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ACC men’s basketball and Carolina Hurricanes hockey

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January 22, 2024 3:11 pm

ACC men’s basketball and Carolina Hurricanes hockey

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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January 22, 2024 3:11 pm

Luke DeCock, News & Observer, on UNC getting a win, NCSU and Duke getting losses, as well as the Carolina Hurricanes still having hiccups as the season progresses.

What are his thoughts on what the UNC Tar Heels are looking like so far? Why does Luke believe Duke lost to Pittsburgh? What does Luke say NC State has done the best compared to every other team, so far this season? What should be a wake up call for them? What type of goalie do the Carolina Hurricanes NEED? Is that their biggest obstacle in trying to find another goalie to help Raanta and Pyotr?


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That's Luke Tkach was at the hockey game last night. We are going to talk about the canes and potentially a search for a goaltender, but I want to spend a little time talking hoops. There seems to be only one sure thing right now in the triangle because you don't know what you're going to get when state takes the court and Duke's defense sometimes goes on walkabout, but North Carolina's defense has given them a base where I think we pretty much know what we're going to get. I thought that was really what they kind of relied upon in the win at Boston College. What are your thoughts on what the Tar Heels are looking like these days? Yeah, I mean, I think the defense is good, but I think that's actually more of a symptom than what's really going on with them, which is I think that the Tar Heels have grown into a team that really understands each other.

It's a team. You know, they've gone from having three guys who needed the ball in their hands all the time to two guys who need the ball in their hands all the time, but they're surrounded by players who really understand and know their roles. Elliot Cadeau knows his role. Harrison Ingram knows his role. Cormac Ryan knows his role, and that allows RJ Davis and Armando Baycott to be the players that they need to be for UNC to succeed. And that shows on offense, obviously, where Davis is having a tremendous year. But I think where you really see it is on defense. They understand where each other is going to be.

They help well. There's effort, there's intensity, they hold each other accountable. That's a team. And I really feel like even in the good run with Brady Manick and the wins over Duke and the playing in the national title game, North Carolina really only had that mentality in the ACAC and NCAA tournaments that year. This year, they've really had it from the start. I think that's a credit to Hubert Davis for bringing in the right players, guys who fit what he wants to do in the way he wants to coach. And it's a credit to the veterans for basically saying, Hey, we have a freshman point guard. We have some guys who played at Stanford and Notre Dame and, you know, Louisville and and and Jalen Washington, a guy who played a little bit as a freshman, certainly had a good week, who's come in and been a good role player that it's just all the pieces have fallen into place new, old. And when that happens, you start to see teams do things like play well on defense when they haven't or share the ball or do things that we're used to seeing Carolina teams do having a pass first point guard is a huge part of that because it enables the stars to go be stars. But I really think it goes up and down the roster. And, you know, we talk about Hubert Davis playing more guys this year. He's clearly more confident in this roster and the players on it to do their jobs. And they really have, they have guys who know the roles and go out and do them. And that in college basketball, that's a luxury that brings you success.

I want to, I want to drill down a little bit on Cormac Ryan when they, when he came here from Notre Dame, people are like, Oh wow, he's a shooter. To me, that's like his, I don't know, second or third best quality. I think he's just downright gritty. I mean, to me, it's, he's, he's a guy that likes to just stir it up a little bit.

And I think he gives them a completely different mindset. You know, Armando, Baycott said it best before Ryan had ever played a game. And he said, I can't say it, or I'll get you in trouble.

He said, he's a little a-hole. And that's what UNC is needed. They've needed a, you know, in hockey, they call him a shift disturber to put another point, find a point to find a point on that he's come in and he's given them, given them that he's the yes, shooting and yes, defense, but he's a guy who's been through the wars. He knows what to do.

He's not afraid to mix it up. And you know that Harrison Ingram's like that too, in the sense that, you know, his effort level sets a tone for the Tar Heels that wasn't there last year, you know, jumping into the score into the broadcast table and plowing over Wendell Murphy. That's not something you've seen UNC teams do. I mean, obviously, they're not aiming for Wendell, but Harrison Ingram, Cormac Ryan, they both brought experience.

They bought hunger. And Cormac Ryan, don't forget, was on that Notre Dame team that played its way from Dayton, right to the edge of the sweet 16 nearly had a matchup with Duke in San Francisco in case final year, he's won basketball games in the ACC. He knows what you have to do to win them. And he knows quite frankly, all the little tricks that get other players in trouble. He's a, he's an agitator. And I mean that in, in the best way, he's not like a, a flopper or whatever, but he gets in your kitchen and he stays there and UNC has needed a player like that. Yeah. He's he, to me, it's just fun to watch.

I really have enjoyed what Cormac Ryan has brought to this North Carolina team. And again, I think this is a, it is, I think the foundation for them, cause I do believe that defense is the first, is the first thing for them. You know, when like, what do we do? What do we need to do well today? We need to defend today.

It has not been that way in the past. What do you make Luke to cock of the NNO is here. Why do you think Duke lost to pit? Was it just Blake Hinson going seven for seven and leading an array of kind of at the end of shot clock? Did that really go in type of shots or is there something deeper there?

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See website for details. I mean, Blake Hinson was incredible. Jalen Lowe was incredible. Hit the big shot at the end and of Pitt's two freshmen point guards, he's gotten the least pub and for good reason because Carlton Carrington has been terrific. Certainly an all rookie type player, but Lowe's a little younger, a little smaller.

He's just starting to come into his own. And that's one reason why Pitt's been in some of these close games, but until Duke wasn't able to get over the top, you know, I think, you know, when John Shire and Beck was embarrassed and apologize for that performance, I guarantee you the number one thing on his mind is the fact that Duke didn't have an offensive rebound in the first 19 minutes, 51 seconds of the first half. Like you can't win in college basketball when you're trying to get offensive rebounds and not getting it. And look, Duke has Kyle Philipowski, Ryan young played a lot in that game.

TJ power and Sean Stewart came in and played a lot in that game or a little bit in that game more than usual. Duke has players who should be able to rebound. They have players who should be able to get on the offensive glass. Duke certainly missed enough shots. There were opportunities to get offensive rebounds that to me is a sign of effort.

It's a sign of toughness. Duke got out tough by pit. And the ironic thing is it was last year's game against Pitt in Cameron, when Duke was down 11, that that team really discovered its toughness and Duke came back, won that game, gritted it out. That was a really important game for Duke also without Jeremy Roach.

So the circumstances were similar, but I think it shows you the value of Jeremy Roach shows you the value of Mark Mitchell. Who's a guy who will go get the ball. Even if his shots not falling, he'll go get the ball. That to me is a wake up call for Duke. You are not going to be able to succeed against these middle tier ACC teams, even at home.

If you do not bring your lunch pail, you have to work hard. You have to try. You have to be tough. I do not think Duke was tough enough against fit and pit for whatever other attributes it may lack. And you saw this against Carolina and you saw this even against Duke and pit, which was not a close game. It's tough.

Yeah. And on whatever night that was Saturday, Pitt's toughness combined with the big shots that Blake Henson and Dylan Lowe made, you know, that they beat Duke both in terms of shot making and toughness. It's tough to win even at home when you lose in both those categories. In my opinion, even had Duke won the game, I thought there would have been some red flags. And I think we saw those red flags against Georgia tech on the previous Saturday.

They were fortunate to be able to come back and win that game. And yeah, no Jeremy Roach. Yeah, no Mark Mitchell. But at some point, and we saw it in the second half of the year.

So I'm, I don't know that it's too alarming at this point. We saw it in the second half of the year last year, but they need more from Tyrese Proctor because if they want to get to where they believe to where they believe they can go, then he can't just be a part of the of the puzzle. He has to be a major part of the puzzle. And right now he's like their fifth best player when they're healthy or their fifth most important player when they're healthy behind Filipowski and Mitchell because of defensive reasons and the way Jared McCain is shooting and Roach Proctor has to be better.

Duke needs someone who's going to put the ball on the floor and break down defenses and challenge defenses that can be Jeremy Roach, but it's gotta be Tyrese Proctor because they have shooters. I mean, Filipowski can shoot. McCain obviously can shoot. He started scoring a lot.

Caleb Foster can shoot. They have guys out there who can shoot, but they've got to find a way to break down defenses, especially when Jeremy Roach isn't in the lineup. And that last year, a lot of the times that was Proctor and it wasn't always taking the ball to the rim. Sometimes it was just the way he was moving with the ball on the perimeter, finding openings and running the offense that hasn't happened this year, even in their good games that hasn't happened.

Something's missing there. And I don't know whether it's just nagging injuries with Proctor or, you know, as we saw with the Hurricanes in October and November, a little bit of a motivational dead zone there, but they've got to get it turned around. Last year, the pit game did it for them. This year, the pit game has done the opposite form.

It really has raised a lot of questions. I don't think we've reached the point where the previous coach would have put all their gear in the hallway and made them earn it back. But I think we're going to be approaching that point soon if Duke can't sort of internally self-motivate to play with a little more intensity and, you know, look, it's easy to shoot jump shots. That's NC State's biggest problem. It's hard to put the ball on the floor and go to the rim and absorb contact and try to beat a guy mentally and physically.

That's toughness. Duke's got to show a little more of that or all of this talent is going to be less than the sum of its parts. Let me just quickly transition to NC State. I was kind of disappointed that they couldn't piggyback what I thought was a great defensive effort against Wake Forest, who's, I think, a better offensive team than Virginia Tech. They couldn't do that again.

They couldn't replicate that. They allowed Tech to shoot over 50 percent and they turned the ball over like it was part of the game plan. It's just, to me, it's a team losing their focus, no?

Yeah, I agree completely. I don't know whether it was like a trap game or Saturday at noon after how crazy the building's been for the last couple games or looking ahead to Virginia and Syracuse and going on the road. I, you know, I wasn't at that game, so I didn't see it up close.

Not that I can from the hockey press box at PNC anyway. But, you know, NC State flirted with that a little bit against Notre Dame, although their defense was outstanding against Notre Dame. They turned the ball over, took a lot of two-point jumpers, not good shots. NC State needs to concentrate on its shot selection, number one. The turnovers, you know, the way that team is taking care of the ball this year, it's actually been one of the best teams in the country in terms of taking care of the ball.

