2012 ACC Blogger Basketball Preview: 1-6

Posted by Brandon Rink on November 2, 2012 under ACC Basketball | Read the First Comment

NC State forward C.J. Leslie leads the ACC favorites tabbed by the ACC media and this site as the preseason player of the year (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

Check out our team-by-team analysis to get ready for the ACC season! (All-ACC teams and full order of picks are here)

1) NC State Wolfpack

2011-12 Record: 24-13 (9-7 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Lorenzo Brown – 6-5 186, 12.7 PPG/6.3 APG/4.5 RPG

Rodney Purvis – 6-2 195, Freshman

Scott Wood – 6-6 169, 12.4 PPG/2.3 RPG /1.6 APG

Starting Frontcourt

C.J. Leslie – 6-9 200, 14.7 PPG/7.3 RPG/1.1 APG

Richard Howell – 6-8 257, 10.8 PPG/9.2 RPG/1.1 APG

Key Bench Players: F T.J. Warren (Freshman), G Tyler Lewis (Freshman), C Jordan Vandenberg (2 PPG/2.7 RPG), F Thomas de Thaey (1.2 PPG/1.2 RPG).

Strengths: Athleticism, experience, scoring

Weaknesses: Defense, lack of depth, and foul trouble. With key reserve DeShawn Painter’s transfer, State cannot afford to get into foul trouble- especially with their forwards. State only has nine scholarship players on the roster.

Make or Break Player: G Lorenzo Brown

Final Analysis: State will have to handle the expectations put on them by the media and fans. The trendy pre-season choice to win the conference, this team, that returns four starters from last year’s Sweet 16 squad, will have to mature and stay out of foul trouble. Brown is the make or break player because at the point, this team can go as far as he can take them- he’s that good. The Pack will also need one of their McDonald’s All-Americans to be ready to go, expect that to be Rodney Purvis- he should start at the two-guard spot for the Pack this season. – J.J. Greenstein

2) Duke Blue Devils

2011-12 Record: 27-7 (13-3 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Tyler Thornton  – 6-1 190, 4.1 PPG/2 APG

Seth Curry –  6-2 185, 13.2 PPG/2.4 APG

Starting Frontcourt

Alex Murphy – 6-8 220, Redshirt freshman

Ryan Kelly – 6-11 230, 11.8 PPG/5.4 RPG

Mason Plumlee – 6-10 235, 11.1 PPG/9.2 RPG

Key Bench Players: G Rasheed Sulaimon (Freshman), Josh Hairston (2.7 PPG/1.4 RPG), Amile Jefferson (Freshman), Marshall Plumlee (Redshirt freshman).

Strengths: Veteran leading scorers back; pair of big man scorers; 3-point threat in Curry.

Weaknesses: Decreased perimeter threat overall; needing big minutes from multiple freshmen; needing increased from ’11 role players.

Make or Break Player: C Mason Plumlee

Final Analysis: After back-to-back seasons with one-and-done point guards, a veteran frontcourt and senior guard Seth Curry are expected to shoulder the load, with immediate contributions expected from freshmen Alex Murphy, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson. We’ll see what Duke is made of early matching up with the defending champ Kentucky Wildcats in Atlanta on Nov. 13, but I’d expect a solid-but-maybe-not-elite Blue Devils this season. – Brandon Rink

3) North Carolina Tar Heels

2011-12 Record: 32-6 (14-2 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Marcus Paige  – 6-0 157, Freshman

Dexter Strickland – 6-3 180, 7.5 PPG/2.1 APG

Reggie Bullock  – 6-7 205, 8.8 PPG/5.1 RPG

Starting Frontcourt

James Michael McAdoo – 6-9 230, 6.1 PPG/3.9 RPG

Joel James –  6-10 260, Freshman

Key Bench Players: G P.J. Hairston (5.7 PPG/2.2 RPG), F Desmond Hubert (0.7 PPG/1.5 RPG), G Leslie McDonald (7 PPG/3.1 RPG in ’10-11), F J.P. Tokoto (Freshman), F Brice Johnson (Freshman).

Strengths: Mix of experience and young talent in winning system, McDonald’s 3-point game back in the mix.

Weaknesses: Unknowns and inexperience across the board, losing four of top-five scorers.

Make or Break Player: F James Michael McAdoo.

Final Analysis: From ’11 stats: 70 percent of the scoring – gone. 68 percent of the rebounding – gone. 78 percent of the assists – gone. Almost 80 percent of the starts – gone. But you know it’s a big deal Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes are gone – it’s up to upperclassmen Dexter Strickland and Reggie Bullock to step up and sophomore James Michael McAdoo to be All-ACC caliber down-low. Under Williams since 2003, the Tar Heels have had double-digit losses twice, but there will be some growing pains with this team. That said, if they click early – UNC makes some noise in ACC play. – Brandon Rink

4) Florida State Seminoles

2011-12 Record: 27-7 (13-3 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Michael Snaer  – 6-5 202, 14 PPG/3.8 RPG

Ian Miller –  6-3 186, 10.3 PPG/1.3 APG

Aaron Thomas – 6-5 195, Freshman

Starting Frontcourt

Terrance Shannon – 6-8 240, 8.3 PPG/4.4 RPG

Okaro White – 6-8 204, 7.7 PPG/4.4 RPG

Key Bench Players: G Terry Whisnant (2.1 PPG/1 RPG), C Kiel Turpin (Redshirt junior), C Michael Ojo (Freshman), G Devin Bookert (Freshman), F Robert Gilchrist (Juco).

