By Mychal Hunter
I omitted last weeks installment of the power rankings because there hadn’t been a lot of games played in the period. It has been pretty thin this week as well but they need to be updated. There isn’t a ton of movement from the 12/8/ rankings but there was one major development.
- Duke: The loss to Boston College in Chestnut Hill doesn’t really worry me, especially when the Blue Devils came back and kicked the shit out of Evansville by 64. The boys from Durham even looked like they were interested on the defensive end in that game. They are currently off for 10 days before beginning conference play. I expect to see Duke really focused in that FSU game.
- Miami: The Hurricanes remain undefeated despite having yet to put it all together and suffering an injury to their best player. They have an interesting game tonight in Honolulu against Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic before being off for a week prior to opening their ACC slate against Pitt.
- Virginia Tech: The Kentucky loss not only didn’t scare me away from the Hokies, it solidified my position. Had Kerry Blackshear been able to remain on the floor the game may have turned out differently. I know, that is easy to say. If they had Michael Jordan it could have turned out differently too. The Hokies played really well in the first half and led much of the game, I chalk the loss up to bad luck that Hamadou Diallo all of a sudden figured out how to shoot the deep ball. This is a top 25 team. The Presbyterian game result is something I will have to investigate. I have not watched that game and do not know why the result was that tight.
- Virginia: The loss in Morgantown seems to have lit a bit of a fire under the Cavs. They boat raced Davidson and then took Savannah State behind the woodshed. Jay Huff finally received some minutes in the latter game but actually fouled out in just 16 minutes played. I guess you could call that some sort of efficiency. I am starting to have concerns about UVA a bit, when they get into conference play they are going to need to get production from someone other than Guy and Hall. Ty Jerome hasn’t been bad but I expected more.
- UNC: The Wofford game, well, that’ll happen. I am sure there are people out there that would put UNC at number two on their lists and they may get there for me soon now that Johnson has returned. I want to see this Ohio State game which I think could be a sneaky good game. Now that the Tar Heels have their full rotation back I think you might see them start to roll.
- Louisville: I have come to grips with the fact that Quentin Snider is Popeye. He is what he is and as long as the Cardinals keep winning who gives a fuck. Deng Adel is shooting the shit out of the ball and Anas Mahmoud had another game with 9 blocks, this time against Albany. That makes three games this season where he has blocked at least 8 shots. Louisville has now won five in a row and has a game against Grand Canyon tomorrow before they open up league play. Don’t sleep on GCU, those boys can play some ball.
- Notre Dame: I have some real concerns with this team now. They dismantled SE Louisiana last night but they were in real trouble at home against Dartmouth the other night. Up until that Bonzie Colson steal and break away dunk Dartmouth looked pretty confident. They scored 86 last night but only got 12 points from their bench. DJ Harvey went 1-7 in 20 minutes in what continues to be a rough first season for the highly talented guard. The Haircut did play well last night, going for 17, so maybe he will be the one to step up and provide some consistent scoring depth.
- Syracuse: Alright I’m in. I was out, way out. Now I am in. This team can play. They aren’t a sweet 16 team by any means but they have more talent that I originally thought. I did not expect Frank Howard to play this well, I have never seen anything even resembling this type of play from him. I also did not think Oshae Brissett would average basically a double double. Anyone who tells you that they did is a fucking liar. Be sure to tell them that. When they claim to have predicted Brissett was a double double guy just say “You’re a fucking liar.” Marek Dolezaj has kind of fallen apart on me but that guy has star written all over him, it just might not be this year.
- FSU: I am on a pretty strong holding pattern with the Seminoles. I just don’t know. I don’t know if I trust Phil Cofer to be this good in league play. I certainly don’t trust Leonard Hamilton’s coaching. Cj Walker’s play has been really poor lately and he was only one the floor for 18 minutes last night but the Seminoles were also winning by a billion. Seriously, reading the box score this morning all I saw was Florida State :A Billion, Southern Miss: Much Less. They might be fine, they might be one of those clubs that is a real “team” but they are going to need MJ Walker to be who the basketball gods meant him to be which is a really good player. He did have 15 last night so let’s see what he does next weekend, at Cameron Indoor. Welcome to the show Meat.
- Clemson: I wanted to put them higher. I really did. They were at 7 in the original draft of this list but I knew if I put them there they would lose to ULL today and I would look like a god damn fool. So they stay here, if they beat ULL they will move up next week. They did make me look pretty smart against Florida though, for that I am grateful. Sometimes I do know what I am talking about. They also won the Battle for South Carolina on Tuesday, holding the Gamecock (ha!) to 48 points.
- NC State: What did I say? Did I say don’t fucking sleep on UNC-Greensboro? I know I said it because I was there when I said it and what did you do? Now I have no idea what’s going with this club, Omer Yurtseven has played only 13 minutes in the UNCG game despite being really effective and efficient and Markell Johnson has been suspended indefinitely. Yurtseven did have a double double in 16 minutes on Tuesday night but was plagued by foul trouble so I guess that 13 minute game was a match-up play. The Pack get one more OOC game against Jacksonville before league play begins, it will be interesting to see when/if Johnson returns, he has been on the bench so I am assuming he is coming back, I just don’t know when.
- Boston College: What happens when you lose your best/only post player? You replace him with a 6’11 Bosnian and peel off four in a row baby. How about Nic Popovic people? Filling in quite nicely for Deontae Hawkins, who was lost for the season after a knee injury. The Duke win is the driving force behind this ranking folks, I expect this team to fall back pretty drastically once league play starts but until then, they get the respect. This is the week of hard fucking truths on ACCBasketballReport, you’ll know what I am talking about here in a few minutes. Big ups to Jim Christian who has transformed Ky Bowman from a shooter to a star. One thing to remember, Bowman, Robinson and Chatman are all back next year too, if the Eagles could just find an effective big man they could make some serious noise. Maybe Popovic is that guy but I am still not completely sold, he does play really hard though.
- Wake Forest: You’re not fooling me Danny Manning. Get your ass out of the Carolinas and play somebody. Over here like the Georgetown of the ACC thinking your winning streak is going to impress anyone. Beat Tennesee (in Winston Salem) and then we will talk. A four point victory over Coastal Carolina isn’t making my undercarriage tingle when you have all that talent.
- Pitt: Yeah, this happened. Winners of six games in their last seven, the Panthers have found a bit of a groove. Now, they have not played a team worth a damn aside from West Virginia, hence that one loss, but they are beating teams they should be beating. The loss of Ryan Luther for two weeks is going to hurt, but it’s probably only the difference between losing by 18 and losing by 26 once league play starts.
- Georgia Tech: What do you get when you mix bad judgement, an indefinite suspension of your defensive coordinator assistant coach, injuries, more injuries and what can only be described as what looks to be a serious lack of desire? You end up with losses to Grambling, Wofford and get your doors blown off by 21 against your most hated rival. This team didn’t look a bit interested in that Georgia game the other night. The Dawgs shot 48% from deep and 58% for the game. Ben Lammers is clearly hobbled, not to mention he is a Mechanical Engineering major and it’s time for finals so he probably hasn’t slept in four years. Curtis Haywood is now out with a shin injury, he is reported to be questionable for the game tonight against Wright St. The Jackets cannot afford to slip up here or the season is pretty much over as far as going dancing is concerned. The RPI numbers just will not hold up.
Merry Christmas everyone, I am going to take a little break, this week. While I will still be watching games, I probably won’t post again until next Friday unless something crazy happens. I am hosting Christmas this year so it is going to be crazy for me as I play Clark Griswold for a few days. Have fun, be safe, drink plenty of water.