The 2020/2021 ACC regular season thread

GE Nole

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Leaves are slowly starting to fall in my backyard which means the start of fall practice is on the horizon. Figured it was about time to start a good preseason thread.

Is it just me or does the league seem as down as it’s been in 4-5 years? Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a top 3 league in the country. But it seems a noticeable step back from a few years ago.

Also seems wide open. Well...maybe a wide open within tiers. Like any of 2-3 teams in the top tier could win it (UL, Duke, UNC) and then any of the second tier teams could be shaken up and pulled out of a hat to finish 3 or 4 through 7 (FSU, UVA, NCSU, ND).

Thoughts?
 
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dukedevilz

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The top 3 teams in Louisville, Duke, and UNC will still be really good (all in the top 10 nationally, IMO). The depth seems to be lacking. Virginia, FSU, and NC State should safely be in the dance (granted NCSU is never really safely in) . Lots of bubble teams. I would put Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Miami, and Pittsburgh on that list. I have a hard time seeing Clemson, Boston College, Wake, or Virginia Tech making the tournament this year. Wouldn't be surprised if we only see 6 teams, to be honest. But hoping/thinking we get 7 or 8.

Here's how I would rank the ACC teams as of today:

1. Louisville
2. Duke
3. UNC
4. Virginia
5. NC State
6. Florida State
7. Syracuse
8. Georgia Tech
9. Pittsburgh
10. Notre Dame
11. Miami
12. Clemson
13. Virginia Tech
14. Boston College
15. Wake Forest
 
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GE Nole

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The top 3 teams in Louisville, Duke, and UNC will still be really good (all in the top 10 nationally, IMO). The depth seems to be lacking. Virginia, FSU, and NC State should safely be in the dance (granted NCSU is never really safely in) . Lots of bubble teams. I would put Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Miami, and Pittsburgh on that list. I have a hard time seeing Clemson, Boston College, Wake, or Virginia Tech making the tournament this year. Wouldn't be surprised if we only see 6 teams, to be honest. But hoping/thinking we get 7 or 8.

Here's how I would rank the ACC teams as of today:

1. Louisville
2. Duke
3. UNC
4. Virginia
5. NC State
6. Florida State
7. Syracuse
8. Georgia Tech
9. Pittsburgh
10. Notre Dame
11. Miami
12. Clemson
13. Virginia Tech
14. Boston College
15. Wake Forest
Generally speaking, I agree with you. But it seems like even the top 3 teams, while still top 10 nationally, don’t have quite the firepower of the top 3 teams from a year or two ago.

Also, I’m betting ND finishes a good bit better than 10th. They return a lot and Brey can coach. Thinking between 6 and 8 for them.

Flip NCSU and FSU too.
 

dukedevilz

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Generally speaking, I agree with you. But it seems like even the top 3 teams, while still top 10 nationally, don’t have quite the firepower of the top 3 teams from a year or two ago.

Also, I’m betting ND finishes a good bit better than 10th. They return a lot and Brey can coach. Thinking between 6 and 8 for them.

Flip NCSU and FSU too.
I wouldn't disagree. Hard to match last year's top 3. But I think there's an excellent chance all 3 teams end up with top 2 seeds. And I do like Notre Dame. I could see them squeaking into the top 5, to be honest.

Georgia Tech will surprise some folks this year. Jose Alvarado, Mike Devoe, and James Banks return. Jordan Usher (USC) and Bubba Parham (21.4 ppg at VMI) will both be eligible this year. That's a starting 5 capable of making the tournament. Pastner has done okay considering he's always had a limited roster. This team has more potential than any other team he's had at GT, IMO. I like Pitt's young guards a lot in Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens. And they finally have some quality depth on the team.

NC State and FSU look close to me. I'll give the edge to NCSU since they have multiple experienced guards with talent. They return 6 of their top 7 scorers from last year.
 

GE Nole

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I wouldn't disagree. Hard to match last year's top 3. But I think there's an excellent chance all 3 teams end up with top 2 seeds. And I do like Notre Dame. I could see them squeaking into the top 5, to be honest.

