Coming and Going - A Look at ACC Basketball in 2009-10, Pt. II

Yesterday, we brought you a look at the Coastal Division of the ACC basketball spectrum. Today, we present a preview of the other half of the equation - the Atlantic Division. (Yes, we know the divisions don't apply to basketball).

Below, you'll find a team-by-team analysis of what exactly is being lost - through graduation, the NBA, or Europe -and who exactly is coming in - ie, the recruiting class, and their rankings - for each ACC basketball team. A couple of predictions accompany this. We realize that a lot could change between now and November, which is why we include three different possible predictions - a Best Case, a Worst Case, and our own prediction, a fusion of the two.

What are you waiting for? Make the jump and get to reading.  

Boston College

 

2009 Recruiting Class: None.

The Eagles are bringing in no new recruits for the upcoming season, but are still losing 22% of their points from last year with the graduation of their only senior, Tyrese Rice.

Players lost to graduation/NBA/Europe
Tyrese Rice (G) - Graduation (16.9 ppg, 5.3 apg)

31cbeaa4d7_paris_0318_mediumTyrese Rice leaves BC after a very nice career with the Eagles. Rice not only made up 22% of BC's scoring last season, he also accounted for 28% of the team's 3 pointers made, as well as 35% of the assists they dished out. That means someone on the current roster is going to have to step up to fill the void left by the second team all-ACC selection. Can Reggie Jackson or Biko Paris (seen right, apparently very happy about something) make up for Rice's absence? Only time will tell. Last year the Eagles were 22-12 (9-7 in the ACC). Can they maintain last year's pace or will they slip down into the bottom half of the ACC?

Best Case - Reggie Jackson and Biko Paris kick their game up a notch and the Eagles get 21 wins (+/- 2 wins).

Worst Case - The team can't overcome the loss of Rice, both in the number of points he scored and with his leadership on the court and the Eagles stumble to a 6-10 finish in the ACC.

Testudo Times Prediction - Some of the newer Eagles spread their wings a little more but having one less player on the bench and losing that player and his almost 17 points per game is really going to hurt BC. Al Skinner is a good coach, so 7-9 in the ACC sounds about right. The Eagles will likely be a bubble team at the end, but they end up just missing the tournament

Clemson

2009 Recruiting Class:
Milton Jennings 6' 9" Small Forward: 95 grade
Devin Booker 6' 8" Power Forward: 89 grade
Donte' Hill 6' 4" Shooting Guard: 85 grade 

Clemson brings in three players for next season, most notably Rivals' 25th rated player, 6 ‘9 forward Milton Jennings. He'll look to fill the shoes of last year's starting small forward and second leading scorer, K.C. Rivers

Overall Class Ranking: #25 (ESPN), #19 (Scout)

Players lost to graduation/NBA/Europe:
Sophomore Terrence Oglesby (G) - Europe (13.2 ppg)
K.C. Rivers (G-F) - Graduation (14.2 ppg, 6 rpg)
Raymond Sykes ( C ) - Graduation (7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
Jesse Yanutola (F) - Graduation (0.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg)

Trevorbooker_front_mediumAfter finishing last season with a 23-9 record, the Tigers were looking to claw their way towards the upper quarter of the ACC this season. Prior to last week, the Tigers were in good position for 2009-2010, losing only 28% of their points from last year and replacing K.C. Rivers with Milton Jennings at small forward. But that was before the surprising decision of sophomore Terrence Oglesby to leave Clemson and pursue a professional basketball career in Europe. The loss of Oglesby is huge for Clemson and takes them from being a team that could have competed for a top three spot in the league down to one who will likely finish around 8-8. Oglesby, aside from scoring just over 13 points per game, also allowed Clemson to stretch out opposing defenses with his three-point shooting, a skill that no one on their team also possesses. With Oglesby's departure, Clemson will now lose 62% of their three-point production from last season. The other area where Clemson loses in terms of their departing players from last season is in rebounds, where the Tigers are losing 38%. They also lose good leadership from Rivers and while Jennings is a fantastic player coming in, he might not immediately be able to fill River's shoes.  Returning leading scorer, Trevor Booker (pictured - definitely got it right this time...his name's on it, after all), will need to step up if this team expects to finish in the upper-echelon of the ACC.    

Best Case - Jennings is a true stud and fills in nicely for the departed K.C. Rivers and Oglesby's loss isn't as painful as a lot of people feared. 10-6, 4th in the ACC.

Worst Case - Jennings struggles, opposing defenses don't respect Clemson's three-point shooting ability and keep a second man inside to contest shots, and Clemson falls to a 6-10 ACC record.

