Category Archives: ACC

Building a 12-man roster from uncommitted transfers: Sophomores, Part One

Marcus Evans opted to transfer from Rice after his sophomore season, and instantly became arguably the top transfer on the market this season.

CALGARY, Alta. — Once again, the transfer list continually grows with each passing day.

According to Verbal Commits, the 2017 Division I transfer list has eclipsed 240 names, and that number will only continue to rise as the off-season rolls along.

For the record, the off-season doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday, April 4th, the day after the National Championship is decided.

With the high numbers of players finding themselves on the open market, testing the waters in the hopes of securing a scholarship at a school that better fits their needs, there a plethora of talented student-athletes on the list. From the power conferences and perennial national title contenders, right down to the smallest of schools, there are transfers from all across the country.

So, we got thinking. What would a team look like if it was built solely from uncommitted transfers?

We decided to dig a little deeper and see what kind of team we could come up with. The list was divided into each player’s year of eligibility, and then rosters were formed of players in the same year.

Here is the best roster that we could come up with for sophomore players who have transferred, but not yet committed to a new school.

As each week passes, and more players either transfer or commit to schools, we will alter the rosters on Tuesdays to accommodate the changes in the market. Continue reading Building a 12-man roster from uncommitted transfers: Sophomores, Part One

Syracuse sophomore Tyler Lydon to enter 2017 NBA Draft

Per Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon will sign with an agent and declare for June’s NBA Draft. The sophomore forward stuffed the stat-sheet with 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 blocks per game this season.

Lydon, a 2016-17 All-ACC honorable mention, made an immediate impact off the bench as a freshman. The 6’9″ New York native posted four double-doubles and averaged 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds during the Orange’s 2016 Final Four run. This past season, he one upped last year’s totals with nine double-doubles. Continue reading Syracuse sophomore Tyler Lydon to enter 2017 NBA Draft

RECAP: West Virginia Sends Notre Dame Home Early; Irish Finish Season 26-10

vs WV #2.jpeg

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are heading home early this year from the NCAA Tournament as their dreams of being national champions came to an end Saturday afternoon thanks to an outstanding all around performance by the West Virginia Mountaineers.

“They’re really good, they’re really good, they got the look, they could play for a while” said Head Coach Mike Brey concluding the game.

Notre Dame was close to being a first round tournament exit on Thursday, after a sluggish performance against Princeton, only beating the Tigers by two points.

But if the past has told us anything, it was that first round matches have always been tough for the Irish. Even when the Irish narrowly lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite Eight back in 2015, they were close to going home early on the first day.

After Thursday’s win and the then thought “tournament jitters” were gone, the Irish were expected to turn it up a notch with a more formidable opponent knocking at their door.

West Virginia proposed a tough matchup with their defensive intensity and their ability to alter offensive rhythm through their tight full court press.

Mike Brey Stated:

“Our start really hurt us, you know we were in a 10-0 hole and you’re kinda digging out against them the whole day, it was hard to get over it. Their style of play is really hard to deal with, I think you know it wore on us at times”.

Continue reading RECAP: West Virginia Sends Notre Dame Home Early; Irish Finish Season 26-10

Wesner’s 4-Point Play: The NOT SO Wild West, the rise of #12 Middle Tennessee & fall of #12 Nevada

Photo courtesy of Getty Images and Mike Ehrmann.

1. The NOT SO Wild West
The complete West Regional was in action on Thursday. 

Let’s just someone left the chalk out.

In eight games, just one featured a lower seed prevailing victoriously; #11 Xavier defeated #6 Maryland, 76-65.

Though, is an Edmond Sumner-less Musketeers beating an overrated Terrapins team an upset? 

Absolutely not! 

Bracket brainiacs know Xavier OWNS City Beautiful, aka Orlando, Florida. Since November 2015, Chris Mack’s squad is 7-0 with two early season tournament championships (2015 Advocare Invitational and 2016 Tire Pros Tip-Off) in Orange County (Florida). Equally impressive is the individual play of the junior sensation Bluiett, underneath the Florida sun, is averaging 17 points per game in Orlando during his collegiate career.

