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gw67
10-21-2008, 07:08 AM
I’m pretty sure that I read an article yesterday on the front page describing DBR’s predictions for the ACC this coming season but it seems to have disappeared. DBR broke the league into two groups as I recall with UNC, Duke, Miami, Wake, Clemson and Virginia Tech being the “haves” and the remaining six teams being the “have nots”. I am very poor at predicting the ACC standings going into a season but the overall assessment by DBR seems on target to me. Rather than breaking the league into two groups, I would break it into four groups:

Elite Teams: UNC and Duke (13-14 wins)
Good Teams: Miami, Wake, Clemson and Virginia Tech (9-12 wins)
On the edge: Georgia Tech, Maryland and Florida State (6-7 wins)
Bringing up the rear: N.C.State, BC and Virginia (4-5 wins)

This is similar to last year with Wake and Maryland exchanging places. I expect the league to be improved over last year. Most of the top players return and they will be joined by a good group of sophs and a sprinkling of freshmen. I expect six teams to make the NCAAT and strong competition among the following players for All ACC consideration:

UNC – Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington
Duke – Singler, Henderson, Scheyer, Paulus
Miami – McClinton
Wake – Johnson, Teague
Clemson – Booker, Rivers
Virginia Tech – Vassallo, Allen
Georgia Tech – Lawal, Clinch
Maryland – Vasquez
Florida State – Douglas
N. C. State – Costner
Boston College – Rice
Virginia - Scott

Others who could break out this year, IMO, include Sanders, Stitt, Oglesby, Smith, Miller, Dews, Baker, Delaney, Thompson, and McFarland.

Freshmen of note will likely include Aminu (Wake), Davis (UNC), Landsburg and Brandenburg (Virginia), Mosley (Maryland), Shumpert (Georgia Tech), Williams (Duke) and Jones (Miami).

gw67

Wander
10-21-2008, 07:52 AM
I'd move BC and NC State up a level and leave Virginia by itself, but yeah that breakdown looks about right.

ACCBBallFan
10-21-2008, 09:30 AM
I definitely agree ACC is a top 6 and a bottom 6 this year with the same teams listed above in each half.

Pretty impressive list of all ACC candidates too, but probably have to consider UNCs Danny Green and NC State's Ben McCauley and Courtney Fells, though their team will be a bottom feeder.

All ACC ballot is not necesarily by position but I grouped GW67's list by position and added the names I suggested. This is in the order mentioned above not the predicted All-ACC sort:

Centers: Hansbrough, Allen, McCauley, McFarland
Forwards: Singler, Johnson, Booker, Lawal, Costner, Scott, Thompson
Wings: Henderson, Rivers, Vassallo, Green, Fells, Dews
SG: Ellington, Scheyer, McClinton, Teague, Clinch, Sanders, Ogelsby, Delaney
PG: Lawson, Paulus, Vasquez, Douglas, Rice, Smith, Stitt, Miller, Baker

davekay1971
10-21-2008, 10:06 AM
I agree in general with breaking the league into 4 groups, and don't have much to quibble about with the groupings. A couple of thoughts about the non-Duke schools:

NCSU has a chance to be much better than last year. Don't underestimate the impact that chemistry and injury had on them. Degand will be a solid point guard, Gonzalez improved significantly as the year went on, and Costner seems to have rededicated himself. NCSU will obviously have to scratch and claw to get itself out of the bottom half of the conference, but don't be shocked if they end up 8-8 at the end of conference play. I'd put Maryland in the bottom group and move State up into the "On the edge" group.

By season's end Wake may be closer to the elite group than the good group. Yeah, I'm drinking the kool-aid.

As an aside: what's the over under on when Danny Green tries out for Dancing With the Stars? 2 years? 3?

riverside6
10-21-2008, 10:16 AM
gw67, I know your a terps fan so I wanted to post a link to our Terps preview (http://www.scacchoops.com/tt_NewsBreaker_External.asp?NB=1264). Let me know what you think either via PM or here.

bdh21
10-21-2008, 10:37 AM
Freshmen of note will likely include Aminu (Wake), Davis (UNC), Landsburg and Brandenburg (Virginia), Mosley (Maryland), Shumpert (Georgia Tech), Williams (Duke) and Jones (Miami).


