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Florida State Seminoles 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Florida State Seminoles (23-11, 11-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Jeff Peterson
Sr. G Deividas Dulkys
Jr. G Michael Snaer
So. F Okaro White
Jr. C Bernard James

Important departures:

Chris Singleton: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 apg
Derwin Kitchen: 10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.6 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 69.3 percent
Rebounding: 70.9 percent

Additions:

Jeff Peterson, senior point guard transferred from Arkansas
Kiel Turpin, junior power forward transferred from D-II Lincoln College
Antwan Space, No. 91 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from DeSoto, Texas
Terry Whisnant, No. 103 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman shooting guard from Cherryville, N.C.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Michigan State
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 7-14 (at Clemson, at Virginia Tech, vs. North Carolina)

Outlook:

Under coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles have perennially been one of the top defensive teams in the country. Even without uber-athlete Chris Singleton, Florida State figures to continue its defensive dominance this season, with Bernard James leading the way. Florida State has good height throughout its lineup, forcing opponents to shoot outside the lane, and no one shot well beyond the arc against the Noles last season.

The question will be whether the Seminoles can generate enough offense to win some ugly, low-scoring affairs. Senior transfer Jeff Peterson will be a major part of that answer. The team could turn to Peterson to play point guard after he graduated from Arkansas last season and transfered to Tallahassee as a player eligible to join the team immediately. Hamilton will need Peterson to play well, and he’s got to hope that Michael Snaer, Deividas Dulkys and Luke Loucks practiced their jump shots all summer. None of the team’s top returning guards shot better than 40 percent from the field last season.

Prediction: Fifth

Next: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-18, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Mfon Udofia
So. G Brandon Reed
Jr. G Glen Rice Jr.
So. F Kammeon Holsey
So. C Daniel Miller

Important departures:

Coach Paul Hewitt: 255-187 overall record, 189-160 record with Yellow Jackets, 72-104 ACC record in 11 seasons at Georgia Tech.
Iman Shumpert: 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.5 apg
Brian Oliver: 10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
Maurice Miller: 6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.4 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 51.6 percent
Rebounding: 64.2 percent

Additions:

Brandon Reed, sophomore guard transferred from Arkansas State
Julian Royal, No. 125 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star power forward from Alpharetta, Ga.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Alabama
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 21-Feb. 1 (at Clemson, vs. Miami, at North Carolina, at Florida State)

Outlook:

After Paul Hewitt took Georgia Tech to the 2004 championship game and proved that he could attract elite talent to Atlanta, Yellow Jacket fans just waited for another Final Four run. It never materialized, and the team dismissed Hewitt after another disappointing season. Brian Gregory now takes over with a decent amount of talent left in the cupboard.

Gregory will need to get solid players like Mfon Udofia, Glen Rice Jr., and Kammeon Holsey to buy in to his game plan. If they do, Georgia Tech could quickly move out of the cellar, possibly into the thick of the ACC teams competing for a final NCAA Tournament bid. Besides the existing lineup, Gregory gets the services of Brandon Reed, an elite scorer who transferred from Arkansas State.

Prediction: Ninth

Next: Maryland Terrapins

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Maryland Terrapins 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Maryland Terrapins (19-14, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Terrell Stoglin
So. G Pe’Shon Howard
Sr. G Sean Mosley
Jr. F James Padgett
Sr. F Berend Weijs

Important departures:

Coach Gary Williams: 668-380 overall record, 461-252 record with Terrapins, 192-156 ACC record in 22 seasons at Maryland.
Jordan Williams: 16.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 0.6 apg
Cliff Tucker: 9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Dino Gregory: 9.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 apg
Adrian Bowie: 8.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 38.8 percent
Rebounding: 33.3 percent

Additions:

Nick Faust, No. 48 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star shooting guard from Baltimore

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Notre Dame
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 25-Feb. 4 (vs. Duke, vs. Virginia Tech, at Miami, vs. North Carolina)

Outlook:

Life after Gary Williams begins now for Maryland. The legendary Terrapins’ coach called it a career after last season, and it seems like good timing. With Jordan Williams bolting for the NBA and several starts graduating, Maryland is losing about two-thirds of its scoring and rebounding. That puts new coach Mark Turgeon in the tough spot of giving anxious fans some hope for the future while building toward that future.

Mark this prediction: Turgeon will win in Maryland. The former Texas A&M coach has assembled a great coaching staff that has roots in the fertile Washington, D.C, recruiting grounds. Although Williams brought a national championship to College Park, his inability to keep top talent close to home rankled the fan base. Turgeon might have a rough year this season. But Terrell Stoglin is a budding star, and Pe’Shon Howard will provide a nice change of pace for Stoglin. Within a couple of years, Maryland should be back near the top of the standings. It just won’t be this season.

