Oct. 16, 2013
Charlotte, N.C. – Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team was picked to finish 11th Wednesday by the media attending the Atlantic Coast Conference’s annual “Operation Basketball” media day.
The Yellow Jackets have tied for ninth in the conference regular season standings in each of their first two seasons under head coach Brian Gregory, posting league records of 4-12 and 6-12, respectively. The ACC had 12 members each of those seasons, but has expanded to 15 members this season with the addition of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, three NCAA Tournament teams from 2013.
Tech’s pre-season projections in basketball magazines have ranged from ninth to 11th, with most projecting the Yellow Jackets to make the NIT field in the post-season. Tech’s top two scorers – sophomore forwards Marcus Georges-Hunt (6-5, 10.8 ppg) and Robert Carter, Jr. (6-8, 9.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg) are back this season along with senior center Daniel Miller (6-11, 8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and sophomore guard Chris Bolden (6-3, 7.3 ppg) from last year’s starting lineup.
Tech was represented at Operation Basketball by fifth-year seniors Kammeon Holsey (6-8, 8.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg), one of the ACC’s top sixth-men a year ago, and ACC All-Defensive team pick Miller, as well as Gregory.
“From where we were two years ago to where we are now, I think we are much different program and much different team,” said Gregory. “The question is have we been able to take enough steps in order to be able to compete on a nightly basis with those other teams who have done that over the years. Notre Dame has done that. Pittsburgh has done that. Obviously, Syracuse has done that. There’s no question that this is the most competitive league in the country. Hopefully what it will do is at the end of the year if you are good enough to get an at large bid to the NCAA tournament, you are prepared to make a run in that NCAA tournament.”
Duke will enter the 2013-14 season as the Atlantic Coast Conference favorite. The Blue Devils received 50 of 54 first-place votes in a preseason poll of media in attendance at Wednesday’s event. ACC newcomer Syracuse (three first-place votes) placed second in the voting, followed by North Carolina (one first-place vote) and Virginia.
Notre Dame placed fifth, followed by Pittsburgh, Maryland and Boston College. Florida State placed ninth, followed by NC State, Georgia Tech, defending ACC champion Miami, Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia Tech.
Syracuse senior forward C.J. Fair, who led the Orange in scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg) last season, received the nod as ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Fair received 17 votes in the Player of the Year balloting, edging Virginia senior Joe Harris (16 votes) by one. Duke’s Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward from Chicago, was the overwhelming choice as ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year on 52 of the 54 ballots cast. Fair, Harris, Parker, Hood and Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant were selected as the Preseason All-ACC Team.
With Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse joining the ACC last July 1, the conference now boasts 15 members. In addition to an 18-game regular-season conference schedule, the 61st annual ACC Tournament will consist of 14 games and will be played from Wednesday through Sunday (March 12-16). ACC teams open regular-season play the weekend of Nov. 8.
ACC Operation Basketball 2013-14 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Duke (50), 805
2. Syracuse (3), 753
3. North Carolina (1), 668
4. Virginia, 612
5. Notre Dame, 608
6. Pitt, 477
7. Maryland, 473
8. Boston College, 457
9. Florida State, 334
10. NC State, 332
11. Georgia Tech, 311
12. Miami, 224
13. Wake Forest, 220
14. Clemson, 141
15. Virginia Tech, 65
2013-14 Preseason All-ACC Team
C.J. Fair, Syracuse
Joe Harris, Virginia
Rodney Hood, Duke
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Jabari Parker, Duke
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
C.J. Fair, Syracuse (17 votes)
Also receiving multiple votes: Joe Harris, Virginia 16; Rodney Hood, Duke 7; Jabari Parker, Duke 5; Olivier Hanlan, Boston College 3
ACC Rookie of the Year
Jabari Parker, Duke (52 votes)
Also receiving votes: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse 1; No player named on 1 ballot