By Mychal Hunter
It is becoming quite clear to me that this conference is going to be a shit show for the entire season. Virginia Tech is obviously not what I thought they were, getting dumped by instate rival UVA by 26 at home last night and Miami, who I have described as the second most talented team in the conference, goes to Atlanta and loses to Georgia Tech.
Miami continues to be an enigma for me. Bruce Brown, Lonnie Walker and J’Quan Newton should be unstoppable on the floor but they do not play well together. Chris Lykes is the best point guard on the team and a real spark plug but I don’t think Larranaga wants to play that small. Last night was the first time since CJL has been at Miami where I thought the ‘Canes looked poorly coached. I am also not saying CJL is a poor coach, just that this team doesn’t seem to be responding to him.
On the flip side, Josh Okogie is back. The sophomore, playing in his sixth game of the season after a finger injury, played 39 minutes and poured in 30 points. The Jackets made it ugly just like they needed to and picked up a really nice win against a top 15 team.
If you listened to the podcast from last weekend and read the post from a couple days ago you know I was buying Syracuse. What do they do? Go to Winston Salem and lose to fucking Wake Forest. Which, hey, there is an opportunity here for me. What have I been saying about Wake? Play Thompson more, Sarr less. Last night Sarr played 16 minutes, Thompson played 29, gave Manning 13 and 7, Wake Forest wins. I’m not saying I’m just saying.
Something else that is fun is that two days ago I mentioned how I plan on talking about Tyus Battle being possibly the best all around scorer in the conference on this weeks pod and he comes out and goes 4-12 (1-7 from deep) for 13 points with 5 turnovers and was riddled with foul trouble late in the game. I look like a fucking idiot. It’s not the first time, I can assure you it won’t be the last time. I still intend on talking about it by the way.
The game I chose to watch last night was the UNC @ FSU game and it did not disappoint. FSU led by 11 at the half but Joel Berry had 20+ in the second half and almost brought the Heels all the way back for the win. CJ Walker, Terance Mann and Braian Angola all played well on a night when nothing went correctly for Phil Cofer. The trio went 18-29 from the field and made big play after big play down the stretch. I also continue to be impressed with freshman forward Mfiondu Kabengele who isn’t going to wow anyone with his stat line but played Luke Maye very well in the second half and came up with several big rebounds down the stretch.
Obviously the loss of Bonzie Colson is going to be my main topic of conversation on the podcast this weekend but now I will also have to talk about how Notre Dame circled the wagons to boat race NC State last night in South Bend by 30. What made it even more interesting was that Matt Farrell injured his ankle in this game and only played 15 minutes. These injuries that have hammered the Irish program have apparently lit a sizable fire under freshman DJ Harvey, as he had the best game of his freshman campaign going for 17 points, 3 rebounds and a couple thefts. I am going to watch this game from tip to totality tonight so I have a better idea of how things played out. One thing is for sure, I am all the way off NC State’s wagon. The loss of Markell Johnson and the return to the mean for Al Freeman is all I need to see.
The newest member of the top 25, Clemson, celebrated their buy status by going on the road and taking care of business in Chestnut Hill, beating Boston College 74-70. It was just another ho-hum effort by the Clemson starting five, everyone scored at least 8 points, Dante Grantham had a double double (23-14), Marcquise Reed hit some triples and Clemson wins. Sheldon Mitchell struggled from the field but he only had 3 turnovers in 36 minutes. I did not watch this game but Jordan Chatman, a player who averages 14 ppg for BC, only put up two shots while playing all 40 minutes. That can’t happen, ever. I will check out this game tonight and speak more to it this weekend.
Now that the podcast is up and running this type of rundown is what can be expected after nights with a large slate. I will discuss the week as a whole on the weekly podcast. If anyone has any questions they would like me to read and answer on the air feel free to submit them on the contact page.
Updated Power Rankings will be out tomorrow!