Top Quotes and Moments from ACC Operation Basketball

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on October 27th, 2016

Coaches, players and members of the media all gathered in Charlotte on Wednesday for the 2016 edition of ACC Operation Basketball. It was a long day for all and a fun day for most. We camped out in Salon I in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and witnessed press conferences for all 15 coaches – yes, after staying home last year Rick Pitino came too. We also heard from 30 players — two from each school — and observed commissioner John Swofford’s ‘State of the League’ address. What follows are a smattering of some of our favorite quotes and quips from the day.

PLAYERS

Virginia basketball player London Perrantes answers a question during the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

Virginia basketball player London Perrantes answers a question during the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

One of the interesting parts of the morning session was hearing various players’ responses when asked to describe their head coaches.

  • Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame – On Mike Brey: “He brings energy to practice every single day. He keeps the guys loose, which I think is really a benefit for us, and helps us play loose on the court.”
  • Sheldon Jeter, Pittsburgh – On his impressions from his reunion meeting with Kevin Stallings: “It was just kind of like the same stuff I did my first time meeting him at Vanderbilt. A very genuine guy. Very truthful.”
  • Matt Jones, Duke – On the annual adaptability of Mike Krzyzewski: “It’s been different each year. Coach K does a really good job of figuring out what guys respond to and how well they respond to it.”

Of course there were some light-hearted moments as well, and here are three player comments that brought laughter to the room.

  • Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina – On his propensity to foul last year: “I would just say me coming off the bench, I was just thinking about energy and being aggressive. Sometimes I’ll be too aggressive. Like denying a ball so far out by half-court and get a foul, something like that. Just pointless… stupid.”
  • Isaiah Wilkins, Virginia – When asked to describe teammate London Perrantes: “If I had to describe London in one word, it would definitely be “cool.” He’s got that West Coast flavor, composed guy, definitely a great leader for us. And he has six inches of hair.”
  • Sheldon Jeter, Pittsburgh – When asked why he was smiling when the questioner asked about Pitt’s rivalry with Syracuse: “I’m smiling because I’m 5-0 against them, so I just enjoy playing them.”

COMMISSIONER

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford speaks at the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford speaks at the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

Before working his way into the main focus of his speech — ACC chest-pounding — John Swofford reminisced about legendary ACC player and coach, Bobby Cremins, who was in the audience. He told several funny stories, including one concerning the only technical foul Cremins received in his 19 years at Georgia Tech. According to Swofford, former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan relayed the story to him.

And commissioners really like coaches who don’t get technical fouls. We much prefer that. And Gene said the next day the official that made the call actually called him, Gene, in the conference office and said that he needed to apologize to Bobby; that he had a bad night and had rabbit ears and he just shouldn’t have made the call.

COACHES

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question during the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question during the 2016 ACC Men’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo by Nell Redmond, theACC.com)

Generally, the coaches are very loose at these preseason press conferences, which results in some comical moments, whether intended or not. Here’s a list of superlatives for the afternoon session.

  • Most Interesting Comment – Rick Pitino, Louisville: “I’m a real big believer in the NCAA rules.”
  • Best Opening Statement – Roy Williams, North Carolina: “I feel good. This is not my favorite day of the year, but you’ve got to get through it, and I know it’s big and important for the ACC, but just let us make sure we’re clear about where we stand. I’m having double crowns on my teeth tomorrow in the dentist’s office for two hours, and I’m going to enjoy tomorrow a hell of a lot more than I’m enjoying today, so let’s make sure we know where we stand.”
  • Best Comeback – Tony Bennett, Virginia: In a satirical response to a question which labeled him a defensive coach: “Yeah, I kind of like offense a little bit. We’re pretty efficient.”
  • Most Truthful Answer – Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: When asked what excites him about getting out of bed every day: “Well, just being able to is great.”
  • Best Analogy – Mike Krzyzewski: When asked about his team being voted as the ACC favorite: “You have to remember that nobody has seen anybody yet. But before they ever see you, like we’re — it’s like internet dating or something. Until you see the real person, you know, we can create a big, nice picture of who we’re supposed to be.”
  • Best Closing Line – Kevin Stallings: After the moderator announced that Duke (Coach K) would be next into the room: “The JV is leaving, the varsity will be here soon.”
Brad Jenkins (285 Posts)


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