RamblinRed's 2004-2005 ACC Overview (Part 2)

Virginia Tech & Miami are likely to struggle and compete with each other to stay out of last place in the ACC.

This is a continuation of RamblinRed's ACC preview...

Miami (14-16, 4-12 Big East)* Stats are Big East conference stats

Key Returnees:

Guillermo Diaz 6'2, 186 So. (12.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.1apg, 32.6mpg, 48%FG, 51?G, 81.1%FT)

Robert Hite 6'2, 190 Jr. (13.9ppg, 3.9rpg, 2.3apg, 34.2mpg, 42.6%FG, 33.3?G, 83.8%FT)

William Frisby 6'8, 235 Sr. (6.2ppg, 3.7rpg, 18.1mpg, 51.5%FG, 75.8%FT)

Eric Wilkins 6'4, 192 Jr. (2.8ppg, 1.5rpg, 14.1mpg, 41.7%FG, 52%FT)

Gary Hamilton 6'10, 250 Jr. (2.9ppg, 3.7rpg, 17.6mpg, 60.6%FG, 66.7%FT)

Newcomers:

Glenn Batemon 6'11, 335 C Jr. (Transfer Fordham)

Raymond Hicks 6'7, 232 F

Antoine Mayhand 6'2, 200 G

Key Losses:

Darius Rice F (17ppg, 7.3rpg, 33.1mpg)

Armondo Surratt G (5.6ppg, 3.6apg, 31.8mpg, 34.4?G)

Rodrique Djahue F (6.1ppg, 3.6rpg, 18.8mpg)

Karron Clarke F (1.8ppg, 1.6rpg, 8.1mpg)

Production Returning: 57.9% PPG, 48.1% RPG, 55.5% APG

Top 6 split: 5 home, 4 away

OOC Avg: 211.6

Strengths: Diaz and Hite

Questions: PG play, post play, coaching

Outlook:

Welcome to the ACC Mr. Haith. Not only do you join a league that is incredibly talent laden at the top, you get to do it with a depleted roster that lacks talent and experience. Only 2 players that played more than 20mpg return, meaning the former bench players and newcomers are going to have to contribute to have any chance at all for wins in the conference. Diaz and Hite are solid guards, but neither is a true PG, something that Miami lacks. Miami also lacks any proven big men. In his first year as a head coach Haith's main job will simply to be to keep his guys from getting too down on themselves. The OOC will help as it is largely a joke. In conference Miami has to play 9 games against the top 6 teams though at least 5 are at home to help draw some crowds. Haith has proven to be an excellent recruiter but it will take him a number of years to rebuild this program to be competitive with the top tier.

Newcomer to Watch: Antoine Mayhand

After losing Surratt to transfer Coach Haith will need someone to help out at PG, especially in the backcourt. Mayhand looks like the best bet. He could turn out very similar to Levi Stukes at UGA. A late signee that makes a big impact. Mayhand was a big time scorer that will have to refine his game to play PG, but he should be fun to watch play alongside Hite and Diaz.

North Carolina (19-11, 8-8, NCAA 2nd Round)

Key Returnees:

Rashad McCants 6'4, 207 Jr. (21.6ppg, 4.1rpg, 34.8mpg, 49.6%FG, 46.4?G, 70.8%FT)

Sean May 6'9, 266 Jr. (14.8ppg, 9.8rpg, 30.7mpg, 46%FG, 63.5%FT)

Raymond Felton 6'1, 198 Jr. (12.6ppg, 6.8apg, 4.4rpg, 2spg, 36.2mpg, 44.2%FG, 30?G, 79.3%FT)

Jawad Willaims 6'9, 218 Sr. (10.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 25.6mpg, 41.4%FG, 19.4?G, 62.9%FT)

Melvin Scott 6'2, 190 Sr. (10ppg, 3.2rpg, 2apg, 31.7mpg, 39.5%FG, 38.6?G, 77.4%FT)

David Noel 6'6, 224 Jr. (5.6ppg, 4.8rpg, 21.6mpg, 54%FG, 66.7%FT)

Newcomers:

