Player of the Week
Ryan Kelly hasn't been the top performer in the ACC this week, but he's been a nice contributor for Duke throughout the year and I wanted the chance to talk about him before the season came to an end. I figured this would be the best chance I had to do so, as he's coming off a career-high 23 points scored in a win against Wake Forest. For the past three and a half months, Kelly's been more of a luxury than anything else. He's maybe the third or fourth scoring option on the team. He provides the roster with a little more size and doesn't hurt the team by making a lot of mistakes. My point is that he's a good player, but not exactly the biggest cog in Duke's system. However, his usefulness could skyrocket this weekend if the stars align. Let me explain: Duke has the top record in the ACC (13-2). North Carolina is right behind them (12-2) and could tie that record with a win against Maryland on Wednesday. Should UNC win, the regular season title would come down to the UNC/Duke matchup on Saturday. If there's one thing that makes Duke a better team than UNC, it's their perimeter shooting. In their previous matchup (which Duke won), the Blue Devils made 14 three pointers (including one at the buzzer). The Tar Heels just made one. Ryan Kelly gives Duke another big man that can shoot it. But he’s not only giving the team shooting from a unique position, but Ryan is also forcing one of the UNC bigs to defend away from the hoop. Scoring in the paint can only be easier without a John Henson or Tyler Zeller there to bother you. Ryan’s shooting reputation could become a huge factor in this potentially title-deciding game.
It's not often I get the chance to write about a player from Boston College. The team has already lost 20 games, and will likely be the bottom seed in the ACC tournament. That being said, they aren't an entirely hopeless program. They have nine freshmen on the roster, four of which are among the squad’s top five scorers. If the team can grow and learn together, they may not be far removed from being competitive. Ryan Anderson is one player in particular that the Eagles are excited about. The 6'8" forward is leading his team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg), while showing an impressive versatility offensively. Anderson has been particularly hot as of late, averaging 20.3 points on 59% shooting and 9.0 rebounds over his last three games. He could be poised for a breakout season next year. Don't sleep on him.
Mike Scott has been beasting all season. He's been the driving force behind the Virginia Cavaliers this year, and should push them into the NCAA tournament (we’ll find out for sure in about a week and a half). Unlike some of his teammates, he's also been remarkably consistent all year. It took trying to defend UNC's frontcourt to get the 6'8" forward out of his element. During Virginia's loss against North Carolina, Scott was limited to 22 minutes of game-time because of foul trouble. He scored a season-low six points and shot a season-worst 23.1% from the floor. It was a stark contrast from his season averages of 16.9 points per game on 57.3% shooting. The loss was Virginia's fourth in their last seven games. Virginia should look to close out the season strong, or risk free-falling down the ACC standings.
Top 5 ACC Prospects (Updated)
1. Harrison Barnes - Barnes looks like a future NBA all-star. He already possesses the intangible qualities of a five-year vet and his natural scoring/shooting abilities should continue to blossom. He still needs to become a more comfortable ball-handler, but don't expect him to fall out of the top-5 on draft night.
2. Austin Rivers - Rivers is an interesting prospect. His scoring potential is through the roof, but his ball-dominance will have some teams thinking twice about drafting him. He may stay another year at Duke.
3. James McAdoo - McAdoo has been buried on a very deep and talented North Carolina roster, but could become the best NBA player out of all of them. He should stay another year in school, and figures to be a low risk/high reward kind of prospect when he comes out.
4. Tyler Zeller - Zeller has worked hard to improve his weaknesses over his four-year career at UNC, and scouts should take notice. His point, rebound, assist, block and steal averages have improved every year he's played in college.
5. Kendall Marshall - I considered putting somebody with a higher upside here (like an Alex Len, Ian Miller or John Henson), but I think as perhaps the only true point guard in this year's draft, Marshall will be snatched up early.
Freshman Dorian Finney-Smith pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds during an overtime loss against Duke ... North Carolina State appeared to have a shot at making the NCAA tournament, but have lost their last four games. It might take a miracle during the ACC tournament (which starts on March 8th) to get them in ... Miami knocked off Florida State despite missing star center Reggie Johnson, who was declared ineligible after an investigation revealed his family had received improper benefits. He was reinstated on Tuesday and will be available for Miami’s game at North Carolina State on Wednesday ...
Ryan Kelly is one of the most overrated Duke players ever. Nice shooter, but not a great shooter. Kid plays too soft for the NBA. He has a lot of trouble guarding 4s in college that can drive pass him. Most likely Europe after his senior year.
ACC player of the week is a no show against UNC.
Kelly proves again that he is the Least Valuable Player of the Week in the ACC.
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He scored a season-low six points and shot a season-worst 23.1% from the floor. It was a stark contrast from his season averages of 16.9 points per game on 57.3% shooting.business reseller
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