ACC Offseason Storylines: Roster Changes Impacting the ACC Race

Posted by Brad Jenkins on October 19th, 2017

We are now a little over three weeks away from opening night in college basketball, so it’s time to start our preseason coverage here at the ACC microsite. Over the next several weeks we will preview the fortunes of all 15 ACC schools by projecting how each squad will maximize its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses, and we will also be reporting from ACC Operation Basketball in Charlotte later this month. But first, let’s catch up on a few of the most important storylines in the ACC since North Carolina captured its sixth NCAA Championship in Glendale last April. Here’s Part Three of our three-part series (Part One is here; Part Two is here).

Late Roster Changes

Marvin Bagley is a Game Changer in the ACC (ESPN.com)

As is usually the case, several ACC programs have experienced significant roster shakeups this offseason, with most of the departures coming from players who decided to begin their professional careers. As a matter of fact, the ACC set a new record in June with 10 players — all underclassmen — selected in the First Round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Two more early entries were selected in the Second Round. All in all, the league lost a total of 16 non-seniors to the professional ranks, including three undrafted players — Xavier Rathan-Mayes from Florida State, N.C. State’s Ted Kapita, and Jaylen Johnson from Louisville — as well as Wake Forest forward Dinos Mitoglou, who bailed on Danny Manning’s frontcourt in late July to play professionally in his home country of Greece. Three other significant ACC players decided to transfer over the summer — Taurean Thompson from Syracuse; Khadim Sy from Virginia Tech; and Pittsburgh’s Cameron Johnson, who executed the unusual intra-conference transfer, to North Carolina.

Duke pulled off the recruiting coup of the summer (maybe any summer, in fact) by adding superstar freshman forward Marvin Bagley to its 2017-18 roster. Formerly the top-ranked player in the prep class of 2018, Bagley worked together with the Blue Devils to build a viable reclassification plan. He formally selected Duke as his destination in mid-August, enrolled in school by the end of the month, and was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA in September. Bagley’s addition to an already-loaded roster puts Mike Krzyzewski’s team right back where it was one year ago – a preseason national title favorite that will be very reliant on inexperienced but elite talent. Bagley wasn’t the only late ACC roster addition as many squads plugged holes via the transfer market, but we will discuss the rest of the league’s newcomers in a future preseason post.

N.C. State‘s hope for a late pickup in the same manner as Duke hit a snag late last week as the NCAA ruled that Ohio State transfer Braxton Beverly will not be eligible to immediately play for the Wolfpack. Per NCAA guidelines, Beverly is subject to the redshirt transfer rule because he had the audacity to get a head start on his college education by taking a class at Ohio State. N.C. State is appealing the decision and hopefully the NCAA will reverse itself for the sake of common sense. In what has to be one of the worst singular days in Wolfpack Nation’s long history, the NCAA last Friday decided not to punish archrival North Carolina for over 1,500 cases of athletes in fraudulent classes while simultaneously denying N.C. State a talented transfer player because he attended a class. Now that’s crazy!

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