In the opening game of the 2008 ACC basketball season Clemson went into Miami, a trendy preseason pick, and came away with their best win of the season. The Tigers pummeled the Hurricanes 91-72 on the road. Oliver Purnell has to be one of the most underrated coaches in the country and some program is going to come calling very soon for him to take over their head coaching job. It is a little late to be making my ACC basketball picks but I think Clemson has a very good chance of finishing in the top 4 of the ACC this season. The Tigers only face Duke and North Carolina once each and get eight collective games against Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech, none of which figure to be top tier teams this season. I'd look for Clemson to finish with 10 wins and an NCAA birth this season.
Boston College gained a decent win over Providence and might not be as terrible as some may have thought. I think they may win a game or two more than last season but it is hard to tell since their early season schedule is so devoid of challenges.
Virginia lost a tough game to Auburn at home. Sylven Landesburg is going to be a great player for Virginia but he isn't suited to be a point guard. For the Cavaliers to be competitive they need Calvin Baker, Mike Scott and Jamel Tucker to improve their scoring and decision making.
Duke pounded a solid Xavier squad, 82-64. The Blue Devils have a tune up against Jimmy Patsos and Loyola before hosting a struggling Virginia Tech squad. That could get ugly in a hurry.
The ACC Sports Journal has an article on Jin Soo Kim and his role on Maryland. I think they are underrating Kim who has the skill set to be an All-ACC performer before he is done at Maryland.
Maryland hosts American University tonight and hopefully a little payback for last season's embarrassing December loss to the Eagles. My guess is the starting lineup of Vasquez, Hayes, Bowie, Milbourne and Neal continues but you could see Dino Gregory sneak into the lineup.