The BSD guys made a handful of predictions but only reached a consensus on a couple of different things: Virginia Tech will be last in the ACC, and both Joe Harris and C.J. Fair will be First Team All-ACC selections. Beyond this, anything is possible for the upcoming season.
With 15 teams in the conference for the first time, the rankings came out in a variety of different ways. While most ballots had similar thoughts throughout, there were certainly a couple out there which deviated slightly from the norm. Without further ado, here is the first annual Blogger So Dear ACC Preseason Composite Ranking:
1. Duke (119)
2. Syracuse (112)
3. North Carolina (101)
4. Virginia (96)
5. Notre Dame (87)
6. Pittsburgh (80)
7. Maryland (63)
8. Boston College (60)
9. Georgia Tech (56)
10. N.C. State (45)
11. Wake Forest (43)
12. Florida State (38)
13. Miami (25)
14. Clemson (17)
15. Virginia Tech (8)
Note: The BSD panel consisted of eight writers and each first place vote counted as 15 points, second place vote counted as 14 points, and so on until a fifteenth place vote counted as 1 point.
First Team All ACC (italics indicates unanimous selection):
Joe Harris (8)
C.J. Fair (8)
Jabari Parker (6)
P.J. Hairston (6)
Olivier Hanlan (4)
Player of the Year: C.J. Fair (Syracuse)
Others Receiving Votes: Joe Harris (UVA), Jabari Parker (Duke), Olivier Hanlan (BC), Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke)
Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker (Duke)
Others Receiving Vote(s): Tyler Ennis (Syracuse)
Defensive Player of the Year: K.J. McDaniels (Clemson)
Others Receiving Votes: Daniel Miller (GT), Devin Thomas (Wake Forest)
Coach of the Year: Tony Bennett (Virginia)
Other's Receiving Votes: Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
There were a few consistent themes throughout the ballots which came just short of establishing a unanimous selection. Every ballot except for Riley's had Duke winning the conference. Riley had Syracuse winning the title and believes that C.J. Fair and Jim Boeheim will combine to dethrone the Blue Devils in their first year in the conference. Similarly, each ballot with the exception of Mundy's had Clemson finishing in 14th place. Mundy had Miami in the 14th spot but had Clemson only one spot higher in 13th.
Jake was the lone holdout on crowning the much hyped Jabari Parker unanimous Freshman of the Year as he selected Tyler Ennis for the accolade. Ennis, a fantastic player in his own right, was recently named one of ten freshmen on the National Freshman of the Year watch list along with Parker. Daniel Miller, who was named to the 2012-13 All-ACC Defensive team, received two votes and finished in second place behind K.J. McDaniels for preseason Defensive Player of the Year
No team received a more varied response for where they would finish than Maryland, who in their final year in the ACC was selected as high as sixth in ballots and as low as twelfth. Virginia Tech on the other hand was picked to finish last on every single ballot. The BSD crew is also buying stock in Virginia and Tony Bennett as the Cavaliers were picked to finish in 4th, one spot behind UNC, and Bennett received the preseason Coach of the Year award with half of the eight votes. Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke both received two votes a piece.
We seemingly struggled on where to place the Demon Deacons as well, but were relatively consistent across the board. Every ballot had the Deacs somewhere between 9th (Matt) and 12th (Rob), while the lone individual vote for a player came for Devin Thomas for Defensive Player of the Year. For the most part voters were cautiously optimistic about the Deacons but weren't willing to place the team much beyond the middle of the pack.
Five players other than the First Team All-ACC squad received votes for the first team ballot, led by Notre Dame's Jerian Grant who had three votes, followed by Duke's new transfer Rodney Hood with two votes, and Boston College's Ryan Anderson, Maryland's Dez Wells, and Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon who each had one vote. Additionally Sulaimon got a lot of support from Mundy who chose him to be the 2013-14 ACC Player of the Year.
Many ballots also included a few comments about the votes, some of which are included below:
"Teams to watch out for: Even without Alex Len, Maryland has loads of talent and wants to leave the ACC with the last laugh. The youthful Georgia Tech team showed signs last year, but lacked consistency. With a year under their belt, the duo of Robert Carter and Marcus George's-Hunt will take the league by surprise.
While Duke lost the trio of Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and mason plumlee, they are arguably a better team than last season. With the additions of freshman Jabari Parker, transfer Rodney Hood and the maturation of Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon, the Blue Devils have the firepower to match up with the nations best. They spread the floor from the perimeter better than any team and will hide their lack of size. I believe they run away with the ACC.
I'm higher on Wake than most are, and think the Deacs can crack the top ten in conference. I'm also not as high on UVA and BC as the media is in general.
I could see Wake finishing anywhere from as high as 8th to as low as 12th. The non-conference schedule is so weak, that I think it actually gives the Deacs a chance at an NIT appearance (I can’t believe this is a seriously aspiration). On the other hand, I just can’t see Wake winning any road games with the exception of maybe Clemson, Virginia Tech and possibly the U.
I moved Notre Dame up and down a hundred times. I think with all of their experience they could actually give Duke a tough time. I am not sure how I feel about Cuse, other than C.J. Fair and possibly Ennis I don’t really know a heck of a lot about the Orange."
In regards to All-ACC, I had a hard time keeping guys like Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon off the list. Conversely, I did not have a difficult time keeping P.J. "Steal, shoot and run" Hairston & James McAdoo off of the list because I am not convinced that either of those guys haven't already hit their ceiling.
Tony Bennett seemed like an easy pick for Coach of the Year because UVA didn’t (which they probably should have) make the NCAA tourney last year and I project UVA does this year probably as a 4-5 seed. The jump is probably enough to let Bennett jump coaches that may have a "better" year."
It will be interesting as the year goes on to see how these predictions actually pan out. For the most part the rankings mirror the media's picks, but in general BSD seems to be more bullish on Georgia Tech while more critical of Florida State than the media was. Additionally we picked Wake to finish one spot ahead of where the media had the Deacs, but that's to be expected as we are after all a Wake Forest blog.
We at Blogger So Dear are extremely excited about the upcoming season and can't wait for the Deacs (as well as 14 other ACC schools) to take the court on Friday night for the season tipoff. If you have any comments or opinions on the upcoming year let us know in the section below and as always, go Deacs!
If you want even more in-depth coverage of every team, be sure to check out the ACC basketball season preview podcast.