ACC media votes Duke as No. 1, NC State’s Smith as top rookie

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Duke has been picked to win the ACC ahead of North Carolina, Virginia and Louisville.

Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen was selected the preseason player of the year by a wide margin over Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame, and North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was voted rookie of the year.

Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils picked up 85 first-place votes and 1,359 points in voting by league media. Defending champion UNC had the other six first-place votes.

Syracuse was fifth followed by N.C. State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Boston College.

UNC’s Joel Berry II and Virginia’s London Perrantes joined Allen, Blossomgame and Smith on the preseason all-ACC first team. The second team consisted of UNC’s Justin Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon, FSU’s Dwayne Bacon and Pitt’s Michael Young.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford won’t rule out holding future neutral-site championship events in the state of North Carolina, assuming things change with a law limiting protections for LGBT people.

The ACC last month followed the NCAA’s lead in removing 10 events — including the football championship game and the women’s basketball tournament — from the state for the 2016-17 sports year. That came in response to a law signed earlier this year restricting the rights of LGBT people.

Speaking during his annual commissioner’s forum, Swofford said “the door is open if things change for us to come back” in future years. Swofford also said the league heard “a lot of support, a lot of disappointment” from fans after pulling the events.

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