ACC Men's Basketball Coaches Teleconference: Notable Quotes



Boston College coach Steve Donahue on who's been the most consistent of his very young team...

"I think Dennis Clifford has been hands down the most consistent in terms of everything. He's an incredibly coachable kid, has an incredible work ethic. I think everyone here would say that he's been really not letting good or bad affect how he goes about. For a seven foot kid, who needs need strength, and will get it, he's been pretty impressive."

Clemson coach Brad Brownell on Devin Booker's improvement...

"I think he's gotten more comfortable around the basket. You know he really didn't play around the basket a lot last year. He's a kid that can make a face-up jump shot, but I think he's just gotten a little more comfortable finishing plays with his back to the basket. He's certainly gotten stronger, able to hold some guys off. I think he's done a better job of rebounding consistently and just learning how to play maybe extended minutes with better pace and effort."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on how he wants him team to improve on defense...

"We'd like to improve everything on defense, to be quite frank with you. I'm not being short with you. Basically we'd like to improve everything. We're going to hopefully take steps forward to do that. I think it's important to have a goal for improvement. It's early January, we have a long way to go. We're not going to get it all done by Thursday."

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton on who he's expecting to stand out in conference play...

"We don't expect any one particular player to carry us. That's not the kind of team we are. We're a team that has to execute on the offensive end and get everybody the best opportunity."

Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory on Glen Rice coming off the bench...

"He does give us a spark off the bench. It's more minutes and production during those minutes as opposed to the starting lineups. I've never been the guy that puts a great emphasis on who was starting. Sometimes it's what's best for the team that's most important. Usually it's based on performance in practice and so forth, and different things. He's responded to well to that and that's obviously a sign orf maturity."

Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon on Alex Len's impact defensively...

"He's just so long. We've really been working on positioning with him - not leading guys in for layups and things. He's got tremendous length and he's using his length and that's really what we're trying to do with him and play without fouling. I though his length really affected [NC State] and he didn't block a lot of shots, as many as he is capable, but affected a lot and was then able to turn and get the rebound. Alex just needs to add strength. That was his first ACC game, the biggest crowd he's ever played in front of. A lot of firsts for him last night. He is going to make a huge impact, and he'll just keep getting better as the season goes on."

Miami coach Jim Larranaga on Shane Larkin (whose father was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame)...

"Shane is a very very popular young man on our team. He gets along great with the older guys. We only have two freshmen - Shane and Bishop Daniels and those guys have adopted Shane and he really fits in well. Barry has been down with his wife Lisa to many of our Miami games at home. Our guys know him and we'll be following very very closely today and obviously hoping that he gets that honor that is well deserved."

North Carolina coach Roy Williams on Kendall Marshall's progress on defense...

"He's gotten better. He's a smart player. He doesn't try to get up on people, chest to chest with them because he doesn't have that kind of speed and quickness. He tries to judge how close he can be and still stay in front of the basketball and he's been doing a better job of that. He's been helping us a little bit more by improving away from the basketball and I think that's where I've seen more of the improvement from him defensively. He knows he has to the best he can defensively because that is something that is not a strength for him."

NC State coach Mark Gottfried on the improved free throw shooting from last year...

"We spend a lot of time in practice shooting foul shots. I've always been a big believer in that. I think right now our guys have a very high level of high concentration while they're at the foul line. Each guy knows, and we talk about this, they have a responsibility to improve as a foul shooter and I think that we've put a lot of work in there."

Virginia coach Tony Bennett on whether he enjoys the slow tempo of recent games...

"No (laughing), I wish we could score more in those games. I think what's happened in some of those games, again it's a hard-fought defensive game. LSU is a real strong half court defensive team - we try to do that as well. And Miami, certainly, too. Sometimes the possessions have lowered because the teams haven't been able to break down the defense right away. It's taken a little bit of time to get a good look and that just lowers the possessions. You take it any way you can get it, but sometimes conference play that can happen. Sometimes the scores can lower a bit, but we're going to try to certainly score when we can, while still being sound."

Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg on the inconsistency of his upperclassmen...

"You don't just discard people because they had a bad game. If you believe in them and you care about them, you help them navigate the rough waters. Are we going to hold our guys accountable in terms of being better leaders? Yes , because those our traits we want our guys to possess in life when they leave here."

Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik on Travis McKie's improvement...

"I think he's a little smarter, more versatile player in terms of understanding having been through a collegiate season already. He's got one under his belt, and all the minutes that he's played, I think he's understanding situations a little bit better. I know during a game just recently, he got doubled in the post, and he understands now where open guys might be. He's worked hard throughout the summertime during the offseason to add versatility to his game off the dribble and moving without the ball. I think he's having a terrific, terrific year."