NCAAB 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference Expert Analysis

NCAAB 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference Expert Analysis

Written by on November 19, 2020

Okay MyBookie college hoops betting enthusiasts, with the start of the 2020-21 college basketball season approximately a month away from getting underway, it’s time to find out what lies ahead in the perennially-powerful Atlantic Coast Conference so you can start preparing your bets against their College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Betting | 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference

A year ago, the ACC saw four teams reach the coveted 20-win plateau while two others recorded an identical 19 victories. Now, as we get set for the upcoming college hoops season, the ACC and its 15 teams will all be looking to make their collective imprints on the college hoops landscape with at least four programs looking like legitimate challengers to contend for the 2021 national championship.

With that thought in mind, let’s find out which teams are looking good and which teams could struggle to find consistent success.

Florida State Seminoles

  • Key Returners: Raiquan Gray, Anthony Polite, Balsa Koprivica, Malik Osborne, MJ Walker
  • Key Losses: Trent Forrest, Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell
  • Key Newcomers: Scottie Barnes

Florida State went 26-5 overall and 16-4 in conference play last season but the Seminoles will have to overcome the losses of their three best players from a year ago, two of whom were just selected in the first round of the NBA draft in small forward Patrick Williams and shooting guard Devin Vassell. Still, the Seminoles, who are a +2500 pick to win the national championship, have a ton of talent and have a five-star recruit coming in that will see plenty of minutes in small forward Scottie Barnes. Florida State will need bigger contributions from shooting guard M.J. Walker (10.6 ppg) and three other returning contributors, but Leonard Hamilton’s teams should be one of the deepest and most athletic in all of college basketball in 2020-21.

Duke Blue Devils

  • Key Returners: Joey Baker, Jordan Goldwire, Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore
  • Key Losses: Tre Jones, Cassius Stanley, Vernon Carey Jr.
  • Key Newcomers: Jalen Johnson, Jeremy Roach, DJ Steward, Jaemyn Brakefield, Mark Williams, Henry Coleman, Patrick Tape (Columbia)

The Blue Devils went 25-6 overall and 15-5 in ACC play last season, but enter the new season as a +1600 pick to win the national championship despite losing the ACC Player of the Year in Tre Jones and two other one-and-done stars that will be playing at the next level in Cassius Stanley and Vernon Carey Jr. No matter, the Blue Devils have reloaded in a big way by adding three five-star recruits in Jalen Johnson, D.J. Steward and Jeremy Roach to go along with some already impressive talent that returns, starting with Joey Baker and Jordan Goldwire. Duke has more than enough talent to challenge for the national championship, but Coach K will need this young team to come together by mid-season if they want to capitalize on their vast array of talent.

Louisville Cardinals

  • Key Returners: David Johnson, Samuell Williamson, Malik Williams, Carlik Jones
  • Key Losses: Jordan Nwora, Steven Enoch, Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon
  • Key Newcomers: D’Andre Davis, JJ Traynor

Louisville went 24-7 overall and 15-5 in conference play, but the Cardinals will have to overcome the loss of star forward Jordan Nwora. The good news is that Louisville has a ton of talent and one of the best recruiting classes in the country. Point guard Carlik Jones put up 20.0 points per game for Radford a year ago and 6-11 big man Malik Williams has a ton of untapped potential. If four-star recruits  D’Andre Davis and JJ Traynor live up to their potential, the Cardinals could very well challenge to cash in on their +4000 odds to win the national championship.

