ACC Rundown: Boston College

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Boston College Eagles.


2008-2009 Record: 22-12 (9-7 in ACC)

Postseason Record: 1-1 in ACC tournament, 0-1 in NCAA tournament (lost to USC in First Round)

Projected Starting Lineup: Reggie Jackson (So.), Rakim Sanders (Jr.),  Corey Raji (Jr.), Joe Trapani (Jr.), Josh Southern (Jr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=24]

Departing:

[TABLE=25]

The Good: The Eagles return seven of its top eight scorers and six players who played in all 34 games. They will be led by a pair of juniors, explosive guard Rakim Sanders and versatile forward Joe Trapani. Last season, both Sanders (22 points, 4 threes) and Trapani (20 points, 5 blocks) played a huge part in victories over UNC and Duke, respectively. Al Skinner will have plenty of players to count on late in the second half of close games because he has players with big-time experience, as Boston College returns almost everybody.

The Bad: Even with all the returning players, the loss of four-year starter and leading scorer Tyrese Rice cannot be underestimated. Rice was the catalyst for this Eagles team, scoring big basket after big basket in wins over UNC and Duke. He was also BC’s closer, as he shot 85.6% from the free throw line. Currently, there is only one player on the Eagles’ roster that shoots over 72% from the line – Trapani – with many players shooting in the 60s. Teams will have the luxury of fouling anyone but Trapani in the final minutes of tight games.

The Crazie: The Eagles inexplicably lost to Harvard, a team that didn’t even win the Ivy League, at home, immediately after its biggest win of the season on the road against UNC in January. Over a month later, they lost at Miami immediately following its big victory over Duke in Chestnut Hill. After defeating ACC runner-up Florida State in late February, they lost to NC State in Raleigh. Safe to say, this team needs to avoid letdowns like they have had following important victories.

We Love to Hate… Reggie Jackson, who hit the tiebreaking shot against Duke in their victory on February 15th. Look for Al Skinner, who has a history of developing overlooked high school recruits (Troy Bell, Jared Dudley and Rice) into All-ACC players at Boston College to do the same with Jackson, who is only a sophomore.

The Bottom Line: Expect BC to remain in the top half of the ACC. As long as they avoid letdowns after big wins and beat teams they should beat, they can make a push into the upper third of the conference. Even with the loss of their best player, the Eagles have a good coach in Al Skinner and players that have experience in big games.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

ACC Rundown: Maryland

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Maryland Terrapins.

greivis

Who is Greivis Vasquez? (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

2008-2009 Record: 21-14 (7-9 in ACC)

Postseason Record: 2-1 in ACC tournament; 1-1 in NCAA Tournament, lost to Memphis in Second Round)

Projected Starting Lineup: Greivis Vasquez (Sr.), Adrian Bowie (Jr.),  Landon Milbourne (Sr.), Sean Mosley (So.), Dino Gregory (Jr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=21]

Departing:

[TABLE=22]

Incoming:

[TABLE=23]

The Good: When star guard Greivis Vasquez withdrew from the NBA Draft last spring, Gary Williams felt the wind of a large bullet cool his sweaty armpits. Vasquez is the heart of this team, and Maryland’s main core from last season is back (minus the aggressive Dave Neal). The guards are impressive: senior Eric Hayes and the speedy junior Adrian Bowie will join Vasquez in one of the league’s most experienced backcourts. Landon Milbourne consistently contributes, and Gary picked up a pair of decent freshman bigs in Jordan Williams and James Padgett. If the Terps can control the ball and Vasquez maintains his high stats, Maryland can improve on the sub-.500 record of last year.

The Bad: The frontcourt is unproven. The Terrapins were weakened by the departures of James Gist and Bambale Osby a year ago, and there is little new to be excited about. While 6’10” freshman center Jordan Williams has high potential, he won’t make Maryland fans forget the days of Lonny Baxter and Chris Wilcox. As forward Jerome Burney’s injuries have ended his career at Maryland, Williams will have to start the underproductive Gregory until the touted freshmen prove their mettle. If the bigs don’t deliver, even more pressure will be on Greivis and the guards to fulfill Maryland’s expectations for this season.