Strengths: Defense and rebounding (per usual), talented incoming class, size again, one of the best ACC guard duos.

Weaknesses: One senior left after six graduates; in turn, inexperience behind starters.

Make or Break Player: F Okaro White

Final Analysis: The reigning ACC champs lose six seniors, but bring back two of their top scorers at guard…and still have some power in the paint. FSU certainly won’t have the veteran depth they had last season, but with another strong recruiting class, the ‘Noles may see very little drop-off from one of their more successful seasons in school history. – Brandon Rink

5) Miami Hurricanes

2011-12 Record: 20-13 (9-7 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Durand Scott  – 6-5 203, 12.9 PPG/3.1 APG

Shane Larkin – 5-11 176, 7.4 PPG/2.5 APG

Trey McKinney Jones – 6-5 220, 7 PPG/3.5 RPG

Starting Frontcourt

Kenny Kadji – 6-11 242, 11.7 PPG/5.3 RPG

Reggie Johnson – 6-10 292, 10.8 PPG/7.2 RPG

Key Bench Players: G Rion Brown (7.2 PPG/2.8 RPG), G Garrius Adams (4.5 PPG/2.1 RPG), F Erik Swoope (2.3 PPG), F Julian Gamble (4 PPG/3.4 RPG in ’10).

Strengths: Best and biggest frontcourt in ACC, veteran guards, decent depth, NCAA-experienced coach.

Weaknesses: Health an issue with Johnson/Gamble, replacing 3-point threat Malcolm Grant, lack of tournament success.

Make or Break Player: F Kenny Kadji.

Final Analysis: Miami has one of the best starting fives in the ACC – it would be a surprise if they don’t have a bye in the ACC Tournament or at least an easy pathway to the NCAA Tournament come March. Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson form the ACC’s top frontcourt duo, Shane Larkin impressed as a freshman last year at point guard and Durand Scott can score with the best when he’s on. Add a veteran, successful coach like Jim Larranaga in the mix and it’s hard not to like this team if they can stay healthy, unlike years’ past. – Brandon Rink

6) Maryland Terrapins

2011-12 Record: 17-15 (6-10 ACC)

Starting Five… (2011 Stats)

Starting Backcourt

Pe’Shon Howard  – 6-3 185, 6.7 PPG/3.7 APG/3.7 RPG

Nick Faust –  6-6 175, 8.9 PPG/2.1 APG/4.1 RPG

Dezmine Wells* – 6-5 215, 9.8 PPG/1.1 APG/4.9 RPG OR Jake Layman – 6-8 190, Freshman

*Wells’ transfer waiver (Xavier) to be eligible immediately still pending

Starting Frontcourt

Alex Len – 7-1 225, 6.0 PPG/0.6 APG/5.4 RPG

James Padgett– 6-8 225, 8.8 PPG/0.6 APG/5.8 RPG

Key Bench Players: C Shaquille Cleare (Freshman), G Logan Aronhalt (Freshman), F Charles Mitchell (Freshman), G Seth Allen (Freshman).

Strengths: Rebounding, length, size, athleticism.

Weaknesses: Interior scoring, defense, consistent outside shooting.

Make or Break Player: G/F Dezmine Wells.

Final Analysis: This season will ultimately come down to whether sophomore transfer Dezmine Wells is eligible to play. A transfer from Xavier, Wells was prematurely expelled for rape allegations. If eligible, he is probably Maryland’s best player. Another question will be the health of Pe’Shon Howard. Howard missed most of last season with a torn ACL, and if healthy, can bring experience to the point guard position. Nick Faust has supposedly gotten stronger and improved his jump shot, so look for him to make strides this season. In the front court, will Alex Len play like the lottery pick many are projecting him as? His partner up front, James Padgett, should be his solid self, providing toughness and garbage points. As a Maryland fan, I’m most curious to see how this mix of experience and youth comes together. The Terps have seniors Padgett and transfer Aron Loganhalt to go along with five newcomers. If the underclassmen can play past their expectations, this will be a very dangerous team. – Griffin Wong

(All-ACC teams and full order of picks are here)


  • Kevin said,

    Why is everyone talking about howards health. Id rather see him on the bench and faust at pg or allen who is not getting much hype as he will eventually be a good player by mid season. Would love to see a starting line up of faust, allen, wells or laymen, mitchell and len in that order ofmposition