ACCBR’s Freshman 15 Pt. 1

With five classes in the top 25, the ACC is restocking with high end talent

Why are we doing these annual pieces in June?! The same reason people put out their Top 25 lists in April. We feel like doing it and we have the itch to write about something, and there is no way in hell I am going to write about Covid-19 or schools changing their chants due to white guilt. Well, not unless I am contracted to do so. I am basically a prostitute blogger.

So, what to talk about today? I ask that as if the title did not already suggest what this piece contains. Today, I am going to list (some of) the freshmen that I am most eager to watch play. Please notice that I said “list”, and not rank. I am not a recruiting service and I have not attended any events. The extent of my knowledge of these prospects and their abilities is strictly limited to the content uploaded to YouTube and recruiting websites. It is often difficult to evaluate players who shoot 100% as they all look like GOAT, which is Jordan by the way.

I am going to break this up into three parts over the next week or so but these are the first five that really get me amped to watch some ACC Hoops.

So should we just get on with it? I think that is probably the best course of action.

Jalen johnson-Forward-Duke

This kid has all the tools, great size for a wing forward who can also play the four. He can shoot, pass, go left and protect the rim. Great release point on the jumper in my opinion. The only issue I have with Jalen is that in all the video I watch, he almost seemed bored. Is that because he was so much better than everyone or his motor isn’t where it needs to be?

Regardless of his demeanor, the kid has the potential to be a top 10 pick and is just another in a long line of uber talented forwards to make a short term stop in Durham before making their millions in the professional ranks.

Caleb Love-Point guard-UNC

I have spoken about this young man a little bit on the podcast, most recently with guest Jim Root, one of the members of Three Man Weave. Love is a point guard with good size at 6-3 and spurned his hometown Missouri Tigers for a chance to play in the ACC.

Love is a gritty and tough point guard that loves to get into the lane and finish either through contact, or above the rim. He can also shoot it with range and gets it away with the quickness.

Not that it matters on the court but he is also a solid follow on twitter.

scottie barnes-forward-florida state

Just so we are all on the same page, that “forward” in the headline is subject to interpretation because this kid is going to handle the rock. This is nothing new for Florida State as we have seen Terance Mann, Dwayne Bacon, XRM and others handle the ball in the Seminole offense while being wing players by definition.

Where Barnes is a little bit different is that he possesses absolutely freakish athletic ability. He has the ability to create havoc by shooting passing lanes on the perimeter on defense as well as creating match-up issues for the opposing team while he’s on offense.

I am not 100% on the outside shooting but I am absolutely sure about the quickness, hops, ability to orchestrate the break, defense and finishing at the rim. If he proves to be an adequate outside threat, he is a darkhorse ACC POTY candidate.

Walker kessler-Center-UNC

A center cut directly from the Jay Huff cloth. Kessler is a legit 7-footer with good footwork and touch all of the way out to the three-point line. He runs the floor well, isn’t stiff and can even handle the ball a little bit.

I expect him to be the third big man in the UNC rotation due to UNC’s quality front court in 2020-21. Kessler is incredibly talented but he is still pretty skinny so it will be interesting to see if he tends to float out to the arc or builds his strength and bangs in the paint.

Earl Timberlake-wing-Miami (FL)

This high-flying southpaw comes to the ACC by way of historical Dematha Catholic. Like Barnes, he already has the body to play in the ACC, especially defensively. He finishes with authority at the rim and has the ability to protect it on the defensive end.

While he has that pretty looking left handed stroke, Jerry Meyer’s scouting report suggests that he still has room for improvement on his outside jumper. Regardless of where the state of his outside shooting is, on a team that will have two high end point guards on the floor much of the time, Timberlake is going to be a fast-break highlight reel waiting to happen for the ‘Canes.


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