ACC M5: 10.18.12 EditionPosted by KCarpenter on October 18th, 2012
- Raleigh News & Observer: The media agree with the coaches. North Carolina State will enter the season tabbed as the number one team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The preseason poll, of course, came out in conjunction with the ACC’s Operation Basketball, a media event where coaches and players meet with the press and face some very early judgment from the fourth estate. The last time the media pegged the Wolfpack to win the conference, it was the 1974-75 season. Also like the coaches, the media picked C.J. Leslie as the likely player of the year and Rodney Purvis as the preseason rookie of the year. Though I’m sure Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack know they will have to earn these accolades, it still must feel good for Wolfpack fans to ease up on the “no one believes in us” mentality that has defined the team in the past few seasons.
- Sporting News: It’s not often that people can talk about how you have slimmed down and you still weigh 290 pounds, but that’s exactly what Miami’s Reggie Johnson has accomplished. The bulky center was over 300 pounds in the past few seasons, but he’s ready to face this campaign with more muscle and less pudge. Johnson’s sheer size has made him a force in the paint, but the addition of some muscle, strength, and agility means that one of the most physically imposing players in the league may have become quite a bit more dangerous. Johnson’s increased offensive prowess comes not just from physical improvements, but from a refinement in his skill set. Coach Jim Larranaga praises the ease with which Johnson finishes with either hand and notes, terrifyingly enough, that Johnson’s prowess at shooting the three may mean that the biggest center in the ACC might soon be hoisting bombs from deep.
- Daily Press: Of course, Operation Basketball is not just about the individual coaches, players, and teams, but about ACC basketball as a whole and the plans the member schools and the conference commissioner have for the future. As it often is, one of the hot topics was the potential location of the ACC Tournament. Though John Swofford was quick to point out that future tournament sites would probably be much in line with what the league has done in the past, there were some intriguing possibilities to the north and the south of the traditional conference stronghold of Greensboro. To the south, observers have noted that Orlando and Miami are likely candidates for a future tournament. To the north, the leading candidates seem to be Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and, somewhat surprisingly, Brooklyn. The newly completed Barclays Center is apparently, while not an official candidate for this round of site selection, a possibility that the league seems excited about.
- Washington Post: Though Operation Basketball is traditionally a day of easy optimism for most of the coaches in the conference, there is always the harsh reality that not every team can have a winning record. Sadly, Virginia Tech and new head coach James Johnson are more likely to end up on the bottom of the conference than near the top. Though the Hokies return a legitimate conference star in Erick Green, the team will only have eight scholarship players for the season, which is unfortunate considering that James Johnson favors a fast-paced offense and a pressure-focused defense. While both tactics are certainly workable for the Hokies, these tactics tend to be exhausting for players and are more typically executed by teams that count depth as a strength. It will be interesting to see how the somewhat mismatched available personnel and Johnson’s coaching style mesh in this coming season.
- Wilmington Star News: Typically, this is the time of the year when lots of stories about the increased leadership of this or that player is having a positive influence on the freshmen and underclassmen who are still learning the ropes. These stories tend to be really similar and, unfortunately, kind of run together. The clear winner of this year’s “veterans help rookies” genre is the tale of Wake Forest senior C.J. Harris and his 2002 Jeep. Apparently, only three players on this year’s WFU team have cars, meaning that the younger Demon Deacons are constantly bumming rides and borrowing teammates’ cars. This is a silly detail, but one that’s much more interesting and humanizing than stories about seniors teaching freshmen the value of practice.