Player of the Week
Dwayne Bacon – Florida State (G, Fr., 6-7, 220, Lakeland, FL)
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton had no doubt about who needed to take the final shot in the closing seconds. Led by freshman guard Dwayne Bacon’s 24 points, FSU defeated the Florida Gators on their home floor, 73-71, as Bacon knocked down a game-winning, go-ahead mid-range jumper from about 10 feet with 4.6 seconds remaining. Bacon shot 9-for-17 from the floor for the game. It was a great play that was drawn up by Hamilton, who called the play during a timeout and got an ideal match up when Florida guard Kasey Hill, who is six inches shorter than Bacon, was unable to effectively contest the shot. Bacon also added five rebounds, two assists, and two steals while shooting 52 percent.
Early on, the talented freshman, Bacon, was able to set the tone with two athletic drives to the basket as the Seminoles got out to a 6-2 lead. Shortly afterward, he limped off the court and was taken to the locker room for a brief moment, but quickly returned and showed no ill effects. Not only was he able to show his ability to get to the rim with ease, but he also had a strong showing from the 3-point line, hitting five of his eight 3-point attempts. His strong game from the outside as a shooter helped pace the Seminoles’ offense and opened up opportunities to get to the rim against a solid Florida defense.
Bacon has been fantastic for the Noles as of late. He entered the game coming off two consecutive ACC Rookie of the Week honors. His 24-point outburst marked his fourth straight game scoring 20-plus points. He’s averaged 21.7 points on 57 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in his last four outings.
Anthony Barber – NC State (G, Jr., 6-2, 185, Hampton, VA)
Cat Barber, the ACC’s leading scorer, recorded 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting as N.C. State beat Northeastern 72-66 on Dec. 29. It was Barber’s fourth consecutive game scoring at least 20 points and the Wolfpack’s sixth straight win. He also chipped in five rebounds and three assists. The junior guard has proven that he’s capable of putting together these types of performances routinely. He was able to put the game away by hitting two free throws and a layup to push the lead to 69-60 with less than two minutes remaining. Northeastern never got closer than six the rest of the way.
In Duke’s 105-66 victory over Elon, Allen and Jones scored 17 points apiece while Ingram matched a season high with 26 points and added 11 rebounds. Allen, who scored just seven points on 3-for-18 shooting in the Blue Devil’s loss to Utah while playing with flu-like symptoms, was closer to his full health in this game. The sophomore guard got back to his electrifying style of play. With 13:54 left in the first half, Allen stripped the ball from a penetrating Elon guard and went the full length of the court for a one-handed fast-break slam. Ingram was able to consistently get the rim and finish through contact and also had a highlight dunk in transition off a steal of his own.
In a 103-81 win over LBSU, Allen scored 24 points in the second half and finished the game with 33. He finally found some open lanes to the basket, and he burst through them. All those drives added up to the highest-scoring game of his career. Allen was 8-for-15 from the field and kept drawing contact and getting to the foul line, going 15-for-17 from there while surpassing his previous career-best of 32 points set against Georgetown last month in New York. Jones added 21 points and Ingram finished with 14 in the final non-conference game for the Blue Devils.
North Carolina’s Balanced Attack
After their disappointing loss to Texas, the Tar Heels have ripped off five consecutive games. This past week, they picked up wins over UNC-Greensboro, 96-63, and Clemson, 80-69. The game against the Tigers was North Carolina’s first in conference play. The Tar Heels’ offense was spearheaded by a balanced attack, with five and six players scoring in double-figures in both games, respectively. Brice Johnson led the way with 16 points and 16 rebounds against UNC-Greensboro. He was super efficient in the game shooting 7-for-9 from the field. Justin Jackson and Marcus Paige scored 14 points apiece while Joel Berry II added 11 and Isaiah Hicks came off the bench for 13. In the win over Clemson, Paige scored 18 points and Berry added 16. Hicks had 14 while Jackson and Theo Pinson recorded 13 points apiece.
Sheldon McClellan – Miami (FL) (G, Sr., 6-5, 205, Houston, TX)
The Hurricanes’ starting point guard went 2-for-9 for six points in the team’s 18-point win over Princeton. After three straight games of scoring 14 points of more, McClellan struggled from the beyond the arc, going 0-for-3, and couldn’t get it going from inside either. It didn’t hurt the Canes on the scoreboard, but he can’t have too many games like that now that conference play has arrived.
Malcolm Brogdon – Virginia (G, Sr., 6-5, 215, Atlanta, GA)
Brogdon, the Cavaliers leading scorer at 16.2 points per game, managed 12 points in their 71-58 win over Oakland. Problem is, he took 14 shots to get there and only made three of them. He went 3-for-8 from the long distance. Brogdon looked out of rhythm throughout the entire game. The Grizzles’ defense forced him into some tough shots and made it difficult for him to find openings. They effectively collapsed on his drives to the baskets and just completely took him out of the game.
AJ Turner – Boston College (F, Fr., 6-7, 190, Mount Clemens, MI)
The freshman forward has continued to struggle for Boston College. Turner shot just 1-for-4 from the field, including 1-for-3 from the beyond the arc for three points in the Eagles 72-67 overtime win over UNH.
Top Five Scorers in ACC Basketball
Anthony Barber – 23.1 PPG
Grayson Allen – 20.8 PPG
Michael Gbinije – 18.3 PPG
Damion Lee – 18.1 PPG
Dwayne Bacon – 17.8 PPG