TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume I, no. XII
Welcome to this edition of Two Dukies Pick the ACC. Call your cable
company and start complaining if you don't get the Deuce, because
February is sweeps month, and that means a double shot of Duke and
UNC. Oh yeah, there are three other games this week too. For
this edition, noted Tar Heel fan Chip Venable joins the Two Dukies
to give us the perspective of the folks on the other end of U.S.
15-501 on this week's action.
Kudos to Dave Swanger and Dave Magee, from whom we shamelessly
stole this idea. Thanks, guys!
Guest Dukies needed! Contact Rob or Matt if you're interested.
You need not be a Dukie to apply. Particularly looking for
Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and NC State fans, or
anyone at all, for that matter. :)
Do you have some web space you'd like to donate to the Two Dukies?
We're looking to set up a site to archive the previous editions of
TDPTACC. Drop us a line if you'd like to help out.
# - precedes Rob Mac K's comments
% - precedes Matt Norris's comments
$ - precedes Chip Venable's comments
% The Tigers sure looked bad in that loss to N.C State over the weekend,
% did they not? Hold that commentary about Harrison's lane violation,
% now; if Clemson were playing to their potential they never would have
% found themselves in the midst of such a situation against the depleted
% Wolfpack. All in all, it was a tough week for Rick Barnes, one that
% saw his team drop to 3-6 in the league, a record that is raising the
% specter of an NIT trip.
% You know, it's really too bad that Matt Harpring doesn't have another
% year of eligibility left, because the play of the 6-7 senior and that
% of Dion Glover on Sunday in Durham really impressed me. Despite a
% very tough Duke defense that was largely keyed on stopping them,
% particularly after Alvin Jones fouled out with no points and 9:27 on
% the clock in the second half, the pair created several scoring
% opportunities out of whole cloth, and really never tried to force
% anything. Okay, Glover did have an errant three-point try or two, but
% he was much more in control than most freshmen who hit the hardwood
% at Cameron for the first time.
% Unfortunately, Harpring and Glover are missing that third scorer that
% always seems to be necessary in the Cremins system (for example,
% Scott/Anderson/Oliver; Harpring/Barry/Marbury) in order for the
% Jackets to have any consistent success. While Maddox could
% potentially fill that role, against tougher defenses he can often
% vanish. (Actually, Maddox played pretty well against Duke, but no
% one else on the club other than Harpring and Glover hit more than
% two field goals.)
% This predictability makes it nearly impossible for Tech to surprise
% anyone, which is why I've decided that Clemson will likely prevail
% in this matchup. After several years, you see, I've concluded that
% Rick Barnes is an overrated coach. If the opposition acts like they
% logically should, he's fine, but if anyone throws a monkey wrench
% into the machinery, Clemson has trouble coping. It just seems as
% though Barnes can't make adjustments on the fly. Since Cremins'
% ability to mount different offensive sets is seriously limited, and
% since he can't even hope to win a game without solid efforts from
% Harpring and Glover, and good performances from a couple of other
% Jackets, Barnes should be able to counter.
% Look for Terrell McIntyre to burn Travis Spivey (from what I saw on
% Saturday, I think Vines is a better point guard) for 20-25 points,
% and for an excellent defensive battle between Harpring and Buckner.
% Clemson wins, 76-70.
# Well, it's about time that I faced reality and acknowledged the fact
# that Clemson isn't just in danger of missing the NCAA's, but that
# they may not deserve to go anyway. They're simply not very good.
# I guess the loss of Merl Code *was* more significant than anyone
# would have expected.
# That said, fortunately enough for them they're facing another not-
# so-good team in Georgia Tech. Even at home, the Jackets can't
# hope to overpower the Tigers. Terrell McIntyre should have a field
# day against the fairly inept Tech backcourt, and Buckner and Jamison
# should be enough to cancel out the contributions of Harpring and
# Maddox. Of course, as usual with Clemson this season, they may
# let Tech hang around and blow it in the end, but after the horrific
# loss to NC State over the weekend, Rick Barnes *should* have his
# club ready to play for a change. Call it Clemson 68, Tech 63.
$ Whither the Tiggers? From a very high national pre-season perch
$ to playing Tech in a game featuring the #7 and #8 teams in the
$ league... McIntyre's injury played an early part, but among Clemson
$ fans I know the grumbling over Barnes' coaching stratey of late has
$ grown to growling after last Saturday's debacle at home against
$ State. While shooting respectably from three-land, the free-throw
$ shooting is atrocious, and the physical style employed is usually
$ returned in kind, meaning the Tigers have got to shoot much better
$ from the line. Tech's season has gone about like everyone expected--
$ Harpring is a legitimate 1st team All-American candidate, and Dion
$ Glover has also impressed. The problem: No help, as Maddox has been
$ inconsistent and Alvin Jones will, from time to time, vanish. With
$ the game being played at the Big MacArena, I believe that Tech will
$ hang close for 75% of the game, but Clemson's superior depth and
$ physical style of play will wear Harpring down, and the only knock
$ on Glover is that he, due to inexperience, can be erratic at times.
$ Clemson will rebound in the second half of the ACC season, and it
$ starts here... Clemson 78 - Tech 69
% The only surprising element of UVa's loss at Cole on Sunday was the
% fact that a Cav not named Nolan or Staples reached the double-digit
% plateau. Yes, welcome to the summit, Colin Ducharme (14 points)!!
% Sigh. Have I already mentioned how much fun coaching this club is
% going to be next season, when Staples and Nolan have hit the highway?
% Considering that Donald "Slow" Hand can't shoot, Monte Marcaccini
% should have stayed at Pepperdine, and Chase Metheney is just a huge
% space-occupying stiff, next year's squad pretty much boils down to
% Ducharme and Willie Dersch. In other words, imagine THIS season,
% only with Dersch and Ducharme in the go-to roles, and the same total
% lack of a supporting cast (I'm assuming that Ron Curry isn't coming).
% Wow. Maybe the school won't fire Jeff Jones, on the grounds that no
% one crazy enough to succeed him could be found.
% For their part, the Florida State Seminoles are coming off a
% disgustingly embarrassing loss to less than awe-inducing South
% Florida over the weekend. The impact of this loss? Considerable - -
% it will almost certainly result in a lower NCAA seed for the Noles,
% because the omniscient Selection Committee will tend to view it as a
% counterweight to the win over Arizona. This is particularly true
% given that 1) Arizona is playing much better ball now than they were
% on December 23rd, when FSU beat them, and 2) the Committee (probably
% correctly) gives greater weight to more recent contests. So, Steve
% Robinson might have seen his club fall from a #5 to a #7 or even a #8
% with this loss to the Bulls, and for a team with such a serious defect
% in its mental preparedness, that's significant.
% FSU faces a pair of grave problems: 1) no more than two of their
% starters can ever seem to put good games together simultaneously; 2)
% they just don't have a bench. Ron "Instant Offense" Hale can't even
% make instant coffee this season. Oliver Simmons? Slow rummy.
% Devonaire Deas? Overmatched at the major conference level. Karim
% Shabazz? He's fair, but Robinson had better hope he isn't studying
% how to shave six inches off his effective height at the hands of the
% master, Corey Louis. Add in the fact that Kerry Thompson was last
% spotted at the NIT championship, and you've got trouble.
% FSU may be down, but it's about time that Robinson should start to
% earn his considerable paycheck. Murmurs have begin across the
% country that the ACC deserves perhaps only four teams in the NCAAs,
% and while the conference is almost certain to get five berths
% irrespective of how many clubs finish at or above .500, Robinson
% wants his fifth conference win so that his streaky club can go 3-3
% the rest of the way and still have an even record. Accordingly, he
% should have his team fired up. One interesting note: while FSU can't
% shoot the three, they don't let other teams shoot it either, which is
% bad news for Staples and ***ia. Florida State gets the road win,
# In Florida State's defense (and I'm not sure they deserve much
# defending), the Noles have always had trouble beating USF, especially
# in Tampa. Of course, we all expected that with Steve Robinson at the
# helm, the underachieving would come to an end, but apparently we
# were expecting a bit too much.
# That said, it's really a shame for ***ia that they've only got two
# guys who can put points on the board, because I have a feeling that
# FSU is on the verge of a season-ending slide into mediocrity, and
# if the Cavs had any kind of firepower at all they'd have a great
# chance to pull off the upset, especially at home. As it is, however,
# Nolan will get his points, Staples will struggle to get off his shot
# (but he will get some off) and Donald Hand and Kerry Thompson play to
# a stand-off. But Terrell Baker and the Incredible Shrinking Corey
# Louis should be able to provide enough points to outscore the ...
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