Duke's Allen on the freshmen: 'We have to prepare them as best we can'

Duke's Grayson Allen talks playing with the new group of players on the Blue Devils basketball team during ACC Men's Basketball Media Day in Charlotte, NC Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
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Duke's Grayson Allen talks playing with the new group of players on the Blue Devils basketball team during ACC Men's Basketball Media Day in Charlotte, NC Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
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Luke DeCock

See Luke DeCock’s preseason picks for ACC basketball’s top team, player of the year

By Luke DeCock

ldecock@newsobserver.com

October 25, 2017 09:47 AM

CHARLOTTE

My pick for ACC preseason player of the year isn’t Grayson Allen or Joel Berry, the two local players who will appear atop many ballots. I went with Bonzie Colson, the do-everything Notre Dame forward, because if there’s anything you can count on in the ACC, it’s Notre Dame.

Colson may very well end up being the consensus pick when the voting results are announced Thursday, because Allen remains a wild card on a Duke team full of inexperienced talent and Berry’s broken hand will probably dampen expectations around him. Either would still be a perfectly valid choice.

Marvin Bagley may end up an unanimous freshman of the year pick. We’ll see.

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That’s also why I have the Irish third behind Duke and North Carolina overall. Other highlights: Broughton’s Jerome Robinson gets an all-ACC vote, Louisville drops from third to sixth based on Rick Pitino’s departure and I have Boston College 12th ahead of Syracuse, which would represent significant progress for Jim Christian’s program. Among locals, I have Duke first, UNC second and N.C. State 14th, but there’s a big gap between the Wolfpack and Pittsburgh, a team that could struggle at a historic level.

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserer.com, @LukeDeCock