RamblinRed's ACC Recruiting Review 2007

With National Signing Day in the rear view mirror, it is time to take a look at how the ACC fared in recruiting. In general, this has been a lackluster recruiting year for the ACC, with fewer high profile signees and a class that is not as strong overall as say 2006 or 2004.

With the national signing day in the rearview mirror it is time to take a look at how the ACC fared in recruiting. In general this has been a lackluster recruiting year for the ACC, with fewer high profile signees and a class that is not as strong overall as say 2006 or 2004.

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 values: 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 Post-Spring rankings (The RSCI composite rankings are also shown but are not included in determining rank except in borderline cases). A player is awarded a number based on the category in which the top 2 rankings. In the case of both Rivals and Scout a 3* counted as a outside the top 150 if they were not ranked in their position (Rivals rankings went to 150 and Scout had 100 4 or 5 star players in 2007 – I looked at what number they placed in the position rankings to gauge whether a 3* Scout non-top 100 player was 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 (ie. 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, PS – PrepStars top 200, RS-RSCI Composite Top 100), BG – Bob Gibbons/ESPN Top 150. NOTE that Hoopmasters was not used in classifying since they didn't update their rankings in Spring

Boston College, 12, 12, B+
5 Rakim Sanders 6'6, 190 SG, Barrington, RI (SC-86, RV-126, PS-T50, HM-109, BG-45, RS - 69)
2 Corey Raji 6'6, 200 SF, Westwood, NJ (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-T100, BG-149, HM-166)
3 Josh Southern 6'9, 240 C, Saginaw, MI (SC-4*(23), RV-3*, PS-T200, BG-108, HM-99)
1 Courtney Dunn 6'8, 225 PF, Dallas, TX (SC-2*, RV-3*, PS-T300, HM-NR)
1 Biko Paris 6'2, 200 PG, Houston, TX (SC-2*, RV-3*, PS-161, BG-134, HM-200)

After suffering heavy graduation losses the last couple of years Boston College needed a big class to start to replenish its bench and looks to have a group that can provide some help early but more importantly has a lot of promise for the long term. This class is highlighted by the signing of Rhode Island's Gatorade POY Sanders. Sanders had a great senior year and could step in immediately on the wing with the departures of Dudley, Marshall and Haynes. Expect Raji to also get some time on the wing. Sanders is a better shooter while Raji may be more athletic. Josh Southern gives Coach Skinner the big, skilled post man that he loves. Not a great athlete, he knows how to throw his bulk around. Dunn is a long-term prospect with great athleticism. Paris was another late bloomer in HS and with the transfer of Haynes could potentially see early time in the backcourt behind Rice. There is a lot to like in this class, though its full effect likely won't be felt for a year or two as BC needs to rebuild a little this year.

Clemson 7, 7, C
2 Terrence Oglesby 6'1, 175 CG Cleveland, TN (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-T150, BG-145, HM-156)
3 Demontez Stitt 6'2, 170 PG, Matthews, NC (SC-3*(18), RV-3*, PS-T100, HM-BoR)
2 Jerai Grant 6'9, 215, PF, Hyattsville, MD (SC-3*(29), RV-3*, PS-200, BG-106, HM-145)

Clemson's class took a hit when headliner Laron Dendy de-committed (after moving back a class even before that). Stitt is another late bloomer who had a great year in NC and could be Clemson's PG of the future. Oglesby is a sharpshooting specialist from TN. Grant is the son of Harvey and has a lot of long term potential. With the defection of Dendy (though it was a mutual parting of the ways) and the recent de-commitment of top 100 PG Cashmere Wright in 2008, Clemson's recruiting seems to be in a one step forward, one step backward mode. Clemson needs a big 2008 class.

Duke 32, 20, A
10 Taylor King 6'7, 215 CF, Santa Ana, CA (SC-56, RV-37, PS-16, HM-29, BG-17, RS-24)
10 Nolan Smith 6'2, 175 CG, Mouth of Wilson, VA (SC-26, RV-39, PS-20, HM-30, BG-6, RS-19)
12 Kyle Singler 6'8, 210 SF, South Medford, OR (SC-6, RV-5, PS-5, HM-6, BG-4, RS-5)

This is a somewhat typical Duke class. 3 McD AA, though not all are overly athletic. Singler is the headliner, a top 5 recruit who could play all across the frontline for Duke. One of the most skilled players in his class, he really knows how to score the ball. King is a sharpshooting combo forward with very deep range. Smith is one of the most versatile guards Coach K has brought in a while. The VA Gatorade POY has the ability to play both guard spots, sort of a utility guy that is good at everything, great at nothing. He will also bring a dose of athleticism and defense to Duke's backcourt. Good class by Duke.

