Sunday, November 16, 2014

Class of 2015 conference breakdown: ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference has gone through some changes over the past couple years, but it's only added to the overall strength of the league on the hardwood. In the 2015 class, the ACC as a whole is bringing in some very talented players. Aside from the perennial powerhouses such as Duke and North Carolina bringing in top talent, newcomers Syracuse and Louisville have top five classes, and Leonard Hamilton's crew down in Tallahassee is reeling in a top 10 class.
Five-star Chase Jeter is the highest-ranked prospect committed to the ACC.
By the numbers
It should come as no surprise that the ACC put together one of the better recruiting hauls of any conference. For the second straight year, Duke enters the early signing period with the best recruiting class in the conference with the nation's third-best recruiting class. Coming in right behind the Blue Devils are two of the newest members of the league and traditional powerhouses Louisville (No. 4) and Syracuse (No. 5). Hamilton, known as one of the top recruiters in the country, is on the board with the eighth-best recruiting class nationally. First-year coaches Danny Manning (Wake Forest, No. 20) and Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech, No. 25) wasted no time in putting together strong recruiting classes.
As a conference, there are 22 prospects ranked in the 2015 Rivals150 heading to the ACC next year. Of that group, three come in with five stars next to their name, two of which are going to Duke in Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard. There are 22 four-star prospects, with Syracuse commit Malachi Richardson being the highest-ranked of the bunch at No. 30 overall. The other five prospects ranked in the Rivals150 heading to the ACC come in the three-star range.
Things to keep an eye on
Duke continues to rake in five-star caliber players year after year. While they have only two coming in this year, they are players who add to the overall depth in Durham. Kennard gives Duke more firepower on the perimeter as he's one of the better overall shooters in the 2015 class. Jeter, an athletic 6-foot-10 prospect from the West Coast, bolsters the Blue Devils frontcourt next year and is good insurance should they have some players leave early for the NBA Draft.

Ranking the ACC classes
Louisville is adding three players in the 2015 class who seem like perfect fits for Rick Pitino. Donovan Mitchell, the highest ranked of the trio, is an explosive scoring guard who should flourish in the uptempo style Pitino likes to play. Likewise, Deng Adel could be next in the long line of athletic wings to have success playing for Pitino. Raymond Spalding shot up the rankings after a terrific summer and should only get better at Louisville.
Florida State had a Friday night to remember earlier this fall. The Seminoles decided to bring both Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon on campus for official visits on the same weekend. It's a risky move bringing two top players who play similar positions on visits at the same time, but it worked out for Hamilton and his staff because both prospects committed on the first night of their visits. Look for both to score a lot of points in their time in Tallahassee.
There are three new coaches in the ACC this year, and all three did pretty well for themselves during the early signing period. Chris Clarke, who initially committed to Tennessee but decided to flip to Virginia Tech last week, headlines a terrific class for Buzz Williams and the Hokies. Danny Manning has a track record of doing great work with post players, so it should come as no surprise that he was able to nail down commitments from two talented post players in Doral Moore and John Collins. Boston College's Jim Christian hasn't had the same amount of success at the other two, but he did well to land Rivals150 SG A.J. Turner.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the 2015 class plays out for North Carolina. Right now, the only commitment headed to Chapel Hill is three-star power forward Luke Maye. North Carolina is involved with a few top prospects who have yet to commit in Jaylen Brown, Skal Labissiere and Brandon Ingram.

Updated Team Recruiting Rankings

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