Everyone is looking forward to seeing Duke’s highly touted freshmen class hit the floor in November 2018. They are going to be something exciting to watch. Duke will certainly make a run deep into the NCAA Tournament with this team.

But are they the best team in the ACC?

Don’t count out North Carolina, who has their top three (3) scorers returning in Kenny Williams, Cameron Johnson, and Luke Maye. They have also added two (2) top fifty (50) freshmen recruits to the roster. Expect North Carolina to give Duke a run for their money.

North Carolina State is stacked with both experience and talent. This team should be very competitive in 2018-2019.

Coach Bennett has the formula for making his way to the top of the ACC every season, even without the greatest of teams. We can probably expect the same this coming season.

Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Florida State should all have a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Wake Forest is the sleeper team in the ACC. Don’t get caught slipping with this team.

With that said, here is how we predict the ACC standing would look like at the end of the 2018-2019 season:

1. North Carolina Basketball

Coach: Roy Williams

Off Roster:
Graduate: Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson
Possibly Turned PRO: Jalek Felton

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Kenny Williams (SG), Cameron Johnson (SG), Luke Maye (PF), Sterling Manley (C ), Garrison Brooks (PF), Brandon Robinson (SG), Andrew Platek (SG), Brandon Huffman (C), Seventh Woods (SG), and Shea Rush (SF)
Key Freshmen Returning: Nassir Little (SF), Coby White (SG), and Rechon Black (PG)

North Carolina will have three (3) out of five (5) starters returning from the 2017-2018 season, which includes their top three (3) scorers, Kenny Williams, Cameron Johnson, and Luke Maye. With this crew, North Carolina tied for 3rd in the ACC and finished in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.

There is nowhere to go but up for this team. The addition of two (2) NBA bound freshmen, Coby White
And Nassir Little, is going to make this team even better.

Coby White reminds me of Alabama’s guard who turned pro, Collins Sexton. He is fast. He can score at will and can handle the ball well. Nassir Little can also create his own shot and will be a scoring machine for North Carolina.

Expect the Tar Heels to compete for the top spot in the ACC and move deep into the NCAA Tournament.

2017-2018 Record: 26-11 (11-7) NCAA 2nd Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Elite eight finish or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  15+

2. Duke Basketball

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Off Roster:
Graduate: Grayson Allen
Possibly Turned PRO: Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr., Trevon Duval, Marvin Bagley III,

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Javin DeLaurier (PF), Jordan Goldwire (PG), Alex O'Connell (SG), Marques Bolden (C ), and Jack White (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Tre Jones (PG), R.J. Barrett (SG), Cameron Reddish (SG), Zion Williamson (SG), and Joey Baker (SF)

Normally we would say that the team that has the best mixture of returning players and high-ranking new comers has the greatest chance of winning a championship. But this is no ordinary freshman class. Both R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson have very high basketball IQ’s with a lot of athleticism. If the two (2) of them gel together as one of the best one-two punches in college basketball - as we know they will- this is going to be one of the most exciting teams that college basketball has seen in many decades.

Because Zion Williamson is a super star that can play positions 1-5, expectations will remain very high for this team.

2017-2018 Record: 29-8 (13-5) NCAA Elite 8 Finish
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Elite 8 or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  15+

3. North Carolina State Basketball

Coach: Kevin Keatts

Off Roster:
Graduate: Abdul-Malik Abu, Allerik Freeman, Lennard Freeman, and Sam Hunt
Transferred: Omer Yurtseven (Georgetown)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Torin Dorn (SG), Markell Johnson (PG), Braxton Beverly (PG),
Transfer(s): Wyatt Walker (PF, Samford), Derek Funderburk (PF, Northwest Florida State), Blake Harris (PG, Missouri), Eric Lockett (SG, Florida International), C.J. Bryce (SG, UNCW), and Devon Daniels (SG, Utah)
Key Freshmen added: Ian Steere (PF) and Jericole Hellems (SF)

North Carolina State will return three (3) out of five (5) starters from the 2017-2018 season, which includes Markell Johnson, the best point guard in the ACC, their 2nd best scorer, Torin Dorn, and Braxton Beverly, the team’s 4th best scorer.

Kevin Keatts has added several high quality division 1 transfers to make this team even better. Nearly every transfer on the roster were in the top three (3) for scoring with their previous teams. Most, with the exception of Wyatt Walker, are small guards who can run, handle the ball and rebound. Wyatt, the only big man out the transfers, led the Southern Conference in rebounding with 9.7 rebounds per game in his final full season with Samford.

N.C. State is dangerous! Expect N.C. to be high scoring and fast. This team should make a run deep into the NCAA tournament.

