Instant Juice: ACC Operation Basketball Media Day

Elijah Hughes
Elijah Hughes speaks to a referee. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A quick take on the media showcase to promote the upcoming 2019-2020 ACC Basketball season at the league’s 58th annual Operation Basketball event, held Tuesday at the Charlotte Marriott City Center in uptown Charlotte, N.C.:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse, with Elijah Hughes, Marek Dolezaj, and Jim Boeheim on hand, joined the conference’s other 14 basketball teams to talk about plenty of topics surrounding the league’s projected order of finish this year, individual players and programs, and the hottest topics surrounding college basketball nationally – the Fair Pay to Play Act in California, and the ongoing NCAA and legal investigations of specific schools around the country.

» Related: Can Syracuse finally unearth its “death lineup”?

ANALYSIS: The word “unknown” was heard often Tuesday, as in how the league may unfold from a power conference perspective both internally and nationally, which teams are the preseason favorites (Louisville and the usual suspects like Duke and UNC), and which programs are on the rise (Pittsburgh).  The new 20 game league schedule and opening-game conference schedule on the new TV network were also a common topic of interest in how the changes will impact teams building early to mid-season.

HERO: Boeheim was certainly in a chipper mood when he appeared live on the ACC Network in late morning. “They’re high,” Boeheim told the media panel when asked about expectations this season.  “Because we had four games in Italy and we had 10 practices, we’re well ahead of where we would be.  The ability to go on that foreign trip is great (every four years)’ (as is) the ability to work with your players for four hours (weekly) that last summer session of summer school.  A great NCAA rule.”

ZERO: Look for a 14 team ACC Tournament at Greensboro in March.  With Georgia Tech given a postseason ban by the NCAA in September for recruiting violations, the league policy is to ban that team from the conference tournament as well.  As a result, one of the 14 teams will have an extra day off before competing.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange continue preseason practice and hold the annual Orange-White scrimmage Friday night at the Dome (7:00-9:00 p.m. ET).  The ‘Cuse will then get ready for exhibition games against Daemen College (Oct. 26) and Carleton University (Oct. 29), before the season opener Nov. 6 versus defending national titlist Virginia at the Dome (9:00 p.m. ET / ACCN).

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.