A huge congratulations is in order for walk-on forward Rand Rowland, whose hard work on the court has been rewarded with a full scholarship from head coach Josh Pastner as he finishes up his final semester of eligibility. We see stories like this all the time in college football, but it’s a much rarer narrative in college basketball given the relatively few scholarships coaches have to work with and really speaks to the job Rowland has done as a member of the team. The full story is behind the AJC paywall, but it’s certainly worth one of your four free articles per month to read about Rowland’s journey from high school to achieving scholarship status as a senior.
The basketball team will look to pull its ACC record up to an even .500 this evening when the Clemson Tigers come to town for the first of two regular season matchups. Clemson’s season has gone a bit more smoothly than has Tech’s to this point, but there’s no indication that the Jackets won’t be able to match up with the Tigers — Clemson is currently 1-1 against common opponents with a win over UGA and a loss to UNC. I have no idea if there’s any such thing as cross-sport championship momentum, but I fear that we’re going to find out if there is here shortly. By the way, Clemson matched their football team’s sterling record against the SEC by going 3-0 against UGA, South Carolina, and Alabama in basketball. Nice work.
The ACC has finally reached the point where #goacc isn’t exclusively used as a joke, but the major challenge will be finding a way to maintain that momentum for years to come. There have been people who chalked up this season’s success exclusively to the experienced and talented quarterbacks who will now depart, but those people are clearly missing what seems like a pretty obvious trend: ACC coaches are outworking and outcoaching the head men from every other conference. Recruiting is up for the majority of schools and even those that are still struggling have found key pieces and appear to be on track for success in the future. It has been a long time coming, but it’s now official: no one can refute the ACC’s place on top of the mountain.