RamblinRed's ACC Spring Recruiting Review

Now is a great time to take one last look at each ACC School's 2005-2006 recruiting class. This is a much more appropriate time to take a look at recruiting as you can get a better sense of who is actually going to be arriving on campus in the fall and who is going to Prep schools. There has been a surprising amount of activity (more losses than gains) by schools since the fall period ended.

As we reach the summer solstice, now is a great time to take one last look at each ACC School's 2005-2006 recruiting class. This is a much more appropriate time to take a look at recruiting as you can get a better sense of who is actually going to be arriving on campus in the fall and who is going to Prep schools. There has been a surprising amount of activity (more losses than gains) by schools since the fall period ended.

For each school, I will give a review of the players signed as well as three ranks/grades. The first is a numerical quality rating of the recruits each school signed. This rating is based on the following consensus rankings: Top 10 = 12 pts, Top 25 = 10, Top 40 = 8, Top 50 = 6, Top 75 = 5, Top 100 = 4, Top 125 = 3, Top 150 = 2, all others 1. Rankings are determined by looking at the rankings of 4 different recruiting services' Spring rankings (The RSCI composite rankings are also shown but are not included in determining rank). A player is awarded a number based on their top 2 rankings. If I had the Spring HoopScoop ranking for a player (the consensus top 100 from RSCI) then that was included in ranking the player, and the player was placed in the category that the top 3 rankings would rank. RSCI was looked at for borderline cases. In the case of both Rivals and Scout, a 3* counted as outside the top 150 (Rivals rankings went to 150 and Scout had 148 4 or 5 star players in 2006 – I looked at what number they placed in the position rankings to gauge whether a 4* Scout non-top 100 player was top 125 or top 150). The second grade is also a numerical grade that is a modification of the first grade. This number is the points awarded to the school. This number will be equal to or less than the first number. The numbers will be modified in the following way. The school receives 6 pts for each top 10 player, 7 pts for each top 25 player, and 6 pts for each top 40 player. This is a discount applied based on the probability that these players are less likely to stay for 4 years than lower ranked counterparts. Also, a JUCO is awarded 50% of the first number as they only have 2 years of eligibility rather than 4. A transfer is awarded points based on how many years of eligibility they have remaining. The third grade is a letter grade (A through F) that is a subjective attempt to grade the program on how well it met its needs.

A team could have a high numerical score and a low letter score if for example they signed highly ranked players but failed to meet a need (i.e. Signed some great guards, but needed a big man). Also, a team could have a lower numerical score but a higher grade if they met their needs.

Recruiting Services 
SC = Dave Telep/Scout.com top100
RV = Rivals top 150
HM = Hoopmasters/Van Coleman top 200
HS = HoopScoop top 100
PS = PrepStars top 300
RS = RSCI Composite Top 100

Boston College (5, 5, C-) 
1 Tyler Roche 6'7, 195 SF, Manchester, NH (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-182, HM-BoR) 
2 Shamari Spears 6'6, 250 CF, Blairstown, NJ (SC-4*, RV-3*, PS-127, HM-179) 
1 Daye Kaba 6'4, 200 SG, Center Reach, NY (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-210, HM-BoR) 
1 Tyrelle Blair 6'10, C Transfer from Loyala-Chicago

This is a fairly typical Al Skinner class with a lot of under-the-radar types he will try to coach up. Roche is a promising wing player. Shamari Spears (pictured) is sort of a shorter version of Craig Smith. Kaba is a big, athletic combo guard. Tyrelle Blair is a transfer from Loyola Chicago who averaged about 5 ppg and 5 rpg there. Frankly, none of the four look like sure-fire ACC starters, but Coach Skinner always seems to find kids who he can meld into effective players. As usual, I give BC a mediocre grade as they signed kids who fit their needs. The question will be how well will they excel in the ACC.

