Teams are set; who'll rule the ACC?

June 16, 2009 

Now that we know who's coming back, and Virginia's coach, let's take a second look (here's the first look) at ACC hoops in 2009-10.

Robbi Pickeral and I will do this for the record in July, with the Summer Hoops Preview, but just for the sake of newness of the draft impact, the predicted order of finish:

1. Duke: Kyle Singler, finally in his natural position, will be a star in Duke's offense. (Previous: 1)

2. UNC: New talent that hasn't played together yet. That's the only reason the Heels are behind Duke. (2)

3. Boston College: Guard Tyrese Rice was such a big part of that team, but the way Al Skinner's offense works, the remaining parts — with four starters back from an NCAA team — will function without Rice. (4)

4. Georgia Tech: Talent on top of talent. Memo to Paul Hewitt: Coach the team, not the refs. (5)

5. Florida State: Another huge loss (guard Toney Douglas) but bigs Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton and combo guard Derwin Kitchen give the Noles a great core. (6)

6. Maryland: Gary's tweeting about his new big men. They have to be an improvement from the burlap sack and Swiffer WetJet that manned the post last year — and still made the tourney. (7)

7. Clemson: Who's going to shoot without K.C. Rivers and Terrence Oglesby? (3)

8. Virginia Tech: A three-man team has been reduced to a two-man team without A.D. Vassallo. (8)

9. Virginia: New Coach Syndrome gives the Hoos hope. (10)

10. N.C. State: The Sidney Lowe Era hits Phase 2 with his own players. (9)

11. Wake Forest: Maybe they'll have more structure on offense with Ish Smith at the point. Maybe Al-Farouq Aminu will develop into an All-ACC player. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. With Wake you never know. (11)

12. Miami: Not budging on this. Unlike FSU and BC, the Canes do not have the means to replace their superstar guard. And stop with the Villanova transfer (Malcolm Grant), he's not Jack McClinton. (12)

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