1. Duke Blue Devils
Jabari Parker thought so much of the coaching staff and the university that he actually had to think about whether he was coming back for his sophomore season. In the end, the NBA and the need for money were too much as Parker will be one of the top 3 players drafted in the NBA. Following Parker to the NBA was Rodney Hood. Duke loses it’s top two players, but have no fear Duke fans.
Everyone Wants To Come To Duke
Duke is a popular place to go to school and play basketball The Blue Devils land the #1 and #4 recruits in the nation in center Jahlil Okafor and point guard Tyus Jones. With the addition of Grayson Allen and Justise Winslow, the Blue Devils have 4 -5 star recruits in all.
Key returnees include guard Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson, and Marshall Plumlee. With Cook teaching Jones the ropes at guard, this team is stacked. Let’s not forget that Coach Krzyzewski will be manning the sidelines, looking for another national title.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels will have a great deal of experience in returning players like juniors to be, Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson and one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Paige will need to polish up his shooting skills as a great deal of the offense will go through him. He averaged 17.5 points per game last season and was a well- rounded player. Expect a dramatic increase in Brice Johnson’s numbers as he’ll see a great deal of more touches.
The Heels welcome # 8 recruit in ESPN’s top 100 in forward Justin Jackson, #10 Theo Pinson. A void from James Michael McCadoo will be easily filled as North Carolina attempts to match Duke where recruiting is concerned and has done a fantastic job.
3. Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia couldn’t have liked the way that last season ended as they were a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but this is a team with a lot of returning players in the form of Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, Mike Tobey, London Perrantes, and Anthony Gill. Experience and will will be on the Cavs side. 3-point specialist, London Perrantes could have a big-time year.
While the experience is there, Virginia didn’t land 1 recruit in the top 100.
4. Syracuse Orange
Syracuse will have an uphill climb with the loss of Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant, who are both headed to the NBA. Key returnees are Trevor Cooney (12.1 ppg.) Rakeem Christmas, and Michael Gbinije. This team took a major nosedive towards the end of the season after such a promising start. “The Cuse” gets a little assistance with two top recruits in #24 Chris McCullough and #50 Kaleb Joseph. I expect Joseph to get a lot of playing time right off the bat as a freshman.
The ACC in my estimation is the most competitive and fun conference to watch as any team can beat another on any given night, especially when inter-conference play comes into play.