ACC Preseason Basketball Poll

October 26th, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Everybody knows that coaches and fans can’t agree on anything. When it comes to predicting the order of finish in ACC men’s basketball, the media can’t seem to get on the same page, either.

For the first time in the 41-year history of preseason voting, there is a tie for No. 1. Duke, chosen first on 25 of 48 ballots cast, and North Carolina, recipient of 20 picks for the top spot, each finished with 545 points. Media members attending the ACC’s Operation Basketball on Sunday event cast the ballots.

While the tie is unprecedented, the selection of the Tar Heels and Blue Devils is far from rare. Either UNC (18 times) or Duke (12) had been chosen first in 30 of the previous 40 years of the informal (and non-binding) survey.

A similar oddity occurred in the voting for Player of the Year. Duke’s Kyle Singler, named on 19 ballots, is the predicted winner of the honor even though two other players outpolled him in the All-ACC selection process. Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez was an all-conference choice on 45 of the 48 ballots and Clemson forward Trevor Booker garnered 44 votes. Singler secured 43 votes for All-ACC but won the Player of the Year voting over Vasquez 19-15.

Booker’s Tigers (409 points) are the choice to finish third in the league standings. They edged Georgia Tech (387) and Maryland (378). Wake Forest (315) took sixth by a single point over Florida State and Virginia Tech (273), Boston College (251), Miami (135), Virginia (116) and N.C. State (76) rounded out the totals.

Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors, considered by some as the top freshman in the nation, was the runaway winner in the Rookie of the Year contest. He earned 40 votes; UNC forward John Henson was named on the other eight ballots.
Voting was conducted by media members attending the league’s Operation Basketball event at the Grandover Resort, a conference, hotel, spa and golf facility located less than two miles from the site of the ACC’s founding in 1953.

Singler, a junior forward Medford, Ore., won the Rookie of the Year award in 2008 and earned second-team all-conference honors last year as the Devils won the ACC Tournament title for the eighth time in the past 11 years and the 17th overall.

Vasquez placed in the ACC’s top seven in five major statistical categories in 2008-09 while joining Singler on the second-team all-conference group.

Booker is the ACC’s top returnee in rebounds and blocked shots and another second-teamer from last year.

Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney, the league’s top returning scorer from last year, also made the All-ACC team in Sunday’s preseason selections. North Carolina forward Ed Davis, who averaged 14 rebounds per 40 minutes played as a rookie, completed the squad.

The Blue Devils won or shared the regular-season title in seven of the 12 previous seasons in which they were predicted to do so. UNC’s success rate is 11-for-18 in that department.

All in all, media representatives have accurately predicted the winner in 20 of the 40 previous years and in five of the past six.

Favors would join a long line of Yellow Jackets to earn the Rookie distinction. Georgia Tech has produced 10 of the award’s first 24 winners.

Singler would be the 12th Blue Devil to win Player of the Year. The previous 11 have combined for 13 citations. Both totals are tops in the league.

2009-10 ACC Preseason Poll:
1. Duke, 545 (25)
1. North Carolina 545 (20)
3. Clemson, 409
4. Georgia Tech, 387 (2)
5. Maryland, 378
6. Wake Forest, 315 (1)
7. Florida State, 314
8. Virginia Tech, 273
9. Boston College, 251
10. Miami, 135
11. Virginia, 116
12. NC State, 76