Over a month ago we asked our ACC fans who they thought would win the ACC Regular Season crown. At that point Carolina had been rollin' and it didn't seem like they could be beat. Might explain why 40% of the votes went to the Heels. Even fans of rival teams thought there was no chance that anyone could come out on top of Carolina. As the saying goes, I guess thats why the play the games.
One thing that has become apparent in the last week is that in this conference you have to play at a high level for 40 minutes if you expect to win each game In addition you have to be willing to get give the same effort night in and night out. At the midway point in the 08-09 College Basketball season Wake Forest is the only ACC team to sustain this effort as they ran past #6 North Carolina (Sun. 11th) and #9 Clemson (Sat. 17th). Their reward: Being ranked the #1 team in all of College Basketball. While everyone from Al-Farouq Aminu to James Johnson have played well the catalyst for this climb up the rankings is the lighting quick and explosive sophomore guard Jeff Teague. Teague has averaged 29.2 point per game in his last 4 games and absolutely carried the Deac's in the Sunday night game against the Tar Heels. Teague's line against UNC looks like this: 34 points, 15-17 from the line, 6 boards, and 4 assists. He simply made the plays that Coach Gaudio needed, each time he needed them. Teague's combination of speed, skill, and basketball IQ compliment the rest of the tall, skilled, and athletic players the Deacon's feature. Aminu and Johnson looked like NBA prospects as they were able to handle the ball and finish in the open court on Clemson at will. The Tigers had no chance in this game because Wake was better at doing what Clemson does best, full court man to man press. This is an example of Al-Farouq's athleticism:
and another big time dunk by the big time 6'9 small forward....
Wake Forest simply had better athletes with a higher skill level then Oliver coach Oliver Purnell's Tigers. That's usually tough to overcome.
ACC Ballers Performance of the Week:
North Carolina shooting guard Wayne Ellington at home against Miami: 23 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, 7-11 from behind the arc. Take a look....
ACC Teams in the ESPN\USA TODAY TOP 25 (4 in the top 9):
1. Wake Forest
6. North Carolina
ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week:
Hands down this is the dunk of the week. No questions asked. Miami freshman phenom Dequan Jones is big time.
(the first play is of Jones throwing a shot into the stands. the last play, starting at the 1:11 mark, is at this point the dunk of the year in the ACC)