ACC Loading up in 2012 with More to Come

The Terps could have a potential top 5 recruiting class in 2012.

As recruiting goes, there is generally the accepted notion that Duke and North Carolina will pick from the elite and toss the rest of the bones to the remainder of the ACC. It seems that assumption is getting kicked to the curb very quick, even though Duke and UNC are still power players on the recruiting board. With the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC basketball conference, the recruiting field just got that much tougher. And in 2012, the ACC has not been any slouch when it comes to grabbing the top players in the nation.

Duke is still king of the hill. They seem to be one of the final teams for Mitch McGary along with Michigan. They have already landed a top 5 class in 2011. Toss in Rasheed Sulaimon, top 20 guard from Texas and the beat just goes on. As of now, Duke is top 3 for Tony Parker, 6-9 big man from Georgia and Shabazz Muhammad, #1 player in the country.

North Carolina continues to bring in talent from top to bottom on its roster. They have landed two top 40 players already - Joel James, 6-9 Center from Florida and Marcus Paige, 6-3 PG from Indiana. They have landed J.P. Tokoto as well (6-5 SF from Wisconsin) who has top 20 athelticism and is a four star recruit. And they are purusuing top 40 PF from South Carolina, Brice Johnson and top 60 PF Roscoe Allen from Nevada. The Heels perennially land a top 10 class and this year should be no different.

Maryland has been the third spoke in the ACC during Gary Williams' tenure for the past decade or so, winning a few season titles and an ACC tournament in 2004, as well as the coveted national title in 2002. The last few years under Gary Williams have been murky. It has seemed a sort of scramble on the recruiting trail with more drama than a season of Falcon Crest could muster. Under new coach Turgeon, despite the fallout of two players in the 2011 class, Turgeon has started well in the 2012 class with sights aimed even higher as it winds down and heads into 2013. Top 40 players Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman highlight Turgeon's first tour of duty. And while they have pursued and seem to have perhaps whiffed in trying to land top 10 Mitch McGary and top 30 Amile Jefferson, the staff is still out there in rarified air, pursuing with vigor and purpose top 30 guard Torian Graham, top 75 Charles Mitchell and top 20 beast Robert Carter. Look for the staff to really turn on the heat for Carter, who has promised an official visit and is a huge Under Armour fan, by all reports. This has the potential for a top 5 class if the pieces fall into place.

N.C. State, despite the lack of on-the-court success, continues to have recruiting success. The latest strike for new coach Mark Gottfried is Rodney Purvis, top 20 guard from North Carolina. The Pack out-dueled the likes of Louisville and Connecticut for his services. They are also a finalist for T.J. Warren, top 25 forward from New Hampshire by way of North Carolina. The problem may be in keeping them, as former top 20 guard Ryan Harrow transferred to Kentucky. The Wolfpack fans will tell you this is the year, maybe they will finally be able to back up their usual pipe dreams with some wins and a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Florida State has been solid and barring an injury to Chris Singleton, might have made some noise in the NCAA tournament. They have added a strong class in 2011 as well as four star swingman Montay Brandon from North Carolina. And they are heavily involved with Robert Carter as well, big man from Georgia.

Virginia was the beneficiary of Maryland's coaching change when top 50 SF Justin Anderson committed to the Cavaliers after picking the Terps earlier in the year. Anderson has great potential and if he develops a consistent perimeter shot, he is top 20 material to be sure. Like it or not, Terrapin fans felt this loss right in the heart. He joins other four star players in 2012 such as Evan Nolte (6-7 PF from Georgia) and Mike Tobey (6-11 C from Connecticut). Virginia's style is certainly distinct, yet they still are attracting fair talent under Tony Bennett. It is a reminder of Pete Gillen, who landed some big names at Virginia, had them highly ranked at times but never could maintain any success in the league. Bennett's time could be marked as well if he does not have some post-season success soon.

Wake Forest has had a lot of turnover and defections but they have been solid on the trail in 2012. Top 75 forward Arnaud Adala-Moto committed to the Deacons this week to add to a solid class already featuring four star players Codi Miller-McIntyre (6-2 PG from North Carolina) and Aaron Rountree (6-7 SF from North Carolina). As always, it needs to pan out in terms of success or this coach will be heading for the trails as well.

Virginia Tech had a monster class in 2011. They have added to it in 2012 with the likes of Montrezl Harrell (top 75 PF from Virginia). Seth Greenberg has no excuses for missing the NCAA tournament any time soon. With the likes of his 2011 class, there should be no reason for failure in Blacksburg.

The new guys have been highly successful as well. Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh usually makes top players out of guys you never heard of in High School. Well, Pittsburgh has changed that in landing a consensus top 10 player in Steven Adams, 7-0 center from New Zealand playing ball in Massachusetts and top 75 PG from DeMatha, James Robinson. Pitt is a well-oiled machine who has recruited the Mid-Atlantic area well and joining the ACC can only widen their net.

Syracuse has long been a recruiting power under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boheim. It has not changed in 2012 with the addition of top 40 forward Jerami Grant. They are the favorites to land DuJuan Coleman, a top 20 man-child from New York as well. Syracuse is always loaded and this year won't be any different.

The rest of the ACC has to wonder what is in store for them. Clemson and Boston College has surprising years in 2011, but they don't seem to be recruiting well enough to stay close to the top teams. The same can be said for Miami and Georgia Tech, who have new coaches this year. The separation between the haves and the have-nots in the ACC could widen at this decade begins to play out. And with Syracuse and Pittsburgh on the scene, the have-nots' job just got that much rougher!

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