Welcome back to Part 2 of this year’s ACC preseason power rankings and roster breakdowns. In years past we’ve posted detailed breakdowns of all fourteen other ACC rosters heading into the season and then doing a separate power rankings. This year, to switch it up, we’re unveiling them count-down style in three installments

Part One: ACC Tournament Day 1 Participants

Part Two: Postseason Bid Chasers

Part Three: Conference Contenders

In Part two, we’ll look at teams battling in the league’s middle tier. These are teams working to put the pieces together with hopes of gaining separation in a deep and balanced conference. For some of these teams, the season will end in the NIT. Others will find themselves on the Bubble in March, and a couple will rise to be NCAA Tournament locks going into the conference tournaments, even if still in a more modest seeding. Importantly, each of these teams have legit aspirations to not just get a postseason bid, but make a run something greater.

For each team, we’ll look at their finish last year, the percentages of last season’s minutes and points back on this year’s roster, and a roundup of player departures, returns, and additions with last year’s stat line, along with a brief outlook on their 2022-23 prospects. Projected starters are in bold.


#10 – Boston College

2021-22 Record: 13-20 (6-14); T-11th in ACC

  • % of 2021-22 Minutes Returning: 70.9%
    • ACC Rank: 3 of 15
  • % of 2021-22 Points Returning: 71.2%
    • ACC Rank: 2 of 15


  • G Brevin Galloway (Transferred to Clemson)
    • 25 G, 24.8 mpg, 8.3 ppg, 1.4 apg, 26% 3P%
  • SG Kanye Jones (Transferred to Buffalo)
    • 30 G, 9.7 mpg, 1.8 ppg, 0.2 apg, 24% 3P%
  • PF Gianni Thompson (Transferred to UMass)
    • 19 G, 7.5 mpg, 1.3 ppg, 1 rpg, 32% FG%
  • PF Frederick Scott (Graduated)
    • 7 G, 9.4 mpg, 1.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 24% FG%
  • F/C James Karnik (Graduated)
    • 33 G, 23 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 56% FG%
  • C Justin Vander Baan (Transferred to Lafayette)
    • 11 G, 5.2 mpg, 1.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 50% FG%


  • G Makai Ashton-Langford (SR+)
    • 33 G, 34.4 mpg, 12 ppg, 3.4 apg, 29% 3P%
  • G Jaeden Zackery (SO)
    • 33 G, 34.5 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 2.7 apg, 48% 3P%
  • G/F DeMarr Langford (JR)
    • 32 G, 34.7 mpg, 11.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 27% 3P%
  • PF T.J. Bickerstaff (SR)
    • 27 G, 24.8 mpg, 6.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 39% FG%
  • C Quinten Post (SR)
    • 31 G, 21.4 mpg, 9.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 50% FG%


  • SG Mason Madsen (JR Transfer, Cincinatti)
    • 30 G, 11.6 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 0.7 apg, 36% 3P% at Cincinatti
  • G/F Donald Hand Jr (4-star FR)
  • G/F Chas Kelley (3-star FR)
  • F Prince Aligbe (4-star FR)
  • PF CJ Penha Jr (SR+ Transfer, JUCO)
  • F/C Armani Mighty (2-star FR)

Season Outlook

The first season of the Earl Grant era last year didn’t go all that badly. Sure they missed the postseason, but they weren’t the worst team in the league and you could at times see some rays of hope. This season may see some additional improvement due to solid continuity of the starting lineup and an infusion of young talent. Only poor-shooting guard Brevin Galloway (transferred to Clemson) and space-eating big man James Karnik (graduated) moved on from last year’s core lineup, with a number of other lower-ceiling Jim Christian players rotating out to make room for Grant’s players.

The entire starting backcourt returns in-tact, led by one last season of the Langford brothers playing together (Makai will be out of eligibility after this season), along with last year’s breakout sharp-shooting freshman guard Jaeden Zackery. They’ll need depth to emerge behind them, most likely from Hoo legacy Donald Hand Jr at the 2 and 3, though Cincinatti transfer Mason Madsen will give solid rotational minutes off the bench too.

