Now that the wait is over to see who is returning or going to the NBA we can make a very early prediction of what the ACC may look like this coming 2017-2018 season - the key word here is, predict.

Duke has the best recruiting class in the ACC and the 2nd best in the nation behind Kentucky. Grayson Allen will also be returning to provide leadership to the new comers.

Miami, Louisville and Virginia Tech will have a good mix of key players returning coupled with very good recruiting classes.

Here is a very early prediction of what the ACC may look like in 2017-2018:

1. Louisville Basketball

Coach: Rick Pitino

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Johnson
Graduated: Mangok Mathiang, David Levitch, Tony Hicks
Transferred: Matz Stockman (Minnesota), Jay Henderson, and Tyler Sharpe (Northern Kentucky)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Quentin Snider (PG), Deng Adel (SF), Ray Spalding (PF), Anas Mahmoud (PF), V.J. King (SF), and Ryan McMahon (SG)
Key Freshmen added: Darius Perry (PG), Jordan Nwora (SF), Malik Williams (C),Lance Thomas (PF), and Brian Bowen (SF)

Louisville will return several key players from last season who were instrumental in helping this team get to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. Guard Quentin Snider and forward Deng Adel were the 2nd and 3rd best point producers on the team behind Donovan Mitchell, who turned pro after the 2016-2017 season.

Also returning is Anas Mahmoud, who was the 3rd best shot blocker in the ACC behind Duke’s Amil Jefferson and Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammer.

Louisville will add a good mix of new players into the equation to build on their success from last season. Louisville has the 2nd best recruiting class in the ACC behind Duke according to 247sports.com. The Cardinals defense and rebounding should get even better with the addition top 50 recruits Malik Williams and Brian Bowen.

2016-2017 Record: 25-7 Overall (12-6 Conference) NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 14+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament elite 8 finish or greater

2. Duke Basketball

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson
Graduated: Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones,
Transferred: Chase Jeter (Arizona)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Grayson Allen (SG)
Key Role Possibly Returning: Jack White (SF), Javin DeLaurier (PF), Antonio Vrankovic (C)
Key Freshmen added: Alex O'Connell (SG), Trevon Duval (PG), Gary Trent Jr. (SG), Jordan Tucker (SF), and Wendell Carter (PF)

Coach K is the only other coach other than Coach Calipari who has the ability to bring in multiple five (5) star freshmen recruits and winning with them. Duke has the 2nd best recruiting class in the nation behind Kentucky according to 247sports.com.

Senior Greyson Allen will be returning to provide leadership to this group. Allen was the third best point producer for Duke last season. He also led the team in assist per game.

2016-2017 Record: 28-9 Overall (11-7 Conference) NCAA Tournament 2nd Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 14+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament elite 8 finish or greater

3. Miami Basketball

Coach: Jim Larranaga

Off Roster:
Graduated: Kamari Murphy, Davon Reed,

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Ja'Quan Newton (PG), Bruce Brown (SG), Anthony Lawrence Jr. (SF), Dewan Huell (PF), Ebuka Izundu ( C), Dejan Vasiljevic (SG), and Sam Waardenburg (PF)
Key Freshmen added: Lonnie Walker (SG), Deng Gak (PF), and Chris Lykes (PG)

Two (2) of Miami’s top three (3) scorers, Ja'Quan Newton and Bruce Brown, are returning from the 2016-2017 season. However, Miami was not a very good scoring team last season. They put up, on average, 69.0 points per game and was ranked 279th in assists per game that same year.

This should all change with the addition of top 50 freshmen recruit, Lonnie Walker. He will be joined by top 100 recruits Deng Gak and Chris Lykes.

Miami should improve on offense and continue to be very good on defensive. Miami held their opponents to 64.1 points per game, making them the 2nd best defensive team in the ACC behind Virginia.

2016-2017 Record: 21-12 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament First round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 12+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Sweet Sixteen Finish or greater

4. Virginia Tech Basketball

Coach: Buzz Williams

Off Roster:
Graduated: Seth Allen, Greg Donlon, Matt Galloway, Johnny Hamilton, and Zach LeDay

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Chris Clarke (SF), Justin Robinson (PG), Justin Bibbs (SG), Ahmed Hill (SG), Khadim Sy (PF), Kerry Blackshear Jr. (PF) and Ty Outlaw (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Wabissa Bede (PG), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG), and P.J. Horne (PF)

Virginia Tech lost their top two (2) scorers, Zach LeDay and Seth Allen, to graduation.

