Just got home from the final stop of the Prowl and Growl and thought I'd pass on a few things of interest for the masses.
1. Brad Brownell was obviously elated to have Jaron Blossomgame return. He indicated this could be the break his program has been searching for. He gave a "why not us?" comment in regards to challenging for an ACC title. That certainly is the first time I've really heard him make such a statement. His usual stance is discussing being in the upper third of the league. He mentioned having better depth, especially after Christmas when Elijah Thomas comes eligible, and playing more extended pressure man defense akin to what we saw from the Stitt led team his first season. Having a true Alpha Dog to play around is going to take a lot of pressure off guys like Donte Grantham (who Brownell says could develop into an NBA guy). As STS writer Ryan Kantor mentioned in his Atlanta report, Brad seems to really like Shelton Mitchell as a pure point guard.
2. I found Dabo's comments about the secondary very interesting. It is nothing new to hear Dabo be confident in his new guys stepping in, but he really inferred a lot of what some here have suspected and commented on regarding last year's group. They had a lot of talent but apparently had conflicting agendas which led to some of the bad busts we saw. He feels this group will be more cohesive and implied more coachable. If he is right the ACC is in for serious trouble. Dabo is going to be positive as we all know but he has been dead on about the OL and Renfrow so I'm beginning to put more stock in his commentary. I'll credit one fan who was also at the Florence meeting for calling Dabo out for turning a special teams question into a Teasdall praising. We got more of the "we worked hard on it" speech. Let's face it that some of the guys causing problems in the secondary were also called to be major contributors to the coverage so there's that. My favorite comment was that Clelin Ferrell could be a household name after the Auburn game but definitely before the season ends.
Overall it wasn't earth shattering news but times are definitely good in Tigertown. Dabo had some fun mocking Oklahoma's spin on the Russell Athletic Bowl beating and it underscored the chip he carries on his shoulder that many fans carry in regards to media garbage. If the secondary is better as he says he expects it to be, this will be a very scary team considering how dynamic the offense promises to be.