ACC Power Rankings 12/8/17

I thought this week would be easier, I even mentioned in yesterdays post that this out of conference schedule was starting to clear things up for me a bit. Then I started taking notes and looking at it a bit more. The most difficult part of doing these power rankings is separating teams that are talented from teams that are good. You are going to see that reflected here today.

  1. DUKE: “You goin’ to come at the king, you best not miss.” Through 11 games, everyone has missed. Although Virginia currently ranks ahead of the Dukies in KenPom, there is no doubt who the best team in the ACC, or the country is. The current unanimous #1 team in the AP poll owns wins over Michigan St. (2), Florida (23) and Texas (25) (those are KenPom rankings). No other team even comes close.
  2. Miami: A new number two this week. Miami fans were finally treated to the spectacle that is Lonnie Walker on 12/5 as the freshman exploded for 26 points against BU.  Unfortunately, Walker was placed in the starting lineup because Bruce Brown is currently out with a hand injury which is expected to cost him at least one more game.
  3. Virginia Tech: The Hokies just continue to impress me every time I watch them play. They are talented, athletic and deep. Their upcoming game with Kentucky on 12/16 is going to be must see TV. Ahmed Hill is starting to taper off after his hot start but Justin Robinson is a fantastic point guard who is not getting the attention he deserves. Kerry Blackshear is holding down the middle with minimal little safety net. PJ Horne is also playing well as a key reserve when the Hokies go (really) small. As a team they are still shooting 46% from deep. This team is very dangerous. The fact taht this team is not in the top 25, or the fact they did not receive a single vote this week is absolutely fucking blasphemy. Like, Rafael Palmiero making a comeback at 53 blasphemy.
  4. Virginia: There is not much reason for the two slot drop other than the Hoos were unable to capitalize on their opportunity in Morgantown while Miami and VT look to be a bit more well rounded. The Mountaineers kind of exposed that young Virginia backcourt in the game as Ty Jerome really struggled, logging four turnovers and four fouls in 21 minutes. Had it not been for Devon Hall in the first half and Kyle Guy hitting 6 triples in the second half, that game would have gotten out of hand early. After finals are concluded the Cavaliers have an opportunity for a nice win at home against Davidson.
  5. UNC: I debated this slot long and hard. Ultimately, they just have better wins than Notre Dame at this point. While most want to point out the PK 80 performance against Michigan State, I see wins against Arkansas, Michigan and Davidson. That opening night win against Northern Iowa also looks better everyday. The Heels are getting good production out of their freshman in the absence of Cam Johnson as both Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek are playing very efficiently lately. Garrison Brooks had a nice game against WCU, but if UNC is going to do anything in March, one of these freshmen is going to have to step up and give Luke Maye a hand in the front court against the better competition.
  6. Notre Dame: The Irish bounced back ok (I guess) against St. Francis after the Michigan State performance but still looked a bit lackluster. Then inexplicably dropped a game to Ball State at home. This team needs to get something out of DJ Harvey in my opinion. If he can give them another weapon the Irish become pretty unstoppable as both Rex Pflueger and Martinas Geben are starting to play better.
  7. Florida State: This was about as far as I was willing to go with the Seminoles. That win against Florida and then not experiencing a let down two days later was pretty impressive. CJ Walker continues to play the point guard position at a high level and Phil Cofer continues to impress during his senior campaign. Here is a stat, in his first 76 career games Cofer scored in double figures seven times and never in back to back games. This year, Cofer has scored in double figures seven times in the Seminoles first eight games.
  8. NC State: They have a pretty easy road the rest of the way into ACC play but they better not overlook UNC-G on 12/16. I still love the Arizona win and I think the Penn State win will come in handy later on. The more I watch Braxton Beverly play the more I am impressed but this team will only go as far as Omer Yurtseven will allow them to. The Turkish seven footer is looking like the player Mark Gottfried was expecting last year, averaging 12 points 7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. The Darius Hicks injury hurts their depth a little but they have already been playing without him for a month. Abdul Malik Abu really needs to get back on the court if the Pack are going to make the dance though, if his absence is extended into ACC play I think the Wolfpack may fade.
  9. Louisville: I think they really needed that Seton Hall win. Currently the Cardinals best win is against Southern Illinois, the 140th ranked team in KenPom.  Their other four wins are against #189, #256, #201, #281. Quentin Snider needs to play better, they need to shoot better and Darius Perry needs to not turn the ball over (21.6% turnover rate). Jordan Nwora continues to be an offensive bright spot but needs to play better defense to be on the court more.
  10. Syracuse: I thought the Orange had a real shot against the Jayhawks in that first half but they really let it go in the second. Frank Howard continues to be an interesting player, he is big, long and looks good shooting the ball, but he is also turning the ball over four times a game.  Oshae Brissett is really coming alive, making me look like a fucking idiot, averaging right around a double double per game. He still can’t shoot a lick, but maybe that will come with time. They get to beat up on Georgetown and get another possible good win against St. Bonaventure before ACC play begins. I am starting to believe in the Orange.
  11. Clemson: Not much new here, they are boring and haven’t played in five days, beating UNC-Asheville by 30 on 12/3. Brad Brownell keeps forcing his style down this teams throat instead of playing to his roster’s strengths. They have tournament team talent but they will crash and burn during conference play. They have the opportunity for some nice OOC wins coming up, playing Florida on a neutral court, home against South Carolina (who is going to fall on their face in SEC play) and home against Louisiana Lafayette. If they can go 2-1 in those three games they will have my attention.
  12. Wake Forest: Winners of four in a row, the Demon Deacons look like they have fixed their early season troubles. But, in those four wins, the best team they have beaten is Illinois, and only one, Charlotte, was on the road. The 49ers are not exactly juggernauts this year and it is only a short bus ride from Winston-Salem. I have said it all year, I believe in this team’s talent. Wake Forest has a tournament roster. The emergence of Olivier Sarr is happening sooner than anyone expected, as the France native begins to really eat into Terrance Thompson’s minutes. I still think Thompson is a better player at this point but for some reason his minutes are really dwindling.
  13. Georgia Tech: I mean, what is there to say? The Yellow Jackets just are not very good without Josh Okogie and a healthy Ben Lammers. Jackets fans can thank Brian Gregory for the lovely parting gift of playing at Wofford as he was the one that scheduled it. Josh Pastner seemed none to pleased about it before the game, imagine how he felt after Fletcher Magee hung 8 triples and 36 points on him. GT has now lost three in a row and after their upcoming game with Florida A&M, the Jackets travel to hated rival UGA. Okogie is now considered out until conference play so a dance card does not appear to be in the the future here.
  14. Boston College: The loss of Deontae Hawkins is devastating. The Eagles are now basically the same team the were last year, except they are less talented. Ky Bowman has continued to progress, putting up silly stats but I still don’t think he is a point guard. Distributing the ball is like #9 on his list of 8 things to do on the court. His numbers are a bit inflated due to competition but that 5.4 assists per game is going to come down, you can be certain of that.
  15. Pitt: 

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