ACC Basketball: 2016-17 preseason all-conference teams

The Atlantic Coast Conference is one of the top NCAA basketball conferences each year, and this season will be no different.

With perennial powers Duke and North Carolina at the top, closely followed by Virginia, Louisville and Syracuse, the ACC will have no shortage of excitement and star-power.

And with the start of a new season comes the expectations of teams and players based on past performances, high school careers and growth from one season to the next.

So much of this season will be based around the sensational freshman class that the ACC welcomes into the mix. Duke has a handful of five-star freshman and UNC reeled in a top-10 class to blend with their veteran squad. And North Carolina State boasts an impressive freshman that may stand out more than any other.

What will the results be by the end of the season? Nobody knows for sure. But let’s take a stab at what we think it may end up looking like.

Without further ado, take a look at Keeping It Heel’s 2016-17 ACC preseason awards and predictions.

Mar 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams cuts down the nets after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the championship game in the East regional of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Carolina won 88-74. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams cuts down the nets after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the championship game in the East regional of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Carolina won 88-74. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ACC Preseason Rankings

  1. Duke
  2. North Carolina
  3. Virginia
  4. Louisville
  5. Syracuse
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Florida State
  8. North Carolina State
  9. Virginia Tech
  10. Miami
  11. Pittsburgh
  12. Clemson
  13. Wake Forest
  14. Georgia Tech
  15. Boston College
Nov 21, 2015; Cedar Falls, IA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) is defended by Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 21, 2015; Cedar Falls, IA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) is defended by Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

First Team All-ACC

Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Berry returns to a UNC team that finished as the national runner-up and he’ll do his best to fill the void left by Marcus Paige.

Dennis Smith Jr., North Carolina State
Smith is the only freshman on my first team All-ACC, but his skill, versatility and star-power will validate the selection.

Grayson Allen, Duke
Allen is one of the deadliest shooters in college basketball and the heavy favorite for national player of the year honors.

Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Perhaps the lone bright spot on a Clemson team that will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament, Blossomgame will shine on his way to a terrific senior season.

Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
This super sophomore could’ve gone to the NBA as a high first round pick, but chose to return to Syracuse for his second season under head coach Jim Boeheim.

Feb 13, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; As Virginia Cavaliers guard London Perrantes (32) prepares to throw the ball in to a teammate he is taunted by Duke Blue Devils fans in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 13, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; As Virginia Cavaliers guard London Perrantes (32) prepares to throw the ball in to a teammate he is taunted by Duke Blue Devils fans in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Second Team All-ACC

London Perrantes, Virginia
Malcolm Brogdon is gone, but the Cavaliers return a talented team led by senior guard London Perrantes

Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Florida State welcomes back their talented sophomore guard, Dwayne Bacon, who teams up with sensational freshman big man Jonathan Isaac.

Andrew White III, Syracuse
After stints at Kansas and Nebraska, White finishes off his college career with a stop at Syracuse on a team that has a chance to go deep into March.

Jayson Tatum, Duke
Tatum has all the makings of a star, both collegiality and professionally, on a team that looks poised to win another national championship under legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Austin Nichols, Virginia
Memphis transfer Austin Nichols joins a team that needed little help to be considered a national title contender and with him, they’re now favorites.

Apr 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Justin Jackson (44) dunks the ball against Syracuse Orange center DaJuan Coleman (32) during the second half in the 2016 NCAA Men

Apr 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Justin Jackson (44) dunks the ball against Syracuse Orange center DaJuan Coleman (32) during the second half in the 2016 NCAA Men

Third Team All-ACC

Frank Jackson, Duke
Five-star freshmen at Duke grow on trees and Jackson is the latest to take up a starting role with the Blue Devils.

Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Jackson, now in his third season at UNC, looks to expand his game out beyond the three-point line in an effort to win a national title and increase his draft stock.

Jamel Artis, Pittsburgh
Jamel Artis, along with running mate Michael Young, will look to finish their careers off strong after long-time head coach Jamie Dixon left for TCU.

Michael Young, Pittsburgh
Michael Young, now in his senior season, teams up with new head coach Kevin Stallings in an effort to finish his college career on a high note.

Amile Jefferson, Duke
Jefferson is back after sitting out with an injury last season. Even with a standout group of talented freshman in the mix, he’ll start for the Dukies.

Mar 19, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen (3) reacts after scoring against the Yale Bulldogs during the first half of a second round game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 19, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen (3) reacts after scoring against the Yale Bulldogs during the first half of a second round game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

ACC Preseason Player of the Year

  1. Grayson Allen, Duke
    The obvious choice for ACC Player of the Year begins the season with a depleted roster that should only help his case.
  2. Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
    Blossomgame will be the focal point of basically every game and every offensive set this season. That’s bound to bode well for his stat line.
  3. Joel Berry II, North Carolina
    With Marcus Paige gone, Berry is now the undisputed leader of a UNC team that came up a buzzer-beater short of overtime in the national title game.
  4. Dennis Smith Jr., North Carolina State
    Sensational freshman with the potential to beat out seasoned veterans for the ACC’s top award.
  5. Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
    Lydon could have been making the big bucks right now, but chose college. Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange will reap the benefits.
Oct 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Dennis Smith, Jr. of the North Carolina State Wolfpack speaks to the media during ACC Operation Basketball at The Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Dennis Smith, Jr. of the North Carolina State Wolfpack speaks to the media during ACC Operation Basketball at The Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ACC Rookie of the Year

  1. Dennis Smith Jr., North Carolina State
    Even in a star-studded freshman class, Smith is the obvious choice for the conference’s top newcomer.
  2. Jayson Tatum, Duke
    Tatum was the Gatorade High School Basketball Player of the Year as a senior and he could follow that  up with some awards in what’s likely to be his only season at Duke.
  3. Harry Giles, Duke
    Giles is nursing an injury to start the 2016-17 season, but should be an impact player as soon as he gets on the court. His talent is undeniable, but will his body allow him to show it?
  4. V.J. King, LouisvilleKing leads a Lousiville squad that is built to do some damage in the ACC and on the national scene.
  5. Tyus Battle, Syracuse
    Battle will be one of the top newcomers in the conference this season and has a nice team around him at Syracuse.

This article originally appeared on