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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “ACC Basketball”

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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TJ Warren is ACC Player of the Year

TJ Warren has won the ACC Player of the Year award, a very bright spot in what has been a so-so season, though IMHO a much better one than last year.

Warren led the league in scoring at 24.8 ppg and while many fans and media thought the award would go to Duke’s Jabari Parker, Warren’s win is justifiable.  It is pretty clear that without the sophomore’s nearly automatic scoring touch the Pack could not have achieved 19 wins and a .500 conference record.  He scored 81 points in his last two games, so he is peaking at the right time. Read more…

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.

Read more…

Whither the Wolfpack? The remaining schedule

So this past week was a bit of a downer for the Pack following the rout loss at UNC.  It might have been OK if it were even close, but the Pack was trounced in the first half and while the second was better, let’s face it, the Heels really didn’t have to try anymore.

Just as an exercise in getting our collective minds off that game, let’s take a look at the remaining schedule and make some predictions: Read more…

Today’s Schedule for ACC Games: January 28, 2014

Here are the meaningful games in the Atlantic Coast Conference today (January 28, 2014):

Men’s Basketball:

Virginia (15-5, 6-1) @ Notre Dame (11-9, 2-5).  9:00 pm.

Notes: The Fighting Irish are finding the ACC to be a much more difficult road than the Big East.  Virginia has taken off in conference play.  Those two concepts are hard to reconcile.  The reality is that Virginia was supposed to be this good.  Defeating Notre Dame would get them that much closer to national relevance.

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.

Today’s Schedule for ACC Games: January 27, 2014

Here are the meaningful games in the Atlantic Coast Conference today (January 27, 2014):

Men’s Basketball:

#18 Duke (16-4, 5-2) @ #20 Pittsburgh (18-2, 6-1).  7:00 pm.

Notes: The ACC did not do Duke any favors with this schedule.  First, a trip to Pittsburgh, one of the most difficult road environments in all of college basketball.  Second, Duke has a looming trip to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse and its 35,000+ fans.  And both teams have better records than Duke right now. 

Today’s Schedule for ACC Games: January 26, 2014

Here are the meaningful games in the Atlantic Coast Conference today (January 26, 2014):

Men’s Basketball:

Georgia Tech (11-8, 2-4) @ #NC State (12-7, 2-4).  1:00 pm.

Notes: It is never too early for these teams to realize that they are squarely on the wrong side of the bubble.  It is win now or shoot for the NIT.

Clemson (13-5, 4-2) @ North Carolina (11-7, 1-4).  6:00 pm.

Notes: Did anyone expect the 13-5 team that is 4-2 in conference to be Clemson? 

Today’s Schedule for ACC Games: January 25, 2014

Here are the meaningful games in the Atlantic Coast Conference today (January 25, 2014):

Men’s Basketball:

Florida State (12-5, 3-2) @ #23 Duke (14-4, 3-2).  12:00 pm.

#2 Syracuse (18-0, 5-0) @ Miami (10-7, 2-3).  1:00 pm.

Notre Dame (11-7, 2-3) @ Wake Forest (12-6, 2-3).  3:00 pm.

Virginia Tech (8-9, 1-4) @ Virginia (13-5, 4-1).  3:00 pm.

#22 Pittsburgh (16-2, 4-1) @ Maryland (11-7, 3-2).  6:00 pm.

Women’s Basketball:

None.

Today’s Schedule for ACC Games: January 24, 2014

Here are the meaningful games in the Atlantic Coast Conference today (January 24, 2014):

Men’s Basketball:

None.

Women’s Basketball:

None.

 

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