Clemson (5, 5, C) 
1 Trevor Booker 6'7, 215 PF, Union, SC (SC-4*, RV-3*, PS-161 HM-176)
2 David Potter 6'6, 180 PF Bradenton, FL (SC-3*, RV-119, PS-138, HM-198)
1 A.J. Tyler 6'9, 200 F, Palm Harbor, FL (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-214, HM-BoR)
1 Karolis Petrukonis 6'11, 270, C, Norfolk, VA (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-190, HM-BoR)

Coach Oliver Purnell had some good early classes, but this is more of a return to a typical Clemson class. There is some potential but not much immediate help. Booker (pictured) is a bruising PF from South Carolina. David Potter is a wing who spent this year at a prep school in Florida. Tyler is a thin, sweet shooting PF. Petrukonis is a big center. With who they have coming back, it is hard seeing any of these four seeing significant early playing time. Clemson gets a C for getting players who meet their needs, but like BC we will have to see over the next 3-4 years how competitive they are as a group.

Duke (40, 28, A) 
10 Gerald Henderson 6'5, 205 SF, Merion, PA (SC-15, RV-11, PS-9, HM-21, HS-17 RS-10) 
10 Brian Zoubek 7'1, 270 C, Haddenfield, NJ (SC-38, RV-24, PS-23, HM-25, HS-20, RS-25) 
10 Jon Scheyer 6'5, 180 SG, Northbrook, IL (SC-20, RV-70, PS-28, HM-31, HS-13, RS-28) 
10 Lance Thomas 6'8, 200 PF, Newark, NJ (SC-18, RV-42, PF-26, HM-17, HS-15, RS-20)

With the signing of yet another strong recruiting class, Coach K and the Blue Devils look to continue their dominance. The big news was the twofold spring announcements of Josh McRoberts returning to school and then finally getting the signature of active frontcourt player Lance Thomas. Those two decisions significantly improved Duke's outlook for this fall. Henderson (pictured) looks to be the star of this class. He had a great senior year and postseason. He is an extremely athletic wing whose perimeter jumper has improved. Zoubek is a large, skilled center who is best-suited to a halfcourt game as he is not overly mobile. Scheyer is the next great shooter at Duke. He once scored 21 points in 75 seconds, a very good shooter and heady player. Lance Thomas is an excellent baseline forward, who is a strong rebounder and finisher around the rim and a high-energy guy. All but Zoubek were McDonald's All-Americans. At least two of these 4 are likely to start this season. Duke got 3 players who have a chance to be all-ACC and a fourth who should be a nice role player. Overall, this is a very strong class.

Florida State (10, 9, C+) 
2 Aaron Holmes 6'4, 180 SG, St. Petersburg, FL (SC-4*, RV-113, PS-161, HM-137) 
4 Josue Soto 5'11, 150 PG, Jacksonville, FL (SC-4*, RV-111, PS-70, HM-97, HS-35, RS-85) 
4 Toney Douglas 6'2, CG Transfer from Auburn

FSU's class took a major hit in the Spring when highly regarded center Jon Kreft was arrested on drug charges. Combined with Johnson's early departure, this creates a significant void in the middle. The star of this class is Auburn transfer Toney Douglas. Toney averaged almost 15 ppg in SEC games as a FR. He is an athletic scoring machine who will be asked to handle some PG duties as well. Josue Soto (pictured) is a small, quick scoring point guard from FL. He could eventually be the long-term replacement for Todd Galloway. Aaron Holmes is a shooting guard with a beautiful jump shot who will likely be brought along slowly behind Rich, Allen and Swann. FSU is still actively recruiting Phil Jones, hoping to add him to the mix for next year. They are also hoping that Ryan Reid will be on campus this fall after failing to qualify out of HS last season. Without Jones and Reid definitely in the fold, it is hard to rate this higher than a B- as the class lacks size, which FSU desperately needs.