However, Virginia Tech has five (5) starters returning in Justin Robinson, Justin Bibbs, Ahmed Hill, Chris Clarke, and Khadim Sy.

Clarke, was the team’s 3rd best point producer, averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 assists and 3.3 assists per game last season.

This team will get even better with the additions of two (2) top 100 freshmen recruits, Wabissa Bede and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

2016-2017 Record: 22-11 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament First Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 12+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen or greater

5. North Carolina Basketball

Coach: Roy Williams

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Justin Jackson and Tony Bradley
Graduated: Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt, Stilman White, and Kanler Coker

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Joel Berry II (PG), Kenny Williams (SG), Luke Maye (PF), Theo Pinson (SF), Seventh Woods (SG), and Brandon Robinson (SG)
Key Freshmen added: Sterling Manley (C), Jalek Felton (PG), Garrison Brooks (PF), Brandon Huffman, and Andrew Platek

North Carolina will be without many of their players from the 2016-2017 championship season. However, Coach Roy Williams has the 17th best recruiting class in the nation coming in for 2017-2018. Don’t expect this team to return to the championship but do expect them to be highly competitive in the ACC as usual.

2016-2017 Record: 33-7 Overall (14-4 Conference) NCAA Champions
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 11+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen or less

6. Notre Dame Basketball

Coach: Mike Brey

Off Roster:
Graduated: V.J. Beachem, Steve Vasturia, Patrick Mazza, and Austin Torres
Transferred: Matt Ryan (Vanderbilt)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Matt Farrell (PG), Bonzie Colson (PF), Martinas Geben (PF), Rex Pflueger (SG), Nikola Djogo (SG) , and Temple Gibbs (PG)
Key Role Possibly Returning: Elijah Burns (SF), John Mooney (PF), and Matt Gregory (SF)
Key Freshmen added: D.J. Harvey (SF)

Two (2) out of three (3) of Notre Dame's’s top scorers, Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell are returning. Colson recorded 19 double-doubles in 2016-2017. He was one of only a few players to finish the season averaging a double-double. Colson averaged 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in 2016-2017. Farrell led the team in assists and had the 3rd best assist per game average in the ACC.

The two (2) will be joined by top 50 freshmen recruits, D.J. Harvey and Red shirt shooting guard Nikola Djogo.

2016-2017 Record: 26-10 Overall (12-6 Conference) NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 11+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament 2nd Round or greater

7. Florida State Basketball

Coach: Leonard Hamilton

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Dwayne Bacon, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Jonathan Isaac, Jarquez Smith
Graduated: Michael Ojo

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Terance Mann (SG), CJ Walker (PG), Trent Forrest (SF), Christ Koumadje ( C), Braian Angola-Rodas (SG), Phil Cofer (PF), and PJ Savoy (PG)
Key Role Possibly Returning: Mfiondu Kabengele (SF)
Key Freshmen added: M.J. Walker (SG) RaiQuan Gray (SF), Ikey Obiagu ( C, Rival.com Ranked #117), Wyatt Wilkes (SF), Anthony Polite (PF), and Bryan Trimble (SG)

Florida State lost a lot of good players to the Pros in 2017. But, they also have a great recruiting class coming in. The landing of top 50 freshman recruit, M.J. Walker, has boosted Florida State up to the 12th best recruiting class in the nation according to 247sports.com. Expect Florida State to be highly competitive in the ACC.

2016-2017 Record: 26-9 Overall (12-6 Conference) NCAA 2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament Exit or greater

8. Virginia Basketball

Coach: Tony Bennett

Off Roster:
Graduated: London Perrantes and Jeff Jones
Transferred: Darius Thompson (Western Kentucky), Marial Shayok (Iowa State), and Jarred Reuter (George Mason)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Devon Hall (PG), Isaiah Wilkins (SF), Jack Salt (C), Kyle Guy (SG), Mamadi Diakite (PF), and Ty Jerome (PG), De'Andre Hunter (SG), Jay Huff (PF)
Key Freshmen added: Francesco Badocchi (SF) and Marco Anthony (SG)

Virginia seems to be going through a few changes. Austin Nichols was dismissed at the beginning of the season for violating team rules according to CBSsports.com. Virginia was also hit hard by transfers at the end of the season. Marial Shayok bolted for Iowa State. Darius Thompson left for Western Kentucky and Jarred Reuter left for George Mason.

