Looking Ahead: The 2009 ACC Basketball Recruiting Classes (Part 2)


In the first part of this series, we looked at the recent additions to the top seven teams in the ACC based on last year's conference records. Despite significant departures, it appears that UNC has reloaded their potent offense with a number of tall talented players. Duke added size. Boston College didn't add anyone.

In the second part of the series, we will look at the remaining teams in the ACC. Despite having difficulty during the regular season, these teams did exceedingly well recruiting some of the top prospects in the nation. It looks like the ACC is in for another year of outstanding basketball.

In case you missed the first part of the series, please go here.

 

8. University of Maryland Terrapins (21-14, 7-9)

After enduring a very difficult start to the season, that included a win over Michigan St, the Terrapins had a difficult run through the ACC. Their performance was somewhat unpredictable, scoring only 44 against Duke but upsetting UNC all within the same season. Last year's Terrapins were one of the youngest teams in the nation, and this may explain some of the erratic game play. Dave Neal was their lone senior. This year, Gary Williams decided to add even more size to his squad, adding two very nice recruits. With little room for scholarships or playing time, Maryland did the best they could.

 

Highlight Player:

Jordan Williams 6'9" 245lbs PF Torrington, CT 4-Star #85 Overall

Jordan had offers from a number of excellent programs, including Pitt, Marquette, Xavier and UConn to name a few. This might give you some reason as to why that was the case. The kid is an absolute monster. However, as you can see, he is not the most agile kid up and down the floor, but that isn't the fairest of assesments as it is one clip. Here is a nice interview with Jordan. Here is a long game tape of Jordan, looks like he does a nice job in the low post and has good body control. Hard to asses his defensive abilities as the big time player on the other team was a guard. Here is a final clip of Jordan's highlights. His strengths seem to be in working to get low post position in a set offense. He has a huge frame and uses it well, which should help him compete in a conference full of seven footers.

The rest of the class:

James Padgett 6'7" 201lbs PF Brooklyn, NY 3-Star NR Overall Video

Composite: Average Stars: 3.5 Average Height: 6'8" Average Rivals Ranking: High

Despite being one of the taller teams in the counrty, Maryland's effective height was below average. The addition of Williams and Padgett will help that significantly. They are tall, long players who will add much needed minutes in the paint. Maryland struggled on the defensive boards. These two will be nice additions to a Maryland team that is returning a lot of its players from a competitive, yet unpredictable, 2008 squad.

9. Virginia Tech Hokies (19-15, 7-9)

Last year, the Hokies had 6 sophomores on the team and only 2 seniors. Despite their youth, they had plenty of room to make some additions. However, the quality of such additions may not have been as high due to the potential for limited playing time. Fortunately for FSU, A.D Vassallo has moved on to bigger and better things.

Highlight Player:

Manny Atkins 6'7 198lbs SF Stone Mointain, GA 3-Star NR Overall

Manny is in this video, somewhere. He is apparently in blue and is not #87, 113 or #1. I think he is 67 or 68. Apparently, Atkins is a hybrid 2-3 who was one of the top juniors in Georgia. He was ranked the #27 SF by Scout.com. Depending which source you reference, Atkins either had offeres from a lot of top Division 1 programs, including FSU, or only from VTech and Eastern Carolina. During his Junior year, he averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. From the limited information I have, it seems like he will be a nice addition to the Hokies. It seems however, VTech has a lot of players in the 6'6 to 6'9 range who are hybrids.

The Rest of the Class:

Ben Boggs 6'4 180lbs SG Roanoke. VA 3-Star NR Overall

Erick Green 6'2 170lbs PG Winchester, VA 3-Star NR Overall Video (Erick is #32 in the Dark Jersey)

Cadarian Raines 6'8 223lbs C Petersburg, VA 3-Star NR Overall Video

Composite: Average Stars: 3 Average Height: 6'5.25`" Average Rivals Ranking: High

Cadarian may have been a natural center in high school, but I don't know how well 6'8 will work in the paint night in and night out in the ACC where having multiple 7 footers on a team is becoming common place. However, we all saw that DeJuan Blair did just fine against Thabeet in their match up, despite a significant size advantage. Hard to say what the impact of this class will be without a full complement of information. It seems that Green is an explosive player off the dribble, Raines is a big strong kid and Atkins is a long player who can play that hybrid 2-3 position.

10. North Carolina State University Wolfpack (16-14, 6-10)

Last year, the Wolfpack had a major discrepancy between their offense and defense. Surprisingly, N.C. State finished 30th in the nation in offensive efficiency but only 172nd in defensive efficiency. They couldn't generate turnovers and despite trying to play a tight man to man defense. They were also one of the tallest teams in the country, with an average height of 6'6.2". This year the Wolfpack added 5 players and went big, earning themselves the 19th best recruiting class this year.

Highlight Player:

Lorenzo Brown 6'4 175lbs PG Alpharetta, GA 4-Star #37 Overall

This is a really nice addition for the Wolfpack. Brown will add the much needed leadership and skill at the guard position. He had a number of offers from big time programs including Memphis, UConn and Florida. He can score at will and likes to take control of the game. Many have commented on his explosiveness which is evident in any of his highlight tapes. His athletic ability allows him to score off the dribble and provides him sufficient hang time to score around the basket. This is the piece to the puzzle that N.C State has been waiting for and Wolfpack fans should be excited about this addition. He is being labeled a combo guard, which may work out as the Wolfpack has a few young guards already on the team. The match up between Brown and Snaer should be a fun one.

