ACC Basketball: The Wednesday Night Fights, Blow-By-Blow

That should do it for us here at ITA tonight! Thanks for watching the games along with me. We’ll be back with more on Saturday.

11:20 Final Miami 81 FSU 77

XRM with 30 points in the last five minutes! And they still couldn’t erase the 18 pt deficit they had built to the Canes. Even the one bucket (a three) he didn’t score, he assisted on. It was reminiscent of Sleepy Floyd vs the Lakers in the 1987 NBA Playoffs when he had 29 (then a record, maybe still so) in one quarter. Hell of an ending to a game few had been watching. An absolutely heroic performance. Reminiscent of Forrest going back for Bubba:

11:10 Final Duke 91 VT 86 OT

Jalen Hudson did his best all night and had a couple chances to close Duke out at home, but nothing could fall, to OT we go. And once there, it was the Okafor/Cook show. Cook’s three with just over a minute to go was a particularly painful dagger for VT fans, putting Duke up four, and turning the final minute into a FT shooting contest. Both teams knocked them down, and we wind up with Duke on top by 5, having to not only play the injured Okafor for 37 minutes, which I completely unexpected.

The two teams combined to make 22 of their 45 triples, and if Duke had been slightly better from the line throughout (they shot 11-of-22) it might not have gotten so dire. But the Hokies gave Duke everything they could handle tonight, and with strong efforts from FR Jalen Hudson and Justin Bibbs and Soph PG Devin Wilson, these players are learning to play together even if they are missing come classically important pieces like let’s say a 2nd player over 6’6″ that’s reliable.

After having to sit through the whole UVA game, this was refreshing. And to Duke fans, rest easy a few more days, the 1 seed is still on lock.

–Chuck Workman

10:44 FSU/Miami

Miami is pulling away behind FSU’s inability to contain Angel Rodriguez. This game has got like 20% of my attention though I do have it on. Every time I look at it, it’s FSU clanking another J or throwing it away. XRM and Devin Bookert haven’t scored in the 2nd half and we’re 11 minutes in. Tonye Jekiri is controlling the defensive boards, and it’s going to take a massive shift in shot selection for FSU to avoid falling to 7-9 in the league. Miami is about to keep pace with Pitt and NC St at 8-7 to see if someone might snag the ACC a 6th NCAA bid.

Miami leads 51-42.

10:21 Duke/VT

And Duke just took the lead back after VT had built up 8 point leads a couple of times on the strength of strong leadership at the PG from Devin Wilson, and an aggressive Jalen Hudson. But Okafor has made Ahmed Hill and others including 7 footer Satch Pierce look foolish as well, and Justise Winslow is consistently knifing through the middle like some sort of James Harden clone.

Quinn Cook with a quiet 13 so far, but every one crucial, particularly his last three where it knocked the Hokies from being up 8 down to 5. This would not be a game where you’d expect the lead to change hands 6x by this point. The Zabian Dowdell group had a 9pm win v Duke at Cassell, the Malcolm Delaney led group also had a big 9pm win on College Gameday, and now the “Will Johnson group? James C Weaver group?” might have a shot at one.

You know it’s serious when the bracketology doomsayers are talking about this bumping Duke from their lofty #1 seed. I guess Joe also likes the Wolfpack’s SOS, because he has them in as a 9 seed. To me, that indicates a weak mid-major field.

–Chuck Workman

9:56 Duke/VT

Meanwhile VT has a chance to go into the half with the lead here. Up 34-33 as the VCU/Richmond game is mercifully ended in a 1-pt Richmond triumph. And my goodness Devin Wilson is on fire, he’s immediately driven the ball down Duke’s throat twice for layups, the second a 3 pt play. The 2-12 Hokies are up four here.

Bad call on Bibbs, the Duke player traveled. Interestingly Okafor’s first rebound there with under a minute left. He’s straying from too much impact on that ankle thus far. He has 14 so far, coach K is using him well against the undersized Hokies.

And VT will lead at the break, matching Duke’s FG efficiency in less attempts (16-23) vs (16-27). VT frosh Jalen Hudson leads VT with 11, and Okafor with 14. Duke has been overreliant on the three, having gone 4 of 13….these long rebounds are leading to some VT runouts, leading to great efficiency numbers. Just like the game before it, not many whisles just 8 FTs total.

Though there are limited rebounds, an alarming number of Duke’s are on the offensive end. What can be done? No size on the Hokies. Duke has 3 steals to VT’s 0. So these two stats are in keeping with the year-long numbers. But Duke needs to quit being cute with passes, as they also have 5 TOs.

