ACC is wide open now

Staff WriterJune 25, 2009 

When Eliot Williams decided on Tuesday to leave Duke and return home to Memphis for personal reasons, he took Duke's status as the nominal ACC front-runner with him.

Of all the guard duos Duke tried last season, none worked better than Jon Scheyer and Williams, with Nolan Smith coming off the bench. That late-season combination offered the best mix of offense and defense, experience and enthusiasm, expectations and accomplishment.

Now, with only two scholarship guards, Scheyer and Smith, on the roster, Duke's backcourt is as thin as it gets, and the Blue Devils' presumed position as the ACC favorite is right out the window.

With Williams, a tournament-toughened and veteran Duke team -- Kyle Singler, Scheyer, Williams, Smith, Lance Thomas, Brian Zoubek -- looked like the best team in a league that suffered serious losses to graduation and the NBA across the board.

It's anyone's game now. Duke's right in that mix, but the Devils no longer stand out as clear favorites in an ACC that's now totally up for grabs., 919-829-8947 or

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service