Dishin & Swishin 12/10/15 Podcast: Miami leads group of upstarts changing the guard in the ACC
Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville are the teams we expect to be at the top of the ACC every year. In the last couple of years Florida State became a regular to the discussion too. This year? It is early, but Miami at 10-0, Virginia Tech at 8-1, and Boston College at 7-1 are crashing the party.
Undefeated Miami entered the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 22 this week, and sits at No. 26 in the Associated Press poll. Led by junior guard Adrienne Motley, coach Katie Meier’s Hurricanes are holding opponents to 54 points per game, with no opponent getting over 70. Motley is a preseason All-conference selection, a high-level scorer. In addition, as Meier explains on this week’s podcast, Motley is improving in all other facets of the game. She has nearly a 3:1 assist-to turnover ratio, and her 17 steals are second on the team.
Freshmen Emese Hof and Laura Cornelius from the Netherlands give the Hurricanes an impact and depth off the bench. A lot more will be known about just how good the team is when they meet Baylor after a break for exams in the Florida Sunshine Classic in Orlando, Dec. 19 – 21.
Meier returns to Dishin & Swishin this week to discuss her Hurricanes and the state of the ACC. While Notre Dame, Duke, and Florida State are off to great starts, there is optimism in South Beach and reason to believe this is the year for Meier’s team to make noise.
Miami is getting respect in the basketball world not only due to their winning record, but also due to the success former players Riquna Williams and Shenice Johnson had in the WNBA this year. Williams made her first All-star team, and Johnson was a key reason the Indiana Fever reached the WNBA finals.
Virginia Tech is ESPN’s national team of the week, following their big upset of Tennessee on the road. A native of Sydney, Australia, junior guard Vanessa Panousis is the espnW National Player of the Week, having scored 21 points including six three-pointers versus Tennessee. The Hokies have not been in the NCAA tournament since 2006, but under coach Dennis Wolff the team made it to last year’s ACC tournament quarterfinals before falling. The team clearly is following up on that success early this season.
Boston College, many will remember, had a storied history in the old Big East conference, even winning the conference tournament in Hartford in the past. However the move to the ACC has been less successful, but in his fourth year at the helm Erik Johnson has the Eagles on a roll, including recent wins over Utah and Purdue. Junior guard Kelly Hughes leads the team in scoring at 15 points per game, and 6-4 Greek freshman center Mariella Fasoula is a force to be reckoned with. Still raw and developing, Fasoula is already second on the team in scoring, along with leading the team in rebounds and shot blocks.
Conference play will truly see if things are different, in the ACC, but with an influx of international talent helping pave the way, things may look a little bit different by the time the conference tournament rolls around.
Enjoy the podcast!