IF Duke can calm down and knock down their 3s, or just pound it in for close range baskets, they will run away with this. If they continue to allow the Hokies to hang around in the Cassell the occasional miracle occurs.

–Chuck Workman

9:30 FSU/Miami

Knotted at 16, last game they played was to a one-point FSU home win. Got Xavier Rathan-Msyes (with 5) lesding the way for the Noles. Meanwhile, the ‘Canes have gotten 6 from a penetrating Angel Rodriguez. The game is a tussle underneath with the FSU bigs constantly tangled with someone,

Miami is coming up with lots of loose balls though having a 14-7 advantage early. Two guys fouls to watch early are Phil Cofer (FSU standout freshman, plays kind of a stretch 4) with 2, and Tonye Jekiri (a walking double-double) has an early one as well.

And Rodriguez easily got to the goal for another, and Miami and FSU now tied at 18. No rim protection from FSU.

–Chuck Workman

9:05 VCU/Richmond

This guy hit a three, and now it’s OT, and Duke/VT is underway. And ESPN News is sticking with Tulane/Tulsa, even though they’ll undoubtedly get their feed back in time for anything critical.
Duke? Or this other tripe?

–Chuck Workman

8:49 Final UVA 70 Wake 34

Wake held a team under their usual points allowed number! By 1. That is about the only positive takeaway from this game for Danny Manning’s group.

For UVA, their bench proved that the future is probably just as bright as the present. With even more high-profile recruits coming to Charlottesville, this might not be as short-lived as Tobacco Road, and the Big East Big 3 might hope.

Of course, and I recognize this might net me some vitriol, the NBA might come calling for Tony B sooner than later. Who knows though? I’m not sure Brad Stevens is going to work out in Boston, and its been a long time since a college coach made a successful leap to the NBA, and its the reason why Billy Donovan came back to Florida instead of taking a bum job in Orlando,and why Tom Izzo’s flirtations with Cleveland went nowhere, and Coach K couldn’t be compelled to leave Duke for any job beyond coaching the USA in his off-time. Its called a Fiefdom and its got grip.

I’ll be real interested to see what NBA GM attempts to convince Bennett to translate his brand to the league. Not because he can’t be successful, but because his syle won’t lead to butts in seats. He did manage to work his way to the league briefly as a player, so he isn’t foreign to the environment. Ultimately it comes down to whether he can resist the largest payday of his life for a pretty good quality of life in Charlottesville. I would wager Charlottesville puts up a good fight as long as the raises and bonuses come.

Now you’ll really hate me, Hoos fans. Even if you did win head-to-head vs an NBA outfit, what happens if Cal goes elsewhere or Bill Self, or god forbid Roy Williams or Coach K? One of those college rushmore jobs? Danger lurks everywhere, enjoy it while you’ve got it.

–Chuck Workman

8:34 UVA/Wake

UVA pulling the ball out now even with open looks just working clock. Up 36, 57-21, there is little else they can do on the offensive end in order to not appear to RUTS on Wake with just under 11 to play.

Here’s where Bennett allows the 17-5 closing kick to allow the other team to save face and still win with the “formula”. Simply amazing that groups of 12 collegiate ball players consistently have trouble scoring 40 over 40 minutes against Bennett coached defenses. If UVA makes this pair of FTs, the score will be 61-23. There will be little more to report until the final score. This guy needs to eat and get ready for what he hopes will be a better pair of games at 9.

Back with closing thoughts in a bit. Nothing I can write anymore that you folks can’t see. That is if you haven’t turned it over to ABC’s Modern Family by this point. UVA 61-23 here at the 8 minute break.

–Chuck Workman

8:25 Duke/VT

Okafor is supposed to get in tonight at VT. He’s warming up. TBD for how long, or if he starts.

8:22 UVA/Wake

Not sure why the Wake defensive rotations have been so slow that they haven’t been able to double the block effectively vs the Cavs tonight. The Cavs don’t waste time dribbling and move the ball crisply, but Wake acts like they’ve never seen this before.

Devin Thomas cannot buy an open look. And he shoots FTs poorly, but converts those two there. Wake now has 21 with 13 minutes to play. Averaging less than a point per minute. By all metrics one of the worse offensive performances in recent years. Virginia is about to go up 30 with 12 to play if they convert here. Anthony Gill making the Wake frontcourt his plaything, heating up here, with seven 2nd half points to get UVA started in the 2nd half.

