Virginia came in at number 7 in the ACC basketball preseason poll, released earlier today. NC State led the way, garnering 8 of the 12 possible first place votes, while Duke and UNC followed with 3 and 1 first place tallies, respectively. The Wolfpack finished 9-7 last season, but made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 and return four of their starters from last year.
The coaches also expect NC State to put up a strong showing in the end-of-season conference awards. Lorenzo Brown and CJ Leslie are part of the Preseason All-ACC team, with Leslie the Preseason Player of the Year, and incoming freshman Rodney Purvis earned Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year honors. No Wahoos made the list, much to the glee of Caulton Tudor (remember him?)
For a completely meaningless exercise that includes amusing award titles like "Preseason Rookie of the Year," it's tough to argue with any of the coaches' results. NC State is the clear favorite considering their returning experienced talent, and Duke and UNC's stable of McDonald's All-Americans keep them consistently competitive. At number seven, Virginia is about where many Wahoo fans expect the team to be - competing for a spot on the NCAA Tournament bubble in an improved ACC. While one could quibble that UVA should be in front of Maryland, or down behind Clemson, the coaches did a good job of capturing conventional wisdom.
Last season's preseason poll turned out to be fairly prescient, as the coaches nailed the top five of UNC, Duke, FSU, UVA, Miami. They also correctly predicted four of the five on the ACC First Team (Mike Scott came in a tie for 5th with Seth Curry, and the coaches missed Austin Rivers), as well as the ACC Rookie of the year.
Below are the full results of the preseason ACC coaches poll, from theACC.com. Additionally, media members will release their opinions on Wednesday, when they gather for the ACC's Operation Basketball in Charlotte.
|Team (First Place Votes) __ (Total Votes)|
|1. North Carolina State (8)||139|
|2. Duke (3)||130|
|3. North Carolina (1)||124|
|5. Florida State||103|
|9. Georgia Tech||40|
|10. Virginia Tech||32|
|10. Wake Forest||32|
|12. Boston College||25|