ACC Preseason Predictions and Superlatives

Posted by Matt Auerbach on November 14th, 2017

While it’s true that the season is already several days old, it is not yet too late for the ACC microsite to present you with our humble preseason predictions and superlatives. Before season tip-off, the four microsite writers ranked all 15 ACC squads by predicted order of finish, made some all-league selections and projected the player and coach of the year. Should you choose to not take my word for it, none of the panelists — Brad Jenkins, Matt Patton, Mick McDonald or myself — picked Duke’s Marvin Bagley III as our ACC Player of the Year. After his first two collegiate contests, I would already like a mulligan on that.

Bonzie Colson is the ACC Microsite’s Preseason Player of the Year (USA Today Images)

That honor instead went to Notre Dame senior forward Bonzie Colson in unanimous fashion. Diminutive for his position, the 6’5” Colson is coming off an all-ACC first team selection in which he averaged a double-double, and finished 10th in KenPom’s Player of the Year standings.

Preseason All-ACC First Team

  • Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame (40)
  • Joel Berry, North Carolina (30)
  • Grayson Allen, Duke (29)
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke (28)
  • Bruce Brown, Miami (FL) (24)

Preseason All-ACC Second Team

  • Deng Adel, Louisville (18)
  • Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech (11)
  • Bryant Crawford, Wake Forest (10)
  • Tyus Battle, Syracuse (7)
  • Matt Farrell, Notre Dame/ Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech (6)

Honorable Mention: Jerome Robinson, Boston College; MJ Walker, Florida State; Kyle Guy, Virginia; Abdul-Malik Abu, NC State ; Theo Pinson, North Carolina.

Preseason ACC Standings

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Duke was our unanimous preseason selection as the league’s champion. Just as predictably, all four ballots selected Pittsburgh to finish Kevin Stallings’ second campaign in the ACC cellar. Patton was the only panelist of the four to choose a team other than Notre Dame as the league’s runner-up, opting instead for Virginia there. This represented the greatest discrepancy on a single team between two voters, as I selected the Cavaliers to finish 10th in the league standings.

  • 1- Duke (60)
  • 2- Notre Dame (55)
  • 3- North Carolina (50)
  • 4- Miami (45)
  • 5- Louisville (42)
  • 6- Virginia (40)
  • 7- Virginia Tech (36)
  • 8- Florida State (34)
  • 9- North Carolina State (25)
  • 10- Clemson (22)
  • 10- Syracuse (22)
  • 12- Wake Forest (19)
  • 13- Georgia Tech (16)
  • 14- Boston College (10)
  • 15- Pittsburgh (4)

Superlatives: ACC Preseason Coach of the Year

Our Coach of the Year selections mirrored our unique bullishness on certain teams. Patton went with Virginia’s Tony Bennett, and if this iteration of the Cavaliers does in fact finish as high as second in the ACC standings, then he is likely to win the award. McDonald tabbed Louisville rookie head coach David Padgett for the honor. The high man on the Cardinals (third), McDonald thinks the Cardinals’ roster strength will trump the swirling controversy around the program. Again, if Padgett finds a way to block out the noise and his team plays to its potential, then it’s hard to imagine him not procuring the award.

Jenkins went with Clemson’s Brad Brownell, a coach who, as he enters his eighth season at the school, is probably most in need of an overachieving season. The seemingly perennial hot seat on which Brownell sits is now scalding, with his Tigers having missed the NCAA Tournament in every subsequent year since a single appearance in 2011. Last year was especially disappointing, with some extraordinarily bad luck in close games ultimately torpedoing the year and resulting in a 12th place finish. Jenkins is banking on a turnaround, picking Clemson to finish eighth this year.

As for me, I went with North Carolina’s Roy Williams, the head coach of the reigning national champions. After appearing in consecutive title games, the Tar Heels are expected to take an understandable step back this year. But if Williams keeps his team competitive for the league title despite all of his key personnel losses, he may just steal his third such distinction. That is, of course, if Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t do something crazy like go undefeated. And, after what Williams’ newbies showed in their first two games against weak competition, I’m not one who would make that bet.

Matthew Auerbach (70 Posts)

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