Bennett calls time-out, just because he wanted to hear the band. And whatever they were playing was in a flat or a minor, just like the Deacons team.

–Chuck Workman

8:15 UVA/Wake)

That’s a special stat, 15 pts Wake has been held to at the half is the lowest ever in the Joel, 411 games. So everyone who remained with it past 28-11 got to witness some history.

Anderson sitting next to Perrantes on the bench as he is might lead a complete stranger to ask what incident led to Justin decking London and breaking his nose. “He didn’t take the right angle on the ball screen. Coach told me I had to.”

Darion Atkins has been great off of the left block converting crisply. An uber-efficient 8 pts on just 3 FG attempts. And Anthony Gill makes it a 28 point cushion (perhaps 29 if he converts the and-one as we move to the under-16 TO), with UVA leading 47-19. Tie-dye nation is losing some of their enthusiasm in Winston-Salem. Quite frankly I was hoping for a better game this evening, I think we all were. The problem for the Deacs, is that UVA is already deep into their bench. It’s not like Coach Bennett can ease up, unless he just plays zone for the last 15 minutes.

–Chuck Workman


A missed layup by Brogdon UVA would like back there, it isn’t too often we’ve seen them in transition. Would have increased the lead to 18. Gerald Wilkins son in the game for UVA, so long as the opposition doesn’t have any offspring of Michael Jordan’s (I know they weren’t great) UVA should be fine….that’s a jab at some NBA rivalries that pre-date many of you readers, and I apologize for showing my age. I like the Jay-Z too, I promise.

The Cavs are outrebounding the Deacs 20-11, and Wilkins gets a tip right before the half ends, and now the Cavs lead by 21. Updates may be less frequent in the 2nd half folks, as it appears UVA has this one well in hand, and Wake’s last gasp at getting post-season eligible are wheezing breaths at this point. A loss drops them to four below .500, with four to play. After the Jeff Bzdelik Experiment (sounds like a bad band you might see at a seedy coffeehouse amirite?) I’m not sure too many Deacs fans were counting on lining up for NIT tickets anyhow.

Halftime score: UVA 36 Wake 15

Other stats of note: Wake is at 6-of-25 from the field with seven TOs. And this is the 12th time UVA has held an opponent under 20 points at the half.

7:42 UVA/Wake

Shayok with a big three on a baseline pass from corner to corner from Brogdon (there is a cardinal rule against this by the way), and UVA is up to 28-11 with just under 5 minutes to play. This game has been loosely officiated, and UVA is generally very disciplined defensively with arms straight up anyhow, but only four FTs by the two teams combined are making for an easy-go of it for the ranked Cavs. Wake needs to put them through a physical battle if they want to compete. This is not happening.

And between Evan Nolte and Shayok, UVA is now up 31-13. 8 for Nolte, 5 for Shayok. London Perrantes averages just under 6 a game. They were a little out of control to begin with a void at the PG, but they are now on pace for their kind of game, as the score at the under-four TO is UVA 31 Wake 15.

–Chuck Workman

7:35 UVA/Wake

What’s Devin Thomas’s favorite candy bar? As his fumble out of bounds leads to a UVA conversion and a 23-9 lead.

–Chuck Workman

7:30 UVA/Wake

Darion Atkins strong post moves lately, especially off the left block, with a nice conversion. Brogdon knocks down a basket, and Wake turns it over again on a backcourt violation. Why Wake is extending their D out to the hashes makes no sense, as UVA is getting easy penetration. Active hands by Wake keeping some deflections from getting to their intended recipient; disruptive but not prohibitive. Wake is no up to six TOs, and just three FGs through the first 11 minutes.

Hall and Nolte with five points each as we have a double-digit deficit. The Cavs bench eager to make the most of these opportunities. Atkins has picked up his second foul in our first sniff of foul trouble. Wake’s Thomas who usually has a deceptive left-hand is being stymied by the UVA length on the block. He is not finding openings, and Shayok on a runout increases the UVA lead to 12 at 21-9. Danny Manning wants time. He won’t have enough of it.

–Chuck Workman

7:22 UVA/Wake

Wake is the worst defensive team in the conference by a wide margin, allowing 71 ppg. Virginia might be playing a bit tooooo patiently. Tobey got very ambitious showing on that screen and UVA paid by allowing an open three. Barrage of turnovers by UVA holding them back so far, it’s apparent Perrantes is missed. But Wake is jacking up shots early in the clock and returning the rock to the patient Cavs who are converting when are settling down in the halfcourt. At the under-12 TO, UVA leads just 10-7 as each team has turned it over four times.