Marvin Williams 6'9, 230 F

Quentin Thomas 6'3, 175 G

Wes Miller 5'11, 185 G (So. Transfer)

Key Losses:

none

ACC Production Returning: 99.7% PPG, 98.9% RPG, 99.6% APG

Top 6 split: 4 home, 4 away

OOC Avg: 129.1

Strengths: talented starting five, solid depth, offensive prowess, experience

Questions: defense, chemistry

Outlook:

In his second season Coach Williams has a talented enough team to challenge for ACC and NCAA titles. The question is does the team have the chemistry and desire to play defense necessary to succeed at that level. With the addition of 2 talented freshmen to go with the core 7 from last season there really isn't any big ingredient missing to make a huge run. This team simply needs to mesh and prove it wants to play defense. UNC has arguably the best starting 5 in the ACC if not the nation. While it has shown great ability to score, it often didn't play well at the defensive end and the team just appeared to be missing some chemistry needed to succeed. Will this team be able to find that in its second year under Coach Williams? It has now been 3 years since UNC had a 20 win season, something that used to be an automatic. This team has a relatively favorable ACC schedule and a solid OOC that should put it in a good spot come March. UNC is another ACC squad that has the potential to make a run to the Final Four.

Newcomer to Watch: Marvin Williams

It's tempting to pick Quentin Thomas here, but Williams may be the best player in his class to actually go to college. While more of a combo forward than a true post player, just his height should help Sean May and Jawad Williams on the baseline. If he can help in the post it will make both Jawad and Sean better players and UNC more dangerous.

NC State (21-10, 11-5, NCAA 2nd Round)* Stats are all games

Key Returnees:

Julius Hodge 6'7, 205 Sr. (18.2ppg, 6.4rpg, 3.6apg, 34.9mpg, 50.7%FG, 36.1?G, 82.8%FT)

Ilian Evtimov 6'7, 232 Jr. (9.8ppg, 4.5rpg, 3apg, 29.1mpg, 45.8%FG, 33.7?G, 87.6%FT)

Engin Atsur 6'3, 200 So. (8.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.5rpg, 29.4mpg, 44.1%FG, 38.3?G, 66%FT)

Levi Watkins 6'8, 235 Sr. (6.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 19.6mpg, 38.1%FG, 32.7?G, 65.9%FT)

Cameron Bennerman 6'4, 198 Jr. (3.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 13.2mpg, 43.3%FG, 34.6?G, 72%FT)

Jordan Collins 6'10, 242 Sr. (3ppg, 2.1rpg, 11.7mpg, 44.4%FG, 69.2%FT)

Newcomers:

Tony Bethel 6'2, 178 G Jr. (Transfer from Georgetown)

Andrew Brackman 6'10, 205 F

Gavin Grant 6'7, 190 F

Cedric Simmons 6'9, 216 F

Key Losses:

Marcus Melvin F (14.3ppg, 8.1rpg, 34mpg, 36?G)

Scooter Sherrill G (10.5ppg, 2.9rpg, 27.9mpg)

Production Returning: 65.5% PPG, 57.7% RPG, 73.8% APG

Top 6 split: 5 home, 4 away

OOC Avg: 137.1

Strengths: Hodge, "positionless" system, good outside shooting

Questions: Rebounding, experience in post

Outlook:

Coach Sendek produced a surprise 2nd place finish in the ACC regular season and posted a 20+ win season and an NCAA Tournament appearance. His team has really taken to his modified Princeton offense and continues to be a solid defensive squad. The return of Julius Hodge makes a big year possible as they hope that the transfer Bethel and the talented newcomers can make up for the loss of Melvin and Sherrill. No one should underestimate this squad. There is enough talent and belief here to challenge for an ACC title and make a strong run in March. The keys for this team will be continued good outside shooting and passing and finding some players to step up and rebound. NC ST should easily make the NCAA Tournament and possibly make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.

