We continue the countdown today with five more of the acc’s top returning players, #20-16
Today’s five-pack contains a couple of my very favorite players in the conference. If you haven’t listened to last night’s podcast with Connor Hope, we actually discussed one of these players in great detail. Before we get into today’s players, lets review who numbers 25-21 were:
25-Jalen Cone-Virginia Tech
24-Manny Bates-North Carolina State
23-Isaiah Wong-Miami (Fl)
Now, let’s carry on to the next group of five on our countdown:
20-Dane goodwin-wing-notre dame
I have been on the Goodwin bandwagon since his freshman season and he has become one of Mike Brey’s most consistent players. When Goodwin is good the Irish are typically good. Last season, Notre Dame was 14-6 in the 20 games Dane posted double digits in points. Every single one of Goodwin’s shooting efficiency numbers jumped significantly last season and he will be relied upon even more this season after the graduation of TJ Gibbs.
One of two remaining star freshman from last years squad, Matthew Hurt is an easy choice to breakout this season. The sweet-shooting 6’9 forward didn’t put up a ton of counting stats but his 49% field goal percentage and 39% three-point percentage tell us that was efficient with the opportunities he did receive. His per 40 numbers of 19 points and 7.3 rebounds translate to 14.3 and 5.5 per game if he plays 30 mpg, which seems plausible.
18-moses wright-forward/center-georgia tech
No one has more fun playing the game of basketball than this kid, he is always smiling on the floor. Outside of that, he is also one of the criminally most underrated players in the entire country. Four players averaged 13-7-1 block per game in the ACC last season, Vernon Carey Jr, Olivier Sarr, Mamadi Diakite, and Moses Wright. With the graduation of James Banks and only young bucks in the front court with him, Wright will be the man in Atlanta’s front court this season.
17-Tyrece radford-guard-virginia tech
Radford came out of nowhere last season to become the Hokies best and most consistent player over the course of the entire season. The 6’2″ guard can’t shoot a lick (8.3% from deep last season) but is one of the best rebounding guards in the conference while averaging 10 points per game last season on 60% shooting from the floor. After the defection of gunner Landers Nolley to Memphis Radford will team with Kansas State transfer Cartier Diarra to get the Hokies back to their winning ways.
16-armando Bacot-center-north carolina
You could make an argument that Bacot should be higher and his 9.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game average would support it but I like him in this spot. His counting numbers are good I am just not sure how big of a jump he is going to make this season. That said, he is the rim protector that fellow big man Garrison Brooks is not, he doesn’t turn the ball over and he can run and finish at the rim. He was built to be a Tar Heel in Roy Williams’ system. He will be a major part of the three headed monster in UNC’s front court this season.