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ACC Basketball Quarterly Report

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Last season John Gasaway began tracking how conference teams performed against each other. If you don't know why that's important then read this. The ACC doesn't play an evenly distributed schedule, so some teams have played three games and some have played four. FSU has played four, this is a Seminoles site, and so this is the end of the first quarter of league play. The results so far look like this:

 The ACC after three-four games apiece Conference games only, through January 16 - Pace: possessions per 40 minutes - PPP: points per possession - oPPP: opponent points per possession - EM: efficiency margin (PPP - oPPP) (For a primer on tempo-based stats read this).

  Record Pace PPP oPPP EM
Clemson 2-1 65.7 1.19 1.06 0.13
Virginia Tech 2-2 66.5 1.05 0.92 0.13
Duke 3-1 70.8 1.00 0.88 0.12
Boston College 3-1 67.0 1.16 1.07 0.09
Florida St 3-1 70.3 1.01 0.97 0.04
Maryland 1-2 73.0 0.97 0.94 0.03
NC State 1-2 68.0 1.11 1.12 -0.01
North Carolina 2-1 69.7 0.88 0.91 -0.03
Georgia Tech 1-2 71.3 1.00 1.08 -0.08
Miami 1-2 64.0 1.08 1.17 -0.09
Virginia 1-2 62.0 0.93 1.03 -0.10
Wake Forest 0-3 69.7 0.90 1.23 -0.33 

 Come inside to take a brief look at each ACC team in conference play.

Clemson: The Tigers are part of the triumvirate at the top of the standings who are clearly outscoring their opponents. They lost a close game to FSU and then put on offensive clinics against Miami and GT. I doubt they’ll have the best offense in the conference come March, but still they’ve impressed early.

Virginia Tech: The most unlucky team to this point, with two single possession losses combined with two comfortable wins. To this point they’ve been efficient on both ends of the court.

Duke: Duke is winning with defense. They have the 6th ranked offense in the country, though not because of conference play where they’re only scoring a point per possession. They’ve compensated by being the best defensive team in the ACC, just like last year.

Boston College: BC is playing good enough offense to compensate for their below average defense. Their offense got them a win over Maryland, and their defense cost them a game at Miami. Such will go their season.

FSU: Florida State’s offense has been better than Duke’s, and our defense has been worse than UNC’s. Strange times. Outscoring conference opponents by .04 per possession is a recipe for a 10-6 season and a nervous team come Selection Sunday.

Maryland: The Terps have outscored their opponents, yet are 1-2. It helps that they’ve played Wake Forest. Their narrow EM explains how they played several very good out-of-conference teams in close contests, yet lost them all. Their defense has been great, their offense not so much.

NC State: The reverse of Maryland - good offense, bad defense - leads to the same result. Assuming their porous defense continues they have no shot at the Tourney.

North Carolina: UNC, with their roster of McDonald’s All Americans, has the worst offense in the ACC. If they don’t get that turned around then their 2-0 start was for naught.

Georgia Tech: Another of the 1-2 squads who are exactly where they should be. Being outscored at all in conference play spells trouble. Being outscored by .08 per trip makes for another painful season in Atlanta.

Miami: The Hurricanes were one of the most unlucky teams in the country last season, as they were far better than a 4-12 squad. This year’s team is earning their losses by not playing defense. Their offense, meanwhile, is very very good.

Virginia: The Hoos play at a painfully slow tempo (339th out of 345 teams). Unfortunately for them this has led neither to good offense nor good defense. It just hurts to watch.

Wake Forest: They’re being outscored by a third of a point per possession, which not only makes them the worst team in the ACC, but puts them in contention for worst team in the HISTORY of the ACC. And they’re doing this without even having the worst offense in the league. Their closest conference game so far is a 19 point home loss to Maryland.