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Will The ACC Improve This Season?

Things are starting to look up for ACC basketball

Louisville v Duke
 DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 20: Head coach Kenny Payne of the Louisville Cardinals directs his team during the first half of their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

As UNC showed us this week, it’s still a bit early to be certain about ACC basketball rosters for the upcoming season. But we at least have a rough idea of where things stand now and of how ACC teams look now.

And David Teel says that it should all amount to an improved league. This article is from a few days ago but still worth passing on.

Look at who is back: Kyle Filipowski, Tyrese Proctor, Jeremy Roach, Armando Bacot, Judah Mintz and JJ Starling, now Syracuse teammates, PJ Hall, Reece Beekman, Norchad Omier, Blake Hinson, Quinten Post, RJ Davis and Nijel Pack, to name a few. There are a number of other upperclassmen who can play too, like State’s DJ Burns and Clemson’s Joe Girard and Chase Hunter.

Jeff Capel asked “[h]ow do we get more teams (in the NCAA tournament) and what can we do to change the narrative? We’ve been a punching bag for the last couple of years.”

Well like the trainer told Red in Seabiscuit: you win!

The post-season is only part of the problem. The bigger problem has been the non-conference games. Duke and Virginia have done well and Miami won all but one non-conference game last year, but almost everyone else has been erratic in the beginning of the season. Clemson lost to a dreadful South Carolina, Pitt got killed by West Virginia and Michigan then lost to VCU and Vanderbilt. Wake lost to Loyola Marymount and LSU, Syracuse lost to Colgate and Bryant, BC lost to Tarleton, Nebraska and New Hampshire, Notre Dame lost to St. Bonaventure and Georgia, while Florida State and Louisville basically lost to everyone.

And that those two schools were so very bad really hurt the perception of the league as well.

We’ve consistently argued that to address poor performance, either real or perceived, it has to start with coaching. Well, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech have new coaches and at Louisville, after a disastrous season, Kenny Payne will have much better talent. We think Earl Grant is building a solid foundation at Boston College. So things are likely to get better there.

At the end of the day, basketball is usually cyclical. Our guess is the ACC will bounce back, sooner rather than later.