Everything Jeremy Roach and Jacob Grandison said at ACC Media Day about the upcoming season

Everything Jeremy Roach and Jacob Grandison said at ACC Media Day about the upcoming season

Earlier this week the new-look Duke Men’s Basketball program met the media in Charlotte at the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tipoff Media Day.

Joining rookie head coach Jon Scheyer at the podium and in breakout sessions were returning point guard Jeremy Roach and incoming transfer small forward Jacob Grandison, both of whom are expected to be high in the rotation when the Blue Devils take the court to open the season next month.

Now entering his junior season and recently named a team captain, Roach should be the team’s starting point guard and will be asked to not only run the team but to also carry more of the scoring load as the lone returning rotational player from last season’s Final Four team.

Meanwhile Grandison will be playing out the last year of his college eligibility at his third school after transferring into Durham from Illinois a season ago.

Both players offered their thoughts on the new feel around the Durham program as well as their impressions of their new head coach and how all of that relates to the expectations that always surround Duke Basketball.

Here’s what they had to say…

Q. Coming off you guys’ Final Four run last year and the chemistry you guys exuded in that run, Jeremy, can you talk about being a team captain this year, what it will take to get back there and capitalize on that success from last year?

JEREMY ROACH: Yeah, just that whole Final Four loss, we’re going to use — at least me personally, are going to use that as motivation coming into this year.

I know we’ve got a new group of guys who haven’t been through the Duke season, so being me that leader, me being that experienced guy, that third year guy has to the go tell guys what to do, what not to do, and just set that example.

Q. Jacob, you being the older guy, what are you bringing to the table through this transfer process?

JACOB GRANDISON: Yeah, as an older guy, it automatically brings experience. I’ve been through high major seasons, mid-major seasons, and that’s the mix of our team.
Besides that, I bring me, and with that I only have one agenda when I’m playing basketball, and that is to win. Then in choosing to come here, I knew that we were on the same accord, and we all have one vision, to win.

Like I said, bringing myself and just bringing my best version of myself every day and ready to be coached and win basketball games.

Q. Jeremy, it is a little bit different this year, not only the faces of the players but also the faces of the coaching staff. How have you been dealing with the change, adjusting to the change?

JEREMY ROACH: I mean, the change has been very smooth. Me and Coach Scheyer have built that relationship since high school, and to get to this point now, our relationship is at its peak.

I just think this whole transition has been very smooth. I know I have the utmost confidence in Coach Scheyer. I know he has the utmost confidence in me. If your leader and your coach are on the same page, I think we’re going to have a successful season.

Q. Jacob, just curious to some of the notable differences you’ve seen coming from the Big Ten and Illinois and coming over here to ACC country and playing at Duke.

JACOB GRANDISON: To be fair to both schools, I’m not going to sit up here and just compare them like that. But I’ve been coached by a bunch of notable coaches. I’ve kind of absorbed what they’ve had to say.

Coming here, it’s a little different with a young guy, a younger coach. But seriously — I’ll get into the ACC, but coming here has been very seamless. Like a lot of respect and openness and genuineness has been the vibe in terms of transition, which is very wholesome and puts a lot of what’s going to happen kind of thoughts at ease.

Then in terms of comparing the Big Ten to the ACC, we’ll have to see. We’re pretty focused on what we have to do in practice every day rather than the spectrum of the ACC, but every day we’re working on ourselves to be our best selves, to go into ACC play and win as many games as we can.

Q. Jacob, this is your sixth season of playing college basketball. What’s the journey been like going from Holy Cross to Illinois and now Duke?

JACOB GRANDISON: It’s been a whole lot for sure. It’s been a blur. It’s happened fast. But I don’t have time right now to look at that part of my journey that I’ve been on, because there’s a whole lot left to write, and I’m super excited to have my last season here.

Q. Jeremy, with so many new faces, and especially as you’re a returning player, what have been kind of the focus to build some of that chemistry and camaraderie with the new guys? What’s the go-to activity for you guys?

JEREMY ROACH: It starts early in the summer when we get there, so just hanging out at the suite that we have, going out to movies, Top Golf, whatever —

JON SCHEYER: Playing defense.

JEREMY ROACH: Playing defense. We’re around each other so much that that bond is just going to build, and then we go off after practice, hang out, maybe get some dinner or something like that. That’s just what builds a great team and great brotherhood.

Q. Jeremy, you are the lone captain this year. What does that responsibility mean?

JEREMY ROACH: It’s a big responsibility, but a big responsibility that I’m ready for. I know my coaches and my teammates have the utmost confidence in me, but I’m not doing it alone. I have guys like Coach Scheyer, C-Well, Jai Lucas, Amile Jefferson, just guys in my year always helping me out. Even the older guys, Max, Kale, Ryan, Jake, so it’s not just me being a captain alone. I’ve got guys in my corner helping me out, too.

Q. Since you’ve obviously returned from the team, what have you noticed different about Coach Scheyer since he’s moved over a seat from being the assistant to the head coach? I don’t know if he’s playing more of the bad cop role.

JEREMY ROACH: I think it’s been a smooth transition. Coach Scheyer is always going to give guys that confidence. That’s the biggest thing about Coach Scheyer, he’s going to make you feel comfortable, make you feel confident and just be who you are whenever you’re out there. I think the transition has been very smooth, very welcoming.

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