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ACC Roundup

Exhibition games, offensive improvements and Pitt problems.

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Abdul-Malik Abu, shown here against Louisville, promises to be a major factor for NC State this year.
Abdul-Malik Abu, shown here against Louisville, promises to be a major factor for NC State this year.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In exhibition play, NC State had no problem with Cal State-Los Angeles, winning 71-54 behind strong games by Abdul-Malik Abu and Cat Barber.

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Abu finished with 17 points, nine boards and four blocks. Barber had 21 points and six assists.

Cody Martin played backup point when Barber sat, which gives State a 6-7 player at the point.

Things were very different at Clemson, or should we say Greenville, since Littlejohn is closed for renovation.

The Tigers very nearly blew an exhibition game against Lenoir-Rhyne and had to go to double overtime to win, 87-84. We're guessing that's a bit more excitement than most fans wanted this early.

In fairness, Donte Graham (hamstring), Landry Nnoko (shoulder) and Avry Holmes (wrist) all missed minutes with minor injuries, and  Sidy Djitte has a torn meniscus. Also Austin Ajukwa just decided to transfer. And Jaron Blossomgame got himself in foul trouble and had limited minutes.

The Tigers went with eight guys.

Still, it's not an auspicious beginning.

By the way, it's a tough stretch for Nnoko, whose father recently died. He couldn't even go home because his passport had expired. His problems make most other ones seem pretty small.

As we said in our Pitt preview, it hasn't been an easy adjustment to the ACC.

Part of the concern expressed by John Harris in the Tribune-Review is that Jamie Dixon's stodgy offense turns off recruits, and also that he hasn't protected Pitt's home recruiting turf well.

But things aren't hopeless. Pittsburgh (the city) has a great identity that carries over to sports teams. There's a lot to build on.

The article compares Pitt to UVa, where Tony Bennett has become an icon, and his offense is valued if not treasured.

What to expect out of Louisville? No one seems to know but John Story will give it a crack.

Syracuse has a lot of issues but it looks like shooting might be much improved.

Georgia Tech's offense could also be much improved.