The 2010-2011 season was a down year for the ACC, but you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at recruiting lists and rankings.
As always, the ACC is bringing in a ton of 5-star talent this year. Last year, the freshmen had a huge impact on the conference race.
Harrison Barnes—arguably the best player in America right now—was picked as a first-team All-American before he even played a game. He started slow, but by the end of year he was playing like one of the best players in the country and may have been the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA draft had he decided to declare.
He wasn't the only impact freshman in Chapel Hill last year.
Kendall Marshall started the year as just a backup point guard to the talented-but-inconsistent Larry Drew. But midway through the season, it became clear who the better player was, and Marshall was inserted into the starting lineup.
This eventually drove Larry Drew out of Carolina, but the team was better for it. Marshall may have been the best pure passer in the country.
Freshman forward Travis McKie had a huge impact on Wake Forest as he led the team in both scoring and rebounding.
And the ultra-talented C.J. Leslie of N.C. State put his crazy athleticism on display as he was the Wolfpack's best player last year.
The 2011-2012 season will have just as many—if not more—impact freshman joining the conference.