Duke Basketball: R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson on preseason All-ACC teams

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Three Duke basketball freshmen were the top three vote-getters for ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year, and two were named to the preseason All-ACC teams.

It’s no surprise that Duke basketball freshmen R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish — the top three 2018 recruits, respectively, on the ESPN100 — led all of the conference’s diaper dandies in votes for ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year.

What could be viewed as a mistake by the media, though, is that all three were not named to the preseason All-ACC teams and that only one is on the first team.

Also, freshman point guard Tre Jones, a fellow five-star recruit and younger brother of former Blue Devil Tyus Jones who is tasked with directing the offense for the Blue Devils this season, should view his absence from all the preseason lists as a bit of a snub and source of motivation.

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Barrett — a 6-foot-7, 205-pound guard who finished second in voting for ACC Preseason Player of the Year behind UNC’s Luke Maye — joins Maye, Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, Virginia’s Kyle Guy, and Boston College’s Ky Bowman on the Preseason All-ACC First Team, as voted on by media members at the annual Operation Basketball event in Charlotte on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson, despite finishing third in voting for ACC Preseason Player of the Year, is on the Preseason All-ACC Second Team alongside Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome, Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson, and Clemson’s Marcquise Reed.

Reddish, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound small forward who received one vote for ACC Preseason Player of the Year, finished a distant third behind Barrett and Williamson for ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Duke has had 10 freshmen end the season as ACC Rookie of the Year — five of the past seven — since the honor debuted in 1976 (former Duke basketball guard Jim Spanarkel was the first recipient that year).

All four of the highly touted freshmen on the 2018-19 squad are expected to lead the Blue Devils, ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25, when the regular season begins against second-ranked Kentucky in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on Nov. 6. First, though, Duke will play its final exhibition game on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST against the reigning Division II champs, Ferris State.

Next. Why Zion Williamson should lead all Blue Devils in scoring. dark

Stay tuned to Ball Durham all season long for updates, analysis, and opinions about the Blue Devils.