Yes. I think the first thing you have to look at is there are fewer "big guys,, 6-10, 6-11, 7-0" coming out of high school at an advanced level. If they are advanced, they are going straight to the NBA. Some of the bigger guys that come out now aren't as gifted as they were two years ago, four years ago, six years ago. I still think there is a tremendous place for a big guy. I'd love to have a big guy that can run and move and those kind of things. I'd love for him to be eight feet tall. It'd make me a heck of a lot better coach.
Has it changed the way coaches build teams?
I think if you have a chance to get one, you get one. Schenser at Georgia Tech is very effective. The one thing that he does is takes away your easy offensive rebounds and putbacks because he's always seven feet, he's always got that big wingspan. He doesn't have to be a great jumper.
How is the health of the team?
Raymond got hit again today, but he's fine. He made it through the whole practice today. The first two practices this week he did not go through the entire practice. Jackie is the only one who did not practice today. I'm hoping he'll be able to practice tomorrow. He had an abscessed tooth that was cut out yesterday morning so that's just another little thing for him to put up with. He could not practice at all yesterday and the only thing he could do today was half-court dummy offense.
What things do you differently the third time you play a team?
You do some things differently. You know more about the other team and you know things that worked for you the other two times and you emphasize them and stay away from the things that didn't work. You have more information. Some coaches like to add things late in the year, some coaches don't. I think it's going to be the same type of (thinking), Paul's not going to change his philosophy and I'm not changing ours. We've just got to see who is the best on Friday.
What goals did you set for the regular season?
I didn't have a goal for the regular season except to play as well as we could play every single night and play as hard as we could play every single night and that has mixed reviews. I think sometimes we did and sometimes we didn't. I didn't set a goal to win a certain number of games. We did have have one thing we talked about, 'play hard, play smart, and play in March."
What emotions will you have as the head coach going into this ACC Tournament?
Just more responsibility. You feel that you're trying to look at the entire team, the entire staff, the entire program, trying to read the pulse and see how everyone is doing. When I was an assistant last time, I had the responsibility of the big men. It's a whole different thing, just like the first game (at UNC) was.
Have you stressed consistency in the ACC Tournament?
I have stressed that, but the other thing is that it doesn't make any difference how consistent you are if you don't play well the first day, you go home. Let's play as well as we can possibly play and give it everything we have.
Comment on Georgia Tech's depth and Carolina adjustments?
In my opinion they may have more quality depth than anyone in the league. I think they use they very effectively. I think it's helped them throughout the course of the season. I would guess they get more point production from anyone else in the league. Florida State would probably be up there as well. That depth is a huge factor for (Georgia Tech) during the course of a game and particularly a factor over a short, three-day tournament like this one. We're going to try to play fast. We're not going to slow it down. We're trying to build a program and I think that's going to be an advantage for us to continue doing that for years and years as long as we have a point guard who can push it and big guys that can run. Anybody that thinks stamina is a question now doesn't follow college basketball. Timeouts are so long everybody can take naps.
How would you compare this year's ACC with other seasons you've been a part of in the Big 12 or ACC?
Last couple of years, I thought the Big 12 was the best conference in the country. I would debate that with anybody. Right now, and it's not just because I'm here, I would debate that the ACC is the best conference in the country. When I was here in the 80s, I thought it was the best in the country. It's been a sensational year for the league. When you look at the non-conference record, it says that it's sensational, but the bottom line is you have to do it in the (NCAA) tournament.
On talking to his team today about the ACC Tournament.
I told them that how we play this week can help us. Yes, we are going to the NCAA Tournament. I don't think you have to be a nuclear scientist to figure that out, but I don't want to go to Greensboro just to go through the motions. The phrase I used with them was, 'Since we have to go play, let's go play our absolute best. Let's go up there prepared to stay for three days.' Do I love the tournament? No. I don't love the tournament at all. In some ways, it's just a huge cocktail party for four or five days. The way that people put so much weight on the NCAA Tournament, this (ACC Tournament) is just something we do between the regular season and the NCAA Tournament. I've tried to get the kids to understand how extremely important it is to our club.