College BB: ACC Preview, Part 1

Matt SmithSenior Analyst IOctober 29, 2007

2007-08 promises to be a strong season in the ACC, with North Carolina looking for a fifth NCAA title and NC State and Duke vying to keep pace with the Heels.  

Over the next few days, I'll analyze the conference and it teams—and try to separate the contenders from the pretenders...

Boston College

BC lost both Jared Dudley and Sean Marshall, and a quick fix doesn’t look to be coming anytime soon.  

Tyrese Rice emerged last year as one of the top point guards in the ACC, averaging 17.6 PPG. If Rice doesn't get help, though, the Eagles won't soar this season.  

Look for a ninth-place conference finish, with an NIT birth.


Clemson was one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball last year, starting 17-0 before failing to make the NCAA Tournament.  

With James Mayes and K.C. Rivers returning, look for a strong showing in the ACC—good for a fourth-place finish and a tourney appearance.

Icon#11 Duke

The Blue Devils had a pedestrian 2006-07 season—but a healthy Greg Paulus and senior leadership from DeMarcus Nelson should pull them out of their funk. 

Freshmen Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler will make immediate impacts for the Devils, but Duke is still a year away from truly competing for an ACC crown.  

Look for a third-place finish and a strong NCAA run.

Florida State

Losing Al Thorton was a serious blow for the Seminoles, but guards Isaiah Swann and Tony Douglas will be leaders on this FSU team.  

Florida State always comes to play, and this may be the year they  finally get to the NCAA Tournament.  I predict an eighth-place finish in the ACC.

Come back tomorrow for preseason analysis of Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, and North Carolina.