Forgive me if I am dancing with the dead horse that brought me and kicking it while it's down, but it appears that this win shares (WS) analysis thing is becoming a bit of a series. First, we looked at WS leaders of Pack players in the pros in part one, then we looked at the best college WS seasons for Pack players over the last decade and a half in part two, and today we look into our crystal ball to see what WS might tell us about next year.
After the jump, I ranked all 12 ACC member institutions by the WS totals of returning players.
Ranking by Returning Win Shares
1. Miami 20.1
2. N. C. State 18
3. Duke 17.7*
4. Virginia Tech 13.4
5. Virginia 13.1
6. UNC 10.2
7. Georgia Tech 9.9
8. Florida State 9.3
9. Clemson 9
10. Wake Forest 7.7
11. Boston College 5.2
12. Maryland 5.1 **
*Subtract 2 if Dawkins, as rumored, sits out next season
**Subtract .5 if Pe'Shon is in jail, hurt, gets kicked off the team, etc
No one is really talking about Miami, but based on experience, and reasonably decent experience at that, the Hurricanes have to be considered as at least a dark horse candidate to fill the vacuum created by all the roster churning in Chapel Hill, Tallahassee, and Charlottesville.
If we weren't State fans, we would have reason for optimism, but decades of futility have mostly deadened the area in our brains that creates optimism. But still...you know, maybe?
Win shares did not think that much of Austin Rivers. Duke may not look like one of K's better teams on paper, and even though they do play the games on a wood-based product, it is not technically paper. I don't think they'll miss the oft-inefficient Rivers as much as some might think, and It would be shocking for Duke not to be in the running for the regular season and tournament championships yet again.
Even with the departure of Dorian Finney-Smith, Virginia Tech comes in, surprisingly, in fourth place, which I think underscores how unlucky they were a year ago. They lost a lot of close games and will likely avoid slumming it in the cellar with the likes of Wake Forest and Boston College again this year. The really frightening thing for the 11 or so BC fans out there is that they come in second to last on this list even though they return nearly everybody that "contributed" to those 5.2 WS. Lonnie Jackson led BC with 1.7 WS; that would be good for about 8th on most teams. Yikes.
The really excellent items on this list are probably obvious to any State fans: UNC appears to be in rebuilding mode, and Maryland has a chance to be really, really bad. Oh basketball gods, please please please don't make me have to eat those words.