Georgia Tech (28, 16, A) 
12 Javaris Crittenton 6'5, 195 PG, Atlanta, GA (SC-14, RV-7, PS-20, HM-10, HS-6, RS-12) 
12 Thaddeus Young 6'8, 210 SF, Memphis, TN (SC-6, RV-5, PS-6, HM-7, HS-8, RS-6) 
2 Zach Peacock 6'7, 215 PF, Miami, FL (SC-4*, RV-134, PS-156, HM-165) 
1 Brad Sheehan 6'10, 215 C, Albany, NY (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-171, HM-BoR) 
1 Muhammad Faye 6'8, 190 CF, Senegal

Paul Hewitt continues to bring in strong recruiting classes for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This year's class is  highlighted by two McDonald's All-Americans, Thaddeus Young (pictured) and Javaris Crittenton. Young should be an immediate difference maker in Atlanta, arguably the most versatile player coming into the conference. Thaddeus is an athletic and skilled player who can play all over the court. After last year's disaster, the Ramblin' Wreck desperately needed a point guard and got one of the most highly regarded ones in local standout Crittenton. Javaris is a big, athletic PG that has been a huge winner on the HS level, playing in the GA 1A state championship game all 4 years, winning it twice. Peacock is a tough inside operator who led his team to the FL 6A title, being named State Tournament MVP and Miami-Dade Male Athlete of the Year. Brad Sheehan is a skilled, athletic big man who needs to add more weight and strength. The X-factor in this class is Muhammad Faye, a former standout on the Senegal under 18 and 20 teams. He arrived last summer, but the NCAA was unable to process his transcripts in time for him to play. He is reportedly a skilled shooter and passer who is an excellent athlete with a huge (7'3") wingspan. By filling all of its needs and bringing in immediate impact players, Georgia Tech's class receives a solid A.

Maryland (14, 14, B) 
3 Landon Milbourne 6'7, 200 CF, Alpharetta, GA (SC-3*, RV-107, PS-113, HM-131) 
4 Eric Hayes 6'3, 160 PG, Dunfries, VA (SC-96, RV-70, PS-111, HM-96) 
1 Jerome Burney Jr. 6'9, 210 PF, Atlanta, GA (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-227, HM-161) 
5 Greivis Vasquez 6'5, 170 CG, Rockville, MD (SC-4*, RV-46, PS-74, HM-101, HS-74, RS-93) 
1 Bambale Osby 6'8, 255 PF/C, Paris, TX (JUCO) (PS-Top150JC, HM-JUCO BoR)


Maryland needed a big class to help replace all the players it is losing over a two-year period and this is a solid start. The likely breakout star is Vasquez (pictured), who plays a lot like current Spur Manu Ginobili. Either Vasquez or Hayes, a Steve Blake-type PG who needs to bulk up, will likely start in the backcourt with an otherwise experienced team. The rest of the class is more of a mixed bag. Milbourne is an athletic forward who may be similar to Nick Caner-Medley without the jump shot or the hyphen. Burney is a big man project from Atlanta, great shot blocker, but very raw offensively. Osby is a late JUCO signee who is a questionable ACC-level player. The staff hopes he can be a serviceable rebounder/defender. Overall, this was a good but not great class for Gary Williams and Maryland.

Miami (13, 13, B-) 
4 James Dews 6'3, 185 SG, Middletown, OH (SC-4*, RV-100, PS-98, HM-138) 
4 Dwayne Collins 6'8, 225 PF, Miami, FL (SC-82, RV-138, PS-87, HM-104) 
1 Jack McClinton 6'2, G Sienna Transfer
1 Fabio Nass 6'10, 215 PF, Catarina, Brazil (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-T200JC, HM-JUCO BoR) 
3 Lawrence Gilbert 6'7, 200 SF, Gilbert, TX (SC-4*, RV-97, PS-219, HM-136)

Miami has an interesting class. They desperately need some more size for the program, but how much help they got from this class is an open question. They got a deadeye shooter in Dews (pictured). They also got a nice athlete who doesn't always play hard in Collins (GT signee Peacock had a stronger year in Miami-Dade). Gilbert was a late signee who was a Hurricane evacuee playing in TX. He could be a nice sleeper at the small forward position. Nass is one of the more underwhelming players ever brought into the ACC with a 3 ppg 2 rpg average in the JUCO ranks. Miami might have been better served not throwing MD signee Burney back into the ocean. Jack McClinton was a standout as a FR at Sienna and should fit in well at Miami if they continue with a 3-guard lineup. This was a good class that may not provide as much inside help as Miami needs.