I'm willing to sort of write that off to a bad day, as long as it doesn't become a trend, just because that team has shown that it can be strong in that area. But the shot selection in the defense has to be better. The defense was fantastic against Wake Forest.

So maybe there's a little bit of regression to the mean there, but now you got to go into Virginia. You have to go into Syracuse, and Syracuse isn't a very good team, but they're a good team at home, and everybody in the ACC is tough to beat at home. So that should be a bit of a wake-up call for the Wolfpack to get back to playing the way they have to play to win. Their defense saved them against Notre Dame.

It helped them immensely. I mean, they played really good defense against Carolina. That was a very close game until the Tar Heels blew it open really in the second half of the second half. So, NC State has to get back to doing what it does well.

The turnovers were bizarre. And look, Virginia Tech shot the ball well. And then, you know, it gets back to a former state coach used to say, got to make shots. Got to make shots.

Who knew Sidney Lowe would utter words that would be repeated for decades to come. All right, final thing, because, and I alluded that we were going to get to it, a lot of people on social media are talking about, canes need a goalie, canes need a goalie, as though last night was about Auntie Ronta and not about Dmitri Orlov and Michael Bunting making mistakes that ultimately cost them goals. Three goals all can be attributed to the mistakes. Orlov, at least on one, maybe on two.

Bunting, at least on one, maybe on two, committing the penalty. Yes, Barry Kotkaniemi also loitering in front of the goal and the third goal. But isn't it smart to figure out, because we all agree that Carolina probably needs another goalie, but what type of goalie do they need? We can't really make that assessment until Kachetkov comes back and we see what Kachetkov is going to be after the trade, after the All-Star break.

Isn't that fair? Yeah, and I think there's value in waiting, right? Because if you get to the point where Kachetkov's not playing well or it's clear, you know, Freddie's ruled out for the year permanently or whatever, that changes the calculus. And, you know, when you look at the guys who are available now, it's not like they've missed on anybody. There is some value in being patient and waiting until closer to the deadline and getting a better sense of, you know, what really this is a long term in terms of this season. What is your goalie need through April, May, potentially June?

And then, you know, having a better sense of what the market's going to be. And then if you get to a point where you decide you have to give up assets, you have to make a real trade for a goalie, then you do it with the knowledge that you've assessed the situation and you know what you're getting into. I, you know, obviously, as you said, last night was not Ante Ranta's problem. I mean, obviously the first goal was one he might, there's nothing you can do there. I should say, you know, Kaprizov is just left alone in front by Orlov. And look, hey, Rod Brind'Amour deserves some blame too. He skates around here because he's a great coach and he's the culture and all of that, but sending out the Brendan Lemieux line after you make it 2-2 and Lemieux turns the fuck over twice in his own zone in the wild corner long shift. Why is that line on the ice? You just made it 2-2 go put your, put your foot on the pedal and win the game and said, you're playing like it's 4-1 or something. That line should not have seen the ice in the last 10 minutes.

Koki Emu is terrible. Lemieux was terrible bunting, despite his goal was not good. So why is that line even out there at a critical point in the game? And then you say, oh, well, that's the NHL. You can't blink and they score, but you put those guys in that position. So I don't, you know, I Rod Brind'Amour deserves some, some blame for that game. That was a winnable game that the hurricanes threw away. I don't think it's going to come back to haunt them or anything, but it's certainly watching them have all those chances in the first period and not score. And then they have their games slip, which it didn't against the red wings, a game that they eventually won. It certainly reminds you of the ranger series in 2022.

It reminds you of the Florida series in 2023. That's scary stuff to see on the ice. This is a team that needs to move past it.

So people aren't talking about that, but I thought, as you said, the errors and the inability really in the third period to get back to that game that they had in the first and through part of the second was worrisome. And look, Jordan stall was sitting in his locker after the game. He's not happy with the way he's playing.

He had a great chance to tie a that went off the side of the post. He's very frustrated. He's frustrated with the way that the team wavered on their game. And, and, and, you know, it's not a crisis or anything, but we've gotten to a point where they're losing games and you can't blame the goaltender that can't become a habit.

They've been really good lately. It's a one-off the mistakes were, were poorly timed. And, you know, you put Minnesota's best player in a position to score. He's going to score even if the second goal, even a third goal were basically flukey goals, but Hey, you know, you got to hit the net on the power play. You can't let guys stand alone in front of the net and you can't send the fourth line, which is played terribly all night out for a critical shift in the third period in the two, two game.

So I think there was plenty of blame to go around last night for everybody, but the goaltending, which is certainly a change from the way it's been around here lately. Look to cock, my friend. I appreciate your time, man. I'll talk to you on Thursday. Absolutely. Oh, it's a big one on Thursday against the first of four with the devils, uh, in, uh, in a way of two in the home stand. Although the home stand is separated by about an 11 day break for the all-star game, but, uh, yeah, it should be a, should be a lot of fun. I'll see you Thursday. All right, but you got it.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 17:57:15 / 2024-01-22 18:05:57 / 9

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