Notes from the ACC Coaches Teleconference

USA TODAY Sports

Coaches from around the conference, including Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga, spoke to the media about the state's of their respective teams, as well as looking ahead to this week's games.

Coach Larranaga first gave Assistant Coach Eric Konkol credit for developing the out-of-conference schedule, and mentioned the 'Canes OOC schedule was top 5 in the country. He felt the team was well prepared for the opener against GT due to the tough early schedule.

Here are some other highlights:

On playing with out Reggie Johnson:

"First of all Reggie was playing very well and giving us great inside presence. He has continued to work very hard, and hopefully when we get him back he will be ready to contribute mightily. He gives us a lot, in terms of rebounding, inside scoring.The rest of the guys (Kenny Kadji, Julian Gamble, Tonye Jekiri and Raphael Akpejiori) realize that they have a major responsibility. The whole key for us offensively is to have balance. If we can get 4 or 5 guys in double figures I think we are in good shape."

On whether he thought he'd ever get his 500th win:

"I don't look at it on the whole, I look at it day to day. I love what I am doing. I really enjoy helping kids grow and learn the game, as well as grow off the court. It's the kids that win games."

On having family members at the game:

"My son Jay was at the game, he is an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks. (Assistant Coach) Chris Caputo and I went to the Celtics-Hawks game and then I had dinner with my son Jay afterward. The Larranagas had a great day."

On team camaraderie:

"What you see if a group of guys that are dedicated to one goal, and that's winning. Rion Brown on Saturday had a great game, and everybody was very excited for him. His dad was an All-American at Georgia Tech. And even though some of our starters had sub par scoring games, they were far more excited to win. I think this team is very unselfish, and they play very hard."

On Rion Brown:

"First of all the great thing about Rion Brown is he has a terrific work effort and attitude. And the great thing about him shooting 9-11 is it will help him relax more. Every game is different in terms of match-ups so you may not see the same performance, but I do know Rion Brown will bring a great attitude and work ethic every game."

On UNC:

"One of the key statistics on Carolina is they are 7-0 at home. They have some young young players and they also have a great support system with their home crowd. We have played some very good teams in hostile environments, hopefully we will be ready. They are a tremendous running team. North Carolina is traditionally in the top 2 or 3 in fast break points."

On Durand Scott:

"I love Durand Scott. He is such a great competitor, and he involves himself in every aspect of the game, and every aspect of our team. He only cares about winning. He is from New York and so am I. We have somewhat of a kinship having played in the same Catholic Basketball League. When we didn't have him, we didn't have our emotional leader. He's going to go down as one of the best players in Miami Basketball history."

Notes from the rest of the ACC:

  • Wake Forest Coach Jeff Bzdelik noted that he felt 6'9 240 pound freshman forward Devin Thomas could eventually be "one of the better rebounders in the country."
  • James Johnson of Virginia Tech spoke about the need for other players to step up and match Erick Green's play. When asked, Johnson gave "effort" as the reason for CJ Barksdale's recent benching.
  • Tony Bennett of Virginia mentioned the health of Jontel Evans and the conservative approach towards his minutes, due to two setbacks in his recovery. Expect his minutes to increase incrementally. Bennett mentioned the ability of Evans to get into the paint as the biggest difference between Evans and freshman PG Teven Jones. Finally he mentioned that one of the keys to slowing down UNC in UVA's win last night over the Heels was making a conscious effort to get back on defense and "form a wall."
  • Mark Gottfried of NC State noted a healthy respect for Georgia Tech, considering the Jackets beat the Pack last year in Raleigh. When asked about TJ Warren coming off the bench Gottfried said if he could we would "start six." Coming off a tough win on the road at BC, he said Ryan Anderson's improvement and freshman guard Olivier Hanlan's presence make BC an improved squad. Finally Gottfried spoke about Scott Wood's intelligence and confidence and how his communication on defense was underrated.
  • Roy Williams of North Carolina congratulated Tony Bennett and UVA on defeating his team last night, but also spoke about the play down the stretch last night being a "rude awakening" for his squad. He mentioned some players on the team were not progressing as much as he hoped. He was pleased with the play of Reggie Bullock but felt they needed to get him more shots.
  • Mark Turgeon of Maryland talked about rebounding better, being the key against a physical Florida State team this week. About the Terrapins schedule, he said his team was as good as its' record, and had time to prove themselves in conference play. On Nick Faust missing last weekend's game, back spasms were the official reason. Turgeon said he would be "very disappointed" if Faust missed this week's game against FSU.
  • Brian Gregory of Georgia Tech complimented Miami, and noted that his team did some nice things despite the loss. Gregory mentioned that Stacy Poole Jr. is going to need some time to catch up, after missing a lot of time as a mid semester transfer. But Poole's defense and ability to run they floor would be key for the Jackets. Gregory also spoke about the improvement of freshmen Robert Carter and Marcus Georges-Hunt, and how their impact has not been a surprise due to their work ethics.
  • Leonard Hamilton of Florida State talked about the Seminoles inconsistency and inexperience. But he noted the team is starting to figure things as the practice effort has been better then the game effort. Ian Miller's return from a bone bruise was also mentioned as hope for improvement. Hamilton said that he is still excited about the team, and that they were capable of doing great things, and that they would "find out a lot about the team" this week against Maryland.
  • Mike Krzyzewski, Duke's legendary coach, spoke about how Rasheed Sulaiman's transition to major college hoops has been aided by the Devils' more experienced players. Coach K gave Mason Plumlee credit for Duke's high percentage of three point shooting. As far as pressure in being undefeated, he said that "hunger for preparation" was the key. Krzyzewski also called Quinn Cook, a "natural point guard", who is judged on whether or not the team wins, as opposed to statistics.
  • Brad Brownell, of Clemson said he felt that Duke was a better team this year then last. On Rod Hall's performance, Brownell noted he has done "reasonably well" but needs to be more of a vocal leader. He also noted, despite the team's performance against FSU he felt they were a sound defensive squad.
  • Steve Donahue, of Boston College felt his team played well despite the loss to NC State. On Facing Va Tech he mentioned the exceptional play of Erick Green, and the challenge of executing against their defensive pressure. Donahue mentioned Joe Rahon's toughness made him seem more experienced then a true freshman.

Be sure to stay tuned as we bring you updates through out the season. The ACC Coaches Teleconference takes places every Monday morning.

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