Also keep an eye on Chris Singleton at FSU. The Seminoles will be looking for anyone to score points for their squad, and Singleton is certainly a talented player.

gw67
10-21-2008, 10:42 AM
bdh21,

Thanks for pointing out Singleton. Like the youngsters at Virginia and Aminu, he may stand out because he will probably play a bigger role for his team than, say, Williams of Duke.

gw67

gw67
10-21-2008, 10:59 AM
riverside6,

Thanks for head's up on your Maryland review. I agree totally with your "Things to Watch". I like their perimeter players - Vasquez, Hayes, Milbourne, Mosley, Bowie and Tucker. However, they may have the weakest frontcourt of any ACC team. As you point out, Burney has some talent (mainly defense) and he may be able to play the middle. Dupree really struggled last year and I will be surprised if he will be able to hold his own against opposition centers. The solution may be playing Milbourne underneath along with Burney and using three guards but that runs counter to the offense that Williams has used in recent years.

I watched the ten minute scrimmage at Midnight Madness and Mosely appears to be the real deal although he appears closer to 6-2 than his listed 6-4.

gw67

riverside6
10-21-2008, 11:10 AM
riverside6,

Thanks for head's up on your Maryland review. I agree totally with your "Things to Watch". I like their perimeter players - Vasquez, Hayes, Milbourne, Mosley, Bowie and Tucker. However, they may have the weakest frontcourt of any ACC team. As you point out, Burney has some talent (mainly defense) and he may be able to play the middle. Dupree really struggled last year and I will be surprised if he will be able to hold his own against opposition centers. The solution may be playing Milbourne underneath along with Burney and using three guards but that runs counter to the offense that Williams has used in recent years.

I watched the ten minute scrimmage at Midnight Madness and Mosely appears to be the real deal although he appears closer to 6-2 than his listed 6-4.

gw67
I'm hearing the same things about Mosley, unfortunatley the Terps got a good player at the wrong position though.

whereinthehellami
10-21-2008, 01:15 PM
VT should be a solid team this year. The last couple of years they have started slow, losing games that they shouldn't have but I'll chalk that up to talent/youth. Now that they have talent and experience, I like them to start out quicker and pick up where they left off last year, as a team that can beat UNC and Duke on any given night. I'd put them at number 3.

just_wondering
10-21-2008, 05:13 PM
If the new conditioning coach, Paul Ricci, can achieve the same level of success that Maryland had in the 90's they will be very competitive. Jordan Williams committed to Maryland so the younger players won't have the attitude that it's a program on the slide. I think that the front court will surprise. I wouldn't be shocked if they shocked the prognosticators.





riverside6,

Thanks for head's up on your Maryland review. I agree totally with your "Things to Watch". I like their perimeter players - Vasquez, Hayes, Milbourne, Mosley, Bowie and Tucker. However, they may have the weakest frontcourt of any ACC team. As you point out, Burney has some talent (mainly defense) and he may be able to play the middle. Dupree really struggled last year and I will be surprised if he will be able to hold his own against opposition centers. The solution may be playing Milbourne underneath along with Burney and using three guards but that runs counter to the offense that Williams has used in recent years.

I watched the ten minute scrimmage at Midnight Madness and Mosely appears to be the real deal although he appears closer to 6-2 than his listed 6-4.

gw67

Bob Green
10-21-2008, 05:49 PM
I like Clemson and believe they will finish 3rd behind Duke and UNC. Oliver Purnell is a quality coach who will continue to get the job done at Clemson.

ACCBBallFan
10-21-2008, 10:00 PM
Clemson will miss James Mays and also lost a senior guard but will be pretty good, particularly if Ogelsby can he a great scorer. I thought Oliver Purnell did a better job utilizing the all offense no defense Terrernce Ogelsby than coach K did not do with Taylor King.

On balance though things worked out for Duke since Miles Plumlee fills a literally bigger need than King Taylor.

riverside6
10-22-2008, 06:14 AM
Interesting comparison between King and Oglesby, not sure that I agree in the similarities. Oglesby is extremely quick and his defense isn't nearly as bad as you might think. I'm curious why you think he was a poor defender.