With Coach Tony Bennett at the head, this team will always be competitive. However, the probability of this team winning an ACC title is very slim.

2016-2017 Record: 23-11 Overall (11-7 NCAA 2nd Round Exit)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA tournament Appearance or less

9. Syracuse Basketball

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Tyler Lydon
Graduated: Andrew White III, John Gillon, and Tyler Roberson

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Tyus Battle (SG), Taurean Thompson (PF), Oshae Brissett (SF), Frank Howard (PG), matthew moyer (PF,Red Shirt), and Paschal Chukwu ( C)
Key Freshmen added: Oshae Brissett (SF), Howard Washington (PG), Bourama Sidibe (C) and Marek Doležaj (SF)

The 2015 NCAA sanctions are still having an effect on Syracuse. The NCAA took twelve (12) scholarships away from the team over a course of four (4) years and reduced the number of recruit visits from four (4) to two (2) until May 31, 2017, according to Syracuse.com. Because of these sanctions Syracuse hasn’t been able to keep up with the other majors in recruiting. Not saying that it is impossible, but don’t expect an ACC title from this team in 2017-2018.

2016-2017 Record: 19-15 Overall (10-8 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA Tournament Appearance or less

10. Wake Forest Basketball

Coach: Danny Manning

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: John Collins,
Graduated: Austin Arians, Trent VanHorn,
Transferred: Greg McClinton (Old Dominion)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Bryant Crawford (PG), Keyshawn Woods (SG), Konstantinos Mitoglou (PF), Mitchell Wilbekin (PG), Brandon Childress (PG), Doral Moore (C), and Sam Japhet-Mathias (C)
Key Freshmen added: Chaundee Brown (SG), Melo Eggleston (SG) and Olivier Sarr (C)

Wake Forest will return two (2) of their top three (3) scorers from the 2016-2017 season in Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods. With both on the roster Wake Forest will continue to put up a lot of points.

Wake forest was 2nd in the ACC in scoring offense behind North Carolina. They averaged 82.8 points per game that season. In contrast, they were one of the worst defensive teams in division 1 college basketball. Their opponents scored on average 78.4 points per game.

Hopefully, their defense will get better in 2017-2018.

2016-2017 Record: 19-14 Overall (9-9 Conference) NCAA Tournament First round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 9-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NCAA tournament Appearance or less

11. Georgia Tech Basketball

Coach: Josh Pastner

Off Roster:
Graduated: Quinton Stephens, Josh Heath, Corey Heyward, Kellen McCormick, Jodan Price, and Rand Rowland

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Tadric Jackson (SG), Josh Okogie (SF), Ben Lammers (C), Justin Moore (PG), Abdoulaye Gueye (PF), and Sylvester Ogbonda (C)
Key Freshmen added: Jose Alvarado (PG), Evan Cole (PF), Moses Wright (PF), and Curtis Haywood (SG)

Georgia Tech is returning their top three (3) players in Tadric Jackson (SG), Josh Okogie (SF), and Ben Lammers (C). The 3 were very instrumental in leading their team to the NIT Championship game in 2017. They will get much needed help in scoring from a top 150 freshman recruit Jose Alvarado.

Georgia Tech Scored, on average, 67.5 points per game last season. That number will have to improve in order for the team to get to the NCAA Tournament this coming season.

2016-2017 Record: 12-16 Overall (8-10 Conference) NIT Championship Game Finish
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 8+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NIT Final four or greater

12. N.C. State Basketball

Coach: Kevin Keatts

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Dennis Smith Jr., Maverick Rowan
Graduated: Terry Henderson, BeeJay Anya

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Torin Dorn (SG), Abdul-Malik Abu (PF), Omer Yurtseven (C), Markell Johnson (PG), and Ted Kapita (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Al Freeman (SG, Baylor) and Sam Hunt (SG, N.C. A&T)
Key Role Possibly Returning: Darius Hicks (PF) and Shaun Kirk (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Lavar Batts (PG)

Kevin Keatts is a great coach and will, more than likely, develop North Carolina State into major contenders in the ACC. Don’t under estimate coach Keatts though. He has some good pieces to work with and can possibly upset a few teams in the ACC.

