Duke is the preseason pick to win the ACC and Paolo Banchero is the preseason favorite to win ACC player of the year and freshman of the year, as voted on by the league’s media members.
It’s the seventh time in the last nine seasons that Duke has been the preseason pick to win the league. Duke was picked to finish first on 47 of the 81 ballots submitted.
Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech, in that order, rounded out the top five for the ACC’s picks.
Banchero was picked as preseason player of the year on 28 ballots – 12 more than runner-up Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech. The 6-10, 250-pound Blue Devils freshman was a runaway favorite for preseason freshman of the year, garnering 64 of 81 votes.
Fellow Duke freshman Trevor Keels was picked to be freshman of the year on five ballots, while Wendell Moore Jr. (three) and Mark Williams (two) also received votes for preseason player of the year.
Banchero was joined on the All-ACC preseason team by Aluma, Buddy Boeheim (Syracuse), Isaiah Wong (Miami) and Armando Bacot (UNC). Moore and Williams were on the All-ACC preseason second-team.
The selection as favorite to win the ACC comes a day after the first Associated Press Top 25 poll of the season has Duke as the No. 9 team in the country, the highest-ranked ACC team.
Other teams in the AP Top 25 were North Carolina (19), Florida State (20) and Virginia (25). Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville also received votes.