Testudo Times Prediction - The Tigers won't be as bad off without Oglesby as many think and will salvage an 8-8 record and by the skin of their teeth slip into the NCAA Tournament.     

Florida State

2009 Recruiting Class:
Michael Snaer 6' 5" Shooting Guard: 96 grade
Terrence Shannon 6' 7" Power Forward: 87 grade

Florida State will hope to fill the void left by the last year's ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Toney Douglas, with star shooting guard Michael Snaer. Snaer is ranked as the 7th overall player by Rivals and is joined by forward Terrence Shannon in the Seminoles' 2009 class.

Overall Class Ranking: Not Ranked (ESPN), #24 (Scout)

Players lost to graduation/NBA/Europe:
Brian Hoff (G) - Graduation (1 ppg)
Toney Douglas (G-F) - Graduation (21.5 ppg)
Uche Echefu (F) - (8.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

610x_mediumAs was alluded to earlier, the loss of ACC DPOY Toney Douglas is huge for Florida State. Not only was Douglas fantastic for FSU on defense, but he also put up 21.5 ppg, no easy accomplishment in the ACC. FSU had a very successful season in 2008-2009, going 25-10 overall and finishing the season 10-6 in the ACC. With some young, talented players waiting in the wings, FSU could find themselves in a similar position in 2009-2010.  One of those players is 7' 1" sophomore Solomon Alabi (pictured fouling Landon) who will hope to improve on his 8.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 2.1 bpg - he has the potential to. Snaer will likely be good as well, probably not nearly as good as Douglas even in combination with the returning squad. Expect the Seminoles to be in the top third or so of the ACC in 2009-2010.

Best Case - Alabi becomes a presence in the paint and reminds us of a poor man's Hasheem Thabeet. Snaer and Shannon pick up where Douglas left off last season and FSU cruises to a fourth or fifth place finish in the ACC.

Worst Case - The seven footer fails to build off his freshman campaign and Snaer struggles a little as FSU takes a slight step back in 2009-2010.  The Seminoles fall to a 7-9 conference record and just miss out on the Big Dance.

Testudo Times Prediction - FSU will be a formidable team in the ACC in 2009-2010, finishing with a 9-7 ACC record and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where the inexperience of Snaer and Shannon will cost the Noles.

Maryland

2009 Recruiting Class:

Jordan Williams 6’ 10" Power Forward: 89 grade
James Padgett 6’ 8" Power Forward: 87 grade

 

The Terps bring in two big men next year in Jordan Williams and James Padgett. Williams is now famous for breaking a backboard while playing in a high school game and is the first true back to the basket center Maryland has had since Lonny Baxter. Padgett is a talented forward who can play above the rim and does a fantastic job finishing. They will likely receive major minutes next year due to Maryland’s lack of size.

Overall Class Ranking: N/A (ESPN), N/A (Scout)

Players lost to graduation/NBA/Europe:
Dave Neal (F) - Graduation (8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
Braxton Dupree (F-C) - Transfer (2.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
Greivis Vasquez (G) - NBA (undecided) (17.5 ppg, 5 apg, 5.4 rpg)

Nba_vasquez_greivis_275_mediumThe Terps could either be in a great position or facing a bit of a challenge for 2009-2010. The only thing we know right now is that Dave Neal has graduated and that Williams and Padgett are coming in next season. Past that, no one really  nows. Junior Greivis Vasquez (seen in his most BA pose) is still weighing his NBA options; if he did turn pro early, it would be devastating for the Terps next year, as Vasquez lead the Terps in almost every statistical category. Maryland is also waiting to hear where highly touted recruit Lance Stephenson will land. The Terps are still involved and Stephenson still has them on his list, but everyone is waiting to see what will happen in Stephenson's current court case, which was rescheduled for late June. If Vasquez and Stephenson are both in College Park next year, the Terps could make a move in the ACC and possibly get to the Sweet 16, which hasn’t happened in 6 years.

If Vasquez does end up turning pro, the Terps will be without 52% of the three pointers they made last season, compared to losing only 18% if Vasquez does return. They would also lose 40% of their assist total without Greivis. Even if the Terps don't land Stephenson but Vasquez still returns, you're looking at a team that made it to the second round of the NCAA's last season with a very weak front court. Sub out Dave Neal for Jordan Williams and James Padgett, and you see a big upgrade to the front court.

Best Case: For the Terps, the best case scenario would be landing Lance Stephenson and Vasquez returning. Maryland would only lose Dave Neal and Braxton Dupree from last year's team and have the second-most most returning production among all 12 ACC teams. Add in Lance, Padgett, and Williams, and the Terps could finish among the top three teams in the ACC and make a nice run in the NCAAs, possibly to at least the Sweet 16. 

