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Let’s check in on ACC basketball and ... Danny Manning, oh no!

Here’s a look-see at what’s doin’ a month into the season.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina A&T at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Since NC State has the week off, I’ll probably dabble in some other things this week, and for starters I was curious how each ACC team is faring relative to its preseason expectations (as defined by the Pomeroy Ratings).

Below is comparison of each team’s preseason and current KenPom rank, sorted by net change:

ACC in the Pomeroy Ratings

Team Preseason Rank Current Rank Change
Team Preseason Rank Current Rank Change
Pittsburgh 138 111 27
Louisville 63 42 21
Georgia Tech 90 70 20
Virginia Tech 30 11 19
NC State 36 25 11
Duke 3 1 2
Notre Dame 58 57 1
Florida State 15 15 0
Virginia 2 3 -1
UNC 4 7 -3
Syracuse 8 16 -8
Boston College 65 80 -15
Clemson 14 34 -20
Miami 20 45 -25
Wake Forest 94 141 -47

In the they-are-who-we-thought-they-were category, we have Duke, UNC, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Florida State—teams that have performed right in line with their respective preseason expectations.

Pittsburgh is the biggest gainer so far—which obviously is easier to do when you start the season ranked so low. You can’t gain 27 spots if you start in the top 10.

Still, Jeff Capel does have the Panthers looking a lot better. They’re already just a win shy of last year’s win total, and they have been surprisingly competitive in road games at Iowa and West Virginia. They’ve improved by over 100 spots in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Encouraging start there.

Louisville is also off to a solid start under a first-year coach and has a win over Michigan State already. If the Cardinals upset Indiana Saturday afternoon, they may be on to something.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Danny Manning oh no! This may be the end for Manning’s tenure in Winston-Salem, or at least it should be if the Deacs end up 3-15 in the ACC like KenPom projects. Wake has losses to St. Joe’s, Houston Baptist, and Richmond, none of which rank in the KenPom top 100. The Deacs have also struggled with Valparaiso and Western Carolina.

There is a lot about Wake’s season that is reminiscent of Mark Gottfried’s final year at State. Wake brought in a heralded recruiting class including a probable first-round draft pick (Jaylen Hoard) and it is flaming out by way of playing no defense whatsoever. The Deacs rank 197th in defensive efficiency.

Based on Manning’s track record, Wake is not going to fix its defensive issues, and without that fix, a turnaround this season is highly unlikely.

Miami hasn’t played an ACC game yet but is already 0-2 in the Ivy League, with losses to Penn and Yale. Yale isn’t too bad, actually, but a 14-point loss at No. 124 Penn is pretty rough. The Canes also have a loss to Rutgers during their current four-game skid. It’s difficult to know what to make of the Tilde’s group right now. But hey, at least Jim Larranaga doesn’t have Danny Manning’s problems.