Fall Recruiting Preview - ACC (Pt. I)

Wake Forest leads the conference with Skip Prosser's last class

Oct. 20, 2007

By Van Coleman

CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com

Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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We continue our look at conference recruiting with the ACC, where a number of schools have wrapped up their fall recruiting, but a couple of teams are still working on classes that could eventually challenge for spots among our Top 25.


Leading the early recruiting in the ACC is Wake Forest, with North Carolina, Miami (FL), Clemson and Virginia poised to challenge for the top spot in the fall recruiting wars. A number of other schools are still looking to fill needs so look for this list to change a number of times over the next month. With that in mind, here's an early look at the ACC:




Wake Forest (Recruiting Log) has had a tough year with the loss of a great man in Skip Prosser. The Demon Deacons made an excellent choice in his replacement as new head coach Dino Gaudio kept the great early July recruiting class together and headed to Winston-Salem. That trio is led by No. 8-rated, 6-foot-8 Al-Farouq Aminu from Norcross, Ga. He is an explosive wing man who can flat out score inside or out. He's joined by his Georgia Stars teammate, No. 43-rated and 7-foot post Tony Woods of Rome, Ga. The last piece to the frontcourt trifecta is No. 22-rated, 7-foot power forward Ty Walker from Wilmington, N.C. New Hanover. The thin but bouncy face-up big man has the tools to play facing hoop and compliments the Georgia duo skill-wise. This might be the most talented big man trio ever recruited by the Demon Deacons in one class, as they all have long term potential to play after college.


Currently Wake doesn't have any open scholarships and the Demon Deacons are putting their effort into recruiting juniors.


North Carolina (Recruiting Log) had a solid start to fall recruiting with two early commitments headed by No. 10-rated, 6-foot-9 power forward Ed Davis from Richmond, Va.'s Benedictine. He has great offensive tools from 17 feet to the hoop. He has a lot of Marvin Williams-type tools. He's joined by 6-foot-1 Larry Drew Jr., our No. 58-rated senior, who is a consummate point guard. He does a great job setting up his teammates. They just had a huge miss when No. 21-rated Iman Shumpert went to Georgia Tech (see below). The Tar Heels are still looking for a big man and could revisit the guard spot in the spring.


That big man who has been their top target at the post this fall is 7-foot-1 Tyler Zeller from Washington, Ind. He has four schools in North Carolina, Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame that he's considering and has visited all four this fall. Look for his decision to come sometime in the next couple weeks. They've also shown interest in 6-foot-11 Xavier Gibson from Dothan, Ala. Northview, our No. 44-rated senior who is currently considering his options and may wait until spring to sign. In the backcourt, they've been in the home with 6-foot-5 Travis Leslie from Decatur, Ga. Columbia, who is becoming a fast-rising wing athlete. But it could be the response they receive from a number of juniors that directs their spring recruiting.


Miami (FL) (Recruiting Log) has received commitments from three quality prospects this fall. They are led by two wing prospects headed by No. 52-rated, 6-foot-5 Dequan Jones from Marietta, Ga. Wheeler. He is a true highlight-maker who can flat out fly to the rim. He's joined by 6-foot-4 shooting guard Quincy Roberts of Harrisburg, Pa. The Hurricanes are also looking to add a big man this fall and received a recent commitment from 6-foot-8, 290-pound Reggie Johnson from Winston-Salem, N.C. Prep. The wide-bodied big man visited the Hurricanes last weekend.


They are also involved with 6-foot-10 Gus Gilchrist from Temple Hills, Md. Progressive Christian, 6-foot-10 Maurice Sutton from Largo, Md., 6-foot-8 Dwight Miller from Houston, Texas' Westbury Christian, along with 6-foot-11, 260-pound local product Gene Swindle of Miami Gulliver Prep. But it isn't certain if they would add another big man since they have 6-foot-9 Cyrus McGowan red-shirting after transferring from Arkansas.


