Brian: Coach K recently responded to a question about the new batch of ACC coaches and ways to improve the ACC's basketball product going forward:
"The group of coaches we have in here are really smart and they look at it as a conference. The last few years I think we've gotten too territorial about individual programs and not looked collectively at what the conference needs. I remember when Cremins and Valvano and I came in the 80s the coaches who were already here taught us well, like, remember first of all you're in the ACC, we have to take care of our conference," Krzyzewski said. "The conference is still a great conference but it's slipped some. And it shouldn't with the schools and the programs that we have."
What do you think of Krzyzewski's comments? How far has the ACC slipped in hoops? And do you see it getting worse before it gets better with the whole slew of new coaches in the conference? Your thoughts?
Jeff: Coach K's comments about the ACC slipping are completely accurate and it is a good thing that he is speaking out about it. The ACC used to be great in part because North Carolina and Duke are National Championship contenders on a regular basis but also because Maryland, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest would make the NCAA Tournament on a consistent basis and compete for Final Fours and National Championships themselves once every couple of years.
Since the ACC expanded, I think Boston College has held up its end of the bargain. The Eagles were a legitimate Final Four threat in 2006 and have made the tournament more often than not. Virginia Tech has also been in the NCAA Tournament conversation every season. Miami hasn't done much but not much was expected of them.
It's really been the second tier old ACC schools that have not lived up to expectations. Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest have not been very good the last 5-6 years and Maryland has been better than that group but not great. As a result, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest have all fired coaches recently (and Gary Williams retired), so hopefully the ACC is headed back towards its old self.
The ACC used to be the number one basketball conference in the country every year occassionally slipping to number two. Lately, you can't even make an argument that the ACC is #1 and it has been more like #4 or #5. To say the ACC has slipped is not something most people have not already recognized. It used to be that a 7-9 in conference record probably meant you are good enough to go the the Dance but now 9-7 probably doesn't even get you there. The ACC is losing way too many out of conference games as a whole and even though we know BC has contributed to that total with loses to Ivy League schools and others, they are not alone in underperforming out of conference.
Brian: I am fine with Krzyzewski stating the obvious here, but isn't the implication that he's indirectly throwing some of these other ACC coaches under the bus for, as he puts it, not "putting the conference first?" If so, then my question is who exactly is he talking about?
Is he accusing Al Skinner of not putting the ACC first? And what about Paul Hewitt, Gary Williams, Frank Haith, Oliver Purnell, Sidney Lowe and Dino Gaudio?
I'm sure this quote is partially directed towards Hewitt and Georgia Tech, since Coach K has been pretty vocal about avoiding bringing one-and-done players onto college basketball program rosters and he specifically mentions Coach Cremins in his quote. But I'm very curious if Coach K is also knocking guys like Williams and Skinner. If so, what did they do wrong? What was the source of friction?
Maybe I'm reading too much into this quote. Who knows. Either way, this is your typical "holier than thou" type quote from Krzyzewski that makes fans of the other 11 ACC programs despise Duke basketball even more.
Brian: Speaking of Coach K, he also recently came out against an 18-game basketball schedule. He just wants the conference to schedule tougher out of conference. You agree?
Jeff: K sees teams not winning winnable games in non-conference play, so you might as well boost SOS.
Jeff: The big news on campus is the New England Patriots practicing at Alumni Stadium. Is that newsworthy in your opinion?
Brian: Marginally so. I just hope Brady and the Pats are making it worth GDF's while. Are they paying for the practice time? If not, aren't they technically trespassing?
Brian: Luke Kuechly is a first team selection on Phil Steele's Preseason All-American team, while Montel Harris was a second team selection at RB behind Alabama's Trent Richardson and Oregon's LaMichael James. That cool with you?
Jeff: Absolutely. I would've been surprised if he had been a first teamer.
Jeff: HD says Rogers might have been the best hire in the conference this offseason. That's encouraging, right?
Brian: I'm excited about Rogers, but this isn't particularly encouraging. The bar was set pretty low, so it's all relative.
Brian: The date of this year's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has been moved back to December 31 at 3:30 PM, which was the date of the game when you and I went to San Fran for BC's first trip west. Better time slot for this bowl?
Jeff: Makes more sense to not play so late after last year's ratings were a gigantic disappointment.
Jeff: Another year, another sailing National Championship. You pumped?
Brian: I actually followed the races this year so yeah. Pretty awesome accomplishment considering the number of schools that field co-ed sailing teams.
Brian: Last one. You or I know little to nothing about the Boston College men's rugby sevens team, but take a wild guess. How many games does BC win in Pool Play against Notre Dame, Utah and Dartmouth in this weekend's Collegiate Rugby Championship?
Jeff: I say two and lose to Dartmouth. Let me know on Monday how they did.