Team-by-team Review

Acc Men's Basketball

November 10, 2008|By Don Markus

Boston College

Coach: : Al Skinner, 12th season at school (210-137), 20th overall (348-263)

2007-08 record: : 14-17, 4-12 (tied for 10th in ACC)

Outlook: : Senior guard Tyrese Rice averaged 21 points last season, but as last year proved, he will need help. It should come from a sophomore class led by forward Rakim Sanders (11.3) and wing Corey Raji (8.3) as well as Vermont transfer Joe Trapani and guard Biko Paris. Where the Eagles might be hurting is inside because Josh Southern is not a shot blocker (less than one per game) in the mold of Joseph Blair, who led the ACC in blocked shots last season.

Clemson

Coach:: Oliver Purnell, sixth season at school (94-68), 21st overall (350-259)

2007-08 record: : 24-10, 10-6 (third)

Outlook:: The Tigers lost two of their five double-figure scorers, Cliff Hammonds and James Mays, but senior guard K.C. Rivers, who led the Tigers in scoring a season ago (14.7), is a good three-point shooter (40.2 percent) and a more-than-adequate ballhandler (only 38 turnovers in more than 1,000 minutes). Junior forward Trevor Booker, at only 6 feet 7, will give Clemson a solid inside presence (1.85 blocks per game). Sophomore Terrence Oglesby can be a deadly three-point shooter, to which Maryland fans can attest.

Duke

Coach: : Mike Krzyzewski, 29th season at school (730-208), 34th overall (803-267)

2007-08 record: : 28-6, 13-3 (second)

Outlook: : The Blue Devils had a terrific regular season but again faded early in the NCAA tournament. Krzyzewski changed the team's style, adopting a Phoenix Suns-like running game, but the Blue Devils still rely too much on their three-point shooting. Things shouldn't change this season. Sophomore Kyle Singler is the team's best inside player but took nearly as many threes (150) as twos (198). Gerald Henderson seemed to tire as the season went on, and senior point guard Greg Paulus stayed healthy but also became too reliant on his three-point shot. Freshman Elliot Williams has the best chance to play of the newcomers.

Florida State

Coach: : Leonard Hamilton, seventh season at school (106-86), 21st overall (306-296)

2007-08 record: : 19-15, 7-9 (tied for seventh)

Outlook: : The Seminoles were a little snakebitten again last season when it came to injuries, losing guard Isaiah Swann and freshman center Solomon Alabi at crunch time. Alabi, 7-1, could develop into one of the ACC's best shot blockers playing alongside Uche Echefu (10 points, 7.3 rebounds a game). Senior guard Toney Douglas, whose wrist injury in 2006-07 hurt FSU's NCAA chances, came back to lead the team in scoring (15.4) and will be the go-to guy again with Swann gone. Douglas is already one of the league's best perimeter defenders (an ACC-best 2.65 steals last year).

Georgia Tech

Coach: : Paul Hewitt, ninth season at school (142-112), 12th overall (208-139)

2007-08 record: : 15-17, 7-9 (tied for seventh)

Outlook: : Things haven't gone too well for the Yellow Jackets since they lost to Connecticut in the 2004 NCAA title game, and this year could be a struggle as well. The graduation of leading scorer Anthony Morrow, the ACC's top three-point shooter, and Jeremis Smith have left an offensive void. Junior forward Zachery Peacock (9.9) will fill some of that role, as will sophomore guard Maurice Miller (8.1). The Yellow Jackets will also miss the intensity provided by guard Matt Causey.

Maryland

Coach: : Gary Williams, 20th season at school (397-215), 31st overall (604-343)

2007-08 record: : 19-15, 8-8 (tied for fifth)

Outlook: : The strength of the team is in the backcourt, where junior Eric Hayes (9.9 points, 4.5 assists) will be back running the point and junior Greivis Vasquez (17.0 points) will play more as a shooting guard after leading the team in scoring and the ACC in assists and turnovers. Still, the Terps need to find replacements for James Gist and Bambale Osby, who combined to give Maryland the best shot-blocking tandem in the league and contributed to an ACC-best field-goal defense. Sophomores Braxton Dupree and Jerome Burney will have to grow up fast. Williams needs junior forward Landon Milbourne (8.2 points) to become a dependable scorer, with sophomores Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker and freshmen Sean Mosley (St. Frances) and Jin Soo Kim giving the Terps much-needed athleticism.

Miami

Coach: : Frank Haith, fifth season at school (69-60), fifth overall

2007-08 record: : 23-11, 8-8 (tied for fifth)

Outlook: : After a breakthrough season, four starters return, led by Jack McClinton (Calvert Hall), who finished fourth in the conference in scoring (17.7) and scored 38 points in the team's first-round NCAA tournament win over St. Mary's. As important as McClinton is to the Hurricanes, so is junior Dwayne Collins, who will take over at center. The only glaring weak spot is the absence of a true point guard, but the combination of McClinton, Lance Hurdle and Eddie Rios should be adequate.

North Carolina

Coach: : Roy Williams, sixth season at school (142-33), 21st overall (560-134)

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