Patiently awaiting next season’s start, several ACC Basketball players deserve an extra look this offseason as potential break out candidates in 2020-21.
Despite enduring an undeniably “down” year, even offering Big East and Big Ten fans their first opportunities to praise themselves as college basketball’s top conference, ACC Basketball still produced some exceptionally intriguing individual talents. Vernon Carey Jr, Elijah Hughes, Garrison Brooks, Cole Anthony, and Devin Vassell especially brought further attention to the conference once emerging as either freshmen acclimating to the college game by standards which few expected, or by just elevating their game from the year prior by a substantial level.
Although forgotten by most at this point, each player’s former position as hoopers much further down on college basketball’s totem poll stands as the most primary factor in making their journey’s to stardom so compelling. Of course, pretty much everyone enjoys an old fashioned “from nothing to something” narrative.
Hughes evolved from a decent offensive threat, who formerly averaged 13.7 PPG, into the conference’s leading scorer, Vassell went from playing barely 10 minutes per contest to an All-ACC second team member, while Brooks transitioned from a role player into perhaps UNC’s best player last year, statistically improving across nearly every category. But the younger guys managed to emerge as household names as well, as Anthony and Carey Jr. both lead their teams in PPG as freshmen.
As an even more impressive attribute, some players apart this assembly already declared for this year’s NBA draft, furthermore building up their merit by illustrating their readiness to move onto the game’s professional level. But although difficult to forecast, these now established stars now leave fans and coaches wondering which players might erupt onto the scene next year, and even potentially begin to make their case for the NBA. To answer that question below awaits each ACC team’s most primed candidates to break out next year.