Happy HOO-loween, Wahoo fans! Since the 2017-18 basketball season is almost upon us (TEN DAYS) and I just binge-watched the amazing second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, let’s have a little fun and imagine the ACC basketball teams as characters from the show. Not every character will be used (sorry, Mike) and some may be a stretch, but hey, it’s all in good fun.
**WARNING. SPOILER ALERT. IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED YET TURN BACK NOW.**
Boston College: Will Byers
Will is our sweet, zombie boy. They’re likable, but aren’t the toughest in the party. He spent most of last season missing, much like the 2-16 Eagles last year. This season, they’re possessed by a more experienced shadow monster (the duo of Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson) and can maybe cause some damage here and there before they’re exorcised by the rest of the league.
Barely there last season, no presence this year, but people talk about them from time to time. Biggest difference is Barb is a fan favorite.
Wake Forest: Jim Hopper
Hopper is Hawkins’ lovable mess of a sheriff. He’s struggled in the past as he has coped with loss (Chris Paul, you’ve been gone so long), but everyone is kind of rooting for the guy to figure things out. Heart is always in the right place, but it doesn’t always work the way he draws it up.
Miami: Lucas Sinclair
Lucas is one of the top contenders for last year’s sleeper to this year’s top dog. He’s got a bigger role, is crucial to this season’s story, and definitely has swag. After letting the rest of the crew dictate things, he’s taking control and making sure everyone knows he’s not screwing around. With shooters like Bruce Brown and Ja’Quan Newton, they won’t need the slingshot.
The Tigers, like good ole Kenny Rogers loving Bob, can come through in the clutch with a win from time to time, but they’re not making it to the tournament. Yeah, there’s likely an upset of one of the top teams, but the gauntlet of demo-dogs won’t have Clemson making it out the door of the government facility (regular season). Much like Sean Astin, you probably haven’t seen much of Clemson lately. We still love you and appreciate you, Tigers.
Georgia Tech: Dustin Henderson
If there’s any school in the ACC that would create their own operational Ghostbusters ghost-catching machine and use it to capture an other-worldly creature, it’s our friends down at Georgia Tech. Also, Dustin and Josh Pastner have kind of the same haircut. I can see him wearing that hat...
Florida State: The Demogorgon
Much like the fast moving and elusive Demogorgon, Florida State has quickness and athleticism. They just can’t finish.
Virginia: Steve Harrington
Ok hear me out. Steve is often overlooked, but is low-key the best character. He took a few Ls this season (including on the basketball court), but he used those experiences to become a better person and monster killer. He’s at his best when working as part of a team. He doesn’t particularly like going fast (in a car), but will allow the increased tempo when the situation dictates. Oh, and he’s good looking and has great hair.
(Side note: how helpful would the nail-bat be in the Pack Line?)
North Carolina: Dr. Brennan
The evil overlord who commits ethical violations and escapes Scott-free? Come on, the content writes itself.
Notre Dame: Nancy Wheeler
A little bit of a goody two-shoes but well liked in the group. Sometimes underrated, but always ready to go on the offense. Nancy is a hell of a competitor, and finds a way to win when it looks like she’s reached a dead end. You won’t find a better shot in the league. I see you, Nance.
NC State: Max
No, this isn’t just because of the red hair (it doesn’t hurt though). Max (Coach Keatts) is the new kid on the block that just wants to fit in with the rest of the group. She’s constantly asked to prove herself and is excluded from important discussions with the other kids. Sometimes seems like she’s getting slighted by the others. Really good at Dig Dug.
Look, I know. No school says shadow monster more than Duke, but Eleven fits and you know it. Duke is the real power of the ACC, whether we like it or not. They’re unstable with change (as players depart for the draft season to season) and you never really know what you’re going to get, but they always come up with some last minute power and emerge victorious. Definitely use rage to help performance.
Virginia Tech: Billy
Billy likes himself way more than the others like him, and he’s always trying to ruin everything. Oh, and there’s the hair:
Louisville: Joyce Byers
Joyce is a bit of a hot mess. She spent a lot of time defending herself from crazy allegations and asking law enforcement to trust her. Has the pieces to have a strong season if she can pull herself together.
Syracuse: Jonathan Byers
WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE ONE THING WE LOVE, SYRACUSE? WE LOVED THE ELITE EIGHT, AND YOU JUST TOOK HER FROM US. I KNOW IT WASN’T PERSONAL, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT HURT LESS.