Recruit and Reload: Each ACC school's biggest need, best fit
Official visit season is in full swing as programs across the country look to recruit and reload. This week, the Rivals.com team is taking a glance at programs across the country, identifying their biggest need and which one recruit on their board is the best suited to fill that need.
Today, we begin by taking a look at the ACC.
Biggest need: Technically, star guard Ky Bowman is only a junior. But, there’s a good chance that he’s off to the NBA next season. When and if he leaves, a lot of production will be going out the door with him. If not Bowman, finding somebody to replace outbound senior wing Jordan Chatman will be a priority.
Best fit: Rivals150 guard Joseph Girard isn’t the freaky athlete that Bowman is and he’s not as much of an off-the-dribble creator. But he has potential as a deep jump shooter and was on campus for an official visit in August.
Biggest need: Brad Brownell has done a nice job of creating roster balance and has already landed a potential high-level guard in scorer Chase Hunter to help in the backcourt. The Tigers will lose some size in Elijah Thomas and David Skara, but what they could really use is an athletic and versatile wing.
Best fit: Small forward Christian Brown, who just finished an official visit, fits the bill here. He’s got great size for the wing, is an ACC-caliber athlete and has the ability to help out some as a small-ball four if the Tigers want to play quick and athletic.
Best fit: Josiah James is a five-star perimeter player who wants to play point guard in college and he can. But, the reality is that at 6-foot-6 with strength and athleticism, he can play a variety of roles at the college level. He may not be the scorer that any of the likely departing wings are, but he’s likely the most versatile perimeter player on the Blue Devils' target list.
Biggest need: Another ACC program that is in pretty good shape when it comes to roster balance, the Seminoles will lose tough and versatile guard Terance Mann. Mann is going to be tough to replace, but the ‘Noles have scorers in the program. Still, it’s hard to not want to replace that kind of scoring when you factor in that P.J. Savoy will be gone, too.
Best fit: Rocket Watts from Detroit is exactly the type of explosive scorer who could step in and play big minutes. He’s not the biggest two guard, but he plays with ferocity and has tons of confidence.
Biggest need: Josh Pastner’s crew only has one senior on the roster and has plenty of athletes. In other words, things are looking pretty good for them to start trending up, and they’ve got flexibility on the recruiting trail. That said, an athletic wing scorer with size would be a nice addition.
Best fit: Marcus Watson is exactly the type of athletic and tough-minded scorer who could fit well at Tech. Not only is Watson capable of stepping in and playing immediate minutes, he’s a local star – and it’s never a bad thing to load up with local talent.
Biggest need: In a word, Louisville needs everything. Chris Mack has the task of rebuilding the Cardinals in the aftermath of a few years of scandal. On the bright side, he’s got a nearly unlimited number of scholarships to throw at the class of 2019, and his best players should all be back next season. Four-star shooting guard Josh Nickelberry has already committed.
Best fit: We’ll go big here and suggest that rugged big man Aidan Igiehon could fill the biggest need for the Cardinals. He’s ready to play from a physical standpoint, doesn’t appear to be a one-and-done type and has big-time character to go along with his hoops potential.
Best fit: The answer here can only be Vernon Carey Jr. The No. 1 player in the country is from Miami, his dad is a football legend there and the Hurricanes have been involved since day one. Can they beat powers like Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina? We’ll see , but there’s no question they have to throw everything they can at the local star.
Biggest need: State is still in a bit of a roster overhaul, as Kevin Keatts looks to completely rebuild the roster as he likes it. Another big wing who can play multiple roles would be huge for the Pack.
Best fit: As the summer progressed, Keatts looked to be spending more and more time focusing on in-state star Patrick Williams, and he would be ideal. A year young for the class of 2019, Williams has great size, skill and the ability to play the three or the four. Adding him could be monstrous.
Biggest need: North Carolina is going to lose some serious frontcourt scoring punch with the graduation of Luke Maye, but the Tar Heels still have plenty of big bodies. What they don’t have, though, are a lot of ball handlers and shooters, especially if Coby White is good enough to leave for the NBA after just one season. Four-star point guard Jeremiah Francis is committed, but he will arrive having missed his final two years of high school due to knee injuries.
Best fit: Roy Williams spent all spring and summer tracking 2019’s highest-ranked point guard, Cole Anthony, and he would be needed whether White stays or goes. Anthony is a prolific scorer, plays fast and the Heels made his first “cut” down to 12. The only danger with Anthony is that he’s likely to take his time and the Heels can’t afford to totally whiff on guards.
Biggest need: The Irish won’t lose a bunch of big-time producers to graduation, but they could still afford an impact freshman. In particular, a ready-to play-big would do the trick.
Best fit: Notre Dame might be considered the long shot of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's final five schools, but they are in the ballgame and will get the first shot at hosting the skilled top 10 senior when he visits officially this weekend.
Biggest need: Jeff Capel is in his first year and only has two scholarship seniors. But history tells us there is almost always some roster turnover after a first year. Capel does seem to have done a nice job of solidifying his future backcourt last spring, so now it’s going to be about going out and finding a big man or versatile wing.
Best fit: Kofi Cockburn has the biggest name and the highest ranking, but Anthony Walker looks like an even better fit. Walker is fast, he’s athletic and he’s got big-time upside. Walker has some skill facing the rim, has been on campus unofficially and will be back in another week or so for an official visit.
Biggest need: The Orange played a short rotation last year, but should have a little more manpower this year. They caught a break when Tyus Battle decided to stay in school for his junior season, but it’s probably best to assume that he’ll be gone next season, which would leave a big hole for a scoring wing.
Best fit: Syracuse has been all over Canadian wing Quincy Guerrier and many consider the Orange to be among the favorites. He’s got terrific size, he can shoot from deep, he could cover a lot of ground defensively in the zone and he’s visiting officially. An added bonus with Guerrier is that he is currently planning to enroll at his college destination this winter.
Best fit: Tony Bennett loves finding diamonds in the rough, and the best fit for the Cavaliers is the guy that they’ve already landed, Kadin Shedrick. He’s a late-blooming big man with size, skill and good athleticism. He may be able to be redshirted for a year, but either way he fits the blueprint for guys who have succeeded in Charlottesville.
Biggest need: Leadership, leadership, leadership. The Hokies are going to lose a lot of it when point guard Justin Robinson and forward Chris Clarke graduate. Ideally, a playmaking guard can be found.
Best fit: Buzz Williams and his staff spent all summer tracking Anthony Harris and he’s an ideal fit if they are looking to find a leader and a playmaker. Harris is tough, he gets others involved and he could be ready to play at least 20 minutes a night in the ACC as soon as he steps on campus - if the Hokies can get him.
Biggest need: Wake Forest needs the best talent it can find, regardless of position, as it tries to bounce back in the ACC. However, five-star freshman Jaylen Hoard is a legitimate one- and-done possibility, so a big man may be most needed.
Best fit: Canadian big man Tyrese Samuel can shoot the jumper, rebounds well and is a sneaky athlete. He has a great frame to build on and has enough interest in Wake that he’ll soon be taking an official visit. Closing on him would be a great start toward replenishing the program's talent.