Tuesday, December 20, 2016
As ACC WBB non-conference play winds down...still a logjam at the top -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
VIRGINIA TECH STILL UNDEFEATED. FOUR ACC TEAMS STILL WITH JUST ONE LOSS
If Louisville Women's basketball or the Cards fan base had any delusions that the ACC WBB conference would be a calk-wake this 2016-17, allow me to take you off the Merry-Go-Round and give you a front row seat on the roller coaster.
The ACC is going to be a wild ride this year. Buckle up, grab onto something and hold on. Seven ACC teams reside in the top 25 rankings.
We've reach a point in time where we're a little over 1/3 of the way through the regular season for women's college basketball. A look at the ACC Conference shows Virginia Tech surprisingly still on top of the standings with a 11-0 record. We doubt that Charleston Southern will upset that apple cart tonight. The Hokies survived overtime at Auburn last night 92-87 and sophomore guard Chanette Hicks has been named the ACC Player of the Week...she had 18 points and 13 assists against the Tigers of the Plains. Five Hokies average 9.6 ppg and the Blacksburg school has wins over Tennessee and Nebraska on the resume. With Radford and Delaware State next...they should be 13-0 when things start to get real for them when they face North Carolina and go to Clemson and Miami.
Nipping at their heels are #2 Notre Dame, #7 Florida State, #17 Duke and #12 Miami with one loss each. The Seminoles lead the conference with 84.1 points per game, Duke has the largest scoring margin with a +20.3 edge per game and Notre Dame leads the conference in rebound...with an average of 43 a game and are only allowing 29.9 a contest. Miami's Erykah Davenport is shooting .683 after 10 games.
Checking in with two losses are Louisville, North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia. Asia Durr is sixth in the conference in scoring at 17.6 ppg. Myisha Hines-Allen checks in at 7th. in the ACC in rebounding with 8.2 grabs a contest. Briahanna Jackson is fourth in the league in assists (5.1) and Ciera Johnson is third in the ACC with 20 blocked shots.
To recap, I've just given you nine teams...over half the conference...who have a combined total of just 12 losses on the year. Out of 99 games.
A closer look at the ACC's success in non-conference play shows us that the 15 schools are a combined 136-34 as of 12/19/16. That's 80% and only one school (5-6 Boston College) has more than 4 losses. You would be hard-pressed to find another conference with that success rate besides the SEC (123 wins in 151 outings for 81.4%). In head-to-head games against the SEC...the ACC is 8-8.
Who do the Cards need to keep an eye on? Alexis Peterson (Syracuse) is a name Cardinal fans know all too well. She leads the ACC in scoring with 21.5 ppg. Close behind is Owensboro's Rebecca Greenwell (Duke) with 20.7 ppg...another familiar name to UofL WBB followers. Peterson is also second in the conference in assists (6.5) behind Lindsay Allen (Notre Dame) and her 7.1 an outing.
The Cards could take some lessons from Leticia Romero (Florida State). She is 23-25 (92%) from the free throw line this year. She also has the best 3-point FG Pct...13-26 (50%). Asia Durr is #1 in the ACC with most threes made (46). NC State narrowly leads in threes made (108) over Syracuse (107).
Our top five performers in the ACC so far?
Alexis Peterson has had a great start to the season for "Q" and the Cuse and has to be on that list. We'll easily add Rebecca Greenwell (Duke)....who is showing just how good she can be now that she's healthy. Leticia Romero gets a berth...the whirlwind FSU guard is creating match-up problems for everyone this year. Milan Quinn (Wake Forest) has been a boards monster in 10 games (9.8 a contest) and Stephanie Watts (North Carolina) is third in the conference in scoring and second in rebounds per game. It was hard to leave Asia Durr off this list...she's been fabulous in 13 games. She has the highest three-point total made in the nation. Let's make it a top-six list....
A lot of the above will obviously change once conference play begins. Will Virginia Tech continue the hot streak? Miami and Florida State have one ten in a row...those two will run into each other on 12/29/16...the same Thursday that Louisville hosts Syracuse. 13 regular-season games in the books...18 left to play for the Cards. Would you accept a 12-6 record the rest of the way? if not...why? We welcome your comments.
We've also got a poll up about that...be sure to check the "Right Side of the Site" and vote.
Lots of great hoops ahead !! It's the most wonderful time of the year...