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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pittsburgh Sports Now will be spending all day at ACC Operation Basketball, which is the conference’s media day.
It should be a news-filled day from a Pitt perspective, as head coach Kevin Stallings, forward Ryan Luther and guard Jonathan Milligan are all expected to speak.
It should be a news-filled day from a conference perspective as the impacts of the FBI investigation into Adidas and other shoe companies is felt across the league. Here’s some of the developments we’ll be following throughout the day:
The ACC has been front and center in the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting. Louisville has fired athletic director Tom Jurich and head coach Rick Pitino as a result of the investigation.
Jim Larrañaga at Miami has admitted that he is “Coach 3” in the FBI’s report, which may lead to additional discipline for him and that program.
Then there’s the unrelated academic scandal at North Carolina, in which head coach Roy Williams and the program seemed to have escaped major punishment, but at a significant hit to the school’s reputation.
There will undoubtedly be more developments as the FBI continues its investigation into college basketball and the NCAA will be following up with an investigation of its own. But even as things stand, how much has the balance of power in the conference shifted? Will Louisville remain a power under the leadership of David Padgett? Can the newly relevant Miami squad maintain that status? How will the public perception of North Carolina’s sham classes for athletes change what Williams has built in Chapel Hill?
Those are some of the questions we’re looking at conference-wide.
There are no shortage of Pittsburgh ties in the ACC this season, most notably the contentious transfer of Pitt guard Cameron Johnson to North Carolina.
Pitt fought that transfer tooth and nail, and Johnson’s impact on North Carolina in the early going will be heightened by the recent injury suffered by guard Joel Berry. How do the rest of the conference’s coaches feel about Williams and Carolina recruiting a player from a conference rival?
Plus, where will Pittsburgh native and one-time Pitt target Geno Thorpe fit into the rotation at Syracuse and how will Montour alum Devin Wilson work his way back into the lineup at Virginia Tech after spending last season on the football field?
EYE ON THE PANTHERS
Pitt’s team is as much of an unknown as possible, with just Luther and Milligan returning amongst scholarship players. How has Stallings done rebuilding the roster and how will Pitt far in the ACC?
We took a look at the potential rotation players earlier this fall, but it’s worth circling back to Stallings to see how things have developed through practices. We’ll also take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the group that Stallings will field when the Panthers take the floor on Nov. 10 to start the season.
Stallings also hasn’t given much of a public comment on the ongoing college basketball scandal or the recruiting environment that led to the corruption.
All in all, it should be an entertaining, news-filled day from the Ritz Carlton in Charlotte.