In regards to King, I think it was not only his defense but the simple fact that he needed shots to be an efficient player. Last year's team had plenty of scorers, and King just didn't make the Blue Devils better. King's story has been hit on numerous times on this board so I won't go any deeper than that.

ACCBBallFan
10-22-2008, 08:00 AM
Interesting comparison between King and Oglesby, not sure that I agree in the similarities. Oglesby is extremely quick and his defense isn't nearly as bad as you might think. I'm curious why you think he was a poor defender.

I don't have metrics to back it up, just observations that Terrence did not seem to make defense a priority. It could be that Ogelsby is a better defender when he decides that's his role, kind of like Lawson and Ellington. What surprised me more was that Oliver did not seem to exhort him in that direction as he did for the rest of the Clemson squad.

That's where I see the similarities to King. Coach K values defense and penalized King and Pocius for not being as good at it. Full court pressure only works when all 5 players are providing pressure, versus 4 of the 5. I actually thought both King and Pocius played better than many gave them credit for, just not as much as some other Duke players.

King was just too streaky and it's tough to come in cold and immediately jack up some long balls with accuracy. Takes a while to get into a groove and by then his butt was back on the bench. Oliver gave his guy the chance to work through the rust and cashed in on the dividend.

One way to remedy that, too late now, would have been to start King while he had jsut warmed up, and Singler in tandem and immediately force the opponent's bigs to have to react on defense. Wear them down a little and then the undersized 5 that comes in for King or the giant Zoubek would be more effective against an otherwise better post player.

But as I said, IMO Duke is better off with a mobile 6'10" 240 pound Miles Plumlee than a slow but streaky 3 point gunner.

gw67
10-22-2008, 08:51 AM
My conclusion, after watching a bunch of ACC games the past few years, is that the vast majority of players in the league are “average” defensive players. By that, I mean that they put forth the effort and proper fundamentals to stay with their man, including fighting through and around screens; put a hand in the face of shooters; contest passes; provide some help defense; and help with defensive rebounding. There are very few outstanding defenders like Dahntay Jones or Grant Hill. Occasionally, effort and good fundamentals are not enough – give up too much size/strength near basket or can’t press because of disparity in quickness.

The poorest defenders that I have seen in recent years are Mike Jones, Courtney fells and Marty Pocius. In all three cases, the players appeared clueless on the defensive end of the floor. They not only didn’t keep up with their man and play decent positional defense but they lost him very early in the chase. I suspect that all three players were offensive stars in high school and that the level of their competition was such that they weren’t required to play defense. To their credit both Jones and Fells improved as they became upperclassmen and I expect Pocius to do the same.

gw67

Kedsy
10-22-2008, 09:06 AM
By season's end Wake may be closer to the elite group than the good group. Yeah, I'm drinking the kool-aid.

I am right there with you on Wake Forest. If Ish Smith can get himself under control, continue to cut down on his turnovers, and avoid being the worst free-throw-shooting guard in the history of civilization, Wake will go far.

Edouble
10-23-2008, 12:46 AM
I am right there with you on Wake Forest. If Ish Smith can get himself under control, continue to cut down on his turnovers, and avoid being the worst free-throw-shooting guard in the history of civilization, Wake will go far.

Yeah, difficult to say. Can the coach step it up and get his players ready for the big time when the pressure's on? No evidence pro or con thus far, so it's purely a guessing game.

riverside6
10-23-2008, 06:12 AM
There's always a question of chemistry when you have a large number of players returning and a strong incoming recruiting class. Guys like David Weaver (http://www.scacchoops.com/players.asp?search=david weaver) and Chas McFarland (http://www.scacchoops.com/players.asp?search=chas mcfarland) (not exactly a level headed guy) are going to lose playing time to some of the younger guys. How will that affect things?

gw67
10-23-2008, 07:20 AM
Wake has their top five players returning and how successful they are meshing the returnees with the freshmen will determine the direction of their season, IMO. They have as much talent as UNC, Duke and Miami but there is only one ball and so many minutes. McFarland is a case in point. He improved dramatically last year and should be one of the top big men in the ACC this year. Wake has two freshmen big men who were highly rated by the recruiting types. Unless one of them is a redshirt, there are not enough minutes to go around and I would expect at least one unhappy youngster.

