Just because the season is over doesn't mean that there isn't a lot going on behind the scenes at Duke, North Carolina, and elsewhere in the conference. Here's a smattering of what's been happening:
- We knew this before the season ended, but Chris Collins is heading to Northwestern. He's added an NBA assistant from his father's staff, and a former Northwestern player as assistants. He got some initial bad news when Northwestern lost out on Jaren Sina to Seton Hall. But Coach Collins has been able to convince Drew Crawford to stay, which is a huge early win for the Wildcats. Everyone seems to agree this is the perfect fit for Chris on multiple levels. Best of luck to him.
- Nate James was promoted to assistant coach immediately after Collins' hire, which was expected. I look forward to seeing what Nate can bring to the bench. Jon Scheyer was brought in to fill in Nate James' spot. I thought Jon had some years left in him to bounce around and have some fun in Europe, but that eye injury really set him back.
- On the Carolina side of things, most 'Heels, and a couple of others believe the 'Heels are still in the hunt for Andrew Wiggins, the consensus #1 player in America. If the pundits are to be believed, this is the most sought after recruit since one and done was put into place ahead of the 2005-2006 season. Florida St. and Kentucky are thought to be the leaders but.....
- Maybe developments at UNC have raised expectations for 'Heels fans in the Wiggins sweepstakes. Reggie Bull...LOCK is heading to the NBA draft. He's looking at late first round , but getting drafted late in the first by a franchise that actually knows what it is doing isn't the worst thing in the world. Bullock has the game that is currently en vogue for role players in the NBA -- (1) athletic, (2) great defender (3) can hit the three. He'll latch on.
- Oh, and, Will -- Tar Heel Blog is stealing your thunder, man. Internecine conflict, COMMENCE!
- Back to Duke - looks like Coach K is interested in Memphis graduate transfer Tarik Black. After initially listing 20 schools interested, the battle has pared down to Duke, Minnesota and Kansas. The guy is supposed to be great for the locker room despite his falling out with Josh Pastner this year. That said, for a big body, his rebounding rate doesn't really seem to push Duke in the direction it needs to go. But if K likes him, he's worth a year and a scholly if it's available. There really isn't much of a downside.
Elsewhere in the ACC.....
- What the hell, NC State? After going from pre-season ACC to favorite to first round wash out with possibly the most talented team in the ACC, everything falls apart. CJ Leslie? Declared for the draft. Lorenzo Brown? Declared for the draft. Rodney Purvis? Transferred to UConn. Add to that Richard Howell and Scott Wood exhausting eligibility, and the Pack are in pretty dire straits numbers wise. The Pack are picking up a pretty good JUCO point guard in Desmond Lee, and are scouring the 2013 class for any leftovers. But from here, it looks like the Sisyphean Wolfpack fans just saw that boulder roll down the hill again.
- As expected, Alex Len is leaving Maryland. While this isn't a surprise in most circles, I'd like to imagine him sending a scathing email (NSFW language) to the rest of his team on the way out for playing like a bunch of "boners" at road games all year long, UMd Delta Gamma style. There is a better joke in there somewhere... have at it in the comments.
- Other early entries in the ACC include Michael Carter-Williams who declared, as expected. This guy could have wrecked havoc on the ACC next year. Will be interesting to see if he is more Dion Waiters or Johnny Flynn in the NBA. Steven Adams left Pitt, which is a huge blow for the Panthers. Sounds like this was a suprise to Pitt fans as the big Kiwi had indicated he was returning.
- In the world of transfers, Paul Jesperson is leaving UVA. Probably makes sense for him based on how the team performed without him this year. There wouldn't have been a lot of minutes for him next year I imagine. Elsewhere in the league, Virginia Tech loses a starter in Robert Brown, but if you saw him play, I think they'll be fine with that. Maryland probably feels much the same about Pe'Shon Howard, who showed some promise as a freshmen, but was a "Gary" guy that never clicked with Turgeon. Julian Royal is leaving Georgia Tech, and Chase Fischer is leaving Wake Forest. Yawn. Bernard Sullivan told Clemson he was transferring to which Clemson replied, "And you are?" And for the new blood, Trey Ziegler is leaving Pitt, after just one year, having already transferred after his dad was let go from Central Michigan. Glad Duke dodged this guy.
What did I miss?
UPDATED 4-22-2013, 9:30 CENTRAL: Looks like Duke has some interest in Eli Carter of Rutgers. I'm a little perplexed. I mean, the guy can clearly fill it up, but just looking at his stat line, he seems like a homeless man's Austin Rivers. He shoots a whole hell of a lot. Perhaps in a reduced role, he can focus in on what he's good at, and not be such a chucker (12 shots a game!). Imagine Seth Curry's usage rate with a FG percentage of 10% less. Yeah.
UPDATED 4-22-2013, 2:00 CENTRAL: In some pretty huge news, it looks like the ACC is close to getting a unanimous grant of television media rights from all 15 member schools. What is a "Grant of Rights" you ask? It's a more effective deterrent to schools leaving the conference because it not only affects the school that's leaving, it affects the pillaging conference as well. If this grant of rights goes through, and assuming the exit fee is canned, should, say Florida St. want to leave for the Big Ten, it would be free to do so. But the ACC would own all of Florida St's television rights, and neither Florida St. nor (and here is the kicker) the other Big Ten schools could collect on that payday. If this gets through, it will likely (finally) signal the end for any significant conference realignment, perhaps for the next decade.