Archive - Oct 2013 - Article
The ACC failed to match its golden standard last season, finishing 4th in conference RPI. With the addition of three Big East stalwarts, a vengeful return to prominence appears obligatory. The league has five teams situated in the Preseason top-25, and three inside the top 11. From an individual standpoint, the depth of talent is strong; not necessarily overflowing with surefire lottery selections, but a saturation of future draftees.
1. Duke Blue Devils
Key Departures: Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly
Imagine being a freshman basketball player at a high profile Division I school. During your freshman year you've played sparingly. You've played a total of 125 minutes, most of which in the first seven games of the season, and in arguably the biggest game of your program's history, at least in the last decade or two, your coach gives you the signal to check into the game. Your task? Try and stop a consensus First Team All-American, Big 12 Player of the Year and eventual #5 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Last year's freshman class was considered to be lacking in star power and depth. Nevertheless, five were chosen in the lottery, with eight one-and-done players being taken in the 2013 NBA Draft. Anthony Bennett received the call as top pick, making it four consecutive freshmen chosen first overall and six in the last seven drafts.
Star power is abundant at the top of this year's freshmen class and there are a number of lottery hopefuls. This crop of incoming players might be the deepest since those eligible for the 2008 Draft.
Our first look at an extended mock lottery with the season about a month away. We will update this with our first full mock draft around the start of the season. You will remember last November we went out on a limb putting Cody Zeller first, over higher rated players on many pundit's lists such as Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad. After a somewhat disappointing season, Zeller didn't end up going first, but he did go fourth and ahead of those two.