ACC Preview Men’s Basketball 2021 Season Preview

Story posted November 8, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

The ACC is one of the most competitive conferences in all of college basketball and this year will be no different. 

Let's take a look at how the conference could play out this campaign. 

1. Duke

Mike Krzyzewski’s final season should be a successful one. The Blue Devils have reloaded after a 13–11 campaign, adding three five-star recruits including potential No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero.

2. North Carolina

It’s a new era in Chapel Hill, and Hubert Davis has a team that can compete for an ACC title. The key will be Caleb Love, a former five-star point guard with plenty of talent who needs to be more consistent.

3. Florida State

Leonard Hamilton saw a trio of players, including lottery pick Scottie Barnes, leave early, but the Seminoles are bringing in several impact newcomers such as Houston transfer Caleb Mills.

4. Virginia Tech

The early-summer departure of Tyrece Radford likely takes the Hokies out of the ACC title hunt, but Mike Young still has Player of the Year candidate Keve Aluma and Wofford transfer Storm Murphy.

5. Virginia

In Tony Bennett we trust. The Cavaliers don’t have a ton of talent, but they bring back Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman and they landed transfers Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin.

6. Louisville

After missing the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals should go dancing again. Replacing Carlik Jones and David Johnson is going to be tough, but look for Jae’Lyn Withers to break out this year.

7. Syracuse

It’s going to be a Boeheim family affair this season, with Jim coaching both Buddy and Jimmy. Syracuse looks poised to become more of a shooting-oriented team.

8. Notre Dame

Mike Brey brings back four starters, including the perennially underrated Prentiss Hubb and potential all-league forward Nate Laszewski. The Irish also added Ivy League Player of the Year Paul Atkinson.

9. Miami

Expect a big jump from the Hurricanes. They’re loaded on the perimeter, with Isaiah Wong perhaps the best backcourt player in the league.

10. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets were one of the pleasant surprises nationally last season, but Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado are gone. That puts a lot on the shoulders of Michael Devoe.

11. NC State

Under Kevin Keatts, the Wolfpack have hovered around the .500 mark in league play every season. They need to take the next step but who will take on a bigger role in the backcourt?

12. Wake Forest

Steve Forbes had as much roster turnover as anyone in the country in the offseason, but there’s optimism with three returning double-figure scorers and four incoming transfers.

13. Clemson

The Tigers haven’t finished below .500 overall since 2013, but Brad Brownell will have to work his magic this season to prevent a decline. They have a formidable perimeter group, but not much-proven production upfront.

14. Pittsburgh

Jeff Capel faces a tough battle. The Panthers fell apart in the final six weeks of the season, then lost their three best players including all-league forward Justin Champagnie.

15. Boston College

Welcome to Chestnut Hill, Earl Grant. The former Charleston head coach takes over the toughest job in the league; the Eagles haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2009.

Alex Rocco is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu