1. Jay Huff Virginia SR Center
2019-20 Stats 8.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2 BPG
I know this one may be controversial may as well start it out with a “Hot Take” as they’d say, but this shouldn’t be too much of a hot take. Jay Huff is on the best team in the ACC, and he’s their best all-around player, he’s 7’1″ and he shot 57% from the field, 34% from-deep, and he’s a good defender. He’s an outstanding player who really got his first chance last season and had a very good season, but with Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite gone he’ll be given the keys to the offense and it’ll go through Jay Huff. He will be fed the ball often, and defenses will struggle against Huff.
2. Garrison Brooks North Carolina SR Forward
2019-20 Stats 16.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2 APG
Brooks is a very good player who enjoyed a break-out season and was probably the lone bright spot for the Tar Heels. North Carolina has a ton of bigs, with Brooks, Armando Bacot, Walker Kessler, Day’Ron Sharpe, Sterling Manley. Brooks should once again put up good stats on what should be a rebound year for the Heels.
3. Michael Devoe Georgia Tech JR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 16 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.2 SPG
I love Devoe as a player, he’s a 6’5″ lefty guard and he’s incredible. He shot 47% from the field, and 42% from three, he’s decent enough defender he’s a great scorer. Part of his problem is that he turns the ball over a ridiculous amount for someone who isn’t the main ball-handler, Devoe has 3.4 turnovers, while Jose Alvarado who runs most of the offense, although Devoe has the ball a lot. Devoe is an elite shooter, he’s a great step-back move, is shifty and always has guys on their toes. Devoe looks to lead the Yellow Jackets back to the NCAA Tournament.
4. David Johnson Louisville SO Guard
2019-20 Stats: 6.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.8 APG
Johnson is a very good player who didn’t get much playing time till January but has a lot upside. He shot 49% from-the-field, but really struggles from deep at 21%, he’s a 6’5 true Point Guard. He’ll have an elevated role without Ryan McMahon, Lamarr Kimble, and Darius Perry, he’s the main Guard now. Losing Steven Enoch and Jordan Nwora will make Johnson the focal point of the offense, he can quite easily average 15 and I would say that’s at minimum, I love Johnson’s defensive upside too.
5. Scottie Barnes Florida State FR Forward
Barnes reminds me quite a bit of Patrick Williams who just left FSU as a one-and-done. They are the same height, and Williams is about 15 pounds heavier, but both have insane athleticism. Barnes will be an elite defender for the Noles next season, while he will throw-down some highlight-reel dunks, and they will run the offense through him. Coach Hamilton’s squad will run through him, after losing Devin Vassell, Trent Forest, and Patrick Williams.
6. Caleb Love North Carolina FR Guard
I think Love will run the point for UNC, he reminds me a good amount of Coby White. He’s a really good scorer, and good passer when needed. Love should be a really good shooter at this level, but the transition is always tough to track, but he has some of the top-tier talent in this class. He will have plenty of opportunities as UNC lacks elite guard-play but have a plethora of big-men.
7. Wendell Moore Jr Duke SO Wing
2019-20 Stats 7.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.9 APG
Moore is so talented but dealt with injuries early in the season which derailed his season a bit, and he just didn’t fit back into the fold at times. Joey Baker and Alex O’Connell picked up bigger roles when Moore was hurt and he took some time to get back, so he really had to earn his playing time back. His highlight of the season? He made a crazy athletic play on a Tre Jones miss in OT against North Carolina in Chapel Hill got the air-ball rebound, and tapped it in to win. He’s a great rebounder, very good defender, great scoring potential, and he could be a lottery pick next season. His biggest issue? He only shoots 21% from-three, he really needs to improve on that and I think he will, there’s no way that’s his true talent from three.
8. Steffon Mitchell Boston College SR Forward
2019-20 Stats 7.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.2 SPG, 1 BPG
Mitchell is the Ultimate Glue Guy in College Basketball, it’s not often you find someone as solid as Mitchell at everything. His best skill is defense even though he’s not overly athletic. He’s a good rebounder, passer, and a decent scorer. He’s not a guy who’s overly efficient as a big-man at 44% from-the-field, 29% from three, but it’s everything else he does is important. He can win you games off of the other stuff while Jay Heath and Wynston Tabbs do the job on offense.