Despite defeat, mid-major scoring guards lived up to their expectations. #13 Bucknell sophomore Kimbal Mackenzie netted 23 points (7-of-15 shooting), #14 Florida Gulf Coast junior Brandon Goodwin finished with 28 points (12-of-27 shooting) and 7 rebounds and #15 North Dakota senior Quinton Hooker had 25 points (10-of-21 shooting). Though, a common denominator, outside of defeat, is all three had shooting percentages under 50 percent.

Efficient performances are imperative for star mid-major guards if one wants to advance to the next round.

2. #5 Virginia and #4 Florida kill upset fun

When the NCAA Tournament bracket was announced, the Virginia Cavaliers and Florida Gators were immediately put on upset alert. Both lost the first game of their respective conference tournaments and appeared to be sitting ducks (No pun intended, Oregon) for #12 UNC Wilmington and #13 East Tennessee State.

It’s always sunny in Orlando.

The two higher seeds held off competitive showings from their opponents to force a Saturday night showdown for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

For a second straight game, Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers struggled to string stops together on the defensive end. Against Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, Virginia gave up 71 points, which is the same amount the Seahawks posted.

Upperclassmen London Perrantes and Marial Shayok outshined the heralded UNC Wilmington duo of C.J. Bryce and Chris Flemmings, combining for 47 points on 17-of-28 shooting as opposed to the latter’s 9-of-27, 26-point total. 

One positive Virginia can take away on defense is the blanket they threw on Bryce. The Seahawks leading scorer, normally responsible for about 18 points per game, was limited to 8 points.

While Cavalier Nation had to sweat out 40 minutes, the heartbeat of the Florida faithful raised very little. The Gators exploited East Tennessee State’s lack of athleticism and frontcourt size in route to an 80-65 victory.

Devin Robinson did it all. The junior stuffed the stat sheet via a 27-point, 7-rebound, 2-block performance. Senior Kasey Hill neutralized the impact of Buccaneers guard T.J. Cromer (19 points) with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.

3. #12 Nevada caged by poor shooting

Two years ago, Marcus Marshall and Jordan Caroline both wore maroon.

Marshall, who was the star on Missouri State, and Caroline, a freshman at Southern Illinois, started their collegiate careers within the Missouri Valley Conference.

Then, the mass transfer exodus of 2015 occurred. Marshall and Caroline, along with other big names, like Illinois State’s Reggie Lynch and SIU’s Deion Lavender, grabbed their sneakers and headed elsewhere. 

On a day when Lynch’s NCAA Tournament title aspirations evaporated with Minnesota, Marshall and Caroline had a chance to seize a win over #5 Iowa State.

11-of-32 shooting will NEVER get the job done.

Although the tandem scored 36 points, missed field goals turned into wasted possessions for Nevada, resulting in an 84-73 defeat.

The Wolfpack did a very good job causing turnovers — they forced the Cyclones to spin into 14. However, they failed to rebound against Iowa State’s Big 12 bodies, losing the rebounding battle, 38-28, and was taxed to exhaustion due to a lack of depth.

Nevada only went six deep. In comparison, Iowa State played eight with FIVE chipping in at least 12 points. Cyclones senior Monte Morris pushed the envelope for a triple-double, yet was two rebounds and two assists shy (19 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists). 

Iowa State will face arguably the nation’s best frontcourt, #4 Purdue’s Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan, on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

4. The blossom of a perineal mid-major

If there was one school every bracket brainiac despised last season, it was none other than #12 Middle Tennessee. As a 15-seed, the Blue Raiders burned a multitude of brackets by defeating Michigan State in the opening round.

This year, Middle Tennessee had a chance to be its haters’ best friend with a win over #5 Minnesota. 

A villain was turned hero.

Led by scary seniors JaCorey Williams and Reggie Upshaw, not to mention junior Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee stayed one step ahead of Minnesota to defeat its second Big Ten NCAA Tournament opponent in 12 months. 

All three members of the trio posted double-digits. Upshaw seized the spotlight with 19 points and 9 rebounds against the Golden Gophers, who are known for their rebounding ability (via Reggie Lynch).

