ACCBR’s Final Preseason Rankings and Predictions

With less than three weeks to go until the 2019-20 college basketball season, it is time for the final ACC Basketball Report preseason prognostications. Today, I’ll reveal my national Top 25, our collaborative ACC Power Rankings, All-ACC team selections, and individual awards.

These rankings continue to get more and more difficult each season. This season, I think there is clearly a top four in the national championship hunt. While most people are thinking Michigan State is the obvious choice for the number 1 spot to start the season, there are very good cases to be made for Louisville, Kansas and Florida in my opinion. Enough of the preamble, here they are.

Mychal Hunter’s Final Preseason Top 25:

1Michigan State
9Seton Hall
10Texas Tech
15Ohio State
23Utah State

I could try to explain my reasoning with the poll, but I think I have done that pretty well throughout the off-season. It’s only a preseason rankings, it’s going to be wrong and I am ok with that.

Moving into our bread and butter here at ACC Basketball Report, here is our final preseason power rankings poll:

NC State121110151159
Florida State910129949
Notre Dame119981047
Georgia Tech6666428
Virginia Tech3234214
Wake Forest2423314
Boston College131117

As you can see, when it comes to the top of the league we are all in the same area. The middle of the pack is the most interesting. Two votes for Syracuse at 8 and a trio of them at 11. Clemson receiving a top 10 vote in the league was not something I was prepared for, nor was a vote for Boston College being anything other than last.

Some comments regarding the final poll:

In regards to the Wolfpack, here is what Big Kat had to say about his alma mater:

“NC State: Ahead of schedule is the best way to describe Kevin Keatts’s tenure at State so far. They have the senior leadership of Markell Johnson, the size, and the depth to make some noise in the ACC this year. The key factor for the Pack will be can they be consistent on offense.

Charlie Manolakis thinks the Tar Heels will sport depth again this season, even though they experienced a ton of turnover.

“After the transfer of Seventh Woods and the loss of five of their top six scorers from a year ago, the 2020 Tar Heels feature more new faces than fans in Chapel Hill are accustomed to as of late. Don’t let that fool you, freshman Cole Anthony, a projected lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft, is a dynamic threat as a scorer and playmaker and is positioned to be one of the league’s most productive players. The health of Sterling Manley and freshmen guards Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis will be paramount, but the addition of five-star Armando Bacot and graduate transfers Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce to a solid wing and front court rotation will make the transition easier. The return of junior forward Garrison Brooks, senior wing Brandon Robinson, and sophomore swiss-army-knife Rechon “Leaky” Black means Coach Williams could once again find himself at the helm of one of the nation’s deepest and most complete rosters by the time March rolls around.”-Charlie Manolakis

J-Dub was higher on Florida State than any of us. Why? Their guard trio.

“Florida State is a team that always has long and athletic guards that will play tough defense. Assuming they get improvements from MJ Walker, Trent Forrest and Devin Vassell, this team is capable of being near the top of the ACC standings.”

Why do I love Louisville?

“I finally just came to the conclusion that I love this Louisville team for the same reason I loved UNC last season. Depth and versatility. By the time ACC play is in full swing, the Cardinals will be six deep in the front court and six deep in the back court. They can shoot, rebound, protect the rim and give their opponents a ton of different looks on both ends of the floor.”

Why are we “low” on Virginia?

“I still like Virginia. I think Virginia dances. There are just more questions than answers for me. Yes, Tony Bennett is a great coach. Now what? Everyone’s roles on this team have either changed or are being replaced for the most part. Clark is a great defender, but can he be relied upon to score? Casey Morsell is a great piece, is he ready to go right now? How much time will Tomas Woldetensae need to go from being a JUCO All-American to the type of shooter that replaces a legend like Kyle Guy? For me there were a few teams with fewer question marks. Coaching is a great thing to have, but someone needs to make shots.” – Mychal

Now for the reveal of our preseason All-ACC Teams. The formula is pretty simple, a first team vote is worth three points, second team is two points, etc. Luckily for me, it worked out perfectly.

First Team
Jordan Nwora-F Louisville
John Mooney-F/C Notre Dame
Cole Anthony-PG UNC
Markell Johnson-PG NC State
Tre Jones-PG Duke
Second Team
Chris Lykes PG-Miami
Mamadi Diakite-F Virginia
Xavier Johnson-PG-Pitt
Vernon Carey Jr-F/C-Duke
Elijah Hughes-G/F Syracuse
Third Team
Garrison Brooks-F UNC
Trent Forrest-PG-FSU
Brandon Childress-PG-Wake
James Banks III-C-Georgia Tech
Matthew Hurt-F Duke

Three out of five of us had the exact same first team, which is the first team shown above. Mamadi Diakite, Elijah Hughes and Chris Lykes also received first team votes.

Honorable Mention: Jose Alvarado, Armando Bacot, MJ Walker, TJ Gibbs

ACC Coach of the Year

Chris Mack of Louisville

Mack received three of the five votes. Other coaches receiving some love were Kevin Keatts of North Carolina State and Jeff Capel of Pittsburgh (onions!).

ACC Player of the Year

Jordan Nwora-F Louisville

The Louisville Cardinal forward received three of the five votes. The remaining two votes went to Markell Johnson of North Carolina State and Cole Anthony of North Carolina.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year

We have a tie.

Tre’ Jones-PG Duke: A fairly obvious choice and one I almost went with myself.

Trent Forrest-PG Florida State: Trent received my vote, I think he will buckle down in his senior season as he makes this team his.

Also receiving a vote was Dwayne Sutton of Louisville.

ACC Rookie of the Year

Cole Anthony-PG North Carolina

This choice was rightfully unanimous. The kid is going to put up gargantuan (yeah, I just wanted to use that word) numbers.

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