Tweet to us at @ACCWBBDigest and follow us on Facebook
DWHoops Presents ACC Women's Basketball Digest

  2013 ACC Tournament Preview
Breaking Down the Greensboro Field
March 5, 2013

 
By Rob Clough & Orin Day

ACC Women's Basketball Digest presents our 2013 ACC Tournament preview, in which we go team by team with players to watch, what to watch for, and what to expect. We will once again travel to Greensboro to cover all 11 games, including tagged photos of players from every team. So don't forget to check out our coverage each day!


#11 Boston College
11-18, 5-13 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 8pm vs #6 seed Virginia

Players To Watch: Versatile forward Kristen Doherty (#21), inside-outside post player Katie Zenevitch (#45), sharpshooting guard Kerri Shields (#10), wispy long-range shooter Nicole Boudreau (#11)

What To Watch For: Boston College is a team that loves to shoot threes, and they take their time by setting screen after screen until they get the shot they want. The Eagles play at a slow pace, try to protect the ball and utilize a very short bench. This is a team that loves to pass and that has nice chemistry working in a system that makes sense for them.

What To Expect: A team with three superb shooters such as this one has a puncher's chance of getting hot and ruining someone else's day. That trick only tends to work once, so even if they knock off a short-handed and reeling Virginia, their lack of depth and the law of averages would seem to dictate that they'd lose their next game because of poor shooting.

Digest All-Freshman Nicole Boudreau Digest All-Freshman Nicole Boudreau
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#9 Clemson
9-20, 5-13 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 2pm vs #8 seed NC State

Players To Watch: Slashing guard Nikki Dixon (#21), slim jumping jack forward Quinyotta Pettaway (#12) and quick point guard Aisha Turner (#10).

What To Watch For: The Tigers are very young (no seniors) and very thin (just eight players). Dixon does most of the heavy lifting on offense, though Turner is quick enough to get her own shot whenever she wants. Clemson really struggles to score at times and any foul trouble puts them in a big hole.

What To Expect: Against a motivated, big, deep and experienced NC State team, the Tigers have little chance to make this a competitive game. I expect them to play ten minutes of excellent defense, go into a lull on offense and fall behind, and never really get back into the game.

Digest All-Surprise Team Quinyotta Pettaway Digest All-Surprise Team Quinyotta Pettaway
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#1 Duke
27-2, 17-1 ACC

Friday, March 8th, 2pm vs #8 NC State / #9 Clemson winner

Players To Watch: Game-changing center Elizabeth Williams (#1), shifty point guard Alexis Jones (#2), stretch four Haley Peters (#33), sharpshooting guard Tricia Liston (#32).

What To Watch For: Duke loves to pressure the ball and turns steals into layups. The offense goes inside-out, as workhorse Williams kicks the ball out when she's double-teamed to one of Duke's many shooters. Frosh Jones has stepped up recently as both a scorer and distributor.

What To Expect: Duke is playing without star guard Chelsea Gray, but they've gone 3-1 in her absence, including three wins against ranked opponents. They're not quite as good at either end without Gray, but their team defense has picked up nicely. If they can prevent their first opponent from getting good looks and block out, they'll have a great chance to win the whole tournament. It must be noted that NC State beat Duke in the quarterfinals last year and also presented a tough challenge when the Blue Devils visited Raleigh. Duke will likely come out trying to force their opponents into early turnovers and get their bigs to shoot contested jump shots. Duke will need to get good production from its bench in every game.

Digest 1st Team All-ACC and Defensive Player of the Year Elizabeth Williams Digest 1st Team All-ACC and Defensive Player of the Year Elizabeth Williams
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#4 Florida State
21-8, 11-7 ACC

Friday, March 8th, 11am vs #5 Miami / #12 Virginia Tech winner

Players To Watch: Sharpshooting guard Leo Rodriguez (#10), versatile and hardnosed guard Alexa Deluzio (#3), slender & versatile forward (#33), and low-post scorer Chelsea Davis (#34).

What To Watch For: The Noles are one of the highest-scoring teams in the ACC, thanks to a pair of sweet-shooting guards in Rodriguez and Deluzio, a paint presence in Davis, a rover like Howard, and a pair of point guards with complimentary attributes.

