Capel's first 2 recruiting classes vs the rest of the ACC Conference. Here are The Top 20 ACC underclassmen starters or rotation players returning next year based off offensive efficiency power rating. (Player must play at least 15 minutes a game to qualify and be a regular rotation player the entire season) Player / ORTG Offensive Efficiency Power Rating / high school recruiting ranking 1) Radford-Virginia Tech- 125.9 (0 Star, outside Top 500 Nationally) 2) Hurt-Duke-122.3 (5 Star, #12 Nationally) 3) Bates-NC State-121.6 (4 Star, 104 Nationally) 4) Osborn-Florida State-114.9 (0 Star, outside Top 500 Nationally) 5) Goodwin-Notre Dame-111.1 4 Star, 100 Nationally) 6) Cattoor-Virginia Tech-110.4 (3 Star, 511th Nationally) 7) Toney-Pitt-109 (4 Star, 111th Nationally) 8) Champ-Pitt-108 (3 Star, 248th Nationally) 9) Laszewski-Notre Dame-107.5 (4 Star, 65th Nationally) 10) Boeheim-Syracuse-106.7 (3 Star, 349th Nationally) 11) Cone-Virginia Tech 104.9 (4 Star, 102 Nationally) 12) Newman-Clemson 104.1 (3 Star, 164th Nationally) 13) Polite-Florida State 103.8 (3 Star, 180 Nationally) 14) Girard-Syracuse 103.2 (3 Star, 202 Nationally) 15) Devoe-Georgia Tech 102.6 (4 Star, 51st Nationally) 16) Alleyne-Virginia Tech 102.2 (3 Star, 412th Nationally) 17) Hellems-NC State 101.4(3 Star, 141st Nationally) 18) Bacot-North Carolina 101.4 (5 Star, 27th Nationally) 19) Guerrier-Syracuse 100.7 (4 Star, 121st Nationally) 20) Hubb-Notre Dame 99.6 (4 Star, 87th Nationally) 26th) Xavier Johnson 93 (3 star, 232nd Nationally) 28th) Trey Mcgowens-91.6 Of the Top 20 overall returning underclassmen in the ACC as freshmen or sophomores above by high school Star Ranking: 5 Stars (returning)-2 4 Star (returning)-8 3 Star (returning)-8 0 Star (returning)-2 Of the Top 20 overall returning underclassman in the ACC as freshmen or sophomores, The number of Top 100 players from high school rankings in the Top 20 acc players above-6 of 20 The number of Top 150 Players from high school rankings in the Top 20 above-12 of 20 The number of Total players in the Top 10 returning players ranked outside the Top 100 high school ranking above-7 of 10 Number of Teams with at least 2 Top 10 returning underclassmen in the whole conference: Pitt and Virginia Tech What does this data show? First of all it shows the recruiting rankings were pretty far off the last 2 years just looking at the Top 10 players returning in the ACC. 3 of the Top 6 players returning in the entire ACC for all underclassmen were not ranked in the National Top 500. 2 of those players were 0 stars not ranked in the Top 500. Tyrese Radford had the best overall offensive rating in the entire ACC regardless of class. He was a 21 year old unranked redshirt freshmen this year and was a huge part to Virginia Tech’s success. Justin Champagnie was the youngest player ranked in the Top 20 as an 18 year old freshmen. Pitt has 2 players in the Top 10 and 3 in the Top 26 for all underclassmen in the entire acc. Those numbers for Jeff Capel in his first 2 recruiting seasons are very strong and is a good young base of talent to build on with respect to the rest of the league. It also highlights that Champ and Toney are really strong and efficient basketball players on offense when looking at the entire ACC for all underclassmen freshmen or sophomore. They both should be expected to have very strong seasons next year. Both of them should easily be in the Top 4 of our teams scoring next year and I expect both of them to be near the Top of the entire ACC next year in offensive efficiency. Toney and Champ were statistically by far the best players on our basketball team the back stretch of this past season followed by X. The 2 of them averaged 27 points per game the last 10 games of this season for Pitt and I think it is very likely both average between 11 and 15 points per game next year. Where does that leave Xavier Johnson? A lot of room for improvement for starters to meet his expectations. X would be considered average at best as the season finished last season. In 2 year’s time he has not broken the 100 ORTG offensive power rating barrier because his shooting percentages and turnover numbers are far too poor. Former Players like Gibbs, Woodall, Fields, James Robinson etc.. had Top 100+ ORTG’s with ease throughout their careers. Taking the basketball out of X’s hands while lowering his usage rate and playing time should help him next year to be more efficient to help both himself and the team. Horton should help him the most by opening the driving lanes with his shooting. Playing in limited possession games like we played last year as the 308th slowest team in the country in game tempo, we simply cannot afford 6.5 turnovers per game coming from 2 players again like X and Mcgowens combined this year. Pitt should pick up just under 2 possessions per game just by replacing Horton with Mcgowens and getting rid of Mcgowens high turnover numbers and turnover rate. Simply, we can’t be one of the slowest teams in the entire country again with X turning the basketball over 3.5 times per game. He has to be much better. X getting his turnovers down to 2.5 or at least 3 per game would also be a significant help. X should rebound next year. He has a good attitude and is coach-able and a hard worker. A good goal for X is to keep his scoring around the same this year, average 6-7 assists per game with 2.5 turnovers per game. I think X should be the 4th scoring option on offense next year behind Champ, Toney, and Horton scoring. If X averaged 11.7ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.5 turnover per game, and shot 44% from the field, those would be numbers very equivalent to Tray Woodall as a junior. Those numbers would give him an ORTG offensive rating of roughly 110, about the same as Tray Woodall as a junior. Those numbers, to go with Toney and Champ, would form a very strong trio nucleus to build around and make us very formidable. It should also be noted that the Top scorer in the entire ACC last year was Elijah Hughes. For those that do not know, Hughes originally committed and went to East Carolina as a 3 Star Number 200 overall recruit in the country. Hughes was from Beacon New York, a state Jeff Capel continues to heavily prioritize in recruiting and a state that is generally underrated in recruiting. Hughes declared for the draft as a redshirt junior. Here is the 3 point shooting percentages of Pitt’s incoming recruiting class including Horton Horton-41% Delaware Hugley-41% Odukale-39% Jeffress- 37.5% In my opinion, the talent level on next years team is going to be severely upgraded and the shooting on next years team is going to be far better. In my opinion, every position next year is going to be upgraded including the depth which is going to be the biggest upgrade (Gerald Drumgoole was statistically speaking quite arguably the worst player in the entire ACC conference and the worst freshmen in the last 20 seasons at Pitt injury aside) . Generally speaking I don’t make many predictions. But at this junction I think it is likely, with the major influx of talent coming in with Horton, this team will make a major push for 20+ wins next year and 10 ACC wins. I also think that Ithiel Horton is going to be a major and I mean major upgrade shooting the basketball. Exciting times and good days are ahead.