The folks on this board don't want to bring it up but the Devils have a deep squad this year and 3-4 good players will likely be riding the pine for much of the year. I suspect that youngsters who come to Duke are confident of their ability and want to play. Sitting at the end of the bench does not make for happy teammates, IMO. Coach K has handled that situation before but the concerns apply to Duke just as they apply to Wake and say, UNC.

gw67

davekay1971
10-23-2008, 07:43 AM
Wake has their top five players returning and how successful they are meshing the returnees with the freshmen will determine the direction of their season, IMO. They have as much talent as UNC, Duke and Miami but there is only one ball and so many minutes. McFarland is a case in point. He improved dramatically last year and should be one of the top big men in the ACC this year. Wake has two freshmen big men who were highly rated by the recruiting types. Unless one of them is a redshirt, there are not enough minutes to go around and I would expect at least one unhappy youngster.

The folks on this board don't want to bring it up but the Devils have a deep squad this year and 3-4 good players will likely be riding the pine for much of the year. I suspect that youngsters who come to Duke are confident of their ability and want to play. Sitting at the end of the bench does not make for happy teammates, IMO. Coach K has handled that situation before but the concerns apply to Duke just as they apply to Wake and say, UNC.

gw67

I don't think Duke is going to have chemistry problems with the talented newcomers. That situation tends to happen when juniors and seniors lose significant playing time to talented freshmen (as happened with State last year). Plumlee may get some significant minutes, but is that really going to upset guys like Zoubek, Thomas, or McClure, who have always been role players at Duke? Is Williams likely to take significant playing time from Paulus, Scheyer, or Henderson? From the other point of view, is Williams really going to be upset at having limited minutes when he knew perfectly well he was coming into a team with a talented, established backcourt? I just don't see these things becoming issues.

Interesting article link on State. Gonzalez really did improve significantly last year, and he and Degand should give NCSU two good options on the perimeter. I was a little surprised that the article talked about Mays as a point guard option. I thought he played mainly shooting guard in HS, and was recruited for that to State. In the best case scenario (good chemistry, Costner and McCauley returning to form, the PG spot stable, and Mays adding a 3 pt threat), State could be significantly improved over last year. Of course, that's a lot of ifs....

mgtr
10-23-2008, 08:10 AM
At Duke, doesn't playing time always come back to what happened at practice? So if Williams, for example, does consistently well in practice, Coach K will find a way to get him playing time. This, of course, spurs other players to do great in practice in order to "protect" their own playing time. That is why Duke has great practices.
I would think that if a player did great in practice and rarely played, that could lead to grumbling and unrest. On the other hand, if a player dogged it in practice, but still got to play a lot, more grumbling and unrest.

Kedsy
10-23-2008, 08:45 AM
Wake has their top five players returning and how successful they are meshing the returnees with the freshmen will determine the direction of their season, IMO. They have as much talent as UNC, Duke and Miami but there is only one ball and so many minutes. McFarland is a case in point. He improved dramatically last year and should be one of the top big men in the ACC this year. Wake has two freshmen big men who were highly rated by the recruiting types. Unless one of them is a redshirt, there are not enough minutes to go around and I would expect at least one unhappy youngster.

The folks on this board don't want to bring it up but the Devils have a deep squad this year and 3-4 good players will likely be riding the pine for much of the year. I suspect that youngsters who come to Duke are confident of their ability and want to play. Sitting at the end of the bench does not make for happy teammates, IMO. Coach K has handled that situation before but the concerns apply to Duke just as they apply to Wake and say, UNC.

gw67

This is a good point, and it will be interesting to see how all three deep, talented clubs deal with this. So far, at least, the Duke players all seem to really like each other and are committed to winning (as opposed to being more committed to personal achievement), and to me that leads to good chemistry. I recently read an article about Wake that said those kids felt much the same way, which bodes well for them.

I haven't seen anything on the Heels in this regard. Hopefully they'll implode and spend two-thirds of their practice time fistfighting and spreading nasty rumors about each other.

gw67
10-23-2008, 08:46 AM
A couple of quick thoughts. First, based on my experience from many moons ago, there is a good deal of variability in a youngster's play from one practice to the next so it is not always as clear cut as we fans (and coaches for that matter) would like it to be. Second, the difference in the capabilities between a returning player and a newcomer may not be very great and practice may not reveal a clear leader. There is also the infrequent case of a player who plays better than he practices. I know that how a player plays in practice is the mantra of Coach K and just about every college basketball and football coach but it is not foolproof and can lead to hurt feelings if it is not handled well.

