Basketball Recruiting - Report Card: Breaking down the early signings in the ACC
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Report Card: Breaking down the early signings in the ACC

R.J. Barrett
R.J. Barrett (Jon Lopez/Nike @NikeEYB)

The early signing period is wrapping up with the majority of big names off the board or waiting until the spring. Here is a report card for the ACC on how it fared during the early signing period.

RELATED: Big Ten report card | Big East

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Headlined by the nation’s top-ranked player R.J. Barrett, Duke has not only the best class in the ACC but once again the best class in the country. Joining Barrett are the nation’s highest ranked small forward Cameron Reddish (No. 4 overall) and the nation’s highest ranked point guard Tre Jones (No. 7 overall).

BIGGEST SURPRISE IN A GOOD WAY

It’s not a complete surprise that Kevin Keatts is having success on the recruiting trail at NC State, but it’s a little bit of a surprise he put together such a good class in his first year. Immanuel Bates is one of the most improved players in the country over the past year, and still has so much room to grow. Saddiq Bey could be an All-ACC candidate as an upperclassman. The Wolfpack are in good hands going forward.

BIGGEST SURPRISE IN A NOT-SO-GOOD WAY

The FBI investigation completely gutted Louisville’s highly ranked class, and it also probably kept Miami from signing any of their top targets early. That’s easily the biggest storyline during the early signing period in the ACC.

NEXT SEMESTER

All eyes turn to the Zion Williamson chase in the ACC. Clemson, Duke and North Carolina are all in the mix for the No. 2 player in the 2018 class. Clemson has never won a battle like this under Brad Brownell, but Williamson would be a program-changer for him. Duke and North Carolina help their chances of winning another national title if they can reel him in.

REPORT CARD

Boston College: C+. Jim Christian added a capable scorer in the backcourt with Wynston Tabbs.

Clemson: B-. This is a nice class for Brad Brownell, but it could become a monster class if the Tigers can lock down Zion Williamson.

Duke: A+. Mike Krzyzewski added three of the top seven players in the country. Enough said.

Florida State: C+. The Noles didn’t have much space in this class, but did add an athletic shooter with upside in Devin Vassell.

Georgia Tech: B-. Josh Pastner added another really guard to his program in floor general Michael DeVoe and two forwards who should be quality contributors.

Louisville: N/A. The Cardinals were on their way to a highly ranked class before allegations of cheating cost them guards Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey.

Miami: N/A. Another program impacted by the fallout of the FBI’s investigation into college hoops.

NC State: B+. Kevin Keatts did about as well as any Wolfpack fan could ask with his first class.

North Carolina: A. Nassir Little is the highest ranked Tar Heel signee since Harrison Barnes, and he’s joined by two really talented four-star prospects.

Notre Dame: A-. Mike Brey’s success at Notre Dame won’t be stopping any time soon as the Irish add four four-star prospects.

Pittsburgh: C. Three-star Bryce Golden has some toughness and athleticism and should develop into a solid contributor.

Syracuse: B+. Darius Bazley fits Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone perfectly and could be a star for the Orange.

Virginia: C+. Tony Bennett didn’t sign highly ranked recruits, but more than likely they will be impact players for the Hoos because of the fit.

Virginia Tech: B. Landers Nolley can score with the best of them.

Wake Forest: A-. Led by top 30 forward Jaylen Hoard, this has been Danny Manning’s best class yet, and he may not be done as the Demon Deacons remain in play for four-star Bryce Wills.