Can you talk about what Reggie Bullock has done the last few weeks?
“Well, Reggie’s played really well. Even at Virginia, he was the only guy we had to play worth a darn and we still lost. But he’s been the most consistent player by far and I think probably the most consistent player with what he’s said on the court and in the locker room. He’s done that, but it’s not just been in the last few games or anything. I think it’s developed over time.
"They still look to Dexter [Strickland] to leadership because he’s a senior. They still look to James Michael [McAdoo] because of what he’s accomplished, and as I’ve said many times, Marcus Paige, even though he’s a freshman, the point guard spot is a leadership [role]. I think it’s been a collective thing for everybody on our club…
“And the other thing is that we are so young that some of our younger guys are learning a little bit more about what ACC basketball is all about. They’ve had to raise their game to a different level than what it was.”
Is Georgia Tech dangerous? They’re the only winless team in the ACC. Is that tough to teach a young team to take a winless team seriously?
“It better not be or it will not only turn out to be dangerous, it will turn out to be a loss. They were ahead of Duke at Duke at halftime and Duke is one of the better teams in the country and at times have played better than anybody in the nation. So I think we can emphasize that to our guys and then hopefully Reggie, James Michael and Dexter and those guys will be able to lead the young pups along a little bit. But if I find out that this Carolina team right now takes somebody for granted, then we’re going to have a track meet for several days after that game.”
Do you see more parity in this league than in years past?
“I think so. There’s still going to be some disparity because a team like Duke or North Carolina State that’s so highly ranked nationally and doing so well, they’re going to win most of their games and somebody’s got to lose those. But I do think from top to bottom, the league is probably the best in the 10 years that I’ve been back… If you take somebody lightly in this league right now, you’re going to lose. I don’t care where you are or where you’re playing.”
How does that parity emerge?
“We went through a stretch there where we were changing coaches so often. I think this year we only changed one coach, unless I’m going brain dead. Then once you get a coach that’s been there two or three years he puts in his style of play, gets his prospects, his recruits in. I think the stability of the league has been better the last couple of years. I think one year we changed four or five coaches. I think over a two-year period, we changed like seven out of 12 coaches. I think that continuity is something to it.
“And then I don’t think the ACC has ever been bad, but the new guys coming in have really done a great job.”
What are the factors that have led to Reggie being more consistent this year?
“I think experience is the biggest thing. He’s been through it more than anybody else. I’m sitting here talking about consistency and he scores 21 points in the first half [against Maryland] and he scores three in the second half. He’s 0-for-3 on layups, so I don’t know how consistent he’s been myself. I told him that yesterday at practice. I do think he has been day-in and day-out, he’s done the best job for us, whether it’s been games or practice either one. And I want him to get even better at that.”
Do you see parts of his game that are just a whole lot better than they were as a freshman and sophomore?
“His freshman year he missed the second half of the season with a knee injury. Dexter’s the only senior and he’s missed half a year. Leslie’s a junior and missed a full year and Reggie’s a junior and he’s missed half a year… That consistency of going through that, that experience, he has been getting better in every phase of the game, but the one thing that I think has helped him more than anything is that he’s just a much more confident player for going through those kinds of games and being successful and helping our team.”
Do you have an update on Leslie McDonald?
“Well, we gave the guys the day off today and we’ll have to watch him in practice tomorrow and then we’ll try to make an announcement before Wednesday. We don’t want to wait until Wednesday and say something about it. So hopefully we’ll know something after practice tomorrow.”