The Crazie: In the early 2000s, Maryland reached the upper echelon of college basketball, constantly competing with Duke and UNC in conference while making multiple title runs, capped off by the 2002 National Championship. But Gary Williams and Co. did not sustain that success: Maryland has suffered many bitter recruiting disappointments and have only gone as far the NCAA second round for the past 6 seasons. With a veteran core and a recognized superstar, Gary must deliver some improved result this year. It’s crazy to think that a coach with a ring is on the hot seat, but if the Terps fall outside the top-4 of the conference, you can bet Gary Williams’ pores will be flowing an inordinate amount next spring.

We Love to Hate… Vasquez. After calling Cameron “his house,” Greivis had 4 points on 2-10 shooting in the 85-44 shellacking last year. Also, he managed one measly bench press of 185 pounds at the NBA Combine. Good choice going back to school, Grief-us, sorry Lance Stephenson chose Cincy.

We would love to hate the Maryland fans, but we can’t take them seriously.

The Bottom Line: Maryland should win around 10 games in conference and make the NCAA Tournament. A Sweet 16 run would help secure Gary another contract extension past 2013, but those are long odds. Unless Greivis can be a miracle-maker all year, expect Terp fans to be heaving projectiles and burning cars in early March.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech Virginia NC StateVirginia Tech Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

Deviled Eggs 10/19/09

Every Monday morning, Crazie Talk culls Duke basketball news, articles, and videos into a half dozen of the best “Deviled Eggs” on the interwebs.

Here are this week’s best:

dredunk

Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of this. (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

1. “H” has a few things he wants to clear up.

A press release written by Harrison Barnes himself in response to speculation about his in-home visits. We’re hitting the home stretch, Crazies. Barnes, who likes to be called “H”, will be in Gothic Wonderland for his official visit this Friday! To any students who read this: ditch your parents and come to this game!

2. Ahead of the Curve

Andre Dawkins is Duke’s heralded freshman shooting guard who chose to enroll early, providing a much needed spark after the departures of Gerald Henderson to the NBA and Elliot Williams to stay close to an ailing parent.  Dawkins, armed with a sweet stroke and G-like leaping ability, is a much needed addition to Duke’s roster.

3. Open Letter To Duke

Duke athletics isn’t all about basketball, as Heather Dinich argues in this open letter to all Cameron Crazies.  Our football team has taken some major strides this season, with Thad Lewis doing his best imitation of Tom Brady. We play Maryland at home this Saturday, with the chance to go to 2-1 in ACC play in Coach Cutcliffe’s second year.

4. J.J Redick: A Class Act

J.J fulfills a dream of one of his biggest young fans, 16 year-old Max Runyon. Stories like this just never get old.

5. Coach K reveals starting five

…and we’re going to be HUGE, with the average starting height at 6’7. Now if we could just conjure a few more (eligible) guards.

6. SI’s Preseason Power Rankings

Duke sits at 12, perhaps a tad low but nothing too out of the ordinary. My problem is with UConn at 3, who we potentially matchup against in the preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. Does part of Jim Calhoun’s salary go to Luke Winn?

BONUS:

Countdown to Craziness – In Living Color.

Crazie Talk photographer Christine’s photos from Friday night’s inaugural basketball extravaganza. It’s about time we did this at Duke.

Click to see more of the incredible night that was Countdown to Craziness. (All photos copyright Crazie Talk, 2009)

ACC Rundown: Miami

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Miami Hurricanes.

Ut

Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com

2008-2009 Record: 19-13 (7-9 in ACC)

Postseason Record: (0-1 in ACC Tournament, 1-1 in NIT)

Projected Starting Lineup: James Dews (Sr.), Durand Scott (Fr.), Adrian Thomas, (RSr.) Dwayne Collins (Sr.), Cyrus McGowan (Sr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=18]

Departing:

[TABLE=19]

Incoming:

[TABLE=20]

The Good: Durand Scott is by far Miami’s only legitimate recruit, having garnered a 5-star prospect rating from rivals.  Scott is an athletic shooting guard with an innate ability to get the basketball inside the bucket, particularly when he gets inside the paint.   He has the capability to start as a freshman, but much of this is due to the fact that Miami lacks experience at guard.  His scoring ability, while potent, lacks a solid foundation and consistency that is crucial to succeeding against faster, stronger, and smarter ACC defenses.  He has a very awkward jump shot, and he needs to work on extending his range.  He also struggles with creating his own shot, an area he will need to improve upon considering miami’s lack of a true scoring threat.  Overall, Scott reminds me a lot of a young Gerald Henderson- an athletic swingman has the potential to grow into a premier threat.