Florida State 17, 14, B+
5 Julian Vaughn 6'9, 240 PF, Mouth of Wilson, VA (SC-77, RV-111, PS-54, BG-119, HM-51, RS-66)
1 Jordan DeMercy 6'6, 180 SF, Norcross, GA (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS- 199, BG-132, HM- BoR)
10 Solomon Alabi 7'1, 235 C, Monteverde, FL (SC-25, RV-24, PS-24, BG-34, HM-40, RS-27)
1 Chris Blake 6'4, 185 SG, Mobile, AL (SC-NR, RV-3*, PS-T300)

With the departures of Johnson and Thornton, FSU really needed to reload in the frontcourt and likely has its post players of the future with Alabi and Vaughn. Vaughn was originally the more highly regarded though his reputation took a hit somewhat at Oak Hill this year. Vaughn is a big, though at times not physical, big man with a nice outside shot. Not super athletic, he should operate well in the high post for FSU. Alabi is a huge potential get for FSU. A center that can change the complexion of a game with his defense in the post, he needs to develop his offense. Demercy is a high-flying wing from the same HS as GT signee Lawal. He will operate as a glue guy for FSU. Blake was a late signee. He had a huge year in AL and could see a little time this year with Soto and Holmes both leaving the team. Good class for FSU, they will need to go guard heavy in 2008.

Georgia Tech 21, 15, A-
10 Gani Lawal 6'8, 215 PF, Norcross, GA (SC-20, RV-29, PS-21, HM-21, BG-23, RS-18)
3 Lance Storrs 6'5, 210 SF, Decatur, GA (SC-3*(39), RV-3*, PS-86, BG-95, HM-131)
4 Maurice Miller 6'1, 190 PG, Memphis, TN (SC-3*(20), RV-92, PS-73, HM-97, BG-66, RS-88)
4 Matt Causey 6', 187 PG, Lilburn, GA – North GA College transfer (SC-69, RV-77, PS-56, HM-97, RS-89 class of ‘03)

Another solid class for GT with Lawal being the headliner. Lawal is a McD AA and GA Gatorade POY who is not as skilled as some posts, but is very athletic and plays with a great motor. He will challenge for time right away. With the departure of Crittenton it was important to get a PG and GT actually brought in two Top 100 ones (one as a walk-on). Mo Miller was the Gatorade POY in TN and had a strong career in Memphis. He is a pass first PG who is best at controlling a game. Causey is a former GA Gatorade POY who started his career at Georgetown, transferred to N GA College with the coaching change and spent two years playing with his older brother (former Duke walk-on) dominating a lower class of ball. Causey is a strong shooter and high energy guy that will likely split PG duties with Miller this year. Causey is a 5-th Yr SR and has been practicing with the team for a year. Storrs is a close friend of Lawal, who like his buddy has a state championship under his belt. He played PG this year for his HS team but will play mainly on the wing at GT. Excellent outside shooter who is known as a glue guy that will do the little things. Good class for GT.

Maryland 15, 15, A-
5 Braxton Dupree 6'8, 260 PF, Towson, MD (SC-90, RV-3*, PS-72, HM-77, BG-67, RS-73)
2 Dino Gregory 6'7, 215 CF, Baltimore, MD (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-T150, HM-194)
2 Adrian Bowie 6'2, 170 SG, Rockville, MD (SC-3*(28), RV-3*, PS-111, BG-126, HM-164)
3 Shane Walker 6'10, 215 C, Alexandria, VA (SC-4*(30), RV-3*, PS-T125, HM-BoR)
3 Cliff Tucker 6'4, 185 G, El Paso, TX (SC-3*(32), RV-91, PS-T125, BG-142, HM-116)

With heavy graduation losses the last 2 years MD needed to replenish and managed to do so both last year and this year with solid players that should be good long-term additions to the program. Dupree is a big, skilled post player that should see time immediately. Gregory is a combo forward that will need to continue to improve his skill set to see time as he is slightly undersized for the post. Bowie had a strong SR year in MD and could eventually be a starting SG. Walker is an athletic big man with a lot of potential. Cliff Tucker was a late signee, a FB star who is a great athlete that may eventually take the Strawberry role on the team. Nice class for Coach Williams.

