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Doughty College Notebook: ACC's Brazeau optimistic about upcoming basketball season

Doughty College Notebook: ACC's Brazeau optimistic about upcoming basketball season

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By the end of the week, ACC associate commissioner Paul Brazeau thinks he’ll have a good idea of what’s ahead for the upcoming basketball season.

That’s just in time to discuss his thoughts with the Roanoke Valley Sports Club on Monday night at the Salem Civic Center (tickets remain).

“I think we’re going to play the season somehow,” Brazeau, who oversees men’s basketball, said prior to a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Will it be a bubble-type situation similar to the NBA, which does not have fans in the stands?

“I don’t get that sense right now,” said Brazeau, who has been with the ACC since 2014. “Bubbles are going to end up to be a last resort kind of thing.

“The situation looks better than it did a month ago but the logistics still have to be worked out.”

Getting through one weekend of ACC football has provided incentive.

“Absolutely,” Brazeau said. “We’re following their medical protocols closely to see how it all works. Listen, the virus might be here for a long time. Along with trying to get vaccines, we’ve got to learn to live with it.”

The so-called non-revenue sports also have been worth studying.

“The cadence in basketball is different from football,” he said. “As you know, we play a couple of times a week, so that’s a big difference right there in and of itself. No doubt.”

Was there a fear that the ACC would not have basketball this year?

“I still fear it,” Brazeau said, “but I’m optimistic and hopeful. That’s for sure.”

Brazeau attended Boston College and was the men’s basketball coach at Hartford for eight years after stints as an assistant at Ohio State and BC.

He is one of the most engaging members of the ACC staff, not that he seeks the spotlight.

“As quickly as I can get it to the questions and answers, the better,” he said. “I had a guy tell me one time, ‘Either be funny or be brief.’ If we get a Q&A going, it makes this better for all sides.’

“I suspect that they’ll want to talk about officials. They’ll want to talk about Roger Ayers, Roanoke’s finest.”

For information on getting tickets for the Sports Club meeting, go to roanokevalleysportsclub.com. Deadline to purchase tickets is Friday.

Legacies

Princeton has taken a football commitment from A.J. Barber, a wide receiver from Greenwich (Conn.) High School and the son of ex-New York Giants and University of Virginia star Tiki Barber, who is also a Cave Spring graduate.

A.J. Barber, listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, was an all-state selection last year after catching 42 passes for 745 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has more than 1,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Tiki Barber, who played at Cave Spring with his twin brother, Ronde, noted that A.J. has a younger brother, Chason, who is 6-5 going into his junior year at Greenwich and could grow into a tight end.

By the numbers

After wearing No. 10 as Virginia’s backup quarterback last year, Brennan Armstrong has chosen No. 5 for the 2020 season. His back-up, transfer Keytaon Thompson from Mississippi State, has chosen No. 99.

Last year’s No. 99 for the Cavaliers was freshman defensive lineman Jowon Briggs, now sporting No. 19 at 6-1 and 310 pounds.

Recruiting

Miami took a men’s basketball commitment at midweek from 6-5 shooting guard Nisine Poplar from Philadelphia. Virginia Tech was listed by Rivals.com as one of 16 schools that offered to Poplar, along with Auburn, Georgia and Maryland.

The Hokies were involved with Oak Ridge, Florida, shooting guard Michael James, who announced on Twitter that he has committed to Louisville. Four-star prospect Bryce Hopkins backed out of a commitment to the Cardinals.

From the pros

After missing the entire 2019 season due to injury, former UVa linebacker Micah Kiser had a team-high seven tackles (six unassisted) for the L.A. Rams in a 20-17 season-opening victory over Dallas. Joe Reed, a L.A. Chargers rookie from UVa, had the longest kickoff return (47 yards) in the NFL opener.

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Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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