ACC Sports Journal: Pre-Pre-season hoops power rankings

Jim Young and the folks over at the ACC Sports Journal don’t wait around until September or October to put out pre-season basketball power rankings. Try late April. Following the NBA Draft Deadline Jim Young and Andrew Skwara came up with the ACC rankings looking at coaching changes, incoming recruiting classes, what players left and what players are returning to each squad. Take a look at the full list here.

Here’s the list:

1. Duke
2. Virginia Tech
3. UNC
4. FSU
5. NC State
6. Miami
7. Maryland
8. Clemson
9. Georgia Tech
10. BC
11. Wake Forest
12. Virginia

Here are Young’s thoughts on NC State and, just for fun, UNC.


Key losses: Dennis Horner
Key returnees: Tracy Smith, Scott Wood.
Quick take: I’m putting the Wolfpack up this high even though I don’t know right now whether State will get C.J. Leslie (it’s supposedly looking better for the Pack, by the way). There’s a power vacuum in the ACC next season that the Wolfpack is poised to fill. Still, I think chemistry will be tricky. The team’s top player, Tracy Smith, will be reliant on freshmen – Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown – to get him enough touches. And how will senior point guard Javi Gonzalez handle having a reduced role?
Skwara’s ranking: No. 5


Key losses: Deon Thompson, Ed Davis
Key returnees: Larry Drew II, John Henson, Tyler Zeller
Quick take: I know a lot of UNC fans wouldn’t have shed tears if Drew had transferred, but I think his return was important. He’ll be a junior next season, with a year of starting under his belt. And he’ll have a lot more perimeter help with the addition of top recruits Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bulllock. The key: can UNC’s tall, but not exactly physical, frontcourt, stay healthy?
Skwara’s ranking: No. 4

Obviously CJ Leslie coming to NC State would make that No. 5 ranking a little more solid, but the Wolfpack should be improved even without him. I’m not sure if the Pack can move up that far but things should be better in 2010-2011.

Regarding that certain names player’s recruitment, it should be over soon. Leslie appears closer to his decision and rumors have even had him making it this week.

10-11 Basketball ACC & Other Basketball Recruiting College Basketball

16 Responses to ACC Sports Journal: Pre-Pre-season hoops power rankings

  1. Rick 04/28/2010 at 8:16 AM #

    IMO with Alibi gone we have the fourth best talent in the ACC. The coaching is the big question.
    1) Will they play defense like they did at the end of the year?
    2) Will Lowe be able to mesh them into a team
    3) Will the freshmen play like freshmen

    A lot of questions but a ton of talent.

  2. Derek Medlin 04/28/2010 at 8:22 AM #

    Rick, do you not think Xavier Gibson will be just as good as Alabi?

    I know his loss hurts FSU’s depth, but is Gibson not the same player?

  3. wolfpackfan09 04/28/2010 at 9:34 AM #

    Cant complain about that. We have the pieces to a good team, we just need to deliver. I think javi will still start, but at shooting guard where he belongs and will prosper. Whether we get leslie or not, i have a good feeling about this year in basketball

  4. jbpackfan 04/28/2010 at 9:40 AM #

    We definitely will have Top 5 talent… let’s hope it translates to Ws on the court.

  5. Daily Update 04/28/2010 at 10:35 AM #

    I wouldn’t say we have a “ton of talent”. Duke and UNC have a ton of talent. We have talent that should give us a shot at a 4-8 finish in the league which hopefully will put us just inside the bubble.

    CJ Leslie increases my optimism significantly. I think he can make a major difference as a shot blocker on the defensive end. It would improve our team defense significantly to have someone on the court who is a threat to block shots.

  6. ryebread 04/28/2010 at 11:31 AM #

    wolfpackfan09: I’d be absolutely shocked if Javi were starting by the time ACC play rolls around. If so, I highly doubt it’s at SG. I think Brown is the most college ready of our freshman (even more so than Leslie potentially would be). I think he gets the vast majority of the starts at SG this year.

    I actually think if Javi does start games this year, it will be at PG. Harrow has some very nice skills, but he is slight of frame and we don’t really know about his defense. Javi may get the nod there — particularly early in the season.

    I think we’ll see a youth movement outside of TS. The vast majority of the minutes will be played by freshman and sophomores. Javi, CJW (if CJL comes) and JT will be coming off the bench.

  7. PoppaJohn 04/28/2010 at 1:21 PM #

    I have yet to hear anyone answer the question that keeps popping up, “Is Brown going to qualify?”

    Being a lifelong Wolfpacker, the best I can muster for next year is “cautious optimism.”

  8. Rick 04/28/2010 at 1:40 PM #

    “We have talent that should give us a shot at a 4-8 finish in the league which hopefully will put us just inside the bubble.”

    Who else adds a top back court to an All ACC front court?

  9. GoldenChain 04/28/2010 at 3:47 PM #

    I’ve had it. How many years in a row have there been articles like this saying “this is State’s year”.

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  10. john of sparta 04/28/2010 at 8:06 PM #

    just for fun:
    UNC looks like 2009-2010 Duke and
    NCSU looks like 2009-2010 Maryland.

  11. blpack 04/28/2010 at 9:36 PM #

    I can’t complain with those picks. We should be better, but the freshmen will have to grow up fast. UNC-ch showed it was not very good last year at it’s core. Duke will rule and 2-12 is up for grabs. Ten wins for the Pack in a down ACC is a real possibility. If not we will know we have a problem.

  12. FunPack 04/28/2010 at 9:51 PM #

    ^ Good post Blpack. I agree with everything you just said. We’re going to get some answers one way or another.

  13. bradleyb123 04/28/2010 at 10:33 PM #

    How about that Sidney Lowe?!!!

    Sidney Lowe RULES, baby!!!

  14. Daily Update 04/29/2010 at 9:28 AM #

    Rick: Where is our all-ACC frontcourt? We have 1 player who was all-ACC. Not an entire front court.

    I think we have top 4-5 talent now. How they play together will determine where we finish. I would feel better about our chances if Harrow and Brown weren’t freshman, but fortunately we have experience in the backcourt although those experienced players have had mixed results during their careers.

    We are in good shape in terms of our roster. That was a needed first step for the program to improve.

    Goldenchain: Not many years actually. There was a lot of talk in Lowe’s second year. But if you break down the differences between Lowe’s 2nd team and the roster for next season, then I think it is clear the two situations are very different because of experience, depth and talent levels in the backcourt.

  15. Rick 04/29/2010 at 12:34 PM #

    ” We have 1 player who was all-ACC. Not an entire front court.”

    We have as much talent on the front line as anyone not named UNC or Duke.

    I have read time after time that talent is the most important thing in the world.
    I think experience is important as well but we had experience this past year.

  16. bradleyb123 04/29/2010 at 1:47 PM #

    We had talent, and lesser talent. We had experience and inexperience. This year we’ll have more talent across the board, and more experience. But the main problem was our lesser-talented PG’s. We should be improved this year, and even better next year, and still better the year after that. Of course, the best of all worlds is to have superior talent that is also experienced. We won’t be there this year, but I think we’ll be good enough to go at least .500 in the conference and secure an non-bubble NCAA bid. If we don’t, I’d say it’s most likely Sid’s fault. Unless it’s due to a rash of injuries or something beyond Sid’s control.

    I’m expecting more this year than I have in a LONG, LONG TIME.

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