Miami 12, 9, B-
5 Edwin Rios 6'1, 165 PG, Hollywood, FL (SC-97, RV-113, PS-T50, HM-76, BG-54, RS-74)
1 Julian Gamble 6'9, 240 C, Durham, NC (SC-3*(27), RV-3*, PS-T200, HM-BoR)
6 Lance Hurdle 6'3, 180 SG San Diego, CA (SC-1*, RV-NR, PS-T50JC)

The biggest recruiting win for Miami was the NCAA granting Anthony King a hardship year. With the recent announcement that Cyrus McGowan will transfer in (which will be reflected in next year's report), that outweighs the loss of Freddie Aspirilla. Overall this is a pretty pedestrian class for Miami and not one likely to help them climb much in the conference. The highlight is Ed Rios, a long time commit that will be looked upon to contribute quickly with the loss of Harris and Clemente. Rios is a big time scorer who has improved his PG skills. Gamble is a long-term potential pick. A big bodied post with solid athleticism. Hurdle was a late JUCO signee who is expected to help in the backcourt. A little of a mediocre class for Coach Haith.

North Carolina 0, 0, INC

UNC went hard after McD AA Kevin Love with its one ‘ship but struck out. It decided to not offer Tyrel Reed (who went to Kansas). Holding the one ‘ship they had at the time, they will look to land a big class in 2008

North Carolina State 24, 20, A
1 Farnold Degand 6'3, 170 CG, transfer from Iowa St. (SC-3*, RV-2* class of ‘05)
1 Johnny Thomas 6'5, 210 SF, Greensboro, NC (SC-3*(40), RV-3*, PS-T200, HM-170)
10 J.J. Hickson 6'9, 230 PF, Marietta, GA (SC-13 RV-10 PS-19, BG-15, HM-15, RS-9)
6 Tracy Smith 6'7, 225 PF Durham, NC (SC-70 RV-46, PS-T50 HM-43, RS-63)
2 Javier Gonzalez 6', 170 PG Miami, FL (SC-3*(30), RV-3* PS-T150 HM- )
4 Marques Johnson 6'4, 195 CG transfer from TN (SC-91, RV-98, PS-80, 80, RS-78 class of '06)

A big class for Coach Lowe after his solid first year in Raleigh. The headliner is McD AA JJ Hickson. Hickson is a very athletic, strong big man with a nice offensive arsenal. His big weakness is a tendency to take plays off. NC ST needed to replenish the PG position and brought in a number of players to see who will take over. Degand has been in the program over a year. He originally signed with Iowa State out of HS and redshirted there. He was recruited as more of a combo guard. Johnson signed with TN out of HS but quickly found himself at the end of the bench (after the staff decided he was more a wing than a PG) and so he decided to transfer as well. Johnson brings excellent size and versatility. NC St also signed late blooming Miami PG Gonzalez in the Spring. NC ST also signed powerful PF Smith, who will likely see a lot of time once Costner and Hickson depart for the NBA. Thomas is a solid wing prospect. This was a very strong first class for Coach Lowe, following up on a strong finish to the year. One note, NC ST has not yet announced the signings of Smith and Gonzalez, so there is some question of whether they will be there in the fall. If they fail to arrive that takes some sheen off the class.

Virginia 12, 12, B
5 Jeff Jones 6'4, 185 SG, Philadephia, PA (SC-85, RV-76, PS-59, HM-78, BG-62, RS-68)
1 Sam Zeglinski 5'10, 170 PG, Philadelphia, PA (SC-3*, RV-3*, PS-T250, BG-148, HM-BoR)
1 Calvin Baker 6'2, 180 CG Transfer from William and Mary (SC-2*, RV-NR class of ‘05)
2 Mustapha Farrakhan 6'4, 170 SG, Chicago, IL (SC-3*(23), RV-3* PS-T150, BG-105)
3 Mike Scott 6'8, 215 PF, Chatham, VA (SC-4*(25), RV-109, PS-T100)

With the graduation of JR Reynolds and with Singletary being a SR getting some backcourt help was crucial and UVA added 4 players to compete there. Jones is the all-time scoring leader in Philly, the PA Gatorade PY, a smooth shooting SG who was originally a MD commit. Zeglinski comes from the same Philly HS as Sean Singletary. Zeglinski is a small PG who has an excellent outside shot. Baker is a transfer from William and Mary who had an outstanding FR year there. He will play at both guard spots. Farrakhan is the grandson of the Rev. He had an excellent SR yr and should be a nice long-term pickup. Scott was another late bloomer who had a strong SR yr and could be asked to help in the frontcourt early for UVA.

