2007-2008 ACC Conference Preview
For the first conference in this series we start with one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the ACC. Overall the ACC will boast another strong conference with four teams featured in the pre-season polls that have hit the street. Now we will break it down team by team with expectations on the upcoming season.
The Heels are the team to beat in the early going and have nailed the #1 position in the preseason top 25. Tyler Hansbrough is the leader of this club and this big man will put up some great numbers but keep on eye on the supporting cast as they are deep in talent. The defending ACC Champs return three starters and will be ready to make a run at a national championship again this year.
If there is a team that can keep up with the Tar Heels and have a shot at stealing the ACC Championship it’s the Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils return four starters from last year on a team that finished with 22 wins. Duke is the deepest team in an ACC packed with talent and coming off the bench David McClure will do some damage and help put away the opposition.
North Carolina St
Not too many folks can forget the run the wolf pack made down the stretch winning six of its last nine. They grabbed a 17th spot in the preseason polls so people are taking notice and this team returns four starters and bring experience back to compete. The return of these starters is important since they averaged double figures and averaged over 33 minutes last year.
Clemson is the fourth team to jump into the preseason polls to start the year off. This is pretty amazing considering that the team did not make the NCAA tournament. They did manage to go to the championship game of the NIT and since they return four starters from that team don’t bet on them missing it this year.
The Yellow jackets have a young team; in fact it is so young that in the last season freshman combined to score 37 points per game, the 9th highest in ACC history. They lost their two top scorers but with the youth and eight returning letterman they are deep, and now experienced. The Jackets will bring some sting to the ACC this year.
Florida St will bring back four starters from last year’s squad. Florida St does the little things to get wins like leading the ACC in free throw percentage and winning a record 16 games at home last year. When you can play that well on your home court and make the free ones you are destined to go deep.
The Eagles are off a superb year when they finished with a 10-6 league record, but will have a tough time replacing forward Jared Dudley. The Eagles return three starters to include Tyrese Rice, but will need him to control the point to make a splash in the ACC this year.
Maryland had a really good team that came on late last year and finished with a 10-6 mark in the ACC, but with just two returning starters it could be tough to reproduce that kind of result. Gary Williams has a way of making a team better than they are and he will have to do it again this year.
The hurricanes were just 4-12 in the ACC but they lost some close games. They upset Maryland and took BC to double overtime before being ousted out of the ACC tournament. With four returning starters and 11 of the 16 players starting at least one game last year you can look for an improvement.
Wake Forest had a tough off season with the untimely death of their head coach. They do have a bright spot with four returning starters on a team that won six of the last eleven games down the stretch. Look for them to finish just above the 5-11 league mark from a year ago as they are not ready to play with the ACC top tier teams.
The Hokies finished great last year and went to the second round in the NCAA tournament. Just making the tournament could be the call this year as they lost a ton of talent in four major categories. With just two returning starters and young bench help it could be a long season for the Hokies.
2007 College Basketball Predictions:
The ACC will have another great year and boast the most teams to be selected in the NCAAA Tournament.
ACC Champ: North Carolina
Dark Horse: Florida State
Cellar Dweller: Virginia Tech