Duke was the overwhelming choice to win the ACC, though not a unanimous choice thanks to one guy who "accidentally" picked the Tar Heels. He claims it was an honest mistake. That's always code for "I was drunk and it seemed like an okay idea."
Tracy Smith made the preseason all-conference team along with Kyle Singler (POY), Nolan Smith, Chris Singleton, and Malcolm Delaney but received a mere 45 votes, which means that 17 impossibly foolish individuals left him off the team.
Anticipating a full-time move to power forward, the Macrowave spent the summer working on his face-up game:
He said that he added several new levels to his skill set after the spending the summer working on his dribbling and face-up shooting.
He also said he lost roughly 10 pounds and dropped his body fat to a lean 8 percent.
"I feel pretty good, I feel quicker, feel lighter," Smith said.
From Ken Tysiac:
Smith said the development of sophomores DeShawn Painter and Jordan Vandenberg at center has helped make the move possible. Smith said Painter particularly has improved his shooting and blocking out on the boards, and Vandenberg has become a better defensive player and shot blocker at 7-foot-1.
You gotta love preseason talk. Also please god let these things be true. Painter was a horrible defensive rebounder last season, and if he's going to get decent playing time at the five, that can't continue or else angry television controller tosses will increase significantly within the greater Raleigh area.
Since Sid said (say that three times fast) this on Friday
"[Howell and Smith] will play together a lot."
"Richard has been great. He’s been the best front court guy we’ve had this summer. He’s been the best one out. He’s been above everyone else."
I'm even more curious to see how the frontcourt rotation works out. Lowe eases some fears by stating explicitly that Howell and Smith will see plenty of time together, and after reading those statements I can't help but wonder about the point of starting Painter or Big V at the five.
"We’re going to play the guys we feel can get us off to the best start. It might not be the top five players but it might be the best group as far as starting."
I assume this means he's going to be flexible with the starters based on the matchups presented to him. Which is fine. But if Howell is getting less PT than Painter and Vandenberg when January rolls around, I'll be at the head of the angry mob.