Fab Melo is entering the draft, which is not surprising given his eligibility issues.
Huge boost for UNC for getting McAdoo back. I agree the Final Four is a pretty lofty prediction for them given how young they'll be, but you never know what will happen by the end of the year.
UNC will be a good team, and it really depends on Paige, and the 2nd big on the floor with McAdoo. Roy may have to play Bullock at the 4 spot to get his five best offensive players on the floor. Roy prefers playing 2 bigs, his five best offensive players, and a frantic pace. That may be difficult this season given the personnel. Still a Top 25 team at worst though.
Duke FB 2013 Coastal Division Football Champions
McAdoo is a huge addition. But he's still very unproven, as are the returning perimeter players. It's certainly possible that McDonald, Hairston, and Bullock can provide enough fire power to offset the losses of Barnes, Henson, and Zeller as scorers. But that's not something I'd assume will happen. And I'm not sure I see Strickland and Paige offsetting the loss of Marshall.
The three most important pieces of this year's UNC team were Marshall, Zeller, and Henson. They don't have anyone to replace the size and scoring that Zeller provided and they don't have anyone to provide the defense/shotblocking, rebounding, and scoring that Henson provided. And I don't think that Strickland and Paige can do what Marshall did.
It's a very good team, but I think a lot of things have to go right for them to be a Final Four team. They don't have anyone on that team that is a matchup nightmare, which is in stark contrast to this past season.
It certainly does help Carolina and puts them in the mix for the top of the ACC. But Final Four -- after losing their four most productive players? I think that's wa-a-a-y over the top.
UNC next year will be a lot like Duke in 2012 -- that have a lot of good role players returning, but no go-to guys. Who is going to raise his game to superstar level? McAdoo is probably the best candidate -- but I haven't seen him create his own shot. So far, he's proven to be a great receiver and finisher for Marshall's passes, but Marshall is not there this year. Bullock? He averaged a solid-but-not great 36 percent on 3's, but that was with Zeller-Barnes getting most of the defensive attention. Hairston was 31 percent. McDonald was a good-bot-great 38 percent a year ago. Strickland is a good defender, but has no offensive game. Maybe Tokoto, but there was reason he was a borderline tiop 50 player. There's Paige, who was rated about where Cook was last year.
Now, not saying one or two of these guys don't elevate their games, but it's no slam dunk. McAdoo's return gives UNC a chance to compete for the ACC title next year. Mason's return would do the same for us. Leslie's return would do the same for NC State.
But unless there is an unexpected game-changer -- maybe Shabazz to Duke? (and Jefferson isn't that much of an impact guy) -- it's hard to see any ACC team competing for the Final Four.
To say they're unlikely to "compete" for FF seems to suggest that there will be plenty of teams plenty obviously superior to Duke and State (and even UNC).
But is that true?
It appears that, just now, Indiana and UL are atop most way-early 2012-'13 previews. But neither of these is a juggernaut, as UK, UNC, and tOSU were unanimously thought to be a year ago. So if the early-consensus top 2 are perceived to be weaker than last season's maybe-greats, what teams might be great?
I guess the 2 logical candidates are UK and UCLA: UK if it gets Muhammad, Noel, and Bennett; UCLA, if it adds Muhammad and Parker to Anderson [and Drew and the Wears....].
Maybe Fla, Arizona, Memphis, Baylor? Depends on issues with each of those.
So my point is, are there actually 6-7 teams that are so obviously superior to Duke-with-Mason, and to State-with-Leslie, that Duke and State (and UNC) clearly, certainly, could not "compete" for a deep run? Doesn't next year look, right now, a little more wide open than 2011-'12 looked a year ago?
Shooting guard has been the obvious weak link in Carolina's lineup for the past few years. Now all of a sudden people think they're going to become some super dangerous backcourt when all three of them are forced to play huge minutes, often at the same time? UNC looks due for a big dropoff to me, even with McAdoo.
UNC will still be good because they'll be deep and they'll push tempo. But in the half court I think they may struggle next year, and the half court game becomes more important as you get deeper in tournaments.
UNC has question marks for sure. They could struggle if everything does not come together nicely. Medical care has come a long ways, but ACL injuries are still significant, and there are no guarantees that players return to their pre-injury level of play. I wish no bad luck for Strickland or McDonald at all. I just think it possible they struggle to return to form. I know he had the same injury twice but it took awhile for Robbie Hummel to get his game back, and he never looked 100% comfortable this year to me. He did come on really strong in the second half of the season which was great to see.
McDonald has had more time to recover, so he will be closer to 100% in the early going than Strickland.
Duke FB 2013 Coastal Division Football Champions
North Carolina will be a good team and probably won't fall off. I think they will still crack the NCAA Tournament and will be vulnerable to the first round upset. That will be a young team. I don't think that Paige is Marshall. I heard Paige scores more but I think Marshall is a better playmaker and they can't replace him. I think Duke won't miss Rivers as much with our heralded McD coming in. I think he will easily replace Rivers and Plumlee may come back. Man if Duke winds up with one of the three recruits and Ziegler transferring they should be in good shape.
could mcAdoo be walking into having all the pressure of "saving" unc much like HWNSNBM? what if they falter early, won't HE be the guy that's supposed to "own the team"???? will the fanbase eat him alive as well?
"Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"
Mason didn't have the benefit of being quite as overhyped (though he was overhyped) among NBA folks coming in. And he had a very quiet freshman year so he didn't improve his stock. And he has now stuck around 3 years and not become a superstar, so he's lost some of the "upside" tag that GMs value so much. He's going to need to be a Zeller-like star as a senior to move into the lottery.
Kansas Robinson entering draft - no surprise there. Great tough athelete - the kind of guy we need fighting at the 4 or 5 - double double machine ., so tenacious