After taking an early look at the ACC this year, this our prediction for the ACC this season.
1) North Carolina - This team has the most talent in the ACC. They have bounced back from a season opening lost to Santa Clara. Their still may be some chemistry issues that could arise later in the year, but right now the Tar Heels are clicking on all cylinders. Will have a big non-conference matchup at Connecticut on February 13.
2) Georgia Tech - Still an extremely talented team. May be one player short of winning the ACC title this year. Ishmail Muhammed has just not improved this year. He has extreme athleticism, but struggles shooting the basketball. True freshmen Rashaan Dickey may improve, much like Luke Schenser did last season, as the year goes on to form a very formidable frontcourt.
3) Maryland - John Gilchrist may be the best scorer in the ACC. Last season, Gilchrist won the ACC tournament MVP carrying the Terps to the ACC Championship. Maryland is extremely athletic, and they anticipate the passing lanes very well. This team has suffered a couple of tough early season losses, but is one of the deepest teams in the league.
4) Wake Forest - This was the pre-season favorite to win the conference. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and forms a great backcourt with Justin Gray, but there is not enough inside game to win the conference. Eric Williams is a good player inside, but the Deacs do not have a nice compliment inside for Williams. Also, Williams is prone to getting into foul trouble which will present problems in conference play.
5) Duke - This is a sign of how tough this league will be. The lone remaining unbeaten team heading into to conference play, may very well be the fifth best team in the league. Coming into the season, Duke only had eight scholarships players. Now, Shavlik Randolph is out with mono. This team will go as far as JJ Redick and Daniel Ewing can take them.
6) NC State - Julius Hodge has played very well early in the season. This team will miss Marcus Melvin once it gets into meat of the conference. The Wolfpack must find a consistent compliment to Hodge to make a serious run.
7) Clemson - The Tigers have quality wins over South Carolina and Ohio State early in the season. The Tigers due catch some breaks in an otherwise brutal schedule. Shawan Robinson must become a consistent scorer for this team to make a run at seven conference wins. Sharrod Ford and Akin Akingbala provide the Tigers with a strong frontcourt.
8) Virginia - The Cavaliers had a great early season win over Arizona. Sean Singletary has played well at point guard. Devin Smith is on what seems like his tenth year of eligibility, will provide a consistent scoring threat for the Cavaliers. Elton Brown will provide a good inside presence for the Wahoos.
9) Florida State - Every year is supposed to be the year FSU steps up. Recruiting classes have been talked about, but results have not been there. Until this team proves it on the floor, I am not going to believe the hype on paper.
10) Miami - The Hurricanes won a big early season match up over Florida. This team has some athleticism, but is a couple years away from being a contender.
11) Virginia Tech - The Hokies received a rude welcoming to the league from North Carolina. The Hokies are a well coached basketball team, that will give some teams fits.