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   Welcome to TSLMail #129 - Friday, May 21, 2004    
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Hoops Recruiting Competition is Stiff in the ACC
by Will Stewart,

Virginia Tech basketball fans were rightfully excited when released their basketball recruiting rankings a couple of days ago, and the Hokies' four-man class was ranked 23rd in the country. That's outstanding.

The problem is, most of the rest of the ACC is even more outstanding.

VT's class of 2004 signees are all three-star or four-star players, and that represents a huge change in recruiting for the Hokies. The class is a bit quirky in that it's heavily weighted towards 6-6 or 6-7 athletic wing guard/forward types, but in terms of sheer talent and athletic ability, it's a group of kids that haven't been seen entering Blacksburg in a long, long time. You might need to go back as far as the Dell Curry/Bobby Beecher/Keith Colbert class of the early 80's to find the last time a class rated this highly came to Tech.

That's cause for excitement, but unfortunately, that talented group of athletes will be going up against the best basketball league in the country, the ACC. There isn't a slouch team in the league, except maybe for the Miami Hurricanes and perhaps even the Hokies themselves (for the time being, anyway).

And when it comes to recruiting, the ACC is a juggernaut.

In the Rivals rankings mentioned above, there are four ACC teams ranked ahead of the Hokies: surprising FSU at #16, NC State #19, Georgia Tech #21, and Clemson #22.

It's interesting that Duke, UNC, and Maryland didn't make Rivals' Top 25. Duke and UNC were listed among "Others considered", along with Virginia, but no other ACC teams were mentioned. Duke and UNC each had three-man classes that were damaged by the loss of one key player to the NBA draft -- Shaun Livingston for Duke and J.R. Smith for UNC -- and that probably bumped them down in Rivals' rankings, which value quantity as much as quality.

That's one perspective that makes the Hokies look pretty good. What about another perspective? For a second opinion, I opened up the ACC Area Sports Journal and took a look at their player rankings. The ACC Are Sports Journal's basketball recruiting articles are written by Brick Oettinger, and I believe the rankings are based on rankings (forgive me, I'm new to all this ACC stuff, hee-hee).

The ACC Area Sports Journal ranks the top 200 players by number, then includes the next fifty players (201-250) in the category "Top 250," and the next fifty players (251-300) in the category "Top 300." After that, players are unranked.

Looking at the players other ACC schools signed for 2004 is pretty intimidating. The ACC only goes after -- and gets -- the best. In the following table, I break down, according to the ACC Area Sports Journal's rankings, how many players each ACC school signed in each category. The schools are listed in alphabetical order, with no attempt to rank the schools. Boston College is not included.

ACC Basketball Signees (as of mid-May, 2004)
School Players Top 50 51-100 101-150 151-200 Top 250 Top 300
Clemson 5   68, 84,
95, 99
Duke 3 2, 14 75        
FSU 4 37, 40   148 170    
GT 4 36 82 114, 127      
Maryland 2 38,
Top 50JC
Miami 2            
UNC 3 4, 11, 44          
NCSU 3 23 53   152    
UVa 3   63   147   one
VT 4 Top 50JC 56   153 one  
Wake 1     115      
Totals 34 12 9 4 4 2 1
Source: ACC Sports Journal (for rankings and signee lists) and (for signee lists)
Unranked Players: 2 (both for Miami)
Duke's #2 player is Shaun Livingston, and UNC's #4 player is J.R. Smith. Both declared for the NBA draft.
JC = junior college player

Here's an example of how to read the table: Clemson had 5 players in their class. Four of them were ranked #68, #84, #95 and #99, and the fifth was ranked as a "Top 250" player.

I know you're interested about the VT players, so here's the info: Justin Holt is a Top 50JC, Marquie Cooke is #56, Wynton Witherspoon is #153, and Deron Washington is a Top 250 player.

You can tell from looking at the table that although VT has a strong recruiting class, they're nothing special when it comes to the ACC. The league is top-heavy in recruiting, with 21 of 34 players signed -- almost two-thirds -- ranked as Top 100 players. 29 of 34 are Top 200. Of the other five, only two are unranked, and that's at the University of Miami, where basketball recruiting is a train wreck right now, thanks to a coaching change and the fact that, well, they're Miami.

Looking forward to the 2005 class, the ACC schools have offered a laundry list of Top 100 players, according to the ACC Area Sports Journal. The good news is that VT isn't shying away, having offered nothing but Top 100 players, five of them to be exact. How many of those players will VT land? We'll see.

The ACC Area Sports Journal's next issue will probably include final signee lists and recruiting rankings, as it is due out soon, and the spring signing period ended on May 19th. We'll give you an update then on what the Journal's final basketball recruiting rankings are. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Early Offers Mark Strong In-State Class, Changing Times
by Chris Horne, 5/21/04, 1:40 pm
It didn’t take long for the state of Virginia’s rising senior football prospects to make their mark on the 2005 recruiting class. Before the beginning of the May evaluation period (April 15 – May 31), 25 in-state prospects had received Division I-A scholarship offers. The number is now up to 32 players who have at least one Division I-A offer, and that number is likely to grow in the ensuing months.
in TSL Pass

Swofford and the ACC: Visionaries, Not Bumblers, After All
by Will Stewart,, 5/21/04, 1:30 am
I know that the sentences handed down to Marcus Vick, Mike Imoh, and Brenden Hill have been the hot topic of conversation on the TSL boards lately, but you know what my mind keeps going back to in the last week or so? Those TV contracts the ACC has been signing. Not so much the contracts themselves, but what they say about ACC expansion in general.
in TSL Pass

ACC Signs New Syndication Deals
by Will Stewart,, 5/20/04, 3:05 pm
The ACC finalized their new TV contracts as a 12-team league by inking new football and basketball syndication deals with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot, the league announced Wednesday. With the new contracts, the ACC's TV coverage and revenue are now set through the 2010-2011 academic year.
in News and Notes

On a Busy Friday, Incarceration Trumps Graduation
by Jim Alderson, 5/20/04, 9:25 am
Well, the good news is that at last Friday’s commencement ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ was not replaced with ‘Thirty Days in the Hole.’ The bad news is that other, not-so-pleasant news overshadowed graduation. On a weekend in which thousands of new Tech graduates received the reward for their years of effort, the big news seemed to be the convictions of Marcus Vick, Mike Imoh and Brenden Hill for contributing to the delinquency of minor girls. I prefer reading about the graduates.
in TSL Pass

A Gym Rat's Notebook #18: Adding Another Piece
by Elijah Kyle, 5/19/04, 10:00 am
The rescission of the 5-8 rule has opened up a number of scholarships across the country for schools trolling to add key spring pieces to their recruiting puzzles. The Virginia Tech basketball program under head coach Seth Greenberg has anxiously awaited this decision, and now has the potential to add immediate reinforcements to their team next year, when they will embark upon the school’s first season as a full fledged ACC member.
in TSL Pass

Rookie Diary #11: Steelers Minicamp
by, 5/18/04, 7:30 am
Sometimes, you know what you're doing, and then the stupid offense will shift, and then you're doing something totally different. You hear all these calls being called on defense, and you're trying to figure out what you're doing, and all of sudden the ball is hiked, and you've got to run. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you guess wrong.
in TSL Pass

Vick, Imoh, Hill Convicted
by Will Stewart,, 5/14/04, 10:30 pm
On Friday, Marcus Vick, Mike Imoh, and Brenden Hill were all convicted of three counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Each player was sentenced to jail time and fines, with Vick's punishment being the most severe, followed by Hill, then Imoh.
in News and Notes

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