Power Rankings: ACC Basketball’s Top 15 Players (Third Edition)
ACC's Top 15 Players
Before a loaded schedule of ACC action tips-off this weekend, it’s time to once again power rank the top 15 player of the year candidates in the conference.
The Duke Blue Devils remained dominate over the past week winning back-to-back against the Cornell Big Red and Elon Phoenix. The team continues to be well represented in rankings as the team takes control of the conference.
With Duke the only remaining undefeated team from the ACC, the Maryland Terrapins and Miami(FL) Hurricanes are close behind with only one loss on the year. Both teams have gone on impressive win streaks since early season losses. Not to mention both teams are also being led by strong post play along with solid support from the wing positions.
Another team being led by strong post play are the North Carolina State Wolfpack and their 8-2 record. Despite their two losses the team is looking like the conference’s second best team given the loaded talent roster the Wolfpack possess. After two wins over the week that had the team looking impressive, including avenging a loss to the Stanford Cardinals from a year ago, North Carolina State remains well represented in the rankings.
The major reason why the Wolfpack appear like the team’s clear cut second best team is because of the North Carolina Tar Heels suffering another embarrassing loss. Most years ranking the best players in the ACC would see a list filled with Tar Heels, however the team remains with only one player worthy of the top 15.
The Virginia Tech Hokies also suffered an embarrassing defeat over the past week. The team that was unbeaten not that long ago has suddenly lost two out of three.
With continued dominance and surprising upsets, it’s time to unveil this week’s rankings for the top 15 players in the conference.
The rankings are based on player performance, strength of schedule, team success, and are designed to give an idea of where the player might finish if the conference player of the year was named today. Players who have performed at high levels against strong competition are weighed higher than those who might have higher numbers against considerably weaker competition.
15. Durand Scott
Durand Scott, Miami(FL) Hurricanes
Current Ranking: 15, Last Ranking: NR
The 6-foot-5 guard is the Hurricanes leading scorer after only playing five games due to a six game suspension (he took gifts he wasn’t allowed to accept) dating back to last season. The senior missed the first three games of the year due to the suspension but has returned to score double-figures in every game with averages of 15.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals. The guard’s most impressive game of the year came with a double-double performance when Miami(FL) handed the Charlotte 49ers their only loss of the year. Scott finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and four steals.
14. Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson, Boston College Eagles
Current Ranking: 14, Last Ranking: NR
The 6-foot-8 sophomore is one of three players in the conference averaging a double-double with 15.2 points and 10 rebounds. He’s been bothered by an ankle injury for part of the season that’s forced him to miss time. However, when he’s played he’s been the major reason why the 5-5 Eagles have had any success this season. For an example of that, look no further than his 23 points and 19 rebounds in a 61-59 overtime victory over the New Hampshire Wildcats.
13. Dezmine Wells
Dezmine Wells, Maryland Terrapins
Current Ranking: 13, Last Ranking: 14
The 6-foot-5 sophomore jumps up a spot after his 19 points, six rebounds and two assists helped improve Maryland’s record to 10-1. He’s been everything as advertised since transferring to the Terrapins as he averages 12.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists while shooting 56% from the field. He’s Maryland second leading scorer and third leading rebounder as he continues to be a big reason for the team’s hot start.
12. Jarell Eddie
Jarell Eddie, Virginia Tech Hokies
Current Ranking: 12, Last Ranking: 12
The 6-foot-7 junior doesn’t move in the rankings despite scoring 21 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort. He remains the conference’s fourth leading scorer but isn’t shooting the ball nearly as well as he had at the beginning of the season. After back-to-back single-digit scoring performances, the forward got back on track with his 21 point outing however shot 6 for 19 in the game including 3 for 13 from three point range. It was a dramatic change from earlier in the year when he went 12 for 16 from downtown during a three game span. Still, Eddie continues to average 15.4 points and 7.2 rebounds for the 8-2 Hokies.
11. Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin, Miami(FL) Hurricanes
Current Ranking: 11, Last Ranking: 10
The sophomore guard recorded his lowest scoring totals of the season in the past two games with point totals of only nine and 11. He remained effective in other areas finishing with a combined 11 assists, 10 rebounds, and six steals in the two outings. Larkin is third in the conference in steals, sixth in assists and seventh in scoring while shooting 55% from the field and 51.7% from the three point line. Through eight games he’s averaging 14.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and two steals.
10. C.J. Leslie
C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Current Ranking: 10, Last Ranking: 9
The 6-foot-9 junior drops a bit not so much for poor play but rather for the impressive performance of those around him. He’s also cooled off slightly after three straight double-doubles to end November, two games ago against the Norfolk State Spartans he finished with only 11 points and three rebounds. He bounced back with a performance closer to his season averages in the team’s most recent win with 16 points and six rebounds. However in the two games he combined to total 10 turnovers, his most in any two game span this season. Still, with averages of 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, the forward is arguably the most talented player on the 8-2 Wolfpack.
