The Baltimore Sun

Boston College

Coach: : Al Skinner, 12th season at school (210-137), 20th overall (348-263)

2007-08 record: : 14-17, 4-12 (tied for 10th in ACC)

Outlook: : Senior guard Tyrese Rice averaged 21 points last season, but as last year proved, he will need help. It should come from a sophomore class led by forward Rakim Sanders (11.3) and wing Corey Raji (8.3) as well as Vermont transfer Joe Trapani and guard Biko Paris. Where the Eagles might be hurting is inside because Josh Southern is not a shot blocker (less than one per game) in the mold of Joseph Blair, who led the ACC in blocked shots last season.


Coach:: Oliver Purnell, sixth season at school (94-68), 21st overall (350-259)

2007-08 record: : 24-10, 10-6 (third)

Outlook:: The Tigers lost two of their five double-figure scorers, Cliff Hammonds and James Mays, but senior guard K.C. Rivers, who led the Tigers in scoring a season ago (14.7), is a good three-point shooter (40.2 percent) and a more-than-adequate ballhandler (only 38 turnovers in more than 1,000 minutes). Junior forward Trevor Booker, at only 6 feet 7, will give Clemson a solid inside presence (1.85 blocks per game). Sophomore Terrence Oglesby can be a deadly three-point shooter, to which Maryland fans can attest.


Coach: : Mike Krzyzewski, 29th season at school (730-208), 34th overall (803-267)

2007-08 record: : 28-6, 13-3 (second)

Outlook: : The Blue Devils had a terrific regular season but again faded early in the NCAA tournament. Krzyzewski changed the team's style, adopting a Phoenix Suns-like running game, but the Blue Devils still rely too much on their three-point shooting. Things shouldn't change this season. Sophomore Kyle Singler is the team's best inside player but took nearly as many threes (150) as twos (198). Gerald Henderson seemed to tire as the season went on, and senior point guard Greg Paulus stayed healthy but also became too reliant on his three-point shot. Freshman Elliot Williams has the best chance to play of the newcomers.

Florida State

Coach: : Leonard Hamilton, seventh season at school (106-86), 21st overall (306-296)

2007-08 record: : 19-15, 7-9 (tied for seventh)

Outlook: : The Seminoles were a little snakebitten again last season when it came to injuries, losing guard Isaiah Swann and freshman center Solomon Alabi at crunch time. Alabi, 7-1, could develop into one of the ACC's best shot blockers playing alongside Uche Echefu (10 points, 7.3 rebounds a game). Senior guard Toney Douglas, whose wrist injury in 2006-07 hurt FSU's NCAA chances, came back to lead the team in scoring (15.4) and will be the go-to guy again with Swann gone. Douglas is already one of the league's best perimeter defenders (an ACC-best 2.65 steals last year).

Georgia Tech

Coach: : Paul Hewitt, ninth season at school (142-112), 12th overall (208-139)

2007-08 record: : 15-17, 7-9 (tied for seventh)

Outlook: : Things haven't gone too well for the Yellow Jackets since they lost to Connecticut in the 2004 NCAA title game, and this year could be a struggle as well. The graduation of leading scorer Anthony Morrow, the ACC's top three-point shooter, and Jeremis Smith have left an offensive void. Junior forward Zachery Peacock (9.9) will fill some of that role, as will sophomore guard Maurice Miller (8.1). The Yellow Jackets will also miss the intensity provided by guard Matt Causey.


Coach: : Gary Williams, 20th season at school (397-215), 31st overall (604-343)

2007-08 record: : 19-15, 8-8 (tied for fifth)

Outlook: : The strength of the team is in the backcourt, where junior Eric Hayes (9.9 points, 4.5 assists) will be back running the point and junior Greivis Vasquez (17.0 points) will play more as a shooting guard after leading the team in scoring and the ACC in assists and turnovers. Still, the Terps need to find replacements for James Gist and Bambale Osby, who combined to give Maryland the best shot-blocking tandem in the league and contributed to an ACC-best field-goal defense. Sophomores Braxton Dupree and Jerome Burney will have to grow up fast. Williams needs junior forward Landon Milbourne (8.2 points) to become a dependable scorer, with sophomores Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker and freshmen Sean Mosley (St. Frances) and Jin Soo Kim giving the Terps much-needed athleticism.


