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ACC Roundup - Pitt Is Heating Up And Clemson Impresses

Nice outings for both on Friday

Syndication: The Greenville News
 Clemson sophomore forward PJ Hall (24) reacts after making a three-point shot against Wake Forest during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum Friday, December 2, 2022. Clemson Basketball Vs Wake Forest University
Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

In Friday night’s ACC Action, Clemson beat Wake Forest 77-57, Pitt took care of NC State 68-60 and Georgia Tech knocked off Northeastern 81-63.

We’ve been saying that this doesn’t look like a typical Clemson team. Not to say that it’s destined for greatness necessarily, just that it’s not a standard-order Clemson team.

Or even a standard-order Brad Brownell team.

Part of what Brownell has often done is to take teams with missing pieces and still do reasonably well: no center one year, no shooters the next. He still fields competitive teams.

This year though he has a really nice group that works well together. And they’ve been together for some time too.

In the first half, Clemson wasn’t hitting anything and fell behind by seven. As one sign of poor play, they shot just 10 percent on threes.

Second half was quite different.

Clemson scored 55 in the second to Wake’s 24. That’s just a butt whoopin.

All Tiger starters scored in double figures and PJ Hall seems to be rounding into shape: he had 21 points on 7-11 from the floor and also grabbed eight boards. He is regaining his form and you have to hope he finally gets a long, healthy stretch because the guy can really ball.

Hunter Tyson had 15 points and 10 boards.

By the way, Wake’s Cameron Hildreth is having a nice season. He’s averaging 12.3 ppg, 6.6 boards and 3.6 assists. That’s pretty good rebounding for a 6-4 guard.

Don’t look now, but Pitt has won its fifth straight game. Not sure about you, but we didn’t see that coming.

That’s particularly impressive because John Hugley has been in and out of the lineup and may still be having trouble with his knee which he injured earlier. He played against State but only for 14 minutes and to minimum effect with just two points and no rebounds.

And Pitt, somewhat like Clemson vs. Wake Forest but on a smaller scale, owned State in the second.

Jamarius Burton had 24 to pace the Panthers. Blake Hinson had 13 points and eight boards. Terquavion Smith was the only State player to hit double figures with 15 but he shot just 5-13.

Pitt held State to 35 percent overall and 22.2 percent on threes.

Pitt plays Vandy next and that sure seems like a winnable game.

Georgia Tech handled Northeastern with minimal fuss but don’t get too excited: the Huskies are 1-6 and Jim Calhoun is not walking through that door folks.

Their only win is over Manhattan where coach Steve Masiello was fired two weeks before the season started, which kicked off massive turmoil and many guys leaving, and even that one was in overtime.

Realistically, if Tech had lost this game, it’s the kind of loss that an AD might start thinking about making a change. There’s no way to justify losing to this team.

Fortunately, Georgia Tech didn’t. Northeastern led at 2-0 and that was it. It was a glorified scrimmage. No doubt Tech scheduled this game for an easy win and it was, but it’s not their fault they’ve been this bad. They’re nearly as bad as Louisville, and that’s pretty bad.

Jalon Moore and Miles Kelly had 16 each but Moore shot just 3-10. Kelly was 4-5 on threes, however.

Josh Pastner continues to play with his front court, with big man Rodney Howard coming off the bench. Interesting but it means that his starting front court in this one was Moore 6-7/209, Kelly (6-6/175) and Javon Franklin (6-7/214).

Essentially this was a glorified scrimmage but at least Tech won. Louisville and Florida State are very, very jelly.

Two games on Saturday and both could get ugly as Syracuse visits Notre Dame and Florida State heads up to Virginia.

So quick question: who would be the best possible hire for Syracuse at whatever point Jim Boeheim calls it a career?


The Best Fit For Syracuse’s Next Coach Is...

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Nate Oats, Alabama
    (12 votes)
  • 6%
    Ed Cooley, Providence
    (9 votes)
  • 28%
    Greg Paulus, Niagara
    (41 votes)
  • 12%
    Bobby Hurley, Arizona State
    (18 votes)
  • 19%
    Danny Hurley, UConn
    (28 votes)
  • 11%
    Ben McCollum, Northeast Missouri State
    (16 votes)
  • 5%
    Mike Hopkins, Washington
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Archie Miller, former Indiana coach
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Drew Valentine, Loyola Chicago
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Shantay Legans, Portland
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Jared Grasso, Bryant
    (2 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now