Joe Ovies

Talking Points: ACC/B1G Challenge Edition

Posted December 5, 2013

1. Do yourself a favor and fill out separate brackets for North Carolina in March. It doesn't matter if the Heels are playing in the NCAA, NIT or CIT. Have them win it all on one sheet and suffering a brutal exit in the first round on the other.

Obviously that either-or proposition for North Carolina changes if P.J. Hairston ever returns to the active roster, but as of right now, it's fair to say the Tar Heels are the wildest roller coaster going in sports. They've hit lows against Belmont and UAB, only to follow those up with incredible highs in wins over Louisville and Michigan State.

Which situations are the outliers? When will it stabilize? Who knows, but it makes the Tar Heels oddly compelling to follow going forward.

Head coach Roy Williams had to use "I shouldn't have to coach effort" card during his various media obligations and his team responded. The Heels outworked Michigan State in transition, did gritty work in the paint and owned the glass. Williams' next trick is getting this team to put forth that effort consistently, regardless of whether the Heels are playing top-ranked opposition or mid-majors. 

2. Once again, NC State rides with T.J. Warren. 

The sophomore forward appeared everywhere on the court as he dropped 22 points in the Wolfpack's 69-48 win over Northwestern. Warren actually outscored his teammates 16-15 by halftime on 7-10 shooting, but he eventually got support in the second half. While Ralston Turner hit a trio of threes and Lennard Freeman notched a double-double, it was Jordan Vandenberg who continued to give Warren room to work.

Vandenberg dunked and hooked his way to 12 points. Northwestern missed a ton of shots in the paint due to his presence and ended up blocking five shots.Best of all, Vandenberg has emerged as the most quotable player in the locker room. 

3. Durham is officially under a "Rasheed Sulaimon Minutes Watch." 

The sophomore started 33 games for Duke last season, but failed to keep that role in the early portion of this season. It's now a thing in fan and media circles after Sulaimon didn't play at all in the win over Michigan. Is he in Coach K's doghouse? Is he sick? Is Sulaimon showing the proper body language on the bench? Inquiring minds want to know.

Based on comments from Krzyzewski and Sulaimon's teammates, there isn't much to figure out. The Blue Devils have depth at his position and he's simply not playing as well as the guys who were on the court. "As a man, he has to step up and accept what he needs to do," guard Tyler Thornton told Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News & Observer.

No need to run anything through the Fanslator.

4. The ACC and Big Ten wrapped up the made for television challenge in a 6-6 tie.

Wisconsin shot under 30 percent from the field and they still won by 10 points. Virginia was an embarrassing 23.4 percent with 36 missed baskets and just 1-for-11 from beyond the arc. 

The Cavaliers get plenty of love because Tony Bennett is a respected coach, but his allergic reaction to offense is mind-boggling. 

5. Miami is exempt from discussing any curious loss by an ACC team in the challenge for one obvious reason – they'e the defending conference champions in name only. The Hurricanes were downgraded to tropical depressions thanks to a massive talent drain in the offseason. 

On the other hand, there's Boston College. Considered by many to be a conference sleeper due to their seasoned roster, the Eagles lost at Purdue and dropped to 3-5 on the season.

Everybody likes Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson, but the duo isn't enough to mask Boston College's defensive woes. The Eagles are 320th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up an average of 80.9 points per game. 

17 Comments

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  • lec02572 Dec 5, 4:53 p.m.

    If you think Duke is loaded this year, next year they might beat the Miami Heat.

  • Gunnstigator Dec 5, 3:09 p.m.

    Durham is officially under a "Rasheed Sulaimon Minutes Watch."

    Too good of a player to be... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    He has what I like to call "Spoiled Brat Syndrome". He doesn't think he has to work hard to get... View More

    — Posted by Tizu

    I hear ya, Tizu, but it's got to be tough for Sulaimon - he was a stud last year, and then Parker and Hood arrive and they're co-captains and immediate stars. Duke is so loaded this year, it can be hard for players like Sulaimon to get the playing time they were accustomed to getting.

  • Toddler10-21 Dec 5, 12:56 p.m.

    I heard that about Dawkins. Man if Thornton could shoot like him.

  • ABCers Partying Dec 5, 12:54 p.m.

    I can see Semi, Rasheed, Plumlee, and Murphy, fitting into the same spot as Dawkins. With all that talent coming in, these guys better see the writing on the wall. If they want to waste their college careers and chances of pro careers, they better get the H our of Durham. From what I saw last night, Northwestern would love to have any of them.

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Dec 5, 12:44 p.m.

    Speaking of minutes, Dawkins needs more minutes also. Kid can flat out shoot. Its Sheed's fault... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    He would get plenty if he could play defense.

  • Toddler10-21 Dec 5, 12:40 p.m.

    Speaking of minutes, Dawkins needs more minutes also. Kid can flat out shoot. Its Sheed's fault for the lack of minutes, because he is way better than Thornton. Also if Duke can get anything out of Plum would be a plus. Just rebound, play defense, and block shots, (Zoubek about his last ten or so games).

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Dec 5, 12:33 p.m.

    He has what I like to call "Spoiled Brat Syndrome". He doesn't think he has to work hard to get... View More

    Great comments; but, I'm sure it's a definite jolt to Rasheed's ego, as it would be for any... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    All the more reason for him to transfer. As Duke's roster now stands, they would have 13... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    don't think Sheed is going anywhere.....but I will say that I expect to hear an announcement on Murphy transferring to UF any day now.

  • baldchip Dec 5, 12:03 p.m.

    What is it the Marines say?? "When the going gets tough, the tough get going?"

    Rasheed-are you listening?? One does not earn minutes on the floor because of past laurels!!

    Coach K has 1 thing in mind-winning!! If you will contribute to that plan you'll get playing time!! Obviously, Coach K thinks Rasheed will not contribute as well as other team members. Result-PINE TIME!!

    Sounds like Rasheed needs to help open and close the gym-work harder-longer-...

    That might make a difference.

  • Ken D. Dec 5, 11:16 a.m.

    Although State will take some beating this year, last nights game was fun to watch. Warren is... View More

    — Posted by lec02572

    Too bad for State that they aren't playing the Heels next week.

  • Ken D. Dec 5, 11:14 a.m.

    He has what I like to call "Spoiled Brat Syndrome". He doesn't think he has to work hard to get... View More

    Great comments; but, I'm sure it's a definite jolt to Rasheed's ego, as it would be for any... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    All the more reason for him to transfer. As Duke's roster now stands, they would have 13 scholarship players competing for playing time next season. Somebody's not going to be happy. And that kind of logjam, if it persisted, could hurt recruiting in the future.

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