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ACC coaches trying to put their arms around 20-game schedule

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Spring meetings for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball coaches has been a little bit different this year compared to what the football coaches have gone through. There has been more time to play golf, layout on the beach and talk Xs and Os than deal with how they will handle any big-time rule changes such as in-game operations, recruiting or things along those lines.

One of the topics the coaches had to discuss was the 20-game ACC schedule which will begin in the 2019-’20 season when the ACC Network is launched.

“We are trying to put our arms around the idea of the 20-game schedule,” Brownell said to The Clemson Insider on Wednesday from the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Fla.

The concern is the league forcing teams to play 20 straight ACC games or play a few in November and December. During its current 18-game schedule the league incorporated December games here and there to break things up and to make it fair for every school.

Some conflicts with a 20-game league schedule deal with the student-athletes schedules such as classes and final exams, especially if the ACC decides to have league games in late November or early December.

“What does that mean and how is that going to change our calendar year,” Brownell said. “We have toyed with the idea of moving it up and whether it is early as starting a season with it or maybe waiting a week and playing a game in November.

“It is so difficult with finals and schedules and all the different building conflicts and things like guys having to play 20 straight games.”

And at school like Clemson, it is important they avoid having to play a basketball game on the same day as a football game.

“We just have to make sure they are positioned in the absolute right spot,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “It will be different home and away games during that time. I don’t know if everyone will necessarily have two home games during that time period of time or maybe a one-and-one, but it is really going to be a scheduling puzzle for those guys to pull together.”

Those guys are the ACC’s scheduling committee.

“But until we actually see some mock schedules, it is going to be hard to tell what those issues will be,” Radakovich said. “We have had some league games in December previously and that is when we had the 18-game schedule so obviously it is going to be there again with a 20-game schedule.”

One thing is for certain says Radakovich, “We know there are going to be years, if not, every year where there will be league games in December.”

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