College Sports

2014-15 ACC basketball preseason picks: How we see it

Andrew Carter

1. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have the best player in the conference (Marcus Paige) and their most complete team, overall, in two seasons. The pieces are in place for UNC to play at Roy Williams’ preferred pace, and in his preferred style.

2. Virginia

3. Duke

4. Louisville

5. Syracuse

6. Florida State

7. Miami

8. Pittsburgh

9. Notre Dame

10. N.C. State

11. Clemson

12. Wake Forest

13. Georgia Tech

14. Virginia Tech

15. Boston College

First team All-ACC

Marcus Paige, G, UNC

Malcolm Brogdon, G, Virginia

Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame

Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

Player of the year

Marcus Paige, UNC: He did it all for the Tar Heels last season, and he’ll have more help this season. His leadership and basketball intelligence can’t be overstated.

Rookie of the year

Jahlil Okafor, Duke: He’ll have some competition from his teammate, Tyus Jones, and from UNC’s Justin Jackson. But Okafor is in the best position to come in and make an immediate impact.

Luke DeCock

1. North Carolina: Roy Williams has spent the past few seasons fitting square pegs into round holes. When he has the right pieces, he knows how to make the whole machine work.

2. Virginia

3. Duke

4. Louisville

5. Miami

6. Syracuse

7. Pittsburgh

8. N.C. State

9. Florida State

10. Notre Dame

11. Clemson

12. Virginia Tech

13. Georgia Tech

14. Wake Forest

15. Boston College

First team All-ACC

Marcus Paige, G, UNC

Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame

Malcolm Brogdon, G, Virginia

Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Player of Year

Marcus Paige, North Carolina: While undersized, he’s the complete package otherwise: A shooter, a scorer, a distributor, a leader.

Rookie of Year

Jahlil Okafor, Duke: If Okafor is as good as coach Mike Krzyzewski says he is, he might be the best player in the league.

Laura Keeley

1. Virginia: Malcolm Brogdon is one of the best guards in the league, and Tony Bennett’s pack-line defense will cause problems again. The frontcourt of Justin Anderson, Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey will be as big and formidable as any in the ACC. Also, the unbalanced schedule tilts in Virginia’s favor (one game against UNC, Duke, Syracuse and Pitt).

2. North Carolina

3. Duke

4. Louisville

5. Pittsburgh

6. Syracuse

7. Miami

8. N.C. State

9. Florida State

10. Notre Dame

11. Georgia Tech

12. Wake Forest

13. Clemson

14. Virginia Tech

15. Boston College

First-team All-ACC

Marcus Paige, G, UNC

Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke

Malcolm Brogdon, G, Virginia

Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Olivier Hanlan, G, Boston College

Player of the Year

Marcus Paige, UNC: He has proven he can put a team on his back (see last season’s win at N.C. State). This season, he’ll have more help from his supporting cast, and he will thrive in whatever role UNC needs him most (point guard, shooting guard, 3-point shooting, etc).

Rookie of the Year

Jahlil Okafor, Duke: The Blue Devils have dedicated their offense to showcasing Okafor’s talents – when Krzyzewski does that for a player, the accolades typically follow.

Joe Giglio

1. UNC: Justin Jackson, “Skinny” Kennedy Meeks, Joel Berry, J.P. Tokoto – the Tar Heels will be so much more than just Marcus Paige this season, but it doesn’t hurt that Paige is still around to lead the show.

2. Duke

3. Virginia

4. Louisville

5. Syracuse

6. N.C. State

7. Miami

8. Pittsburgh

9. Florida State

10. Notre Dame

11. Boston College

12. Wake Forest

13. Clemson

14. Georgia Tech

15. Virginia Tech

First-team All-ACC

Marcus Paige, G, UNC

Tyus Jones, G, Duke

Malcolm Brogdon, G, Virginia

Jerian Grant, G, Notre Dame

Montrezl Harrell, F, Louisville

Player of the year

Marcus Paige, UNC: It will be impossible to duplicate the improvement he had from the middle of his freshman season to his All-ACC sophomore season, but Paige is the conference’s best player and competitor.

Rookie of the year

Tyus Jones, Duke: It’s difficult to control games without the ball in your hands. That’s why I think the outstanding freshman point guard will be the key to Duke’s success.

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