Written by: Mike Ryan
The ACC is one of the three conferences we’ll be highlighting here on Winspan Sports. The conference currently features six teams ranked inside the AP top 25 (Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Miami, Florida State, and Clemson) and outsiders looking in (Louisville, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame) all have a chance of being a competitive team as conference plays progresses.
Here’s a look at the current ACC standings:
- Clemson – 13-l (2-0)
- Virginia – 13-1 (2-0)
- Notre Dame – 12-3 (2-0)
- Louisville – 11-3 (1-0)
- Duke – 13-1 (1-1)
- Florida State – 12-2 (1-1)
- Miami – 12-2 (1-1)
- North Carolina – 12-3 (1-1)
- Syracuse – 12-3 (1-1)
- Wake Forest – 8-6 (1-1)
- Georgia Tech – 7-7 (1-1)
- Boston College – 10-5 (1-2)
- Virginia Tech – 11-4 (0-2)
- NC State – 10-5 (0-2)
- Pittsburgh – 8-7 (0-2)
NBA prospects to watch:
Marvin Bagley – PF – Duke – projected to be a top 5 pick. Currently averaging 21.9 points, 11.6 rebounds on 63% shooting.
Wendell Carter – PF – Duke – projected mid lottery to late teens. Scoring 13.7 points on 61% from the field. Grabs 8.9 rebounds a night in just 24.5 minutes a game and is blocking two shots per game.
Trevon Duval – PG – Duke – projection 13 – 20 in the draft. Duval is a pro typical floor general and drive and kick guard. Duval is an excellent on ball defender averaging two steals a game but needs to improve on his outside shot immediately as he’s only hitting 15.8% of his three point attempts. Duval is even struggling at the foul line hitting only 62.2% of his attempts.
Lonnie Walker – SG – Miami – Late first to early second – Walker’s best attribute is that he features a 6’10 wingspan to go along with his 6’4 frame. NBA teams will look at his potential upside rather than on court production with Miami at the moment. His shooting is not where it needs to be (42.4% from the field and 31.6% from three)
Bruce Brown – SG – Miami – projection late lottery – mid 20’s – Another Miami player not living up to his preseason hype. Brown is an excellent rebounding guard for his 6’5 frame grabbing 7.3 rebound a night. His shot needs to be improved (26.8 from three and 55.3% from the line) but has shown to be an above average play maker and strong defender.
Grayson Allen – SG – Duke – late teens to early second – Allen is an excellent shooter and offensive player. His athleticism is much better than what people give him credit for and could be an immediate contributor off the bench for a contending team. Allen should be a good NBA player for years to come
Ray Spalding – PF – Louisville – Second rounder – Spalding needs to put on some weight for the NBA (6’10 215 pounds) but is great around the rim offensively and defensively. Spalding is shooting 49.6% from the field (lower cause he’s shooting more threes now) and getting close to two steals and two blocks per game.
Gary Trent – SG – Duke – late first to early second – Trent has been a bit undervalued at Duke which is effecting his draft stock at the moment. He’s a guy you can expect to rise with a strong combine showing. Trent is taking over 6 threes a game and is making them at a 36.5% clip. Shooting translates to the NBA.
Tyus Battle – SG – Syracuse – Second round – Battle is having a nice sophomore year. Battle is scoring over 19 a game and getting nearly two steals. Battle would be a nice value pick in the second round.
Bonzie Colson – PF – Notre Dame – second round – undrafted – A foot injury will derail Colson’s senior season for 8 weeks and will hurt his draft stock. He’s an undersized Power Forward but plays like a total beast. Colson will be a training camp body with an outside chance to make a roster.
Anas Mahmoud – C – Lousiville – Second round to undrafted – Mahmoud is a true seven footer with an excellent ability to block shots (3.8 a game). His footwork and offensive game has improved during his senior year and will be worth a flyer in the second round.
Most Improved Teams:
Boston College – Nothing was expected of Boston College in the ACC at the beginning of the year but they’ve been extremely competitive in their three conference games. BC scored a home win over Duke (Blue Devils only loss of the year), fell by a point at Virginia (had the ball with a chance to win with under 5 seconds left) and nearly came back from a 15 point halftime deficit to beat Clemson. Guards Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson will keep the Eagles in games.
Florida State – The Seminoles have been an explosive offensive team which Leonard Hamilton has not had in year’s past. FSU is currently scoring 85.4 points a game (24th in the nation) and have seven guys scoring over 6.5 points per game. FSU already has wins over Florida and North Carolina this season.
Most overrated team:
Miami – Miami has yet to record a single win against teams in the KenPom top 40. Their best win was against an overrated Minnesota team and they’ve dropped games to New Mexico State and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes need to improve in a hurry as their next three games are vs Florida State, @ Clemson and then vs. Duke.
Duke – The clear favorite and maybe Coach K’s most talented team in awhile. Duke could have as many as five players in the first round of the NBA draft. The freshman have been better than advertised although defensive issues has been a problem for the Blue Devils in ACC play. They’ve let up 89 to BC and 90 to Florida State. The good thing? Their the second highest scoring team in college basketball at 94.6 points a game.
North Carolina – The Tar Heels simply do not have the talent they’ve had in year’s past. The team is being led by seniors Joel Berry and Theo Pinson and juniors Kenny Williams and Luke Maye have stepped up considerably this year. Maye is actually proving to be an All American this year. However, the freshman bigs are clearly not ready for ACC play and the Tar Heels don’t have the size and athleticism they’ve previously had. Expect an average season in the ACC for the Tar Heels.
Upcoming games this Weekend:
North Carolina @ Virginia
Louisville @ Clemson
Pittsburgh @ Virginia Tech
Notre Dame @ Syracuse
Wake Forest @ Boston College
Duke @ NC State
Florida State @ Miami