Prediction: 10th

Next: Miami Hurricanes

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Miami Hurricanes 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Miami Hurricanes (21-15, 6-10)

 

Editor’s note: This post was corrected to update information about Julian Gamble’s injury sustained in August. 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Malcolm Grant
Jr. G Durand Scott
Jr. G Garrius Adams
So. C Kenny Kadji
Jr. C Reggie Johnson (when healthy)

Important departures:

Coach Frank Haith: 129-101 overall record, 43-69 ACC record in seven seasons at Miami.
Adrian Thomas: 9.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.8 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 87.2 percent
Rebounding: 89.8 percent

Additions:

Trey McKinney Jones, junior shooting guard transferred from UMKC
Kenny Kadji, sophomore center transferred from Florida

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Memphis
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 6-11 (at Duke, vs. Virginia Tech, at Florida State)

Outlook:

Jim Larranaga is in for a rough ride. The University of Miami faces all kinds of uncertainty in the aftermath of the Nevin Shapiro investigation that uncovered dirty recruiting practices that primarily affected the Hurricanes football program but also implicated former coach Frank Haith. That might be more of Missouri’s problem in the long term. But Larranaga could be facing the prospects of leading a team on probation, depending on how everything falls out.

Until then, though, Larranaga has a chance to deliver a special season to Coral Gables. Miami has possibly the best backcourt in the ACC with senior guard Malcolm Grant and junior guard Durand Scott leading the way. Junior Garrius Adams is a talented wing player to help Grant and Scott stretch the court for the Canes’ interior big men: Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson. Kadji will need to take the primary lead inside until January while Reggie Johnson recovers from a knee injury sustained during a pickup game. The frontcourt suffered another blow when Julian Gamble tore his ACL in August, and he will likely miss the entire season. With a relatively favorable ACC schedule, the Hurricanes should be in decent position for a run toward the top of the standings by the time Johnson returns to the lineup.

Prediction: Third

Next: North Carolina Tar Heels

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North Carolina Tar Heels 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

North Carolina Tar Heels (29-8, 14-2)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Kendall Marshall
Jr. G Dexter Strickland
So. F Harrison Barnes
Jr. F John Henson
Sr. C Tyler Zeller

Important departures:

Justin Knox: 4.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 90.9 percent
Rebounding: 89.4 percent

Additions:

James McAdoo, No. 8 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star power forward from Norfolk, Va.
P.J. Hairston, No. 13 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star small forward from Greensboro, N.C.
Desmond Hubert, No. 140 Rivals.com power forward from Cream Ridge, N.J.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Kentucky
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 8-15 (vs. Duke, vs. Virginia, at Miami)

Outlook:

The Tar Heels came just short of reaching the Final Four last season, and coach Roy Williams brings back 90 percent of both the team’s scoring and rebounding. Oh, and North Carolina adds two of the top recruits in this year’s class: James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston.

However, don’t hand the Tar Heels any hardware yet. North Carolina went through prolonged offensive struggles last season. Even when Kendall Marshall relieved Larry Drew II of the point guard duties, the offense was inconsistent. For North Carolina to fulfill its promise, Marshall must follow in the footsteps of Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson and be more than a supreme setup man. Marshall needs to boost his 42 percent shooting closer to 46 or 47 percent, especially with Leslie McDonald out indefinitely with a torn ACL.

Prediction: First

Next: North Carolina State Wolfpack

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NC State Wolfpack 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-16, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Lorenzo Brown
Sr. G C.J. Williams
Jr. G Scott Wood
So. F C.J. Leslie
Jr. F Richard Howell

Important departures:

Coach Sidney Lowe: 86-78 overall record, 25-55 ACC record in five seasons at NC State.
Tracy Smith: 14.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.9 apg
Ryan Harrow: 9.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg
Javier Gonzalez: 5.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.3 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 66.4 percent
Rebounding: 80.6 percent

Additions:

Tyler Harris, No. 135 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star small forward from Newark, N.J.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Vanderbilt in East Rutherford, N.J.
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 16-21 (at Duke, vs. Florida State, vs. North Carolina)

Outlook:

Mark Gottfried steps in to Raleigh to take over for Sidney Lowe, who never got his talented recruits to compete with the other Triangle powerhouses at the top of the ACC standings. Lucky for Gottfriend, he takes over some excellent players who will provide some excitement at the RBC Center.

Sophomore C.J. Leslie and junior Richard Howell could emerge as two of the best players in the paint in the conference. Howell was extraordinarily efficient last season even though he was primarily a reserve player. On the other hand, Leslie had high expectations from the start, and the slashing forward backed up the hype with 11.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg. He could be a double-double machine this season if he takes some strides between his freshman and sophomore years.

Projection: Eighth

Next: Virginia Cavaliers

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Virginia Cavaliers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Virginia Cavaliers (16-15, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Jontel Evans
Sr. G Sammy Zeglinski
So. G Joe Harris
Sr. F Mike Scott
Sr. C Assane Sene

Important departures:

Mustapha Farrakhan: 13.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 66.4 percent
Rebounding: 80.6 percent

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 69.0 percent
Rebounding: 81.2 percent

Additions:

Malcolm Brogdon, No. 104 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star shooting guard from Norcross, Ga.
Paul Jesperson, No. 136 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star small forward from Merrill, Wisc.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Michigan
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 21-March 1 (at Virginia Tech, vs. North Carolina, vs. Florida State)

Outlook:

Coach Tony Bennett gets back Mike Scott for a fifth year after the senior forward missed nearly all of last season with an ankle injury. In limited action, Scott was very productive, and he should be the dominant post player on offense for Bennett. Surrounding Scott, guards Jontel Evans, Joe Harris and Sammy Zeglinski should have plenty of opportunities to stretch the court for long-range shots.

