Here is part two of Brick Oettinger's fall recruiting report card, in which he grades the talent collected thus far by the ACC's 16 current and future basketball programs.
We've listed the programs in alphabetical order. Today we feature North Carolina to Wake Forest.
NORTH CAROLINA: A-
Roy Williams’ Tar Heels will gain another likely McDonald’s All-American in 6-9 Oxford (N.C.) Webb BF Isaiah Hicks(top 15), whose quickness around the basket reminds us of Antawn Jamison. One of Williams’ challenges will be finding a way to have Hicks and promising current freshman Brice Johnson (another natural big forward) in the game at the same time. Two national top-50 prospects, 6-9, 285-pound West Charlotte (N.C.) C Kennedy Meeks and 6-1 Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill PG Nate Britt, are also bound for Chapel Hill next fall, and both should make solid contributions as freshmen.
Meeks isn’t a great athlete but is highly skilled for a big man. Britt is a prime driver/finisher who failed to consistently scintillate last summer yet performed quite well every time we watched him. UNC’s wing play has been sub-par thus far this season, and there’s no doubt that Andrew Wiggins could make quite a difference, should he wind up picking the Tar Heels over the Seminoles and Kentucky.
N.C. STATE: A-
Topping Mark Gottffried’s recruits is 6-1 Hampton (Va.) PG Anthony Barber (top 15), who’s probably the fastest player in the class of 2013, and who projects as Lorenzo Brown’s successor at point guard. The weakest part of Barber’s game is his perimeter jump shot, which is streaky but really not that bad. Also headed to the Wolfpack next fall are powerful 6-9, 275-pound Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha C BeeJay Anya (top 50) and 6-9 Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster BF/C Kyle Washington (top 100), while 6-6 LSU WF transfer Ralston Turner, a dangerous three-point shooter, will be eligible after sitting out the 2012-2013 season under NCAA rules. Barber, Anya and Turner all project as future starters for the Pack.
NOTRE DAME: B
Mike Brey’s recruiting class features 6-1 Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian PG Demetrius Jackson (top 50), a speedster who stands out at both ends of the court, and whose national stock is on the upswing. The other Fighting Irish fall signees are 6-7 New Haven (Ind.) High WF V.J. Beachem (top 125), 6-7 Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn BF Austin Torres (top 150) and 6-4 Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s WG Steve Vasturia (top 200). Some scouts consider Beachem a legitimate top 100 prospect, and Torres (whom we haven’t yet seen in action) is reputedly a fine run/jump athlete who’s better than advertised.
The Panthers, who enter the ACC next season, signed 6-8 Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s BF Mike Young (top 100) and 6-1 Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God PG Josh Newkirk (top 125) in November. We liked what we saw of Young at the Pangos All-American Camp in early June, as he played very hard, exhibited ample athleticism and unselfishness, and made good decisions. Newkirk has quickness, a solid handle and a good (not great) three-point shot, so he may turn out to be somewhat better than our present ranking of him.
Jim Boeheim always seems to recruit well, and this fall is no exception. Bound for the Orange are solid 6-2 Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s PG Tyler Ennis (top 40), highly athletic 6-8 Union (N.J.) Roselle BF Tyler Roberson (top 40), on-the-rise 6-9 Rochester (N.Y.) Bishop Kearney C/BF Chinoso Obokoh (top 150), and 6-5 Ardmore (Pa.) Lower Merion WF B.J. Johnson (top 200). Though the latter two will likely spend at least a couple of years coming off the bench, Ennis and Roberson should immediately become part of the playing rotation. Ennis is a cerebral floor leader with a deadly three-point stroke, while Roberson makes good use of his quickness and impressive leaping ability around the basket.
Tony Bennett’s steadily improving program will add next fall 6-4 Virginia Beach (Va.) Cape Henry WG/PG Devon Hall (top 100), 6-0 Encino (Calif.) Crespi PG London Perrantes (top 150) and 6-8, 240-pound BF Anthony Gill, a transfer from South Carolina who’s sitting out the current season. Hall and Perrantes will be counted on to orchestrate the offense and provide solid ball-handling, while the hard-working Gill, who’ll have three seasons of eligibility, will contribute physicality and rebounding, in particular.
VIRGINIA TECH: B
New head coach James Johnson’s first recruiting crop consists of the following four individuals: 6-4 Chatham (Va.) Hagrave WG/WF Donte Clark (top 75), 6-10 Delafield (Wisc.) St. John’s C Trevor Thompson (top 125), 6-9 Chandler (Ariz.) Basha C/BF Maurice Kirby (top 150) and unsung 6-4 Plainield (Texas) South WG Ben Emelogu (top 200). Clark is a high-caliber run/jump athlete who needs to improve his perimeter jump shot, while the versatile Thompson can play either with his back to the basket or facing it. Kirby, whom we’ve seen in action on several occasions, appears to us to be a decent role player at the ACC level but not likely a future starter for the Hokies. Also eligible to play next season is 6-1 combo guard Adam Smith, a scorer who is sitting out the current season as a transfer from UNC-Wilmington, where he averaged nearly 14 points per game as a freshman.
WAKE FOREST: C+
Signing with the Demon Deacons in November were 6-6 Chatham (Va.) Hargrave WF Greg McClinton (top 75) and 6-4 Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s WG Miles Overton (top 200), a strong defender and driver whose father Doug played in the NBA. The angular McClinton has considerable athleticism as well as a reasonably accurate jump shot to 21 feet, and he should be an immediate contributor for Wake Forest.
Brick Oettinger, the basketball recruiting analyst for ACCSports.com, has covered the recruiting scene for more than 35 years. His work appears exclusively here and in the ACC Sports Journal.