Virginia Cavaliers

  • Key Returners: Kihei Clark, Jay Huff, Casey Morsell, Kody Stattmann, Tomas Woldetensae
  • Key Losses: Mamadi Diakite, Braxton Key
  • Key Newcomers: Sam Hauser (Marquette), Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Reece Beekman, Carson McCorkle

Virginia went 24-7 overall and 15-5 in ACC play last season. The losses of  Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key will hurt, but the Cavaliers get a big-time player in Marquette transfer Sam Hauser (14.9 ppg) and have a pair of gifted incoming freshmen in four-star recruits in Jabri Abdur-Rahim, the son of former NBA star Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Reece Beekman and another in three-star recruit Carson McCorkle. Virginia will once again be one of the best defensive teams in the nation under head coach Tony Bennett and they should easily challenge to cash in as a +1800 pick to win it all in 20201.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

  • Key Returners: Jose Alvarado, Michael Devoe, Jordan Usher, Moses Wright
  • Key Losses: James Banks
  • Key Newcomers: Kyle Sturdivant (USC), Rodney Howard (Georgia), Saba Gigiberia, Jordan Meka, Tristan Maxwell

Georgia Tech went 17-14 overall last season and 11-9 in conference play. The Yellow Jackets will be led by their terrific backcourt of Jose Alvarado (14.4 ppg) and Michael Devoe (16.0 ppg) and have some impressive new additions starting with Georgia transfer Rodney Howard (11.1 ppg). If Georgia Tech can get some competent play in the frontcourt, they could approach the 20-win mark this coming season.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • Key Returners: Prentiss Hubb, Juwan Durham, Nikola Djogo, Nate Laszewski, Dane Goodwin
  • Key Losses: Rex Pflueger, Temple Gibbs, John Mooney
  • Key Newcomers: Elijah Taylor, Tony Sanders

Notre Dame went an impressive 19-12 a year ago, but a modest 10-10 in ACC play. The Fighting Irish lose a prime time layer in Temple Gibbs, but are expecting bigger contributions from combo guard Prentiss Hubb (12.1 ppg) and three-star recruits Elijah Taylor and Tony Sanders. Notre Dame will also need more production from 6-11 big man Juwan Durham, but Mike Brey has built a perennial winner and 2020-21 should be no different, even if the Irish don’t necessarily become a legitimate championship contender.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

  • Key Returners: Devon Daniels, Manny Bates, Braxton Beverly, DJ Funderburk, Jericole Hellems
  • Key Losses: Markell Johnson, CJ Bryce
  • Key Newcomers: Thomas Allen (Nebraska), Cam Hayes, Shakeel Moore, Nick Farrar

NC State went 19-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play a year ago. The bad news is that the Wolfpack will need to overcome the losses of two of their best players in Markell Johnson (12.8 ppg) and CJ Bryce (13.3 ppg). The good news is that head coach Kevin Keatts has secured the 25th-ranked recruiting class in the country, even if his young team will need at least another year to really become legitimate national championship contenders.

Syracuse Orange

  • Key Returners: Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard, Marek Dolezaj, Bourama Sidibe
  • Key Losses: Elijah Hughes
  • Key Newcomers: Kadary Richmond, Woody Newton

Syracuse went 17-14 last season and 10-10 in ACC play. The good news is that the Orange only lost one player from last season’s squad, although it was their best player in Elijah Hughes (19.0 ppg). Still, Syracuse has a pair of fine players coming back in Buddy Boeheim (15.3 ppg) and Joe Girard (12.4 ppg). If 6-8 four-star recruit Kadary Richmond can contribute right away, it could help the Orange compete with the best teams in the conference, although I think Syracuse doesn’t have enough talent in the frontcourt.

Clemson Tigers

  • Key Returners: Aamir Simms, John Newman III, Clyde Trapp, Al-Amir Dawes
  • Key Losses: Tevin Mack
  • Key Newcomers: PJ Hall, Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Lynn Kidd

Clemson went 15-15 overall last season and 9-11 in conference play and the Tigers only lost one player from last year’s squad in point guard Tevin Mack (12.2 ppg). The good news is that Clemson has a trio of talented four-star freshmen forwards that should all have the chance to contribute right away in Lynn Kidd, P.J. Hall and Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

Virginia Tech Hokies

  • Key Returners: Wabissa Bede, Jalen Cone, Tyrece Radford, Nahiem Alleyne
  • Key Losses: Isaiah Wilkins, Landers Nolley, PJ Horne
  • Key Newcomers: Joe Bamisile, Darius Maddox, Cartier Diarra (Kansas State), Cordell Pemsl (Iowa), Justyn Mutts (Delaware)

Virginia Tech went 16-15 overall, but an uninspiring 7-13 in conference play. The bad news is that the Hokies lost their best player in small forward Landers Nolley, although the additions of three transfer players, starting with former K-State shooting guard Cartier Diarra (13.3 ppg), will help. Still, this young team is facing an uphill battle to reach the 20-win mark this coming season.