North Carolina (54, 34, A+) 
12 Wayne Ellington 6'4, 190 SG, Merion, PA (SC-7, RV-8, PS-3, HM-8, HS-5, RS-8) 
12 Tywon Lawson 5'11, 190 PG, Mouth of Wilson, VA (SC-5, RV-9, PS-5, HM-3, HS-5, RS-5) 
12 Brandan Wright 6'10, 205 PF, Brentwood, TN (SC-3, RV-3, PS-7, HM-4, HS-4 RS-43) 
4 William Graves 6'6, 235 SF, Burlington, NC (SC-79, RV-105, PS-67, HM-94, HS-49, RS-79) 
8 Alex Stepheson 6'9, 230 PF, N. Hollywood, CA (SC-55, RV-41, PS-29, HM-44, HS-65, RS-39) 
6 Deon Thompson 6'8, 260 C, Torrance, CA (SC-36 RV-72, PS-43, HM-40, HS-87, RS-43)

On paper, this is probably one of the greatest classes of all time. Ellington, Lawson and Wright were all ranked #1 at their position by at least one recruiting service. They have players for every position on the court. Sort of scary when the latter three players in the class would be ranked higher than all but 2 other programs' classes this year. Ellington (pictured) is a smooth shooting guard; Lawson a Felton-type PG. Wright is a long PF in the mold of Chris Bosh (without the jumper). Stepheson was a rebounding and scoring machine in CA this year, while Thompson is a wide-bodied insider. Graves is a large SF. Wright won 4 consecutive state titles in TN (private school division) while Lawson starred for the loaded Oak Hill Academy team. Ellington was HS teammates with Duke signee Gerald Henderson in PA. Just a great, talented, balanced class. A+.

North Carolina State (6, 6, D+)
3 Dennis Horner 6'7, 200 SF, Absecon, NJ (SC-3*, RV-83, PS-176, HM-110)
1 Trevor Ferguson 6'5, 180 SG, Richmond, IN (SC-2*, RV-3*, PS-T250, HM-BoR)
1 Bartosz Lewandowski 7'2, 245 C, Brighton, ME (SC-2*, RV-NR)
1 Farnold Degand 6'3, 170 Transfer Iowa State

A class that is somewhat typical when you have a late coaching change, NC State lost its two most highly regarded players and added a couple of lightly regarded newcomers in their place. I am including Degand as it is reported he may try to seek immediate eligibility, though it is more likely he will not be eligible to play until 2007. Horner is the one holdover from Herb Sendek's fall class. A SF with potential, Ferguson transferred to NC State before Sendek left. He is a multi-position perimeter player who broke both wrists in HS limiting his exposure. He will be eligible after fall semester and will be needed to help in the backcourt immediately. Lewandowski (pictured) is a Polish student who was being recruited by assistant coach Towe at New Orleans before he came to NC State. He is a project. Finally, Degand was a moderately regarded combo guard in the class of 2005 from Boston who signed with Iowa State and transferred to NC ST this summer after Coach Morgan was fired. He should provide some depth at guard if he gets immediate eligibility. If not, the Wolfpack will have to wait until 2007. NC State needed bigs and a PG most this year and really failed to land an impact player at either spot. Like I said, this is not an untypical transition class. It will take 2 strong classes from new Wolfpack Coach Sidney Lowe in '07 and '08 to help build the program back up.

