The Associated Press released their first top 25 college basketball poll Monday afternoon.
Duke enters the season ranked 9th, despite losing starters Tre Jones, Vernon Carey and Cassius Stanley. The Blue Devils return several key players (Wendell Moore, Matt Hurt, Jordan Goldwire and Joey Baker) from last season’s squad that finished the year ranked 11th. Duke also boasts the #3 recruiting class in the nation featuring Jalen Johnson, Mark Williams, DJ Steward, Jeremy Roach, Henry Coleman and Jaemyn Brakefield.
After their disappointing 2019-2020 campaign, the Tar Heels are ranked 16th in the AP preseason poll. UNC lost projected first-round NBA draft pick Cole Anthony and senior Brandon Robinson, but return key players Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot and Leaky Black. The Heels also tout the 2nd ranked recruiting class with RJ Davis, Puff Johnson, Caleb Love, Walker Kessler, Day’ron Sharpe, Kerwin Walton and Creighton Lebo.
Duke will open the season December 4th against Bellarmine in the Mako Medical Duke Classic Honoring Dr. Onye E. Akwari.
UNC will start their quest for the Final Four at the Maui Invitational in Asheville against UNLV.
The full men’s preseason AP Top 25 is below:
13. Michigan State
14. Texas Tech
15. West Virginia
16. North Carolina
18. Arizona State
21. Florida State
23. Ohio State