The ACC Basketball Coaching Tree: Two Polls!

The ACC basketball coaching community is growing in talent with the addition of Buzz Williams.  There are historical greats with national championships: Coach K, Boeheim, Pitino, and Roy Williams.  There is the next tier of Bennett, Larranaga, Brey, Buzz Williams, Hamilton, Gottfried, and Dixon, all of whom are awaiting their first national championship as a coach.  And all Mark Gottfried has done is go to three straight Big Dances at North Carolina State.

Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory is from the Tom Izzo line, and had great success at Dayton, but has not done much yet for the Yellow Jackets.  Brad Brownell is also doing good things at Clemson.  Boston College and Wake Forest are set to announce new moves soon enough and, in the mean time, remain unknowns.  Still, that is a very proven set of 11 coaches.

You could have an interesting debate ranking the historical greats, 1-2-3-4, based on their all-time cumulative performance.  So let’s do a poll!  Look, Coach K is going to be most people’s #1 all-time, so half of the options have him at #1.  Try not to be a homer.

But here is another great question… you have an elimination game to win and get to pick one coach at his current level of performance–who would YOU take?   Again, try not to be a homer.  And let everyone know why you picked who you picked.

Comments encouraged!

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The Tigers Aren’t Finished Yet

Picked to finish 14th in the ACC, Coach Brad Brownell’s Clemson Tigers surprised everyone when they ended the regular season 6th in the conference. Not to mention a season long, star performance by junior forward, K.J. McDaniels who was voted an ACC first team All-American and defensive player of the year.

The Tigers take on Georgia State in Littlejohn Coliseum tonight at 9pm on ESPNU in the first round of the NIT, a postseason honor not all ACC schools can boast about. The ACC is one of the toughest basketball conferences in the nation and you must give credit where credit is due to Brad Brownell. He took the underdogs and made them into competitors that demanded to be taken seriously.

With a heartbreaking overtime loss to Pitt at the end of the regular season, Clemson started the ACC Tournament right with a thrilling overtime win against Georgia Tech, just to be fortunate enough to move on to play Duke in the quarterfinals. What at one point looked like it would be a Blue Devils blowout, the Tigers fought back to bring the game back to within a few points, only to lose by 1 on a controversial call that sent Duke to the next round.

While Clemson won’t be entering “The Big Dance” this March Madness season, they do have a lot to be proud of. Players like Landry Nnoko, Demarcus Harrison, and Jaron Blossomgame improved to become vital assets to the team. Consistent players like K.J. McDaniels and Rod Hall gave another tremendous effort to show that at least one school in South Carolina knows how to play basketball.

This young team should be coming back in full force next season, but might be one short. K.J. McDaniels, while only a junior, is likely to enter the NBA Draft after this season concludes. While I can’t say I blame him, I do hope he’ll consider finishing out his career as a Clemson Tiger and seeing how far he can lead this team next season.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch the Tigers play this season, catch them on ESPNU tonight at 9pm in the first round of the NIT!

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Syracuse Basketball: Grading the Orange

The Syracuse Orange closed out the regular season on Sunday with 74-58 win over the Florida State Seminoles.  The win earned the Orange a 27-4 mark for the regular season, a record that, any other year, would have SU fans jumping for joy.  This season, though, the fact that Jim Boeheim’s squad went only 2-4 over their last six has many of the Orange faithful’s panic-o-meter cranked up to 44.

Relax.

Yes, the Orange had their seasonal slide a bit later than usual.  True, that slide included a couple of really bad losses to Boston College and Georgia Tech.  And, of course, one fairly dominant win over the ‘Noles doesn’t erase the flaws shown by Syracuse late in the season.  So, let’s take a moment to take the long view and grade the Orange as they prepare for the post season.

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Virginia Wins ACC Title

The Confidential has devoted a lot of time and space to the Syracuse Orange.  Once 25-0 and ranked #1, this made sense.  But today’s matchup between the Virginia Cavaliers and Syracuse left no doubt which team deserves the regular season crown.  It’s Virginia… who rolled over Syracuse, 75-56, on the way to a 16-1 regular season and championship.

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Proposed Basketball Scheduling for ACC: Updated

Update: With Credit to Bleedinorange44, and some further analysis by the author, here is a revised version!

With the outstanding ratings being drawn by Syracuse-Duke, the question that begs is whether the ACC can configure the schedule to allow Duke-Syracuse to play annually, without interfering with other obligations and rivalries.  The  Confidential has a proposal.

