College Basketball 2009-2010 ACC Preview

October 21, 2009

Okay, so I scrapped my idea of giving an analysis of the top 25 teams… instead, I’m going to give conference previews of the Big 6 (ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC). Standings and national ranks are courtesy of Athlon Sports. Analysis and awards are courtesy of me.


1. #5 North Carolina – Not many teams can overcome losing four players to the NBA draft, but the Tar Heels always have one of the best recruiting classes in the nation and this year is no different. John Henson is a top 5 recruit and Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland, and David & Travis Wear are all good enough to start on plenty of college teams. Ed Davis is back and is going to be a beast as a sophomore after playing second fiddle to last year’s studs… he will be a lottery pick in the next NBA draft. Deon Thompson will provide leadership and solid numbers and defensive whiz Marcus Ginyard is back after missing almost all of last year. So yes, the Heels lost plenty, but they are still loaded enough to win the ACC.

2. #13 Georgia Tech – Tech looks to be the most improved team in the nation after suffering through a 2-14 ACC debacle thanks to the signing of #1 recruit Derrick Favors and a solid returning core. Junior Gani Lawal (15.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg) is back after passing on the NBA draft. Iman Shumpert is a solid scoring guard and the rest of the recruiting class is nationally ranked. Going from last in the ACC to 13th in the nation is a pretty big leap, but GT just might have the parts to do it.

3. #18 Duke – Gerald Williams went pro and Elliot Williams transferred out, but Kyle Singler is back and he’s as good as anyone in the ACC. Even though Singler will be NBA ready after this season, Duke’s stud white boys have a tendency to stay four years, so I kind of expect him back for his senior year. John Scheyer will play the point this year and isn’t a bad scorer. Nolan Smith hasn’t progressed as expected and Miles Plumlee was irrevelant as a freshman last year and both players could be passed up by stud freshmen Ryan Kelly and Miles’ brother Mason. Duke isn’t as good as they were last year, but with Singler and a solid freshman class, they will be competitive in the ACC.

4. #22 Maryland – Almost all of the key components from last year’s squad that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament return, but none more important than Greivis Vasquez, a stud that put up 17.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 5.0 apg as a sophomore. Vasquez should compete with Kyle Singler and Ed Davis for Conference Player Of The Year and is a legitimate triple-double threat. The recruiting class is limited to two players, but both should find significant playing time. Vasquez is good enough to make Maryland the most underrated team in the ACC.

5. #24 Clemson – The Tigers lost three key players from last year’s squad, but return it’s most productive player in Trevor Booker (15.3, 9.7). Clemson is going to be young this year, but they don’t lack talent. A national ranking might be a bit overboard though.

6. Florida State – Toney Douglas and his 20+ ppg are gone, but 7’1″ center Solomon Alabi blocked 73 shots as a freshman and averaged 8.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 22.3 minutes; look for those numbers to improve with more playing time and experience. The Seminoles have a respectable squad and Athlon predicts them to make the tournament, but they look like a bubble team to me.

7. Boston College – BC returns everyone from a team that made the NCAA tournament last year… except their best player and leader Tyrese Rice. The Eagles didn’t sign any recruits, but they return a better core of players than FSU, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish higher in the ACC.

8. Virginia Tech – The Hokies lost their top scorer but return a couple of solid juniors in Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen. The supporting cast is weak and the recruiting class is middle of the pack for the conference, so those two juniors are going to be shouldering a big load this season.

9. Wake Forest – No team was hurt more by the NBA Draft than the Demon Deacons; stars Jeff Teague and James Johnson both bolted. With that said, Wake was ranked as high as #1 nationally last year and return a more respectable team than some of the squads ranked ahead of them. Al-Farouq Aminu put up great numbers as a freshman and should be a lottery pick in the next draft. The recruiting class is weak, but I think Wake is underrated and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them finish as high as 6th in the conference.

10. Miami – The Hurricanes lost three starters, including All-Conference player Jack McClinton. Dwayne Collins is their only solid returner, but the recruiting class is decent. This should be a year of growing pains for Miami.

11. Virginia – Sophomore Sylven Landesberg is a proven stud after averaging 16.6 points and 6 rebounds per game in his rookie season. The Cavaliers also stole Tony Bennett away from Washington State and have some decent experience returning. It’s questionable whether or not that is going to be enough to make them competitive this year.

12. North Carolina State – NC State lost its three best players from a team that finished 6-10 in conference play last year. Outlook: not good.

All ACC First Team

Ed Davis, So., F, UNC
Al-Farouq Aminu, So., F, Wake Forest
Kyle Singler, Jr., F, Duke
Greivis Vasquez, Sr., G, Maryland
Sylven Landesberg, So. G, Virginia

Player Of The Year: Kyle Singler, Duke

Freshman Of The Year: Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech

One comment

  1. Interesting points here Would you ever consider guest posting on one of my blogs? Nicely done, Steven.

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