The Bad:  This isn’t football.  This team simply doesn’t have a the true scoring threat that they had last year in Jack McClinton.  Without McClinton and his 20 PPG, they will rely heavily on Durand Scott to provide an offensive spark from the guard position.  In addition, this team is incredibly inexperienced, a trait which will inevitably be exposed later on in the season.   Their backcourt, which is spearheaded by the combo of senior James Dews and freshman Durand Scott, does not contain a seasoned play-maker who can truly run the point.   In a conference as competitive as the ACC, having an excellent point guard who can bring the ball up and run an offense is key to any team that wants to be successful (unless your team is coached by Mike Krzyzewski).

The Crazie: While Miami will not be a major contender this year, this club will always be a threat .  Durand Scott, paired with Dwayne Collins, should provide a volatile offensive arsenal whose inconsistency can both help and hurt the team.   In games where both scorers are locked in, this team’s athleticism should prove a difficult hurdle to overcome for teams who lack quickness.   The Blue Devils need to watch out for their 2/17 game down in Miami- this team, while inexperienced, could definitely take a cheap one from Duke.

We Love to Hate… Dwayne Collins. Self explanatory.

The Bottom Line: Look for Miami to finish somewhere in the bottom 3 of the ACC.  Let’s face it- this team just doesn’t have the experience or consistency to contend in a conference as tough as ours.   Miami should have a tough time making it to the tournament, so look for this team to contend for the NIT.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

ACC Rundown: Virginia Tech

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up. Check out the rest of our previews here.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Virginia Tech Forward J.T. Thompson (Courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

Virginia Tech Forward J.T. Thompson (Courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

2008-2009 Record: 19-15 overall (7-9 ACC)

Postseason Record: 1-1 (lost to Baylor in NIT Second Round)

Projected Starting Lineup: Malcolm Delaney (Jr.), Dorenzo Hudson (Jr.), J.T. Thompson (Jr.), Jeff Allen (Jr.), Cadarian Raines (Fr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=15]

Departing:

[TABLE=16]

Incoming:

[TABLE=17]

The Good: Last season was another depressing denouement for Hokie hoops fans. The team started 6-3 in conference, including a road win at No. 1 Wake Forest.  Then Seth Greenberg’s squad dropped 6 of the final 7 games, including a second straight close loss to UNC in the ACC Tournament which dashed their hopes at March Madness. However, Tech returns star point guard Malcolm Delaney and steady (if rude) power forward Jeff Allen. In addition, Coach Greenberg keeps bringing in good talent: big freshmen guard Manny Atkins will do his best A.D. Vassallo impression while classmate Cadarian Raines is a solid rebounder and post presence.

The Bad: Can this team be consistent? In Greenberg’s tenure, the Hokies have had some signature wins over top teams like Duke, UNC and Wake. On the brink of the Big Dance, however, Virginia Tech has faltered, often losing in heartbreaking fashion. We’re not convinced that Greenberg can actually coach, but his players have proven their merit and must be hungry for some real postseason experience. If Virginia Tech can stay over .500 in conference, they should reach that goal.

The Crazie: The Hokies did not learn from missing on Stephen Curry. His brother Seth is now a Blue Devil (YES!), and Dell’s alma mater is now 0-2 on the sons of their most prestigious basketball alumni. Their loss is our gain–and we have a feeling that Hokie fans are going to be hitting themselves in two seasons.

We Love to Hate: Deron Washington. Oh wait, he graduated? Still.

The Bottom Line: There is reason for excitement in Blacksburg this season, and it’s not just for the football team. With the talented Delaney at the helm, this experienced squad should win 20+ games and make the NCAA Tournament.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke