What a slate of games last night, huh? We got a good taste of what Gonzaga looks like and it appears they are way better than anyone thought coming into the year. They've got some big ballhandlers. The Kansas-Memphis game was another classic, and Georgetown and UCONN got a scare. Plus, Tennessee absolutely went off on UNC-Asheville. But let's focus on our specialty, ACC hoops.We got a good glimpse of teams in the conference yesterday. These early season games are important for scouting teams' strengths and weaknesses. Mid-majors may not have the talent level of the ACC, but they sometimes do a pretty good job of scheming and looking for ways to attack and defend.
The first few games also let us know exactly what freshmen are the real deal and which returning players are ready to make the jump to the next level.
Clemson 79, Liberty 39
This game was never close. What stood out was the fact that Clemson can shoot a little better than the last couple years. Sure, they're missing Oglseby, but they still have some real weapons. David Potter lit it up from deep, hitting 5 and finishing with 17.The Tigers will rebound the ball with Trevor Booker (who has been there for about 20 years) and they will continue to be a good defensive team. Plus they've got a good little player in Demontez Stitt.
Duke 101, Charlotte 59
Duke looked really good in their win over Charlotte. I kick Kyle Singler around a lot of the time, but he has a ton of skill and when players can't matchup well against him, he takes advantage. The senior had 17 points and was aided by Jon Scheyer with 20, as well as Nolan Smith, who had 24 in his return to the lineup after suspension. It's the same story for Duke: if they hit their shots, they are tough to beat.
Virginia Tech 59, UNC-Greensboro 46
Not really sure what to make of this win, and this Hokie team. I might have to ask Gobbler Country on this one. We know what to expect from Jeff Allen (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Malcolm Delaney (17 points, 5 assists), but I just don't know where else a lot of the scoring is going to come from.
Boston College 72, St. Francis 44
I promised myself this year I would stop taking Boston College lightly. Al Skinner continuously finds ways to do as much as he possibly can with his team. But, how will the Eagles react to losing Tyrese Rice? I'm high on Joe Trapani (13 points, 9 rebounds) and even higher on Reggie Jackson, who looks to make great strides from last year (17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists). I feel like despite the loss of Tyrese Rice, this is a deeper BC team overall and definitely an NCAA team.
Maryland 71, Fairfield 42
Again, another team I'm not exactly sure what my impressions are. My old friend Eric Hayes is still there. Greivis Vasquez (7 points, 6 assists on 3-11 shooting) is obviously the "star," but Hayes will be a calming influence on this team due to Vasquez's penchant for turning the ball over and his tendancy to be inconsistent. I'm still a big fan of Landon Milbourne, and it'll be interesting to see what exactly his role will be this year.