turnover ratio 59 assists, 29 turnovers for an average of 2.03 a night.
That’s a look at the ACC for this week. We will be back next week with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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