With August finally arriving, the college basketball season is right around the corner. After a down year in the conference, the ACC is prepared to have a bounceback season in college hoops. With plenty of talent remaining in and joining the conference, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein has released his preseason All-ACC Team.
Rothstein has his preseason ACC leader, the North Carolina Tar Heels, taking two of the five selections, including the ACC Player of the Year.
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Armando Bacot – North Carolina
Tar Heel senior center Armando Bacot had a breakout season in ’21-’22. He posted career highs in points per game (16.3), rebounds (13.1), and blocks (1.7). He helped lead North Carolina, who opened as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, all the way to the Final Four and a national championship appearance. The NCAA named Bacot to their All-Tournament and All-Region Teams during UNC’s run. Afterward, he elected to return for a senior season and will be back to lead a contender in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina point guard Caleb Love joins Bacot on Rothstein’s preseason First Team. Love improved on a strong freshman campaign with 15.9 points and 3.6 assists as a sophomore. Alongside Bacot, they’ll likely open as pieces of a top team in the preseason.
NC State’s Terquavion Smith, Miami’s Isaiah Wong and Duke freshman Dereck Lively round out Rothstein’s All-ACC First Team. Smith was an honorable mention last season while Wong was a member of last year’s All-ACC Third Team. Lively II is expected to be the next great Blue Devil freshman as the No. 2 player in the 2022 class according to On3’s Consensus Top Basketball Recruits.
Rothstein selected five top-level talents for the team with four of them coming from team’s that at least made the Elite Eight. All five will be vying for a similar end to their season once college basketball tips off soon.