Starting power forward Bickerstaff will pair with 7-footer Quentin Post (who had 11 starts last year) to give the Eagles a competent frontline, though depth here is a major concern, as there are no obvious backups aside from 5th year senior JUCO transfer (still not sure how that works) CJ Penha Jr. It will be critical for BC to keep these three guys healthy and out of foul trouble, otherwise Grant is going to be forced into a 4-guard lineup that will probably struggle with defense and rebounding once they get into league play.

Hard to see this being the season BC truly turns a corner, but incremental progress could happen, and an NIT berth isn’t out of the question. Given where Christian left this program last offseason, it would be considered solid progress in my book to climb into the league’s middle tier (even if just on the back end of it), and make a postseason tournament.


#9 – Syracuse

2021-22 Record: 16-17 (9-11); 9th in ACC

  • % of 2021-22 Minutes Returning: 38.4%
    • ACC Rank: 12 of 15
  • % of 2021-22 Points Returning: 34.9%
    • ACC Rank: 12 of 15


  • G/F Buddy Boeheim (Graduated)
    • 32 G, 38 mpg, 19.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 34% 3P%
  • PF Jimmy Boeheim (Graduated)
    • 33 G, 34.7 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 47% FG%
  • F/C Cole Swider (Graduated)
    • 33 G, 34.5 mpg, 13.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 44% FG%
  • F/C Frank Anselem (Transferred to Georgia)
    • 32 G, 14.2 mpg, 2.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 63% FG%
  • C Bourama Sidibe (Graduated)
    • 13 G, 11.8 mpg, 3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 65% FG%


  • G Joseph Girard (SR)
    • 33 G, 34.1 mpg, 13.8 ppg, 4.2 apg, 40% 3P%
  • SG Symir Torrence (SR)
    • 30 G, 13.1 mpg, 2.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 38% 3P%
  • F Benny Williams (SO)
    • 29 G, 10.8 mpg, 1.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 9% 3P%
  • C Jesse Edwards (SR)
    • 24 G, 28 mpg, 12 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 70% FG%
  • C John Bol Ajak (RS JR)
    • 12 G, 5.1 mpg, 0.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 29% FG%


  • G Judah Mintz (4-star FR)
  • SG Quadir Copeland (3-star FR)
  • SF Justin Taylor (4-star FR)
  • SF Chris Bunch (4-star FR)
  • PF Maliq Brown (3-star FR)
  • C Peter Carey (3-star FR)
  • C Mounir Hima (SO Transfer, Duquense)
    • 21 G, 9.6 mpg, 1.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 43% FG% at Duquense

Season Outlook

A lot of folks would love this to be the year that Syracuse reclaims its rightful spot as a contender, but I’m not seeing it with this team, and their inability to put away a D-II team in an exhibition this week until late in the game reinforces that suspicion. Joe Girard up top and Jesse Edwards in the post are the only key players that return from a team that finished with a losing record and missed the postseason entirely last year, though at least Jim Boeheim was able to get his two sons (both now graduated) a combined 27 shots a game in the process.

Girard will ostensibly move to his more natural shooting guard spot so that Top 50 rookie Judah Mintz can take over at the point. Reports are Mintz is carving up the defense in practice, but that’s a 2-3 Zone with little cohesion at this stage that he’s lighting up, so color me skeptical. Mintz’ preseason anointing pours some cold for Symir Torrence’s prospects after being a once-upon-a-time promising recruit at Marquette. ‘Cuse will be starting a rookie at the 3, one of two low-4-stars in Chris Bunch or Justin Taylor, but either way both project to some growing pains.

The Orange are betting big on former blue chip prospect Benny Williams making a quantum leap in his 2nd year playing stretch 4, finally out of the Boeheim Brothers’ collective shadow. The veteran Edwards returns as an impressive scorer at the 5, but does so without much in the way of backups. This figures to be another year of playing the Syracuse starters heavy minutes, but even then they’ll be relying on true freshmen at two of the five spots. Seven newcomers overall will be playing in the systems for the first time. As such it’s tough to see this roster actually getting the soon-to-be 78-year-old Jim Boeheim back to the Dance, as he’ll need a lot to go right; the defense has to mesh with only two system vets, and complementary wing scorers will need to break out. I see lots of fouls, lots of turnovers, and lots of cold shooting nights and zone breakdowns putting this club’s ceiling at the NIT yet again.


