Duke picked as ACC preseason favorite
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Armed with a talented freshman class, Duke is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils received 41 of 65 first-place votes from media members at Wednesday's league media day, outdistancing North Carolina, ACC newcomer Louisville and reigning champion Virginia atop the standings.
That group will chase Duke's first ACC regular-season or tournament title since 2011.
''I think we do have the ability'' to win the ACC, Cook said, ''but we had the ability last year and we had the ability my freshman year and sophomore year. ... Our young guys have got to step up because they're good enough to have an immediate impact and we need them to grow up fast.''
The Blue Devils were picked first for the second straight season and 14th time under Krzyzewski.
The Tar Heels were second with 12 first-place votes and have the league preseason player of the year in junior guard Marcus Paige, who made a habit of coming up with big second-half performances last season and averaged 17.5 points per game.
''I hope that means it can translate to wins,'' Paige said of his honor. ''I see that they picked us second in the conference and we have goals of finishing higher than that.''
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap