The 2018-19 ACC Preseason Media Poll was released earlier today as part of the conference’s annual Operation Basketball that were conducted Wednesday at Spectrum Center in Charlotte. The annual preseason poll counts with predictions for the conference’s finish order, Player and Freshman of the Year predictions as well as ACC first and second team projections.
The Demon Deacons were picked to finish second-to-last in the ACC at 14th, only ahead of Pittsburgh. After the rough year they had last season and losing four major contributors in Bryant Crawford, Doral Moore, Mitchell Wilbekin, and Keyshawn Woods, it is understandable that Wake Forest is being placed at the bottom of the ACC to start the season. This is an extremely young team with a lot of potential but also a lot of question marks heading into the 2018-19 season.
Wake Forest picked to finish 14th in the ACC Basketball Preseason Media Poll. Jaylen Hoard picks up three votes (of 121) for ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year (won by Duke's RJ Barrett.— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) October 25, 2018
Wake Forest’s Freshman and Frenchman Jaylen Hoard received three votes for the preseason Freshman of the Year award and finished on the poll ahead of names like Coby White (North Carolina), Nate Laszewiski (Notre Dame) and Jairus Hamilton (Boston College). This was not surprising given Hoard’s strong senior year in High School and a solid performance at the 2018 Jordan Brand Classic.
However, what was surprising was Hoard also receiving one vote for ACC Player of the Year tied with Cam Reddish (Duke) and T.J Gibbs (Notre Dame) who also received consideration. This another good sign of the strong Freshman class the Deacs have this year and one that will be heavily relied on this season. Luke May out of North Carolina was elected the Preseason ACC Player of the Year with 50 votes.
What wasn’t so much of a surprise was Duke being voted to finish first in the ACC with Virginia and North Carolina rounding out the top 3. The Blue Devils bring a stacked 2018 Freshman headlined by the No. 1 recruit in the nation R.J Barrett and high school phenom Zion Williamson. Both were the two rookies with most votes for Freshman of the Year award, Barrett at first with 66 and Williamson at second with 43. The vast majority of the league believes that the ACC FOY plays in Durham, but it is still to be determined who it will be.
The Demon Deacons will open conference play at Georgia Tech on January 5th at 2 PM ET.
What are your reactions to the ACC Preseason Medial Poll? Were the Deacs ranked too low or just about right? Is Hoard a legit candidate for ACC Freshman of the Year? Share your thoughts on the comment section and as always Go Deacs!