On Tuesday, news started to leak out that the ACC had announced who and where each of the league’s 15 teams will be playing their 18 games next season. Each team will be playing four home-and-home series while playing the other 10 teams in the league once each, five at home and five on the road.
And in perhaps the least surprising decision, Maryland will not be hosting Duke. Or North Carolina. Or NC State. It makes sense. The Terps almost tore apart the ACC by ditching the conference for the Big Ten to stabilize their athletic department’s financial situation by chasing the almighty dollar. It forced the league to sign a grant of media rights deal. And you thought the ACC was just going to let that slide without doing what they could to fire back? L. O. L.
Here are some other interesting notes:
– Duke will obviously be playing their home-and-home with North Carolina, but the other home-and-home series that will draw quite a bit of intrigue for the Blue Devils will be against Syracuse. If CJ Fair returns, both will be top ten teams. Can you imagine what the Carrier Dome will be like for Duke’s first trip up there? How much Orange will the Cuse be able to get into Cameron Indoor?
– Syracuse will also host North Carolina, another team that looks like they are going to spend much of the season in or around the top ten. That’ll be fun as well.
– I’m glad that the ACC has Syracuse as an annual partner with Pitt, meaning that they’ll play twice every season. That was always an underrated rivalry in the Big East.
– Virginia only plays Duke, UNC and Syracuse once each. The Cavs should be pretty good next season. That’s a favorable schedule, especially considering that they host both the Tar Heels and the Orange.
– Florida State draws home-and-homes with Clemson, Virginia, Maryland and Miami. They avoid Duke, UNC and Syracuse twice as well, but this is only significant is they end up landing Andrew Wiggins.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.
Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.
“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”
He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.
Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.
Memphis just cannot catch a break.
It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.
Today, CBSSports.com reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.
Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.
This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.
That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.