Georgia Tech will surprise some folks this year. Jose Alvarado, Mike Devoe, and James Banks return. Jordan Usher (USC) and Bubba Parham (21.4 ppg at VMI) will both be eligible this year. That's a starting 5 capable of making the tournament. Pastner has done okay considering he's always had a limited roster. This team has more potential than any other team he's had at GT, IMO. I like Pitt's young guards a lot in Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens. And they finally have some quality depth on the team.

NC State and FSU look close to me. I'll give the edge to NCSU since they have multiple experienced guards with talent. They return 6 of their top 7 scorers from last year.
All of this is very reasonable. You’re right that GT should be better. How much better will probably be determined by health because they don’t seem to have great depth.

I can’t fault someone for picking NCSU over FSU, but your stated reason confuses me. FSU has Trent Forrest and MJ Walker...that seems like two pretty experienced guards who have talent. Anthony Polite is in his 3rd year in the program as well, and he averaged a tick over 10 mpg in three NCAAT games last year. Honestly, he’s probably played in more NCAAT games than anyone on State’s roster.

Like I said, I can see an argument for State over FSU. Just not the one you stated.
 

dukedevilz

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All of this is very reasonable. You’re right that GT should be better. How much better will probably be determined by health because they don’t seem to have great depth.

I can’t fault someone for picking NCSU over FSU, but your stated reason confuses me. FSU has Trent Forrest and MJ Walker...that seems like two pretty experienced guards who have talent. Anthony Polite is in his 3rd year in the program as well, and he averaged a tick over 10 mpg in three NCAAT games last year. Honestly, he’s probably played in more NCAAT games than anyone on State’s roster.

Like I said, I can see an argument for State over FSU. Just not the one you stated.
NC State returns 6 of their top 7 scorers. FSU lost 6 of its top 8 scorers. That's a pretty big difference. Also, the NCSU guards had much higher efficiency ratings:

Forrest- 17.3
Polite- 11.7
Walker- 7.2

Johnson- 22.3
Bryce- 18.9
Daniels- 13.6
Beverly- 11.0


Forrest is a monster. I really like his game. But as a collective group, NC State has better guards.
 

Steelers2012

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As much as I like seeing Louisville get so much preseason hype, I'm not sure we can live up to that, to start the year anyways. We did not finish last year very strong (4-9 down the stretch). We return most of that team, plus add some quality depth. Our greatest concern is at point guard where we have some quality candidates, but just don't have proven experience at the position yet. I can easily see a Sweet 16 finish, but not quite there on a Elite 8 or Final 4 prediction yet.
 
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GE Nole

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NC State returns 6 of their top 7 scorers. FSU lost 6 of its top 8 scorers. That's a pretty big difference. Also, the NCSU guards had much higher efficiency ratings:

Forrest- 17.3
Polite- 11.7
Walker- 7.2

Johnson- 22.3
Bryce- 18.9
Daniels- 13.6
Beverly- 11.0


Forrest is a monster. I really like his game. But as a collective group, NC State has better guards.
Your point about returning scorers vs lost scorers is a good one. Should have just led with that.

Now, all those returning guys weren’t actually a very good team last year, so we will see if they improve to top 5 in the ACC status. But they do return a lot.
 

kelley2403

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The top 3 teams in Louisville, Duke, and UNC will still be really good (all in the top 10 nationally, IMO). The depth seems to be lacking. Virginia, FSU, and NC State should safely be in the dance (granted NCSU is never really safely in) . Lots of bubble teams. I would put Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Miami, and Pittsburgh on that list. I have a hard time seeing Clemson, Boston College, Wake, or Virginia Tech making the tournament this year. Wouldn't be surprised if we only see 6 teams, to be honest. But hoping/thinking we get 7 or 8.

Here's how I would rank the ACC teams as of today:

1. Louisville
2. Duke
3. UNC
4. Virginia
5. NC State
6. Florida State
7. Syracuse
8. Georgia Tech
9. Pittsburgh
10. Notre Dame
11. Miami
12. Clemson
13. Virginia Tech
14. Boston College
15. Wake Forest

I'd be happy finishing 4th.
 
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AWilli6995

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I'm not sold on NC State with all that returning talent but I do like ND having a bounce back year. UL is going to be real good along with Duke and UNC but I wouldn't be surprised if the Heels finished between 4-6. UVA will be good as long as Bennett is their coach and FSU seems like every year they have crazy, athletic length. I think this year is going to be competitive with a 20 game conference schedule.
 

