We continue our preseason college basketball preview here at Rant Sports by taking a look at some of what we consider to be the most important seniors in the ACC. There will be a lot of seniors taking the conference by storm, but these five guys should make the biggest impact.
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Senior Leaders-ACC:
1. Michael Snaer – Guard – Florida State
The defending ACC Tournament champions lost four of their five starters (including NBA Draft Pick Bernard James) this off-season, but return their leading scorer in Snaer. Snaer also led the ‘Noles in minutes, three-point, and free-throw percentage, and has to be among the favorites for ACC Player of the Year. The former McDonald’s All-American will have the opportunity to lead a roster loaded with young and rather inexperienced players, and try to put the team on his back to contend in what will be a competitive ACC.
2. Mason Plumlee – Center – Duke
Mason Plumlee has been one of, if not the, most talented big men in the ACC the last two seasons. The middle of the Plumlee brothers (watch out for RS-Freshman Marshall this year), Mason was third last season in the ACC in double-doubles, fourth in rebounds, and fifth in blocked shots. Every season he’s gotten better, and as the sole post option on a team filled with shooters, he’ll have his hands full with Windex and paper towels because he’s going to be cleaning the glass on a nightly basis. This is undoubtedly one of Mike Krzyzewski’s least talented squads in years, but in a less than top heavy ACC, Duke will once again be fighting for a conference championship with Plumlee leading the way in the middle.
3. C.J. Harris – Guard – Wake Forest
In what was a disappointing year for Jeff Bzdelik’s bunch, Harris was the ACC’s fourth leading scorer and looks to pick up where he left off in 2011-12. Harris won’t have much (really any) veteran help this year with the Demon Deacons, but he’ll share the back court with highly-touted freshman point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre, which will make for one of the more formidable back courts in the conference. If Harris can show Miller-McIntyre the ropes, and continue to force the tempo on opposing defenses, he could potentially lead Wake Forest to a pleasant surprise of a season. I don’t like to pick a leader on an irrelevant team, but Harris’ scoring ability just cannot be overlooked.
4. Erick Green – Guard – Virginia Tech
Speaking of leaders on irrelevant teams, how do you leave the only returning second team all-ACC member off of this list? Green led a sub .500 Hokie team in both scoring (15.6) and assists last season, and with six of the teams top ten scorers returning, Green could potentially lead Virginia Tech back to relevance in the ACC at best-case scenario. First-year coach James Johnson will be lucky to have Green running the show for his team, cause he won’t have much else.
5. Seth Curry – Guard – Duke
With apologies to the three big seniors down in Miami (Durant Scott, Reggie Johnson, and Kenny Kadji) I had to go with another Blue Devil for my last senior leader. Many basketball fans have considered Curry’s tenure at Duke to be a letdown, maybe it’s because he didn’t become the scorer in the ACC that he was as a freshman at Liberty, or maybe it’s because he just isn’t his brother Stephen, but Seth was named third team all-ACC last season and just might be the conference’s best pure shooter. He’s gotten better every season with Coach K and has the potential to lead the Blue Devils back to an ACC Championship.
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