Today we breakdown the one-on-one battles that we most look forward to in ACC play.
Here they are:
Durand Scott, Miami Vs Michael Snaer, FSU
The Skinny: Scott gets the nod in slashing ability and as a passer. Snaer is the superior shooter and defender, and also has a better knack for game winning shots. Leadership ability is a draw.
The Numbers: Scott 12.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg - Snaer 14.0 ppg 3.8 rpg 1.9 apg 40% 3P%
The Edge: Snaer takes it, because of his incredible crunch time ability.
Calvin Leslie, NC State Vs Devin Booker, Clemson
The Skinny: Leslie has developed into one of the best players in the conference, regardless of position. He is too athletic for power forwards, and too strong for wings. Booker has the ability to dominate but has yet to show the consistency.
The Numbers: Leslie 14.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg 1.3 blks - Booker 10.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 45% FG
The Edge: Leslie. They have similar back to the basket games, but he big difference is Leslie plays with more confidence and passion.
Travis McKie, Wake Vs Joe Harris, UVA
The Skinny: Harris played a good part of last season with a broken left hand, showing tremendous toughness. Harris is the better pure shooter of the two. McKie has a far more versatile game, and does a great job on the glass.
The Numbers: McKie 16.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 38% 3P% - Harris 11.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 39% 3P%
The Edge: McKie. We love Harris' game, but few players in the conference do as many things for their team as McKie.
Rodney Purvis, NC State Vs Rasheed Sulaiman, Duke
The Skinny: Here we have two of the most highly touted freshmen SGs in the nation. Purvis makes his living off slashing moves and athletic finishes. Sulaiman has a polished medium game, and loves to pull up and shoot.
The Numbers: Purvis 25.4 ppg in H.S. - Sulaiman 25.8 ppg in H.S.
The Edge: Purvis has NBA ready athleticism and looks to be the more developed of the two right now. Unless one or both leave early for the NBA, this could be a fun match-up for years to come.
The Skinny: Both Howell and Plumlee rarely step outside 7-10 feet from the basket. Howell uses pure strength whereas Plumlee uses his athleticism, but both are fierce on the boards and both finish strong when they get the ball deep.
The Numbers: Howell 10.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 49% FG - Plumlee 11.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.6 blcks, 53 % FG
The Edge: Plumlee by the narrowest of margins. Coach after coach mentioned Plumlee as one of the most respected players in the conference, during last week's media day in Charlotte.
Kenny Kadji, Miami Vs James Michael McAdoo, UNC
The Skinny: In his first year at UM Kadji emerged as invaluable inside-out weapon, and a decent defender. Rebounding appeared to be a weakness. Playing behind John Henson and Tyler Zeller kept McAdoo from making a huge impact as a freshman, but he clearly has big time talent.
The Numbers: Kadji 11.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg. 1.6 blcks, 42% 3P% - McAdoo 6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 43% FG
The Edge: Kadji. McAdoo is expected to make a huge leap in production this year, and certainly the ability is there. He will get the opportunity to be the go-to guy this year as well. But Kadji is ALREADY one of the better players in the conference. Few remember that coming out of high school, the UF transfer was a top 30 prospect.
Jontel Evans, UVA Vs Erick Green, Va Tech
The Skinny: The pure scorer Vs the hard nosed defender. Both guys are underrated. Green can score in bunches, while Evans keys one of the best defensive teams in the nation year in and year out.
The Numbers: Evans 7.3 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.6 stls - Green 15.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 stls.
The Edge: Green takes it here based on production. Evans deserves more credit then he gets for Virginia's stifling defense.
Reggie Johnson, Miami Vs Shaquille Cleare, Maryland
The Skinny: Two big wide bodies. Johnson, a senior, has the big edge in experience. The freshman Cleare, appears to be a better athlete. When these two collide, it could knock the Earth off its' axis.
The Numbers: 6'10 290 Vs 6'9 275. Oh yeah Johnson averaged 10.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg last year, while Cleare averaged 26.5 ppg and 10 rpg as a senior is H.S.
The Edge: Big Reg. Johnson is underrated as a passer, and has improved his outside shot significantly. Now healthy, there is no better space eater in the ACC. Cleare looks like the heir apparent to take over the roll of hardest to match up with, and perennial tormenter of the Plumlee brothers.
C.J. Harris, Wake Vs Seth Curry, Duke
The Skinny: Both guys are lethal from downtown. Both also move well with out the ball. Harris looks more comfortable of the two as a play maker. When you need a big bucket, you can't go wrong with either guy.
The Numbers: Harris 16.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 apg 42% 3P% - Curry 13.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 38% 3PG%
The Edge: Harris. Curry maybe the better pure shooter, but Harris is the more skilled when it comes to everything else.
Shane Larkin, Miami Vs Marcus Paige, UNC
The Skinny: Larkin is already one of the faster and more athletic guards in the country. If his floor game catches up with his sparkling athleticism, he will be a superstar. Paige is a pure scorer who despite his diminutive stature, should flourish in Roy Williams' up tempo offense.
The Numbers: Larkin 7.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, - Paige 26.9 ppg and 3.3 apg as a high school senior.
The Edge: Larkin showed great promise as a freshman, and is a menace defensively. Paige, and his pretty left-handed stroke, will eventually be the much better scorer of the two. Larkin is the better player overall, for now, but Paige will be a lot of fun to watch.
Rion Brown or Trey McKinney Jones, Miami Vs Scott Wood, NC State.
The Skinny: Wood is one of the premier shooters in the country, and can make shots even when contested. He does an excellent job moving with out the ball and is lethal from the charity stripe. Brown and McKinney Jones are interchangeable and pretty good shooters themselves. More importantly, they are both solid defenders. Brown can really finish above the rim as well.
The Numbers: Brown 7.2 ppg 39% 3P%, McKinney-Jones 7.0 ppg 37% 3P% - Wood 12.4 ppg 41% 3P% 91% FT
The Edge: Brown and McKinney Jones are better defenders, better ball handlers, passers, and finishers. But Wood gets the slightest of edges via his world class shooting ability.
Ian Miller. FSU Vs Lorenzo Brown, NC State.
The Skinny: NBA scouts have compared both to Oklahoma City Thunder All Star Russell Westbrook. Some have also mentioned Brown in the same breathe as Rajon Rondo. Brown is by far the best PG in the ACC but Miller is pretty good too. Both are athletic and fearless, but LBrown is far more advanced distributing the ball.
The Numbers: Brown 12.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.8 stls. - Miller 10.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apg 1.3 stls.
The Edge: Brown wins handily. Miller will get more chances to shine this season, and can give Brown a battle heads up, but Brown does it all. Few can match up with him in the country.
The start of the season is just around the corner. And while conference play will not start until the next calendar year, it sure is a lot of fun to look ahead to these terrific match-ups. Thanks to all those who took a look, and please be sure to leave plenty of feedback.