Return of National Player of the Year Candidate Filipowski Makes Duke A Team To Beat
The jury is still out on Jon Scheyer as he replaces Mike Krzyzewski as the Duke basketball coach, but there is no questioning that he has one talented roster to work with in his second NCAAB season calling the shots for the Blue Devils. Duke should be a favorite by the time the ACC Basketball Tournament rolls around.
North Carolina joins Miami, coming off a run to the Final Four, and Virginia as other teams to keep an eye on.
When it comes to the best NCAAB teams heading into the 2023-24 season, Duke is second in the Associated Press poll and third in the coaches’ poll. Miami is 13th in both polls, with North Carolina No. 19 in the AP poll and 21st in the coaches’ poll. Virginia didn’t crack the Top 25 but is receiving votes in both polls.
Three of the top 12 players listed in the national Player of the Year odds hail from the ACC.
Duke’s Kyle Filipowski (+800) is second in the player of the year odds while North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (+1600) and RJ Davis (+4000) are also in the running for individual honors.
Duke received 44 of the 51 first-place votes in the preseason ACC poll. Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and Clemson rounded out the top five.
Filipowski was picked to be the ACC Player of the Year. He was joined on the preseason All-ACC First Team by North Carolina’s Bacot, Clemson’s PJ Hall, Reece Beekman of Virginia and Miami’s Norchad Omier.
Those making college basketball picks today should know that Duke (+1100) is second in the odds to win the national title. North Carolina (+2500) is tied for 10th with Miami (+4000) tied for 20th.
Duke returns its top four scorers from a season ago and once Kyle Filipowski decided to return for his sophomore season, the Blue Devils figured to be among the teams to beat in the national championship race.
It is not a one-person team with Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell and Ryan Young among the other returning players.
Freshmen Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead declared for the NBA Draft and both were selected in the first round.
Nijel Pack, Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar are the top returning players while adding Florida State’s top scorer Matthew Cleveland certainly helps fill some of the void left by Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller, who were both selected in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft. Miami should be a threat in the regular NCAA basketball season and at the ACC Basketball Tournament.
Guard Caleb Love landed at Arizona while Leaky Black and Pete Nance also departed. The Tar Heels were active in the transfer portal to find help for Bacot and guard R.J. Davis.
Brown’s No. 2 scorer, Paxson Wojcik, Harrison Ingram (a double-digit scorer at Stanford) and Notre Dame wing Cormac Ryan are among the incoming transfers for North Carolina. Freshman Zayden High had a double-double in an exhibition win over St. Augustine’s.
Beekman and Isaac McNeeley will be joined by Merrimack’s top scorer Jordan Minor as top offensive players. It might be hard to make NCAAB score predictions until Virginia gets into the ACC portion of the season.
The Tigers return Leading scorer P.J. Hall and fellow double-digit point producer Chase Hunter are joined by Syracuse transfer Joseph Girard for a Clemson team that finished a game behind Miami and Virginia in the 2022-23 ACC standings.
Sean Pedulla and Hunter Cattoor were double-digit scorers for Virginia Tech and they will lead the Hokies this season. Replacing top scorer Grant Basile won’t be easy.
Northwestern forward Robbie Beran, Old Dominion wing Mekhi Young and former Virginia high school star Tyler Nickel transferred in from North Carolina.
Former Syracuse great Adrian Autry takes over for the legendary Jim Boeheim at his alma mater. Losing Joseph Girard and Jesse Edwards hurts. Judah Mintz could be ready for a tremendous sophomore season, while former Notre Dame guard JJ Starling figures to make an immediate impact.
Pittsburgh brings back its top scorer in Blake Hinson but loses the other top six point producers, so there is some work to be done.
The addition of Rhode Island’s top scorer, Ishmael Leggett, who scored at least 20 points in nine games a season ago, and High Point forward Zack Austin (14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds) will give some support to Hinson.
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