Monday, November 24, 2008

ACC Ballers Week 2 update - #5 Duke off to a fast start, #1 UNC heads to Maui.

This week was not as good for the conference as last, as three teams have lost a combined 4 games. But, overall the conference is 35-4 over the first two weeks of the season, which ain't bad at all. #5 Duke (6-0) ran through the Coaches vs. Cancer classic this past week capped off by a resounding 71-56 win over Michigan in the championship game. Tournament MVP Kyle Singler scored 15 points in the win. Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez was named ACC Player of the Week after averaging 27 points, 8.5 boards, 4.5 assists, and 3 steals in two wins over Youngstown State and Vermont. Virgina guard/forward Sylven Landesberg averaged 21.5 points and 4 boards in two wins over South Florida and Radford on his way to being named ACC Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week. This week we'll be tracking top ranked Carolina's run through the Maui tournament. Everyone expects to see the Heels in the championship game and their journey starts tonight against the host, Chaminade, at 9:30 on ESPNU.

#1 UNC 115 - Chaminade 70

Nothing out of the ordinary here. If you like a lot of uncontested breakaway dunks, this was the game for you. Wayne Ellington had a few fast break dunks that made you get out of your seat but the dunk of the night definitely belonged to William Graves. This was just monstrous. See for yourself....

North Carolina dominated from the opening tip and never really looked back. Ty Lawson got hot from deep early on in the game (3-4 from three point land) and it seemed as though the Heels were on a perpetual fast break for 40 minutes. Junior small forward Danny Green was the game's high scorer with 26 as the Heels cruised at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, HI.

#1 UNC 98 - Oregon 69 (click to see highlights)

In typical UNC fashion the Heels got out of the gate running and never looked back. 6'6 Senior guard Danny Green scored 21 on 8 of 12 shooting. This season Green has emerged as Carolina's most versatile player as he effectively scores both inside and out (5-8 from three). Along with Green, everyone else on Carolina seemed to play well as coach Williams' team had 10 players score. One interesting aspect of the game was that Tyler Hansbrough started for Carolina for the first time all season. He seemed to get frustrated early against the very physical Oregon super freshman Michael Dunnigan, who seemed ready for the challenge. Unfortunately for coach Ernie Kent and the Ducks, Dunnigan was the only player that seemed capable of competing against this talented squad. Junior power forward Deon Thompson of Carolina went for 11 points and 6 boards while frosh point guard Larry Drew Jr. had a really nice game with 3 points and 5 dimes. Drew Jr. had a couple of flashy assists that made you think 'if this is Carolina's backup, they might not lose a game all year.' The more I watch this team the more I think it's built for a tournament run in March.

Next Up....


#1 UNC - #8 Notre Dame (click to see highlights)

While Carolina has dismantled everyone they've played this season this game might be a true testament to how good they really are. Notre Dame is a top 10 team with a handful of players that have played at a high level for years. Junior power forward Luke Harangody was an All-Big East performer last year and was considering a jump to the NBA after average 20 points and 10 boards as a sophomore. Fighting Irish senior guard Kyle McAlarney is one of the best shooters in the country and looks primed for another very good year. Apparently you can throw all of this out when playing the Tar Heels. They ran through this team like they were a JV squad. McAlarney went off for 39 on 10 of 18 shooting from 3 and his team still got beat. If any top 10 teams gets 39 from one of their best players it's almost a lock that their team wins. The usual suspects came to play for Carolina as Tyler Hansbrough (68% from the field) looked like the Pyscho-T of old pouring in 34 points and tournament MVP Ty Lawson finished the game with 22 points and 11 assists. Junior forward Deon Thompson finished up with 19 points and 13 boards. Apparently Hansbrough is only playing at "about 75%" according to Roy Williams. The Heels are also missing last year's starting small forward Marcus Ginyard. I am scared to think how good this team will be in January. Look out ACC. Here is a little footage of the game....

ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week....
Nolan Smith gets extra big on Southern Illinois.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ACC doing well after week 1.....

At this point each team has played at least one game and so far all is well. The ACC is a combined 16-0 as each team won its first game. While every team in the league is 1-0 on the young season Duke and Clemson are already 3-0. A big reason for the success of these two teams are Duke forward Kyle Singler and Clemson forward Trevor Booker, who were named Co-ACC players of the Week. Singler averaged 19 and 7 in wins over Presbyterian, Georgia Southern, and Rhode Island (11/16). Booker, who earned MVP honors at the Charleston Classic, put in averaged 13 points, 13 boards, and a ridiculous 3 blocks per game in a 3 game stretch (Hofstra, TCU, and Temple). On a side note, Virginia's freshman guard Sylven Landesberg put up 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in a win over VMI yesterday on his way to being named ACC Rookie of the Week.

Good ACC games on deck:

Tuesday 11/18/08

Kentucky at #1 UNC, 9pm, ESPN

Wednesday 11/19/08

South Florida at Virginia, 7pm

Thursday 11/20/08

Southern Illinois at #10 Duke, 7pm, ESPN2

Saturday 11/22/08

Clemson at Charlotte, 7pm