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Way-Too-Early ACC Rankings

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2020 4:18 pm

Way-Too-Early ACC Rankings

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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May 14, 2020 4:18 pm

Josh lists his Way-Too-Early ACC Rankings on The Drive for your listening pleasure. 

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We've done deep dives on all the ACC Big Four teams this week.

If you missed those, they're in the best of podcasts. But now, it's time for the way too early ACC basketball rankings for next year. I've poured through every roster, called a few people even, to get reads on players who might go pro, and I've got my one through fifteen. And let's start with number fifteen, that being the Boston College Eagles. Okay, did they go by the Golden Eagles or the Eagles?

Doesn't really matter. I think it's the Golden Eagles. There you go. Boston College, they should have fired Jim Christian.

They didn't because of coronavirus. This is a lame duck team with a lame duck coach. This is the easiest thing to figure out in all of the ACC rankings.

Number fourteen, Wake Forest under first year coach Steve Forbes. You just gotta look at the schedule to figure out that this is gonna be pretty tough. You gotta play Duke twice, and you have to play UVA twice.

Good luck with that one. Duke coach, you have the losses of Chon D, Childress, losing, Sarr doesn't help either. And I just think it's going to be a tough initial year and a tough league. Now that doesn't mean there aren't gonna be flashes for Wake Forest. I think you're gonna see spots where the Demon Deacons show effort and show personality, and that's something you could sell moving forward in addition to better recruits coming in. But a lot of good things have to break their way in order to be more competitive, including Isaiah Wilkins being ruled eligible by the NCAA, him getting a one-time transfer.

So Wake is number fourteen. Number thirteen, Virginia Tech. Losing Landers-Nolley is a massive blow for this team, so it's going to be the Jalen Tone show in Mike Young's second season. Now he could win a game for you, the same way Chris Lykes did the last two years on bad Miami teams. That's the way you should probably picture Tech this year. It's not a traditional basketball program. Got a really good player, undersized. If he was two or three inches taller, he's probably playing for one of the teams you're gonna hear in the first half of these ACC rankings.

I love Cone, local kid, but too much to overcome with Nolley going into the transfer portal. Number twelve, Clemson. We still don't know if Amir Sims is going to be back on this team.

All indications right now point that he's going to keep his name in the draft, even if he doesn't. This team loses Tevin Mack. I don't really see a lot of upside on this roster and I think they're going to be a middling team yet again. I do like Jamie Newman or excuse me, John Newman. I like Jamie Newman too, for the record. John Newman, triad guy, but Clemson can only get so far on his shoulders. Amir Sims might be good enough to push Clemson a couple of spots, but this is a bottom third team in the ACC. Number eleven, Notre Dame.

No TJ Bibbs, no John Mooney, no Jawad Durham. Leszczewski, we saw him hit a big shot against North Carolina, but I don't see any horses on this Notre Dame team. I like Mike Bray, they tend to overachieve and have under his guidance, but this isn't a top ten team in the ACC, so I have them eleven. Top ten.

Number ten, Pittsburgh. Trey McGowan's, he transfers to Nebraska, but they had a handful of great underclassmen last year. Loved what Xavier Johnson brought. He's back for another year.

Audis Tony, he can be bouncy. We saw, Wake Forest saw, what Justin Champani is capable of doing. That's going to be the core for Coach Caple's team in 2020-2021.

We'll see if they can land a couple other players to try and bolster things a bit. Pitt right now a top ten team, not quite an NCAA tournament team, but getting closer. Number nine, Georgia Tech.

The postseason ban, it's lifted now. Last year counted for the Yellow Jackets. Jose Alvarado, somehow he's still playing for the Yellow Jackets, it's going to be a senior year. Remember, Joel Berry was on this show and he said, Alvarado was the guy who kept talking trash and was just disrespectful to him during his senior season.

He's going to be back as a senior. Michael Devo, he lit up the Tar Heels as did Moses Wright. I like Georgia Tech, but not, I still think nine might be stretching it for the ACC next year, but they're going to be a borderline team. Number eight, Syracuse.

This is the biggest wildcard team in the league, I think. If they get some breaks in the way of a one-time transfer, they got Alan Griffin from Illinois, he would be a beautiful player to mix with Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard, who was fun last year, Dolejai, it would be a really nice group. Jim Boeheim, he's done a good job to keep Syracuse competitive in the ACC the last few years, but it just hasn't quite met the standard they set when they were in the Big East. Eighth best team in the ACC right now. Number seven, this might be my surprise team in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year.

Miami Hurricanes. Chris Lykes is a magical player, now he has some help around him. Rodney Miller Jr., who the Cameron Crazies, I can't get it out of my head, say look a lot like Stephen A. Smith.

Robert, Aaron, you might want to check on this. Rodney Miller, look at him from Miami. Is it fair for the Crazies to yell out and chant Stephen A. Smith every time he had the basketball?

