Jeff Fischel's ACC Basketball Power Poll: January 28, 2016
The ACC Power Poll is compiled each week by ACC Digital Network host Jeff Fischel. Give Jeff your feedback via Twitter (@JeffFischel)!
NORTH CAROLINA (7-0 ACC | 18-2 OVERALL)
The Tar Heels are on such a huge roll right now that they've easily won their last 4 even though Marcus Paige has scored a total of 15 points in those games. The tough stretch, though, starts February 1st: 6 of the last 10 will be vs top 50 and 9 of the last 10 are vs the top 100.
LOUISVILLE (6-1 ACC | 17-3 OVERALL)
This team reminds you that Rick Pitino is one hell of a coach. The transfer backcourt has been everything you could have hoped for and more. Onuaku is blossoming. And they play some of the most disruptive, stifling defense in the nation.
MIAMI (5-2 ACC | 16-3 OVERALL)
Since taking over at Miami, Jim Larranaga is now 8-5 against Duke and North Carolina. That's an incredible level of success for any program and for any coach. After the Canes win over Duke, Coach K complimented Coach L and said the success is no accident.
NOTRE DAME (5-2 ACC | 14-5 OVERALL)
Putting the Irish fourth is all predicated on Demetrius Jackson being healthy soon. They're not going anywhere without him. Next week, I'm thinking I'll rank the top 5 ACC point guards. Where does Jackson fit into the conversation?
VIRGINIA (5-3 ACC | 16-4 OVERALL)
JEFF'S TAKE:Last night was incredible. But the problems on defense were exposed. I know. I can't believe it either. Tony Bennett is resorting to heretofore unheard of desperate measures... blasphemy!!.. to get stops.
PITT (5-3 ACC | 16-4 OVERALL)
There's no doubt Jamie Dixon's club is off to an impressive start. But let me tell you what worries me: Since jumping into conference play, the Panthers aren't getting as many good looks as they were OOC, and they're allowing opponents to shoot 52% on 2-pt FGs. They're living on the edge.
CLEMSON (6-2 ACC | 13-7 OVERALL)
It's kind of a Moneyball team--maximizing advantages that get otherwise overlooked. They don't turn the ball over on offense, and the defense doesn't give away easy buckets inside or cheap points at the foul line. We'll see how far that can get them. Maybe an NCAA berth?
SYRACUSE (3-5 ACC | 13-8 OVERALL)
The next 2 and a half weeks will define this season: home vs ND without Demetrius Jackson, home vs GT, home vs VT, home vs FSU, at BC. 5-0? You feel good about making the tourney. 4-1? Maybe. Anything worse than 4-1? Probably not.
DUKE (4-4 ACC | 15-6 OVERALL)
This team is night and day without Amile Jefferson. I want the guy back not only because he's so good but also because he's a bacon enthusiast like me. "Bacon is amazing. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert." Amen, Amile. Amen.
VIRGINIA TECH (4-4 ACC | 12-9 OVERALL)
On KenPom, the Hokies are ranked 13th out of 15 in the ACC. So, why do I have them higher? Buzz has come up with the secret sauce to turn max effort into efficiency on both ends of the court.. and ultimately into some Ws. That said, I admit the magic may not last. Even getting to 8-10 in the ACC is probably a longshot.
FLORIDA STATE (3-5 ACC | 13-7 OVERALL)
Here's a team with upward mobility. Just 3-5 right now, but no more games against North Carolina, Virginia or Louisville. They should finish at least at 9-9, and that keeps an NCAA bid on their radar.
NC STATE (1-7 ACC | 11-10 OVERALL)
You have the ACC's leading scorer and 5 teammates who saw plenty of playing time during last year's Sweet 16 run. The pieces seem to be there. By the way, my power poll next week is going to be ranking the ACC point guards. I know Pack fans feel Cat should be #1.
GEORGIA TECH (2-5 ACC | 12-8 OVERALL)
I really like what Brian Gregory is doing with the talent he has. But he doesn't have enough of it. And in conference games, they haven't shown they can defend consistently. It's hard to find enough wins left on the schedule to get to 7-11.
WAKE FOREST (1-7 ACC | 10-10 OVERALL)
It hurts, Wake fans. I know it hurts. My Wake Forest-grad coworker tweeted this to me after the loss to Virginia.
BOSTON COLLEGE (0-7 ACC | 7-13 OVERALL)
Eli Carter is doing everything he can. Maybe if there were 5 of him.