ACC stars to watch
sam hauser, virginia
Hauser has gotten a significant amount of buzz since he transferred from Marquette to Virginia following the 2018-19 season, and for good reason. He’s a versatile 6-8, 225-pound forward with an excellent shooting stroke (career 44.5 percent three-point shooter) and all-around potent offensive game. The senior is a proven commodity, too, having started 96 games for the Golden Eagles and averaging over 14 points per game during his last two seasons there.
We know what Virginia is going to bring defensively. There is significant hope that Hauser will be that offensive threat the Cavaliers were lacking last year. He was never the go-to guy at Marquette — that was Markus Howard — but he’s going to be in Charlottesville.
garrison brooks, North carolina
Brooks is the best returning player in the conference which equally tells you about how good he was last year while also showing the lack of talent returning. The 6-9, 235-pounder worked inside for the Tar Heels to the tune of 16.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game, both of which put him among the conference leaders. He didn’t have much help, though, and he wasn’t equipped to handle the kind of role UNC needed him to have.
He is this year, though. Brooks is the unquestioned senior leader of this group and has settled into his role as one of the featured options of UNC’s attack. The reigning Most Improved Player in the conference was not one of North Carolina’s many problems and should be their reliable rock again.