Oct. 26, 2008
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has been projected to finish eighth in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season race in voting by 40 media members at the league’s annual Basketball Media Day Sunday at the Marriott Marquis hotel.
For a second-straight year North Carolina was a unanimous choice to finish first atop the standings, and are a consensus No. 1 pick nationally. Duke was picked for second, while Wake Forest was voted third. Miami was fourth, followed by Clemson (fifth) and Virginia Tech (sixth).
The Yellow Jackets, who finished 15-17 last year and tied for seventh place in the conference, did not see a significant change in their predicted finish from most preseason magazines, despite losing senior guard D’Andre Bell for the season due to a spinal condition.
Tech returns four players with starting experience in guards Maurice “Moe” Miller and Lewis Clinch and post players Zachery Peacock and Gani Lawal. Freshman guard Iman Shumpert received votes for the league’s projected all-freshman team.
“I think we have a very talented team,” Hewitt said Sunday. “If we have to point to two areas that are really strong, I would have to say the point guard position, because of Moe [Miller] and Iman [Shumpert], and our big guys. We have five big guys that can really run and contribute. Now in terms of depth at the perimeter, with the loss of D’Andre Bell, it certainly is not where we would like it to be. But I think it’s a talented group that should be capable of getting back to the NCAA tournament.”
The Tar Heels are led by pre-season ACC Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough a 6-9, 250-pound senior forward from Poplar Bluff, Mo., averaged 22.6 points and 10.2 rebounds last season while earning first-team All-America honors for a third-straight year and consensus National Player of the Year honors.
Wake Forest Al-Farouq Aminu was the media’s choice for the ACC pre-season Rookie of the Year. Aminu, a 6-9, 215-pound freshman from Norcross, Ga., garnered 18 first-place votes, out-distancing Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg in the voting.
Hansbrough and Boston College’s Tyrese Rice were unanimous selections for the pre-season All-ACC team. Also named to the pre-season time were Miami’s Jack McClinton, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Gerald Henderson from Duke.
Team Predictions, Pts.1. North Carolina (40), 4802. Duke, 4363. Wake Forest, 3544. Miami, 3445. Clemson, 3066. Virginia Tech, 2987. Maryland, 1928. Georgia Tech, 1869. NC State, 17910. Florida State, 14511. Boston College, 12312. Virginia, 79
Pre-Season All-ACC Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., UNC* Tyrese Rice, Sr., BC* Jack McClinton, Sr., UM Ty Lawson, Jr., UNC Gerald Henderson, Jr., Duke *denotes unanimous
ACC Pre-Season Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., North Carolina (40)*
ACC Pre-Season Rookie of the Year Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest (18); Sylven Landesberg, Virginia (4), DeQuan Jones, Miami (2); Tony Woods, WF (2); Iman Shumpert, GT (2); seven others received votes.