Three players you may not have heard of that could break out in 2018-19
By Mychal Hunter
The big theme so far in the ACC offseason has been roster turnover. I have spoken of it consistently over the last few weeks both here and on the ACCBR podcast.
The talent in this league is so rich that sometimes there are guys on the bench who are incredibly capable but ultimately buried behind All Americans or All Conference players.
Today I want to take a quick look at three guys who are the deepest of sleepers in the ACC for this fall, but could help shape the conference standings in 2018-19.
- Clyde Trapp (Clemson): No program in the league has as many roster questions as Clemson right now. The potential losses of Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell on top of the graduation of Gabe Devoe could create a vacuum in the Tigers back court. The only players currently on roster in that back court are Anthony Oliver, true freshman John Newman III and Trapp. The two holdovers combined for 93 points last season. Trapp, a 6-4 off guard out of Columbia, is a player who had his moments last season while being relegated to basically the fifth guard spot on the roster. While never having a singular breakout game during his freshman campaign, he did have a penchant for hitting big shots and momentum shifting shots. Consistency is the key here. Trapp’s 39% field goal percentage needs to come up and he also totaled more fouls + turnovers (40), than rebounds + assists + steals (38). If both Mitchell and Reed actually leave, Trapp is going to be the man in this back court.
- Raiquan Gray (FSU): This is my favorite kid of the three. He ended up redshirting last year on a team that wasn’t overly talented but incredibly deep. Mfiondu Kabengele ended up beating him out for the bench depth spot so Gray took the redshirt to both slim down and I would assume break up a five man class a little bit (Kabengele was also a RS Frosh). Gray is a 6’8 power forward who is not what I would call a hybrid, but he can do it all. He only logged 5 points and 4 rebounds in an exhibition against Central Missouri last season but he really impressed me. If Phil Cofer is not granted another year of eligibility, Gray will almost certainly step into that third forward spot behind JMCK and the previously mentioned Kabengele. He is a beast on the glass, he will run the court and he can step out a bit and shoot it. Seminole fans are going to love him. All of that said, I could be a year early on this guy. But that is why they are deep sleepers.
- Tyrie Jackson (Virginia Tech): This choice is the the shakiest on the list. It is really tough to do a deep sleeper list and not put obvious guys on it (ex. Mamadi Diakite, Marek Dolezaj). Affectionately call “Pig” by family and fans, Tyrie is the younger brother of former Georgia Tech scorer Tadric Jackson. Ty is a bit undersized at 6’1 but still has the hops like big bro and can put it down on you if you aren’t paying attention. He only saw double digit minutes once in ACC play last season but was able to put up a per 100 possession points average of 23.6 and per 40 minutes average of 16.5. Similar to his big brother he isn’t going to beat you from deep, but he has the ability to get into the lane and wreak havoc. In the guard rich environment in Blacksburg it may be difficult for him to see the floor, but he is one injury, transfer or teammate’s bad decision away from being a known guy around the league.