UNC second in ACC preseason poll; Anthony predicted as freshman of the year, All-ACC

Brant Wilkerson-New

Media members who cover the ACC expect Duke and North Carolina to battle for the league's regular-season title yet again.

In voting by 111 representatives at ACC Operation Basketball on Tuesday, the Blue Devils were chosen as the favorite with 51 first-place votes and 1,564 points.

The Tar Heels were third among teams to receive first-place votes with 19, but their point total of 1,493 pushed them past Louisville, which came in with 29 first-place votes and 1,448 points.

Defending national champion Virginia was fourth with the remaining 12 first-place votes and 1,405 points overall.

A changing of the guard is expected for the ACC's Freshman of the Year as Carolina's Cole Anthony received 89 votes, followed by Duke's Vernon Carey Jr. (8) and Wendell Moore Jr. (5).

Blue Devils have dominated the award in recent years, with a Duke player being named the conference's newcomer of the year in five of the past six seasons.

Anthony was also third among players predicted to make the All-ACC first team with 81 votes. Joining him are Louisville's Jordan Nwora, Duke's Tre Jones, Notre Dame's John Mooney and Virginia's Mamadi Diakite.

Garrison Brooks was named to the second All-ACC team along with Carey, Markell Johnson (N.C. State), Chris Lykes (Miami) and Trent Forrest (Florida State).

Johnson is expected to lead the surging Wolfpack this season who were voted sixth in the preseason poll, with the senior guard even receiving a vote for ACC Player of the Year.

In that voting, Nwora (55) beat Anthony (31) and Jones (19) in predictions for the league's top individual honor.

After a dismal 11-20 season and 4-14 record in the ACC, Wake Forest was predicted to finish just behind Virginia Tech for last in the league.

Full results

ACC Preseason Order of Finish (first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Duke (51), 1564
2. North Carolina (19), 1493
3. Louisville (29), 1448
4. Virginia (12), 1405
5. Florida State, 1157
6. NC State, 1038
7. Notre Dame, 915
8. Syracuse, 910
9. Miami, 768
10. Pitt, 577
11. Clemson, 564
12. Georgia Tech, 437
13. Boston College, 382
14. Virginia Tech, 334
15. Wake Forest, 328

Preseason All-ACC Team

First Team
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 95
Tre Jones, Duke, 89
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 81
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 51
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 49

Second Team
Markell Johnson, NC State, 39
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 19
Chris Lykes, Miami, 18
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina, 11
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 11

Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 55
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 31
Tre Jones, Duke, 19
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 3
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 2
Markell Johnson, NC State, 1

Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 89
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 8
Wendell Moore Jr., Duke, 5
Casey Morsell, Virginia, 3
Cassius Stanley, Duke, 3
Matthew Hurt, Duke, 3