–Chuck Workman

7:00 FSU/Miami

Miami looks to avenge a 1 pt loss @ FSU in a must-win game. FSU can pull even at 8-8 and solidify NIT chances, while Miami will be all but eliminated from earning an at-large bid with another ill-timed loss at Bank United Center. If Miami were to win out, and their RPI what it is, they could make the decision for the selection committee interesting. As is, for tonight they just need a win to keep pace with the rest of the middle-class (at 8-7) that earned wins last night in Pitt and NC St.

–Chuck Workman

6:42 Duke/VT

Here is what I am envisioning for Duke/VT even though I don’t expect Jahlil Okafor to get more than a little exercise. He was running without the boot yesterday, but nobody should expect for him to need to give 30 minutes tonight against a moribund Hokies squad with little interior size. Plumlee XII should be enough for Duke to maintain the Hokies opponents rebounding margin, even in mystical Blacksburg, where the Hokies are always closer in the rearview than they appear. But I think if they wanted to, Coach K and Okafor could just watch this happen to the Cassell from afar:

Perhaps its a bit harsh. And my hope is that the Hokie crowd comes out in force for the 9pm start (such cache!) and makes life a little more difficult for the Durham denizens. But realistically, this ______ right here?! This ________ right here?! This should be no problem for the Dukies, particularly with Justise Winslow and Quin Cook(ing) as he has since they’ve injected Grayson Allen as the third guard for Rasheed (Ishoottoomuchman) since he was dismissed from the program.

On the Hokies side, we will watch super-frosh Justin Bibbs, as well as Junior Adam Smith and see if they can keep up their impressive long-range shooting. The 9pm start has worked for the Hokies before, but that was when they had Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon. Perhaps they saved some JJ Redick tears to baptize the court with in some sort of pre-game seance. If it’s Duke by less than 20, I owe y’all three fitty.

–Chuck Workman


And we have the ringside blow-by-blow for you once again. Thanks to all the readers who are growing accustomed to this format and returning looking for more. We endeavor to do our best to give you the texture of the game as it happens, as opposed to some *yawn* AP-style format write-up that you could glean yourselves from any old box score.

Tonight at 7pm, we have UVA playing at Wake. The Cavs hung on for a one-point win at home just a couple weeks ago against the Deacs. After blowing most of a 13-pt second half lead, UVA’s Malcolm Brogdon put the clamps on the Scantron Nightmare Codi Miller-McIntyre on the final possession. Foolhardy, though it is to drive one on five thru UVA’s fabled “Pack Line”, CMM is one of the ACC’s most elusive players and largely responsible for the limited success Wake has experienced this year. He and Devin Thomas are slithery types who find openings you believed were closed. If the pair could improve on their FT shooting, Wake would have more than just four wins this year.

The last contest was a game of runs, with UVA in a rare spot trailing at home at the half by 7 before bursting out of the gate with a 27-7 run to take a commanding lead. From there, Wake rallied furiously before fading at the end. It is also important to note that UVA had just lost All-ACC team contending Justin Anderson prior to this contest, and he remains out with the injured hand for another 2-3 weeks. That said, Anthony Gill is turning into a very efficient player on the block, making the most of limited FG attempts. He had 19 and 6 last game, and we expect little to be different this evening, as UVA will flex it’s interior size on the Demon Deacons. Devin Thomas was completely overmatched last game, finding himself in foul trouble and ended up scoreless in just 16 minutes, with four fouls.

What made the Cavs uncomfortable was the range of the Wake seven-footer, Konstantinos Mitoglou, who hit six threes and made Mike Tobey, Darion Atkins, and Gill chase him around the arc and come out of their comfortable positions on the blocks. Had Thomas remained foul-free, he might have taken advantage of the additional space. Will tonight’s game take on similar trends? With London Perrantes likely out for tonight’s game, UVA will rely heavily on Mariol Shayok for 20-25 minutes in his place. He is an able caretaker, but inexperienced, and he needs to pray Brogdon doesn’t suffer foul trouble, as CMM will burn him up off the dribble if not. Shayok has yet to offer much in the way of offense, but is a better shooter than Perrantes, so that element of his game should keep Wake honest at home.

I think this game Brogdon breaks out tonight, and he and Gill put up sufficient numbers to move UVA to 26-1, which might invoke a response like this from Cavs fans:

Next video to come with the VT/Duke lead-in. Game-time in 30 minutes folks. Comments welcome!

–Chuck Workman

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