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Coaches, media rank Virginia basketball 7th in ACC

Polls by both ACC coaches and media members released this week predicted the Virginia men’s basketball team to finish seventh in the ACC for the 2012-2013 campaign. Neither poll named any Cavalier players to the preseason All-ACC squad.

Forecasting the order of finish and individual honors for the first time, the coaches anointed N.C. State and its star forward C.J. Leslie as the predicted ACC Champion and Preseason Player of the Year. The Wolfpack, which reached the Sweet 16 in 2012, received eight-of-12 first-place votes and 139 points overall to edge Duke (three first-place votes, 130 points) and North Carolina (one first-place vote, 124 points).

Miami, Florida State and Maryland followed, with Virginia nabbing the seventh slot a year after finishing fourth and enjoying its finest season under now fourth-year coach Tony Bennett.

Leslie was joined on the coaches’ All-ACC squad by Wolfpack teammate Lorenzo Brown, Duke’s Mason Plumlee, North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo and Florida State’s Michael Snaer. N.C. State freshman Rodney Purvis earned Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year honors.

The media poll offered few differences, also ranking N.C. State, Duke and North Carolina as the conference’s preeminent forces and naming Leslie the preseason player of the year. The media picked an identical All-ACC squad and tapped Purvis to shine in his first year with the Wolfpack.

Virginia returns three starters from last year’s 22-10 NCAA Tournament squad.