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Special Guest: Tony Patelis (College Hoop News) Talks Early Top 5 ACC Basketball

06/15/2017, 10:45am EDT
By Tony Patelis/ Patrick O'Brien

All Things ACC spoke to Tony Patelis from College Hoop News, breaking down his early Top 5 teams for ACC Basketball



The Blue Devils were preseason #1 and had maybe the best recruiting class ever heading into last season. But things just didn't click and the Blue Devils had an early tournament exit. Looking ahead, this team might be even more talented from top to bottom. Grayson Allen leads a group of talented freshmen, led by outstanding PG Trevon Duval and PF Wendell Carter.

Final Thought: Can this year’s recruiting class live up to expectations?? If so Duke could be the favorite in the ACC and a Final Four contender. Getting any time of contribution from big man Marques Bolden would be huge.

Key Returnees:

Grayson Allen G 

Marques Bolden C

Key Newcomers:                       

Trevon Duval G

Wendell Carter F

Gary Trent Jr. G

Jordan Tucker F

Key Losses:

Harry Giles

Jayson Tatum

Matt Jones

Luke Kennard

Frank Jackson

2. Louisville 

Before this year’s draft crop started declaring for the draft Louisville in my eyes was the consensus #1 team in my way too early Top 25. Then Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Johnson went pro. This knocked the Cards down a few notches. But after a huge pickup snagging 5* SF Brian Bowen Louisville looks to be in much better shape up front.

Final Thought: If Deng Adel and VJ King can make strides and Bowen can make an instant impact Louisville without a doubt has the talent to compete for an ACC title. Also keep an eye on Ray Spalding. Could be a breakout year for the junior.

Key Returnees:                     

Quentin Snider G                  

VJ King G                            

Deng Adel F                          

Ray Spalding F

Key Newcomers:

Brian Bowen F

Malik Williams F

Darius Perry G

Key Losses:

Donovan Mitchell

Jaylen Johnson

Mangok Mathiang

3. North Carolina

The Heels are coming off a national championship but lose quite a bit of production. Especially in the frontcourt. The Cam Johnson pickup comes at a perfect time with the loss of Meeks/Bradley/Hicks. Joel Berry and Theo Pinson will lead a pretty young squad but should be get enough production from the newcomers and should see a much better season from Luke Maye with a solid year under his belt.

Final Thought: If Cam Johnson can make a solid impact and Luke Maye can take strides in year 2 the Heels have more than enough to finish top 3 in an ACC that shouldn't be as strong as last year.

Key Returnees: 

Joel Berry G 

Kenny Williams G 

Luke Maye F

Theo Pinson G 

Key Newcomers:

Jalek Felton G

Garrison Brooks C

Cam Johnson (Transfer) F

Key Losses:

Tony Bradley

Kennedy Meeks

Isaiah Hicks

Justin Jackson

4. Miami  

Besides Duke this Miami team might be the most talented group in the conference. Jim Larranaga has done an excellent job recruiting and has an excellent class arriving on campus. Lonnie Walker will make an instant impact and will pair with talented sophomore Bruce Brown and Ja'Quan Newton.  Arguably one of the best backcourts in the country.

Final Thought: If the freshmen class can make an impact and Dewan Huell can give the Canes production up front this club, they should be solid this season.                        

Key Returnees: 

Ja'Quan Newton G 

Bruce Brown G

Anthony Lawrence Jr. G

Dewan Huell F

Key Newcomers:

Lonnie Walker G

Chris Lykes G

Deng Gak F

Key Losses:

Kamari Murphy F

Davon Reed G

5. Virginia Tech

Buzz Williams has his best team yet in Blacksburg. The Hokies backcourt is absolutely loaded. It will be tough for Buzz to find minutes for everyone. And that's a good thing, as you can never have too much talent. If Kerry Blackshear (injury) returns and can be a factor inside this Hokie squad will do a lot of damage during ACC play.

Final Thought: A key will be if Chris Clarke can return from his ACL injury which he suffered late last season. If so this is without a doubt a second weekend NCAA tournament team. The Hokies have a plethora of weapons.

Key Returnees 

Chris Clarke G/F 

Justin Robinson G 

Ahmed Hill G 

Kerry Blackshear F
(Missed last year)          

Justin Bibbins G

Key Newcomers

Nickeil Alexander-Walker G

Wabissa Bede G

Key Losses

Zach LeDay F

Seth Allen G

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