• Protect This House!…During every season of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball it is paramount to win your home games and “hold serve” so to speak. This season it has never been more important to defend the home turf. With clemson’s 83-64 victory over unc Wednesday night every single team in the ACC has won at least one conference game. Eleven of the twelve teams have also lost at least one game. Surprisingly, the uva cavaliers sit atop the conference with a 2-0 record following their home win over georgia tech. (For any wahoo fan who may be getting a bit overconfident, remember back to football season when uva sat atop the ACC standings with a 2-0 mark)
The point here is that there is a lot of parity in the ACC this year. Unlike previous seasons there is no one or two truly great teams to dominate the league. carolina is rebuilding and still trying to find their identity. duke looks beatable especially away from Cameron. It’s not likely anyone will separate themselves from the pack. Conversely, there don’t seem to be any really awful teams either. With so many evenly matched teams, you can expect a lot of games to come down to the wire. As Seth Greenberg has described the ACC season, “16 root canals”. Road wins will be very hard to come by this season, as the heels and devils can already attest.
With parity like this, teams can ill afford to drop games at home. The team that defends its home court the best and can go out on the road and steal a couple of wins will be the team walking away with the regular season conference championship. This year it looks like everyone, and I mean everyone, has a shot. Should be an exciting race over the next two months!
• The Hokies did their part in defending the Cassell by whipping miami 81-66, showing no ill effects from the second half collapse at unc. Malcolm Delaney appears to be recovering well from his sprained ankle with another typically brilliant 28 point, 9 assist performance against the canes. The Hokies this time benefited from a much more balanced scoring attack. Jeff Allen had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Terrell Bell played his best game since the iowa win with a 13 point performance on 5 of 6 shooting and a perfect 3 for 3 from long distance. Dorenzo Hudson chipped in with 11 and played with much more confidence than he displayed in Chapel Hill, which included a nice one handed dunk right down the lane. J.T. Thompson had a nice 8 and 8 effort and seems to be the poster child of Greenberg’s “junk yard dog” mentality.
With the canes outscoring Tech 43-31 in the second half, the Hokies still need to focus on playing a 40 minute game. Both halves, not just the first. Maybe the team can benefit from the second straight lackluster second half by focusing more on playing a complete game going into Tallahassee on Saturday to face fsu.
The balanced scoring attack the Hokies displayed at home Wednesday night would also go an awful long way towards helping Tech grab one of those elusive aforementioned road wins against the noles.