2017-2018 Record: 21-12 (11-7) NCAA Tournament 1st round exit.
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance Sweet Sixteen or less
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  12+

4. Virginia Basketball

Coach: Tony Bennett

Off Roster:
Graduate: Devon Hall, Nigel Johnson, and Isaiah Wilkins

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Ty Jerome (PG), Kyle Guy (SG), Jack Salt (C), De'Andre Hunter (SG), Mamadi Diakite (PF), Marco Anthony (SG), and Jay Huff (PF)
Key Freshmen Returning: Francisco Cáffaro (C), Kihei Clark (PG), Francesco Badocchi (SF, RS), and Kody Stattmann (SG)

Defense is a part of this team’s identity. As long as Coach Tony Bennett is at the head we should expect Virginia to be one of the best defensive teams in the country. Unfortunately, Offense is another story. Virginia put up on average, 67.1 points per game, last season. Because this team is very good defensively we may see them at the top of the ACC as usual. But if point production doesn’t increase we could see another first round exit in the tournament.

2017-2018 Record: 31-3 (17-1) NCAA First Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA 2nd Round Exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  12+

5. Virginia Tech Basketball

Coach: Buzz Williams

Off Roster:
Graduate: Justin Bibbs and Devin Wilson
Transferred: Tyrie Jackson (East Carolina)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Justin Robinson (PG), Kerry Blackshear Jr. (PF), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG), Ahmed Hill (SG), Chris Clarke (SF), P.J. Horne (PF), and Wabissa Bede (PG)
Key Freshmen Returning: Jonathan Kabongo (SG), Isaiah Wilkins (SG), and Landers Nolley (SF)

Virginia Tech will return four (4) starters in Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Ahmed Hill. With each of the four starters on board, Virginia Tech finished 7th in the ACC and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament, finishing in the 1st round.

This team has nowhere to go but up. They will come in more experienced with three (3) seniors in the starting lineup. Hopefully, coach Buzz Williams will find a way to get this team to play better defense. Virginia Tech ranked only 169th nationally and 9th in the ACC in points allowed by the opponent.

Virginia Tech should be headed back to the tournament in 2019.

2017-2018 Record: 21-12 (10-8) - NCAA Tournament First Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd Round Exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  12+

6. Miami Basketball

Coach: Jim Larranaga

Off Roster:
Graduate: Ja'Quan Newton and Chris Stowell
Possibly Turned PRO: Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker IV

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Dewan Huell (PF), Dejan Vasiljevic (SG), Anthony Lawrence II (SF), Ebuka Izundu (C), Chris Lykes (PG), Sam Waardenburg (PF), and Rodney Miller Jr. (C)
Transfer(s): Zach Johnson (PG, Florida Gulf Coast) and Miles Wilson (SG Mt. St. Mary's)
Key Freshmen Returning: Deng Gak (PF) and Anthony Mack (SG)

Florida Gulf Coast’s Graduate transfer Zach Johnson and D1 transfer Miles Wilson should make up for the loss of Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker IV, who turned pro at the end of the 2017-2018 season. Both players are capable of averaging double digits in scoring. Other than that, nothing much changes for this team. Expect this team to remain good defensively and hopefully pick a few more points to push deeper into the NCAA tournament.

2017-2018 Record: 22-10 (11-7) NCAA 1st Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd round exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  12+

7. Syracuse Basketball

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Off Roster:
Graduate: Patrick Herlihy and Geno Thorpe
Transferred: Matthew Moyer (Vanderbilt)
Possibly Turned PRO:

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Frank Howard (PG), Tyus Battle (SG), Oshae Brissett (SF), Paschal Chukwu (C), Marek Dolezaj (SF), Bourama Sidibe (C), Elijah Hughes (SG), Buddy Boeheim (SG), and Howard Washington (PG)
Key Freshmen added: Jalen Carey (PG) and Robert Braswell (PF)

Syracuse has four (4) out of five (5) starters returning from their successful 2017-2018 season. Their great defense helped to get them to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. Nothing much should change about this team. Expect defense to remain great and offense to lack. Syracuse should make it back to the tournament in 2018-2019.

2017-2018 Record: 23-14 (8-10) NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd Exit or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  11+

8. Clemson Basketball

Coach: Brad Brownell

Off Roster:
Graduate: Gabe DeVoe, Mark Donnal, and Donte Grantham

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Marcquise Reed (SG), Shelton Mitchell (PG), Elijah Thomas (PF), David Skara (PF), Aamir Simms (PF), Anthony Oliver II (SG), Clyde Trapp (SG), and Malik William (SF)
Transfer(s): Javan White (PF, Oral Roberts)
Key Freshmen added: Trey Jemison (PF), Hunter Tyson (SF), and John Newman (SG)

Clemson has three (3) out of five (5) starters returning from the 2017-2018 team that finished in the  Sweet Sixteen pf the NCAA Tournament last season.

