ACC Daily Digest, Jan. 10: Jeff Capel, Pitt get 1st ACC win in 21 games, 3 Tigers declare for the NFL Draft

As always during basketball season, busy times in the ACC. Let’s take a quick rundown through the conference — starting with Jeff Capel and Pittsburgh.


Jeff Capel, Pitt end the streak

It’s been a long time coming. Pitt’s 89-86 overtime home win over a good Louisville team snapped a 21-game conference losing streak. For the first time since 2017, the Panther have an ACC win; once again for Pitt, its dynamic freshman backcourt — Trey McGowens and Xavier Johnson — led the way, combing for 54 points, six 3-pointers and 12 assists. The victory also marked the first win for Pitt over Louisville since 2010.

Hats off to Capel, his team and his staff. This is big. The Panthers are up to No. 87 in KenPom’s efficiency rankings now, too.

Also, hey, I wonder who now holds the longest active losing streak in the ACC…


Other ACC Basketball Scores from Wednesday

  • Virginia Tech sweats one out over Georgia Tech, 52-49
    • Nickeil Alexander-Walker: 1-13 FGA, 0-6 3PA
    • Hokies: 5-27 3PA
  • Florida State wins at home against Miami, 68-62
    • David Nichols: 13 points (5-8 FGA), three assists off the bench
  • Syracuse improves to 2-0 in ACC play, downs Clemson, 61-53
    • Tigers: 0.79 points per possession, 5-20 3PA
  • Dominant second half from UVA leads to blowout win over Boston College
    • De’Andre Hunter breaks cold spell — 18 points 6-11 FGA, 2-3 3PA, two assists


3 Tigers headed early to the NFL

A few days after winning the 2018 national title, three Clemson players have declared early for the 2019 NFL Draft — all from the defensive side of the ball: Dexter Lawrence (7.5 tackles for loss), Tre Lamar (80 tackles) and Trayvon Mullen. Lawrence, of course, is the headliner of this trio, and likely one of the first 10-15 picks in the draft, if not higher.


Wooden Award Watch List Announced; 5 from the ACC make the cut

The midseason watch list for the 2019 John Wooden Award was announced, and there are five ACC players — second to the Big Ten (7) — included.

  • Zion Williamson
  • R.J. Barrett
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  • De’Andre Hunter
  • Luke Maye


Francois makes hit official with FSU

After some speculation late last year that quarterback Deondre Francois wouldn’t return to Florida State, we have official word. The veteran QB plans to return for the 2019 season, which he announced on Instagram. Francois will compete for the starting quarterback job — against James Blackman and Jordan Travis — and work with new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.

Francois has over 6,000 career passing yards and 36 touchdown passes to his name.


Brown completes staff at UNC, hire OL coach

New North Carolina football coach Mack Brown has filled out his coaching staff. UNC will hire Stacy Searels to coach its offensive line — a position he held under Brown back at Texas, too. Searels has coached within the ACC the last five seasons: Virginia Tech (OL, 2014-15) and Miami (2016-18).

He will replace Brandon Jones who left for a job at Houston.


Read More on the ACC

ACC Bracketology, One Number to Know: Zion’s playmaking; UNC’s defense vs. Markell Johnson, NC State