Busting Brackets

ACC Basketball: Way-too-early power rankings for 2024-25 season

Michigan State v North Carolina
Michigan State v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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6. Pittsburgh Panthers

2023-24 season record: 22-11 (12-8 ACC)

The Panthers “looked” like an NCAA Tournament team down the stretch of the season but due to a poor non-con performance and other factors, they barely missed out. It ended up being the last time fans saw star forward Blake Hinson (18.5 ppg) and freshman guard Bub Carrington (13.8 ppg and 4.1 apg) is off to the NBA Draft.

With Federiko Federiko transferring to Texas Tech, that’s three starters gone. But some good players are coming back. Freshman guard Jaland Lowe had a great run in ACC play and will be a breakout candidate to watch, now fully leading the offense. ACC 6th Man of the Year guard Ishmael Leggett (12.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg) is back, along with the athletic Zack Austin and the Diaz-Graham brothers.

Pittsburgh also landed a couple of solid players from the transfer portal. Cam Corhen is a 6’11 forward from Florida State, who averaged 9.4 ppg and 3.9 rpg in 21 mpg and gives the team a real offensive threat inside. Damian Dunn only averaged 6.4 ppg at Houston off the bench but in three prior years at Temple, averaged around 15 ppg. With a larger role, look for Dunn to get back to those numbers.

The Panthers still have a couple of scholarships available and will look to add at least a forward in the rotation. Coach Jeff Capel seems to have turned the program around and has some good pieces to work with again. How much of a breakout Lowe has at point will be key to this team’s ceiling.