2022 has been one of the most hectic years in the history of the transfer portal as a result of COVID giving players an extra year of eligibility and changing NCAA legislation. Because of this, it’s been nothing short of difficult to keep track of who’s going where and what teams will look like heading into the 2022-23 NCAA basketball season.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here’s a preview of what the ACC landscape will look like this season, in order of the team’s final positions in the conference last year.
1. Duke (Overall: 32-7 | ACC: 16-4)
This season marks the beginning of a new era for Duke basketball as the Blue Devils will now look to Jon Scheyer to lead the ship following Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement. Unfortunately for him, the 34-year old 2-time Duke team captain will have to work with what will be largely a clean slate as the team only returns 13.2% of its points and 9.4% of its rebounds from last season, the lowest returning numbers in the ACC. The Blue Devils only significant returners from last year’s Final Four team are guards Jeremy Roach and Jaylen Blakes. Roach averaged 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while Blakes posted a mere 1.0 points, 0.7 rebounds, and 0.5 assists last season. While this team may have minimal experience, it will not lack talent as Scheyer stands to inherit the No. 1 recruiting class in the country according to 247 Sports.
2. North Carolina (Overall: 29-10 | ACC: 15-5)
UNC will undoubtedly be one of the strongest teams in the ACC, and NCAA, this season in terms of both experience and talent. The Tar Heels return 5 of their top 6 scorers from last season, accounting for 65.8% of their total points, along with 72% of their rebounds, 78.9% of their assists, and 50.2% of their rebounds. Following Hubert Davis’ first year as head coach, he will look to use Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, and Leaky Black’s experience to his advantage against an array of younger, less experienced ACC teams. Black, one of the most dominant defensive players in the country, will only progress this offseason as he enters into his senior year. On the other end of the floor, the dynamic between UNC’s star guards Davis and Love and forward Bacot is nothing short of exciting. With the team’s only significant loss being Brady Manek, who averaged 15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists last season, UNC earned its No. 1 ranking in Jeff Borzello’s Way-Too-Early Top 25.
3. Notre Dame (Overall: 24-11 | ACC: 15-5)
Notre Dame will return 64.2% of its points, 77.3% of its rebounds, 50.3% of its assists, and 63.8% of its 3-point shooting despite losing guard Blake Wesley (14.4 pts, 3.7 reb, 2.4 assists per game last year) and forward Paul Atkinson Jr. (12.5 pts, 6.9 reb, 1.7 assists per game last year). The returning trio of Dane Goodwin, Nate Laszewski, and Cormac Ryan will look to build off of their 177 combined 3-pointers last season while adding star freshman J.J. Starling to the offense. The Fighting Irish also added Niagara transfer Marcus Hammond, who averaged 18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 43% from the field for the Purple Eagles last season.
4. Miami (Overall: 26-11 | ACC: 14-6)
Following Miami’s first ever regional final and Elite 8 appearance last season, the Hurricanes look to carry momentum into the 2022-23 season. However, one of the team’s biggest issues is that three of the six players relied on most heavily – Kam McGusty (17.8 ppg), Charlie Moore (12.4 ppg), and Sam Waardenburg (8.5 ppg) – will not be returning. Nonetheless, the Hurricanes still return...
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