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Another big weekend for ACC basketball ahead

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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February 23, 2024 4:56 pm

Another big weekend for ACC basketball ahead

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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February 23, 2024 4:56 pm

Brian Geisinger, 247 Sports/Buzz Beat Podcast, on the upcoming ACC basketball games and more.

What does Brian think has been notable in the Duke vs Miami? What’s held Wake Forest back? What might be their breakthrough? Is Brian put off by how UNC has been playing lately? What’s the area he believes UNC should improve?

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Call or just stop by. Grainger, for the ones who get it done. Every Friday, we get smarter about basketball. We bring in Brian Geisinger, at bguys underscore bird, pack pride, buzzbeat podcast, 24-7 sports, a savant. All right, let's get to some weekend hoops. First of all, Brian, how art thou? I'm doing well. How about you guys?

Doing all right. There's a lot of hockey and a lot of basketball to watch now. I have been kept quite busy.

I'm sure you have as well. You watch more basketball than I do. Let's start, and I tried to do this for each of the games that mattered to us this weekend.

So let's start with, I basically said this is what has to happen, or this is what I'm thinking about going in. I want to start with the Duke weight game. Duke is building a resume with a ton of road wins in the league, some of which actually masquerade as quad one wins, amazingly enough.

I didn't think the league had them. But, boy, Dukes won I think six of their last seven away from home, except for the one at North Carolina. That's the only loss.

What have you seen from them? I'm always skeptical when a big win is built on the three-point shot. That happened at Pitt, and they couldn't really replicate that again. And then it happened last Wednesday night at Miami. They shot the eyes out in the first half.

What have you seen from them in terms of things that I think are repeatable going forward? Yeah, they had a big shooting night last Saturday at FSU too, 10 of 16 on threes and that. I do think it's notable that they had a huge shooting night without Jared McCain going off. He's been such a huge barometer for their spacing, their movement shooting, their three-point offense this year. You have McCain that has just a so-so night offensively by his lofty standards.

Obviously, teams still have to guard him. Miami was really ripe for Duke to just detonate on them. One, I think even myself underestimated how much Miami was going to miss Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong from last year's team.

And then, of course, Matthew Cleveland and Nigel Packer, two very good starters are out. I mean, it's hard for us to hedge screens, and that means Philipowski gets into space and he gets to spray out wide on the short roll to shooters. It really is the kind of defensive coverage that can get Duke's offense rolling. We saw that happen the last time they played Wake in Cameron a couple of weeks ago when Wake was hedging and blitzing side ball screens, and that turned into a problem with Mark Mitchell driving to the driving rim in the middle floor. As far as Duke goes, I think getting Proctor back, getting him going, that was really, really good. I think when Philipowski makes jump shots like that, it just adds another five-out component to the team's offense.

And if we're just sticking with players, I think this has been ongoing for a few weeks now. Perhaps we even discussed this last week, but this version of Mark Mitchell, the game against Miami and some of these other recent outings, I felt like the vision for what Duke was supposed to look like this year is starting to come into picture. Mitchell's just played. He's been excellent. He was so good defensively against Wake Forest. His offense is coming along. He's hitting some of those slot threes when teams are leaving him wide open. He's making plays as a cutter. To me, that's really when he's at his best, when he's playing slash and kick and also moving around as a cutter. I mean, Roach had a really nice give-and-go on the left side of the floor in the first half of the Miami game. And then finally, we just would even mention Sean Stewart coming online as not just a hustle guy off the bench, but his athleticism is different.

He gives them another dimension. And he's not just a pretty good athlete. For a 6'8", 6'9 guy, he is a 99th percentile vertical athlete. And I think he's better than he was two weeks ago.

So what does Sean Stewart look like two weeks from now? No growth like that isn't linear necessarily. I think having he and Mitchell play like this makes Duke more versatile. They're more athletic. They can do more stuff defensively. And I just think John Shire and his staff deserve a big credit for what they're doing defensively, too. Because during this winning streak, I think everyone but Wake Forest was held under one point per possession in the game. And Wake was right at one point per possession. And you know that offense is one of the top 20 offense in the country. So they're getting it done on both ends.

I think Mitchell's fingerprints have been all over everything. Yeah, their defense is different. They're not blocking a lot of shots. They're not forcing a lot of turnovers. They're basically just making you work harder, much harder, for the shots that you're getting. And I think what they're doing is probably making you take the shots that they want you to take. Which is in so many ways key to any team's defense. Really quick to Wake.

Go ahead, you want to say them? We're just going to say they're switching really well. Like Mitchell, and they've done some of these cross matches in recent games, right? Like against Miami, Mitchell starts out on Northshad O'Mear against Boston College.

He starts out on Quinton Post. So you can switch more stuff. So you can switch to Filipowski. And it does sort of feel like they're just throwing a bunch of different stuff at teams because you can guard pick and roll every way with Filipowski. You can also switch with him. So they just got different stuff and they can take away maybe the first or second thing you want to do offensively.

And all of a sudden you're trying to chase switches and play matchup ball. And they're doing a nice job sort of like filling in gaps on the backside whenever you think you might have a size mismatch in the post. So Wake has almost nothing on their resume that suggests they can beat good teams, right? They've got really the one win over Florida.

We know they're good because we've watched them play and they have good players. But it's been hard for them, especially away from home and not and this game is a home game. When I mean, where is the breakthrough for Wake Forest?

What has held them back? I mean, the breakthrough might might be tomorrow. Right.

The game has to be a coin toss. Yeah. And I mean, like you did mention Florida, like Florida is very good.

Yeah. Top 20 team with a couple NBA players on the on the roster. So like a team's no joke.

I don't know. I think there is something to be said about like beating the teams. You know, you're so you're generally supposed to beat. I mean, maybe you could say the Pittsburgh loss, the state loss, the FSU loss. Those were some tough ones this year. But I think it's one of those things where you've got to like take as opposed to thinking about this like as like win losses.

And so just bear with me for the second for a second, like because ultimately that's how these resumes are compiled and looked at and analyzed. And, you know, teams are picked for the inside like turn them off of it. But it's like if you pull if you pan out and look at their full season of work, this is a team that's basically top 30 team on both sides of the on both sides of the court offense defense. They've got a really tough offense to start to stop. It's hard to keep the ball in front of them. They've got two really versatile big guys that can that can play make that can switch that can that can protect the rim that can post up that can shoot a little bit to like it.

Just one of those things where you've got to like this will maybe be the most generous read of it. But if you pan out and take the 20,000 foot view of their resume and don't go through everything line by line, they absolutely light up as a tournament team that mean a team that like could could absolutely get to the sweet 16, right? Could win a couple of games like again against Miller, Sallis. Good luck, especially when they've got like guys like Reed and in a car able to sort of like protect the rim and be mismatched pieces on offense to so the if it was a football committee, they would just use the eye test because it's just the mood when we're talking about a football committee. But the basketball committee, these people historically stare at a team sheets and they see road records, which are not good for Wake Forest, which is what I just want to grab a two and seven.

They see quad one, which is one in five. And I mean, look, you and I are in agreement really about them, right? Like I watch them. I know they're good, but then you look at, you know, their team sheet, which is just I mean, you know, numbers and dashes. And you go, well, they really haven't accomplished much no matter how good they are. All right.

Let me get to North Carolina. What like I am not put off by the way they're playing some regression to the mean in terms of their defense. Their offense hasn't been good enough to overcome their defense and some of their losses. I still think that, you know, losing on the road and the ACC isn't a death knell. It's not, you know, but the way the narrative is now, Virginia loses a game on the road, by the way, even though they got smoked by Virginia Tech. Whatever.

I mean, you just got smoked. It's fine. It happens. Who cares? Honestly, I don't care how much you lost by.

I really don't. But they got they lost by a lot. And now they're like teetering on the edge of not being in the tournament like it would have would not happen in any other major conference.

But it's suddenly like it's the new thing to to treat the ACC ACC like that. What is North Carolina where where is the area that they need to improve the most? Without the ones like you who work tirelessly to keep things running, everything would suddenly stop. Hospitals, factories, schools and power plants.

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Count on real time product availability and fast delivery call click Grainger dot com or just stop by Grainger for the ones who get it done. Well, first off, I'm I'm very excited for the UVA UNC matchup. This is what I've had circled for a while. And I think it's going to be really fun to see like the way Virginia's defense like matches up with UVA, sort of like primary or with UNC's primary guys. Right. You know, Jordan Minor on Armando Baycott, Ryan Dunn. I mean, obviously he's everywhere defensively. Him on Harrison Ingram, Reece Beekman on R.J. Davis. Like as Davis has just floated and dominated around the ACC this year, like, oh, well, you know, the best guard defender in the country is, you know, coming to town.

And Dante Harris off the bench is another good guard defender that could match up with Cadeau. So like I kind of like how, at least in terms of just like on paper, how UVA can can can match up with these guys, at least defensively. And like Virginia's got to get it into the mud. And so for me, it is for you and see like what I'll be seeing is like if Virginia is able to get this thing down into the mud. Can you and see when one of those games pull one of those games out? I suppose, you know, again, Virginia showed that they can do this even last weekend with the way they beat Wake Forest is sort of like one of those games. I don't imagine this being below the 50s or or can use these offense just be overwhelming in this in this in this ballgame. You know, what is Hubert Davis have up his sleeve to get R.J. loose? Can he get hot from three? What does that open up as Cormac? Cormac Ryan stay hot after after his big shooting performance the other day against V.T.

So for me, that's sort of like this is just a contrast of of styles. And I think I'll be curious to see, like, if UNC is either just like dominant enough to get it to their to their style, their pace, their offensive efficiency, or if it does get to you to where UVA wants it to, can you and see sort of like still pull it out? Fascinating to see this weekend.

