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ACC News and Notes: Shrewsberry to Notre Dame, Bacot & Davis Back to UNC, Girard Enters Draft and Portal



Armando Bacot as Pitt plays against North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023 in Chapel Hill. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

PITTSBURGH – The 2022-23 college basketball season has yet to conclude in Houston, Texas for the Final Four and National Championship, but for many teams, the attention has shifted to October and the formation of next year’s squad.

Micah Shrewsberry Named Notre Dame Head Coach

Change has been prevalent at the head coaching ranks of the ACC over the past three seasons. Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jim Boeheim all retired in a three-year span, leaving blue-blood programs in the hands of up-and-coming young coaches. The same can be said for Notre Dame, which after 23 seasons will have a new man for the job after the departure of Mike Brey. 

Enter Micah Shrewsberry. Penn State’s head coach for the past two seasons, Shrewsberry guided the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, crushing Texas A&M 76-59 in the First Round and finishing the year 23-14. Penn State tried to retain the 46-year-old Indianapolis native, but Shrewsberry opted to join the ACC after bringing PSU its 12th 20-win season in program history. The Nittany Lions were a bubble team until the final two weeks of the season and advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game, falling to Purdue 67-65.

Carolina Comebacks

Center Armando Bacot and guard RJ Davis are back. The North Carolina dynamic duo returns to Chapel Hill after missing the NCAA Tournament, one year after blowing a 16-point lead in the National Championship the year prior. UNC became the first preseason AP No. 1 team to miss the big dance since the field expanded in 1985. 

Bacot is back for his fifth year of eligibility. He averaged a double-double – 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds – en route to being named a third-team All-American. Davis, back for his fourth season, knotted averages of 35 minutes, 16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 33 games. Guard Caleb Love has yet to announce a decision regarding his career future. 

Joe Girard Declares for NBA Draft

Despite maintaining one year of collegiate eligibility left, Syracuse guard Joe Girard has declared for the 2023 NBA Draft. Although, he is not ruling out a return to college ball. Girard announced Friday his intentions to test the NBA waters while also placing his name in the transfer portal, allowing him a multitude of options to choose from regarding his next chapter.

Girard thanked Jim Boeheim, who retired as Syracuse’s head coach after 47 seasons. He started all but two of his 125 games in an Orange uniform, averaging 13.2 points and 3.6 assists while shooting over 37% from the floor, 36% behind the arc, and 86% at the free-throw line. Girard averaged a career-high 16.4 points in 34.5 minutes this season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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