Media poll picks Pitt basketball to finish last in the ACC

November 14, 2018

Pitt basketball has nowhere to go but up in the ACC after the release Thursday of the conference’s preseason poll of 121 media members.

The Panthers, coming off a winless 2018 ACC season, but sporting first-year coach Jeff Capel and four freshman newcomers, were picked to finish last in the 15-team league. Pitt received 241 voting points, 72 behind 14th-place Wake Forest.

Duke, which has been to the past 23 NCAA Tournaments, is the preseason favorite after advancing to the Elite Eight for the 21st time last season. The Blue Devils received 52 first-place votes and 1,709 points.

Defending ACC champion Virginia received 47 first-place votes (1,699) and placed second to Duke in the predicted order of finish, followed by North Carolina (20 first-place votes), Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Notre Dame. Miami, Louisville, Boston College, Georgia Tech Wake Forest and Pitt round out the balloting. Syracuse and Clemson each received one first-place vote.

Forward R.J. Barrett, one of five freshmen who will play prominent roles for Duke this season, is the choice for ACC preseason rookie of the year. North Carolina senior Luke Maye was voted the preseason player of the year and heads the Preseason All-ACC team.

Maye and Barrett are joined on the preseason All-ACC first team by Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, Virginia’s Kyle Guy and Boston College’s Ky Bowman.

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