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ACC Blog

Player of the Week

Malcolm Grant

Malcolm GrantMalcolm GrantThe Miami (FL) Hurricanes are on a tear, having won eight of their last nine games (the loss courtesy of the currently undefeated Central Florida Knights). One of the biggest reasons for their recent success is the staggering offensive play of guard Malcolm Grant. In four games this week, Grant averaged 19 points on an impressive 53% shooting. Also in that time-frame, Grant shot 60% from behind the arc (9/15). A good deal of Grant's points come from the free throw line (shot 33 free throws this week) due to his aggressive nature, ball handling ability and quickness. He takes full advantage of this by converting free throws at a high clip of 90%. His finishing ability is a weakness and he's not a true point guard, but he has been a valuable asset for the Hurricanes this season and should help them be a competitive team when conference play starts up.

Hot

Biko Paris

Boston College continues to impress this season. Reggie Jackson deserves a lot of credit for the Eagles' very respectable 11-2 record, but he's not alone in that regard. Senior guard Biko Paris is also making a significant impact for the squad. After coming off a season where he averaged less than 5 points a game (41% shooting) in over 25 minutes, Paris is now averaging close to 12 points per game on 48% shooting and he's getting those points primarily from behind the arc. He's made at least one three in each of his last ten games, and he's made 16 threes in his past three games on 59% shooting. The abrupt development in his outside shooting makes the Eagles a much more threatening team, and gives his backcourt partner (Jackson) an easy drive-and-kick target. The two are working together very well, and have each other to thank for their sudden spikes in productivity/efficiency.

Cold

Larry Drew II

Last season, point guard Larry Drew II took some of the heat for the North Carolina Tar Heels' disappointing play. Despite showing that he had the talent to play as a lead guard in the ACC, his lack of experience/consistency led to some head-scratching plays and questionable decisions. This year, he was expected to take another step in his development and help Harrison Barnes make the Tar Heels into a much better team. So far, he hasn't delivered. Drew's stats across the board are down. He's only averaging 4.5 points a game on a sorry 33% shooting, and his outside stroke has yet to find him (16% 3PT). This week, Drew scored 2 points in a total of 47 minutes. Now, his role on the Tar Heels doesn't require him to be a prolific scorer, but he needs to be able to take advantage of what the defense gives him (open jumpers, free throws, etc...).

Top 5 Teams in the ACC (So Far)...

1. Duke Blue Devils - They are exactly where we expected them to be. Even without Kyrie Irving, the Blue Devils are playing like the national champions. Nolan Smith, Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry are filling his void quite nicely.

2. Florida State Seminoles - The Seminoles picked up where they left off last year with one of the best defenses in the country. Now that Jon Kreft is active they have three 7-footers (or close) on the roster.

3. Boston College Eagles - Reggie Jackson and the four seniors (Biko Paris, Joe Trapani, Corey Raji, Josh Southern) are all playing great basketball. Am I hallucinating or are the Eagles are actually fun to watch this season?

4. Maryland Terrapins - Jordan Williams is the primary weapon for Gary Williams and the Terrapins. He is a load in the post and going to be a force to be reckoned with against other ACC teams. Other contributions from Cliff Tucker, Dino Gregory and freshman Terrell Stoglin make Maryland one of the teams to watch during tournament play.

5. Virginia Cavaliers/Miami (FL) Hurricanes - Neither team was expected to do much this season, but both are respectable and both could catapult themselves into a fine postseason.

Weekly Thoughts

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tied Dean Smith for 2nd on the all-time list of wins in Division 1 history with 879. Coach K will have a chance to pass Smith when the undefeated Blue Devils (11-0) play the currently winless (0-11) North Carolina-Greensboro Spartans this Wednesday (December 29th)... Virginia forward Mike Scott returns much sooner than expected from his ankle injury, having only missed two games after arthroscopic ankle surgery. Despite his return, Virginia still lost to Seattle... [Player: Glen Rice Jr.] of Georgia Tech has been playing well as of late. The stat-sheet stuffer brings hustle to an otherwise lackadaisical squad... Jordan Williams continues his strong play, and his double-double streak is now up to six... I hope everybody has a happy holiday season!

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