A little disrespectful there. McGusty, he's back for Miami. They're bringing in a top 25 recruit in Earl Timberlake. Also, you got that Cincinnati transfer who's going to be eligible to play in the Sierra Brooks.

Miami, the seventh best team in the ACC in my way-too-soon ACC basketball rankings. What do you make of Rodney Miller? That's beat up, man. It's fair, though. That's beat up.

But it's fair. This dude looks like Stephen A. Smith's illegitimate son. Every time he touched the basketball at Cameron, the Crazies started chanting, Stephen A. Smith, Stephen A. Smith.

Stay off the weed. Number six, number six in my ACC basketball rankings. NC State. Kevin Keats, he could probably play the way he intended to all along when he took this job. At UNCW, as we discussed yesterday, he averaged nine or ten players all the years they were good playing ten minutes a game. His first year in Raleigh, only three guys played ten minutes.

Eight the last two years. They have a lot of depth on this team. They don't bring in the Josh Hall recruit who leaves the same way Jalen Lequeu last year did. But you do have Cam Hayes who could play point guard right away, four-star point guard. Braxton Beverly's back, good position for him. He's probably going to be a six-man. Devin Daniels, I thought was the best player on last year's team altogether.

Two-way, that is. They lose Markelle Johnson. They lose CJ Bryce. NC State going to be a really good team, just not top five in the ACC, so I have them at six. Number five, the Louisville Cardinals. They lost to Hall.

Enoch, Wara, McMahon. That's a lot to replace and it doesn't help you got to play Duke and UVA twice next season. Johnson, I saw what he was capable of doing and Cameron up close in person. He had other games where he showed flashes.

Consistency was just a problem. Now that this is going to be his team, it seems like, I really like what it potentially could be. Malik Williams underrated coming off the bench in the post for the Cardinals as well. Number four, Florida State. Outright winners of the ACC for the first time a year ago. They lose Trent Forrest. They lose Devin Vassil. They lose North Carolina native Patrick Williams, but they won with strength in numbers.

They're not going to be able to roll platoons the way they did a year ago, but they're not going to be far off of that. Strong class returning. MJ Walker's back. Evans is back. Gray's back.

Polite's back. Florida State still one of the premier teams in the conference. You're going to be talking about a two or three seed in the NCAA tournament next year. Number three, North Carolina Tar Heels.

It's going to be the revenge tour. Just so much talent there and Roy Williams is the coach that I don't see this team finishing outside the top three in the conference. I think the top three teams are tiered and then the next tier is Florida State, Louisville. And I don't want to throw NC State into that group just yet, but they're not far from it.

But I think it's a two team tier on that second tier. With the Tar Heels though, I'm not completely out on Leaky Black. I just need him to finally take a step. He needs to stay healthy. He needs to show he can play make, play that role that Theo Pinson did, Justin Jackson played, J.P. Tokido played. Black, I think he can do more than he's done in the last two years. Armando Bacot, I think he takes a step. Like Luke May took a step. Like Garrison Brooks took a step. You're not going to find a bigger Armando Bacot fan than us on this show.

I'm surprised you're playing all these cuts and not Bacot. Garrison Brooks could be an ACC Player of the Year candidate. Shooting is still my biggest concern. That's why they're not higher than number three.

Number two, this is the part that might surprise you. It's the Duke Blue Devils. Duke is not the team I have winning the ACC this year. It's hard to pick through holes through this lineup. Jordan Goldwire, big jump from his freshman year to sophomore year. I think he takes another jump this year. Matt Hurt, he just needs to gain some weight.

I think he'll finally do that. He just looked like he had a lot of baby fat on him last year. He might have been the most reliable shooter Duke had this past season. Wendell Moore and Jalen Johnson, they're both going to be a lot of fun.

Patrick Tape, a great glue player. They just haven't won an ACC regular season title since 2010, so I don't quite have them there winning it all this year. The team I do have winning the regular season crown, the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia number one in my way too soon, ACC basketball rankings. They almost won the damn thing last year.

Crazy to think with everything they lost that they almost won it. Went on quite a run, winning close games. Kihei Clark's back. Thomas Wolden ten sides back. Casey Morsell back. Jay Huff back.

Francisco Cafaro back. They bring in a couple four-star players. This team's going to be great and they have a favorable schedule as here are the teams they have to play twice next year. Georgia Tech, NC State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest. Those are the teams they have twice. No Dukes, no North Carolinas, no Florida States, no Louisville's. So they get a favorable schedule. They've been the most successful team in the ACC the last ten years, so I'm going to bank on Tony Bennett's team as they've done a good job recruiting even locally. Bringing in McCorkle from Greensboro Day. He's one of those four-star players coming in who can contribute immediately for the Cavaliers. So there you have it, my way too soon ACC basketball rankings.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 00:08:46 / 2023-02-12 00:13:48 / 5

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