Coach: : Frank Haith, fifth season at school (69-60), fifth overall

2007-08 record: : 23-11, 8-8 (tied for fifth)

Outlook: : After a breakthrough season, four starters return, led by Jack McClinton (Calvert Hall), who finished fourth in the conference in scoring (17.7) and scored 38 points in the team's first-round NCAA tournament win over St. Mary's. As important as McClinton is to the Hurricanes, so is junior Dwayne Collins, who will take over at center. The only glaring weak spot is the absence of a true point guard, but the combination of McClinton, Lance Hurdle and Eddie Rios should be adequate.

North Carolina

Coach: : Roy Williams, sixth season at school (142-33), 21st overall (560-134)

2007-08 record: :: 36-7, 14-2 (first, won ACC tournament)

Outlook: : After they briefly considered the NBA, Ty Lawson (12.7), Danny Green (11.5) and Wayne Ellington (16.6) have returned and make a deep team led by ACC and National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough (a league-high 22.6 points and 10.2 rebounds) the odds-on favorite to win everything this season. The return of Bobby Frasor, who missed much of last season with a knee injury, should add depth.

North Carolina State

Coach: : Sidney Lowe, third season at school (35-31), third overall

2007-08 record: : 15-16, 4-12 (tied for 11th)

Outlook: : After being picked to finish third last season, the Wolfpack fell apart. Sophomore Brandon Costner wasn't nearly as effective as he was as a freshman. A lot had to do with the presence of freshman J.J. Hickson, which affected the Wolfpack's chemistry and Lowe's coaching. Hickson has gone to the NBA, but don't look for that to be addition by subtraction. Unless Costner and senior forward Courtney Fells can take up the slack, N.C. State will be less than formidable inside, and a lack of a take-charge point guard might continue to hinder Lowe.


Coach: : Dave Leitao, fourth season at school (53-42), ninth overall (133-111)

2007-08 record: : 17-16, 5-11 (10th)

Outlook: : The Cavaliers don't exactly have a long list of replacements for Sean Singletary. Jeff Jones, who finished a disappointing freshman season with a 26-point performance against Bradley, is the most likely candidate. Another possibility is freshman Sammy Zeglinski, who followed Singletary at the same Philadelphia high school. The Cavaliers are not without good complementary players, such as senior swingman Mamadi Diane (11.8), junior guard Calvin Baker (8.6, mostly off the bench) and sophomore forward Mike Scott.

Virginia Tech

Coach: : Seth Greenberg, sixth season at school (88-70), 20th season overall (301-240)

2007-08 record: : 21-14, 9-7 (fourth)

Outlook: : Despite playing a freshman backcourt of Malcolm Delaney (Towson Catholic) and Hank Thorns, the Hokies hung in there and just missed out on an NCAA tournament bid. They should be back in the running this season if sophomore forward Jeff Allen (11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds) can stay out of foul trouble and not turn the ball over as much. Senior swingman A.D. Vassallo (a team-high 16.9 points) will be the team's main three-point shooter - he's a career 39 percent on a whopping 468 attempts - but needs to be a little more patient trying to get the ball inside to Allen.

Wake Forest

Coach: : Dino Gaudio, second season (17-13), eighth season overall (86-137)

2007-08 record: : 17-13, 7-9 (tied for seventh)

Outlook: : There are constant reminders of the late Skip Prosser at Lawrence Joel Coliseum, but his legacy should even be greater this season with the addition of his last recruiting class. Al-Farouq Aminu should have the most immediate impact and will prevent opponents from double-teaming sophomore forward James Johnson (14.6 points). Tony Woods and Ty Walker, the other freshmen in the class, should also help give Chas McFarland some help in the middle. The backcourt is also deep, with junior Ishmael Smith at the point, sophomore Jeff Teague at shooting guard and junior L.D. Williams on the wing.

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