Wednesday is Operation ACC Basketball and man should that be interesting this time around.
Just for a quick hit: UNC’s Roy Williams will get questions about the NCAA resolution of UNC’s scandal.
Louisville’s David Padgett will get questions about Louisville’s mess.
Miami’s Jim Larranaga will get questions about his belief that he is the FBI’s coach #3.
Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim is likely to be asked about his comments about a double standard in favor of UNC.
New State coach Kevin Keatts may get more questions about his former boss Rick Pitino.
It’s going to be a media day like no other.
At some point, they might even get around to talking about the coming season.
Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame and even Duke may be overshadowed by the various controversies.
And it’s too bad because there are some great questions to ask about basketball: can Duke’s freshmen mesh and come through? How far along is Danny Manning’s rather interesting rebranding of Wake Forest basketball? Can UVA overcome the loss of London Perrantes?
Even the great gossip questions, like how serious is Zion Williamson about Clemson, are likely to be overshadowed by scandal.
Padgett, for instance, is not responsible for the firing of former A.D. Tom Jurich, and he didn't write the blistering letter that the university sent to Jurich to terminate him. But he’s the face of the university at this event, so the young and untested coach will get one of his first public exams.
We know that the various local reporters are likely to be sympathetic to local schools although there are exceptions. The N&O, which for decades was in UNC’s corner(we were told by a witness that when UNC won the 1993 title, there was essentially a party in the N&O’s sports department), has done stellar work during the UNC controversy.
Still, what questions will reporters from Syracuse have about the perceived double standard?
It’s going to be a very interesting event.
And it’s not just a topic for the ACC.
During the Big South’s media day, scandal was a main topic and perhaps the most interesting comments came from former Larranaga assistant Scott Cherry. The former UNC player had this to say about his former boss:
“Coach Larranaga, I would bet my paycheck on it, I would bet my house on it that he did nothing that is stated in the report because his integrity, honest, his reputation is something that he values tremendously. That is not something that I was ever a part of or around or even suggested when I was a part of his basketball program. You can’t convince me.
“You’re going to have to show me some really, really hard proof and evidence because I don’t believe that for a second that he took part in anything that’s mentioned in that report. I have 100 percent confidence in that. I can sit here and say that without even questioning that.
“I just hated that he’s been dragged into because I know his reputation and his character is something that he values. I hope it gets resolved, I hope he gets exonerated and I hate it for all these guys that are involved.”
It’s nice to see such a strong endorsement.