Thad Mumauâs column runs over at Smartnewsnc.com, and heâs nice enough to let us reprint it on DBR. Thanks Thad!
It is always fun to rank recruiting classes, which is all about prospects and potential, but we all know what matters is the production when those prospects become college players.
So it is interesting to take a look at just how much the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference recruiting classes are actually contributing as current freshmen.
We ranked Duke No. 1 among ACC hauls last spring, and the Blue Devils' frosh also top the league in terms of contributions at this juncture of the season.
Kyle Singler, Taylor King and Nolan Smith are combining to average nearly 29 points per game. (Duke is averaging 85 ppg.) Singler, a 6-foot-8 forward, has started every game. He is tied for second in scoring with 13.1 ppg and has only one rebound less than team leader DeMarcus Nelson. King leads the Devils with 34 three-pointers.
Virginia Tech, No. 6 in our 2007 ACC recruiting rankings, has the league's second-most productive freshmen. A half-dozen frosh are playing quite a bit for the Hokies. Jeff Allen, a 6-7 forward, had started every game before being suspended. He is second in the team with 12.8 ppg and leads with 8.1 rebounds per contest. Malcolm Delaney, who has started seven times in the backcourt, leads the team with an average of 3.6 assists and is getting 8.2 ppg. Hank Thorns has started 11 games at point guard and is second in assists.
Wake Forest has the ACC's most dynamic duo among rookies. No. 6 in our recruiting rankings, the Deacs are third in frosh contributions on the strength of forward James Johnson and guard Jeff Teague, who are averaging 15.1 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Johnson is grabbing a team-high 8.3 rebounds per contest.
Boston College, with the No. 9 class last year, is fourth in freshman production. Rakim Sanders has started every game and is second on the team in scoring at 12.3 ppg. Corey Raji comes off the bench to get 9.0 ppg, with Biko Paris second with 2.5 assists.
Clemson was No. 11 in our ACC recruiting rankings, ahead of only North Carolina, which signed no one. But the Tigers are fifth in rookie contributions, getting great backcourt help from rookies Terrence Oglesby and Demontez Stitt. Oglesby has become somewhat of a folk hero among Clemson fans with his outer-limits range, while Stitt picks up the pace at both ends of the floor with his quickness. Oglesby leads the team with 51 threes and is third in scoring at 11.7 ppg. Stitt adds 8.5 points and 2.6 assists.
N.C. State, No. 3 in ACC recruiting rankings, is next, mainly because of J.J. Hickson, the powerful power forward who leads ACC freshmen in scoring with 15.5 ppg. He also leads the Wolfpack with 7.9 boards and 29 blocked shots.
The rest of the ACC rookies:
- Georgia Tech - Gani Lawal, 7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, team-high 17 blocks.
- Virginia - Mike Scott, 5.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg; Jeff Jones, 4.9 ppg.
- Maryland - Cliff Tucker, 4.5 ppg, 16 steals; Braxton Dupree, 2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg.
- Florida State - Solomon Alabi, 3.9 ppg, 11 blocks; Julian Vaughn, 3.4 ppg, 13 blocks.
- Miami - Edwin Rios, 3.4 ppg, 2.4 apg.
Thad Mumau may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.