In other news water is wet, the sky is blue and the United States has landed on the moon.
I was half tempted to pull out the post from last year predicting this same result. As it turns out UNC had a little more difficulty winning the ACC than originally predicted and Tyler Hansbrough was supplanted my Jared Dudley from Boston College. What will this season hold? Here is what the media predicted via the ACC:
ACC Pre-Season Team
Tyler Hansbrough, Jr., North Carolina
Sean Singletary, Sr., Virginia
Tyrese Rice, Jr., Boston College
Brandon Costner, So., NC State
Ty Lawson, So., North Carolina
ACC Pre-Season Player of the Year
Tyler Hansbrough, Jr., North Carolina (60)
Sean Singletary, Sr., Virginia (4)
ACC Pre-Season Rookie of the Year
Kyle Singler, Duke (36)
J.J. Hickson, NC State (15)
Nolan Smith, Duke (5)
5 others with 8 votes
UNC is a unanimous selection and since this is based on how the teams look on paper you would have to be downright foolish not to see it that way. Speaking of foolish, there were some oddities in the voting such as someone actually thinking Boston College will finishe second, third or fourth for that matter. Some esteemed members of the media think Virginia Tech and Miami have a shot at finishing sixth. In the case of the Hokies, I think Seth Greenberg is running a good program in Blacksburg so anything is possible whereas the vote who put Miami anywhere in he land of single digit places is likely the by-product of some sort of chemical influence.
And no offense to any other states in the conference but seeing Tobacco Rd in the top three slots is, shall we say, as it should be? Think of it was the natural order of things in the ACC when the three Triangle area schools rule the roost. If the voting is indication of the season(and take that with a grain of salt) the Duke-NC State finish will be a photo one and there seems to be marked distinction between the top three and everyone else. I really cannot point to any surprises in the actual finishing order. Clemson returns an experienced team to build on last season’s early success. Virginia and Maryland will depend heavily on quality guard play, which they both have. Georgia Tech, Boston College and Florida State all have bright spots amid various uncertainties which usually leads to finishing middle to bottom of the ACC. Virginia Tech was depleted by graduation and some transfers and Miami is Miami. I will point out that Wake Forest has that intangible motivation working for them but the question is the present talent gap too much to overcome. The safe bet is probably so and 11th seems about right but if they went higher I would not be surprised in the least.
On the individual honors Tyler Hansbrough enters the season the favorite for conference player of the year. Hansbrough collected all the votes except for the four which went to UVa’s Sean Singletary. Hansbrough is also going to get plenty of Wooden Award buzz alongside every other national honor one can attain. Obviously you cannot reasonably win a national honor if you do not win the conference one. I am expecting Hansbrough to have a monster season with Wright gone and a better compliment in the person of Deon Thompson. I also expect the perimeter shooting to be better and Ty Lawson drive opposing defenses nuts which all should help Hansbrough be a beast in the lane. If that does not exactly transpire or Hansbrough is merely really good and not insanely great then the door opens for Singletary or a dark horse such as Brandon Costner. In fact I thought Costner would have gotten some votes. I am not certain if it says more about Hansbrough or Costner that the latter did not garner a POY vote despite being named to the preseason All ACC team.
Speaking of that All-ACC team I was a little amused thinking about a starting lineup including two small point guards in Ty Lawson and Tyrese Rice, a shooter in Sean Singletary with Hansbrough and Costner. I realize it is supposed to be the best five players regardless of position but that lineup just seems a little odd. As for rookie of the year, I think NC State’s J.J. Hickson is the better choice to end UNC’s three year streak.
That is the story on paper which will be shredded into tiny little bits of paper by Martin Luther King Day.