As Day 2 of the ACC Tournament treks on, here are some court-side observations in our Wednesday afternoon notebook.
- Syracuse starts with Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyus Battle, John Gillon and Taurean Thompson; this is the team’s most heavily-used starting five — 18 times this season.
- Important fashion note: Syracuse’s Pearl Washington-inspired warm-up shirts are as cool in-person as you would expect them to be.
- Miami entered the game just before the National Anthem and player introductions by running through the tunnel as smoke billowed out, like the school’s football team.
- It was glorious to see nearly every player on the court start bobbing their heads and dancing when the arena played “Bad and Boujee” by Migos during warm-ups.
- Kamari Murphy, who hails from Brooklyn, gets a solid ovation during introductions.
- Davon Reed, who was honored with the Skip Prosser Award before the game, gets it done from multiple levels to start: catch-and-shoot three, shoots the gap for a steal and fastbreak layup and then hits a pull-up jumper — all within the first six minutes of the game.
- Miami stationed Dejan Vasiljevic at the top of the key, rotating the ball through the middle, and trying to free him for easy catch-and-shoots with brush screens.
- Eduka Izundu with a monster rejection of Tyler Lydon at the rim — denies what would have been a slam.
- Andrew White’s shot-making is simply ridiculous: 1.2 points per possession on an ACC-leading 208 spot-up possessions this season, per Synergy Sports.
- Tyler Lydon has just three points at the under-eight timeout in the second half, but the sophomore forward snagged 10 rebounds — his third straight game with 10-plus boards.
- Overheard from the Syracuse marching band seconds after the loss: “Ah man, I don’t want to get back on a bus for five hours!”
- Miami’s Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy were very impressive at the post-game press converse; it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this team is well prepared and connected.
- Jim Boeheim had some not-so-kind words for the city that has hosted the ACC Tournament more than any other location.
- Matt Jones starts the game defending Jaron Blossomgame.
- After Elijah Thomas bullied him for an offensive rebound and a bucket, Amile Jefferson turns to Roger Ayers: “He’s hooking me!”
- Grayson Allen, who did not start today, saw limited action in the first half due to foul troubles:
So Grayson Allen picked up three fouls in a total of 31 seconds there. Reached in after missed floater. Then the second and the technical.
— Adam Smith (@adam_smithTN) March 8, 2017
- At halftime of the Duke-Clemson game, the annual mascot game took place — the Atlantic Division defeated the Coastal 6-0.
- Duke runs so much dribble handoff action that they can use it to setup other action; early in the second half, Frank Jackson dribbled to Matt Jones like he was about to hand it off, which momentarily froze the two Clemson defenders. Instead, he kept the ball, and power dribbled right to the basket for an and-one.
- To the surprise of literally no one, North Carolina fans in attendance have been cheering for anything Clemson-related.
- Jayson Tatum took over for stretches of this game, including some incredible passes. The no-look dime he had to Matt Jones came right in front of me, and I have no clue how he saw him.
- Amile Jefferson was super active today, and looked as bouncy on the floor as he has all season.
- Miami played again today without freshman big man Dewan Huell, who missed his second straight game with an ankle injury.
- Luke Kennard scored on multiple baseline out of bounds plays in the second half — both on catch-and-shoots in the near corner.
- Frank Jackson finished with 20; he has been awesome lately for Duke.
Fourth straight game of 15+ points for Frank Jackson. He's 9-14 (64.3%) on three-pointers in that stretch.
— Brian Geisinger (@bgeis_bird) March 8, 2017
- When asked after the game what his team’s NCAA Tournament credentials are, Brad Brownell responds by saying: It’s hard for him to imagine Clemson making the tournament field.
- Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, was one of countless NBA executives and personnel in attendance. The Celtics own a pick swap in the 2017 NBA Draft with the Brooklyn Nets, which will likely translate into a top three selection; you can bet Ainge was there to check Jayson Tatum