Recruiting is the Key to Improvement

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The ACC is known for putting very talented players in the NBA.  Virginia Tech’s recruiting has improved since joining the league, but they’ve still got a long ways to go to catch the rest of the league when it comes to recruiting NBA talent.

The ACC was supposed to help Virginia Tech with recruiting, but let’s think about it rationally for a moment.  Have the Hokies had more talent on their team since joining the ACC than they did in the 1980’s with guys like Dell Curry, Bimbo Coles, Perry Young, Keith Colbert, Bobby Beecher, etc?  I’m not old enough to remember those guys, but the results on the court say Tech was generally more talented back then than they are now, as far as the starting lineup is concerned.  I’m not sure about the quality of bench depth.

Ultimately coaches and programs are judged by winning games and making NCAA Tournaments, and that requires recruiting good players and developing them.  Is it all about NBA talent?  No.  Certainly it has something to do with the talent of the roster from top to bottom, and how well those players mesh into their coach’s system.

That being said, it’s not a coincidence that the teams with the most NBA talent make the NCAA Tournament the most times, or that the teams with the least NBA talent make the Big Dance the fewest times.

The following table shows how much money players from each ACC school have earned in the NBA since 1985.

NBA Salaries Since 1985, ACC Schools
TeamMoneyRankNCAA's
UNC$852,902,514 124
Duke$808,900,881 226
Georgia Tech$567,393,499 715
Wake Forest$348,249,657 1614
...