The annual ACC Tipoff media event was held Wednesday in uptown Charlotte. Representing Syracuse were coach Adrian Autry and a trio of players, Judah Mintz, J.J. Starling, and Benny Williams.
Here are three takeaways:
Welcome to the conference, Adrian Autry!
As he does each year, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips officially welcomed the league’s first-year coaches, and in this case, provided a shout out to Adrian Autry during his annual forum to start the day-long agenda.
Phillips also spend time discussing:
*The conference’s national status and reputation.
“This conference has been undervalued. When you talk about CFP appearances, you talk about National Championships in college football, you talk about the basketball success (three of the last eight NCAA championships with 99 NCAA Tournament wins in that span) you talk about a conference that’s won more National Championships than any other conference.”
*The success of the conference men’s and women’s teams both in competition and the classroom, versus being third in revenue payouts behind the Big Ten and SEC.
“Are we chasing dollars, or are we chasing success?”
*Conference newcomers Cal, SMU, and Stanford.
“They bring us two Top 10 markets, and make the conference a national brand.”
*Not having all 18 teams (only the current 15) compete in the ACC Basketball Tournament.
“I think you’ve got to earn your way to play in the most prestigious postseason basketball tournament in the country, and if you don’t get to a certain threshold, then you just don’t make it that year.”
Autry capsulized his new defensive and offensive strategies.
In a shortened press conference format due to scheduling issues, only Autry, Starling, and Mintz took questions. Autry provided a quick scouting report for Orange fans.
“You’ll see a difference on both sides of the ball. I think defensively, obviously, the main question is the zone. Will we play zone? Yeah, but is that our primary defense? No. It will not be going forward. We’ll play different types of defenses.
Offensively, I think you’ll see we’re very fortunate to have dynamic guards, two or three on the court at the same time, all can dribble, pass, and shoot. I think you’ll see a lot more pace. A lot more spacing, things of that nature.”
Mintz explained that efficiency, leadership, and…defense are the keys to raising his NBA stock for next year’s draft.
The sophomore guard who benefitted from going through the NBA Draft combine last spring, has also benefitted from the new culture under Autry and holdover assistants Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin. His vow to Orange fans:
“Defense is everything. You’re not going to win a game without getting stops. So I’m ready to prove it this year, what I can do.”
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