The Atlantic Coast Conference released its predictions for the Men’s Basketball Championship 2023-24 season. Duke’s Blue Devils are leading the polls, while players Armando Bacot and Elliot Cadeau from the University of North Carolina were included.

R.J. Davis, who is a senior guard for UNC’s Tar Heels, did not make the list and shared his thoughts on the news.

“I feel like this has been the story of my whole life — just always being left off. That’s always been something that’s added fuel to my fire,” he said after UNC’s exhibition win against Saint Augustine’s, according to The Fayetteville Observer.

“I’m never gonna let a list or people’s opinions reflect on who I am as an athlete and as a player or let it get to me — that’s never been the purpose. I’m playing for myself, not for a writer,” he added.

The 22-year-old said he is using the poll results for motivation, although he isn’t paying too much attention to them.

“It’s definitely motivation, but at the same time, I’m playing for a bigger purpose. Awards are not won in the preseason, they’re won at the end,” he said. “I’m not too focused on that. I’m more focused on this team and what we’re gonna do.”

Davis has scored 20 or more points in 12 games with UNC. Last season, he averaged 16.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. As a junior, he averaged 5.1 rebounds and shot a team-best 36.2% from 3-point range, according to the news outlet.

“Going into my senior year, I just want to go out and have a great time – a great senior year,” Davis said. “I know I’m capable of doing that this year, because I have a lot of confidence in myself and I know I put the work into it. I’m ready to showcase my abilities and prove myself.”