ACC Basketball questions: Biggest surprise, Player of the Year picks

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ACC Basketball

ACC Basketball Clemson Tigers forward Ben Middlebrooks (10) dribbles the ball as Pittsburgh Panthers center Federiko Federiko Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

One of several roundtables being conducted this week by Busting Brackets, this one focuses on ACC Basketball. It’s the league that had the preseason No. 1 team in the country, while also having a host of programs with head coaches reportedly on the hot seat.

Through 4-5 games in ACC league play, plenty of things have been surprising, to say the least. But who has been the biggest surprise? Check out this roundtable, featuring three talented contributors for the site.

Karl Heiser – @KHeiserCBB, @JimmerRangePod

Austin Glasscox – @Glasscox93

Danny McCormick – @danny_mac1219

1. Which team has been the biggest surprise so far?


It’s either Pitt or Clemson, and I’ll go with the latter based on my preseason expectations. With Pitt, I at least saw a path to being a somewhat decent team this season. I expected Clemson to be downright awful, but the Tigers currently hold the only unblemished record in conference play at 5-0 and are 13-3 overall.

The duo of Hunter Tyson and Chase Hunter has been quite impressive with each averaging around 15 points per game. I’m not totally sold on Clemson hanging around as an ACC contender for the duration of the season, but the early returns for Brownell and company have certainly quieted my doubts thus far.


Pittsburgh was preseason ranked 14th in the ACC and is out to a 4-0 start with home wins over UNC and Virginia. In a year that Jeff Capel had to show improvement, his team has exceeded everyone’s expectations thus far in the ACC. The Panthers struck gold in the transfer portal with the additions of Blake Hinson and Jamarius Burton, and Nelly Cummings is an under-the-radar guy that has fit in perfectly to what Pittsburgh is doing. If Pittsburgh can somehow make it to 6-0 in the ACC and beat Clemson and Duke in their next two games you could see them get some Top 25 recognition, which is not something anyone would’ve believed coming into the year.


Biggest surprise has to be the starts for Pittsburgh and Clemson. Nobody had those two being near the top of the ACC, but here we are in early January. Both the Panthers and the Tigers had some early season losses, but have been playing some of the best basketball in the country as of late.

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