Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski expects strolling via the tunnel onto the Dean E. Smith Center ground will really feel a lot totally different on Wednesday when the Golden Eagles face North Carolina. And frankly, he was wanting ahead to being handled like a villain.
With attendance restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic, he gained’t get to listen to the boos that usually waited to greet him, first as a participant at Duke from 1994-98, then as an assistant coach on Mike Krzyzewski’s workers from 1999-2014.
“Obviously, the atmosphere will be much different than what I’m accustomed to in the Dean Dome,” Wojciechowski mentioned. “I’m kind of disappointed I won’t get any boos because that’s what I’m used to when I go over there.”
Both Wojciechowski and UNC coach Roy Williams have the pandemic to thank for organising Wednesday’s sport on the schedule. Carolina was searching for a substitute after its sport with Boston College scheduled for Tuesday was postponed attributable to COVID-19.
Williams mentioned communication with Marquette started final week when the Tar Heels have been searching for a sport that ultimately led to enjoying Northeastern.
“I’m not going to do anybody a favor, period, unless it’s going to be something good for my team,” Williams mentioned. “And I got to think it that’s the way that Steve operates his team. We had discussions last week and then when it became official that Boston College was out we had several conversations over the weekend.”
How Tar Heels, Golden Eagles paired up
Marquette was gazing 10 days off between video games after having its initially scheduled sport against St. John’s on Feb. 20 moved as much as Jan. 31. Playing in Chapel Hill is the fourth of six straight highway video games. The Golden Eagles (10-12) are attempting to play their manner into NCAA event dialog and the one manner to do this is with Quad I wins.
“My preference when we were looking for games was to play as good a game as we could find,” Wojciechowski mentioned. “For a number of reasons, one of them was to give ourselves an opportunity against an outstanding team and we’ve done that with North Carolina. Then when we go up to Connecticut, that will be another opportunity for our guys.”
Marquette has seemingly been making changes because the gamers first arrived on campus this summer season. They couldn’t entry their basketball amenities as common as a result of preparations for the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee pressured them out. Wojciechowski mentioned not having a lot of a summer season or a preseason to get gamers acclimated slowed the progress of his group, to not point out accidents to key gamers.
“There’s a lot of challenges that COVID brings along and the most obvious ones and the ones that are oftentimes discussed the most are the pauses,” Wojciechowski mentioned. “You’re not limited to those challenges, there’s more to it, whether it’s the isolation or all the things you have to do on a daily basis.”
Wojo’s group will follow at Duke’s Cameron Indoor
It will be Wojciechowski’s first journey again to the Triangle since changing into the pinnacle coach at Marquette the 2014-15 season.
The Eagles have been in the identical bracket as Duke within the 2017 NCAA event and will have confronted them within the second spherical. But they misplaced to South Carolina within the first spherical and the Gamecocks ultimately beat the Blue Devils.
Wojciechowski will take his new faculty to see the outdated whereas they’re so shut. He mentioned the group will keep in Chapel Hill Wednesday evening and follow in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday earlier than leaving for UConn.
“I’m sure, while I’m down there, there will be different things that I see that will spark memories of the times that I had in that area — and it’s a great area,” Wojciechowski mentioned. “I appreciated my time at Duke and Durham and as a part of that community and so I cherish that area. But more than anything, I’m excited about the opportunity for our program and our kids to play in the Dean Dome against a really talented team that’s obviously tremendously well coached.”
Marquette at UNC
When: 7 p.m., Wednesday
Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill