Around the ACC: Weekend Preview for Feb. 9-10

Florida State vs. Wake Forest: Florida State’s win Tuesday over Georgia Tech made them only the second team this season to pick up three road conference wins in the ACC.  They’ll go for number four against a Wake Forest team that has lost four straight since upsetting NC State.

This has the potential to be a clunky game.  Neither Florida State nor Wake Forest have shown much consistency offensively, outside of Michael Snaer consistently getting buzzer-beating game winners.

Kiel Turpin and Boris Bojanovsky both had double-digit scoring efforts against the Yellow Jackets.  Wake Forest lacks the size to defend those two seven-footers, so getting them going would be a huge catalyst for a potential Seminoles victory.

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech: In Atlanta, Virginia Tech rallied to pick up an overtime win over the Yellow Jackets.  Saturday, the Hokies hope to snap a five-game losing streak on home turf.

In that game, Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown combined for a 5-for-20 shooting effort.  Last night, that duo was 2-for-17 from the floor.  Erick Green is a phenomenal player, but he needs help for the Hokies to contend for wins in the ACC.

After starting ACC play 0-5, the Yellow Jackets have won two of their last four. You could also argue that they should have won three of those four, if the officials had whistled Michael Snaer on his game-winning basket Tuesday.  Winning on the road has proven to be a challenge in the ACC this season, but Georgia Tech is definitely the team entering this game with positive momentum.

North Carolina vs. Miami:  The Tar Heels will take a three-game winning streak to Coral Gables to challenge the Hurricanes, undefeated in ACC play.

As is often the case for Miami opponents, it appears that Kenny Kadji will create some matchup issues for North Carolina.  In the game at Chapel Hill, Kadji scored 18 points and made five of six two-pointers.  Julian Gamble also scored 14 points, one of only two double-digit scoring efforts for a guy better known for his shot-blocking.  Either Gamble or Reggie Johnson could have some success inside against the Heels.

The Tar Heels appear to finally have all their horses in the stable, as PJ Hairston returned from his concussion at Boston College to play 12 minutes against Wake Forest.  Certainly, any concussion scenario is a bit touch-and-go, but after missing Leslie McDonald for most of ACC play, North Carolina will happily welcome having a full roster back.

NC State vs. Clemson: The Wolfpack is looking to end a three-game losing streak, but they will have to pick up a road win against the Clemson Tigers to do it.  It would be their first road win in ACC play since knocking off Boston College 78-73 on January 5.

This could be a game where Clemson’s Devin Booker has a solid outing.  The other double-digit scoring effort for Julian Gamble in ACC play this season? Last weekend against NC State. Mason Plumlee just wrapped up a 30 point game against the Wolfpack.  In their first meeting this season, Booker scored 27 points against NC State.

Getting Lorenzo Brown back would be a huge boost for NC State.  Brown, along with Miami’s Shane Larkin, was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation’s best point guard.  However, he has missed the last two games after injuring his ankle in the team’s loss to Virginia.

Virginia vs. Maryland: The Cavaliers left ACC fans scratching their heads last weekend, as their four-game winning streak ended with a loss to Georgia Tech.

Dez Wells only had eight points in the Terrapins’ win over Virginia Tech last night, but he did grab nine rebounds and record five assists.  It’s good to see production like that on slow offensive nights, because it’s entirely possible Wells has another low-scoring night against Virginia’s stingy defense.

With that said, Wells and his Maryland squad are also turnover prone. This plays right into the hands of that Virginia defense.  Last night, the Cavaliers capitalized on 19 Clemson turnovers to demolish the Tigers, taking a 78-41 win.  For the Terrapins to win, they will have to protect the ball.

Duke vs. Boston College:  Duke is shipping up to Boston this week, as the Blue Devils will look for a road win against the Eagles.

Mason Plumlee rebounded from an 8 point game against Florida State for a monster 30 point outing against NC State last night.  Boston College opponents are making 48.1% of their shots in two-point range, so Plumlee could be in for another big game.

Boston College’s best shot at this game will be to attack the Blue Devils.  Contrary to popular belief, it is Boston College, not Duke, that is one of three teams to attempts at least 200 free throws in ACC play this season. The other two teams have had the benefit of a 10th ACC game so far.  If Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson can draw some fouls and force the Blue Devils to use some awkward lineups, it could open the door for a potential surprise.  This, of course, is just as likely to backfire into a disastrous track meet of Eagles turnovers/Blue Devils blocks leading to a massive run for Duke, but playing tentatively won’t get the job done for BC.


Follow Inside the ACC on Twitter at @InsideTheACC. Like Inside the ACC on Facebook. Get your ACC links at ITA’s Daily NewsLink Page. Talk about ACC sports on the ITA Forums.


Leave a Reply