Virginia (14, 14, B) 
5 Jamil Tucker 6'9, 210 SF, Gary, IN (SC-67, RV-80, PS-82, HM-72, HS-87, RS-66) 
3 Solomon Tat 6'5, 220 SG, Stockbridge, GA (SC-3*, RV-114, PS-77, HM-116, Hs-80, RS-92) 
4 Will Harris 6'6, 230 SF, Queens, NY (SC-3*, RV-90, PS-77, HM-108) 
1 Ryan Pettinella 6'9, F Transfer from Penn (SC-NR, RV-2*, HM-JUCO BoR) 
1 Jerome Meyinsse 6'9, 220 C, Baton Rouge, LA (SC-1*, RV-2*, PS-Top350, HM-NR)

This is a very good class for Leitao at UVA that went through several changes since the fall. First, big man Lett failed to qualify. Second, forward Ogibe never signed and instead went to Ole Miss. In their place, UVA brought in lightly regarded Pettinella as a transfer from Penn and the unknown Meyinsse from LA. Tat has had visa issues but the rumors are they will be cleared up in time for him to be part of the team. Tucker and Harris are the two standouts in this class and a study in contrasts. Tucker (pictured) is a tall, skilled forward who is more finesse than banger and has a nice outside jumper. Harris is a bull of a SF that loves to mix it up and doesn't do anything great, but does a lot of things well. Both should move into the Cavaliers' now deep rotation. Tat is another bull of a power guard that loves to go to the rim. Pettinella averaged about 4 pts and 3 rbs at Penn. How much of an impact he can make in the ACC is a question. Meyinsse was an unknown that the staff saw at Kingwood and quickly recruited. Tall and athletic, he has nice long term potential. UVA added a nice dose of talent to their squad, but depending upon Meyinsse's development may not have met their need of adding strong frontcourt players. Overall, this was a good class.

Virginia Tech (9, 9, B-) 
2 Lewis Witcher 6'8, 200 PF Rocky Mount, VA (SC-3*, RV-99, PS-162, HM-147) 
4 Nigel Munson 6'0, 160 PG, Hyattsville, MD (SC-87, RV-109, PS-58, HM-79, HS-43, RS-70) 
3 Tyrone Appleton 6'2, CG, Cincinatti, OH (SC-3*, RV-124, PS-66, HM-164)

VT had a potential top 25 class delayed for a year, as Jeff Allen will prep for a season after having a huge senior year. But they still have a solid class with some nice talent. Munson had a very strong senior year in MD and looks to be one of the better point guards entering the league in a deep PG class. Tyrone Appleton (pictured) is a strong combo guard from Ohio who adds further depth to the VT backcourt. Witcher is an athletic, blue-collar big man that should be able to provide some minutes immediately to help Collins. VT really needed more big man help, but hopefully that will come in another year when Allen qualifies. Until then, this is a solid B class with the potential to improve.

Wake Forest (18, 18, A) 
2 L.D. Williams 6'4, 185 SF, Monteverde, FL (SC-3*, RV-131, PS-90, HM-130) 
5 Jamie Skeen 6'8, 215 PF, Huntersville, NC (SC-54, RV-85, PS-39, HM-54, HS-55, RS-50) 
5 Anthony Gurley 6'3, 180 SG, Newtonville, MA (SC-58, RV-79, PS-38, HM-78, HS-63, RS-59) 
4 Ishmael Smith 5'11, 150 PG, Concord, NC (SC-92, RV-128, PS-89, HM-111) 
1 Chas McFarland 7', 200 C, Worchester, MA (SC-3*, RV-145, PS-224, HM-197)
1 Casey Crawford 6'8, 210 PF, Overland Park, KS (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-124, HM-196)

After a down year, Wake needed an infusion of talent and got it with a large, deep class. It lacks a likely immediate superstar but gives them talent to grow at every position. Ishmael Smith (pictured) is a lightning quick PG, an excellent passer who is another solid prospect in a deep ACC PG class. Gurley is a fantastic scorer from MA who is a two-time state champ. Skeen is a skilled forward who overcame injury to lead his HS team to the state playoffs. L.D. Williams is a very athletic wing who had to play out of position at times as PG. He is not a great shooter but does a lot of other things well. McFarland is a prep player who needs weight and strength but has nice potential at center. Crawford was a late signee from KS who is an excellent shooter but a mediocre athlete. He will definitely need to get stronger in college. Skeen, Gurley and Smith could see a lot of time early in their careers.  Although they did not land any real superstars, Wake filled a lot of needs, resulting in an A grade.

