ACC Basketball Power Rankings: 1/8
1. Duke Blue Devils 12-1 (1-0)
Last Week: W vs Clemson 87-68; Next Week: @ WF 1/8, @ FSU 1/12, vs Syracuse 1/14
Best Player So Far: Zion Williamson - The freshman phenom is putting up a stellar stat line of 20 ppg, 9 rpg and 66% FG%, but all you need is the eye test to appreciate Williamson’s supreme talent.
2. Virginia Cavaliers 13-0 (1-0)
Last Week: W vs FSU 65-52; Next Week: @ BC 1/9, @ Clemson 1/12
Best Player So Far: Kyle Guy - The junior guard has put on a shooting clinic so far this season, shooting 48% from 3 and 87% from the line while leading the lone undefeated team in the conference with 15.8 ppg.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies 13-1 (2-0)
Last Week: W vs ND 81-66, W vs BC 77-66; Next Week: @ GT 1/9
Best Player So Far: Nickeil Alexander-Walker - The Hokies are the only team with 2 conference victories so far, and the scintillating play of the Toronto-native is a big reason why. Alexander-Walker is one of the ACC’s leading scorers at 18.8 ppg at a 58% clip, while also dishing out 3.4 assists and nabbing 2.4 steals per game.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels 11-3 (1-0)
Last Week: W @ Pitt 85-60; Next Week: @ NC State 1/8, vs Louisville 1/12
Best Player So Far: Luke Maye - The elder statesman in Chapel Hill continues to be a double-double machine, with 5 already on the season, including a monster 20-point 16-rebound performance against Gonzaga on 12/15.
5. Florida State Seminoles 12-2 (0-1)
Last Week: L @ UVA 52-65; Next Week: vs Miami 1/9, vs Duke 1/12, @ Pitt 1/14
Best Player So Far: Terance Mann - The Seminoles undisputed leader has had an up-and-down season so far, with 3 20-point games but also an egg in their last game against UVA. Still, Mann leads FSU in points and rebounds and is second on the team in assists.
6. NC State Wolfpack 13-1 (1-0)
Last Week: W @ Miami 87-82; Next Week: vs UNC 1/8, vs Pitt 1/12
Best Player So Far: Markell Johnson - Torin Dorn may lead the Wolfpack in scoring, but Markell Johnson is just behind him while converting 60% of his attempts and over 50% from behind the arc. Johnson also is one of the leading passers in the ACC with 4.2 assists per game. Johnson is coming off of huge games against Miami (20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and #7 ranked Auburn (27 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists)
7. Louisville Cardinals 10-4 (1-0)
Last Week: W vs Miami 90-73; Next Week: @ Pitt 1/9, @ UNC 1/12
Best Player So Far: Jordan Nwora - Louisville’s offense flows through Nwora, who carries one of the highest usage rates in the ACC. The sophomore is averaging 17.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, while knocking down 40% of his shots from 3. In their ACC opener against the Canes, Nwora lit up Miami for 18 points in the first half.
8. Clemson Tigers 10-4 (0-1)
Last Week: L @ Duke 87-68; Next Week: @ Syracuse 1/9, vs UVA 1/12
Best Player So Far: Marcquise Reed - The Tigers senior guard has his hands on multiple facets of the game, with a stat line of 19.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.0 spg. Despite 15 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds in his first conference game, the Duke machine easily dispatched the Tigers.
9. Syracuse Orange 10-4 (1-0)
Last Week: W @ ND 72-62; Next Week: vs Clemson 1/9, vs GT 1/12, @ Duke 1/14
Best Player So Far: Oshae Brissett - The Orange’s first round draft prospect returned after a strong freshman campaign, and is continuing his strong play this season with 14.2 ppg and 8.4 rpg. His 19-point 11-rebound double-double helped Syracuse put away Notre Dame last week.
10. Pittsburgh Panthers 10-4 (0-1)
Last Week: L vs UNC 60-85; Next Week: vs Louisville 1/9, @ NC State 1/12, vs FSU 1/14
Best Player So Far: Xavier Johnson - Johnson is one of the ACC’s top freshmen (aside from Duke’s embarrassment of riches) and top passers with 4.8 assists per game. He also leads the Panthers in scoring at 16.1 points per game.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-5 (1-0)
Last Week: W vs WF 92-79; Next Week: @ VT 1/9, @ Syracuse 1/12
Best Player So Far: James Banks - The junior forward has given the Yellow Jackets a dominant presence down low, as one of the premier glass cleaners and rim protectors. Banks is grabbing 8.2 rebounds and turning away 2.5 shots per game.
12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10-5 (0-1)
Last Week: L @ VT 66-81, L vs Syracuse 62-72; Next Week: vs BC 1/12
Best Player So Far: John Mooney - The Irish have one of the premier stretch-4’s in the conference, averaging a near double double with 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds, while also hitting 47% of his shots from deep.
13. Boston College Eagles 9-4 (0-1)
Last Week: L @ VT 77-66; Next Week: vs UVA 1/9, @ ND 1/12
Best Player So Far: Ky Bowman - The Eagles talented point guard has an extremely high work rate, averaging over 20 points per game and over 7 rebounds per game despite being only 6’1”. Bowman also dishes out 3.6 assists per game.
14. Miami Hurricanes 8-6 (0-2)
Last Week: L vs NC State 82-87, L @ Louisville 73-90; Next Week: @ FSU 1/9, vs WF 1/12
Best Player So Far: Chris Lykes - The Canes dynamo is doing his best to pick up the slack for all the Canes attrition, improving his scoring output to 17.5 ppg up from 9.6 last season. The Canes are off to a rough start the season, but it’s not due to Lykes effort.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 7-6 (0-1)
Last Week: L @ GT 92-79; Next Week: vs Duke 1/8, @ Miami 1/12
Best Player So Far: Brandon Childress - The Demon Deacons junior guard is a workhorse, averaging 36.8 minutes per game. Childress also leads the team in points (17.3 ppg) assists (4.2 apg) and 3-point percentage (47%)