Well…when it rains, it pours. And good lord did it pour following the ACC’s perfect 26-0 start. The conference has since gone 8-8 with absolutely hideous losses from Boston College (getting beaten by Holy Cross might be OK, but by 22?), Clemson (at College of Charleston would be one thing; at Littlejohn is another), and supposed-upstart Virginia (TCU is an acceptable loss… in football).
- ACCSports.com: Mike Krzyzewski sounded a little like Dean Smith when he talked about win number 903 and retirement. Although he acknowledged the record was a big deal, Coach K deflected much of the credit to his former players. He also doesn’t have a set goal for wins or seasons as he looks to retirement. Rather, to quote him, “my thing probably will not be as planned. I’ll know. I’ll just know.” This seems the general sentiment for hypercompetitive coaches. Gary Williams obviously just knew after last season. Smith just knew in 1997.
- TarHeelBlue.com: Roy Williams has filled out his coaching staff with a couple of former players in Bobby Frasor and Jackie Manuel. Technically they aren’t coaches. Frasor is the assistant video coordinator and Manuel is the strength and conditioning coordinator. Coincidentally, both alumni-turned-employees played for Williams’ championship teams in 2005 and 2009.
- Baltimore Sun – Tracking the Terps: You can criticize Mark Turgeon for many things, but not about his candidness. After a blowout loss to Iona (an experienced team which many will likely predict to upset someone in the Big Dance), Turgeon said: “This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in coaching. It’s not even close. To me, the kids have got to care more. I’ve taken over programs before that were picked low in their league, but the kids did what they were supposed to do.” Turgeon’s attack feels risky to me. He has a young team that’s also shorthanded. Terrell Stoglin only took up point guard duties just last week because of Pe’Shon Howard’s injury. At the same time, lack of effort needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. As Turgeon is showing, it’s a delicate balance one has to walk as a high-major college basketball coach.
- Charlotte Observer: In the wake of Ryan Harrow’s transfer, Lorenzo Brown has really stepped up for NC State. Against Princeton he dropped 16 points and dished eight dimes — including one for the game-winning shot to Deshawn Painter. On the game-winning play the Charlotte Observer‘s JP Giglio said, “it was the kind of assertive play N.C. State has been missing from the point guard position for the better part of 20 years.” I’m not sure I’d go that far, but Brown has game and will be the X-factor for a young, talented Wolfpack team.
- Lexington Herald-Leader: Jerry Tipton set out to answer the question, “since the John Wooden-led UCLA dynasty ended in 1975, which program sets the standard for excellence?” Unsurprisingly Seth Davis, Robyn Norwood and Blair Kerkhoff all chose either Duke or North Carolina at the top spot. Jay Bilas hinted at an elite tier of programs that included eight teams. I’d tend to agree, although Kentucky should be very close behind.