Louisville hoops picked third in the ACC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The University of Louisville men's basketball team was picked to finish third in the preseason ACC men's basketball poll on Wednesday during the league's media day at the Westin Hotel. Junior Montrezl Harrell was voted on the first-team All-Conference team.

When told his team figured to be picked to finish third in its inaugural season in the ACC, University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino shook his head.

"I can assure you Duke and North Carolina are one and two," Pitino said. "We have a long way to go. We're going to have a very good basketball team, but we're so young."

Pitino was spot on with his analysis of the league's top two spots and his team is picked third in the league. The leagues media voted Duke No. 1 with 41 first-place votes, while UNC was second with 12 and U of L third with 3.

The rest of the league in order: Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Florida State, North Carolina State, Miami, Clemson, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Virginia Tech. A total of 56 votes were submitted.

Pitino said he was fine with third but noted, "we're not there yet."

"We're going to be a very good basketball team," he said. "But we're young and it's just going to take time. We just need to keep practicing and get better."

North Carolina's Marcus Paige was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year from the ACC, while U of L junior Montrezl Harrell was the second pick by the media.

Also on the first team All-ACC team is Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor, Virginia's Marcus Brogdon and Notre Dame's Jerian Grant.

"Montrezl's game has really evolved," Pitino said. "He's worked hard and I think he's one of the premier power forwards in the country."

Pitino later added that had Harrell not come back for his junior season that U of L would have "been lucky to win five league games.

The Cardinals open play Nov. 14 against Minnesota in Puerto Rico.

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