It’s not like I’m going to tell you something you don’t already know about ACC football. Virginia stinks, Florida State will finish undefeated unless the school suddenly decides to hire Greg Schiano, and everyone else ranges from “pretty decent” to “pretty atrocious” to “Logan Thomas is involved, are you really that surprised?” Without promising to nix them completely, we need to abandon the football rankings for a little while.
Preseason men’s basketball power rankings! Apologies if you were hoping that video would trigger a countdown of Bow Wow’s greatest hits.
I’ll leave it at this: if you’re not watching ACC — and, specifically, Virginia — basketball whenever you can this winter, your excuses better involve familial emergencies or catching up on episodes of “Trapped in the Closet.”
With glee, let’s move on:
15. Virginia Tech
2012-13 Record: 13-19, 4-14 ACC
Key Returners: Senior guard/forward Jarell Eddie; senior forward Cadarian Raines; junior forward C.J. Barksdale
Key Departures: Guard Erick Green; guard Robert Brown; Erick Green; Green, Erick
The Hokies will forfeit 35.6 percent of their offensive production from 2012-13 merely via Green’s departure, leaving 39.6 percent field goal shooter Jarell Eddie as their offensive savior. They also yielded an ACC-worst 1.09 points per possession last season and lack the size and physicality to successfully guard anyone taller than 6 feet 10 inches. Gobble, gobble!
14. Wake Forest
2012-13 Record: 13-18, 6-12 ACC
Key Returners: Senior forward Travis McKie; sophomore forward Devin Thomas; sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre
Key Departures: Guard C.J. Harris
Wake Forest features a solid sophomore class and plays at an entertaining breakneck pace. Unfortunately, with most Deacons fans clamoring for coach Jeff Bzdelik’s removal, the atmosphere in Winston-Salem contains about as much cheer as will the Dolphins’ next offensive line reunion.
2012-13 Record: 13-18, 5-13 ACC
Key Returners/Newcomers: Junior forward K.J. McDaniels; sophomore guard Jordan Roper; redshirt sophomore guard Devin Coleman; redshirt freshman forward Jaron Blossomgamej
Key Departures: Forward Devin Booker; forward Milton Jennings
The Tigers will ride K.J. McDaniels — reigning conference block champion with 2.1 per contest in 2012-13 and a serviceable post threat — to a comfy 8-2 or 9-1 record during a customarily soft non-conference schedule that piques the attention of the rest of the country. Then reality will set in during ACC play for a team with too many backcourt question marks and too few frontcourt supplements to McDaniels to harbor legitimate hope for an NCAA Tournament bid.
2012-13 Record: 29-7, 15-3 ACC
Key Returners: Senior guard Rion Brown. Seriously, that’s about it.
Key Departures: Guard Shane Larkin; guard Durand Scott; guard Trey McKinney Jones; forward Kenny Kadji; forward Julian Gamble; center Reggie Johnson
Unfortunate that coach Jim Larranaga must reconfigure a Miami roster ravaged by graduation and Shane Larkin’s defection to the NBA after leading the 2013 Hurricanes to the finest campaign in school history. This team reminds me of Larranaga’s post-2006 George Mason squads, which missed three out of four tournaments after that Final Four appearance.
11. Florida State
2012-13 Record: 18-16, 9-9 ACC
Key Returners: Senior forward Okaro White; sophomore guard Devon Bookert; senior guard Ian Miller
Key Departures: Guard Michael Snaer; forward Terrance Shannon
Okaro White may constitute a nice centerpiece, but unless he snags between 20-28 rebounds per game, the Seminoles will again succumb to their ineptitude on the glass. Florida State averaged only 30.6 boards per game last season.
10. NC State
2012-13 Record: 24-11, 11-7 ACC
Key Returners/Newcomers: sophomore forward T.J. Warren; sophomore guard Tyler Lewis; junior guard Ralston Turner; freshman forward Beejay Anya
Key Departures: guard Lorenzo Brown; forward C.J. Leslie; center Richard Howell; guard Rodney Purvis
T.J. Warren excelled as a freshman last season, shooting a torrid 62.2 percent from the field and outshining the more ballyhooed debutant Rodney Purvis. If he can shoulder the offensive burden with safety valves C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell departed, and Tyler Lewis can shepherd a precocious but green roster half as well as Lorenzo Brown did, NC State may surprise some people.
9. Georgia Tech
2012-13 Record: 16-15, 6-12 ACC
Key Returners: Sophomore guard Marcus Georges-Hunt; sophomore forward Robert Carter; redshirt senior center Daniel Miller; senior forward Kammeon Hosley
Key Departures: Guard Mfon Udofia
Should budding second-year Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech’s sole double digit scorer last season, follow in the footsteps of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Michael Carter-Williams and become America’s latest tri-named basketball stud, the defensively stout Yellow Jackets will hover around .500 in ACC play and contend for an NCAA invitation.
2012-13 Record: 24-9, 12-6 Big East
Key Returners/Newcomers: senior forward Talib Zanna; senior guard Lamar Patterson; sophomore guard James Robinson; freshman forward Michael Young
Key Departures: Center Steven Adams; guard Tray Woodall; forward J.J. Moore
Pittsburgh was the only team in this current ACC lineup to average fewer possessions per 40 minutes last season than Virginia and prides itself on offensive boards more than Brandon Jennings prides himself on poor shot selection. In other words, when the Panthers host the Cavaliers Feb. 2, the only Fast Break you’ll see is the one a morose Ben Roethlisberger will be devouring in the stands.
2012-13 Record: 25-13, 8-10 ACC
Key Returners: Junior guard Dez Wells; junior guard Nick Faust; sophomore guard Seth Allen
Key Departures: Sophomore center Alex Len; senior guard Logan Aronhalt
The Dez Wells-Nick Faust-Seth Allen triumvirate compares nicely to nearly every other backcourt in the conference, with Wells in particular capable of ripping defenses asunder with his whirling dervish penetration and efficient finishing (his 52.6 percent field goal shooting last season paced all ACC guards). It’s how the Terrapins supplant Alex Len’s (literally) enormous presence that will dictate whether they can hang with the ACC elite.
6. Boston College
Record: 16-17, 7-11 ACC
Key Returners: Sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan; junior forward Ryan Anderson; sophomore guard Joe Rahon; junior guard Lonnie Jackson
Key Departures: Senior forward Andrew Van Nest
Stop guffawing. The Eagles return nearly all crucial components from a team that gelled late last year, including someone I esteem as the the conference’s finest point guard, Canadian Olivier Hanlan. 2013, people: Canada’s year for dominance in college basketball and municipal leaders abusing harmful recreational drugs.
2012-13 Record: 30-10, 11-7 Big East
Key Returners/Newcomers: Senior forward C.J. Fair; junior forward Rakeem Christmas; sophomore guard/forward Michael Gbinije; freshman guard Tyler Ennis
Key Departures: Guard Michael Carter-Williams; guard Brandon Triche; forward James Southerland
I remain skeptical that coach Jim Boeheim’s patented 2-3 zone will effectively stymie the gaggle of ACC offenses capable of efficient outside shooting. But C.J. Fair, the team’s leading point man and rebounder a year ago, represents a worthy choice as ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Touted frosh Tyler Ennis also hails from Canada, and the scheduling gods blessed Syracuse by placing most of their momentous conference clashes at the Carrier Dome.
4. Notre Dame
2012-13 Record: 25-10, 11-7 Big East
Key Returners: Senior guard Jerian Grant; senior guard Eric Atkins; junior guard Pat Connaughton
Key Departures: Senior forward Jack Cooley; senior guard Garrick Sherman
Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey brings his inimitable blend of efficient offense and creepy turtlenecks to the ACC, hoping the formidable backup duo of preseason all-conference selection Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins can carry his group to a top-four league finish.
2012-13 Record: 23-12, 11-7 ACC
To be covered in length in Thursday’s edition of the Cavalier Daily. Spoiler alert: Optimism!
2. North Carolina
2012-13 Record: 25-11, 11-7 ACC
Key Returners: Junior guard P.J. Hairston; junior forward James Michael McAdoo; sophomore guard Marcus Paige; senior guard Leslie McDonald
Key Departures: guard Reggie Bullock; guard Dexter Strickland
Deadly from beyond the arc and equipped with a newly discovered propensity for forcing turnovers to trigger fast break attacks, North Carolina’s offense should be humming like that sleek new Camaro you borrowed from your drug kingpin acquaintance.
2012-13 Record: 30-6, 14-4 ACC
Key Returners/Newcomers: Freshman forward Jabari Parker; sophomore forward Rodney Hood; sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon; junior guard Quinn Cook; senior guard Tyler Thornton; redshirt senior guard Andre Dawkins
Key Departures: Guard Seth Curry; center Mason Plumlee; forward Ryan Kelly
Even if witnessing mixed campaigns in consecutive years from Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers and Rodney Purvis has jaded me against freshman “saviors” such as Jabari Parker, and even if they lack a proven low post stalwart, the loaded Blue Devils enter the season as a commanding favorite and a safe bet to be playing well into March. Believe it or not, I made it through that entire sentence without throwing up.