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Miami Basketball picked 10th by ACC Media, plus more from “ACC Operation Basketball"

Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga, and players Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan were in Charlotte. The highlights plus much more.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Miami is quite the mystery to ACC Media.

Heck the coaching staff and the players themselves are still learning about each other.

As Coach L pointed out, this squad will have 9, count em, 9 players who have never worn a Miami uniform before when they kick off action Friday 11/14 Vs Howard at the Bank United Center.

So despite a roster that is clearly talented, should we be surprised that they were picked to finish 10th in a super deep and talented Atlantic Coast Conference?

For the record I have them 8th.

My predicted order of finish would be (1-15):

Duke, Louisville, UVA, UNC, FSU, Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Notre Dame, NC State, GT, Wake, Clemson,  BC, VT

I may have a slight UM bias, but I also feel the media may be underrating Coach L's ability to get the most out of a team and get a unit to finish strong.

Plus I like the 'Canes once versatile  6'10 PF Ivan Cruz Uceda returns (he has to sit out the first 17 games for an obscure NCAA rule) and should 6'6 wing Davon Reed return from injury (could be back in 4 months).

Here are some of the highlights of the media day, plus the full poll results below.

Coach L as always, was a great listen.

Some of his best stuff:

(expect less zone and a lot more man-to-man this season)

Some highlights from the player interviews:

Q.  Since you were around the program and the league last year and at least got to observe what it's all about, how much of a transition will it be for you if any coming from a different conference and a different school into Miami and the ACC?

ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:  Well, you know, the Big 12 was very, very competitive.  They had a lot of very good teams, so I think the level is still going to be the same.  It's going to be as high.  But it's a new experience because pretty much every team I have not played against yet besides Virginia Tech my freshman year.  So there's a lot of new faces, maybe a new style of play.  I don't know if the tempo is faster or whatever the case might be, but I'm still playing at the highest level, so there's not much you should adjust to.  I guess it's a new experience just because you've got to scout new teams and new players that you never faced before, so you don't know their tendencies.

Q.  Since you were around the program and the league last year and at least got to observe what it's all about, how much of a transition will it be for you if any coming from a different conference and a different school into Miami and the ACC?

ANGEL RODRIGUEZ:  Well, you know, the Big 12 was very, very competitive.  They had a lot of very good teams, so I think the level is still going to be the same.  It's going to be as high.  But it's a new experience because pretty much every team I have not played against yet besides Virginia Tech my freshman year.  So there's a lot of new faces, maybe a new style of play.  I don't know if the tempo is faster or whatever the case might be, but I'm still playing at the highest level, so there's not much you should adjust to.  I guess it's a new experience just because you've got to scout new teams and new players that you never faced before, so you don't know their tendencies.


Q.  Sheldon, what have you seen in Angel so far?

SHELDON McCLELLAN:  I've seen a pit bull.  Just from Miami, my freshman and sophomore year at Texas, just a bulldog on defense and just playing with a lot of fight and just wants to win.

Q.  Sheldon, since this is almost a completely new team with just a couple of guys back, who is emerging as the leaders?  Is that becoming clear at this point?

SHELDON McCLELLAN:  It's still a work in progress.  Obviously Angel and I are looked at as two of the leaders on this team, and as far as us being leaders, we just have to guide the freshmen in the right direction.  We're just being confident and staying positive with the freshmen.  We don't want to get too hard on them or whatever where they'll lose their confidence.

Full Poll Results

ACC Operation Basketball 2014-15 Preseason Poll (First-place votes in parenthesis)

Team & Points


1. Duke (41): 935
2. North Carolina (12): 870
3. Louisville (3): 847
4. Virginia: 824 (7)
5. Syracuse: 706 (2)
6. Pitt: 592
7. Notre Dame: 515
8. Florida State: 506
9. NC State: 478
10. Miami: 442
11. Clemson: 330
12. Wake Forest: 221
13. Georgia Tech: 195
14. Boston College: 184
15. Virginia Tech: 155

2014-15 Preseason All-ACC Team (votes in parenthesis)
Marcus Paige, North Carolina (63)
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (58)
Jahlil Okafor, Duke (57)
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia (55)
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame (24)

ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Marcus Paige, North Carolina

ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year
Jahlil Okafor, Duke


Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2014/10/canes-picked-to-finish-10th-out-of-15-teams-in-acc-preseason-mens-basketball-poll.html#storylink=cpy