 

***Update: It was brought to my attention by one of our outstanding readers that Brown did not qualify for N.C State this year and is off to prep school before joining the Wolfpack in 2010.******

 

The Rest of the Class:

Richard Howell 6'8" 230lbs PF Marietta, GA 4-Star #61 Overall Video  Video 2

Deshawn Painter 6'9 210lbs C Chatham, VA 3-Star #127 Overall Video Video 2

Scott Wood 6'6 170lbs SG Marion, IN 3-Star #133 Overall Video

Josh Davis 6'6 185lbs SF Raleigh, NC 3-Star NR Overall Video (10 minutes of highlights) Video 2

Jordan Vandenberg 7'0 230lb C Melbourne, Australia 3-Star NR Overall

Composite: Average Stars: 3.3 Average Height: 6'7.5" Average Rivals Ranking: High

Congratulations to N.C State. This is an outstanding class from top to bottom and fills a variety of needs. All of these guys are legit athletes who should make an early impact. I highly doubt that N.C State will be 10th in the league next year, particularly if they get any production from people like Wood and Davis, who look like they can play. Last year, the Wolfpack's bench played an excessive amount of minutes, almost 40% of the possible minutes available. While having a deep bench is a luxury, it can disrupt continuity. Now, the Wolfpack has a core of experienced players returning and a solid core of young players. Those bench minutes may remain high, but now there won't be such a drop off between starters and reserves.

 

***This is still a strong class, but without Brown the quality drops off significantly****

11. University of Virginia Cavaliers (10-18, 4-12)

The highlight of the Cavaliers's season was Sylven Landesberg. With the exception of wins over GTech, Clemson, VTech and Marland, it was a long season. However, the Cavs ranked 315th overall in experience last year and it hurt them the most on offense, ranking 165th in the nation or just about average for all of Division 1. Their defense, surprisingly, was excellent. Again, due to the youth of their team, there was limited room for addition to the Cavs during the offseason. However, they did add two very nice local recruits.

Highlight Player:

Tristan Spurlock 6'7" 215lbs Springfield, VA 4-Star #91 Overall

Tristan is a big athletic kid with a beautiful jump shot. The combination of Spurlock and Landesberg will work well for UVA. Here is a nice interview with Tristan. Here is game tape of Tristan, he is number 22 in the white jersey. Overall, it seems that Tristan has great court vision and is an excellent athlete. He appears to be a versatile wing player. If he can shoot as well as it appears he can, it should open up a lot of space for Landesberg. Spurlock is a very nice addition for the Cavs.

The Rest of the Class:

Jontel Evans 5'11 190lbs Hampton, VA 3-Star NR Overall Video (Clearly a 2 sport athlete)

Composite: Average Stars: 3.5 Average Height: 6'3" Average Rivals Ranking: High

Evans is a tough kid who will certainly contribute, willing to sacrifice himself in the paint for the benefit of Spurlock and Landesberg. . He may be the added toughness on the defensive end they may need to compete consistently in the ACC. Youth is the common theme in the ACC this year and Virginia is returning a young core that couldn't score. But, having  year of experience under their belt, just like the Seminoles, will make a significant diference. With what little room they had, Virginia has added two very nice young players.

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-19, 2-14)

We started to see flashes of what the Yellow Jackets were capable of, beating Clemson in the first round of the ACC tournament and almost taking us down in the second round. Despite having a rough experience in the ACC last year, the Yellow Jackets scored one of the best recruiting classes in the country. In fact, they earned the #4 class overall according to Rivals.com. They loaded up with 6 very talented, mostly local players.

Highlight Player:

Derrick Favors 6'9 220lbs C Atlanta, GA 5-Star #3 Overall

Derrick is likely a one and done, and likely the reason that he stayed close to home. Here is an entertaining video of Derrick puting up 42 points, 20 rebounds and 12 blocks, but it looks like he was playing a bunhc of fifth graders. In this video, Derrick is playing comprable athletes and he clearly continues to dominate. Here is his Grass Roots video, he makes his appearance at about 1:15 into the video. Derrick is an outstanding basketball player. His athletic ability around the rim is exceptional and he never quits. Clearly, he is a true shot blocker and will make a huge impact in the ACC. We have seen the impact that Solomon Alabi had in one year. This should be an absolute battle between the two of them. Derrick completely changes the face of GTech basketball. There was a slim chance that he was considering FSU and I really wished that he was on his way to Tally. I think the videos say enough. Fortunately he will only be with us for one year.

The Rest of the Class:

Kammeon Holsey 6'7 190lbs PF Sparta, GA 4-Star #82 Overall

Glen Rice Jr. 6'4 175lbs SG Marietta, GA 4-Star #45 Overall Video (Yes he is the son of NBA star Glen Rice)

Mfon Udofia 6'2 180lbs PG Stone Mountain, GA 4-Star #32 Overall Video

Daniel Miller 6'10 235lbs Loganville, GA 3-Star NR Video

Brian Oliver 6'6 190lbs Mouth of Wilson, VA 3-Star #135 Overall Video

Composite: Average Stars: 3.8  Average Height: 6'6.3" Average Rivals Ranking: 59.4 (Excluding Miller)

Georgia Tech has brought in the best recruiting class in the ACC with a number of players who will be impact players. If Favors can play as advertised, the Yellow Jackets will not be at the bottom of the ACC this year. This is a highly talented team from top to bottom that has just added some of the county's best talent.

There you have it-- the latest additions to the ACC. It appears that Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke and Florida State have earned the most attention with our signees. Our ranking at #24 is only based on the addition of Snaer and Shannon. N.C State has the sleeper class. But, there are a number of other outstanding additions throughout the conference that will make an immediate impact on their respective teams. Should be an outstanding year of ACC basketball.

What are your thoughts? Which player impressed you the most? Which team do you think did the best job recuiting this year?

And for the finishing touch, Florida State is already ranked #10 overall for the 2010 recruiting class.

 

Cheers,

TC

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