Clemson (Recruiting Log) has received three commitments so far this fall headed by No. 50-rated, 7-foot European big man Catalin Baciu, who is prepping this year at Fletcher, N.C. Veritas Christian. He is very skilled and as his body fills out could become a real nucleus for the Tigers to build around. He's joined by two quality Georgia preps in the backcourt in 5-foot-9 lightning quick point guard Andre Young from Albany Monroe and high scoring 6-foot-5 wing talent Tanner Smith of Norcross Wesleyan. They will add immediate depth as freshman, but the Tigers could add another frontcourt or wing talent.


Up front, they are one of four finalists for 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson Jr. from Duluth, Ga. Northview, whose list also includes early favorites Minnesota and Georgia Tech along with Maryland. Another big man they like is 6-foot-9 Latavious Williams from Starkville, Miss., who says his top four are Clemson, Connecticut, Xavier and Mississippi State.


On the wing, a trio of 6-foot-7 wings and a versatile 6-foot-5 swing man make up their wish list. Wesley Witherspoon leads the 6-foot-7 wingmen, as the Lilburn, Ga. Berkmar star is visiting LSU this weekend and then will hold off other visits until spring. Jared Swopshire from Bradenton, Fla. IMG Academy says his final three are Louisville, Marquette and the Tigers. They have an on-again, off-again situation with 6-foot-7 Murphy Holloway from Irmo, S.C. Dutch Fork, who could wait until spring, as will 6-foot-5 swing man Travis Leslie from Decatur, Ga. Columbia.


Georgia Tech received a major boost this week with the commitment of our No. 21-rated senior, 6-foot-4 point guard Iman Shumpert from Oak Park, Ill.'s River Forest High. He is a Jarrett Jack-type guard with the ability to make big plays on both ends of the court. The Yellow Jackets would like to sign a big man and possibly another guard.


The big man who is their top target appears to be 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson Jr. from Duluth, Ga. Northview with whom they are among his final four schools (Maryland, Minnesota and Clemson). They also like 6-foot-11 Xavier Gibson from Dothan, Ala. Northview, who has visited Florida State and West Virginia so far this fall. In the backcourt to go with Shumpert, they are looking at 6-foot-3 Tyshawn Taylor from Jersey City, N.J. St. Anthony's, who visited the Yellow Jackets for Midnight Madness. He is also involved with Virginia Tech, Virginia, Rutgers and Kansas. They are also trying to get 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph from Ajax, Ontario Pickering to visit. He has already been to Connecticut, St. John's and Minnesota this fall.


Virginia (Recruiting Log) has two Top 100 prospects already in the fold headed by No. 37-rated, 6-foot-5 guard Sylven Landesburg from Flushing, N.Y. Holy Cross and No. 79-rated, 6-foot-11 big man John Brandenburg of St. Louis, Mo. DeSmet. The Cavaliers may sign one possibly two more with both front and backcourt talent being recruited.


Their top target in the backcourt is 6-foot-4 Elliot Williams, our No. 18-rated prospect who has the Cavs in his final four along with Duke, Memphis and Tennessee. He will reportedly make his decision on Nov. 2. They have 6-foot-3 combo Tyshawn Taylor from Jersey City, N.J. St. Anthony's on campus this weekend and are also involved with 6-foot-3 point Verdell Jones from Champaign, Ill. Central along with 6-foot Terrell Holloway of Cincinnati, Ohio Harmony Community.


In the frontcourt, the Cavaliers have had 7-foot Assane Sene from South Kent, Conn. on campus recently. He reportedly has the Cavs along with Connecticut, Syracuse and West Virginia as schools he is considering. They are one of the schools that 6-foot-10 Gus Gilchrist from Temple Hills, Md. Progressive Christian is also considering. Meanwhile, Virginia has been involved with 6-10 Steve Goins from Chicago, Ill. Curie, 6-foot-9 Orion Outerbridge from New Hampton, N.H. School and 6-foot-11 Gene Swindle of Miami, Fla. Gulliver Prep.


We hope you enjoyed the first part of our look at the ACC's fall recruiting and will have Part II for you Sunday. After that, we will continue our conference by conference breakdowns with the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC, right here at Generation Next.