9. Jalen Johnson Duke FR Wing
Johnson had a very good season for IMG academy in Florida, he has great size and athleticism but didn’t attempt many three’s this past season at all. I think he is a good shooter, but in High School when you’re his size you can just breeze through guys and not need to shoot. I think he will work on his jumper this offseason, he’s a good defender, so his main issue currently is shooting, but overall he’s very talented.
10. Sam Hauser Virginia SR Forward
2018-19 Stats with Marquette: 15.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.4 APG
Hauser left Marquette after 3 seasons and transferred to defending champs Virginia, where he sat out 2019-20. He’s is an elite shooter from deep. In his three seasons at Marquette, he shot 45% from-three in 2016-17, 48% in 2017-18, 40% in 2018-19. With losing Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome after last season they really need deep-ball-shooting ability. He’s not the typical kind of defender UVA likes, but with his offensive ability, they’ll make it work.
11. Aamir Simms Clemson SR Forward
2019-20 stats: 13 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.6 APG
Simms shot 47% from-the-field, and 40% from deep last season, while he showed how good he can be. Consistency was an issue at times, he’d have a stretch of games in the ’20s than a few in single-figures. Simms shot 84 threes last season, I want to see him take more this season. With the team losing Tevin Mack, and Curran Scott the now clear shot-maker is Simms, he should thrive in that role.
12. Kihei Clark Virginia JR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 10.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.1 SPG
Clark is a very good player and while scoring isn’t his calling card, he can at least shoot well at 37% from deep last season. He is an elite passer, good defender, great rebounder for his size. Clark really struggles with turnovers though he had 3.5 Per game last season, to be more consistent he needs to tone that down and make less risky passes, the way Virginia plays they can’t afford careless turnovers. Clark should tone that down as he plays as the lead point guard more, he spent his Freshman Season behind Ty Jerome.
13. Armando Bacot North Carolina SO Forward
2019-20 Stats: 9.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.1 BPG
Bacot had an up-and-down Freshman Season on a bad team, but he was a McDonalds All-American, so he is clearly talented. He shot 46% from-the-field for a back to the basket big-man needs to be improved by at least 10 in my opinion. He uses strength more than anything to get to the hoop, maybe he can work on some more moves to get to the bucket, which would be beneficial for Bacot. He’s a pretty good defender and rebounder so that helps his case a lot.
14. Carlik Jones Louisville SR Guard
2019-20 Stats with Radford: 20 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.4 SPG
Jones was amazing at Radford, he wasn’t a guy who had empty stats on a bad team, he had great stats on a good team. He shot 48% from-the-field, 40% from three while being the Highlanders best player, he’s a great passer but will be in less of that role with David Johnson and company. He can be a spot-up shooter and your go-to bucket getter. He’s going to be huge for the Cards this season.
15. Joe Girard III Syracuse SO Guard
2019-20 Stats: 12.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.5 SPG
Girard was inefficient last season, but the talent is there. He shot 34% from-the-field, 32% from deep, to me he’s a guy that can shot 40% from three this season and I won’t be near surprised. He has a very smooth jumper. He’s not an elite athlete, but the adequate, solid defender, good passer, and he’s a true point guard. With Elijah Hughes gone, Girard and Buddy Boeheim will get a majority of the shots, but that comes mostly Girard. I think he has a great ability to pull-up off the dribble and create for himself, something Buddy Boeheim can’t do. I see Girard as a guy who can take the next step this season, I see him taking as big of a jump as anyone other than David Johnson on this list.
16. Mark Williams Duke FR Center
Williams is a 7’1″ big-man, who is a great defender, good athlete, rebounder, and scorer at the bucket. He’s not a shooter at all, but they have plenty of shooters at least they should, with Matthew Hurt and Joey Baker headlining that group. He’s here because he’s going to play a ton, losing so many big bodies down-low with Vernon Carey Jr, Jack White, Justin Robinson, and Javin DeLaurier. Williams could be a double-double type guy this season.
