Looks like another Tobacco Road team is picking up the preseason hype in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
North Carolina State was tabbed by the conference coaches as the preseason favorite, the ACC released today.
The Wolfpack got eight of a possible 12 first-place votes, beating out Duke (three) and and North Carolina (one).
That’s some serious pub for a team that, in its first season under Mark Gottfried, made a surprise run to the Sweet 16 as a 12-seed.
The preseason love for N.C. State didn’t end with the team. C.J. Leslie was tabbed as the preseason ACC Player of the Year while Rodney Purvis was named preseason freshman of the year. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown were named preseason first team all-ACC. North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo, Florida State’s Michael Snaer and Mason Plumless of Duke rounded out the all-conference team.
That’s a ton of faith in a team that was a one-year wonder. Gottfried got an average team to overachieve last season, now it’ll be up to him to keep this team from getting something it’s not used to having, an inflated ego. Gottfried was decent at that at Alabama, with five NCAA Tournament appearances in a row from 2001-2006.
Gottfried also brought in a consensus Top 10 recruiting class for 2012, so that’s probably a contributing factor.
After N.C. State, Duke was picked to finish second, followed by North Carolina, Miami and Florida State. In order, Maryland, Virginia, Clemson, Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech (tie), Wake Forest and Boston College round out the voting.
Not sure if the league thinks N.C. State will be that good or the league will meet it by being a bit down this season, but the Wolfpack are getting a ton of love.