May 11, 2011, 10:14 AM EDT
Bad news, Roy. The ACC is slowing down.
Maryland’s hire of Mark Turgeon marks the conference’s eighth new coach since 2009, nearly all of whom favor more deliberate offenses. As Patrick Stevens writes as the Washington Times, that’s a dramatic change.
Virginia and Clemson, where Tony Bennett and Brad Brownell slowed way down from predecessors Dave Leitao and Oliver Purnell, saw the biggest changes. Wake Forest and Boston College were both slightly slower.
Except Turgeon to be significantly slower than Gary Williams’ teams. Same applies to Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech. That’s at least half the teams getting slower than they were just a few seasons ago. At this rate, they’re headed for Big Ten territory.
That leaves North Carolina as the conference’s fastest team (as usual). Roy Williams’ club has averaged about 72 possessions a game the last two seasons, but were much faster when Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton were running the show. Shouldn’t be any slower this season.
And Duke? A guard-heavy lineup means the Devils will probably be a shade faster than this season’s 69 possession pace.
It also means Duke-North Carolina will – as always – be the most TV-friendly game. Or at least one of the few where teams get up and down the court.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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