For what it's worth, here is a quick comparison of how I ranked the classes the last two years:

Boston College (3, 3 C-, 3 players), (4,4 C-, 4 players) 
Clemson (15, 15 B, 5 players), (7, 7 C+, 3 players) 
Duke (15, 12 C, 2 players), (41, 30 A+, 5 players) 
Florida State (19, 15, B, 3 players), (20, 17.5 B+, 4 players) 
Georgia Tech (19, 19, A, 4 players), (18, 15, B-, 3 players) 
Maryland (12, 9, B, 2 players), (10, 7.5, C+, 3 players) 
Miami (5, 4, D, 3 players), (14, 14, B+, 4 players) 
North Carolina (19, 13, B, 3 players), (38, 25, A, 4 players) 
NC State (22, 20, A, 4 players), (22, 17, A, 3 players) 
Virginia (9, 9, B-, 3 players), (4, 4, C-, 3 players) 
Virginia Tech (10, 10, C, 3 players), (4, 4, C-, 4 players) 
Wake Forest (4, 4, B, 1 player), (13, 13 B, 4 players)

Also, here is a listing of how I would rank the prospects based on the 4 recruiting services. The number is a computed rank based on the 4 services and the number in parentheses is where Brick Oettinger (PrepStars) ranked the players based on his ranking for the Hoop Sheet. JUCO's and transfers are not included on this list.

1. Brandon Wright, UNC 4.2 (4) 
2. Tywon Lawson, UNC 5.6 (2) 
3. Wayne Ellington, UNC 6.2 (1) 
4. Thaddeus Young, GT 6.4 (3) 
5. Javaris Crittenton, GT 11.4 (6) 
6. Gerald Henderson, Duke 12.8 (5) 
7. Lance Thomas, Duke 23.6 (8) 
8. Brian Zoubek, Duke 26.6 (7) 
9. Jon Sheyer, Duke 31.0 (9) 
10. Alex Stepheson, UNC 46.8 (10) 
11. Deon Thompson, UNC 55.6 (13) 
12. Jamie Skeen, Wake 57.4 (12) 
13. Anthony Gurley, Wake 63.2 (11) 
14. Nigel Munson, VT 75.2 (14) 
15. William Graves, UNC 78.8 (17) 
16. Jamil Tucker, UVA 79.2 (21) 
17. Greivis Vasquez, MD 84.0 (19) 
18. Josue Soto, FSU 88.2 (18) 
19. Eric Hayes, MD 93.3 (26) 
20. Dwayne Collins, Miami 103.3 (22) 
21. Ishmael Smith, Wake 105.0 (23) 
22. James Dews, Miami 115.3 (25) 
23. Will Harris, UVA 115.8 (15) 
24. Solomon Tat, UVA 116.4 (20) 
25. Aaron Holmes, FSU 135.8 (31) 
26. L.D. Williams, Wake 137.8 (24) 
27. Tyrone Appleton, VT 138.5 (16) 
28. Landon Milbourne, MD 139.30 (27) 
29. Dennis Horner, NC ST 142.3 (36) 
30. Lawrence Gilbert, Miami 144.3 (41) 
31. Zach Peacock, GT 145.0 (32) 
32. Lewis Witcher, VT 152.0 (34) 
33. Shamari Spears, BC 157.8 (29) 
34. David Potter, Clem 163.8 (30) 
35. Trevor Booker, Clem 165.5 (33) 
36. Casey Craword, Wake180.0 (28) 
37. Brad Sheehan, GT 191.5 (35) 
38. Chas McFarland, Wake 197.0 (42) 
39. Jerome Burney Jr., MD 199.0 (43) 
40. Karolis Petrukonis, Clem 203.8 (38) 
41. Tyler Roche, BC 208.0 (37) 
42. Daye Kaba, BC 208.8 (39) 
43. A.J. Tyler, Clem 209.8 (40) 
44. Bartosz Lewandowski, NC ST (44) 
45. Jerome Meyinsse, UVA 308.3 (45)

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