AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Less than an hour after he lost the frenzied sweepstakes for college basketball’s prized top prospect, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton was optimistic about the future.
No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins, who had the potential to be a program-defining athlete for the Seminoles, chose Kansas after FSU.
Strange is as it might have been shortly after losing the Wiggins sweepstakes, Hamilton was upbeat about the Seminoles’ future because major changes in the ACC could lead to more elite recruits taking a long look at Tallahassee.
His enthusiasm was shared by fellow ACC men’s basketball coaches and league leaders during the ACC spring meetings.
Four new schools are joining the conference in the next two years and a recent grant of media rights deal likely locks all members into the ACC through 2026.
“We’ve always been considered a great conference,” Hamilton said, referring to the ACC’s basketball competition. “But what has happened is a lot of the conferences have emulated and worked hard to catch up to us. Now ... you have the greatest collection of traditional, rich and successful basketball programs coming together in the history of college basketball.”
Current members Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Florida State and Miami have made NCAA tournament runs in the past few years, with the Blue Devils and Tar Heels consistently battling for national titles.
The ACC will add Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame as basketball members this fall. National champion Louisville will arrive the following year.
Basketball will be a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to programming the ACC’s new network.
“There’s a lot of inventory there,” ACC commissioner Johnny Swofford said, referring to the potential entertaining basketball games for fans watch. “A lot of quality inventory.”