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Wake Forest Picked to Finish 9th in the ACC by Media

The always important preseason votes are out

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Clemson Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball season is right around the corner, and the ACC has released this year’s preseason awards as voted on by the media. The Deacs were once again picked to finish in the bottom half of the conference, coming in at #9 in the ACC with 672 points. The poll breaks down as follows:

  1. North Carolina (90), 1504
  2. Duke (2), 1339
  3. Virginia (6), 1310
  4. Miami (2), 1138
  5. Florida State, 1064
  6. Notre Dame, 971
  7. Virginia Tech (1), 921
  8. Syracuse, 700
  9. Wake Forest, 672
  10. NC State, 548
  11. Clemson, 528
  12. Louisville, 477
  13. Boston College, 368
  14. Pitt, 320
  15. Georgia Tech, 260

Before we grab our torches and pitchforks over a meaningless poll, let me remind you that the Deacs lost the reigning ACC Player of the Year, a 1st round NBA draft pick, a 7-foot center, and a pretty solid 3 and D guy... and that’s just on the starting lineup. Replacing the likes of Alondes Williams, who could give the Deacs a 19-5-5 stat line almost every game, and Jake LaRavia, a 6-8 point forward who shot 57% from the field last season, is an incredibly difficult task. The Deacs have some new players on the roster, but the chances of finding multiple diamond-in-the-rough type players in the transfer portal in back-to-back seasons is probably quite slim. So, while Wake did finish 5th in the ACC last season at 13-7, being voted to finish 9th this season shouldn’t be all that shocking.

Wake Forest also didn’t have any players selected for the Preseason All-ACC teams or any players with votes for Preseason Player of the Year. Of course, they didn’t last year either and that worked out pretty well for them.

These polls, while meaningless, do a great job of getting the fans excited for the upcoming season. Obviously, the Tar Heels are the favorite pick to win the conference, seeing as they return 3 of their top 4 scorers from last season’s team, including double-double machine Armando Bacot. Duke always gets plenty of votes based off the off-season hype from their recruiting, but with so many freshmen every year, it’s hard to know whether or not that will pan out. Virginia and FSU both had down years last season, but they definitely get the benefit of the doubt because of the respect commanded by their coaches. The same could be said about Syracuse, but since the Orange lost a large percentage of their scoring from last season and haven’t won more than 10 ACC games since 2014, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them finish in the double-digit range.

This season should give us a chance to see if last year’s success was a flash in the pan, or if Forbes is capable or reproducing those results year after year by finding gems in the transfer portal. I won’t be betting against him.

Go Deacs!