There’s a lot going on; you don’t have time to watch every ACC Basketball game. Or maybe you do, which, props. However, if you want to get caught up on what happened in the league last night, we’re here for you.
No long slumping, De’Andre Hunter breaks out
After a bit of a mini-slump — shooting just 32.4 percent from the field (16.7 3P%) from the VCU game through the win at Florida State — De’Andre did his thing against Boston College. In a nice road win for UVA, Hunter, one of the best players in the ACC, returned to form.
— Fifth Factor Plots (@5th_Factor) January 10, 2019
(Thanks again to the always-informative Fifth Factor Plots for the chart. If you like college basketball, and aren’t already following that account, go do so now.)
Hunter scored 18 points on 11 field goal attempts, including two catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, and dished out two assists (16 percent assist rate this season). When Hunter has it going, his face-up game is clicking, too.
The ball moves faster than man
There are a lot of reasons to like this Virginia team. Let’s focus, however, for a second on this squad’s passing ability. Virginia, which features multiple future NBA perimeter options and dual point guard playmakers, has assisted on 58 percent of its field goals this season. That ranks 44th nationally in assist rate, per KenPom.
Would you like to see that in action? Of course you do! Here’s what I think is the play of the game from the road win over Boston College.
Mamadi Diakite, who was excellent again (18 points, 12 FGA), catches the ball on a short roll from Kihei Clark. Ky Bowman rotates and bumps the roll, which forces Diakite to make read, which he does. As Dre Hunter cuts down, he draws Jordan Chatman in from the corner.
Kyle Guy, one of the most dangerous catch-and-shoot players in the nation, is wide open in the corner. Diakite hits Guy on a nice dish, and Boston College must continue to rotate. Jairus Hamilton sprints down to closeout on Guy, who in turn makes the extra pass — hitting Ty Jerome, another outstanding spot-up player, for a 3-ball.
Power Outage in Atlanta
Well, I picked quite a week to write about Virginia Tech’s efficient offense, right? Because in the road win at Georgia Tech, the Hokies struggled mightily. Georgia Tech is a strong defensive team — with a nice rim protector in James Banks (3.5 blocks per 40 minutes) — but Virginia Tech had its worst offensive game of the season.
For just the second time this season, the Hokies scored under 1.08 points per possession, according to KenPom: 0.85 points per possession against the Yellow Jackets.
Virginia Tech went just 5-of-27 on 3-point attempts (18.5 3P%); after the game, the Hokies fell for No. 1 nationally in effective shooting to No. 3 (59.1 eFG%). The star backcourt of Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Justin Robinson went a combined 4-of-23 from the field and 2-of-13 on 3-point attempts. So, not great.
Pitt did a Good
Pittsburgh and Jeff Capel won an ACC basketball game! It was a thing that happened! More on that overtime victory over Louisville here.
Low points, ZONE!
Everyone that pays attention could see it before the season started: Syracuse had the ability to be good this season; to do so, though, it would have to come in an uglier fashion. So far, yeah, that’s the case.
After a home win over Clemson, the Orange are 11-4 and 2-0 in the ACC. A top-35 team in KenPom, Syracuse ranks 73rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Jim Boeheim’s zone has allowed just 0.75 points per possession (44.2 eFG%) in the half court, per Synergy Sports.
Including transition and half-court possessions, the Tigers scored under 0.8 points per possession against the Orange, while shooting 5-of-20 on 3-point attempts (25 3P%). Syracuse blocked seven shots, too.
FSU wins defensive struggle over Miami (No, not football)
Years from now, the bards won’t sing songs over what happened Wednesday night in Tallahassee: Florida State defeated a down-on-its-luck Miami team 68-62.
Both teams shot under 24 percent from downtown; the Hurricanes managed to score just 0.91 points per possession, too.
Florida State got nice contribution from its bench, which was big as Trent Forrest and MJ Walker struggled. Led by 13 points and three assists from grad transfer David Nichols, FSU’s bench scored 41 points. P.J. Savoy hit two 3-pointers, too.
Miami, on the other hand, got good production from Ebuka Izundu (65.3 eFG% this season) and Chris Lykes.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 10, 2019
Unfortunately, this team’s seven-man rotation just doesn’t quite have enough at the moment. Can Jim Larranaga and this squad turn it around? Some help from the NCAA would go a long way.