- CBSSports.com: Big news on the conference expansion front was reported yesterday by Brett McMurphy. Despite the fact that West Virginia will be joining the Big 12 next year (for a hefty $20 million), Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t be joining the ACC until 2013. This is still a year earlier, as the schools expect to negotiate a deal to only pay $10 million, which is the Big East’s standard exit fee. The move will come as the Big East adds a whopping six new members, so it makes sense from a logistical standpoint.
- Grantland: Shane Ryan makes his case for the ACC as basketball’s most exciting conference. He’s definitely right that the conference race has heated up after a few straight years where Duke and North Carolina battled only each other for supremacy. And I’ll also agree that the conference has a feel of “anything can happen” (case and point: Duke – Miami, Florida State – Boston College, Virginia – Clemson, etc). But I’ll have to hold off and see how the three contenders do with their destinies before anointing the ACC.
- Baltimore Sun: Kevin Cowherd thinks Mark Turgeon is doing a good job with Terrell Stoglin. I think that remains to be seen, but I agree with Turgeon’s decisions to bench his star guard when he starts getting into run-and-gun mode. On a similar topic, Maryland assistant coach Scott Spinelli checked in on the Stoglin tweeting incident, saying “everything’s fine on this end.” Again, Stoglin apologized promptly and took ownership for the tweets, which I assume the coaching staff respected. The key player here is Stoglin. If he’s unhappy, all’s not well in College Park.
- Charlotte Observer: When I first saw Roy Williams‘ quote that North Carolina’s depth isn’t what he “hoped it would be,” I thought he was criticizing the second string (which would go counter to Williams’ person). In reality, Williams was referring to injuries which have really cut into his ability to make hockey-esque line changes during games. An interesting thing to watch going forward is that one criticism of Williams is that he subs too often, effectively neutralizing his best players. This could be a chance to see Roy Williams’ system only go seven deep.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mike Krzyzewski on Bernard James:
“He’s 27 years old. There’s nobody in our league who brings more maturity to the court than he does. Physical. Mental. Emotional. He’s a tremendous shot blocker and offensive rebounder. He’s a very unselfish player. Everybody in our league would want him on their team.”
Enough said. Also kudos to NC State’s Scott Wood for setting the ACC record for consecutive free throws made with 66.