Early Signing Period Review : ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference is no stranger to incoming elite talent. This year’s group of high school signees is no different. There is some major star power headed to the ACC. Our Justin Byerly does a deep dive into the classes as we open up the early signing period.
TOP OF THE CLASS: Duke.
No surprise here as the Blue Devils land one of, if not the top class in the country again. Head coach in waiting Jon Scheyer lands a huge class for his inaugural year as the head guy in Durham. Headed to Cameron Indoor Stadium are three of the top 25 players in our HoopSeen Top 100 rankings. They finish with four total that are in the top 100 overall. Another big time class for Duke, regardless if Mike Krzyzewski or Jon Scheyer is at the helm.
Center Dereck Lively is the No. 2 overall player in the class and in any other year, he’d probably be at the top of the class overall. In the backcourt is do-everything guard Dariq Whitehead out of the famed Montverde Academy.
Staying in line with traditional Duke big men, New Englander Kyle Flipkowski is one of the most prized recruits in the country because of his inside-outside skill set. Rounding out the class is winner Jaden Schutt out of Chicago, a city that has produced so many Duke Blue Devils.
TOP DOG: Dereck Lively. He is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the class and we are going to hear his name called by Adam Silver next June at the NBA Draft. Lively is active on both ends and is a rebounding machine.
Our Justin Young saw him at the prestigious Pangos All-American camp back in June:
“The guards loved playing with him because they knew they could trust him with pick and roll situations. He thrived when he crashed to the rim and worked well when he had to pick and pop. Defensively, Lively is a present force around the rim. He can block shots, change shots and alter decision-making down low.” - Justin Young
THE OUTSIDE OF THE TOP 100 SLEEPER: Patrick Wessler. I think one guy that is going to be under-the-radar and come in and make some noise in the ACC is going to be Combine Academy’s Patrick Wessler who has committed to Virginia Tech.
He has the size at nearly 7-foot to make an impact from the get go up in Blacksburg. He can score over either shoulder and can step out and knock down some shots from the perimeter. He really started picking up steam on the recruiting trail this summer and Mike Young and staff got him secured.
BEST FRONTCOURT: Florida State. I really like the guys coming in to Florida State at the front court position. As Leonard Hamilton always does, he brings in an international 7-footer. This time it is 7-foot-2 center Morrocon native Alaaeddine Boutayeb. Hamilton loves guys with length and guys that can block and alter shots. This one is going to be one to watch when he gets to Tallahassee. Also in the frontcourt for Florida State is Asheville (NC) Christian Academy forward De'ante Green. He is a versatile prospect that can score from the perimeter and has the ability to handle the ball while also being able to score in the paint. 6-foot-8 forward Cameron Corhen will also make some noise for The Seminoles with his size and skillset.
BEST BACKCOURT: Virginia. Tony Bennet has won a national title by playing the half-court game and to do that you have to have sturdy guards. On the team that won the title back in 2019. The three guards on that roster that led the team in scoring were Kyle Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome. Those three guys were ranked 36th, 68th and 70th in our 2016 HoopSeen national rankings. The committed guards for this year's class are Isaac McNeely, who is ranked 79th and Ryan Dunn who is just out of the top-100. A solid class in the backcourt for Virginia that is keeping up with the way that the 2016 class was so special.
HEY, I HAVE A HOOPSEEN CHAPTER: Seth Trimble. The guard from Minnesota dominated at our Grassroots Showcase in Louisville, Kentucky and at our Best of the South in Atlanta, Georgia this past travel season playing with Phenom University. He was named to our Top-Performer list in both events.
Trimble has the pedigree, has an older brother he can talk to about different situations that will come up during his time in Chapel Hill that other players wouldn't have. This should help tremendously in his development. Caleb Love won't be in Chapel Hill when Trimble arrives more than likely and nothing helps freshman more than having a year or two to learn the ropes from an NBA pick at their position. I think it will take some games of RJ Davis controlling the ball and giving a break for Trimble early on. If all goes well, he looks to have the game to be able to settle in around December full-time.
I think players who have self-confidence and know how to problem solve/get stuff done play in college hoops. Experience matters more than ever for freshmen. @sethtrimble1 checks that box for me for @UNC_Basketball. @HoopSeen @PhenomUniverse pic.twitter.com/3Qw3NXUv3A— Justin Young (@JustinDYoung) November 10, 2021
THE THREE THINGS I LIKE THE MOST:
1. I really like the signing of Leon Bond for Tony Bennett and his staff at Virginia. The 6-foot-6 small forward is so versatile and fits in perfectly with the way that Virginia likes to play. He thrives at attacking the basket and with his athleticism, he should be able to see some minutes early in Charlottesville.
2. Impressive first recruiting cycle for the two new head coaches at North Carolina and Duke. Both coaches came into jobs that are easy to recruit to but with their Hall of Fame predecessors retiring not a throw in the dark. Both classes that North Carolina and Duke have pulled in for the 2022 class are going to end up being in the top-5 nationally. As of right now with this first recruiting cycle, the new guys at the helm of college basketball’s premier basketball institutions have picked up right where their predecessor’s left off.
3. Florida State with another really strong class under Leonard Hamilton and the staff down in Tallahassee. I really like guard Chandler Jackson and he fits the mold of the guys that Florida State recruits. He is probably the most physically gifted guard I saw all travel season. He is going to be fun to watch when he arrives on campus. De’ante Green was for the longest time, a sure-fire North Carolina commitment but the Tar Heels went another route and Florida State picked up the pieces. He is a versatile prospect that is long and can play on the perimeter the way that the Seminoles have had success since Hamilton has been in charge.
4. Strong class for The U. Miami brings in a four-man class led by our #57 recruit AJ Casey from famed Whitney Young High School in The Chi. He is a 6-foot-8 power forward that should be able to make an impact instantly with The Hurricanes. Also coming in for Jim Larranaga just outside of the top-100 is Maryland shooting guard Christian Watson, who has size at 6-foot-8 and can play multiple positions.
TOP PG: Seth Trimble, North Carolina
TOP SG: Dariq Whitehead, Duke
TOP SF: Isaac Traudt, Virginia
TOP PF: Jalen Washington, North Carolina
TOP C: Dereck Lively, Duke
TOP CLASS: Duke
TOP SLEEPER: Patrick Wessler, Virginia Tech
TOP SHOOTER: MJ Collins, Virginia Tech
TOP REBOUNDER: Derrick Lively, Duke
TOP DEFENDER: Dariq Whitehead, Duke
TOP PRO PROSPECT: Dereck Lively, Duke