It didn’t take Syracuse and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim long to make their presence felt on their first trip to Operation Basketball, the annual ACC media day Wednesday in Charlotte. Syracuse was predicted to finish second behind Duke in the newly expanded 15-team conference, and forward C.J. Fair was chosen as preseason player of the year by ACC media.
And Boeheim was less than 10 minutes into his 90-minute session with print media Wednesday before he was lobbying to see future ACC tournaments held in New York, something the ACC reportedly is considering, given the league’s new footprint.
The ACC tournament will be held at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum for the next two years, but sites for the 2016-21 tournaments have yet to be determined. Cities already in consideration include Atlanta (Philips Arena), Charlotte, Greensboro, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C.
“The misconception is I think the tournament should be in New York City because I like it,” said Boeheim, who joked that his favorite restaurant is in Greenville, S.C., and unlike the fans he’s not overly concerned about local shopping and restaurants. But when it comes to league exposure and access to recruits, he went into a serious argument.
“I think there are obviously a lot more recruits in Washington and New York than there are in Greensboro,” Boeheim said. “The key to any basketball team and league is players. What are players interested in? Not fans, or coaches or commissioners. It’s kids. What do they want?”
As for what the commissioner wants? The ACC’s John Swofford fielded a question about holding possible future tournaments in New York.
“I think you have to consider that New York City is a prominent part of our footprint now,” Swofford said. “… There’s certainly some logic to the tournament potentially being in the New York market at some point in time.”
Morris surgery: Georgia Tech senior wing Jason Morris entered this preseason in the best shape of his career, Yellow Jackets coach Brian Gregory said. He practiced so hard and so well last week that Gregory pulled him aside afterward to tell him how much of an impact that kind of effort can have on his team his senior season.
Within a week Morris was undergoing foot surgery, his second operation on his left foot in three years. Two years ago Morris had surgery on his toe. Morris spent much of last season battling plantar fasciitis. This time a stress fracture will cost him four to six weeks.
“I can’t tell you how bummed out I was,” Gregory said. “He just can’t catch a break with those feet of his.”
Gregory said doctors told Morris he had the option of rest and rehabilitation, but there was a risk of injuring it worse when he returned. This way doctors felt he would have his best chance of coming back at a higher level.
“Last year he went through rest and playing, rest and playing, and he could never get into the rhythm of the season, and he didn’t want that,” Gregory said. “The surgery gives him the best chance this year to have a great senior season.”
No Hairson update: North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he had no new information about what further discipline guard P.J. Hairston will face for his offseason legal problems, which include two traffic violations and potential NCAA impropriety over possible connection to an agent.
“Right now he’s still going through the process, we’re going the process,” Williams said. “We’ll wait and see what happens.”
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