With the addition of Oral Roberts’ transfer Javan White, defense should remain great and rebounding should improve greatly. White averaged 9 rebounds per game in his final season at Oral Roberts.

Clemson should be in contention for another Sweet Sixteen run.

2017-2018 Record: 25-10 (11-7) NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Finish
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 2nd Round Exit or Greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 

9. Notre Dame Basketball

Coach: Mike Brey

Off Roster:
Graduate: Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell, Martinas Geben, Matt Gregory, Austin Torres, and Liam Nelligan

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: TJ Gibbs Jr. (PG), Rex Pflueger (SG), Nikola Djogo (SG), Elijah Burns (SF), John Mooney (PF), and D.J. Harvey (SF)
Key Freshmen Returning: Nate Laszewski (SF), Dane Goodwin (SG), Robby Carmody (SG), Prentiss Hubb (SG), and Chris Doherty

TJ Gibbs Jr. and Rex Pflueger will be the only two (2) starters returning from the 2017-2018 team. Notre Dame should look for Nikola Djogo, Elijah Burns and John Mooney to play bigger roles. Hopefully, they will all gel perfectly with the four (4) top 150 freshmen playing on the roster.  Expecting Notre Dame to do a little better than they had done in the previous season.

2017-2018 Record: 21-15 (8-10) NIT 2nd round exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA First Round Exit or Greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  9+

10. Florida State Basketball

Coach: Leonard Hamilton

Off Roster:
Graduate: Phil Cofer, Braian Angola-Rodas, Brandon Allen,
Transferred: CJ Walker (Ohio State) and Ike Obiagu (Seton Hall)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Terance Mann (SG), Christ Koumadje (C ), Trent Forrest (SG), PJ Savoy (PG), M.J. Walker (SG), and Mfiondu Kabengele (SF)
Transfer(s): David Nichols (PG, Albany)
Key Freshmen added: Anthony Polite (SG, RS), RaiQuan Gray (PF, RS), Devin Vassell (SG), and Wyatt Wilkes (SF)

Florida State lost a few pieces after the 2018-2019 season but not enough pieces to break the flow of the team. With the pieces that Coach Hamilton has retuning and with the new players on board, Florida State should remain a very good ball moving team and offense should remain great.

2017-2018 Record: 23-12 (9-9) NCAA Tournament Elite eight finish
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Tournament Appearance 1st Round Exit or less
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  9+

11. Wake Forest Basketball

Coach: Danny Manning

Off Roster:
Graduate: Troy Rike, Terrence Thompson, and Mitchell Wilbekin
Possibly Turned PRO: Bryant Crawford and Doral Moore
Transferred: Donovan Mitchell (Santa Clara) and Keyshawn Woods (Ohio State)

 On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Brandon Childress (PG), Chaundee Brown (SG), Melo Eggleston (SG), Olivier Sarr (C), and Anthony Bilas (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Ikenna Smart (C, Buffalo) and Torry Johnson (PG, Northern Arizona)
Key Freshmen Returning: Isaiah Mucius (SF), Jaylen Hoard (SF), Jamie Lewis (PG), Michael Wynn (SG), and Sharone Wright Jr (PG)

Wake Forest will look for more production from point guard, Brandon Childress, who started five (5)  games last season. With the additions of freshmen All-Americans Jaylen Hoard, Isaiah Mucius and Jamie Lewis, Wake Forest should get better on defense and in the rebounding category.

Northern Arizona graduate transfer Torry Johnson should also be a plus for this team. Wake Forest should do well this coming season.

2017-2018 Record: 11-20 (4-14) No Appearance
Post Season Predictions: NIT Appearance or greater
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  8-

12. Boston College Basketball

Coach: Jim Christian

Off Roster:
Graduate: Deontae Hawkins
Possibly Turned PRO: Jerome Robinson

 On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jordan Chatman(PG), Ky Bowman (SG), Steffon Mitchell (SF), Nik Popovic (PF), John Carlos Reyes (SF), Luka Kraljevic (PF), Vin Baker Jr. (SF), Avery Wilson (SG), and Ervins Meznieks (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Jairus Hamilton (SF, Ranked #90) and Chris Herren, Jr. (SG), Wynston Tabbs (SG)

Boston has four starters returning from a team that finished in the first round of the NIT. Boston won 7 games in the ACC with this teams, which is a very difficult task. This team also saw its first win season since 2011. With Jordan Chatman, Ky Bowman, Steffon Mitchell, and Nik Popovic returning and with the addition of All-American freshman Jairus Hamilton, this team has nowhere to go but up.

