Virginia Preseason Favorite for 2020-21 ACC Men’s Basketball; Garrison Brooks POY

Virginia has been chosen as the preseason favorite to capture the 2020-21 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, as chosen by media members in advance of the 2020 Operation Basketball event. It marks the first time since the 1982-83 season that the Cavaliers were selected the preseason ACC favorites.

Among the 155 voters in the poll, Virginia received 97 first-place votes. Duke, reigning ACC champion Florida State, North Carolina and Louisville also received first-place votes and followed Virginia in second through fifth in the projections, respectively. FSU’s third-place ACC finish matches its highest preseason mark in program history (1992-93, 2011-12 seasons).

Syracuse, Miami, NC State, Georgia Tech and Clemson held the sixth through 10th spots, respectively, while Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Pitt, Boston College and Wake Forest rounded out the poll.


Garrison Brooks, Player of the Year

North Carolina senior forward Garrison Brooks was selected as the Preseason ACC Player of the Year. A second-team All-ACC honoree last season, Brooks also earned the 2020 ACC Most Improved Player Award. Named to the national watch list for the 2021 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, Brooks averaged 16.8 pppg and a team-high 8.5 rpg last season. He led the ACC in scoring in conference play at 18.8 ppg and was second in rebounding (9.0) and field goal percentage (.535).


Scottie Barnes, Freshman of the Year

Florida State guard Scottie Barnes was picked as the Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year. The highest rated recruit at FSU under head coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff (No. 6 nationally), Barnes was selected to play in the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Game and the Nike Hoop Summit following his senior season.

Brooks and Barnes also were selected to the Preseason All-ACC First Team and were joined by Virginia senior guard Sam Hauser, Duke freshman forward Jalen Johnson, Clemson senior forward Aamir Simms and Miami senior guard Chris Lykes.

Louisville sophomore guard David Johnson, Georgia Tech senior guard Jose Alvarado, Florida State guard M.J. Walker, Virginia junior guard Kihei Clark and Duke sophomore forward Wendell Moore Jr. made up the Preseason All-ACC Second Team.

The 2020-21 regular season opens Wednesday, Nov. 25, with non-conference action. The conference slate begins Saturday, Dec. 12, with Syracuse traveling to Boston College.


Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Virginia
  2. Duke
  3. Florida State
  4. North Carolina
  5. Louisville
  6. Syracuse
  7. Miami
  8. NC State
  9. Georgia Tech
  10. Clemson
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Pittsburgh
  14. Boston College
  15. Wake Forest


Preseason All-ACC Team

First Team

  • Garrison Brooks, North Carolina
  • Sam Hauser, Virginia
  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State
  • Jalen Johnson, Duke
  • Aamir Simms, Clemson
  • Chris Lykes Miami


Second Team

  • David Johnson, Louisville
  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech
  • MJ Walker, Florida State
  • Kihei Clark, Virginia
  • Wendell Moore Jr., Duke


Preseason ACC Player of the Year

  • Garrison Brooks, North Carolina


Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year

  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State


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