My points were that teams with deep benches were likely to have some disappointed/unhappy players with their playing time and that the Devils were no more immune to this possibility than other loaded teams.

gw67

davekay1971
10-23-2008, 09:01 AM
A couple of quick thoughts. First, based on my experience from many moons ago, there is a good deal of variability in a youngster's play from one practice to the next so it is not always as clear cut as we fans (and coaches for that matter) would like it to be. Second, the difference in the capabilities between a returning player and a newcomer may not be very great and practice may not reveal a clear leader. There is also the infrequent case of a player who plays better than he practices. I know that how a player plays in practice is the mantra of Coach K and just about every college basketball and football coach but it is not foolproof and can lead to hurt feelings if it is not handled well.

My points were that teams with deep benches were likely to have some disappointed/unhappy players with their playing time and that the Devils were no more immune to this possibility than other loaded teams.

gw67

These are good points. I hope my previous post didn't come across as an attempt to "slam" your earlier post. I do think that for this Duke team, this year, the depth and chemistry will be strengths, not potential problems. Duke, however, has lost players before when playing time was an issue (Billy McCaffery comes to mind...other examples are out there as well), so clearly we are not immune to the problem. On the whole, I think Coach K handles it very well.

As a guy who also likes State (especially if I don't want to be sleeping on the couch), I hope Sidney learned from last year's chemistry issues...he's recruiting very good talent to Raleigh, and will undoubtedly have to manage playing time issues in the future.

davekay1971
10-23-2008, 09:30 AM
I was a little surprised that the article talked about Mays as a point guard option. I thought he played mainly shooting guard in HS, and was recruited for that to State.

Apologies for the above error - I got confused between Mays, who mainly plays PG in HS, and his current (and future) backcourt mate, Woods, who is a pure SG. It'll be interesting to see their chemistry at NCSU in 2-3 years - reminiscent of two guys who used to run the backcourt for State who had played together in HS, and who had a little success at the collegiate level.

gw67
10-23-2008, 09:32 AM
davekay,

I apologize if it seemed like I came back strong, I didn't see your post as a "slam" at all. I played college baseball for one year as a walkon and coached youth baseball (through 18 year olds) for many years. The points I made about practice were based on these experiences. The memories of dealing with my college coach (we became good friends later) and the parents of my travel and All Star teams got my juices flowing.

gw67

riverside6
10-31-2008, 08:35 AM
Ok, we just got through all of our ACC team previews, and Will (formerly of ACCNation.com) and myself just made our ACC predictions (http://www.scacchoops.com/tt_NewsBreaker_External.asp?NB=1300) at SCACCHoops.com.

gw67
10-31-2008, 09:01 AM
riverside,

Thanks for the link. The two ACC predictions are fairly consistent with many others. I found your All ACC selections to be more interesting particularly the omission of one Duke player by Will and the inclusion of another. Most folks on this board would disagree but that's part of the enjoyment of making preseason predictions. I will have to read your Georgia Tech synopsis to see what you say about freshman Shumpert since you think he will be one of the top 15 players in the league.

gw67

riverside6
10-31-2008, 09:14 AM
riverside,

Thanks for the link. The two ACC predictions are fairly consistent with many others. I found your All ACC selections to be more interesting particularly the omission of one Duke player by Will and the inclusion of another. Most folks on this board would disagree but that's part of the enjoyment of making preseason predictions. I will have to read your Georgia Tech synopsis to see what you say about freshman Shumpert since you think he will be one of the top 15 players in the league.

gw67
Shumpert's inclusion is just a hunch. With Bell being out and the reports I hear about Shumpert, I'm thinking there's a chance he could step forward.

In reality, I considered any of the following guys for that position...

Al-Farouq Aminu (I picked him Freshman of the Year but took Shumpert above him on the All-ACC; not exactly consistent, is it? :) )
Jon Scheyer
Rakim Sanders
Malcolm Delaney