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  TSLMail #383- May 29, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

ACC Basketball Needs New Stars
by Chris Coleman,

The 2008-09 regular season was a strong one for the ACC, with seven teams making the NCAA tournament. However, the postseason didn't go so well. Wake Forest, Clemson, Boston College and Florida State were all upset in the first round, and Maryland was finished by the end of the second round. Duke was crushed by Villanova in the Sweet 16. The only thing that saved the conference in the postseason was UNC winning the National Championship.

After last year's mixed bag of success, the ACC will be looking to rebuild this season. The conference lost 14 of their top 20 scorers after this past season ended, assuming all of the early entries stay in the NBA Draft.

Think about all of these names: Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, James Johnson, Jack McClinton, A.D. Vassallo, Tyrese Rice, Gerald Henderson, Jeff Teague and Greivis Vasquez. All of those players, and more, will not be back next year, assuming Teague and Vasquez keep their names in the NBA Draft. A new wave of stars will have to take over the conference next season.

Here are the leading returning scorers in the ACC.

Top Returning ACC Scorers
Player Team PPG

Malcolm Delaney

Virginia Tech


Sylven Landesberg



Kyle Singler



Trevor Booker



Jon Scheyer



Jeff Allen

Virginia Tech



As far as pure offensive firepower, Duke and Virginia Tech appear to have the early advantage. Each team returns two of the top six returning scorers in the ACC. The Blue Devils bring back outside sharpshooters Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer, while the Hokies will have a good inside-outside threat with Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney.

With so many new players being forced to take on major roles next season, the conference is wide open. Despite the loss of A.D. Vassallo, Virginia Tech returns more offensive firepower in their starting lineup than all but three teams in the ACC.

PPG, Returning Starters
Team PPG





Boston College


Virginia Tech


Florida State






Wake Forest




NC State


Georgia Tech


North Carolina



Only Duke, Virginia and Boston College return more points from their starting lineup than the Hokies, though that could change if a few players change their minds and decide to withdraw from the NBA Draft.

Perhaps the most surprising thing in that table is that Boston College returns 42.2 points per game from their starting lineup. The Eagles lost Tyrese Rice, one of the best players in the conference. However, they return all four starters, and they'll have no seniors in their starting lineup this coming season. This team's best basketball is ahead of them.

Many believe that Georgia Tech will be dangerous this year, but they lost many experienced players. Lewis Clinch and Zachary Peacock are gone, and power forward Gani Lawal has declared for the NBA Draft as well.

Based on players lost, players returning and incoming recruiting class, here's are some early-Summer ACC predictions.

Early Summer 
ACC Predictions
Finish Team



Boston College


Florida State


North Carolina




Virginia Tech




Wake Forest




Georgia Tech




NC State


With Coach K returning most of his team, and with UNC bringing in almost a completely new group of players, it's hard not to pick Duke to win the ACC. Boston College is a very underrated program, and Al Skinner is perhaps the most underrated coach in college basketball.

Florida State lost Toney Douglas, but they are an excellent defensive team with good young talent in the program. North Carolina won't be as good, but they will still be near the top of the ACC. Maryland lost Greivis Vasquez, but that could arguably be good for them. The Hokies, Clemson and Wake Forest all look to be about on the same level next season.

Of course, preseason predictions are rarely accurate in ACC basketball. All of the teams have good to excellent talent. Final records generally come down to coaching, toughness in close games, and who draws the better in-conference schedule. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week
State of the Program, Part Two: The Players
May 29, 2009
Last week we looked at the Seth Greenberg era as a whole for our first "State of the Program" article. This week we'll look at the talent that is currently in the program, and compare it to Tech's 2006-07 team, which is the only team under Greenberg to reach the NCAA tournament.

Virginia Tech Offers In-State LB/TE
May 29, 2009
The Evaluation period is coming to an end and new offers are being extended to rising seniors all across the country. Virginia Tech's coaches have been extending new offers, one of which went to Loudoun County (Leesburg, VA) linebacker/tight end Chase Williams, who was informed of the offer on Tuesday afternoon.

Kolb Recovering Well, Eyeing Summer Visits
May 28, 2009
Lake Braddock (Burke, VA) offensive lineman Khamrone Kolb received some good news earlier this week, when he was cleared to jog and lift weights. Kolb, a 6-6, 300-pound prospect and one of the top offensive line recruits in the state of Virginia's 2010 class, continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered earlier this off-season.

A.J. Marshall Scores New Offers, Talks Favorites
May 27, 2009
At the Nike Camp in Charlottesville on May 3rd, Southern (Durham, N.C.) cornerback A.J. Marshall showed why he has earned at least 15 Division 1A scholarship offers. Marshall, a 5-11, 175-pound rising senior, felt great about his Nike Camp performance despite not earning defensive back MVP honors.

Catching Up With Bryan Randall
May 27, 2009
On May 28, Bryan Randall will say good-bye to his offseason and head north (and west) to Winnipeg. Training camp is about to begin for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

Lewis Quick to Accept VT Offer
May 26, 2009
A week after receiving an offer from the Hokies, Bishop Kearney (Rochester, N.Y.) tight end/defensive end Jerome Lewis is member of Virginia Tech's 2010 recruiting class. After receiving his mother's blessing, the 6-4, 232-pound rising senior informed Tech assistant coach Charley Wiles of his intentions today.

Reports: VT Receives Pledge from NY Standout
May 26, 2009
According to multiple reports, Virginia Tech's football program has picked up its eighth verbal commitment of the 2010 recruiting class. Bishop Kearney (Rochester, N.Y.) standout athlete Jerome Lewis reportedly pledged to Virginia Tech over offers from East Carolina, Minnesota, Pitt, Purdue and Syracuse.

Friday Q&A: Tuesday Edition
May 26, 2009
Today Raleigh Hokie and Chris Coleman will take part in a Tuesday Edition of the Friday Q&A. Raleigh gives a great lecture on the passing tree and what it means in Tech's offense, and they both discuss the positions on offense at which Tech could least afford an injury this season.

Tariq Edwards Excited to Play for USA, VT
May 25, 2009
Marlboro County (Bennettsville, S.C.) linebacker/defensive end Tariq Edwards isn't quite sure when he'll arrive in Blacksburg - he has to clarify with primary recruiter Charley Wiles whether he'll enroll this summer or in January of 2010 - but he is certain of where he'll be on June 13th. On the 13th the 6-3, 212-pound prospect will head to Canton, Ohio, to play for the USA junior national football team in the IFAF junior world championship games.
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