Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Duke
  2. Florida State
  3. Virginia Tech
  4. North Carolina
  5. Maryland
  6. North Carolina State
  7. Clemson
  8. Wake Forest
  9. Boston College
  10. Virginia
  11. Georgia Tech
  12. Miami
With Singler back, Duke is clearly the favorite in the conference and the team to beat, all alone in the top tier of the conference. Next, I’d put Florida State (and note, as of 4/21 when I’m writing this, Solomon Alabi has not yet declared for the NBA draft), Virginia Tech and North Carolina in the second tier, where each would need something very special to happen for them to challenge Duke at the top . The next group of five teams will all challenge for tournament bids, with those teams that finish at the top of the tier getting in, those in the middle sweating it out on Selection Sunday, and those at the bottom NIT bound. Of course, if a 96-team tournament happens, all of those teams get in. And, probably, a team or two from the bottom tier of teams (Virginia, Georgia Tech and Miami) gets in as well under that scenario, while in reasonable-land, where the NCAA tournament is still only 64 teams, all three teams in the bottom tier wrap up their seasons when they get eliminated from the ACC tournament, and two of those three team’s coaches start polishing their resumes.

All-ACC First Team
G Malcolm Delaney, Sr, Virginia Tech
G Nolan Smith, Sr, Duke
F Kyle Singler, Sr, Duke
F Harrison Barnes, Fr, North Carolina
C Solomon Alabi, Jr, Florida State

All-ACC Second Team
G Dorenzo Hudson, Sr, Virginia Tech
G Kyrie Irving, Fr, Duke
F Chris Singleton, Jr, Florida State
F Tracy Smith, Sr, North Carolina State
C Jordan Williams, So, Maryland

All-Freshman Team
G Kyrie Irving, Duke
G Ian Miller, Florida State
F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
F James Johnson, Virginia
C Carson Desrosiers, Wake Forest

The 09-10 Terrapin season, and with it the careers senior leaders Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes, ended in heartbreak fashion against Michigan State a few weeks back. Vasquez, Hayes, and fellow senior Landon Milbourne were the team’s three leading scorers and their departure will leave head coach Gary Williams in rebuilding mode. But all is not lost in College Park, as the Terrapins look forward to the growth of sophomore center Jordan Williams, who really turned it on down the stretch of his freshman year and threw in back-to-back double-doubles in the NCAA tournament. Teaming with junior Sean Mosley, a versatile scoring guard, the Terps have an inside-outside combo already locked in, and just need to build around that duo with the various parts they already have. Senior Adrian Bowie will likely run the point for Maryland, but he’ll get pressed some by incoming freshman Pe’Shon Howard. Sophomore James Padgett will be a good running-mate for Williams up front, and Cliff Tucker can man the small forward position in his senior season, with Dino Gregory, another senior, providing depth at both spots and possibly even pushing Padgett for the four-spot. Six-foot-ten junior center Steve Goins could also provide some minutes up front, and Jerome Burney will return from 2009-10 season that was lost due to injury.

Aside from Howard, Williams has four other freshman coming in next season in a pretty strong recruiting class. Six-foot-six wing Mychal Parker is the most highly regarded of the class and is likely to get some immediate run in a depleted backcourt where Terrell Stoglin, a small-ish combo-guard will also provide depth. Ashton Pankey is an athletic power forward who missed his entire senior season with a stress-fracture in his foot, so he’ll need to prove himself healthy before he can be counted on for any serious minutes. And the fifth member of the class is a little known recruit from Iceland, Haukur Palsson, who will likely struggle to get consistent minutes in his first year.

Clearly the 10-11 version of the Terrapins will not have the same type of expectations as the team that preceded it, but this team doesn’t have a lot of holes, and if Williams can get one or two of the freshmen to pick things up early, this has enough talent to be an NCAA team.