The 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament opens tonight with the preliminary round.
But the action will really heat up Wednesday and beyond.
The winner of this illustrious tournament is going to have to win a minimum 3 games in three days, and if one of the bottom seeds advances (not likely) it could be as many as 5 in 5.
With that many games in such a short period of time, the champion is going to need solid performances from more than just its' stars.
Today, I look at 5 players who may not be at the forefront of their respective programs' press guides, but who could nonetheless play big roles this week.
My 5 to Watch:
#1 Davon Reed, Miami - Reed's season stat line of 7.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 1.6 apg may be modest, but he missed the first 8 games of the season with injury, and it took some time to get his legs under him. Over the 'Canes final 10, he poured in 19 points on 4 occasions. He scores efficiently, shooting 52% from the floor and a remarkable 49% from three. Add to the fact he is a lock down defender, and one could argue Reed has been the biggest reason UM finished the season on a mini roll. His takes to the basket are getting better and better as well.
Miami will need more of the below to make a run in Greensboro and here their name called on Selection Sunday:
#2 Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame - The Irish have no dearth of firepower, spearheaded by stars Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton, and Demetrius Jackson. But the play of the 6'5 Colson was just the spark ND needed over the last 5 games of the season. He twice poured in 16 and once 17 over the span (including a 7-7 performance in a win Vs Louisville). Despite being just 6'5, Colson has a knack for getting to the rim. Keep an eye on him this week, especially if Notre Dame makes it deep into the Tournament.
#3 Amile Jefferson, Duke - The 6'9 senior from Philly is often the least recognized player on star studded Duke. But he does all the dirty work, sets all the screens, scores inside, and is a pest on the offensive glass. Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones get most of the credit for the Devil's spectacular season, but if they win the ACC Tourney, Jefferson will be as big a reason as any.
#4 London Perrantes, Virginia - Perrantes is a classic pass first PG who takes care of the ball, and defends with intensity. But with Justin Anderson still out for UVA, Perrantes needs to look for his own shot a little more often. When he does pick his spots, he has shown the ability in his two seasons in Virginia to be a very clutch shooter.
UM fans know all too well, he can score when called upon:
#5 Quentin Snyder, Louisville - Snyder has had a mostly quiet freshman campaign for the Cardinals. But when Chris Jones was kicked off the team, Snyder was forced to play a lot more minutes than he might have been ready for in a hurry. Rick Pitino's squad will still run its' O through Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier, but if they hope to take home the ACC crown in their inaugural tournament, they can not simply hide Snyder. If his confidence catches up to his talent, watch out.
Well there you have it ACC fans.
One of these 5 will come up big for their respective squad.
Will it be the athletic/efficient wing, the undersized 4, the classic trash man surrounded by stars, the heady PG, or the precocious freshman?
It should be a fun ACC Tournament.