ACC

ACC Basketball: 3 players who have stepped up big-time in 2020-21

We are halfway through the season with a lot of mind-blowing performances in the books. Despite COVID interrupting certain programs, college basketball had been able to continue to play at a high rate. With that being said, many individuals in ACC Basketball have played at a high level with their team’s success.

The ACC has become one of the most intriguing conferences this season. Although the popular schools in Duke, North Carolina, fail to be in the top 25, the conference remains to display brilliant players who are capable of taking strides going forward. Let’s look at three fantastic players who have led the way this season.

1. Justin Champagnie (Pittsburgh)

The Brooklyn native continues to play in attack mode. Champagnie continues to add to his craft and approach each game with a new mindset. By the way, he has shot the basketball, Champagnie has solidified himself as the best scorer in the ACC

Champagnie is averaging 19.3 points on a career-high 52% from the field. His perimeter shot has made a huge improvement from last year, where he shot 26% from three. Champagnie has shown to be a tremendous wing player who plays bigger than his size. He is phenomenal at protecting the glass and dominating on defense to change the tone of the game. Champagnie has averaged 12.2 rebounds on the year, having an advantage over bigger defenders.

After having back-to-back 20-point, 20-rebound games, Champagnie has been a fan favorite to many. He sets the tone for Pittsburgh by providing toughness and efficiency. The offense tends to flow through Champagnie as he is in control of how the game goes for his team.

2. Carlik Jones (Louisville)

Jones continues to be a masterful, crafty point guard for Louisville. This season, Jones has made the same approach to keep the Cardinals afloat in the ACC. He has continued to create opportunities for his teammates and help them stay involved through the course of the game.

Jones is averaging 17.4 points and 4.9 assists this season. The important aspect of his game is he continues to be a tremendous rebound at his position as well. He continues to climb amongst the bigs and go for boards when needed to. Jones continues to utilize himself in the best capability. The senior sensation continues to shine in the light of the team’s success.

3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)

In a very weak Conference, Georgia Tech has been able to hold their ground as the sixth spot in the ACC. Brooklyn native Jose Alvarado continues to put pressure on defenses with his shot-making and his playmaking ability.

Alvarado is averaging 17.5 points per game on 52% shooting. He has taken control as the leader of the Yellow Jackets and continues to set the tone on both ends. The chemistry that Alvarado has built with Moses Moody has been an important factor. As the two play on the floor, they have been phenomenal reading one another off pick and roll plays.

The Yellow Jackets started the season with a 9-6 record overall. Compared to how the program has been the past few years, the team is moving in a better direction. Alvarado continues to play at a high level, as his shooting numbers are a career-high. The goal for him is to remain consistent as the leader through the rest of the season.