GE Nole

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I'm not sold on NC State with all that returning talent but I do like ND having a bounce back year. UL is going to be real good along with Duke and UNC but I wouldn't be surprised if the Heels finished between 4-6. UVA will be good as long as Bennett is their coach and FSU seems like every year they have crazy, athletic length. I think this year is going to be competitive with a 20 game conference schedule.
We will be crazy long and athletic.
 
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coryfly

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UNC really is going to be depending heavily on freshman. Not sure how they will be. It is hard to see even a talent like Anthony being any better than Coby was and they lost a lot overall. I think how good Bacot ends up being will be huge.
 
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GE Nole

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UNC really is going to be depending heavily on freshman. Not sure how they will be. It is hard to see even a talent like Anthony being any better than Coby was and they lost a lot overall. I think how good Bacot ends up being will be huge.
It’s a good point.

I could see UNC as the best ACC team come March. But might be some up and down performances in December and January.
 
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dukedevilz

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Preseason All Conference Teams

1st Team

Tre Jones, Duke
Cole Anthony, UNC
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Vernon Carey, Duke

2nd Team
Markell Johnson, NC State
Xavier Johnson, Pittsburgh
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
James Banks, Georgia Tech

3rd Team
Chris Lykes, Miami
Trent Forrest, Florida State
Samuel Williamson, Louisville
Braxton Key, Virginia
Nik Popovic, Boston College
 

lurkeraspect84

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Kentucky
Preseason All Conference Teams

1st Team

Tre Jones, Duke
Cole Anthony, UNC
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Vernon Carey, Duke

2nd Team
Markell Johnson, NC State
Xavier Johnson, Pittsburgh
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
James Banks, Georgia Tech

3rd Team
Chris Lykes, Miami
Trent Forrest, Florida State
Samuel Williamson, Louisville
Braxton Key, Virginia
Nik Popovic, Boston College
In no way am I trying to shit on Vernon Carey, but just by judging by allstar games and youtube h/l videos. I have a hard time seeing him first team All ACC. It's probably just my ignorance of not knowing,but I'm excited to watch him play.
 
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dukedevilz

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In no way am I trying to shit on Vernon Carey, but just by judging by allstar games and youtube h/l videos. I have a hard time seeing him first team All ACC. It's probably just my ignorance of not knowing,but I'm excited to watch him play.
He was injured for a bit and certainly not in his normal playing condition. He was my 5th pick for 1st Team. I debated between him and Diakite.
 
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HRTheCard

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Team
Louisville
Preseason All Conference Teams

1st Team

Tre Jones, Duke
Cole Anthony, UNC
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Vernon Carey, Duke

2nd Team
Markell Johnson, NC State
Xavier Johnson, Pittsburgh
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
James Banks, Georgia Tech

3rd Team
Chris Lykes, Miami
Trent Forrest, Florida State
Samuel Williamson, Louisville
Braxton Key, Virginia
Nik Popovic, Boston College
I'd wager this being higher by the end of the year.
 

lurkeraspect84

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Preseason expectations are really high for UL. Chris Mack didn't get much time to get better.
 

AWilli6995

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In no way am I trying to shit on Vernon Carey, but just by judging by allstar games and youtube h/l videos. I have a hard time seeing him first team All ACC. It's probably just my ignorance of not knowing,but I'm excited to watch him play.

I agree. I seen him in 3 games and I wasn’t impressed with his effort but the kid has the potential to be very good.
 
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dukedevilz

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I think Carey has a little bit of Okafor in him. Not as polished, but yes, he is talented. And I would agree that he's probably lacking a bit in the effort department. He just needs to stay healthy and stay in shape.
 

lurkeraspect84

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I think Carey has a little bit of Okafor in him. Not as polished, but yes, he is talented. And I would agree that he's probably lacking a bit in the effort department. He just needs to stay healthy and stay in shape.
I think ppl need to accept it's ok if he takes multiple years for him to get to the NBA. Just because he's a junior or senior at Duke, doesn't mean he's a failure.
 
