ACC Basketball: Week in Review

By Anthony Lenahan
Rob Kinnan-USA Today Sports

After only two weeks of ACC play, only two teams remain undefeated in conference play.  Miami (FL) and North Carolina State have both gotten off to a 3-0 start in the ACC and sit on top of the conference standings.

Both teams earned themselves quality victories this week against the better part of the ACC competition.

Miami proved they are going to be a contender and not a pretender in the ACC this year with a quality win over North Carolina and another big win over the Maryland Terrapins.  The Hurricanes are undefeated in ACC play even with out having Reggie Johnson down low.

Imagine how good Miami will be when Johnson comes back.  With the play of Durand Scott, Kenny Kadji, and Shane Larkin so far, there is no reason to believe Miami can’t continue to be a successful team.

They have proven they can win on the road in conference play by defeating both Georgia Tech and North Carolina on the road.  Winning games on the road is a vital part of being successful in your conference.

This week Miami will only play one game as they go on the road to play a struggling Boston College team as they look to improve to 4-0 in ACC play.

In week 2 of ACC play, we also learned that North Carolina State is back.  The Wolfpack earned themselves a huge victory over previously No. 1 and undefeated Duke.

That victory earned them their third win in conference play and possibly the featured team in the ACC.  C.J. Leslie, Richard Howell, Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood, Rodney Purvis, and T.J. Warren all combine to make the Wolfpack the eighth best scoring team in the country.  They are also the best shooting team in the country and if you’re making shots at a high rate, you’re going to be tough to beat.

They came into the season as the preseason ACC favorite, but didn’t live up to the hype early in the season.  Now all of their talent is starting to show and the Wolfpack are going to be a serious challenger to Duke for that ACC championship.

Finally, a couple of teams that underperformed this week and showed they may be pretenders in ACC play this year.  Both Maryland and Virginia had very promising starts to their seasons and looked to be a pair of quality ACC teams, but both dropped both conference games they played this week and did not look very good in their defeats.

Virginia had a promising start to ACC play when they upset North Carolina in their conference opener.  It got the Cavaliers off to an 11-3 start in their first fourteen game of the year and they had two weak conference opponents this week in Wake Forest and Clemson.

Two games in which Virginia should have won and needed to win, they lost.  The great team that played against North Carolina did not show up against Clemson and Wake Forest and it is going to hurt the Cavaliers badly.

Virginia just might not be that good and could have just had a good game against Carolina.  Don’t expect UVA to be any part of the discussion when it comes to the better teams in the ACC later in the season.

Maryland just like Virginia, lost both conference games they played this week.  Maryland came into conference play at 12-1 and looked to be flying under the radar.  They didn’t really have any quality wins, but looked very impressive in non-conference play.

Last week, Maryland took on Florida State and Miami.  Against Florida State they were up by double-digits for most of the game, but just couldn’t put the game away and allowed the Seminoles to come back in the second half.  A lack of experience showed for Maryland in that game and could play a big part as the Terrapins continue their season.

Last night, the Terrapins went on the road to face a Miami team coming off a victory against North Carolina.  It was a very ugly game that seemed to have no rhythm to it and Maryland lost by seven points.

Their two losses this week, doubled the total number of losses they had for the whole season and after coming into conference play flying under the radar, they haven’t proven anything yet.

The biggest thing we learned last week in the ACC was Duke will struggle without Ryan Kelly.  The senior forward is out indefinitely and is a major loss for the Blue Devils.

His absence proved significant when Duke fell to North Carolina State on Saturday.  Duke just doesn’t have the depth at the forward position to fill in for Kelly.  Amile Jefferson played really good, but his inexperience hurt him and his team at times.

This week should be another action filled week for ACC teams and we will learn a lot more about every team in this conference as the season progresses.


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