Tony Bennett's men's basketball team has been picked by the media to finish next-to-last in the ACC this year:
Duke and North Carolina tied for first place in the voting by media representatives participating in the preseason poll with 545 points. Duke had 25 first place votes, North Carolina 20, Georgia Tech two and Wake Forest had one first place vote. Clemson was third in the poll with 409 points followed by Georgia Tech (387), Maryland (378), Wake Forest (315), Florida State (314), Virginia Tech (273), Boston College (251), Miami (135), Virginia (116) and NC State (76).
Duke’s Kyle Singler was the selection as the conference’s preseason Player of the Year and Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors was selected as the ACC preseason Rookie of the Year.
The five-man preseason All-ACC Team included Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Trevor Booker (Clemson), Kyle Singler (Duke), Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech) and Ed Davis (North Carolina). Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg finished sixth in the voting.
Frankly, I'm pretty happy with the 11th place prediction. I am surprised the Hoos aren't picked to finish dead last. Last night, I read the annual Sporting News college basketball preview magazine, and they had Virginia finishing 12th.
Look, low expectations are great for Coach Bennett. I will go on the record now, however, and predict that there's no way in the world UVa finishes 11th or 12th in the ACC. I expect the Hoos to outperform expectations. They aren't going to be in the top half of the league, but I think they'll finish ahead of Miami and NC State, at least. The Hoos are going to surprise a few folks with their tenacity on the defensive end.
Also nice to see Sylven Landesberg get some love. No, he wasn't named to the preseason All-ACC first team, but to finish sixth as a sophomore from the team picked to finish 11th...well, not bad. It will be interesting to see how Landesberg improves as a leader with this crew in 2009-10.
I think we're going to have lots of fun watching the Hoos this winter, if we aren't expecting miracles from the new coach.