The new leader in the league standings is also the only unbeaten team left in the ACC. After their win Wednesday night at home vs Louisville, the North Carolina Tar Heels (14-3, 6-0) is the only team that has yet to taste defeat in the league. Their next opponent to take a shot at them will be Boston College (10-6, 1-4) on the road Saturday afternoon. Here is some of the league news.
The Net Ranking continues to be good news for the league. This week, nine teams are in the top 75 of the rankings. The ACC joined the Big East and the Big 12 with nine or more teams in the Net Ranking. The ACC teams are UNC at#7, Duke at #14, Clemson at #27, Wake Forest at #46, Virginia Tech at #51, Miami at #57, Virginia at #63, Pittsburgh at #65, and NC State at #74. Things should change a little bit since the Panthers lost at home to Syracuse on Tuesday night. Only two teams are in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Both are in the top half of it with UNC at #4 and the Blue Devils at #6. These same two teams are also in the USA Today Coaches poll as well. Since league play has begun, home teams are doing what they should do: protect their home court. Home teams are 22-16 (57.9%) to date.
The ACC Player of the Week is Virginia Tech’s Sean Pedulla. In two games last week, Pedulla averaged a conference-best 32.5 points per game. He would set career highs in both games. Against Clemson, Pedulla went for 32 points. In the Miami game, he did one point better as he scored 33 vs the Hurricanes. In Pedulla’s last three games, he has set career highs in points. Pedulla leads the league in scoring at 20.8 a game. The ACC Rookie of the Week is Notre Dame guard Braeden Shrewsberry. He averaged 16.5 points and four boards in games against Georgia Tech and Florida State. In the win over the Yellow Jackets, Shrewsberry went for a season-high 25 points.
The Notre Dame season has probably not gone the way everyone in the program would have wanted. The record of 7-10 overall and 2-4 in league play speaks for itself. However, there may be one factor that people have not taken into consideration when evaluating this program. The Irish are one of six Division I programs that started the season with no player from last year’s team. The other five are, UMBC, Penn State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Utan State, and Northeastern State. Getting to know one another may take longer than people may have hoped.
Junior forward Matthew Cleveland of Miami has a strong 10-game stretch. With his 21 points vs the Hokies on Saturday, he has scored in double figures in all 10 games. He is now second in the league scoring race averaging 19.4 a game. The Hurricanes are 12-4 overall and 3-2 in league play heading into their cross-town game vs Florida State.
North Carolina State (12-4, 4-1) has a new 1,000 point scorer. Graduate guard Casey Morsell reached that milestone last Wednesday against the Tar Heels. With 16 games remaining, Morsell has a chance to reach a thousand points with the Wolfpack. He has scored 801 points as a member of NC State, he will need to average 12.4 points for the rest of the season to reach a thousand points. In Tuesday’s night win on the road at Wake, Morsell scored eight points on 2-of-6 shooting, and 4-of-4 from the FT line for eight points in 33 minutes.
Wake Forest (12-4, 4-1) has developed a rim protector and his name is Efton Reed III. Last Saturday, he recorded his third five-block game vs Virginia. He is the first Demon Deacon player to do this since Doral Moore did the trick in 2017-18. In Tuesday night’s loss to the Wolfpack, Moore registered only one block in 22 minutes of playing time. On Saturday, the Demon Deacons will host Louisville.
One team that has seemed to have turned things around is Florida State (10-6, 4-1). The Seminoles are on a five-game winning streak after their win Wednesday night at Miami. During the winning streak, junior forward Jamir Watkins has stepped up his game. He is averaging 12.5 points and four assists and has gone 22-of-25 (88%) from the free-throw line.
That’s a look at the ACC for this week. Next week we’ll be back with more from the conference.
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