CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Head coach Jeff Bzdelik and All-ACC performers C.J. Harris and Travis McKie represented Wake Forest at the 2012 ACC Operation Basketball media event on Wednesday in Charlotte.
Bzdelik, Harris and McKie talked with regional and national media at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and also spent half of the day at the ESPNU studios, going through a number of different interviews and segments with the network's on-air personalities.
For Harris, it was his third time at the ACC media day, tying a league record for most events attended. McKie was making his second appearance at the event.
Despite featuring the league's top two returning scorers in Harris (16.7 points per game) and McKie (16.1 ppg), the Demon Deacons were picked to finish 11th in the conference this season by the assembled media on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, the ACC coaches picked Wake Forest to finish tied for 10th in the preseason poll.
Wake Forest will open the 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 against Radford. The Deacons will play three exhibition games prior to the opener, including a pair of contests this weekend in Toronto.
On mentoring the freshmen...
"Everybody is looking to me and C.J. to be leaders. We definitely have to be role models on and off the court. There are a lot of things the freshmen don't know about being a college student and a basketball player. We've embraced the role and continue to try to teach them every day."
On balancing being patient with a young team and wanting to win now...
"There's definitely a sense of urgency. This year everybody on campus knows this is our time to turn the corner. At the same time, we know we can't rush it. We have to take it one day at a time. They are just freshmen and they're learning about college basketball. They'll get their first taste this weekend when we go to Canada for two exhibition games. And during the season they'll have their bumps. When we hit ACC play there are going to be ups and downs. We just have to be patient and take it one day at a time, but I feel like this the year that we have a winning season."
On the questions the freshmen have been asking...
"They ask about everything. It's their first time being a college student, their first time being away from home. It's their first time being on their own. So I think they're becoming adults, and we have to help in that transition as much as we can. On the court, it's going to come. It's more so off the court...just being a college student and not having mommy and daddy at home."