3 things Jim Boeheim and Josh Pastner said on the ACC coaches teleconference

first_img Published on February 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse has one regular season game left to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume ahead of next week’s ACC tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Following a buzzer-beating win against then-No. 10 Duke, Syracuse (17-13, 9-8 Atlantic Coast) suffered its worst defeat in conference play since joining the ACC thanks to a 20-point clobbering at the hands of then-No. 7 Louisville. SU next faces Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9) on Senior Day in the Carrier Dome Saturday at 4 p.m.Five days out of the teams’ second matchup in two weeks, here were three talking points from Orange head coach Jim Boeheim and GT head coach Josh Pastner.Despite precarious bubble position, Boeheim maintains he doesn’t think about itThe SU head coach has reiterated time and time again that he doesn’t think about the NCAA Tournament and Syracuse’s potential standing in it until the field of 68 is released. This year SU presumably finds itself on the bubble again, with a 17-13 record but five wins at home against teams that will be in the Tournament or are on the bubble – Miami, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia and Duke.There’s one more chance for a home win on Saturday against the Yellow Jackets, and two losses to a fellow bubble team would likely inflict significant damage on Syracuse’s Tournament hopes and force the Orange out of a first-round bye in the conference tournament.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, Boeheim insists on pondering only what his team can control.“I don’t think about that, I’m not concerned about that,” Boeheim said regarding what’s at stake in Saturday’s game. “…We had five games in 15 days … What happens outside of that is not something we have any control of.”Beyond Saturday, the ACC tournament will be one to remember — at least on paperWith the ACC potentially being the deepest conference in college basketball history when it comes to bids in the NCAA Tournament, next week’s five-day event in Brooklyn should be nothing short of entertaining.Eleven teams are alive for berths in the field of 68, with eight already likely locks. Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest could be playing for their inclusion in that group next week, and the Orange will hope to have better fortunes than the first time it visited the Barclays Center this season.“We’re looking forward to playing in Brooklyn,” Boeheim said. “We played this year already. It should be a great tournament. We’ve got a great league and there will be great teams in New York.”That Georgia Tech is in NCAA Tournament contention is a ‘modern miracle’The Yellow Jackets, once picked to finish 14th out of 15 ACC teams, have reeled off enough wins to jump into the NCAA Tournament discussion. Pastner, formerly at the helm of Memphis and in his first year at Georgia Tech, inherited a team with not a single player who averaged more than 5.0 points per game last season. Georgia Tech won eight conference games a year ago, but when Pastner took over in April, he was told by coaches in the league that this was a rebuilding year.“‘You’re not winning a game in the ACC,’” Pastner was told. “‘You’re not winning. If you do, you’ve got to be prepared to go winless in your first two years. Prepare to go winless in 20 games.’”But a 75-63 upset over North Carolina in December, followed by a 22-point rout of No. 6 Florida State last month, pushed the Yellow Jackets to the middle of the conference pack. A few days later, they beat No. 14 Notre Dame on a buzzer-beating layup. The unranked Yellow Jackets, who beat Syracuse 71-65 at home on Feb. 19, are now in NCAA Tournament contention. Georgia Tech is an inexperienced team with little depth that could punch a ticket to its first NCAA Tournament since 2010 if it beats Pittsburgh on Tuesday or Syracuse on Saturday.Pastner said he thinks if Georgia Tech gets a victory this week, it deserves a spot in the Tournament. The Yellow Jackets need to play near-flawless basketball to notch an eighth conference victory, he said. Despite a scoring average of only 68 points per game — 292nd in all of NCAA — GT ranks 20th in field-goal percentage defense. SU shot only 35.7 percent from the field in the teams’ previous meeting.It’s that defense that has allowed Georgia Tech to stay with top teams in the conference and poke into Tournament discussion with two regular-season games left.“That we’re even mentioned or even talking about being .500 in probably the greatest year this league has ever had,” Pastner said, “I literally think it’s a modern miracle.” Commentslast_img read more

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