Newcomer to Watch: Andrew Brackman

Some would pick Bethel, but I am going with Brackman. A big time MLB prospect that choose to go play college basketball rather than minor league baseball, Brackman really improved tremendously his senior year. After losing Marcus Melvin, Brackman gives NC ST that outside shooting big man that Coach Sendek loves with just a hint of toughness on a light frame. He should fit in beautifully in Raleigh.

Virginia (18-13, 6-10, NIT)

Key Returnees:

Elton Brown 6'9, 255 Sr. (13.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 26.9mpg, 48.4%FG, 66.7%FT)

Devin Smith 6'5, 242 Sr. (13.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 23.6mpg, 48.6%FG, 37.5?G, 83.3%FT)

JR Reynolds 6'2 1/2, 200 So. (9.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 25mpg, 44.5%FG, 38.4?G, 78.9%FT)

Gary Forbes 6'6, 210 So. (4.9ppg, 3.2 rpg, 20.4mpg, 38.4%FG, 16?G, 36%FT)

Jason Clark 6'8, 240 Sr. (4.5ppg, 5.1rpg, 20.7mpg, 51.1%FG, 73.1%FT)

TJ Bannister 5'10 1/2, 170 So. (4.4ppg, 3.4apg, 20.4mpg, 36.2%FG, 23.1?G, 86.2%FT)

Donte Minter 6'8, 245 So. (3.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 10.5mpg, 43.6%FG, 71.4%FT)

Newcomers:

Adrian Joseph 6'7, 200 F

Sean Singletary 6', 180 G

Tunji Soroye 6'11, 210 C

Key Losses:

Todd Billet G (9.2ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.2apg, 31.7mpg, 34.1?G)

Derrick Byars F (5.1ppg, 1.9rpg, 16.6mpg)

ACC Production Returning: 78.5% PPG, 76.5%RPG, 67.1%APG

Top 6 split: 4 home, 6 away

OOC Avg: 132.5

Strengths: interior offense with Brown, good wing players

Questions: defense, winning attitude, size that is ready to play

Outlook:

In what is potentially Coach Gillen's final season, he has a somewhat mixed and matched team that has a brutal ACC schedule. This team returns quite a bit of talent and experience for possibly one last shot for Gillen to make the NCAA Tournament. Brown is an excellent scorer down low. Reynolds looks like an excellent ACC guard. Some of the key questions include can Singletary and Bannister hold down the point against some of the top PG's in the league, will Devin Smith be fully recovered from his back injury and will the team play consistent defense? The answer to those questions will likely mean the difference between an NIT and an NCAA bid. UVA was done no favors by the league office as they are the only team to play 10 games against the top 6 in the league and have an unfavorable 4/6 split. They also have one of their tougher OOC schedules in a while. For this team to jump ahead of FSU it is going to have to come together quickly.

Newcomer to Watch: Sean Singletary

After watching this team suffer ever since Donald Hand departed, Coach Gillen finally has a 1st rank PG in Charlottesville. Singletary could potentially come right in and start, or at least split time at PG with Bannister. The type of player that is unselfish and makes others better, he is just what the doctor ordered at UVA. The key will be how quickly he can move up his learning curve against the almost insane level of PG talent in the ACC.

Virginia Tech (15-14, 7-9)*Stats are Big East Conference

Key Returnees:

Zabian Dowdell 6'2, 195 So. (9.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.6apg, 32.7mpg, 32.7%FG, 28.1?G, 72.7%FT)

Jamon Gordon 6'3, 190 So. (8.8ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.7apg, 33.4mpg, 38%FG, 28.6?G, 70.8%FT)

Coleman Collins 6'8, 228 So. (7.9ppg, 3.6rpg, 23.7mpg, 43.4%FG, 45.7%FT)

Shawn Harric 6'4, 220 Jr. (4.7ppg, 2.1rpg, 18.1mpg, 35.2%FG, 25?G, 61.5%FT)

Markus Sailes 6'5, 205 Jr. (4.9ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.6apg, 30.3mpg, 40.6%FG, 26.3?G, 60%FT)

Allen Calloway 6'8, 215 Jr. (3.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 16.7mpg, 43.2%FG, 40.6%FT)

Newcomers:

Marquis Cooke 6'3, 200 G

Carlos Dixon 6'7, 200 G/F r-Sr.