Worst Case: Vasquez leaves early and the Terps miss on Stephenson. Although the Terps still have Padgett and Williams coming in, their combined production won't be able to make up for the loss of Vasquez. If the Terps find themselves in this situation, they could also find themselves out of the NCAA tournament again. 7-9 in the ACC and a serious bubble team come Selection Sunday.

Testudo Times Prediction: It seems Vasquez will likely be back if he's not guaranteed a top 25 spot in the draft, although that isn’t a guarantee. Lance Stephenson's recruitment has been an up and down roller coaster that most Terp fans are ready to get off. There is, however, a good chance he could end up in College Park, where he, along with Vasquez, could make the Terps a top 25 team. Both situations are seeming more likely every day, and a Terp team with Greivis and Stephenson could be as good as 12-4 or 11-5, good enough for a top spot in the ACC and a number 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

North Carolina State

2009 Recruiting Class:
Lorenzo Brown 6’ 4" Shooting Guard: 95 grade
Richard Howell 6’ 8" Power Forward: 92 grade
DeShawn Painter 6’ 9" Power Forward: 92 grade
Scott Wood 6’ 6" Shooting Guard: 89 grade 
Jordan Vandenberg 7’ 0" Center: 84 grade
Josh David 6’ 6" Small Forward: 82 grade 

The Wolfpack lose theirtop three scorers from last season but should be able to ease the pain with six newcomers including Rivals’ 37th and 61st ranked players, Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell. 

Overall Class Ranking: #11 (ESPN), #13 (Scout) 

Players lost to Graduation/NBA/Europe:
Courtney Fells (G-F) - Graduation (11.3 ppg)
Simon Harris (F) - Graduation (1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
Ben McCauley (F-C) - Graduation (12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Brandon Costner (F) – NBA (13.3 ppg, 6 rpg)
Trevor Ferguson (G) – Graduating early (5.5 ppg)

847-acc_nc_state_maryland_baske_standalone_prod_affiliate_138_mediumAfter a disappointing 16-14 record (6-10 ACC), the Wolf Pack are looking to bounce back in 2009-2010 with a very highly-rated recruiting class. NC State will be losing about 50% of their productivity across the board, with the early departure of Brandon Costner for the NBA (he’s actually a 4-year junior who is graduating, so good for him), as well as the graduation of Ben McCauley and Courtney Fells. The Wolfpack are trying to once again become relevant in the ACC and they are definitely going in the right direction by bringing in Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell. 

Best Case: Brown and Howell are studs and fill the void left by the departure of the Wolfpack’s top-three scorers. 8-8 ACC, NIT

Worst Case: This young group features a few budding stars in Brown and returning PF Tracy Smith (pictured), but they don’t get the support they need around them (ala Sean Singletary at UVA a few years back). 5-11 in the ACC.

Testudo Times Prediction: Sidney Lowe has this team going in the right direction. This year could be a between year, as Lowe works to shake off a few recent disappointing seasons. 7-9 ACC, NIT

Wake Forest

2009 Recruiting Class:
Ari Stewart 6’ 7" Small Forward: 93 grade
C.J. Harris 6’ 2" Point Guard: 89 grade  

Wake Forest’s class is small in size but not in talent. It’s highlighted by Rivals’ 52nd ranked prospect, 6’ 7" athletic forward Ari Stewart.

Overall Class Ranking: N/A (ESPN), N/A (Scout)

Players lost to Graduation/NBA/Europe:
James Johnson (F) – NBA (15.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg)
Jeff Teague (G) – NBA, but might return (18.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.5 apg)

Aminu_mug_shot_mediumWake got a huge boost when freshman Al-Farouq Aminu (pictured after shooting a lady with a BB gun) decided to return for his sophomore season at Wake and the Deacons could get an even bigger boost if Jeff Teague decides to come back. The Deacons also bring in a very nice recruiting class that could potentially complement the remaining players very well. Wake does lose 46% of their made three-point shots from last season, as well as 56% of their points, so the Deacs have some catching up to do in those categories.

Best Case: Teague comes back and Harris and Stewart pick up where Johnson left off. 11-5 ACC.

Worst Case: Teague stays in the draft and the supporting cast has a hard time filling the void left by his 18.8 ppg. 7-9 ACC.

Testudo Times Prediction: A lot depends on what Teague does. If he’s back, Wake again is a very good team and they’ll likely finish around 10-6. If Teague goes, so to do the chances of Wake’s NCAA tournament hopes. 7-9, NIT or bubble team.  

 

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