Player of the Week
Annihilated. Devastated. Obliterated. Adjectives used to describe Florida State's TV-MA massacre of the #3 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The Seminole's Saturday slaughter caught a few of us off-guard, as the team had been struggling through the season up to that point. Unlike many teams, FSU lacks a real go-to scoring option, instead relying on a balanced team effort to compete for wins. The victory over one of the top teams in the nation was not only made possible by the teamwork, physicality and defense of the Seminoles, but also Deividas Dulkys. The 6'5" senior guard erupted for a career-high 32 points (as many points as he scored in his previous nine games combined), leading his team to a 90-57 win at home against the Tar Heels. He made 12 of his 14 shots from the floor, 8 of 10 from behind the arc and had four assists with four steals to top off his brilliant performance. Also impressive was the fact that Dulkys made 28 three-pointers in a row during the shootaround prior to the game. Yeah, he was pretty hot and it will probably have been the biggest performance of his career when everything is said and done. I wouldn't count Florida State out of consideration from the ACC tournament this year if they stay hot (they've won three in a row). The team projects well in the ACC due to their excellent size and defense, and simply need more offense to play up to their potential.
What's that? Oh, he's a seven-foot freshman playing for Boston College. Yeah, they're still playing in the ACC. No, seriously. They've even won two games in a row. Pick your jaw up off the floor, reader; they had to win at some point. Clifford scored 15 points in each of the narrow victories over Clemson (final score of 59-57) and Virginia Tech (61-59). He's averaging 9.8 points on 59.2% shooting and 5.3 rebounds on the season; maybe not groundbreaking numbers, but solid for a freshman regardless. As an offensively-skilled center, he could be a key piece in the Eagles' rebuilding effort along with fellow frosh Partick Heckmann and Ryan Anderson. And they really are rebuilding, perhaps contrary to their current winning ACC record (2-1, tied for second in the standings).
Virginia's 12-game winning streak was snapped against the Duke Blue Devils last Thursday. No shame in that, as the three-point loss (58-61) came against one of the best teams in the nation. Still, one can't help but wonder what the outcome could have been if Sammy Zeglinski had made any one of those perimeter jump shots he missed. Usually a sharp-shooter, Sammy missed all eight of his shot attempts from the field and all five from behind the arc in route to putting up a goose-egg in the scoring column. You can't really blame the loss on him (Jontel Evans missed all six of his shots as well), but this was a very winnable game for the Cavaliers. A win in Duke would have dome a lot for their end-season resume. Ah, well. They're still a very good team, and maybe Sammy will get a chance to redeem himself against the Blue Devils in the ACC tournament.
Top 5 Athletes in the ACC
1. DeQuan Jones - Still the most electric athlete in the ACC. He'll be in draft conversations based on his ridiculous jumping ability alone.
2. Ian Miller - Miller explodes off the floor so fast that he's drawing comparisons to Russell Westbrook. If he continues developing, he's a potential lottery pick.
3. CJ Leslie - Here's a guy I never get tired of writing about. Leslie can finish at the rim through contact better than anybody else in the conference. His athleticism and body control are his best attributes as of now.
4. Mason Plumlee - Plumlee is every bit the athlete that today's NBA expects from a post player. He's quick, mobile, strong and capable of finishing emphatically at the rim.
5. John Henson - Henson's length perhaps makes him seem more athletic than he really is, but bigs who can get off the floor as fast as Henson are rare. It's this quality that makes him such a vigorous shot-blocker.
Erick Green missed his previous game with a sprained left knee. Without their leading scorer, Virginia Tech lost by a deuce against Boston College (59-61). The loss was their third straight ... Four ACC players were named to the Wooden Award Midseason list: Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Mike Scott ... Florida State will look to stay hot against #4 Duke this Saturday ...
I'm happy to see someone else mention Ian Miller's potential,becuz not many others have noticed how good this kid can become..I think he's a future star...
But some of his teammates might not never play up to their potential..Maybe future D-League All-Stars?
John Kreft-7 footer