Team-by-team Preview

Acc Basketball

November 08, 2007|By HEATHER A. DINICH

Boston College

Coach -- Al Skinner, 11th season at school (196-120), 20th overall (334-245)

2006-07 record -- 21-12, 10-6 (tied for third in ACC)

Outlook -- Gone is ACC Player of the Year Jared Dudley, but three starters return for the Eagles: Tyrese Rice, Shamari Spears and John Oates. Rice, who averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the Eagles' two NCAA tournament games, started all 33 games as a soph omore. Without Dudley, Spears is the team's leading returning rebounder (4.6 a game). He made 13 starts as a freshman last season. Oates is one of just two seniors on the Eagles' roster, which has five freshmen and five sophomores. He started 31 games last season, missed two with a foot injury, and averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Clemson

Coach -- Oliver Purnell, fifth season at school (70-58), 20th overall (326-249)

2006-07 record -- 25-11, 7-9 (tied for eighth)

Outlook -- If the Tigers find consis tency at point guard, they've got a chance to be one of the top teams in the league - and possibly the country - as four starters return and three of them are seniors. Clemson's 25 wins last season tied for the most in school history. Cliff Hammonds, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, started all 36 games and averaged 11.6 points and 4.0 as sists. K.C. Rivers, a junior swingman who came off the bench for the first 26 games of the season before start ing the final 10, will continue in a starting role. He led the team in scor ing (14.0 points per game) and was third in rebounds (4.5). James Mays earned a reputation for his defense, as he led all ACC frontcourt players in steals per game (1.9). He was sec ond on the team in steals with 69 and tied for first in rebounds (6.4). Sopho more forward-center Trevor Booker also averaged 6.4 rebounds, and he had 78 blocks - the second most by a freshman in school history.

Duke

Coach -- Mike Krzyzewski, 28th sea son at school (702-202), 33rd overall (775-261)

2006-07 record -- 22-11, 8-8 (tied for sixth)

Outlook -- The Blue Devils should be better than last season but still aren't as good as North Carolina is expected to be - and North Carolina State might be. Four starters are back, though, including senior guard DeMarcus Nelson, who led the team in scoring (14.1 points) and steals (1.4). Josh McRoberts' decision to turn professional took away Duke's most consistent inside player, and Krzyzewski is struggling to fill his frontcourt. The lone returning big man is David McClure, who started 11 games as a sophomore and aver aged 4.2 points and 4.9 rebounds. Junior guard Greg Paulus, an accu rate three-point shooter, is also back, along with sophomore guard Jon Scheyer, who started 23 games last season and averaged 12.2 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Florida State

Coach -- Leonard Hamilton, sixth season at school (87-71), 20th overall (287-281)

2006-07 record -- 22-13, 7-9 (tied for eighth)

Outlook -- If there was one season when Hamilton's team built a strong case for a bid to the NCAA tourna ment, it was 2006-07, but even with standout Al Thornton in the mix, the Seminoles came up short. If they couldn't do it with him, how are they going to get there without him? Four starters who were stung by the NCAA tournament snub are back and moti vated, including junior guard Toney Douglas, a former transfer from Au burn who was second on the team in scoring (12.7) and assists (2.7). Florida State also has senior guard Isaiah Swann, who is in his third season as a starter and has shot 37 percent on three-pointers during his career. Sen ior guard Jason Rich averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds last season. Junior forward Uche Echefu, of La gos, Nigeria, is the lone returning starter in the frontcourt. He was sec ond on the team with 20 blocked shots last season and started every game, averaging 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Georgia Tech

Coach -- Paul Hewitt, eighth season at school (127-95), 11th overall (193-122)

2006-07 record -- 20-12, 8-8 (tied for sixth)

Outlook -- The one-and-done tan dem of Javaris Crittenton and Thad deus Young make it hard not to think about what could have been, but this is what it is: The Yellow Jackets lost their top two scorers and return three starters and Lewis Clinch, who was suspended for the spring semes ter. Clinch, a junior guard, led the team in scoring through the first 10 games of the season. He shot 53.2 percent from the field and 47.6 per cent from three-point range. Antho ny Morrow is another excellent pe rimeter shooter, as the senior guard ranks eighth in school history with 177 three-pointers. Morrow started 10 of the last 11 games and averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 rebounds during that span. Senior forward Jeremis Smith is the only player who started every game last season. He led the team with 5.9 rebounds per game.

Maryland

Coach -- Gary Williams 19th season at school (378-200), 30th overall (585-328)

2006-07 record -- 25-9, 10-6 (tied for third)

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