Virginia Tech 24, 24, B+
5 Jeff Allen 6'7, 215 PF, Hyattsville, MD (SC-4*(13), RV-73, PS-58, HM-71, RS-82)
5 Malcolm Delaney 6'3, 170 PG, Towson, MD (SC-83, RV-83, PS-T50, BG-55, HM-BoR, RS-77)
2 Terrell Bell 6'7, 190 SF, Stone Mountain, GA (SC-3*(35), RV-145, PS-T125, BG-143, HM-124)
5 Dorenzo Hudson 6'4, 185 SG Chatham, VA (SC-74, RV-104, PS-59, BG-60, HM-58, RS-67)
1 Darrion Pellum 6'5, 200 SF, Woodstock, VA (SC-3*(37), RV-3* PS-T300)
1 Hank Thorns 5'9, 160 PG, Las Vegas, NV (SC-2*, RV-3*, PS-T250) 5 JT Thompson 6'6, 215 PF Kings Mountain, NC (SC-51, RV-101, PS-68, RS-80 Class of 2008)

VT brings in the largest class this year (7), one of the best, and one that has seen a fair bit of change over time. The biggest news was the late defection of big man Gus Gilchrist who decided not to enroll after the campus tragedy. That was a big blow for a program that is short on big men. What VT did get is a number of players that should become the core of their team over the next 4 years. It starts wit Delaney, the MD Gatorade POY. Delaney had a huge SR yr, a big time scorer similar in some ways to Lewis Clinch. VT also signed another big time wing scorer in Hudson, who was prepping in VA. VT also brought in PG Thorns as a late signee. He had interest from UVA and KY after a strong SR year but chose VT. Good news for VT since their expected starting PG Munson has decided to transfer. VT also brought in 2 wing players. Bell is an athletic player from Atlanta who has nice long term potential. Pellum was a late Spring signee. Despite losing Gilchrist VT also brought in 2 players to help in the frontcourt. Allen has been a commit for a long time as he took a prep year this year. Allen is just a bull of a man who can score and rebound inside. VT got a late boost when 2008 commit Thompson (a cousin of Hudson's) qualified to enroll early. Somewhat similar to Allen. Hudson is a little smaller but still a bull in a china shop king of guy. With the core of the team departing VT needed a big class and got it.

Wake Forest 13, 13, A
6 James Johnson 6'8, 215 SF, Cheyenne, WY (SC-44, RV-60, PS-57, HM-38, BG-50, RS-43)
5 Jeff Teague 6'1, 170 PG, Indianapolis, IN (SC-46, RV-55, PS-61, HM-72, BG-69, RS-58)
2 Gary Clark 6'3, 175 SG, Monteverde, FL (SC-3*(24), RV-139 PS-T100, BG-97, HM-138 )

Wake Forest got a lot of value in its class. Johnson is a physical specimen who is improving his SF skills. Teague is an excellent combo guard that left basketball crazy Indiana to cast his lot with Wake. He is very quick and should partner well with Ish Smith. Clark was a Spring signee. Clark is a shooting specialist. With the big 2008 class Wake is assembling, they appear to be on their way to replenishing the program with talent and climbing back up the ACC ladder.

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

Boston College (3, 3 C-, 3 players), (4,4 C-, 4 players), (5, 5 C-, 3 players)
Clemson (15, 15 B, 5 players), (7, 7 C+, 3 players), (5, 5 C, 4 players)
Duke (15, 12 C, 2 players), (41, 30 A+, 5 players), (40, 28 A, 4 players)
FSU (19, 15, B, 3 players), (20, 17.5 B+, 4 players), (10, 9 C+, 3 players)
GT (19, 19, A, 4 players), (18, 15, B-, 3 players), (26, 18 A, 5 players)
MD (12, 9, B, 2 players), (10, 7.5, C+, 3 players), (14, 14 B, 5 players)
Miami (5, 4, D, 3 players), (14, 14, B+, 4 players), (13, 13 B-, 5 players)
UNC (19, 13, B, 3 players), (38, 25, A, 4 players), (54, 34 A+, 6 players)
NC ST (22, 20, A, 4 players), (22, 17, A, 3 players), (5, 5 D+, 3 players)
Virginia (9, 9, B-, 3 players), (4, 4, C-, 3 players), (14, 14 B, 5 players)
VT (10, 10, C, 3 players), (4, 4, C-, 4 players), (6, 6 C-, 2 players)
Wake (4, 4, B, 1 player), (13, 13 B, 4 players), (18, 18 A, 6 players)

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