Some thoughts on the ACC
On Monday, Coach Gary Williams was asked for his thoughts so far on how the ACC is shaping up as conference play nears. Williams began by saying he couldn't believe Maryland didn't start its ACC schedule for nearly three more weeks (the Terrapins host Florida State on Jan. 10 in their conference opener). He also later said he would prefer to start the conference slate earlier in January, but "I guess there’s bowl games during that time of year so that’s why we’re not playing."
Anyway, here are Williams's thoughts on what he's seen from fellow ACC teams thus far:
"You know, I thought Duke was going to be a different team this year and they are a little bit in terms of more size, but they do have three great perimeter players, so that’s always been the way they’ve played recently," he said. "Carolina, you see it there with their size and everything, how good they can be. Clemson’s played very well. Georgia Tech’s been up and down. That’s the first time I really looked at (N.C.) State last night. So I think it’s pretty even. There’s not a lot to say for maybe one team or another. I think Duke has kind of established themselves as maybe the best team right now and Carolina you would probably put in there second. But other than that, I don’t see any pecking order yet."
Duke is 9-1 with wins over Connecticut and Gonzaga. The Blue Devils' lone loss came at Wisconsin. North Carolina is 9-3 with wins over Ohio State and Michigan State, and losses to Syracuse, Kentucky and Texas.
Later on, Williams was asked whether he'd been surprised by the showing of any particular ACC team so far.
"I think Florida State has played very well with the loss of (guard Toney) Douglas," Williams said. "I thought that guy, he never got the credit that he should have gotten last year. He was as close to an MVP as there could be in the league last year. He was a great leader. I think they’ve made up pretty well for the loss of him. They’ve been in some tough games that they’ve won. The game before last night they beat Auburn in a very close game, so they’re playing pretty well."
Douglas averaged 21.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last season while helping lead the Seminoles to 25 wins, their first ACC tournament championship game in program history and an NCAA tournament berth. Florida State is off to an 11-2 start this season.
So those are Williams's thoughts. What are yours? Which ACC teams have you been impressed with so far? Which ACC teams have surprised you, either positively or negatively?
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