Originally created 01/26/01

ACC notebook



The rest of the ACC may want to take lessons from Clemson.

Then again ...

In Wednesday night's game at Littlejohn Coliseum against Georgia Tech, Clemson attempted to nullify the Jackets' 6-foot-9 center, Alvin Jones, and keep Tech from getting easy baskets inside.

With senior center Adam Allenspach missing his third straight game with back problems, coach Larry Shyatt used sophomore Ray Henderson and freshman Chris Hobbs to double-team Jones, which forced the Jackets to their perimeter game.

If Clemson had it to do all over again, the Tigers might have considered not double-teaming Jones as much and focused on stopping Tech's 3-point game.

The Jackets shot 13-for-20 from 3-point range in the first half and finished with a school-record 16 3-point baskets.

The good news for Tech fans is that none of those 3-pointers came from junior point guard Tony Akins.

"Tony has got some maturing to do and he's got some growing to do," Georgia Tech first-year coach Paul Hewitt said of his junior point guard, who didn't score in Wednesday's 111-108 victory over the Tigers but contributed six assists.

"I think he's a great player, I really do," Hewitt said. "I've said that and I believe that. But you know he fights a couple of different things as far as like what type of point guard he's going to be. He can be a scoring point guard and he can be a point guard that distributes the ball.

"He's trying to find himself. I don't think that's necessarily bad, he's just got to understand what we want him to do. He's a good player."

Tech's 16 3-pointers fell two of tying the ACC record of 18, which is shared by Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Duke. Duke hit 18 3-pointers in its Dec. 30 game with North Carolina A&T.

NOT SO MIGHTY:

Earlier this season, it seemed Wake Forest could be the best team in the ACC.

The Demon Deacons started 12-0, but have dropped four of their past six games after an 85-62 loss to No. 2 Duke on Wednesday night.

The loss dropped Wake Forest to 0-4 in ACC road games. Part of the Demon Deacons' sluggishness on Wednesday was due to the absence of leading scorer Josh Howard, who was averaging 14.5 points and missed the game with the flu.

Nonetheless, Wake Forest coach Dave Odom remains upbeat.

"Our team played like we felt we could win this game, and I was very pleased with that," Odom told the Associated Press after the game. "And I wanted us to look like a team throughout and I think we did that.

"I've seen some teams come in here and felt like they had a chance to win it only to fracture as a team, heads go down, quit playing - our team didn't do that. That is a big step forward for us."

BRUTAL STRETCH:

The next two weeks will determine whether North Carolina State remains near the bottom of the ACC standings.

After Thursday night's game at Florida State, the Wolfpack's next five opponents currently are ranked in the Top 15 of the Associated Press basketball poll.

N.C. State plays host to No. 5 North Carolina on Sunday, visits No. 9 Wake Forest on Wednesday, welcomes No. 11 Syracuse on Feb. 3, meets No. 13 Virginia on Feb. 7 before playing at Duke on Feb. 11

NOTES:

Duke has won eight straight games since falling to top-ranked Stanford 84-83 on Dec. 21. ... Clemson freshman guard Tony Stockman leads all freshmen in scoring in the ACC, averaging 12.4 points per game. ... Not only is Wake Forest struggling after getting off to a fast start, Virginia also is having a hard time in the ACC. The Cavaliers' 88-81 loss to North Carolina on Wednesday was Virginia's fourth loss in its past six tries and third conference loss in its past four games.

Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or timmorse@augustachronicle.com.