Robert Krabbendam 6'11, 210 C/F

David Stubbs 6'1, 170 G r-Fr.

Deron Washington 6'7, 190 G/F

Wynton Witherspoon 6'7, 180 G/F

Key Losses:

Bryant Matthews F (21.5ppg, 8.6rpg 2.6spg, 45.1?G)

Philip McCandies F (3.5ppg, 1.9rpg, 11.5mpg)

Bryan Randall G (3ppg, 13.3mpg, 34.8?G)

Production Returning: 55.7% PPG, 62.2% RPG, 74.2% APG

Top 6 split: 5 home, 4 away

OOC Avg: 175.2

Strengths: lots of guards with experience

Questions: PG play, scoring, size inside

Outlook:

Coach Greenberg led VT to a respectable finish in their last year in the Big East including an appearance in the Big East Tournament. Now he steps up to a whole new level without his star player. This team is relatively young and lacks size inside. You might even see VT play some 4 guard sets. Cooke will be expected to come in and start right away at PG. Krabbendam was a late signee from The Netherlands. This team is likely to struggle and compete with Miami to stay out of last place in the ACC.

Newcomer to Watch: Marquis Cooke

One of the highest rated players to commit to VT in some time, Cooke will be counted on to help offset some of the production lost with Bryant Matthews' departure. Cooke will likely be given the ball early and often in Coach Greenberg's small ball game. Cooke is a big talent that simply needs to have his talent channeled in a positive direction.

Wake Forest (21-10, 9-7, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)

Key Returnees:

Justin Gray 6'2, 186 Jr. (19.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.6apg, 31.2mpg, 42.5%FG, 38.2?G, 82.4%FT)

Chris Paul 6'0, 175 So. (13.9ppg, 5.6apg, 34.8mpg, 47.5%FG, 47.7?G, 80.2%FT)

Taron Downey 6'2, 190 Sr. (11.1ppg, 3.1apg, 29.9mpg, 49.2%FG, 42.9?G, 78.9%FT)

Eric Williams 6'9, 291 Jr. (10.8ppg, 5.9rpg, 25.7mpg, 51.6%FG, 67.2%FT)

Jamal Levy 6'9, 186 Sr. (9.8ppg, 9.1rpg, 34.1mpg, 50.4%FG, 17.6?G, 60%FT)

Trent Strickland 6'5, 212 Jr. (5.7ppg, 3rpg, 17.3mpg, 46.9%FG, 43.8?G, 46.2%FT)

Vytas Danelius 6'9, 237 Sr. (5.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 17.1mpg, 35.1%FG, 30?G, 69.6%FT)

Kyle Visser 6'11, 250 So. (5.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 12.9mpg, 54.4%FG, 54.5%FT)

Newcomers:

Cameron Stanley 6'7, 204 F

Key Losses:

none

ACC Production Returning: 99.4% PPG, 98.7% RPG, 99.6% APG

Top 6 split: 5 home, 3 away

OOC Avg: 119 (doesn't include Longwood – couldn't find their RPI)

Strengths: PG play, outside shooting, rebounding, depth and experience

Questions: defense

Outlook:

Coach Prosser has a team in his 4th season that is very capable of being a Final Four club. It has a great PG, best offensive backcourt in the country, size inside, a lot of depth and experience. The one thing that held this team back last year was its small size in the backcourt and defense overall. Other than defense this team really doesn't have any big weaknesses. It is also blessed with the best ACC schedule of the top 6 with a 5/3 split. This team should challenge for the ACC crown and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament with the Final Four a real possibility.

Newcomer to Watch: Cameron Stanley

This is basically by default as he is the only newcomer. After tearing his ACL his senior year of HS it will be interesting to see how far Cameron has come in his recovery. He is not likely to provide a lot of help this season and could be redshirted, but if he fully recovers he is an excellent athlete to add to Coach Prosser's stable. If you exclude Stanley then maybe you look at Jeremy Ingram who was redshirted last season as he could provide some more depth in the backcourt.


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