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SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
Preseason All Conference Teams

1st Team

Tre Jones, Duke
Cole Anthony, UNC
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
John Mooney, Notre Dame
Vernon Carey, Duke

2nd Team
Markell Johnson, NC State
Xavier Johnson, Pittsburgh
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
James Banks, Georgia Tech

3rd Team
Chris Lykes, Miami
Trent Forrest, Florida State
Samuel Williamson, Louisville
Braxton Key, Virginia
Nik Popovic, Boston College
James Banks is a decent player just couldn't see the court at Texas and was pushed out for his scholarship.
Still surprising the ACC is high on him. At best he is a 10-10 guy on an average team.
 

AWilli6995

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James Banks is a decent player just couldn't see the court at Texas and was pushed out for his scholarship.
Still surprising the ACC is high on him. At best he is a 10-10 guy on an average team.

It could of been the coaching and Shaka hasn't done anything in recent memory but I could say the same for Pastner. A change of scenery probably won't hurt him.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
It could of been the coaching and Shaka hasn't done anything in recent memory but I could say the same for Pastner. A change of scenery probably won't hurt him.
Shaka has developed bigs so I don't think you can question him about that.
Winning is another matter but player development hasn't been an issue.

A lot of that was Darrin Horn with Banks.

My problem with Shaka is that he doesn't let players get on the court. He has a very short leash. Seen it with a few players. I think they have a different mindset going into this year.
Regarding James Banks
Banks was behind Bamba and Sims and they thought Jaxson Hayes was better than him.

You would think there are bigs in the ACC with more potential though
 
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dukedevilz

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James Banks is a decent player just couldn't see the court at Texas and was pushed out for his scholarship.
Still surprising the ACC is high on him. At best he is a 10-10 guy on an average team.
I was probably forcing the issue a little bit, trying to get 2 bigs on each team. Banks did make the All-Defensive team last year. He was productive/efficient. Georgia Tech should be fairly decent this year. They have two quality transfers coming in - and they return their top 4 scorers. Honestly, wouldn't be surprised if he's only 4th on the team in scoring. I could see something like 12-13 ppg, 9 reb, and 3 blocks meriting 2nd Team All Conference
 

GE Nole

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James Banks is a decent player just couldn't see the court at Texas and was pushed out for his scholarship.
Still surprising the ACC is high on him. At best he is a 10-10 guy on an average team.
That’s not the ACC’s preseason ranks. That’s just the posters.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
I was probably forcing the issue a little bit, trying to get 2 bigs on each team. Banks did make the All-Defensive team last year. He was productive/efficient. Georgia Tech should be fairly decent this year. They have two quality transfers coming in - and they return their top 4 scorers. Honestly, wouldn't be surprised if he's only 4th on the team in scoring. I could see something like 12-13 ppg, 9 reb, and 3 blocks meriting 2nd Team All Conference
There is a lot to like but in terms of athleticism he isn't there.
He is just long with a big body. Has a decent nose for the ball.

I am thinking he could go 10+ points, close to 10 rebounds and 2 blocks a game.
 

dukedevilz

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There is a lot to like but in terms of athleticism he isn't there.
He is just long with a big body. Has a decent nose for the ball.

I am thinking he could go 10+ points, close to 10 rebounds and 2 blocks a game.
Ben Lammers wasn't overly athletic, either. Still good enough to win ACC Defensive POY. 10 boards would be hard to come by I think, but he already averaged 10.5 ppg and 2.5 blocks. If GT can go 9-9 in the ACC, which I think is very possible, and if Banks can increase his scoring output a little, then I think he finds himself on one of the All-ACC teams.
 

GE Nole

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Ben Lammers wasn't overly athletic, either. Still good enough to win ACC Defensive POY. 10 boards would be hard to come by I think, but he already averaged 10.5 ppg and 2.5 blocks. If GT can go 9-9 in the ACC, which I think is very possible, and if Banks can increase his scoring output a little, then I think he finds himself on one of the All-ACC teams.
I haven’t looked at GT’s conference slate, but they haven’t finished .500 in conference play since 2007 when they won 6 of their last 8 to finish 8-8. So I’d be pretty surprised if they go 10-10 this year.
 
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