During a phone conversation Tuesday, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas shared his opinions on ACC and N.C. State basketball. Here are some of his comments:
・On N.C. State: “If they get guard play they’ll be fine. I’m not sure exactly what was behind some of last season where they didn’t perform like they wanted to. I attribute it more to guard play rather than personality issues. I would love to know more about why (Ben) McCauley was suspended. . .why he didn’t take the trip they took (to Toronto in August). That would bother me. . . .You want all your kids to be in with both feet and I don’t know what’s behind it. But it’s not a good sign.
"But I think Sidney (Lowe) is a good coach, and I think every guy needs some time. And he hasn’t had that yet. I’ll tell you one thing, when they let Herb Sendek walk out the door and didn’t try to stop him, most people in basketball knew they were losing a really good coach and that they were going to have to take a step back to get back to where they wanted to be.”
“This is the step-back portion. Whether they can take the step forward, we’ll see. I think they hired a good coach and a really, really good guy. They just need to give him the time. This is what they wanted and they’ve got it. They’ve got to give him the time.”
・Bilas said North Carolina’s talent and experience are unmatched. Among emerging teams, he expects Miami and Wake Forest to continue improving: “(The Deacons) are young but really, really good, and it wouldn’t be a shocker to see them as the third-best team in the league. There’s nobody in the league that they can’t be competitive with.
・Bilas predicted Duke will be a top-10 team: “I think Duke is going to be a lot better this year than last year, and heck, last year they won 27 games.”
・He said Clemson has a good nucleus back: “(Trevor) Booker is a really good player and I think (Terrence) Oglesby is going to take a step forward. They lost some athleticism and some leadership and some real productivity. They’ll be fine and they’ll be good, but I think a lot is going to be determined by how tough some of these guys are."