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Tudor's Take: Forecasting ACC defections

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Let’s say the following ACC players enter and stay in this summer's NBA Draft:

    •    Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
    •    Kyrie Irving (Duke)
    •    Chris Singleton (Florida State)
    •    Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)
    •    Jordan Williams (Maryland)
    •     C.J. Leslie (N.C. State)
    •    Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)

Given that sort of attrition, here’s my guess on how the 2011-12 ACC race will go (with each team's 2010-11 records in parentheses).

1. Duke (13-3, 32-5): Without Irving, the starters could be Seth Curry, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, shooting guard recruit Austin Rivers and Ryan Kelly.

That group should still be good enough for a preseason top-10 spot, and there would be sufficient bench help with Andre Dawkins, Tyler Thornton and recruits Marshall Plumlee, Quinn Cook and Mike Gbinije.

2. Miami (6-10, 21-15): The only senior on the roster is Adrian Thomas, and you have to assume all possible emphasis will be put on improving center Reggie Johnson’s conditioning and mobility.

Malcolm Grant, Durand Scott and Rion Brown should make for a formidable perimeter.

Julian Gamble, Garrius Adams and DeQuan Jones will do the little things. Transfers Kenny Kadji and Trey McKinney-Jones also join the mix.

3. Florida State (11-5, 23-11): Without Singleton, the defense would be weaker, and an improved offense would be a must in order for the Seminoles to go 11-5 in the league again.

There still will be plenty of parts, though, with Deividas Dulkys, Michael Snaer, Bernard James, Ian Miller, Okaro White, Terrance Shannon, Xavier Gibson and Jon Kreft.

4. North Carolina (14-2, 29-8): The frontcourt would be an ongoing migraine without Zeller, Henson and Barnes.

Freshman James McAdoo could start and probably would be joined by four perimeter players — Kendall Marshall, Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock and freshman P.J. Hairston or Leslie McDonald. Justin Watts would probably have to average 20 minutes, maybe more.

Roy Williams would go into a late-spring warp recruiting mode, but just snagging an NCAA bid would become a reasonable goal.

5. Virginia Tech (9-7, 22-12): Cracking the NCAA barrier could still be a problem even if Duke, Maryland and UNC lose their top NBA prospects.
Seth Greenberg can build around Dorenzo Hudson, J.T. Thompson and Erick Green, and forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and C.J. Barksdale anchor an impressive recruiting haul.

6. Clemson (9-7, 22-12): Tigers coach Brad Brownell had an impressive first year.

But even with Demontez Stitt and Jerai Grant, the Tigers barely averaged 66 points in ACC games.

Next season's likely starters will be Andre Young, Milton Jennings, Devin Booker, Tanner Smith and maybe freshman forward Bernard Sullivan.

7. Virginia (7-9,16-15): Forward Mike Scott may come back as a medical redshirt, but Tony Bennett’s third team will be small again, and it’s probably too late for center Assane Sene to add much bulk.

Sammy Zeglinski, K.T. Harrell, Joe Harris, signee Malcolm Brogdon and Jontel Evans will provide some quickness. Recruit Paul Jesperson is listed as tall as 6-7, but he isn’t like to throw much weight around inside at 180 pounds.

Redshirt freshman forward James Johnson is an X-factor.

8. N.C. State (5-11, 15-16): No matter who winds up as coach, the roster should still include C.J. Williams, Scott Wood, Ryan Harrow, Richard Howell, Lorenzo Brown, Jordan Vandenberg and DeShawn Painter at its leanest.

The upside would be decent without Leslie, but Brown would need to become more consistent on offense.

9. Georgia Tech (5-11, 13-18): Working on the assumption that new coach Brian Gregory will get the usual bump from beginner’s luck, the Yellow Jackets will move up at least a spot or two even without Shumpert.

10. Maryland (7-9, 19-14): Losing Jordan Williams in the middle would leave Gary Williams with almost no hope to win seven games again. A 5-11 finish would be more likely.

11. Wake Forest (1-15, 8-24):  There should be some improvement, but more than four ACC wins is a long shot.

12. Boston College (9-7, 21-13): Without Reggie Jackson, the Eagles would be completely lost for an offensive option.


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Billy Baron has already

Billy Baron has already indicated he will transfer to URI to play for his dad.

You are projected way too many defections, particularly for UNC who will not lose all 3 of Zeller, Henson and Barnes, if any.

Really now?

I'm not a,basketball expert, just like the writer is not, but if Henson, Zeller and Barnes are ready for the NBA, I'd be shocked. All three have plenty of basketball maturing to do. That was especially noticeable in all three at various points throughout the season. But, it won't be long before we shall see.

criticism of tudor

cut the guy some slack, at least he mentioned some other teams than his beloved tar heels. if you look up "bias" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of tudor!!

Zeller - disagree

He is as good as he is going to be which is very good. The guy was as solid and mature as it gets from January on.

Barnes and Henson still have a few things to work on, but they are "NBA ready." And both of these guys probably have more of a ceiling. At least Barnes does.

As Usual Duke Love from Tudor

The odds of all of those listed leaving for the NBA is slim.  But it's the only way to list Duke first.  Agree this is a non-story.  Wait until we know who is leaving and then get out your Duke blue crystal ball. 

Not only a nonstory

Not only a non-story but use of a misleading headline to trick readers into reading a column that should not have been writtern,.

Forecasting the ACC...

This article is poorly titled. It doesn't really forecast deflections, it just assumes anyone who may get drafted will leave and ranks the league accordingly. 


On the misleading title.

It must be a very slow day at the sports desk. Why not wait until those that leave do, and then project what the ACC will look like. I guess, there is no love shown for the dook women after getting pounded by UCONN?


Really hope Leslie thinks better of declaring for the draft this year. He's not ready, and he should either be smart enough to recognize that, or have a trusted confidant that will be honest with him and tell him so. Wonderful talent, awesome potential, but wasn't ready to start in the ACC this year, much less jump to the NBA next season !

Come back, work with the new staff, polish your game and help the team with the transition. It's a win-win, CJ !!!


He may not be ready for the NBA yet, but he would fit perfectly in the development league or overseas. He could pocket the change and not have to worry about ever attending class again. According to some, he has already done the latter, so if he goes, it would be no surprise.

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About the blogger

Columnist Caulton Tudor has worked for The News & Observer or The Raleigh Times for more than 30 years. Follow him on Twitter @CaultonTudor