cloudy
Wednesday February 10th, 2016 3:53AM

Duke named preseason favorite in new-look ACC

By The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is again coaching the team picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.<br /> <br /> The Hall of Famer knows it's going to be a lot tougher to live up to the preseason prediction with the addition of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the ACC.<br /> <br /> While the Blue Devils are the preseason favorite for the first time in three years, the league is adding an Orange program that features Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and preseason ACC player of the year C.J. Fair. The ACC is also adding a pair of perennial NCAA tournament teams that left the reconfigured Big East to form what ACC coaches are quick to tout as the nation's best league.<br /> <br /> "We're going to see much more than Duke and Carolina showcased in this league with all of these new additions," Krzyzewski said Wednesday. "... In some way, I think that may have held the league back or held the people who think about basketball in our league back because you have this golden goose of Duke and Carolina. And now we don't have just one goose, man. We've got a lot of stuff."<br /> <br /> The Blue Devils earned 50 of 54 first-place votes from media members at the league's "ACC Operation Basketball" media day. Syracuse was picked second and earned three first-place votes, while North Carolina was picked third and earned the last one.<br /> <br /> All three new arrivals were picked to finish the top half of the 15-team league, with the Fighting Irish picked fifth and the Panthers picked sixth.<br /> <br /> It marked the 10th time in 17 years that the Blue Devils were picked to finish first in the league, though the first since before the 2010-11 season following Krzyzewski's fourth national championship. This year's team returns starters Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon from a 30-win team that reached an NCAA regional final before falling to eventual champion Louisville, which joins the ACC next season.<br /> <br /> That duo will join with highly touted freshman Jabari Parker, picked as the league's rookie of the year, and Mississippi State sophomore transfer Rodney Hood to form Duke's core.<br /> <br /> Both Parker and Hood were picked to the preseason all-ACC team, joining Fair, Virginia senior guard Joe Harris and Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant on the five-man squad.<br /> <br /> Fair, a 6-foot-8 senior, was the top scorer at nearly 15 points per game for the Orange, who reached the Final Four last year. Fair earned 17 votes for player of the year to edge out Harris, who earned 16 votes and is the only returning player from last year's all-ACC first team.<br /> <br /> Boeheim said it was "absolutely the right time" for the Orange to make the conference switch.<br /> <br /> "It's really not a difficult transition because the old Big East wasn't there," Boeheim said. "It had changed so dramatically. People don't realize the league changed so dramatically over the years - in, out, back and forth ... I mean, there's a certain degree of nostalgia about not being in that league because that's where you were for 34 years. But this is a better league."<br /> <br /> With this year's changes, the ACC will now have three of the five winningest programs in NCAA history with UNC (2,090 wins), Duke (2,001) and Syracuse (1,874) along with three of the five active Naismith Hall of Fame coaches in Krzyzewski, Boeheim and UNC's Roy Williams.<br /> <br /> "I'm not going to say it's going to be tougher," Pitt senior guard Lamar Patterson said. "Going into the unknown, it makes you a little wary. You want to make sure you go in there and compete and you give every team everything you've got."<br /> <br /> Virginia was picked fourth, followed by Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, reigning champion Miami, Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia Tech. This will be Maryland's final year in the league before leaving for the Big Ten.<br /> <br /> Notre Dame coach Mike Brey knows plenty about the tradition of Duke and UNC after eight years as an assistant to Krzyzewski, but he said the ACC is about to turn into more than just a two-team race.<br /> <br /> "Duke and Carolina is always going to be Duke and Carolina in this league. I can say that," Brey said. "I lived it, been there, done that. ... But you know what? With what's coming into this league and what's brewing, I think you have a lot of programs really trending up.<br /> <br /> "There's going to be a lot more to watch than Carolina and Duke. And I think Roy and Mike are as excited about that as anybody, to have some other stuff out there that's going to really wake people up."
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech falls to Ole Miss in Music City Bowl
Bo Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score and Mississippi beat Georgia Tech 25-17 Monday in the Music City Bowl for the Rebels' second straight bowl victory under coach Hugh Freeze.
8:17PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Boys basketball: Warriors takes third, Lumpkin shoots past Central-Carroll in Gold City Classic
White County finished third in the Gold City Classic after a 69-44 win over Wesleyan Monday.
11:45PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Lawsuit alleges Tennessee has 'hostile sexual environment'
A lawsuit filed by a group of women alleges that the University of Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a "hostile sexual environment" through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.
By The Associated Press
10:49PM ( 5 hours ago )
No. 22 Kentucky has it easy against Georgia in an 82-48 rout
Jamal Murray scored 24 points, Tyler Ulis added 14 and No. 22 Kentucky held Georgia to a season-low 22 percent shooting to coast to an 82-48 victory Tuesday night.
By The Associated Press
10:10PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Source: Ole Miss football cited in 13 of 28 violations
Mississippi's football program was cited by the NCAA in nearly half of the 28 rules violations levied against the school in the Notice of Allegations the university recently received, said a person with knowledge of the investigation.
By The Associated Press
9:54PM ( 5 hours ago )
UNG's Courtney Poole named Peach Belt Pitcher of the Week
Nighthawk ace Courtney Poole has been named the Peach Belt Conference AstroTurf Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday...
By UNG Athletics Communications
5:59PM ( 9 hours ago )
North Georgia's Sam Tidaback named PBC Player of the Week
University of North Georgia catcher Sam Tidaback has been named Peach Belt Conference AstroTurf Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.
By UNG Athletics Communications
2:56PM ( 12 hours ago )