The ACC has always been a top basketball conference. Adding Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame this season and Louisville a year from now certainly doesn't hurt the league. The Big Ten-ACC Challenge should just keep getting better and better with these additions.
The rankings of these players are based on an ACC mock draft that I participated in this past Sunday evening, along with others. Each roster contains two guards, two forwards, a center and a utility, one of which must be a freshman.
There are three fantasy statistics that players are based on: points, rebounds/blocks combined and assists/steals combined. While a player's fantasy value may not be the same as their overall value as a player and to their team, this should offer a unique look at the players the ACC has to offer in 2013-14.
1. James Michael McAdoo, F, North Carolina
2. C.J. Fair, F, Syracuse
3. Jabari Parker, F, Duke
4. Anthony Barber, G, North Carolina State
5. Devin Thomas, F, Wake Forest
Picked Too High: Barber
Picked Too Low: Fair
Barber is a stud recruit, one of many that Mark Gottfried has brought to NC State in his short time there. Will this point guard bust and underachieve like last season's squad? Though picked second, C.J. Fair would have been my first pick. He averaged 14.5 points and seven rebounds last season. Now without Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Triche and James Southerland, Fair really will have to do it all.
McAdoo's numbers are strikingly similar to Fair's, though the Tar Heels had a disappointing 2012-13 campaign. Parker hails from Simeon in Chicago, the same high school that produced NBA star Derrick Rose. Thomas' freshman season average of nine points and seven rebounds can only go up, though his team's focus may be solely on him at a struggling Wake program.
6. Daniel Miller, C, Georgia Tech
7. Joe Harris, G, Virginia
8. Quinn Cook, G, Duke
9. Ryan Anderson, F, Boston College
10. Tyler Ennis, G, Syracuse
Picked Too High: Ennis
Picked Too Low: Harris
Ennis is another freshman who I've dubbed to be picked too high. Ennis is full of promise, though he may go through some early struggles replacing MCW at the point. Harris averaged 16 points, four rebounds and two assists as a junior, taking on a bigger role with Mike Scott's departure. Look for Harris to expand his offensive game even more as a senior.
Miller has been a steady center for three seasons, which is hard to come by. 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds are nothing to scoff at, though there is still some room for improvement. Cook will once again run the show for Coach K in what I believe could very well be a Final Four season. Anderson averaged 15 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore, but can he replicate those numbers and get BC winning again?
11. Rasheed Sulaimon, G, Duke
12. Dez Wells, G-F, Maryland
13. Akil Mitchell, F, Virginia
14. Matt Jones, G, Duke
15. Eric Atkins, G, Notre Dame
Picked Too High: Jones
Picked Too Low: Atkins
Jones is another freshman picked too high. Once again, he is full of promise but just won't have much of an opportunity to prove himself on a deep and talented Blue Devil roster this season, particularly in the backcourt. Atkins has been a steady hand for Notre Dame, but how will Demetrius Jackson's arrival in South Bend affect his game?
Sulaimon averaged 12 points, three rebounds and two assists as a freshman for the Dukies. Wells averaged 13 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Terrapins after transferring from Xavier, where he was kicked out. Mitchell has an outside chance at averaging a double-double, having a 13.1-point and 8.9-rebound per game average a year ago.
16. Okaro White, F, Florida State
17. Demetrius Jackson, G, Notre Dame
18. Travis McKie, F, Wake Forest
19. P.J. Hairston, G, North Carolina
20. T.J. Warren, F, North Carolina State
Picked Too High: Hairston
Picked Too Low: Warren
All offseason, Hairston has been in the news for the wrong reasons. While he will suit up for Roy Williams in 2013-14, I think his game will have a negative impact from this attention. Warren is a big-bodied and versatile player who needs to fill the void left by Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie in the Wolfpack frontcourt.
Not only can White score and rebound, but he's even better on the other end for the defensive-minded Seminoles by averaging over one block and one steal per game. Jackson chose Notre Dame over Illinois and will be joined by an experienced lineup. McKie has averaged 14.2 points per game over his three-year career while playing over 32 minutes per game. Expect more consistency from McKie this year.
21. Semi Ojeleye, C, Duke
22. Marcus Paige, G, North Carolina
23. Garrick Sherman, C, Notre Dame
24. Isaiah Hicks, F, North Carolina
25. DaJuan Coleman, C, Syracuse
Picked Too High: Ojeleye
Picked Too Low: Paige
Apparently, I am anti-freshmen in this list. Ojeleye is the third-best freshman for Duke behind Parker and Jones. Paige, an Iowa native, had a good but not great freshman season. North Carolina is due for a big year, and Paige will join Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall on list of the great UNC point guards when his time is done.
Sherman, a Michigan State transfer, should see his role grow following Jack Cooley's graduation. Hicks should slot right in at power forward next to McAdoo for UNC as a top-20 recruit. Coleman missed a good chunk of the 2012-13 season but averaged 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.7 minutes when healthy. Coleman and Rakeem Christmas will each see time at center for the Orange.