All right. A couple of minutes left of Brian Geiser here. Let me ask you this. I know you you went on Pack Pride with Corey at a podcast after the loss to Syracuse on Wednesday night, I guess it was. It was Wednesday night. I think it was Wednesday night. And honestly, Tuesday night, I thought I thought the the play was good. I thought the pass was there late to D.J. Horn and it allowed the defense to recover. If the pass is there on time, then D.J. has enough room to get the shot off, probably uncontested. Doesn't mean he's going to make it.

But then we're not sitting here crying about a foul or no foul. Am I crazy in that while D.J. Burns has a value offensively, it isn't strong enough for him to be playing as much as he's playing because he's such a liability defensively? Or do they have to have him on the court for even D.J.

Horn's offense to work? I mean, he's important. He's very important for them offensively because the post ups with what burns, you know, that leads to cut baskets with him as a passer is really, I think, like when his post up offense is sort of like at its best because it means he's forcing the double team. And that means cut layups and cut dunks. That means kick out threes, which like state has a tough time creating open threes. They have a tough time getting the ball to the rim in the half court. And so Burns post ups, not only does it mean sort of like, oh, you create some passing opportunities, it creates passing opportunities for like very lucrative shot types.

So Burns is valuable. And I don't maybe they haven't found the right balance for him all season in terms of like what his role should look like. You know, how they should work the platoon with Ben Middlebrooks. They played those guys together some. They've dabbled with small ball lineups with Mo Diarra at the five and four guards or with Dennis Parker Jr. Like maybe they could try some of that to sort of even like lessen the load for Burns enough.

I think a lot of it ends up being sort of like matchup dependent. I mean, Syracuse is tough. They've got a really good point guard in Judah Mintz. Yeah. They they come out the start of that game. And the plan was to go put D.J. Burns and pick and roll.

Yeah. And they did. And then like the reason why Chris Bell got a lot of those catch and shoot threes, which was because like Syracuse was running pick and roll. He was spotted up in the corner. They got the ball to the middle of the floor.

And then Malik Brown kicked out. Right. And then he was getting catch and shoot three after catch and shoot three.

So it's tough. And if it's just D.J. Horn out there is like the the main offensive threat. Middlebrooks can do stuff offensively. So it's not like he's like a zero on that end. He's actually a pretty useful offensive player. But as far as like guys who are probably going to command could command conceivably could command an extra defender to guard them. There's only two guys on State's roster, you know, like it's Horn and Burns. Now, I would just say on that last play, because I rewatched it yesterday, like I like the call from State.

I thought it was clever. I mean, I think it's funny that like a lot of State fans are, you know, they spend years mad that Keats doesn't apparently doesn't run plays. Right. Obviously not true. Then he runs a play and then they're mad about that.

You just can't. It turns out like all that people care is like wins. Right.

Isn't that surprising that it's that results based. But what I want to say is like rewatching it. When I first saw it live, I thought the pass from McConnell was late.

OK, I think there was I think there was a reason for that. Chris Bell, who again, like, OK, made his mark, hitting a bunch of threes in this game. He's guarding Diarra on that last play. But if you rewatch it, he actually sees it coming.

Like he sees Burns coming across the lane to go through the elevators elevator door. He slides sort of like underneath Diarra and then he ends up on the other side of the screens. He's just behind. He's sort of like lurking behind.

OK. If there was any reason why O'Connell sort of like double clutch the ball before he threw the pass, I think it was because he was worried about, you know, Bell possibly jump in the pass and stealing it. So there's a reason why O'Connell is a really trusty guy with the ball can really initiate offensive pass. And I sort of wonder if Bell maybe sort of like not only made him delay the pass, but then also O'Connell threw it up the floor. So like Horn had to take a step or two to his right to even catch the ball off, you know, sort of like off his access or off his axis. And so, I don't know, Bell just made a big defensive play. And like sometimes that happens late.

No, no question about that. Yeah, they need like to me, the best coaching move of the whole night was who's an Adrian Autry not calling time out on Syracuse's possession after Middlebrooks. I guess he missed the second free throw and left the game tied. Right. Right.

Not calling the time out and letting Kadir Copeland just work because it left Burns on the court. Actually, that was after, I think it was after Horn missed. Oh, yeah.

So Horn missed. Right. Okay.

But last sequence. Point remains. Point remains. Point remains. He left Burns on the court.

All right, man. Do you have faith in the Wolfpack winning at home against Boston College? I think they should. I think they can win tomorrow. They have a blueprint for how to beat BC.

They're tough. But the rest of the way looks pretty brutal after Saturday. They better win Saturday, basically. Yeah, win Saturday and then win four in Charlotte.

That's the best way to get into the NCAA tournament. Brian Geisinger, fbguys underscore bird, 24-7 sports, Buds Beat Podcast. My man, we'll talk to you next week. Yeah, right where you want to be. Have a good weekend, you guys. Thanks, man. Exactly. You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 19:53:04 / 2024-02-23 20:01:19 / 8

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