Miami (FL) Hurricanes

  • Key Returners: Chris Lykes, Harlond Beverly, Kameron McGusty, Sam Waardenburg, Rodney Miller, Isaiah Wong
  • Key Losses: Dejan Vasilijevic
  • Key Newcomers: Earl Timberlake, Matt Cross, Nysier Brooks (Cincinnati), Elijah Olaniyi (Stony Brook)

Miami went 15-15 overall, but just 7-13 in conference play. The good news is that head coach Jim Larranaga has his two best players back from last season’s squad in Chris Lykes (15.4 ppg) and Kameron McGusty (12.5 ppg). The Canes will look to get immediate contributions from transfers Nysier Brooks and Elijah Olaniyi, but Miami is facing a tall task in trying to challenge the best teams in the ACC this coming season.

Boston College Eagles

  • Key Returners: Wynston Tabbs, CJ Felder, Jay Heath, Steffon Mitchell
  • Key Losses: Jairus Hamilton, Derryck Thornton, Nik Popovic, Chris Herren Jr.
  • Key Newcomers: Demarr Langford, Justin Vander Baan, Rich Kelly (Quinnipiac), Makai Ashton-Langford (Providence)

Boston College went an uninspiring 13-18 overall and 7-13 in ACC play and enter the new season having to replace four key contributors. The good news is that the Eagles have a talented four-star recruit on the way in Demarr Langford and two other players that will see plenty of playing time right away in transfers Rich Kelly (16.7 ppg) and Makai Ashton-Langford.

Pittsburgh Panthers

  • Key Returners: Xavier Johnson, Au’diese Toney, Justin Champagnie
  • Key Losses: Trey McGowens
  • Key Newcomers: John Hugley, William Jeffress, Femi Odukale, Max Amadasun, Noah Collier

Pittsburgh went 15-16 overall, but an awful 6-14 in conference play last season. Still, the Panthers could be a lot better in 2020-21 with two returning starters that both put up double figures in scoring in Xavier Johnson (14.8 ppg) and Justin Champagnie (12.7 ppg). and five incoming freshmen, starting with four-star recruit power forward John Hugley.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

  • Key Returners: Jahcobi Neath, Isaiah Mucius, Ismael Massoud
  • Key Losses: Brandon Childress, Chaundee Brown, Olivier Sarr
  • Key Newcomers: Jalen Johnson (Tennessee), Jonah Antonio (UNLV), Quadry Adams, Emmanuel Okpomo

Wake Forest went 13-17 overall last season and 6-14 in ACC play. All of that mediocrity got former head coach Danny Manning fired and now the Demon Deacons will begin anew under head coach Steve Forbes. Still, I wouldn’t expect much in Year 1 of their new era, seeing as how wake lost its three best players from a year ago.

North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Key Returners: Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot, Anthony Harris, Leaky Black
  • Key Losses: Cole Anthony, Brandon Robinson
  • Key Newcomers: Caleb Love, Day’Ron Sharpe, Walker Kessler, RJ Davis, Puff Johnson, Kerwin Walton

North Carolina had one of the worst seasons in program history a year ago by going 13-18 overall and 6-14 in ACC play. The Tar Heels lost their best player in electrifying point guard Cole Anthony, but have one of the best recruiting classes in the nation on the way, starting with five-star recruits  Caleb Love, Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler and three four-star recruits. If Roy Williams gets his young players on the same page early on, North Carolina could very well challenge to cash in on its value-packed +25000 national championship odds.


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