The ACC held its annual Operation Basketball event on Tuesday at the Marriott City Center in downtown Charlotte, hosting all fifteen teams as it previewed the upcoming 2019-20 basketball season. Also announced Tuesday at Media Day was the addition of former Blue Devil great Carlos Boozer to the ACC Network as an on-air analyst for the season.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski and senior forwards Javin DeLaurier and Jack White represented the Blue Devils, speaking to the media about the team’s strengths, defending the ACC title, repeating as captains and their thoughts on their senior seasons.
“Our team this year is very balanced,” said Krzyzewski. “So we’re going to need not just balance in whatever the starting five would be, but really from 1 through 10. We can play that many guys. I think you can get greater consistency then because you have more guys playing.”
Also answering questions from the media, both DeLaurier and White spoke about the strengths of their games and the leadership they can bring as seniors.
“Coming off a leadership role from last year,” said White. “I think it’s helped us feeling comfortable coming into our senior year with that same role, and obviously with a fresh group of guys coming in, just really excited to learn from them, learn with them, and compete with them. I think our experience last year is going to help us with that”
“It’s crazy how fast time flies,” said DeLaurer. “Being a senior now, really just trying to emulate what the guys who were in my position when I came in as a freshman, what they did for me in terms of reaching out and being a good leader and trying to help me on my path.”
DeLaurier and White join sophomore guard Tre Jones as key pieces from last year’s squad that went 32-6, won the program’s 21st ACC Championship and reached the Elite Eight.
“Tre is a key guy for us because he’s going to have the ball most of the time,” said Coach K. “Last year he got the ball especially to Zion (Williamson) and RJ (Barrett). Now he’s going to have to distribute it to a number of guys. His ball pressure gets things going. But as important as he is, the two guys on the podium with me are extremely important. Our three captains, these two guys with the experience they have, and they both become better players, I think those three guys have to be solid for us, and I think will be.”
Duke’s Countdown to Craziness event is scheduled for Friday, October 18 at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.