In trying to fill the void before the men’s basketball season begins, ESPN has come up with something it’s calling the “Impact 25,” or rather, the 25 coaches, players and administrators who will essentially make the most headlines in ’06-’07. ESPN begins with the coaches, none of whom reside in the ACC.

The coaches pegged are Tubby Smith (Kentucky), Billy Donovan (Florida), Billy Gillespie (Texas A&M), Bob Huggins (Kansas State), Bob Knight (Texas Tech), Kelvin Sampson (Indiana) and Bill Self (Kansas).

Were this limited to just the ACC, one would opine that the coaches who would make the biggest “impact” this season would be Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech and Dave Leitao at Virginia, both of whom have the chance to capitalize on the youth and uncertainty facing the conference this season. Duke and Carolina are the unquestioned class once again, and though there is certainly a pecking order on paper following the Tobacco Road rivals, Hewitt and Leitao will have a chance to put their programs on the national radar.

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