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Kevin Keatts, Terquavion Smith, and Jarkel Joiner talk upcoming basketball season

NCAA Basketball: ACC Basketball Tipoff Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something a little jarring about watching the basketball media events for men’s and women’s hoops happen on consecutive days when your school’s programs are at such wildly different points on the spectrum.

Wes Moore, Jakia Brown-Turner, and Diamond Johnson spent Tuesday talking about the success they’ve had and how they expect to compete for another ACC title; Kevin Keatts, Terquavion Smith, and Jarkel Joiner spent Wednesday talking about what it will take to bounce back from a dead-last finish.

Keatts wasn’t trying to place the blame for that season anywhere but at his own feet:

Those guys last year, they played their hearts out for me and our program. If you want to look at someone to blame about last year, you completely look at me. I’m the coach. I’m the guy who should take all of the heat, and I am. What we did this year is we went out and we got experience. I’ve said for so long that it’s hard to win in college basketball in general when you are young, and, man, I caught myself being young last year. So I went out and I got some older guys that have played and been through some adversity.

He’s definitely right about that experience, and in that regard he did about as well as he could’ve to shore up the roster with quality veterans. The team’s still a big question mark in general, but at least it’s one we can have some optimism about.

Also, having Baby T sure helps. Any overhaul that keeps a player like that in fold has a chance to work.