Four surprises other than Miami entering the final month of ACC regular season:
• Tyler Lewis: Just imagine where N.C. State might be had the freshman point guard emerged in December rather than in the past two games.
Theres not a positive development for many negatives in sports, but Lewis play against Miami in Raleigh a week ago and at Duke on Thursday should change the Wolfpack this season and gives Mark Gottfried reason to have hope beyond Lorenzo Brown.
Brown, a junior, hasnt announced his pro draft intentions and probably will not do so until after the season. But if he does jump, the 2013-14 point-guard outlook should still be bright.
• Hokie offense: No one expected a great deal from Virginia Tech (preseason pick for 10th) in James Johnsons first season as head coach.
But with Erick Green averaging more than 25 points per game and Jarell Eddie throwing in another 14, youd think there would be enough supplementary scoring punch to be better than 2-7 in league play.
Johnson has used nine players in 19 or more games, but with lackluster results.
Green, a senior, has been incredible at times and likely will be an NBA first-rounder, but Johnson isnt getting a lot mileage out of the point fuel.
• Seminole defense: Florida State was expected to challenge Virginia as the ACCs most effective defensive team, but its not turning out that way for last seasons champs.
The Seminoles are a passable 5-4 in the conference but the 2-2 (6-6 overall) home record has to be an enormous disappointment for Leonard Hamilton and senior team leader Michael Snaer. Not only that, three of the four league losses have been outright routs.
The teams offense obviously has been frail but thats due in large part to the defenses inability to force turnovers and create advantageous scoring opportunities.
• Slow tempo: In league games, only Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina are averaging more than 70 points per game.
Miami is right there at 69.9.
But otherwise, its a struggle to produce points throughout the league. Even ultra deliberate Virginia (60.9) is outscoring two teams Florida State and Clemson.
Its difficult to remember a season in which it has been such an excruciating process for so many ACC teams to simply execute a basic offensive system.
If the trend continues, the opening round of the league tournament may equate to visual water-boarding for fans.