Thursday’s win for Middle Tennessee has solidified their reputation as a bona fide bracket buster. With Belmont and Monmouth falling to the NIT, Middle Tennessee, outside of Wichita State and Gonzaga, may be the most dominant mid-major of the 2016-17 season.

New will meet old on Saturday; past mid-major and current Big East team #4 Butler will face the new kids on the block for a berth to the Sweet 16 on the line.

Starting Five

1. Trevon Bluiett (#11 Xavier)

  • 21 points (7-15), 4 rebounds, 4 assists.
  • Averaging 17 PPG in games played within Orange County (Fla.).

2. Bryant McIntosh (#8 Northwestern)

  • 25 points (10-16), 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
  • Made pair of free throws to give Wildcats 1-point lead with 15 seconds left.

3. Reggie Upshaw (#12 Middle Tennessee)

  • 19 points (7-13), 9 rebounds.
  • Averaging 18.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG since start of Conference USA Tournament.

4. Donte DiVincenzo (#1 Villanova)

  • 21 points (9-15), 13 rebounds.
  • 1st double-double of collegiate career.

5. Dwayne Bacon (#3 Florida State)

  • 25 points (11-17), 9 rebounds.
  • Has posted double-figures points in 33-of-34 games this season.

Photo courtesy of Florida Seminoles athletics.

Stay tuned for more Wesner 4-point plays as the NCAA Tournament continues to supply madness in March.

— P. Wesner

RECAP: Virginia thwarts upset bid from UNC-Wilmington, advances to Second Round with 76-71 win

Virginia used a late first half run to eliminate the 15-point lead for the Seahawks, and they held on in the second for the 76-71 victory. (Source: Virginia Men’s Basketball)

ORLANDO, Fla. — It may have been the second game of the NCAA Tournament, but it also provided fans with another exciting finish.

Coming into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the UNC Wilmington Seahawks were a trendy upset pick against the Virginia Cavaliers.

The Seahawks came into the afternoon averaging a shade over 85 points per contest, good for 10th in the nation. On the flip side, Virginia makes their mark on the defensive end of the floor.

Early on, it looked as though the Seahawks’ offense was going to break the defense of the Cavaliers. An early 16-2 run gave UNC Wilmington a 26-11 lead with 7:25 to play in the opening frame.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett made a lineup change, going with a smaller lineup. It worked.

The Seahawks were held without a field goal the rest of the way in the first half, and the Cavaliers took a one-point lead into the break. In the second half, the teams went back and forth, but it was the play of a senior guard that pushed Virginia to the win.

London Perrantes assumed the role of hero, hitting a pair of crucial runners to keep Virginia in the lead. In the end, the Cavaliers put to rest any doubts, and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament with a 76-71 victory. Continue reading RECAP: Virginia thwarts upset bid from UNC-Wilmington, advances to Second Round with 76-71 win

PREVIEW: Notre Dame begins their tournament journey against Princeton

Bonzie Colson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish open up their 2017 NCAA Tournament with a date against Princeton on Thursday. (Source: Michael Shroyer – USA Today Sports)

The #5 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin their road to the Final Four on Thursday March 16th at 12:15 PM when they take on the #12 seeded Princeton Tigers at the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo, NY.

Notre Dame is coming off a loss in the ACC tournament finals against the Duke Blue Devils, who made a late push to put the Irish out of reach of their second ACC title.

Regardless of the outcome, the Irish are going dancing, and have been seeded in the West Region.

The quadrant includes teams such as the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the #1 seed, who dominated the West Coast Conference, finishing the season with a 32-1 record, and the Arizona Wildcats, who came away victorious in the Pac 12 tournament final.

“Thrilled to be back in this thing again (NCAA Tournament) and we are kind of making it an annual event, which is what you want your program to be doing” said Coach Mike Brey right after Selection Sunday. “To not sweat on Selection Sunday, which we haven’t in a long long time, is good for the blood pressure and the hair line”.

Continue reading PREVIEW: Notre Dame begins their tournament journey against Princeton