ACC Breakdown: Louisville leads the way after early signing period
The early signing period has come and gone and so far the ACC is running a little behind usual standards. Only Louisville ranks among the nation’s top 10 2017 recruiting classes to this point, but Duke does appear primed to make a move.
1. LOUISVILLE (National rank: 9)
Analysis: Rick Pitino and his staff stocked up on length, athleticism and shooting prowess in this class. Williams is a shot blocker who also wields an effective mid-range jump shot while Nwora is probably the ACC’s best incoming three-point jump shooter. Perry is athletic, tough and pushes pace while Thomas is a lengthy athlete with upside.
2. MIAMI (11)
Analysis: Walker is a big time scorer with size, skill and athleticism who should make an instant impact. Lykes is a small but exciting point guard who puts pressure on the defense while Gak is a long and athletic big with some skill who simply needs to add strength.
3. DUKE (13)
Analysis: The Blue Devils are still involved with a number of five-star prospects (notably top five overall Wendell Carter) so they don’t look to be done. Trent is a tough, skilled and talkative scorer who plays with some swagger. O’Connell came on strong during the summer and is a thin and athletic wing with big upside.
4. VIRGINIA TECH (16)
Analysis: Buzz Williams looks to have found his backcourt of the future in the class of 2017. Alexander-Walker is a big time shooter with size and athleticism who can be a dynamic ball-handler and passer from the two guard spot. Bede is a flat out winner, leader and competitor.
5. FLORIDA STATE (29)
Analysis: The Seminoles have a put together a class that is heavy on toughness and guys who will be physically ready for the SEC. The hope is that Gray can be a Draymond Green-style four man while Wilkes can stretch defenses with the jumper. Polite is a versatile wing while Trimble is an athlete who scores in bunches.
6. NORTH CAROLINA (33)
Analysis: The Tar Heels lose a lot of size after this season so finding bigs was a priority in 2017 and in Huffman they have a physically rugged guy and Manley is a lengthy big man who can protect the rim. Both are somewhat unproven, though. Platek is a catch-and-shoot guy while Felton, who can really score off the dribble, looks like the best bet to make an instant impact.
Analysis: Simms is a rough-and-tumble big man who is among the best low post defenders in the class of 2017. Trapp is a late blooming prospect from South Carolina who is an elite level athlete. William is a four man who can face the hoop and shoot.
Analysis: None of the Panthers signees rank in the Rivals150, but they are all good players and will form a strong foundation. Brown is an athletic big with skill and upside, Carr is a scorer who can help run the show and Thompson is a steady playmaker. In Wilson-Frame, Pitt hopes they’ve got the guy to replace Jamel Artis as a physical wing.
9. WAKE FOREST
Analysis: Brown is an athletic and physical wing who has really expanded his game as a shooter and should be an instant impact guy. Eggleston is a long and slender wing who will also play some at the four.
10. NOTRE DAME
The class: SF D.J. Harvey (No. 51)
Analysis: The Irish only have a one-man class at this point, but Harvey is a potential difference-maker. A big wing, Harvey can fill it up from mid-range and has range that extends beyond the three-point line.
The class: SF Oshae Brissett (NR 4-star)
Analysis: Brissett is a versatile athlete with good size who will likely play both the three and the four during his career. The hope is that the Orange will pair him with five-star point guard Quade Green within the next week.
12. GEORGIA TECH
The class: PG Jose Alvarado (No. 131)
Analysis: Alvarado is a fiery floor general and a true pass-first point guard who Josh Pastner is banking on to help engineer a turnaround in Atlanta.
13. N.C. STATE
The class: PG Thomas Allen (No. 146)
Analysis: One of the more prolific jump shooters that will enter the ACC, Allen is probably more of a natural shooting guard. Given his 6-foot size, though, the hope is that he can transition to the point and help ease the expected loss of star freshman Dennis Smith to the NBA.
The class: SF Marco Anthony (NR 3-star)
Analysis: Virginia only had one scholarship in 2017 and Tony Bennett went off the radar to grab Anthony. He has good size and athleticism and should be the type of defensive player the Cavaliers covet.