There are several talented freshmen getting ready to step foot on an ACC campus for the first time this summer. While in the past much of the talent seems to congregate on Tobacco Road this year the other ACC schools have struck gold.
1. Wake Forest (signed 3)
This class is loaded. They added a McDonald's All-American in Espn.com's #1 ranked Small Forward Al-Farouq Aminu. He should immediately contribute on the glass and add much needed size and skill to the small forward position. Here's a peak at the 6'8 Small Forward's athleticism:
Before his unfortunate passing Skip Prosser was also able to add two of the top 10 centers in the class of 2008 in Tony Woods (Rome, GA) and in-state product Ty Walker (Wilmington, NC). This is a huge addition to a front line that has already started to come on. Woods, a Jordan Classic Game participant this year is a big time athlete who should come in and immediately help down low.
2. North Carolina (4)
While there doesn't seem to be that spectacular player in this class it's still a pretty very good haul fort he Tar Heels. They were able to bring in Espn.com's #1 ranked Power Forward Tyler Zeller. The 6'11 Zeller is tremendously skilled and can run. He also has a big brother at Notre Dame so I expect he'll be more prepared for his first season than most freshman. Along with Zeller comes the #2 ranked power forward in the country in Richmond, Virginia's Ed Davis. Ed is the son of former NBA player Terry Davis. While somewhat undersized at 6'8 Davis has a number of great post moves that will help his adjustment from high school basketball. Lastly they picked up a highly regarded point guard in Larry Drew Jr. Drew is somewhat undersized but very skilled and can really pass the ball. Like Davis, his dad played in the NBA for a number of years. The last Tar Heel recruit to sign was 6'4 shooting Justin Watts from North Carolina. I don't have much information on him as he just recently signed.
3. Florida State (6)
This is a very important class for Florida State's coach Leonard Hamilton. The program needed an infusion of talent (esp. after the loss of frosh PF Julian Vaughan) after last year's disappointing season. Luckily for Seminoles coach he has some really good players that should contribute sooner rather than later. The headliner of the class is do it all SF Chris Singleton. The 6'8 210 pound power forward was a McDonald's All American who can run and get up to block shots. His skill set definitely plays into the up tempo style Hamilton's teams like to play. Here is a bit of what I'm talking about:
To go along with Chris, Hamilton signed 6'10 Center Xavier Gibson from Alabama. He is highly regarded and should be able to offset the loss of Vaughan. Another member of this class that I expect will help immediately is in-state point guard Luck Loucks. At 6'4 Luke is a big pass first point guard that will help him see over the defense. This could really be an advantage for the Seminoles because he's known to be a great passer. The last 3 players in this class are Espn.com's 44th ranked point guard Pierre Jordan, SG Deividas Dulkys from Nevads, and big Juco point guard Derwin Kitchen.
4. Duke (3)
Initially this new class of Blue Devils were not discussed as much because Coach K had only 2 commitments, the headliner being smooth 6-4 two guard Elliott Williams from Memphis, Tennessee. "E-mail" as he's known is a great ball handler, decent shooter, and a big time athlete. He can really get up and throw it down. Have a look for yourself.
While Williams was a huge get Coach K desperately needed big men in this class. Duke definitely suffered from having little to know height on it's roster and a coaching change at Stanford, coupled with a 2009 commitment, helped them land an Espn.com's top 100 player in 6'11 Power Forward Miles Plumlee (Arden, NC). The story here is that Miles had signed with Stanford in the early signing period and was set to play for Trent Johnson out West. In late February Miles' little brother (not in stature) Mason committed to Coach K for the 2009-2010 season. A month or so after the college basketball season had ended Johnson left Stanford for LSU and Mason was granted a release from his scholarship. Needing more help than Olek Czyz, the other PF Duke picked up in this class, Coach K swept in and garnered a commitment from Miles as well. This is a huge get for the Devils as Miles is a skilled 6'11 player that can get up and down the court and has a high basketball IQ.
5. Virginia (3)
This class is headed by Sylven Landesberg, a 6'6 McDonald's All-American two guard from Flushing, NY. A huge get for Coach Dave Leitao and his staff as Espn.com's 18th ranked player should be able to come in and score right away. Sylven put up big numbers in high school including a 44 point performance this past season against Helen Cox (La.) high school featuring the 6'10 Georgetown recruit Greg Monroe (espn.com #12 ranked player). He can score in a variety of ways in that he can shoot the 3, drive to the basket, and hit the pull up jumper. Look for yourself:
Coach Leitao also felt the need to add size in this class and landed two Espn top 150 Center prospects. The first of which was St. Louis, Missouri's John Brandenburg. Brandenburg (#12 ranked Center) has lots of potential and is a good passer. The second of which is the athletic 7'0 220lbs. Assane Sene (#17 ranked Center) from South Kent School in Connecticut by way of Senegal. Sene has only played one season of basketball in the US but everyone has taken notice of the potential. He went from being virtually unknown less than a year ago to being a highly recruited prospect as Uconn and Syracuse were in the mix.
6. Miami (2)
While Heath brings in a small class for 2008 it is not short on talent. The player everyone is raving about is 6'6 5 star SF DeQuan Jones from Wheeler, GA. DeQuan is a super athlete that can throw down with the best of them. A Scout.com evaluation says Dequan has a "body built to fly." I've personally never seen anyone fly but you're left to assume that Mr. Jones can get up with the best of em'.
Take a look for yourself: