Defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Duke leads the 2017-18 preseason media poll conducted as part of the league’s annual Operation Basketball held earlier this week in Charlotte.
The Blue Devils, 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.
Duke returns senior guard Grayson Allen and welcomes a highly-rated recruiting class led by 6-11 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, NC State, Clemson, Boston College and Pittsburgh rounded out the voting.
Notre Dame’s Colson, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was also voted the National Preseason Player of the Year by Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook. Colson finished strong at the end of the 2016-17 season, scoring at least 20 points in eight of his final 12 games. He finished the season averaging a double-double with 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Colson led the conference in rebounding and ranked ninth among all scorers.
Duke’s Bagley, who hails from Phoenix, Arizona, was regarded as the consensus No. 1 recruit in the high school class of 2017 after reclassifying from the 2018 class (where he was also regarded as the consensus No. 1). Bagley averaged 25.8 points, a league-high 14.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game for the Nike Phamily on the EYBL circuit in 2017. A USA Today All-USA first-team selection as a prep junior in 2017, he averaged 24.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game to lead Sierra Canyon to a 27-3 record.
Colson, Allen and North Carolina’s Joel Berry II lead the balloting for the Preseason All-ACC Team. They are 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 consists 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.
The regular season begins for all 15 ACC teams the weekend of November 10. In addition to an 18-game regular-season conference schedule, the 65th annual New York Life ACC Tournament will be played for the second consecutive year at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, tipping off with first-round games on Tuesday, March 6, and concluding with the Saturday night championship game on March 10.
ACC Operation Basketball 2017-18 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)
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)
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)