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ACC Roundup - New Stars Emerging All Over The Place

This is looking like a keen year for new ACC talent

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Chicago State v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 16: D.J. Harvey #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pivots around Jalen Stephens-Holmes #42 of the Chicago State Cougars at Purcell Pavilion on November 16, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Three things jumped out at us about the Miami-FAMU score: DJ Vasiljevic shot 6-10 and 3-6 from three point range...and hotshot freshman Lonnie Walker came off the bench for just 10 minutes and five points. Reason: twisted ankle.

And #3? Miami shot 45% from the line.

Jim Larranaga was not happy: “I told the team after that I was extremely disappointed in our effort. We were sluggish. We didn’t take care of the ball. And our free-throw shooting was atrocious. We need to play much harder and much better.”

You expect Notre Dame to get good work out of Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell and Rex Pflueger, but so far it looks like you can add Terrence Gibbs to that list and perhaps freshman DJ Harvey.

Gibbs had 23 and Harvey had 16 off the bench. The Irish are well on the way to being a pain in the ass.

Clemson barely beat Ohio but the Tigers got a monster game from Elijah Thomas with 17 points and 15 boards. Brad Brownell is bound to love that.

Donte Grantham had 20 points and Shelton Mitchell added 16.

Like Larranaga, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams was disappointed in his team’s effort: “Our character was revealed in how we played. ... I was shocked that [was] who we were tonight. That caught me off guard. Normally we like the fight. Normally we are the first to the floor.

“I didn’t see any of that. And that’s not from our new guys, that’s from all our old guys. I played our old guys a lot of minutes because I kept thinking it would turn, and it never did. Very ... disappointed in our competitiveness.”

Wow, that’s harsh from Buzz.

Presbyterian gave State a tussle, leading at halftime, and that was probably something the Pack needed: State got a fight, and the Pack responded.

It’s still early but so far his team seems to be responding well to what Kevin Keatts is doing. One early indicator: State is averaging around 24 turnovers per game. That’s super, even against weaker competition, because it shows alertness and aggressiveness. That takes a lot of energy from your team (everyone got double figure minutes except for Darius Hickman), but the basic strategy is to win by attrition. Since State ended up winning by 18 after being down eight at halftime, it appears to be working.

State now gets six days to prep for #3 Arizona. We don’t know if that was Keatt’s schedule or his predecessor Mark Gottfried’s, but that’s great. Everyone should watch that one.

Wake plays Drake - the school, not the rapper - in the relocated Paradise Jam (after this summer’s hurricanes, it was moved to Lynchburg). It’s the first intensely critical game of the ACC season because the Deacs have got to turn things around. It’s not just that they lost the first two games but to whom and how badly. For this team to fall to 0-3 would be a problem, not just for the team but for the notoriously fickle Wake fans. Would they turn on Danny Manning at that point? Hard to say but not inconceivable.

Remember when VCU claimed it was the best program in the state? It’s fallen to probably third behind Virginia Tech and Virginia, and the Cavaliers are visiting Friday. That’s one to keep an eye on.

Finally, Georgia Tech has suspended star guard Josh Okogie for six games after his recent NCAA issues.

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