Bennett should have the Cavaliers competing for an NCAA Tournament bid once again. Virginia doesn’t have a ton of opportunities to pick up non-conference quality wins, so the team’s NCAA Tournament hopes could rest on the team’s performance against Michigan and George Mason — and possibly Marquette in the Paradise Jam.

Prediction: Sixth

Next: Virginia Tech Hokies

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Virginia Tech Hokies 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Virginia Tech Hokies (22-12, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Erick Green
Sr. G Dorenzo Hudson
So. F Jarell Eddie
Sr. F Victor Davila
Sr. F JT Thompson

Important departures:

Malcolm Delaney: 18.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.0 apg
Jeff Allen: 13.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.8 apg
Allan Chaney: Not cleared to play because of heart condition.

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 37.1 percent
Rebounding: 38.4 percent

Additions:

Dorian Finney-Smith, No. 31 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star small forward from Portsmouth, Va.
Robert Brown, No. 82 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star power forward from Chatham, Va.
C.J. Barksdale, No. 99 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star shooting guard from Danville, Va.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: vs. Kansas State
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 19-22 (vs. North Carolina, at Virginia)

Outlook:

Last season was supposed to be a special year for the Hokies, with Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, Dorenzo Hudson and JT Thompson leading a deep, seasoned squad to a deep NCAA Tournament run. But it just didn’t work out for coach Seth Greenberg’s squad. Hudson and Thompson went down to season-ending injuries, and Florida transfer Allan Chaney never suited up because of a heart condition.

Despite last season’s tribulations, the Hokies remained competitive, narrowly missing the Big Dance. This season, Hudson and Thompson return with their sights set on taking Virginia Tech further into the NCAA Tournament. Erick Green and Jarell Eddie return along with Victor Davila to give Greenberg another veteran lineup. The question is whether the team can replace the interior dominance of Allen and the relentless desire to win that Delaney possessed.

Prediction: Seventh

Next: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 4, 2011 in Conference Notes

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-24, 1-15)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Tony Chennault
Jr. G C.J. Harris
So. F Travis McKie
Sr. F Nikita Mescheriakov
Sr. C Ty Walker

Important departures:

J.T. Terrell: 11.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.6 apg
Gary Clark: 10.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 apg
Ari Stewart: 8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.1 apg

Percent returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 54.4 percent
Rebounding: 71.6 percent

Additions:

None of note.

Schedule highlights:

Best non-conference game: at Seton Hall
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 19-28 (at Duke, at Boston College, vs. Florida State, at Clemson)

Outlook:

Last season turned pretty ugly for coach Jeff Bzdelik and the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest dropped 15 of 16 ACC games and ranked as one of the worst major conference teams in the country. Since last season, the team lost about 50 percent of its scoring as Gary Clark graduated and J.T. Terrell and Ari Stewart left the team.

Sophomores Travis McKie and Tony Chennault return to lead a relatively young roster. The team figures to struggle again this season, but they should have better chemistry in Bzdelik’s second season. The team must remain competitive in more games to keep the heat off Ron Wellman, the university’s athletic director who canned Dino Gaudio, a Skip Prosser disciple whose teams had a bad habit of peaking in January, in favor of Wellman’s friend, Bzdelik.

Prediction: 11th

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Butler Bulldogs 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 3, 2011 in Conference Notes

Butler Bulldogs (28-10, 13-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Ronald Nored
Jr. G Chase Stigall
Jr. C Andrew Smith
So. F Eric Fromm
So. F Khyle Marshall

Important departures:

Shelvin Mack: 16.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg
Matt Howard: 16.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.4 apg

Two of the mainstays on the Butler teams that advanced to two consecutive NCAA championship games are gone. The Bulldogs will also need to replace Shawn Vanzant (8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 apg), a key role player during the past few seasons.

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 37 percent
Rebounding: 53 percent

The Bulldogs return three players with significant starting experience: Khyle Marshall, Andrew Smith and Ronald Nored.

Additions:

The Bulldogs will welcome six new recruits to the squad this fall. Roosevelt Jones is a three-star recruit from Illinois who will play small forward. Jackson Aldridge is a three-star recruit from Australia who will provide depth at guard. Kameron Woods is a two-star recruit from Kentucky who will add height. Andy Smethers is a two-star recruit and local product who can play both guard and forward. Alex Barlow and Elliott Kampen are two less heralded recruits.

Schedule highlights:

Butler’s home matchup against Louisville Nov. 19 will be the team’s most important nonconference game. In Horizon League play, the Bulldogs will face two stretches in which they face Detroit and Cleveland State, two of the top teams in the Horizon League, as well as an improved Youngstown State team.

Prediction: The Bulldogs will finish first in what should be a closely contested Horizon League this season.

Next: Cleveland State

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