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ACC Roundup - Media Day Edition

Lots of good stuff out of Charlotte Wednesday.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Operation Basketball
Oct 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils player Amile Jefferson speaks to the media during ACC Operation Basketball at The Ritz-Carlton.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC’s Operation Basketball took place Wednesday and some things were fairly predictable.

Duke was picked first and Boston College last. Dennis Smith was picked as the ACC Pre-season Rookie of the Year. It might’ve been Harry Giles if he were healthy and could easily have been Jayson Tatum. Smith is likely to have a bigger individual impact on his team than any other ACC newcomer.

In other news, Roy Williams has some empathy for Josh Pastner but cautions that things will be hard for awhile.

Danny Manning has his own players now save one and he’s put together a young, athletic team. He has big guards now and should be able to put a ton of pressure on the opponents. We think Wake is significantly underrated. That’s a solid team. It’s just a question of time.

Miami got some good news - Deng Gak picked the ‘Canes. He’s a talented and interesting player, one of the many Sudanese who are finding their way to basketball after being forced to flee their war-wracked homeland.

Kevin Stallings, newly installed at Pitt, touched briefly on the recent protests in the sports world.

Tony Bennett is really ready to get to the Final Four - but is Virginia up to it? The defense will be, but no one wins a game 2-0.

It’s a time for optimism for everyone, even BC. We enjoyed following some comments on Twitter today. BC has a long way to but the kids seem excited which is a big plus.

There are a ton of questions to answer: how soon will Duke be healthy? How bad will the NCAA hit Louisville and UNC? Just how good is Dennis Smith? Omer Yurtseven? We love his name by the way. It sounds like an address at a Mongolian cul-de-sac.

Clemson gets questions about making the tournament but the Tigers have a solid shot.

The most interesting question to us won’t be answered until March: who makes the NCAA field?
Our best guess:

Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia, Louisville and Notre Dame are almost sure to make it. Miami, FSU, Virginia Tech, NC State, Pitt and Wake Forest also have solid shots. We’d only rule out BC and Georgia Tech. That’s how good the ACC is this year.

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