Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thoughts on the ACC for next season

Here's a question for you ACC fans... which teams do you expect to be good enough to get an NCAA tournament bid next season? Obviously Duke and UNC, so let's talk about the rest.

Boston College - they are graduating a lot of seniors (Joe Trapani, Biko Paris, Josh Southern, Cori Raji, Courtney Dunn) and their recruiting class for next season is pretty weak, so even though they still have Reggie Jackson, I am guessing they won't be good enough.

Clemson - Losing Demontez Stitt and Jerai Grant hurts them, especially Stitt. They recruited a 3-star and a 2-star guard, so I'm not sure about a team with starting guards of Andre Young and Cory Stanton with no decent backups if either goes down with injury. I think they'll miss the NCAA tournament next year, although I feel shaky picking against Brad Brownell... he's a really good coach.

FSU - Losing their only good guard in Derwin Kitchen and probably losing Chris Singleton. They have a ton of frontcourt talent returning. I think guards Ian Miller and Michael Snaer both improved a lot during this season and they recruited some good guards for next season... I think they will make the NCAA tournament again, but just barely.

Georgia Tech - Should be really interesting under a new coach. They have excellent guards returning. Their frontcourt sucks, but they are almost all freshmen this year and should get better. GT could do like Clemson did this season and make the NCAA tournament with a new coach and no decent recruits. But I'm saying out.

Miami - they have a lot of young talent (Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, Reggie Johnson) and I think they are going to get over the hump next year... they're in.

Maryland - they're in the same situation with Terrell Stoglin, Pe'Shon Howard, and Jordan Williams... they're in.

NC State - Ditto GT... new coach could get them in if he's any good. They have a lot of talent returning and it's a school that is historically good at recruiting. They need CJ Leslie to return, which he should if he is smart... he won't be a lottery pick in this year's NBA draft, and he might not even play if they can't get their CBA worked out in time. But I'm saying out.

UVA - Not a ton of athletic talent on this team, but Mike Scott is coming back and they do have some shooters. Plus I really like Tony Bennett as a coach... his slow pace and defensive style keeps UVA in games when they should get creamed (like VT when we had Dowdell/Gordon). They have a couple decent recruits coming in... could be a surprise NCAA team, and I'm going to guess that they get in.

Wake Forest - Not a chance... they are still way too far away.

Virginia Tech - I'm a homer, so I'm going to say that the things that could go positively for VT do happen and we get in. A non-biased person would probably say no though.

So I'm guessing the ACC gets 7 teams in, but realistically, 6 is more likely.