GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 13: John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels rebounds a shot by teammate Tyler Zeller #44 as Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during the second half in the championship game of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 13, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
I know the whole Yow-Williams-Doyel love triangle is still in full bloom, but in all honesty, the vitriol is getting a little tired. It was a great distraction for a few days, but it's time to go on to new things.
Like, say, ACC players declaring for the NBA draft. Or, in the case of North Carolina's Tyler Zeller and John Henson, not declaring early for the NBA draft. Harrison Barnes, their highly-regarded teammate, is still deliberating as to whether or not he'll jump, though the smart money might be on a return (though that's a guess at best).
With Henson and Zeller coming back, UNC is pretty much guaranteed to have the longest and best front court in the nation, let alone in the ACC. If Barnes returns, they'll have a McDonald's All-American basically seven-deep, along with the clear frontrunner for player of the year with Barnes. There's no way they'll be anything other than the prohibitive ACC favorites, and they'll probably enter the year as #1 in the polls.
That'll probably rub Duke fans the wrong way. They're only hope to prevent it was the return of Kyrie Irving...and that's not happening, either. Irving's going pro for good, which leaves the Blue Devils without their three best players from this year (Irving plus the graduating seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith).
Duke's front-court is solid but not particularly imposing. Their backcourt has ridiculous firepower, especially with Austin Rivers coming in, but also almost no experience. Between Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Quinn Cook, and Rivers, there are four gunners that would be welcomed by any ACC team. There's also almost no starting experience and nothing in the way of pure distributors. That'll make for an interesting dynamic back there, but more importantly probably means they're beatable.
Elsewhere in Carolina, C.J. Leslie is going to "wait and see" about declaring, probably to see if Gottfried can talk him into a return.
I'm not sure how much these departures matter, because Carolina is going to be at a different level than the Terps next year. If Jordan Williams goes pro, so, too, will Duke.
About that: the status of Jordan Williams has no apparent answer in sight. He's apparently working out at Impact Academy, a popular gym in Vegas. He could still come or go, and that's not a huge indicator either way. That will have far more of an impact on Maryland next year than any of the other departures will, of course.
(h/t to bshock for getting half of this about two hours ago in the FanPosts)