The Latest from ACC men’s basketball media day on Tuesday (all times local):
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner says his team is handling the news of a postseason ban and four years of probation for major recruiting violations as well as possible.
Pastner says their energy, their enthusiasm has been extremely high, adding: “Most times when you get punched in the nose and kicked in the shin, it’s easy to lay down and just say forget it. These guys have had a good fight about them.”
The sanctions handed down on Sept. 26 by the NCAA included a reduction in scholarships, limits on recruiting and a fine of $5,000 plus 2% of the program’s budget.
The NCAA says former assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie gave $300 to a highly touted prospect for a visit to an Atlanta strip club and arranged for him to meet with a former Georgia Tech athlete who played for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, including a visit to the player’s home and a free meal at a lounge owned by the player.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett says just like his team didn’t obsess over losing to 16th-seeded UMBC in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Cavaliers won’t obsess over winning the national championship this past season.
Bennett says when his team became the first to lose in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed he didn’t try to “sweep it under the rug.” Instead he says his team addressed it and learned from it.
Now, as champions, he says they have enjoyed the success of winning it all but won’t obsess over it and allow it to impact the upcoming season which he expects will be filled with growing pains after losing three players to the NBA draft.
Bennett says “you don’t overdue either, and we are thankful for both extremes.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he won’t be surprised if the NBA expands its annual draft to include more than two rounds in the not-so-distant future.
With the league’s increasing reliance on the G League to develop young players, Krzyzewski says “if I’m the owner of an NBA team and I have a G League affiliate I don’t want to just protect two guys — I want to protect everybody.”
Krzyzewski says that could have an impact on the college game with more players turning professional earlier so they can get paid.
He says the NBA isn’t going to stand still — and college athletics can’t either, adding “we cannot keep our heads in the sand. … We are not good game planners. We are very reactionary.”
He also says he expects the G League will increase in popularity, predicting it won’t be long before its games are broadcast on national television.
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford says he is “open minded” when it comes to college athletes being paid for endorsement deals.
Last month California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that goes into effect in 2023 allowing athletes at universities in his state make money from their images, names or likenesses. The law also bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they get paid.
Swofford says that California law is “extreme,” but added that he is not opposed to “modernizing” rules for amateur athletics. However, he says he would prefer a consistent national approach rather than individual states laws that can vary.
Swofford says, “I don’t think this is going to be the end of college athletics by any means. We’ve been resilient in the past and we will be now and we will be in the future.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference will open the season trying to replace a significant amount of star power.
The league holds its preseason men’s basketball media day on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The ACC is coming off its third national championship in five years with Virginia winning that program’s first title.
Yet the league must replace several big names, including national player of the year Zion Williamson from Duke, the headliner among the league’s 10 NBA first-round draft picks in June.
Louisville’s Jordan Nwora and Notre Dame’s John Mooney are the only returning all-ACC players.
Tuesday’s schedule includes a full day of interviews for players and coaches, which includes Virginia Tech’s Mike Young as the lone new coach.
The ACC will release media picks for preseason favorite and all-conference players Thursday.
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