9. Lorenzo Brown
Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Current Ranking: 9, Last Ranking: 11
The 6-foot-5 guard jumps into the top 10 after combining to score 40 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and five steals in the Wolfpack’s past two games. North Carolina State won both games while the junior also combined to shoot 16 for 23 for an average of 69.5% while shooting a perfect 7 for 7 from the foul line. Unfortunately, turnovers continue to plague the player this season as he also gave the ball up eight times in the two victories. He sits third in the conference in assists with an average of 5.9 per game, which is only 0.1% off the leader. He’s also the conference’s steals leader with 2.2 a contest to go along with his averages of 12.9 points and four rebounds. However, he’s not going to get much higher in the rankings if he can’t get his turnovers under control. His average of 3.8 turnovers is the worst of his career and is also the highest amongst the top 50 assists leaders in the conference.
8. Reggie Johnson
Reggie Johnson, Miami(FL) Hurricanes
Current Ranking: 8, Last Ranking: 8
The 6-foot-10, 292lbs center continues to average a double-double of 12.6 points, 10.1 rebounds along with 1.9 blocks and 1.1 assists. He sits second in the conference in rebounding and fifth in blocked shots. He recorded his fifth double-double of the year with 16 points and 13 rebounds leading the Hurricanes to a 72-50 blowout against the UCF Knights.
7. James Michael McAdoo
James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels
Current Ranking: 7, Last Ranking: 6
The 6-foot-9 sophomore sits fifth in the conference in scoring and seventh in rebounding with averages of 15.3 points and 8.4 rebounds. He’s been the Tar Heels best player to start the season with the team failing to fill the void of losing four starters from a year ago. He struggled to shoot going only 36.4% from the floor in the 85-67 loss to the Texas Longhorns. However, he showed his athleticism managing to contribute in other areas as he finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, six steals and two assists before fouling out. Regardless, North Carolina will have to improve its record before McAdoo finds his way back into the top five.
6. Quinn Cook
Quinn Cook, Duke Blue Devils
Current Ranking: 6, Last Ranking: 7
The 6-foot-1 sophomore continues to show off his playmaking ability recording six points, 12 assists and four rebounds against the Cornell Big Red. The guard did it all while committing only one turnover. He followed up that performance the next night against the Elon Phoenix with 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists while again only committing one turnover. Cook sits tied as the conference’s assist leader while committing only five turnovers in the past four games to go along with 25 assists. On the season he’s averaging 10.4 points, six assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals while shooting 50% from the three point range.
5. Seth Curry
Seth Curry, Duke Blue Devils
Current Ranking: 5, Last Ranking: 3
The senior had a 20 point performance against the Cornell Big Red but only finished with eight points the next night against the Elon Phoenix. He’ll get a pass on the drop off considering it was back-to-back nights and he’s been playing all season with an ankle issue that’s kept him out of games and practice. Curry still sits as the conference’s third leading scorer with his average of 15.7 points per game. However, he takes a drop in the standings because of the play of those around him in the conference and their importance to their team.
4. Alex Len
Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins
Current Ranking: 4, Last Ranking: 4
The 7-foot-1 center is averaging 14.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 58.4% from the field leading the Terrapins to a 10-1 record. He leads the conference in blocks, sits fifth in field goal percentage and is sixth in rebounding. The sophomore has been an intimidating presence in the paint all season despite only having three double-doubles on the year. His lowest rebounding total for a game was six and he’s only failed to score in double-figures once. Len is going to have a major impact in league games routinely blocking or altering shots while also being difficult to contain on the offensive end.
3. Richard Howell
Richard Howell, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Current Ranking: 3, Last Ranking: 5
The 6-foot-8 senior jumps into the top three after back-to-back double-double performances. His past two games saw him record 12 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in one outing, while he finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and two assists in the other. Improving his season averages to 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds while shooting 67.5% from the floor. He sits second in the conference for field goal percentage and fourth in rebounding.
2. Erick Green
Erick Green, Virginia Tech Hokies
Current Ranking: 2, Last Ranking: 2
The Hokies have lost two out of their last three games but it wasn’t through a lack of effort on Green’s part. In the team’s most recent 78-73 loss to the Georgia Southern Eagles, the senior finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting 54.5% from the field. He continues to lead the conference in scoring and sits fourth in assists as he averages 24.8 points, 4.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 51.7% from the floor. However, if he doesn’t receive more help from his teammates the 8-2 Hokies are going to be in trouble.
1. Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils
Current Ranking: 1, Last Ranking: 1
The best player in the conference is it’s leading rebounder, second leading scorer and sits third best for field goal average. The senior is averaging 19.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and is shooting 64.1% from the field. His dominance continued this week going 8 for 8 from the field to finish with 18 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in one game. Plumlee wasn’t satisfied with those numbers as in the second game of the back-to-back he improved with 21 points and 15 rebounds. The rest of the conference will certainly have its hands full trying to contain the 6-foot-10 center.