#8 – Florida State

2021-22 Record: 17-14 (10-10); 8th in ACC

  • % of 2021-22 Minutes Returning: 43.9%
    • ACC Rank: 10 of 15
  • % of 2021-22 Points Returning: 48.2%
    • ACC Rank: 7 of 15


  • G/F RayQuan Evans (Graduated)
    • 27 G, 24.8 mpg, 8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 33% 3P%
  • F Anthony Polite (Graduated)
    • 24 G, 27.9 mpg, 9.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 32% 3P%
  • PF Wyatt Wilkes (Graduated)
    • 31 G, 15.5 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 31% FG%
  • PF Harrison Prieto (Graduated)
    • 21 G, 12.6 mpg, 3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 56% FG%
  • F/C Malik Osborne (Graduated)
    • 17 G, 27.6 mpg, 10 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 41% FG%
  • C John Butler (Turned Pro)
    • 31 G, 19 mpg, 5.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 42% FG%
  • C Tanor Ngom (Graduated)
    • 20 G, 12.3 mpg, 5.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 63% FG%
  • C Quincy Ballard (Transferred to Wichita State)
    • 18 G, 4.7 mpg, 0.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 70% FG%


  • G Caleb Mills (RS JR)
    • 26 G, 26.3 mpg, 12.7 ppg, 2.4 apg, 35% 3P%
  • G Jalen Warley (SO)
    • 31 G, 19.3 mpg, 3.7 ppg, 2.5 apg, 30% 3P%
  • F Matthew Cleveland (SO)
    • 29 G, 26.2 mpg, 11.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 18% 3P%
  • F Cam’Ron Fletcher (JR)
    • 29 G, 16.3 mpg, 6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 36% 3P%
  • C Naheem McLeod (SR)
    • 18 G, 11.1 mpg, 4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 68% FG%


  • SG Darin Green (SR Transfer, UCF)
    • 29 G, 30.9 mpg, 13.3 ppg, 1.6 apg, 39% 3P% at UCF
  • G/F Chandler Jackson (4-star FR)
  • SF Jeremiah Bembry (3-star FR)
  • SF Tom House (3-star FR)
  • PF Jaylan Gainey (RS SR Transfer, Brown)
    • 29 G, 24.4 mpg, 9.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 70% FG% at Brown
  • F/C Cameron Corhen (4-star FR)
  • F/C De’Ante Green (4-star FR)
  • C Baba Miller (4-star FR)

Season Outlook

Betting on FSU in recent years has been a relatively safe wager, but last year, despite a bevy of senior talent, the Noles sputtered to a 10-10 league finish, their season ending with a Wednesday ACC Tournament loss. Eight players depart from that roster, including essentially the entire FSU frontcourt, leaving the stalwart Leonard Hamilton with possibly more questions than answers this offseason.

If nothing else, the Noles can rely on guard Caleb Mills returning for his redshirt senior year, the former Houston star now settled in as the team’s veteran leader at the point. Next to him, former Top 50 recruit Jalen Warley will battle UCF transfer Darin Green to start at the 2, though both figure to be in line for significant minutes as the only three true guards on the roster. Hamilton would likely prefer to Warley to emerge as a true PG and let Green’s shooting come off the bench, but out of the gate I think Green’s experience tips the scales. Former 5-star Matthew Cleveland is a lock to round out the perimeter rotation at the 3, with rookie Chandler Jackson and junior Cam’Ron Fletcher, due for a breakout, in competition for backup minutes and even maybe a larger role in a smaller lineup that pushes Cleveland to the 4.

FSU, usually known for being one of the biggest teams in the country, especially on the front line, will have to figure out its big man rotation. Naheem McLeod returns after a broken finger ended his junior season prematurely, but the 7’4″ giant was only playing 11 mpg before that, and Brown transfer Jaylan Gainey has a big step up in competition coming from the Ivy league. Hamilton’s only other options are a trio of true freshmen, though they are all well-regarded four stars. Baba Miller comes over from Spain with a fair some one-and-done hype, and was probably in line for a starting spot at the 4 in John Butler’s vacated role, but the NCAA delivered a pretty indefensible ruling that’ll keep him out until January. I think we see the smallest FSU lineup we’ve seen in years as a result, the Noles often playing with only one real big man on the court.

