Monday, December 14, 2009

ACC Ballers: Freshman Watch

You all have voiced your opinion and apparently the consensus is that Boston College and North Carolina will split the ACC Regular season title. Somehow I doubt this but hey, stranger things have happened.

Like every year the ACC is home to several of the top freshman in the country. Last season we had guys like Sylven Landesberg (UVA) and Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest) that came in and played exceptionally well . This season is no different as several top first year players will have a huge impact on their teams success. As always, some of these guys will be so good that they'll be getting paid to play next season so enjoy them while you can. Without further ado...

ACC Ballers Pre-Season First Team All Conference:

Forward - Derrick Favors - 6'10, 246lbs. - Georgia Tech

ACC Ballers Pre-Season Freshman of the Year 2009-2010

Rarely does a commitment from a high school kid allow a man to keep his multi million dollar job. That's exactly what happened when head coach Paul Hewitt, who was on the hot seat in the middle of an 11-18 season, was given a gift when Derrick ('s #2 ranked player in the class of 2009) decided he would attend Georgia Tech University in the fall of 2009. To put it bluntly, the University's patience was rewarded as Favors has lead the Yellow Jackets to 6-1 record and a national ranking (#15). He's averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks for his home town school thus far. These numbers are more impressive when you consider he's shooting a staggering 67% from the field. Favors will probably only be in Atlanta for one year so anytime you get a chance to see him you should tune in.

Forward - Ari Stewart - 6'7, 190lbs. - Wake Forest

Ari has been everything he was build to be coming into his first year in Winston Salem. Stewart, the 52 ranked player nationally by both and, is a high flying athlete with a good bit of basketball skill to boot. All he's done is averaged 9.5 points to go along with 3 rebounds coming off of Coach Gaudio's bench. Stewart is the type of player that in a year or two will be contemplating the NBA draft. Here's a small look at what he did on the high school level.


Guard - C.J. Harris - 6'2 175 lbs. - Wake Forest

Harris is a quick guard from North Carolina that decided to play for his home state school. Boy is a Dino Gaudio glad he did. The unheralded freshman ('s 18th ranked senior point guard in 2009)has come in and averaged 12 points a game while shooting 54% from 3. C.J has played so well that he's worked his way into the Deacs' starting lineup. To say he has out played his rivals 3 star status is an understatement.

Guard - Andre Dawkins - 6'5 196 lbs. - Duke

Dawkins, a 5 star 2010 recruit from Virginia, decided to graduate from high school a year early so he could add some depth to Coach K's back court. This high flying wing guard is explosive with a nice touch from the outside. He looks like he's an overgrown 12 year old but thus far he has proven he can play with the big boys. Dawkins a shade under 10 points (9.9 ppg) while shooting a bit over 50% from the 3.

(The video is not that great)

Guard - Mfon Udofia - 6'2 187 lbs. - Georgia Tech

Udofia came in as's 32 ranked player in 2009 (6th rated point guard) and was handed the reigns at point guard for Paul Hewitt's squad from day 1. Udofia has been ballin. The super quick guard from Georgia has averaged 12 points, 3 dimes, and 3 boards a game for the 15th ranked team in the country. All this while playing the most difficult position in the game. While it helps to have future pro's in junior Gani Lawal and the aforementioned Favors, Udofia has more than held his own. While Favors and Lawal will do what they do all year it will be Udofia's ability to run the show that will determine how far the Yellow Jackets can go in March. Thus far it looks like Paul Hewitt has nothing to worry about.

ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week:

It didn't count but wow, really doesn't get much better than this right here from Boston College's Rakim Sanders.