Inaugural ACC Roundtable: State of Our Basketball Programs

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Now that Fansided is growing its ACC network, the other editors and I have been able to collaborate on our first ACC roundtable discussion. This time, the topic of discussion was ACC basketball, what we’ve seen so far, and what we expect going forward.

What’s the current state of your school’s men’s basketball program?

Soaring to Glory: Bad but getting better. Boston College has a roster of almost two-thirds freshmen, and it shows. When the season began, they were clearly out of their element and in general, it’s not hard to notice that they’re thin/non-muscular/not very strong. As a result, during non-conference play, the Eagles were getting railroaded nightly by such fine teams as UMass and Holy Cross. A few fans were manning the lifeboats and declaring the whole freshman class a bust.

In the last few weeks, however, BC appears to have turned a corner. At the end of non-conference play it was more good than bad, and they have represented themselves well so far with a 2-2 ACC record. The talk of us being the worst ACC team of all-time is not true, and I think BC will most likely win again at some point this season.

Keeping It Heel (UNC): The Carolina state of the union right now is in disarray. A lot of overreaction and under appreciation is being slung the Tar Heels way. The reality is UNC is fine, we have some adjustments to make but we’re one of the top 3 teams in college hoops when it comes to talent. It’s championship or bust with this group of players who for the most part will grace the NBA Hardwood soon.

Terrapin Station (Maryland): In limbo? After Gary Williams retired last year, Maryland hired Mark Turgeon, and he’s continued the tradition of doing a lot with not much. Coming into this season, Maryland fans were not expecting much. Jordan Williams was gone, as were Adrian Bowie, Dino Gregory and Cliff Tucker. There were limited pieces returning, especially inside, and most Terps fans were expecting a rough year.

Trying not to think too hard about Tuesday’s beatdown at the hands of Florida State, that hasn’t been the case. Maryland stands at 12-5 right now, 2-2 in the conference, and Turgeon has done wonders with Terrell Stoglin and James Padgett, among others. No one is expecting the Terps to make the tournament, but with the retention of Baltimore super-recruiter Bino Ranson and the addition of his D.C. counterpart Dalonte Hill, there is a whole ton of optimism surrounding the future of this program.

Big Duke Balls (Duke): It is in pretty good shape for the most part. Although the Blue Devils have lost key players such as Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, and Kyrie Irving, those guys are being made up for by freshman sensation Austin Rivers, fellow freshman Quinn Cook, Seth Curry, and Ryan Kelly. Curry and Kelly are getting more playing time this year and I think they’re doing just fine as starters.

The Dukies also just recently jumped up four places in the polls (from #8 to #4). But, there is plenty of room for improvement though, especially on defense. More on that later.