It doesn’t look at first glance like one of the better rosters FSU has boasted in recent years, and if the shooting doesn’t improve and the defense doesn’t come together quickly with so many new faces, it could be another season where the Noles struggle to be much more than an inconsistent .500 kind of club yet again.


#7 – Wake Forest

2021-22 Record: 25-10 (13-7); 5th in ACC

  • % of 2021-22 Minutes Returning: 26.6%
    • ACC Rank: 14 of 15
  • % of 2021-22 Points Returning: 25.6%
    • ACC Rank: 14 of 15


  • G Alondes Williams (Graduated)
    • 35 G, 34.1 mpg, 18.5 ppg, 5.2 apg, 28% 3P%
  • G Carter Whitt (Transferred to Furman)
    • 31 G, 11.9 mpg, 1.7 ppg, 1.5 apg, 22% 3P%
  • F Isaiah Mucius (Graduated)
    • 34 G, 27.2 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 36% 3P%
  • PF Jake Laravia (Turned Pro)
    • 33 G, 34.2 mpg, 14.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 56% FG%
  • F/C Tariq Ingraham (Transferred to Rider)
    • 1 G, 4 mpg, 0 ppg, 0 rpg, 0% FG%
  • C Dallas Walton (Graduated)
    • 35 G, 25.7 mpg, 9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 54% FG%
  • C Khadim Sy (Graduated)
    • 34 G, 19.4 mpg, 6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 54% FG%


  • G Daivien Williamson (SR+)
    • 33 G, 30.2 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 1.2 apg, 40% 3P%
  • SG Robert McCray (SO)
    • 14 G, 4.1 mpg, 1.9 ppg, 0.2 apg, 40% 3P%
  • G/F Cameron Hildreth (SO)
    • 32 G, 13.3 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 28% 3P%
  • G/F Lucas Taylor (SO)
    • 15 G, 3.1 mpg, 0.1 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0% 3P%
  • SF Damari Monsanto (RS JR)
    • 17 G, 16.1 mpg, 7.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 40% 3P%
  • C Matthew Marsh (SO)
    • 13 G, 6.2 mpg, 2.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 67% FG%


  • PG Tyree Appleby (SR+ Transfer, Florida)
    • 34 G, 27.4 mpg, 10.9 ppg, 3.7 apg, 34% 3P% at Florida
  • G Jao Ituka (SO Transfer, Marist)
    • 28 G, 22 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 1.6 apg, 41% 3P% at Marist
  • PF Andrew Carr (JR Transfer, Delaware)
    • 34 G, 28.4 mpg, 10 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 56% FG% at Delaware
  • PF Zach Keller (4-star FR)
  • PF Bobi Klintman (3-star FR)
  • C Davion Bradford (JR Transfer, Kansas State)
    • 29 G, 14.7 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 50% FG% at Kansas State

Season Outlook

Wake coach Steve Forbes surprised a lot of folks last year, turning a team full of transfers into a Top Half ACC team and NIT participant, signaling that at least for now they’re no longer a league perennial bottom feeder. But a lot of the stars of last year’s squad are gone, highlighted by Alondes Williams and breakout star Jake LaRavia, but also key role-playing big men Mucius, Walton, and journeyman Khadim Sy. Forbes goes back to the portal with four new transfers to bolster a lineup that returns only one player who played more than 17 mpg last year.

Florida transfer Tyree Appleby will take over the point, keeping star scoring guard Davien Williamson (who had followed Forbes from ETSU) at his natural 2-spot, with MAAC rookie of the year Jao Ituka backing them up. The 3-spot is up for grabs, with last year’s wing role players Cam Hildreth and Damari Monsanto seemingly battling for the spot, the other working in off the bench. I’m giving the nod to Monsanto for his shooting touch. The front court near-completely turns over, with transfers Andrew Carr (Delaware) and Davion Bradford (K-State) working against rising sophomore Matthew Marsh to hold down the front court; Wake will be hoping one of the rookie power forwards Zach Keller or Bobi Klintman can be immediately ready as well.

