ATLANTA -- ACC Media Day just wrapped up here at the Marriott Marquis and your Miami Hurricanes have been tabbed to finish as the fourth-best team in the conference this year. Last year, UM was picked last and surprised everyone but coach Frank Haith in finishing fifth at the end of the regular season. UM completed a 23-11 season by losing to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Now, the expectations are much higher. I've got tons of interviews with various players and coaches I'll upload later tonight. But the most intriguing thing I took away from today was just how much of a superstar Jack McClinton has become. No, North Carolina's golden boy, Tyler Hansbrough, wasn't here. And yes, he was once again tabbed the ACC's Preseason Conference Player of the Year. But nobody might have gotten more love today than McClutch, who along with Hansbrough, Boston College's Tyrese Rice, UNC's Ty Lawson and Duke's Gerald Henderson were selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
McClinton has made a lot of friends in the ACC and impressed a lot of coaches and opponents with what he's been able to accomplish in his two years at UM. Maryland guard Greivis Vazquez who said he used to hate McClinton because he would kill the Terps, but said Jack and him have become close friends after being roommates at Chris Paul's summer camp and now calls Jack "my favorite player in the league." Rice told me he was blown away with McClinton's work ethic when they two attended several camps together. "I thought I worked hard," Rice said. "But this guy will never choose party time or chill time if he can be out on the court getting better. He's so focused, he's not going to let those guys slip no matter what their ranked."
McClinton was his usual humble self when we talked to him this morning about the expectations being placed on him and the team. It's my thought that as long as he stays healthy and doesn't lose his voice, you won't see a drop off with this team. He simply won't let it happen.
Anyway, I don't want to drown you with basketball talk considering the football Canes are hot right now. I'm not sure many of you would care to talk hoops. But I'll have more basketball to share with you as we get closer to the start of the season on Nov. 15. Besides, UM's Basketball Media Day is tomorrow -- and I don't want you to already get sick of a basketball second-helping.
Here's how the 40-writers voted for the preseason teams.
Predicted Order of Finish: 1. North Carolina (40 first place votes) 480 total points; 2. Duke (436); 3. Wake Forest (354); 4. Miami (344); 5. Clemson (306); 6. Virginia Tech (298); 7. Maryland (192); 8. Georgia Tech (186); 9. N.C. State (179); 10. Florida State (145); 11. Boston College (123); 12. Virginia (77). Manny's ballot: 1. UNC; 2. Duke; 3. Miami; 4. Wake Forest; 5. Virginia Tech; 6. Clemson; 7. Florida State; 8. Maryland; 9. Georgia Tech; 10. N.C. State; 11. Virginia; 12. Boston College.
Rookie of the Year: Al Farouq-Aminu, Wake Forest (18); Sylven Landesberg, Virginia (4); DeQuan Jones, Miami (2); Tony Woods, Wake Forest (2); Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech (2); 7 others tied with one vote. Manny's ballot: DeQuan Jones, Miami.