That honor went to Wake Forest, which had a total of 965 points and was picked first on 65 of 91 ballots by the media in attendance at the annual ACC Operation Basketball. The last time the Demon Deacons were predicted to win the league was in 1997.
North Carolina was predicted to finish second and received just 13 first-place votes and 866 points, with the Yellow Jackets coming in third with 10 first-place votes and 836 points. Duke, predicted fourth, got three votes for first and had 746 points.
N.C. State came in fifth with 607 points and just edged out Maryland, which had 605 points. Florida State was seventh with 414 and Virginia eighth with 394.
Clemson was selected ninth with 256 points, while Virginia Tech was 10th with 171 and Miami 11th with 146.
Prior to the release of the poll, Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said his team should be selected either eighth or ninth. The voters must have listened.
Wake Forest guard Chris Paul and N.C. State forward Julius Hodge led the way with the most votes for the preseason All-Conference Team. UNC's Rashad McCants and Sean May, as well as Duke's J.J. Redick filled out the remaining spots.
Paul was chosen as the preseason player of the year, while UNC's Marvin Williams was picked as the league's preseason rookie of the year.
You don't have to ask Redick twice what he thinks about the expansion in the ACC. You get a pretty clear picture from his first remark
"In a negative way, it kind of takes away from the tradition and rivalries," he said. "I think they were brought in because of football and money. It really didn't mean much to basketball."
Hodge, who has always been very skinny and took beatings whenever he drove toward the basket, has added nearly 20 pounds of muscle. But he didn't do it for reasons you might think.
"I felt that it would make me look sexier when I take my shirt off at the beach," he said.
UNC player Sean May says that his 6-foot-9, 266-pound body is still growing. But he hasn't quite caught up to his feet. He wears size 19 when playing and size 20 when away from the court. …
Georgia Tech center Luke Schenscher said some people back in his homeland of Australia were excited for his team's success last year, but certainly not everybody.
"A lot of people don't really care about it. They just wanted to know if I was going to be playing Australian Rules Football or rugby anytime soon," he said.
Here are some unique quotes from each of the 11 head coaches:
CLEMSON COACH OLIVER PURNELL
"The league is better than it was last year. How do you get better than being the best? It's going to make for an exciting season. Our fans are going to be treated to watching great players, but even better teams," he said when asked about the strength of the ACC.
DUKE COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
"You don't become a successful program until you win a championship of some kind. And for us, that was in 1986," he said when asked when did Duke's transformation into a national power take place.
FLORIDA STATE COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
"I think you put a lot more hours in at the college game. If you don't you'll just fall through the cracks," he said when asked about the difference between coaching in college and the NBA.
GEORGIA TECH COACH PAUL HEWITT
"Being in Atlanta, it hasn't been that different. One of the benefits of being in Atlanta is there is so much going on. I've always tried to work in a city because it does keep things in perspective. I'm still not as popular as Georgia football, but every season ticket for this year was sold two weeks after the Final Four," he said when asked if his personal life has changed any since playing in the championship game last year.
MARYLAND COACH GARY WILLIAMS
"The great games in the league last year, you can't get any better. But you can get more just like them and I think that's what's going to happen," he said when asked how the league can improve on last year's season.
MIAMI COACH FRANK HAITH
"(South Carolina coach Dave Odom told me to) listen to country music, because if you listen to those guys, they're more screwed up than you are," he said when asked what piece of advice he got about being a first-year head coach.
NORTH CAROLINA COACH ROY WILLIAMS
"There's no question it's not fair. We have to go to Wake Forest and Wake Forest doesn't come to the Smith Center," he said when asked if the new ACC schedule is fair for everybody.
N.C. STATE COACH HERB SENDEK
"He can certainly be better. We've identified a number of things he could do. I gave him a list of about 10 things," he said when asked if Wolfpack star player Julius Hodge could improve on last year.
VIRGINIA COACH PETE GILLEN
"We're much quicker and we're more athletic, but I don't know if it'll make any difference," he said when asked how difficult the ACC is.
VIRGINIA TECH COACH SETH GREENBERG
"I can talk about being in the league, but I think once people see us and that association, I think that's when it will happen," he said when asked if being in the ACC has helped in recruiting.
WAKE FOREST COACH SKIP PROSSER
"I really think a really good team will finish eighth. We're trying hard not to finish eighth, but a really good team will finish eighth," he said when asked about how deep the conference is in quality teams.
Basketball: Tigers Predicted Ninth
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