Joe Harris

Position rankings: ACC 2-guards

1. Joe Harris, Sr., Virginia

The only returning 1st Team All Conference player in the ACC, Harris should be the preseason favorite for ACC Player of the Year. Of course, he'll need to be much, much better than any Duke or UNC guys to actually win the award, but that's another story. Harris showed the ability to take over games last year, most notably in his 36 point, 7 rebound game vs the Blue Devils. Now he's on a team with the talent and experience to compete for an ACC title. Last year he struggled down the stretch, so UVA will need to do a better job keeping him rested.

2. PJ Hairston, Jr., North Carolina

Hairston got a lot of press this off season for all the wrong reasons, but he appears to be escaping from it with little lasting damage. The leading scorer for last year's Tar Heels team, Hairston made 49% of his 2s, 40% of his 3s, and was one of the top five guards in the conference at getting to the line (4.6 fouls drawn/40). After an abysmal shooting campaign as a freshman, he looked like the player we expected last year. He's bigger and stronger than just about anyone assigned to guard him, he's lethal in transition, and he has range well past the NBA 3-point line. 

3. Rasheed Sulaimon, So., Duke

Duke entered last year with a deep and talented rotation at the guard position. But then Andre Dawkins announced he'd be taking the year off, and Sulaimon was thrust into a larger role. Despite some disappearing acts late in the season, Sulaimon played well, making 46% of his 2s and 37% of his 3s. Now he's on a team which isn't loaded with seniors, and he'll be one of the more experienced guys in the lineup. With Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker expected to be stars, Sulaimon should get plenty of opportunities to score.

4. Olivier Hanlan, So., Boston College

With all the Canadian talent taking over the college ranks, Hanlan wasn't supposed to be one of the standouts. Casual fans didn't know him until his 41 point game in the ACC tournament, but he was solid all season. He was the only unanimous pick on the All Freshman team, making 49% of his 2s and 39% of his 3s. He was also 8th in the conference at drawing fouls.

5. Justin Anderson, So., Virginia

With Joe Harris (stress fracture in foot) and Akil Mitchell (broken bone in hand) limited in summer work, Anderson got a chance to star in scrimmages while the vets heal. He was drawing rave reviews from the strength and conditioning coach. Anderson is building on a strong finish to last season, where he started the final 14 games of the season. In their three post-season games he averaged 19.0 points (off an efficient 10.0 shots per game), 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.0 blocks.

Snaer

Position rankings: ACC 2-guards

1. Michael Snaer, Sr., Florida State. Every few years Leonard Hamilton builds a team around an all-everything senior – Tim Pickett, Al Thornton, Toney Douglas, and now Michael Snaer. Hamilton has called Snaer the best defensive player he's ever coached. And he's not too bad offensively either, especially after he burst onto the scene as a junior. Snaer made 40% of his threes, 46% of his twos and 85% from the line. And, as a preview of what is to come this year, he took 27% of the shots when he was on the floor. He's particularly deadly in transition where he'll seek to find an open spot on the perimeter. He's a great spot-up shooter, and he has a solid pump fake to get inside the defense.

2. Durand Scott, Sr., Miami. Scott has been remarkably consistent in his time in Coral Gables. His offensive rating has steadily improved (102.6, 106.7, 112.1), he's had an excellent assist rate, and as a junior he really cleaned up his turnovers. He's not your typical perimeter threat (80% of his shots come from inside the arc), but rather, he's a slasher with a terrific mid-range game and an ability to finish around the rim. Last season he led Miami in scoring (12.9 ppg), assists (3.1) and was 2nd in rebounding (5.4).

3. C.J. Harris, Sr., Wake Forest. Harris has the yeoman's task of dragging this Wake Forest team along with him. Last year he played 85% of the minutes and scored from everywhere. He was 42% from deep, 51% on twos, and 84% from the line. He's solid getting to the charity stripe, though his free throw rate dropped significantly from his sophomore to junior seasons. There are many knocks against Harris, but if anything this team needs him to be more aggressive. Taking 23% of the shots while he's on the floor is fairly high, but I'd like to see that number bump up to the 27% range. He's clearly the best option the Demon Deacons have (along with Travis McKie), and for this team to go anywhere these two need to take all of the pressure off the role players and put it on their own backs.

4. Reggie Bullock, Jr., North Carolina. Bullock has great size at 6-7, and he was one of two serious perimeter threats for UNC last season, making 38% of his threes (Barnes made a decent 36%). Though he's skilled beyond his outside shooting (51% on twos), he's still primarily a spot-up shooter, attempting 64% of his shots from beyond the arc. Bullock averaged over 32 minutes a game in the second half of last season, and now that UNC will be more of a perimeter oriented team, he should be able to translate that experience into a more effective role this year. Bullock needs to learn how to use his size to get to the line. He was one of two ACC players (along with Georgia Tech's Pierre Jordan) to have a single digit free throw rate (7.6), only attempting 22 free throws off of 290 shots from the floor.

5. Seth Curry, Sr., Duke. Player No. 1 was a senior. No. 2 was a senior. No. 3 was a senior. And so is No. 5, and this one is even a 5th year senior. The ACC is rich in top-end, mature, shooting guards. Curry had to play slightly out of his comfort zone last year, but this season should be able to play off the ball quite a bit more. And when he does that, he's deadly. He made 44% of his threes as a sophomore, and saw that dip to 38% as a junior, but removing the pressure of playing the point should give him better looks (that, and removing Austin Rivers, as the team struggled to anticipate what he might do with the ball). Last year half his shots were twos and half were threes. I wouldn't be surprised to see that ratio creep more toward his sophomore numbers where he took 62% of his shots from beyond the arc.

6. P.J. Hairston, So., North Carolina. Hairston had a bizarre freshman campaign, which included a 3-29 stretch on threes. And he's the only player on this list that has no business being here based on his previous year's play. But Hairston showed flashes of why he was such a highly regarded recruit, and once the game slows down he'll do what shooting guards need to be able to do – be a knock down scorer from just about anywhere on the floor.

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