By Mychal Hunter
The ACC had a five game slate on “anything can happen Wednesday”, which was fairly innocuous, or so I thought. The highest ranked opponent in KenPom was Radford, which is now 181st in the country. Of the five games on the slate only one team, Georgia Tech, was playing on the road.
In predictable fashion the four home teams came away victorious. Defeating their opponents by an average of 30+ points per game.
Florida State avoided a let down after their big win at Florida by dismantling 1-7 Loyola (MD) to run their record to 8-0. Senior Phil Cofer was in double figures for the fifth straight game while Braian Angola led the ‘Noles in scoring with 18. FSU had three others with at least 11 points including MJ Walker, who had his first double digit game since 11/22. The Seminoles also blocked 9 shots despite playing without center JM Christ Koumadje for the fifth straight game, who continues to be out with a “lower extremity injury.”
Virginia Tech and UNC both continued their solid play, getting easy wins at home. Kerry Blackshear and Justin Bibbs each scored 20 for the Hokies en route to beating Radford and UNC destroyed instate rival Western Carolina by 43. Luke Maye continues to be the man for UNC, recording his third straight double double. Freshmen Andrew Platek and Jalek Felton are playing incredibly efficiently the last two games for the Heels. The freshman duo has combined to score 42 points in 58 minutes played, shooting 67% from the field and 75% from the line.
Louisville was able to defend their home court and get back in the win column with a win over Siena 86-60. The Cardinals came out hot, opening a 10-2 lead early but Siena closed the gap and the Cardinals never led by more than 6 throughout the rest of the first half. Eventually David Padgett’s front court was able to impose their will and held the Saints to 24 second half points, recording a crazy 15 blocks in the game. Anas Mahmoud was the star, coming up one block shy of a triple double. Quentin Snider recorded his second straight solid scoring effort but still only managed 2 helpers. I do not think this Cardinals team can fully realize their immense potential unless the start to share the ball and get better shots. Currently they rank 324th in the country in total assists and 283rd in total field goals made. They are currently only assisting on 44.3% of their made baskets.
Georgia Tech, the only team on the road yesterday, lost yet again to a team they had no business losing to, dropping their game against Wofford in Spartanburg. The loss closes the book on Josh Pastner’s streak of 285 games coached without three consecutive losses. The Yellow Jackets are currently in a hole that will no doubt cost them any NCAA tournament bubble talk with losses to #328 Grambling and #208 Wofford. Those rankings are according to KenPom. At this point there isn’t a whole lot to say other than the Yellow Jackets are not a very good team. They currently rank 193rd in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 340th in Adjusted Tempo. That combination is not going to get you many wins regardless of who you are playing. Add to that they rank 313th in “Luck” (which I do not know how that is determined) and it is an obvious recipe for disaster. Josh Okogie is supposed to be back in the coming weeks, but unless GT can run off some very impressive wins, their already slim NCAA hopes are more than likely dashed.
There are no games on the ACC slate tonight, but I will be back out with my weekly ACC Power Rankings tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. Tomorrow’s list is going to be pretty different from last week’s rankings as the OOC schedule starts to clarify some things.