ACC Basketball: Monday Night Recap and Tuesday Night Preview

With two ACC games from Monday in the books, and one conference game on Tuesday night to look forward to, here is everything you need to know about what you may have missed yesterday, and what you have to look forward to tonight between Syracuse and Boston College.

#5 Duke 79  Pittsburgh 65

Coach K recorded his 999th career win as a collegiate head coach on Monday night, as his Duke Blue Devils exploded out of the gate to a 15 point halftime lead, which ultimately proved to be too much for Pittsburgh to overcome in the second half. Freshman guard Tyus Jones had a huge night offensively for Duke, as he scored 22 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor. Four of those seven made shots were threes, and the Panthers never seemed to find an answer to contain his hot shooting. His backcourt mate Quinn Cook also was a major contributor to the win, as scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Meanwhile, Rasheed Sulaimon finally made some noise off of the bench for Duke, scoring 13 points on 4-5 shooting from 3-point land in 25 minutes of court time.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s leading scorer Michael Young was held in check by Jahlil Okafor and company, as he only managed 11 points on 5-11 shots from the field. Jamel Artis was the high point man for the Panthers, as he scored 21 points on 7-10 shooting to try to lead his team back from a substantial halftime deficit. The 26-2 advantage Duke had in the paint in the first half, ultimately led to the Panthers demise, and they will need to find a way to defend better in the low post if they want to be more competitive this season with their young roster.

As we have come to realize this season, especially in conference play, Duke needs major contributions from their backcourt when they play well-coached teams, or else they are going to struggle. Jahlil Okafor is a monster down on the block, but his play can only take the team so far, especially if the rest of the roster does not play up to their expectations.

Florida State 59  Clemson 55

Florida State was reeling entering their match-up with Clemson, as they were losers of three straight games entering the contest on Monday night. The ‘Noles were able to find a way on the road to squeak out a four point road win over the Tigers behind a monster night from freshman guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes. He poured in 17 points, while compiling nine assists, five rebounds, and four steals in what was without a doubt a career night for the freshman guard.

As for the Tigers, they have nobody to blame but themselves for this home debacle. After a big win against Syracuse on Saturday, the Tigers shot themselves in the foot time and time again on Monday night, as they were offensively abysmal. The Tigers shot 17-50 from the field (34%), 5-19 from three (26%), and went a horrific 16-31 from the free throw line (52%). This was one of Clemson’s worst performances of the season, and a game that they will simply have to put behind them in order to have success throughout the rest of ACC Play.

And now, to the preview of Tuesday night’s match-up.

The Match-Up

Boston College (8-8, 0-4, RPI: 131) Vs. Syracuse (13-5, 4-1, RPI: 57), 7:00 PM ET, ESPNU

Their Last Game

Boston College

The Eagles faced off against #2 UVA in their last contest on Saturday afternoon, fighting valiantly all afternoon before the ‘Hoos pulled away in the final nine minutes of the game, winning the match-up against BC by a final score of 66-51. BC’s point guard Olivier Hanlan did a little bit of everything for the Eagles, but his comments after the game showed how much respect he really has for UVA.


The Orange generally thrive on their inside-out offensive attack with Rakeem Christmas in the paint, and the sharpshooting of Trevor Cooney and company from beyond the arc. On Saturday, however, the ‘Cuse could never quite get it going from 3-point land, shooting a dismal 2-15 (13.3%). After fighting back from two separate 20-point deficits, the Orange ultimately could not hang with Clemson, losing to the Tigers 66-53.

Players To Watch

G Trevor Cooney, Syracuse

Trevor Cooney is coming off of his worst game of the season in Saturday’s loss against Clemson, as he went 0-7 from the field, 0-5 from three, but made 5-7 free throws to finish the game with five points. He scored 14 or more points in eight out of his previous nine contests before Saturday, so it is safe to say that his lack of offense contributed to the debacle on the road against the Tigers.

If Cooney shoots the ball like he is capable of, the Orange should coast against BC, but then again, they have only made one conference game look easy, so anything is possible.

G Olivier Hanlan, Boston College

If you’re tuning in to a Boston College game this season, Olivier Hanlan is just about the only player you want to watch. Hanlan is averaging 16.5 points per game on 43% shooting, and is the closest thing the Eagles have to a star player. His best games this season have come in conference play, as he has scored 18 points or more in each of his team’s four ACC contests. If the game is competitive, Hanlan gets more aggressive, which is something that Syracuse will need to key on Tuesday night.

The Game And Prediction

Syracuse has barely survived in three out of their four conference wins, so one would think that their match-up with Boston College on Tuesday would feature more of the same script. However, with Rakeem Christmas seemingly destroying opposing defenses in the paint at 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and Boston College having no real answer down low to stop him, Syracuse is the safe pick here, especially at home. Syracuse enters this home game with a Vegas line of -8, and I expect them to cover.

Syracuse 68   Boston College 57


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