The arrival of coach Kenny Payne means new hope for the Louisville men’s basketball team.
It doesn’t come with great expectations.
The Cardinals on Tuesday were projected to finish 12th in the ACC standings this season in a poll of media who cover the league. Louisville went 6-14 in conference play last season and finished 11th in a tumultuous season coached by Chris Mack and interim coach Mike Pegues.
North Carolina, the preseason No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top 25, was the media pick to win the ACC. The Tar Heels received 90 first-place votes. Duke was picked second and had two first-place votes. Virginia, picked third, got six first-place votes. Miami, with two first-place votes, was picked fourth and Florida State fifth.
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Virginia Tech, picked seventh, was the only other school to get a first-place vote.
Last week at ACC Tipoff in Charlotte, Cards guard El Ellis said the lack of expectation for his team “motivates us a lot.”
“Because we know what we have in our locker room and we know we have on our coaching staff,” Ellis said “We have everything we need to win games. We have everything that we need to be successful.”
Center Sydney Curry said perceived slights “for sure” motivates the Cardinals.
“I feel like we’re a good team,” Curry said. “We’re going to show a lot of people are wrong this year.”
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Preseason ACC men’s basketball predicted order of finish
|team||First place votes|
|1. North Carolina||90|
|5. Florida State|
|6. Notre Dame|
|7. Virginia Tech||one|
|9. Wake Forest|
|10. NC State|
|13. Boston College|
|15. Georgia Tech|
Preseason ACC awards announced
In addition to the order of finish, media covering the ACC named conference award winners and a preseason all-conference team and a pair of award winners.
North Carolina’s Armando Bacot was named preseason ACC Player of the Year with 82 votes. Miami’s Isaiah Wong (five votes), North Carolina’s Caleb Love (four), Duke’s Jeremy Roach (three), Clemson’s PJ Hall and North Carolina’s RJ Davis (two apiece) were the only other players who received multiple votes.
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Dereck Lively II of Duke was named preseason ACC Rookie of the Year with 57 votes. The Blue Devils had the top four vote-getters, with Dariq Whitehead (25 votes), Tyrese Proctor (five) and Mark Mitchell (three) all selected on multiple ballots.
Another Duke newcomer, Kyle Filipowski, received two votes, as did Tyler Nickel and Jalen Washington of North Carolina and JJ Starling of Notre Dame.
Preseason All-ACC first team
|F||Armando Bacot||North Carolina||one hundred|
|G||Caleb Love||North Carolina||58|
|G||Terquavion Smith||NC State||46|
Preseason All-ACC second team
|C||Dereck Lively II||Duke||19|
|F||Justyn Mutts||Virginia Tech||18|
|G||RJ Davis||North Carolina||14|
Reach Louisville men’s basketball reporter Brett Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @BDawsonWrites.