Coach Keatts has brought in a top 100 freshman recruit, Lavar Batts. He has also added a veteran graduate transfer from Baylor in Al Freeman and a very good division 1 transfer from North Carolina A&T, Sam Hunt. All three (3) of these guys have the potential to put up a lot of points.

Returning will be shooting guard Torin Dorn and power forward Abdul-Malik Abu. Both players led N.C. State in Rebounds last season.

2016-2017 Record: 15-17 Overall (4-14 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 6+
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: NIT appearance or less

13. Clemson Basketball

Coach: Brad Brownell

Off Roster:
Graduated: Jaron Blossomgame, Avry Holmes, and Sidy Djitte

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning:
Shelton Mitchell (PG), Donte Grantham (SF), Marcquise Reed (SG), Elijah Thomas (PF), Mark Donnal (PF, Michigan), Anthony 'A.J.' Oliver II (SG, Redshirt), Gabe DeVoe (SG)
Key Freshmen added: Aamir Simms (PF), Clyde Trapp (SG), and Malik William (SF)

Defensive rebounding was a serious problem for Clemson in 2016-2017. Clemson ranked last in the ACC in that category and 319th nationally. The team has added several big men to attempt to combat that problem this coming season , such as the top 100 freshman Power forward, Aamir Simms; Valparaiso transfer, David Skara; and Michigan’s graduate transfer Mark Donnal.

2016-2017 Record: 17-16 Overall (6-12 Conference) NIT First Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 5-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: No Appearance

14. Boston College Basketball

Coach: Jim Christian

Off Roster:
Graduated: Mo Jeffers, Connar Tava, and Garland Owens
Transferred: A.J. Turner (Northwestern) and Ty Graves (Saint Louis)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jerome Robinson (PG), Jordan Chatman (PG), Ky Bowman (SG), and Nik Popovic (PF)
Key Role Players Possibly Returning: Johncarlos Reyes (PF), Mike Sagay (SF), and Ervins Meznieks (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Luka Kraljevic (PF), Vin Baker Jr. (SF), Steffon Mitchell (SF), and Avery Wilson (SG)

Boston will get back their top three (3) scorers, Jerome Robinson, Jordan Chatman, and Ky Bowman. Other than that, nothing much really changes about this team.

2016-2017 Record: 9-23 Overall (2-16 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 4-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: No Appearance

15. Pittsburgh Basketball

Coach: Kevin Stallings

Off Roster:
Graduated: Sheldon Jeter, Jamel Artis, Chris Jones, and Michael Young
Transferred: Cameron Johnson, Justice Kithcart (Old Dominion), Damon Wilson (Georgia State), Rozelle Nix (South Alabama), and Corey Manigault

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Ryan Luther (PF), Jonathan Milligan (PG), and Ryan Luther (SF)
Key Transfer(s) added: Monty Boykins (SG, Lafayette), and Jared Wilson-Frame (SF, Northwest Florida State)
Key Freshmen added: Marcus Carr (PG), Shamiel Stevenson (SG), Terrell Brown (C) Khameron Davis (SG), Zach Smith (PG) and Peace Ilegomah (C)

Pittsburgh had several players to graduation and transfer. It may take this team a minute to rebuild. However, the team should remain competitive in the ACC with the additions of their new talent. They’ve added top 100 point guard, Marcus Carr; a Lafayette graduate transfer, Monty Boykins; and a Northwest Florida State community college transfer, Jared Wilson-Frame.

2016-2017 Record: 16-17 Overall (4-14 Conference)
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 4-
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: No Appearance

Jack Williams, D1caochcorner.com
6-08-2017


*This prediction is the sole view of d1coachcorner.com and should be seen as for entertainment purposes only. As for stats, all stats were taken from NCAA statistics via ncaa.com and the from the National Junior College Athletic Association statistic via NJCAA.com.


 

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Jack Williams, D1CoachCorner.com June 8, 2017, 6:00am
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ACC Basketball: 2017-2018 Very Early Predictions
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)