ACC MBB: Blue Devils tabbed to finish first

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From Staff Reports

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils led 2017-2018 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) preseason media poll voting conducted as part of the league’s annual Operation Basketball held earlier in week in Charlotte.

Defending ACC champion Duke, who finished 28-9 last season, won the New York Life ACC Tournament and earned the program’s 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, received 57 of 69 first-place votes in the preseason poll released Thursday.

The Blue Devils return senior guard Grayson Allen and welcome a highly-rated recruiting class led by six-foot-11-inch forward Marvin Bagley III – the overwhelming choice as ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year.

Notre Dame senior forward Bonzie Colson was voted ACC Preseason Player of the Year.

Defending NCAA champion North Carolina (seven first-place votes) placed second in the predicted order of finish, followed by Notre Dame (four first-place votes), Miami (one first-place vote) and Louisville.

ACC preseason voters selected Virginia sixth, followed by Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech.

Syracuse was picked 10th, while Wake Forest, N.C. State, Clemson, Boston College and Pittsburgh rounded out the voting.

Colson, Allen and North Carolina’s Joel Berry II led the balloting for the Preseason All-ACC Team.

They were joined on the first team by Bagley and Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammers.

Berry was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 NCAA Final Four, and Lammers was last season’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

The Preseason All-ACC Second Team consisted of Miami’s Bruce Brown Jr., Louisville teammates Quentin Snider and Deng Adel, Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie and Boston College’s Jerome Robinson.

Colson was the clear front-runner in the Preseason Player of the Year voting as he was named on 49 of the 69 ballots.

Duke’s Allen and North Carolina’s Berry each received nine votes.

Bagley also led the Preseason Rookie of the Year balloting by a comfortable margin, receiving 58 of the possible 69 votes.

No other incoming player received more than three votes.

Duke was picked as the ACC preseason favorite for the 18th time in the 49-year history of the poll and the 17th time under current head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The Blue Devils were also tabbed as the favorite prior to last season.

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2017-18 ACC MBB Preseason Poll (First-place votes in parenthesis)

Team & Points

1. Duke (57) – 1020

2. North Carolina (7) – 921

3. Notre Dame (4) – 852

4. Miami (1) – 809

5. Louisville – 733

6. Virginia – 690

7. Virginia Tech – 549

8. Florida State – 519

9. Georgia Tech – 468

10. Syracuse – 420

11. Wake Forest – 378

12. NC State – 310

13. Clemson – 289

14. Boston College – 181

15. Pittsburgh – 141

2017-18 Preseason All-ACC Team (votes in parenthesis)

First Team

Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame (64)

Grayson Allen, Duke (60)

Joel Berry II, North Carolina (58)

Marvin Bagley III, Duke (26)

Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech (25)

Second Team

Bruce Brown Jr., Miami (22)

Quentin Snider, Louisville (12)

Deng Adel, Louisville (12)

Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech (11)

Jerome Robinson, Boston College (11)

ACC Preseason Player of the Year

Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame (49)

Grayson Allen, Duke (9)

Joel Berry II, North Carolina (9)

Bruce Brown Jr., Miami (1)

Jerome Robinson, Boston College (1)

ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year

Marvin Bagley III, Duke (58)

Lonnie Walker IV, Miami (3)

Lavar Batts Jr., NC State (2)

M.J. Walker, Florida State (2)

Jalek Felton, North Carolina (1)

Aamir Simms, Clemson (1)

Oshae Brissett, Syracuse (1)

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia (1)