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ACC Roundup - UNC May Have Found A Big Man

If you get 13 rebounds in 17 minutes you’re doing well by anybody’s standard.

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Bucknell v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 15: Sterling Manley #21 of the North Carolina Tar Heels pulls down a rebound against Nana Foulland #20 of the Bucknell Bison during their game at the Dean Smith Center on November 15, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Good news/bad news for UNC as Joel Berry returned to UNC’s lineup after breaking his hand after a video game and Cameron Johnson, the grad student from Pitt who was expected to shore up the outside shooting, has had surgery for a ripped meniscus. He’ll be out 4-6 weeks.

Luke Maye held up his end hitting 3-4 from deep.

UNC never got really comfortable in this one, winning by just 12, 93-81. One of the announcers said that he’d hate to see Bucknell in the tournament and that’s about right. That’s a smart, capable team. We were impressed.

As for the Heels, there’s a lot of youth and pretty raw youth too. Maye, Theo Pinson and Joel Berry are all deeply experienced but after that the names get more obscure.

We all know Kenny Williams and Seventh Woods were around last year but after that, Garrett Brooks, Brandon Huffman, Sterling Manning, Seventh Woods, Andrew Platek and Jalek Felton can generally use some refinement.

However, Manley had 13 rebounds in 17 minutes which definitely catches your eye. Mason Plumlee might say it’s, well, Manley. The freshman big man had a better night than classmates and fellow big men Garrison Brooks and Brandon Huffman. Brooks did get 10 points. Huffman didn't have a huge impact.

Some of the younger guys will need to get better quickly for UNC to be good. We certainly expect Felton to emerge at some point as a very tough player and Manley appears to be ahead of schedule.

Pitt’s crowd continues to shrink - the Panthers had 2,685 people turn up for Santa Barbara, the smallest crowd they’ve ever had. On the bright side, the overhauled Panthers did win, 70-62.

It took some effort - Pitt was down 38-32 at the half and it was a one-point game with 2:37 left.

Jonathan Milligan and Jared Wilson-Frame both had 14 to pace Pitt. Ryan Luther had 13.

It wasn’t much to brag about but Pitt has a win and that’s better than Wake Forest can say.

Virginia Tech is off to New York to play in the 2K Classic. The first two games were offensive shows but one of those was against the Citadel and check out what Buzz Williams says about Bulldogs coach Dugger Baucom:

“It’s so hard to gauge anything when you play a game like that. I honestly don’t know how to gauge it because it’s such a unique style of play. … Duggar is borderline brilliant for what he accomplished at VMI, and I think the same thing is going to transpire at Citadel because everything goes against what you teach fundamentally. Everything. On both ends.”

In case you didn’t follow, Buzz doesn’t much like playing Dugger and won’t be doing it much longer.

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