What To Expect: FSU is not very deep and is susceptible to foul trouble. On the other hand, they are very efficient in the halfcourt, an attribute that will help them in tournament play. FSU has rarely played well in Greensboro, but they probably have too many weapons for likely opponent Miami to overcome. Look for them to try to get athletic wing Chasity Clayton into the mix early, because her ability to run the floor and guard multiple positions adds a dimension to the team they are otherwise lacking. The Noles will be rooting hard for NC State against Duke, because the Wolfpack are a much better matchup for them than the Blue Devils.

Digest 2nd Team All-ACC and Surprise Player of the Year Leonor Rodriguez Digest 2nd Team All-ACC and Surprise Player of the Year Leonor Rodriguez
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#7 Georgia Tech 14-15, 7-11 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 6pm vs #10 seed Wake Forest

Players To Watch: Aggressive slashing guard Ty Marshall (#15), shooters Brittany Jackson (#00), Sydney Wallace (#23) & Aaliyah Whiteside (#2), rebounding specialist Rodrekka Rogers (#54).

What To Watch For: This is a team with a lot of weird, mismatched parts. Marshall has stepped up to the form she showed late last season as both scorer and rebounder, but this is a team that has almost no post presence (especially on offense), relying on jump shooting and Marshall's penetration. When those shots are dropping and the team plays disruptive defense, that formula can work.

What To Expect: Tech is desperate to get to the WNIT, and they need two wins to do it. They will use as much of their depth as possible in order to pressure the ball and absorb fouls. I think that ultimately Marshall will take over and carry her team to at least one win, but beating Maryland would be a tall order.

Digest 2nd Team All-ACC Ty Marshall Digest 2nd Team All-ACC Ty Marshall
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#2 Maryland
23-6, 14-4 ACC

Friday, March 8th, 6pm vs #7 Georgia Tech / #10 Wake Forest winner

Players To Watch: Dominant wing Alyssa Thomas (#25), rebounding ace Tianna Hawkins (#21), shooting specialist Katie Rutan (#40).

What To Watch For: The Terps attack the basket relentlessly and tend to rebound shots they miss. With a paper-thin bench, the Terps play a fairly soft form of defense, counting on their rebounding and length to generate stops. Thomas loves to go to the rim and is tough to stop one-on-one. This team has great chemistry and can grind out wins.

What To Expect: The tournament does not favor Maryland's lack of depth. That won't be a problem when they play in the quarterfinals thanks to their first-round bye, but they'll need all five players to be firing on all cylinders and get some help from their short bench if they want to win the tournament. This veteran team knows how to do it, given their victory last year, but the degree of difficulty will be far greater this season.

Digest ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas Digest ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#5 Miami
20-9 11-7 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 11am vs #12 seed Virginia Tech

Players To Watch: Skilled post defender and scorer Morgan Stroman (#32), shooting ace Stefanie Yderstrom (#3), 6-6 post presence Pepper Wilson (#40) and penetrating guard Suriya McGuire (#33).

What To Watch For: The Canes play great defense and love to pressure the ball to generate turnovers. Stroman is the team's emotional anchor and first option on offense, but McGuire is one of the few Miami players who can get her own shot. Miami has a deep bench that I suspect coach Katie Meier will try to use as extensively as possible. Wilson has to be careful to watch foul trouble, because she's a big matchup problem for most teams when she's on the floor.

What To Expect: I expect them to beat Virginia Tech with ease, but Miami doesn't match up well with Florida State, who defeated them twice. They just don't match up well with the Noles, so unless McGuire has a huge scoring game against them, Miami will exit after the quarterfinal round.

Digest 2nd Team All-ACC and All-Defensive Team Morgan Stroman Digest 2nd Team All-ACC and All-Defensive Team Morgan Stroman
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#3 North Carolina 26-5, 14-4 ACC

Friday, March 8th, 8pm vs #6 seed Virginia / #11 Boston College winner

Players To Watch: Intense defender and lead guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (#44), 6-6 post scorer Waltiea Rolle (#32), aggressive post player Xylina McDaniel (#34), and shooter Brittany Rountree (#11).

What To Watch For: The Heels have a lot of parts that don't quite fit, but they play incredibly hard for forty minutes. This is an excellent defensive team that frequently struggles with turnovers and is prone to long fallow periods on offense. Ruffin-Pratt is an unconventional point guard to say the least, but her size gives her an advantage against most teams.

