NEW YORK — Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim were ho-hum about their final seasons in the Big East during the conference’s media day on Wednesday, portraying the situation as business as usual.
In contrast, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who will be joining both Boeheim and Dixon in the ACC, is still in shock.
“For me, the last month before we made the decision, I had very mixed emotions,” Brey said. “Even though I grew up in ACC country and coached in that league—I made my name in this league. Our program is really respected in this league. We’ve got great momentum, and playing in the Garden, even staying in the city last night, I’m kind of down a little bit.”
Dixon and Boeheim’s advice to Brey? Give it a year, and his attitude will change significantly.
“He’s in the phase we were in initially when it happened, the mixed feelings,” Dixon said to The Juice Online. “You really want to stay with what you know and where you’ve been having success. Things will change, and then you’ll start looking forward to the place you’re going to.”
Notre Dame is not scheduled to leave the Big East until 2014, though there has been some talk that they may leave at the same time as Syracuse and Pitt following the 2013 season.
Dixon outlined the timeline of the gambit of emotions that Brey, the Notre Dame fanbase and the University would be feeling over the next year.
“Once it finally happened, there was a sense of shock, a little regret. But as it gets closer, things are done, and they start talking about you like you’re already gone, and they start doing the scheduling based on you not being there, then it hits,” Dixon said. “Talk to him next year and he’ll probably be ready to go.”
Boeheim’s strategy has been to repeat exactly what happened in the 2011-12 season.
“We didn’t think about it. We didn’t talk about it. We got a good result,” Boeheim said. “We’re going to try to do the same thing this year. Not talk about it. Not think about it.”
The Syracuse coach, who is the only coach left from the inception of the Big East isn’t worried about the conference he’s leaving behind.
“This league’s changed every year since the first couple of years,” Boeheim said. “There’s been changes every year I’ve been in this league. It’s been a good league, and it’s still going to be a good league.”Wesley Cheng