Members of the media predicted a second-place finish for North Carolina and all-conference honors for Cole Anthony and Garrison Brooks in preseason voting released today by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
At Tuesday's ACC Operation Basketball in Charlotte, the conference's annual preseason event, media members picked Duke to win the conference in 2019-20, followed by UNC second, Louisville third and Virginia fourth. The Tar Heels received 19 first-place votes to the Blue Devils' 51, while Louisville and Virginia received 29 and 12, respectively.
Anthony was named the ACC's Preseason Freshman of the Year, receiving 89 of the 111 votes. Duke's Vernon Carey Jr. came in second with eight votes. Anthony also earned a spot on the Preseason All-ACC First Team. The highly touted point guard received 81 votes, behind only Jordan Nwora of Louisville (95) and Tre Jones of Duke (89).
Voting for Preseason Player of the Year saw Anthony come in second with 31 votes, while Nwora claimed the honor with 55 votes.
Brooks, meanwhile, earned on the Preseason All-ACC Second Team with 11 votes. The junior forward averaged 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds and started all 36 games for a UNC team that went 29-7 last year.
The Tar Heels will look to follow up a season in which they won a share of the ACC regular season title, along with eventual national champion Virginia, and fell in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament to Auburn. After losing his top five scorers from 2018-19, head coach Roy Williams has incorporated six new players into the fray: Anthony, grad transfers Justin Pierce and Christian Keeling, and three more first-years.
Check out the full results of the ACC's preseason voting below:
ACC Preseason Order of Finish (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Duke (51), 1564 points