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A Quick Take On The Upcoming ACC Season

It’s skimpy but still worth looking at.

 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 11: Duke Blue Devils guard Tyrese Proctor (5) dunks the ball during a men’s college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Cavaliers on February 11, 2023, at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA.
Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

John Rothstein published an ACC Offseason Breakdown recently and not surprisingly, he sees Duke in first place. Here’s the list from 1-15:

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

That’s a reasonable starting point. July is still a bit early to get much into this, but here are a few points to consider.

Seeing Matthew Cleveland listed as a Miami starter is pretty strange. He may be the best player to transfer from one ACC school (Florida State) to another. It’s a coup for Miami obviously as the ‘Canes have another solid lineup

The projected lineup he has for UNC makes sense but it may the the smallest Tar Heel lineup we’ve ever seen. And don’t overlook Jalen Washington, who has been recovering from his high school knee injury.

Clemson’s being ranked #5 is largely due to Brad Brownell’s player development skills and some smart transfer pickups, notably NC State’s Jack Clark and Syracuse’s Joe Girard, who may really benefit from a fresh start.

Hunter Cattoor has been at Virginia Tech long enough to get social security.

We have no idea how MJ Rice will do at NC State, but you should probably keep an eye on that.

After a truly awful year, Rothstein has FSU at #8: too high?

Pitt will finally see Dior Johnson take the court, assuming he can control himself. He missed last season after a disgraceful episode involving (we hope anyway) his ex-girlfriend and he’s lucky to not be playing at all. The Panthers also have as much size as anyone with four solid big men: Federiko Federiko, the Diaz Graham twins and freshman Papa Kante.

Syracuse lost a lot, but brings in a lot too. JJ Starling may end up being the best intra-conference transfer, rather than Cleveland. And if Adrian Autry maintains Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, FSU transfer Naheem McLeod, at 7-3, could be devastating.

Louisville is almost completely rebuilt, and good thing since last season was historically bad. Now it’s a fairly athletic and deep team. Year II under Kenny Payne is going to be fascinating and, we hope, better.

Georgia Tech is rebuilding too, but will the Yellow Jackets show improvement? The biggest thing is going to be new coach Damon Stoudamire. So far he’s been impressive but the ACC is a tough beast.

Boston College has certainly improved under Earl Grant. The Eagles still get hammered from time to time, but they have heart and play hard. At 14, BC might be too low.

Finally, what to make of Notre Dame? Micah Shrewsbury did well at Penn State and brings a number of his previous players and recruits with him.