If the myriad new faces come together, this is at least another NIT squad. The guard rotation has potential though the front court looks worrisome. Given Forbes’ ability to get a winning season out of a similarly transfer-heavy lineup last year, there are reasons to give him some benefit of the doubt here, especially with a potentially good-shooting starting lineup (even PF Carr was a 40% 3P-shooter on low volume at Delaware). That said, this has the look and smell of a .500 team in league play to me, and their placement just inside the top half of these rankings says more about my concerns with the teams behind them than anything else. Teams 7-10 here are really, in many ways, one big jumble.


#6 – Virginia Tech

2021-22 Record: 23-13 (11-9); 7th in ACC

  • % of 2021-22 Minutes Returning: 46.7%
    • ACC Rank: 8 of 15
  • % of 2021-22 Points Returning: 45.4%
    • ACC Rank: 9 of 15


  • PG Storm Murphy (Graduated)
    • 36 G, 26.9 mpg, 8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 36% 3P%
  • SG Nahiem Alleyne (Transferred to UConn)
    • 36 G, 31.1 mpg, 9.6 ppg, 1.5 apg, 37% 3P%
  • PF Keve Aluma (Graduated)
    • 36 G, 30.8 mpg, 15.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 54% FG%
  • C David N’Guessan (Transferred to Kansas State)
    • 36 G, 13.5 mpg, 3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 49% FG%
  • C John Ojiako (Transferred to George Mason)
    • 20 G, 6.3 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 59% FG%


  • PG Sean Pedulla (RS SO)
    • 36 G, 12.9 mpg, 5.4 ppg, 1.3 apg, 45% 3P%
  • SG Hunter Cattoor (SR)
    • 36 G, 32.9 mpg, 10 ppg, 2 apg, 42% 3P%
  • G/F Darius Maddox (JR)
    • 36 G, 17 mpg, 6.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 51% 3P%
  • F/C Justyn Mutts (SR+)
    • 36 G, 29.9 mpg, 10.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 54% FG%


  • SG Rodney Rice (4-star FR)
  • SG Michael Collins (3-star FR)
  • F John Camden (3-star RS FR)
  • F Darren Buchanan (3-star FR)
  • F/C Mylyjael Poteat (JR Transfer, Rice)
    • 33 G, 13.8 mpg, 7.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 62% FG% at Rice
  • C Grant Basile (RS SR Transfer, Wright State)
    • 36 G, 32.6 mpg, 18.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 50% FG% at Wright State
  • C Patrick Wessler (3-star FR)
  • C Lynn Kidd (RS SO Transfer, Clemson)
    • 7 G, 4.7 mpg, 1.1 ppg, 1 rpg, 33% FG% at Clemson

Season Outlook

Including the Hokies in this middle tier is a little misleading. There’s pretty clear separation between the Hokies at #6 and Wake/FSU/Cuse/BC at 7-10. Really VT is more in a tight bunching with a couple of teams saved for the Top 5 breakdown, but someone had to be here, and I’ll let Mike Young prove me wrong (and he quite likely will).

There are three key losses from the Hokies’ ACCT Champion team in PG Storm Murphy, well rounded 2-guard Nahiem Alleyne, and all-ACC big man Keve Aluma. The key to their offseason was getting glue-guy power forward Justyn Mutts to come back for his bonus year, which along with sharp-shooter Hunter Cattoor gives Mike Young two starters returning. Sean Pedulla will promote to starting PG and at times he looked better than Murphy last year, and Darius Maddox will similarly promote into the starting lineup at the 3, looking to build on his 20-point outing vs UNC in the ACCT Semis. It’ll let star rooking guard MJ Rice and other freshmen come off the bench and ease into high major ball.

The front court, aside from Mutts, is completely rebuilt, with two key mid-major transfers in Grant Basile and Mylyjael Poteat set to rotate at the 5 and buy time for the quartet of young big men joining the program (Camden redshirted at Memphis last year). Obviously a lot here depends on how quickly and seamlessly the transfer 5’s adjust to an ACC level of play, though Basile looks initially like he should be at a minimum serviceable, and of course Young turned both Aluma and Mutts from mid-major transfers into good ACC starters. It’s a very Virginia Tech roster, and with excellent shooting at the guard spots yet again Young should still have them on the right side of the bubble, even if not quite as high-ceiling as last year’s team (which, mind you, also didn’t get out of the NCAAT first round). The Hokies should be a sticky, hard-nosed opponent no one likes to play yet again.