By Kinchen Taylor
This past weekend I didn’t spend much time watching ACC basketball like I normally do. I instead made the trek down to Buies Creek, NC to watch Chris Clemons take on USC Upstate. The nation’s leading scorer had another day’s work with 32 points in 33 minutes, shooting 8-17 from the field.
As I was sitting there, watching in amazement Clemon’s ability to score so nonchalantly, I thought to myself, “what ACC team would love to have this dude on their team?”
The answer is probably every single one. Teams at the bottom of the standings, like Georgia Tech and Wake Forest would love his 30 points a game and 46% shooting all day. NC State could have made him a superstar in his hometown being a native from Raleigh. Hell, I even think Tony Bennett would let him average at least 20 under his suffocating pack line defense and milk the clock offense.
We were able to see how he would have fared against ACC opponents in December as Campbell played Miami and he had a solid game with 19 points and Campbell only lost by 11.
As we get closer to March, this contributor hopes that the Fighting Camels give Clemons one last chance at a NCAA Tournament so the nation gets to witness one of the best college basketball players to ever play the game.
Enough of my love letter, let’s open up the mailbag.
Friend (or really sibling) of the program, Holly Taylor writes in: “Team with the best hair this year? #AskKenny”
Thanks for the hard hitting question Sis. I must say, UNC has got to be a front runner in this department this year, especially with Coby White and his Afro. Ky Bowman, a fellow 252 native, helps push Boston College to the top of the hair standings. Brandon Alston and his matching color to jersey helps Georgia Tech in my book.
Two questions in two weeks for friend of the program Thomas Eatman. He writes: “Boeheim has a knack for taking lower seeded Syracuse teams deep into March. Do you think they have the talent and potential to be a Sweet 16/Elite 8 surprise team?”
The Orange stumbled out of the gate to start November, but a win in Cameron and somewhat easy start to ACC play has them currently at 17-7 (8-3). Everyone’s favorite bracketologist Joe Lunardi has ‘Cuse as an 8 Seed and I think that’s where they’ll more than likely end up. They still have to play UVA, UNC, Louisville, and Duke again, so people will probably doubt them as usual if they fail to show up in those big games. I think if Syracuse stays in the 8-9 range and get bumped in the 2nd round because I don’t think this team can beat a 1 seed not named Duke. If they rise or fall to a 7 or 10 Seed, they have a more favorable path to another Sweet 16 appearance.
Last question, another friend of the program Jordan Tripp writes: “What seeds do you think UNC and State make in this year’s bracket with the games they have left? #AskKenny”
I normally trash UNC, for obvious reasons, sorry Charlie, this time of year when the bracket guys favor Carolina over other teams, but I think the Heels might have an outside shot at getting a 1 seed. If they can get past Duke twice in the regular season and not screw up against opponents like Clemson or Boston College, I like their chances even with a loss to UVA that hangs over them. For now, I’d say a 2 Seed for sure, don’t expect them to be lower than a 3 come Selection Sunday.
As for the Wolfpack, they have a favorable stretch of games after Syracuse and Duke, but none that will wow the committee. If State finishes 9-9 in the ACC, that’ll put them at 21-10. I think they’ll have to win more than 1 game in Charlotte for me to feel comfortable about not having to play in Dayton in the First Four. Seeding wise, thinking State will be as low as 11 and probably as high as a 8.
Thanks for the questions this week. Remember to send them in on Twitter using the hashtag #AskKenny.