The 5 Top Stars in the ACC on Saturday
Top Stars in the ACC on Saturday
While some may look at the new ACC this year and suggest the conference isn't as strong as it used to be despite the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame prior to the beginning of the college basketball season, that doesn't mean there haven't been good games and great performances.
In a five-game slate on Saturday, several top players in the conference showed why they have that reputation to help (in most cases) lead their teams to badly needed victories. Some were freshmen, some were talented upperclassmen, but all had a big effect on the games they played in, even if it wasn't enough for a win.
It's worth pointing an honorable mention in Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis. In Syracuse's 64-52 win at Miami Saturday, Ennis played 37 minutes and had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Orange pulled away from the Hurricanes late to stay undefeated on the season. As good as Ennis was, however, there were three other Syracuse players that scored in double figures and as you will see in the following photos, there were five players who simply had better days than Ennis, even if his work is worthy enough to be mentioned here.
Here are the five top stars from Saturday's five-game schedule in the ACC.
5. Jabari Parker, Duke Blue Devils
On the surface, Jabari Parker's game against Florida State sounds pretty imposing, especially for a freshman. Parker finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds in Duke's 78-56 home win over Florida State. Parker checks in at No. 5, however, due to his 3-for-13 shooting from the field. Ten of his 14 rebounds were offensive boards. Parker did add three steals.
4. Garrick Sherman, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Garrick Sherman is the only player in this week's top five who is representing a losing team. Notre Dame suffered a tough road loss at Wake Forest on Saturday by a score of 65-58. But in the loss, Sherman was a standout with 20 points and six rebounds. Sherman shot 8-for-15 from the field. Perhaps the reason the Fighting Irish lost will be seen later in this countdown.
3. Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia Cavaliers
While Joe Harris gets most of the headlines, one reason for Virginia's 6-1 start in the ACC is the play of Malcolm Brogdon. That was highlighted Saturday as Brogdon had an All-ACC caliber game with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. In large part thanks to Brogdon, Virginia routed its state rival Virginia Tech, 65-45. Brogdon is averaging 16 PPG in Virginia's last five games.
2. Devin Thomas, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
In Wake Forest's aforementioned win over Notre Dame, 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Devin Thomas had one of the better games seen in the conference this year (but not the best one of the day, amazingly). Thomas scored 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, while adding six rebounds as the Demon Deacons picked up a nice win over the Fighting Irish.
1. Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh Panthers
If you aren't already thinking of 6-foot-5 Pittsburgh senior forward Lamar Patterson as a Player of the Year candidate in the ACC, you need to start paying attention. In just 30 minutes vs. Maryland on Saturday, Patterson scored 28 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished seven assists and had four steals. It's probably the best game by an ACC player in a conference game this season. Patterson was 8-for-14 from the field and 12-for-14 from the free-throw line. He also turned over the ball just twice. Pitt improved to 18-2, 6-1 in the ACC with the win.