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Syracuse Orange: Team of Destiny?

With the Syracuse Orange having recently ascended to their third #1 ranking in five years, a lot of the talk has been if Jim Boeheim’s squad is the team to beat.  The notion has been phrased different ways; “the national title Syracuse’s to lose”, “The title is there for the taking”, but all boil down to the idea that Syracuse is really, really good and deserve their share of time at #1.  The fact that Syracuse’s selection was the first unanimous one since  Duke in the 2010-11 season lends weight to that argument and, of course, a 23-0 record doesn’t hurt either.

Yet, looking back at that Orange this season, another phrase comes to mind when I think of this particular squad: a team of destiny.

Now, what do I mean when I say that?  Do I mean that I literally believe some cosmic entity has preordained the Orange to win a national title? Well…no, of course not.  What I mean is that whatever it’s taken for Syracuse to win, that’s exactly what has happened.

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Poll: ACC Future Football Scheduling

What do YOU think about the future football scheduling for the ACC?  Give us your opinion.

 

Click through for explanations of the poll options.

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More on ACC Scheduling

Frank the Tank has an article discussing the Big 10′s scheduling options moving forward–especially if the ACC’s move to allow conference autonomy to determine a champion succeeds.  At the same time, ESPN is reporting that the ACC and SEC have had discussions about a scheduling concept of some sort, which would feature even more SEC v ACC games.  All of this got the Confidential thinking about scheduling options.  Here is an idea:

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Syracuse, a Unanimous #1, Holds Off Notre Dame (with Poll!)

Congratulations to the Syracuse Orange for being the first school since 2010-2011 (conference-mate Duke) to be a unanimous #1.  Equally impressive is rebounding from an emotional and hard-fought win over Duke to beat a desperate Notre Dame team last night to improve to 22-0.  Trevor Conney led the way with 33 points for the Orange.   Every game, someone else steps up for Syracuse.

It was the only action in the ACC last night.

Looking forward, there are possible bumps in the road for Syracuse:

  • February 25 @ Pittsburgh
  • February 22 @ Duke
  • February 24 @ Maryland
  • March 1 @ Virginia
  • March 9 @ Florida State

Actually, Syracuse’s schedule is heavily weighted towards road games at the end… four of the final five.

What do you think?  Will Syracuse lose again during the regular season?  If so, when?

 

 

 

 

The Streak Prevails

Clemson Men’s Basketball starts the week after an ugly loss to UNC last night, improving their record to 57-0. That record of course being the Tarheels have won 57 times against the Tigers while in the Dean Dome, the Tigers never seeing a victory.

UNC is off to a slow start in ACC play but now improves to 12-7 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. Clemson started off hot, being 4-1 in the conference just last week, now drops to 13-6, 4-3 after two consecutive losses to Pitt and Carolina. The Tigers have a tough conference schedule coming up, facing FSU, Syracuse, and Notre Dame on the road.

To note any highlights from last night’s game from a Clemson standpoint, would be a disservice to our readers. The Tigers played flat on defense and hesitant on offense. Seeing it first hand in the Dean Dome was taxing. Stops on defense were rare and the Tigers shot 34% from the field. That’s 18 field goals made out of 53 attempts. It was not a great night for the Tiger offense, to say the least.

Leading scorer, KJ McDaniels, came up with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He was the game leader across the board for the Tigers. McDaniels has proven to be an offensive leader this season, but he can’t do it on his own. Adonis Filer came up with 12 points of his own, as did Landry Nnoko. Nnoko is improving but between him and Sidy Djitte at center, too many passes slipped through their hands down low in the paint for would be easy points.

To end on a high note, the Tigers finished the night 19-25 at the line, giving them a 76% free throw percentage for the night.

Clemson at UNC

This Clemson team is young, consisting of four freshman, four sophomores, and five juniors to make up the Tiger squad. Playing on the road, especially in Chapel Hill, is tough and the Tigers have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks.

In other Clemson news, a non-basketball related highlight of the evening was having Clemson football coach, Dabo Swinney, in the Dean Dome last night. Sitting a few rows behind the Clemson bench, the dynamite coach just signed a new 8-year contract with Clemson, keeping him a Tiger through the 2021 season. At halftime, Clemson fans throughout the dome stopped by to take pictures with the Orange Bowl Champion, including yours truly. It’s a check off my bucket list and as much as it pains me to say, I guess I have Chapel Hill to thank for that.

Clemson takes on Florida State this Saturday in Tallahassee. Catch the ACC matchup at 3pm on ESPN2.