What To Expect: UNC's defense is good enough to carry them all the way to the ACC final. They also turn the ball over enough that Maryland could mop the floor with them in the semifinals. UNC's depth could give them an advantage, however. If the Heels can turn defense into offense, they could have a very productive defense.

Digest 1st Team All-ACC, All-Defensive, and All-Surprise Honoree Tierra Ruffin-Pratt Digest 1st Team All-ACC, All-Defensive, and All-Surprise Honoree Tierra Ruffin-Pratt
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#8 NC State
15-15, 7-11 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 2pm vs #9 seed Clemson

Players To Watch: Athletic forward Kody Burke (#44), emotional shooter Marissa Kastanek (#23), physical center Markeisha Gatling (#34), and sparkplug point guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman (#1).

What To Watch For: State has size, depth, experience and shooters. They are inconsistent at both ends of the floor, go through lulls on offense and often play indifferent defense, which is why they're 15-15 instead of 25-5.

What To Expect: A focused State team can beat anyone in the tournament. In fact, they will likely match up with Duke once again in the quarterfinals. They have a great chance of giving Duke a tough game. An overconfident State team that plays without passion could lose to Clemson.

Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Kody Burke Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Kody Burke
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#6 Virginia
16-13, 8-10 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 8pm vs #11 seed Boston College

Players To Watch: Rangy shooter Ataira Franklin (#23), powerful forward Sarah Imovbioh (#42), quick point guard China Crosby (#1).

What To Watch For: The good news for Virginia is that they finally have forward Telia McCall back in the lineup. That will give the Hoos a tough frontcourt to deal with, especially since McCall is a better scorer than Imovbioh or center Simone Egwu.

What To Expect: Franklin and frosh Faith Randolph need to have good shooting games, because otherwise BC will sit in a zone. McCall definitely tips the balance over to Virginia, but the Hoos have to be careful not to let BC fire away from three. Virginia is not built to be a comeback team because of the pace at which they play and their lack of players who can generate their own shots.

Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Ataira Franklin Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Ataira Franklin
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#12 Virginia Tech 10-19, 4-14 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 11am vs #5 seed Miami

Players To Watch: Athletic wing Monet Tellier (#31), powerful forward Uju Ugoka (#14), slender guard Alyssa Fenyn (#13).

What To Watch For: Tellier will dominate the ball but also try to get the ball to Fenyn or Aerial Wilson for threes. Ugoka loves to fight in the post and rebound. The Hokies generally have a lot of problems scoring, but they are a fine defensive club.

What To Expect: The Hokies will play hard but don't have the guns to win a game in the tournament.

Virginia Tech wing Monet Tellier Virginia Tech wing Monet Tellier
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

#10 Wake Forest
12-18, 5-13 ACC

Thursday, March 7th, 6pm vs #7 seed Georgia Tech

Players To Watch: Three-happy guards Lakevia Boykin (#22) and Chelsea Douglas (#5), slender forward Dearica Hamby (#25).

What To Watch For: Wake has a pretty good starting five, though they tend to go as their backcourt does. When Boykin and Douglas are hitting shots, Wake can challenge anyone. If they're off, Wake doesn't have the pieces to beat good teams. To beat good teams, Wake also needs center Sandra Garcia needs to be active at both ends.

What To Expect: Wake is unpredictable. You'll know within about five minutes if they're going to compete or get blown out. They'll be playing an equally unpredictable team in Georgia Tech, so expect lots of ebbs and flows in what should be an entertaining game.

Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Chelsea Douglas Digest 3rd Team All-ACC Chelsea Douglas
DWHoops / ACC WBB Digest photo by Orin Day

We hope you'll join us on ACCWBBDigest.com for our wire-to-wire coverage of the 2013 ACC Tournament!


 

The ACC Women's Basketball Digest and ACCWBBDigest.com are published by DWHoops.

DWHoops is an independent media organization covering ACC Women's Basketball since 2006.
Click this link to view our Privacy Policy and Terms.

We support The Atlantic Coast Conference and its member institutions but we are not affiliated with them. All names,
insignia and other marks of the ACC and its member institutions remain the property of their respective owners.

Website Contents are Copyright 2012-2015 DWHOOPS.COM (Orin A. Day, Durham, NC, USA.), All Rights Reserved.