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Oct. 26, 2016

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CHARLOTTE - The University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team was picked 12th in the ACC Preseason Poll as voted upon by the league's media and announced at ACC Operation Basketball Wednesday afternoon. Senior Michael Young, one of three returning All-ACC performers from a year ago, was named Preseason Second Team All-ACC, becoming the first Panther named to the conference preseason team.
 
Pitt, one of the most experienced teams in the ACC, returns six of its top seven scorers from a year ago including double-digits scorers Young (15.7 ppg.) and Jamel Artis (14.4 ppg.). Head coach Kevin Stallings, in his first season with the Panthers, also has seniors Chris Jones (6.1 ppg.) and Sheldon Jeter (8.1 ppg.) poised to make major impacts this season.
 
Pitt, one of the winningest program's in the country over the past 15 seasons, is the only school in the ACC with a pair of all-conference performers returning for the 2016-17 campaign as Young claimed third team honors a year ago, while Artis garnered third team All-ACC accolades in 2015.
 
The Panthers open the season Friday, Nov. 11 at the Petersen Events Center against Eastern Michigan in the opening round of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. Season tickets and mini-packages are now on sale for the 2016-17 basketball season. Call 1-800-643-7488 for additional information on ticket options.
 
Duke received 85 of 91 first place votes to enter the year as the preseason favorite for the 16th time in the 48-year history of the poll and the 15th time under current head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke's Grayson Allen was selected as Preseason Player of the Year, while NC State's Dennis Smith is the Preseason Rookie of the Year.
 
The regular season begins for all 15 ACC teams the weekend of November 11. In addition to an 18-game regular-season conference schedule, the 64th annual ACC Tournament will be played for the first time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, tipping off with first round games on Tuesday, March 7, and concluding with the Saturday night championship game on March 11.
 
ACC Operation Basketball 2016-17 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Team & Points
1. Duke (85) - 1359
2. North Carolina (6) - 1239
3. Virginia - 1125
4. Louisville - 1034
5. Syracuse - 905
6. NC State - 772
7. Notre Dame - 716
8. Florida State - 705
9. Miami - 650
10. Virginia Tech - 645
11. Clemson - 623
12. Pitt - 511
13. Wake Forest - 309
14. Georgia Tech - 199
15. Boston College - 128
2016-17 Preseason All-ACC Team
(votes in parenthesis)
First Team
Grayson Allen, Duke (87)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (70)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (45)
London Perrantes, Virginia (36)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (34)
          
Second Team
Justin Jackson, North Carolina (22)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (21)
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse (20)
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State (16)
Michael Young, Pitt (14)
 
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Grayson Allen, Duke (70)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (7)
London Perrantes, Virginia (5)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (5)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (2)
Andrew White, Syracuse (1)
Davon Reed, Miami (1)
 
ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (51)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (20)
Harry Giles, Duke (10)
Tyus Battle, Syracuse (5)
VJ King, Louisville (2)
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State (2)
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech (1)
 
Pitt ACC Preseason Poll History
Year                     Projected Finish                    Actual Finish
2013-14                Fifth                                     Sixth
2014-15                T-Ninth                                 Sixth
2015-16                10th                                     T-Ninth
2016-17                12th                                     TBD
 
Pitt Picked 12th in ACC Preseason Poll

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