Power Rankings: ACC Basketball’s Top 15 Players
ACC's Top 15 Players
The ACC has been packed full of action since league play tipped-off which makes it only appropriate to rank the top 15 players in the conference.
The Miami(FL) Hurricanes have exploded out of the gate dominating the competition at a level few expected from the school. Credit is owed to coach Jim Larranaga for turning around the Hurricanes basketball program and bringing them to levels not seen before. When the school known for football sold out back-to-back basketball games for the first time, it became obvious things are certainly different with Miami(FL).
One of the teams dominated by the Hurricanes were the Duke Blue Devils, who have quickly rebounded from the embarrassing defeat. Duke has won four in a row since being blown out at Miami(FL), making sure to remind the rest of the conference they are still a force to be reckon with.
After Duke and Miami(FL) there is a logjam of talented squads trying to break away from the rest of the pack like the two schools mentioned. The Virginia Cavaliers and North Carolina Tar Heels are tied for third place with 6-3 records. They are followed by three teams with five wins each, including the disappointing North Carolina State Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack can’t seem to find consistency despite being preseason favorites to win the ACC. There’s no shortage of talent on the roster but the team can’t seem to find a way to pull out a victory on the road. It also hasn’t helped injuries have taken a toll on the roster that mostly featured only a six man rotation.
With all that said, it’s time to take a look at the top 15 players in the conference as of Feb. 8.
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. Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson, Boston College Eagles
Despite Boston College being tied with the worst conference record at 2-7, Anderson’s performance this season can’t be ignored. The sophomore is averaging 16 points and 8.8 rebounds, which has him tied for fourth in scoring and rebounding in the conference. Anderson is one of the few players talented enough to steal a game all on his own.
14. Kenny Kadji
Kenny Kadji, Miami (FL) Hurricanes
The 6-foot-11 senior stepped up in a big way after Reggie Johnson went down with a thumb injury. Kadji led the way in the post for the Hurricanes in Johnson’s absence and is a big reason why the team remains undefeated at 9-0 in conference action. He’s averaging 13.4 points as a top 15 scorer in the ACC, along with 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
13. James Michael McAdoo
James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels
The sophomore is having somewhat of a disappointing year in some minds, which just goes to show how talented McAdoo could be given the numbers he is putting up. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 15.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists, good enough for fifth in the conference in rebounding and steals along with seventh in scoring.
12. C.J. Leslie
C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Easily the most frustrating player in the conference as the junior has the ability to win games single handily but lacks the drive to do it. He’s the fifth leading scorer in the conference and fourth in field goal percentage which just begs the question, why doesn’t he shoot more? The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and shooting 56% from the field. The Wolfpack are 5-5 in the conference and they’ll need Leslie to be better if they want to improve that record. He has a tendency to disappear and not demand the ball at times but if he ever did find that interior fire, N.C. State could be playing into late March.
11. Michael Snaer
Michael Snaer, Florida State Seminoles
The senior has a flair for the dramatic as he’s hit game winning shot after game winning shot for the Seminoles. Florida State is 5-4 in the conference and the biggest reason why is because teams haven't figured out they need to put all five players on Snaer because otherwise he’s not going to miss the buzzer beating shot. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals.
10. Joe Harris
Joe Harris, Virginia Cavaliers
The conference’s sixth leading scorer has been the biggest reason for Virginia’s 6-3 record that currently has them tied for third in ACC standings. The junior has put the Cavaliers on his back at times this season, shooting the lights out on route to averaging 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
9. Alex Len
Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins
Maryland’s MVP has been a force on both ends of the floor in the paint averaging 12.6 points, eight rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He ranks third in the conference for blocks and is seventh in field goal percentage with 55.1%. The Terrapins might only be 5-5 but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Len put them on his back for a deep run in the end of season tournaments.
8. Durand Scott
Durand Scott, Miami(FL) Hurricanes
After being forced to miss the start of the season due to suspension for accepting gifts he wasn’t allowed to (because that’s never happened before in college sports), Scott has been a on tear ever since. Along with teammate Shane Larkin, the 6-foot-5 senior arguably combine to form the ACC’s best backcourt. Scott is averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals.
7. Quinn Cook
Quinn Cook, Duke Blue Devils
The conference’s second best playmaker is capable of doing a little bit of everything for the Blue Devils and their 7-2 conference record. The 6-foot-1 sophomore is averaging 11.9 points, 6.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. As mentioned, he ranks second in assists in the conference along with fourth in steals. It’s hard to believe there was actually a time this season where Cook wasn’t in the starting line-up for Duke.
6. Lorenzo Brown
Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State Wolfpack
College basketball’s best version of Rajon Rondo has the skill to record a triple-double any night and it’d be hardly surprising. The junior is the conference’s top playmaker averaging 6.9 assists per contest to go along with 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals. He’s missed the Wolfpack’s past two games with an ankle injury and they’ve lost both contests, which only proves how valuable he is to the team.
5. Seth Curry
Seth Curry, Duke Blue Devils
One of the most talented scorers in the college basketball isn’t even playing at full strength and is still third in conference scoring. Curry has been bothered by an ankle injury all season which has limited his practice time. However, it’d be hard to notice considering the senior is averaging 16.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
4. Richard Howell
Richard Howell, North Carolina State Wolfpack
One of college basketball’s most under appreciated players despite leading the conference in rebounding and sitting third in field goal percentage. If the Wolfpack could put Howell’s heart into C.J. Leslie’s body nobody would be able to stop North Carolina State. Unfortunately, Howell isn’t as offensively gifted as his teammate but still contributes significantly with 13.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists while shooting 58.1% from the floor.
3. Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin, Miami (FL) Hurricanes
The 5-foot-11 sophomore plays like a fifth year season as he leads the conference in steals and sits fifth in assists. Larkin’s play is the biggest reason why the Hurricanes are still undefeated at 9-0 in the conference as he can impact games with his scoring, playmaking or defense. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals.
2. Erick Green
Erick Green, Virginia Tech Hokies
College basketball’s nation leading scorer has tried to do it all for the Hokies but unfortunately Virginia Tech sits at the bottom of the conference standings with a 2-7 record. The senior is averaging 25.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, four assists, 1.4 steals while shooting 48.5% from the field. Making nearly half his shot attempts is incredible considering the amount of points he’s putting up and the 17.1 field goal attempts he’s taken per game.
1. Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils
No player has been more dominate in the conference than Plumlee has been as he sits second in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage along with fifth in shot blocking. After teammate Ryan Kelly went down to injury, Plumlee knew he’d have to step up and he’s answered by averaging 18.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.7 blocks and shooting 61.3% from the field. Duke is 7-2 in conference play and that record will only continue to improve with the performances Plumlee continues to produce.