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What if recruiting rankings determined ACC basketball rotations?

With the 2015-16 college basketball season only a month away, coaches around the country will spend the next several weeks aiming to narrow their rotations and find the best possible starting lineups.

As coaches look to push the right buttons, various factors will go into their decisions. Which players have been the most productive in the past? Who’s the leader of the team? What player has the most experience? Which group of five has the most chemistry?

While the answers to those questions are all important, we want to ask something else: What would each ACC team look like if recruiting rankings determined the rotation?

 

Boston College

Best starting lineup:

PG Eli Carter – No. 150

SG Matt Milon – No. 250

SF A.J. Turner – No. 150

PF Idy Diallo – No. 166

C Dennis Clifford – No. 225

First four off the bench:

SG Darryl Hicks – No. 283

PF Johncarlos Reyes – No. 339

PG Jerome Robinson – No. 342

SG Sammy Barnes-Thompkins – No. 381

Boston College is one of the very few ACC programs without at least one top-100 prospect. Just two players on the 2015-16 roster — senior transfer guard Eli Carter and freshman wing A.J. Turner – cracked the top 150 of the 247Sports Composite in their respective classes. Two incoming freshmen cracked the starting five for BC, with Turner and Florida shooting guard Matt Milon each making the list of the five highest-rated Eagle signees. Two players that head coach Jim Christian is counting on for big seasons this year in the post — Idy Diallo and Dennis Clifford — were both top-250 national prospects.

Getting into BC’s bench, three incoming freshmen were among the top 400 prospects nationally on the 247Sports Composite — forward Johncarlos Reyes and guards Jerome Robinson and Sammy Barnes-Thompkins. Versatile veteran Darryl Hicks was a top-300 prospect out of high school, while upperclassmen Garland Owens and Steve Perpiglia were unranked when they arrived in Chestnut Hill.

 

Clemson

Best starting lineup:

PG Ty Hudson – No. 110

SG Jordan Roper – No. 248

SF Donte Grantham – No. 90

PF Jaron Blossomgame – No. 115

C Landry Nnoko – No. 185

First four off the bench:

C Sidy Djitte – No. 245

PF Josh Smith – No. 251

SG Gabe DeVoe – No. 261

SG/SF Austin Ajukwa – No. 344

Honestly, this could realistically end up being Clemson’s starting five this season. Particularly in the frontcourt, it’s almost a given that Donte Grantham, Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko will fill the slots at small forward, power forward and center, respectively. There are still question marks in the backcourt, but it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see Ty Hudson and Jordan Roper assume starting roles.

It’s worth noting that the Tigers reeled in Vanderbilt transfer Shelton Mitchell in the offseason. Formerly rated the No. 90 point guard in the 2014 recruiting class, Mitchell would be listed in these projections as the team’s starter at the 1-spot if he were eligible to play this season.

Center Sidy Djitte was a limited contributor a year ago, averaging only 2.1 minutes per game, so he’s probably not the guy Clemson will want as its sixth man. However, we may have cracked the code for how Brad Brownell determines his starting lineup.