17. Jose Alvarado Georgia Tech SR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 14.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4 APG, 2.2 SPG
Alvarado and Devoe are one of the best guard duos in the nation, they both are very good players but do different things. Alvarado shot 44% from the field which is sold, but 33% from deep which could be improved. He’s a good facilitator and defender though, different than Devoe’s role as a true point guard. Alvarado is due for a big season and can be an All-ACC guy.
18. Devon Daniels NC State SR Guard
2019-20 stats: 12.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.2 APG
Daniels is a very talented strong 6’5″ guard with great athleticism. He’s a solid defender and a super-efficient at 47% from a guard. His three-point game could use a boost though, only 32% last season, but he can kind of do it all. With Markelle Johnson gone, Daniels will have the ball in hands more and will create a big role this season for the Pack.
19. Chris Lykes Miami SR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG
Lykes is a score-first guard who’s very fast and a good shooter, he was hurt a lot this season though. With multiple injuries, in the ACC tournament, he wore a face protecting mask due to an earlier injury. If he’s healthy he can be very good, but I’d like to see him be more of a true point guard who can dish it out rather than a scorer, although he may be able to do both well. The more you can do the better these days. With Lykes being 5’7 that makes people think less of him probably, but he’s talented.
20. Daivien Williamson Wake Forest JR Guard (Should receive waiver)
2019-20 Stats with ETSU: 10.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.6 APG
Williamson transferred from ETSU when Steve Forbes left to Wake Forest, Williamson joined him. He’s also from Winston-Salem so a lot of things contributed to him going there, I’m sure that is one of the reasons. He’s an awesome scorer, a great athlete, shooter, and a decent enough defender. He shot 48% from-the-field, 37% from deep which are both very good, he didn’t record a ton of assists, but that was Bo Hodges’ role. Williamson should be the starting Point Guard for the Deacs. He will be a force in the ACC for the next 2 seasons.
21. Xavier Johnson Pittsburgh JR Guard
2019-20 stats: 11.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.9 APG
Xavier Johnson is someone who was expected to have a monster year last season and to a large extent, he disappointed. That being said the talent is still there with Johnson, he’s a big guard that can get to his spot and score with ease. He’s a capable three-point shooter and is an excellent passer. Expect him to have a bounceback season, as he hopes to lead Pittsburgh to a postseason Tournament this season.
22. Samuell Williamson Louisville SO G/Wing
2019-20 Stats: 4.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG
Williamson was a 5-Star prospect in the 2019 class and a McDonald’s All-American. He’s going to replace Jordan Nwora in the lineup this season, he’s a good defender, a good scorer, who played a bench role last season and didn’t get to showcase his talents. He’s a very good athlete, he shot 47% from the field, and 33% from three last season, both not on huge volume.f he can keep it relatively close to that while shooting a lot more he’s in for a Big Season, he can take a jump, similar to what Nwora did from Freshman to Sophomore season.
23. Matthew Hurt Duke SO Forward
2019-20 Stats: 9.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Hurt right now is a very good shooter, last year he shot 48% from the field, 39% from three. His specialty is his shooting ability, he lacks strength and athleticism which affects his defensive ability. He’s more of a wing guy in my opinion due to him not being overly strong that will affect him down-low fighting for rebounds, most guys will our rebound him. He’s a tough guy to place but due to his shooting ability, I like having him here he’s like a younger Sam Hauser in my opinion.
24. D.J. Funderburk NC STATE SR Forward
2019-20 Stats: 12.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Funderburk is a 6’10″ strong big-man who is very good at getting to the hoop, solid athlete, although not a shooter though. He’s a pretty solid defender, although, for his size and strength, but overall Funderburk is very talented. We’ll see how he rises this season, he has a solid mid-range game also, so maybe he can try to turn that into a 3-point shot, but we’ll have to see.
25. Jalen Cone Virginia Tech SO Guard
2019-20 Stats: 8 PPG, 45% from three
Cone is a 5’10″ guard who re-classified into the 2019 class, he’s an elite shooter who shot 45% last season. I think over-time he will develop more of an offensive game, some passing ability and things of that nature. They lost Landers Nolley II to Memphis who took a majority of their shots last season, so they need someone to replace those shots, those shots will come from Cone and Kansas State grad transfer Cartier Diarra.