Oct. 28, 2015

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Members of the Atlantic Coast Conference media contingent assembled in Charlotte on Wednesday for ACC Operation Basketball, the annual media day for the conference.

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team was selected to finish fourth in the 2015-16 Preseason ACC poll, according to a vote of the media in attendance. Fighting Irish junior guard Demetrius Jackson was named to the Preseason All-ACC first team, while senior forward Zach Auguste was a second-team selection.

Notre Dame returns three starters — Auguste (12.9 ppg./6.5 rpg.), Jackson (12.4 ppg./3.6 rpg./3.1 apg.) and junior guard Steve Vasturia (10.1 ppg./3.0 rpg.) — from a squad that won the school’s first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The Irish were picked to finish seventh in the preseason conference standings prior to the title-winning run last season.

Overall, Notre Dame concluded its 2014-15 campaign with a 32-6 record (the second 30-win season in school history) and 14-4 mark in ACC play. The Irish advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1979.

The media picked North Carolina to win the conference, as the Tar Heels received 60 of 89 first-place votes in Wednesday’s preseason poll. Virginia, which has placed atop the ACC regular-season standings in both 2014 and 2015, was chosen second with 18 first-place votes. Duke, Notre Dame and Miami rounded out the top-five team selections.

Marcus Paige from North Carolina and Malcolm Brogdon from Virginia were named the Preseason ACC Co-Players of the Year after each recived 36 votes among those casting ballots. Paige averaged 14.1 points and 4.5 assists last season while shooting .395 from 3-point range and .865 from the foul line. Brogdon (14.0 ppg) was a finalist for the 2015 John Wooden Award and was named a second-team All-American by four publications.

Joining Paige, Brogdon and Jackson on the Preseason All-ACC first team were Duke’s Brandon Ingram and Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Virginia’s Anthony Gill, Duke’s Grayson Allen, NC State’s Anthony “Cat” Barber, North Carolina’s Brice Johnson and Auguste were second-team choices.

Ingram, a 6-foot-9, 190-pound swing man from Kinston, North Carolina, was the overwhelming choice as ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year on 82 of the ballots cast.

The Tar Heels tied with Kentucky for the No. 1 spot in the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll, while Duke ranked fourth and Virginia sixth. Notre Dame was voted 18th, while Louisville, NC State, Florida State and Miami all received votes.

The regular season begins for all 15 ACC teams the weekend of Nov. 13-15. In addition to an 18-game regular season conference slate, the 63rd annual ACC Tournament is set for Thursday, March 8 through Saturday, March 12 at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center.

ACC Operation Basketball 2015-16 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

Team & Points
1. North Carolina (60): 1292
2. Virginia (18): 1226
3. Duke (8): 1187
4. Notre Dame (1): 949
5. Miami: 841
6. Florida State (1): 827
7. Louisville: 821
8. NC State: 808
9. Syracuse (1): 666
10. Pitt: 623
11. Wake Forest: 391
12. Clemson: 359
13. Georgia Tech: 296
14. Virginia Tech: 260
15. Boston College: 134

2015-16 Preseason All-ACC Team
(votes in parenthesis)

First team
Marcus Paige, Sr., North Carolina (86)
Malcolm Brogdon, Sr., Virginia (77)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, So., Florida State (43)
Brandon Ingram, Fr., Duke (29)
Demetrius Jackson, Jr., Notre Dame (28)

Second team
Anthony Gill, Sr., Virginia (27)
Grayson Allen, So., Duke (27)
Zach Auguste, Sr., Notre Dame (24)
Anthony “Cat” Barber, Jr., NC State (22)
Brice Johnson, Sr., North Carolina (22)

ACC Preseason Co-Players of the Year
Marcus Paige, Sr., North Carolina
Malcolm Brodgon, Sr., Virginia

ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year
Brandon Ingram, Duke