2017-2018 Record: 19-16 (7-11) NIT First Round Exit
Post Season Predictions: NCAA Appearance 1st Round exit or Less
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  8-

13. Georgia Tech Basketball

Coach: Josh Pastner

Off Roster:
Graduate: Tadric Jackson and Ben Lammers
Possibly Turned PRO: Josh Okogie

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jose Alvarado (SG), Brandon Alston (SG), Abdoulaye Gueye (PF), Moses Wright (PF), Curtis Haywood II (SG), Evan Cole (PF), and Sylvester Ogbonda (C)
Key Transfer(s): Shembari Phillips (SG, Tennessee)
Key Freshmen Returning: Michael Devoe (SG), Kristian Sjolund (SF), and Khalid Moore (SF)

Georgia Tech has three (3) starters returning from the 2017-2018 roster. Unfortunately Georgia Tech will start the 2018-2019 season without Tadric Jackson, Ben Lammers, and Josh Okogie, who were the top three (3) scorers on the team last season. That’s bad news for a team that ranked only 329th in the nation and next to last in the ACC in scoring last season. The addition of freshman All-American Michael Devoe may not be enough to boost this team to the top of the ACC this coming season.

2017-2018 Record: 13-19 (6-12) No Appearance
Post Season Predictions: No Appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  6-

14. Pittsburgh Basketball

Coach: Jeff Capel III

Off Roster:
Graduate: Monty Boykins, Ryan Luther, Jonathan Milligan, and Zach Smith
Transferred: Marcus Carr (Minnesota), Parker Stewart (UT Martin)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jared Wilson-Frame (SF), Khameron Davis (SG), Terrell Brown (PF), Kene Chukwuka (PF), Shamiel Stevenson (SF), Peace Ilegomah (C), and Samson George (PF)
Key Transfer(s):  Sidy Ndir (PG, New Mexico State) and Malik Ellison (SG, St. John)
Key Freshmen added: Trey McGowens (PG), Au'Diese Toney (SG), and Xavier Johnson (PG)

Pitts will have a new coach at the head in Coach Jeff Capel III. Pitt’s fans are looking forward to coach Capel turning this team into a national contender. But don’t expect that to happen this year. Pitts may get better at the point guard position with addition of Freshman All-American point guard Trey McGowan’s. Rebounding should remain a problem without much height added.

2017-2018 Record: 8-24 (0-18) No Appearance
Post Season Predictions: No Appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  4-

15. Louisville Basketball

Coach: Chris Mack

Off Roster:
Graduate: Anas Mahmoud, Quentin Snider,
Possibly Turned PRO: Ray Spalding, Deng Adel

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: V.J. King (SF), Ryan McMahon (SG), Malik Williams (C ), Darius Perry (PG), and Jordan Nwora (SF)
Key Transfer(s): Khwan Fore (PG, Richmond), Akoy Agau (PF, SMU), Christen Cunningham (PG, Samford), Steven Enoch (C, UCONN), and Khalid Thomas (SF, Southern Idaho)

With a new coach and several new transfers on the roster I think it’s safe to say that this team in is in rebuild mode.  The concern with this team is chemistry. V.J. King is the only starter returning from the 2017-2018 season. Center Malik Williams played in nearly every game but started in only 12.

Coach Mack is an excellent coach. Therefore, Louisville will continue their winning ways as usual but don’t expect much with the personnel that he has.

2017-2018 Record: 22-14 (9-9) NIT Quarterfinal Finish
Post Season Predictions: No Appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019:  4-

 

 

Jack Williams
About D1CoachCorner FacebookTwitterForumAdvertisement
©2014 Rock House Publishing and Web Designs- All Rights Reserved.

The D1CoachCorner.com website is property of Rock House Publishing and Web Designs Inc. D1CoachCorner.com is for news and educational purposes only. D1CoachCorner.com is not affiliated in any way with any NCAA sanctioned sports programs. All University and College logos are properties of their perspective institutions and are used for identification purposes only. The Coach Rankings are the sole views of D1Coach Corner.com and is used strictly for research, educational and entertainment purposes only.

ACC 2018-2019 College Basketball Predictions

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Jack Williams is the Owner and Operator of D1Coachcorner.com, a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and a member of the USBWA. Twitter: @d1coachcorner

September 24, 2018, 3:30pm
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!
New!