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Open Conference Season

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Yes, we're already four games into the ACC basketball season, thanks to the Fox Sports Sunday TV deal, but to me the conference season doesn't begin in earnest until the New Year. Florida State and Clemson play their first ACC games tonight, after which only Duke (Saturday) and UNC (Sunday) will have yet to play a league game. With that in mind, it's a good time to take one last look at the tempo-adjusted stats for the season:

Team                 Pace
North Carolina       76.6
Maryland             74.6
Wake Forest          73.0
Virginia             73.0
Georgia Tech         72.6
Florida St.          69.8
Clemson              68.3
Boston College       67.9
Miami FL             67.0
North Carolina St.   66.7
Virginia Tech        65.8
Duke                 64.3
UNC actually slowed their game down a bit since the last time we looked at these, and Duke is still playing an entirely different game than that of teams past.

On the offensive side of the ball:

                PPP    eFG   OReb    TO %   FTP
North Carolina  1.19  0.567  0.413  0.192  0.285
Georgia Tech    1.16  0.561  0.432  0.221  0.246
Clemson         1.13  0.540  0.421  0.204  0.164
Virginia        1.13  0.508  0.415  0.187  0.379
Boston College  1.12  0.531  0.400  0.209  0.310
Miami           1.10  0.521  0.381  0.198  0.230
Florida State   1.10  0.550  0.356  0.222  0.234
Maryland        1.09  0.544  0.368  0.233  0.287
N.C. State      1.09  0.553  0.292  0.207  0.292
Wake Forest     1.09  0.547  0.346  0.215  0.312
Virginia Tech   1.08  0.517  0.370  0.180  0.216
Duke            1.06  0.524  0.380  0.235  0.332
As always, the things that most interest me are the outlying values. Virginia's offense appears to be entirely free throw based, and N.C. State can't buy an offensive rebound - they're 282nd among the 336 D-1 teams. Duke's offense is atypically inefficent, although it's tough to point to any one reason for the change. Carolina is still making the most of its rapid-fire offense, shooting best in the league, even when weighted towards three-pointers, which isn't the Heels' strong point.

On the defensive end:

                OPPP  OeFG   DReb   OTO%   OFTO
Duke            0.82  0.407  0.693  0.231  0.222
Maryland        0.84  0.397  0.646  0.244  0.284
Clemson         0.85  0.455  0.711  0.261  0.229
North Carolina  0.87  0.456  0.728  0.225  0.213
Virginia Tech   0.88  0.460  0.664  0.264  0.368
Florida State   0.92  0.482  0.635  0.280  0.281
Georgia Tech    0.93  0.479  0.684  0.245  0.387
N.C. State      0.98  0.480  0.683  0.187  0.212
Boston College  0.99  0.466  0.612  0.205  0.281
Virginia        1.01  0.492  0.715  0.203  0.301
Wake Forest     1.02  0.523  0.681  0.216  0.359
Miami           1.03  0.516  0.675  0.216  0.335
Duke's 12-1 record rests solely on the back of their ability to effect their opponents' shots. Neither their defensive rebounding nor their turnover generation is anything but average. They do keep their opponents off the charity stripe, however, as does UNC, N.C. State and Clemson - all four are in the Top 10 in the country in that metric. Forward-heavy Boston College is surprisingly worst in the league in defensive rebounding (UNC is naturally the best) while N.C. State's turnover generation is pathetic. Maryland's shooting defense is startlingly good, while Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech will all pick your pocket, but only the Hokies will foul you in the process. Of course these numbers were generated against a widely divergent set of opponents, and it will be interesting to see how the team's will fair against the common opponents of conference play. Clemson in particular is the big mystery, with a 14-0 record that strongly resembles the 11-0 they started with last year. But this team crushed the Georgia squad last year's bunch couldn't beat, and they'll have James May for the year this time around. Look for them to be around come March - just don't look for them to win in Chapel Hill.