Well, we are going uptown. Brendan Marks is back with us. Hey, look, I've driven the roads from Charlottesville back to the Triangle.
You go through a lot of hollows and little valleys and little areas where sometimes cell service is not great. Brendan Marks from The Athletic is joining us. Look, I think we were talking about the notion of playing those two guys together. But for North Carolina last night, and then we'll move over to Duke, they needed, if your guy is not going to be there and Baycott's not, you know, played a minute and that was it, you needed to get really big time nights out of your other two stars, Davis and Love.
They just didn't get it. And frankly, Virginia, it's either Virginia or Miami is the best team in the league, probably, no? Yeah, I think at this point of the season, it's probably Virginia. But I do think that North Carolina still hasn't the opportunity to get to that point. Again, assuming the help that Armando Baycott and Pete Nance sort of gets back to what we're all expecting, like North Carolina has all of the pieces and we've seen it in flashes and bits.
And that's one of the things that I think is really disappointing about last night is that was going to be a really good game if Armando Baycott had been able to stay healthy. But certainly now I think right now, you know, the argument for Virginia is right there. You know, their defense did what it did what it does to North Carolina and what it does to basically every season they play last night.
And offensively, they get timely buckets when they need them. You know, I think right now you say the league probably goes through Charlottesville, but again, I still think there's time for North Carolina to come back and prove that they're the ACC's best. All right, the Duke Blue Devils host the Pitt Panthers. I think this is a dangerous spot for Duke. They limped across the finish line in Chestnut Hill over the weekend. No Jeremy Roach, right?
So what are they going to look like? Yeah, it sounds like Jeremy Roach is probably going to miss this game as well. And, uh, you know, he's been dealing with this lingering toe injury since Portland. So it's been, you know, a month and a half now.
I think it's probably the right decision to just arrest him until he's healthy. But so in the meantime, what Duke means is sort of like what we were just talking about North Carolina. You need somebody else to step up. And, you know, for me, the two guys who I'm looking at in the case of Duke tonight are powerful about ski and Dariq Whitehead.
You know, I counsel about ski. We know what he was able to do at the start of the season has hit a little bit of a shooting slump. I don't believe he's hit a three pointer since the Iowa game in Madison Square Garden. Duke needs him to get back to being aggressive, getting to the free throw line and knocking down shots from the perimeter.
If they want to have any hope of keeping defenses on it. And then on the flip side of that, you talked about Dariq Whitehead. We know he had the injury in the preseason. I think his arrow is pointing basically straight up right now. I think that we are seeing the guy who was a five star top five prospect in the country. I think you can see the scoring chops that are there.
Defensively, still some room for growth, but I'm looking for those two guys to step up tonight against a surprisingly good pit team. So I didn't realize that Kyle Filipowski hadn't hit a three since the Iowa game. That's sort of like Jack White territory. Didn't Jack White go like a month or so? A decent three point shooter. He did like, what, a month without hitting a three? Yeah, I think he was maybe 26. I think it was 26 threes in a row.
He missed maybe. Filipowski's not quite there. He's not as high volume, but yeah, Duke certainly needs him at least to be able to hit. He doesn't have to be a 40% three point guy. I think that's unrealistic, but for him to be able to make one or two a game, it just changes the way the defense has to guard him and it'll open a whole lot more space to keep defenses honest.
So who can be the primary playmaker? Can Whitehead do that? Because right now, for whatever reason, and maybe it's just an adjustment to playing against maybe better competition for Tyrese Proctor, it just, he's struggling to create offense, not just for him, but for anybody. So can Whitehead do that? I think that certainly Whitehead can create more for himself than Proctor can. And I think we've seen that, you know, he has, uh, he's regained some of the explosiveness that made him, you know, sort of a top 10 fixture and a lot of mock drafts.
Like the dude can grab it and go. He, every time he gets in the lane, he's trying to dunk it on your face. Uh, I think Duke needs, you know, to sort of just play through him and let him do those things. And that's not saying that Proctor is not going to have the ball in his hands because I think Proctor has done a decent job of setting up teammates. I think that he's got pretty good vision and I think that he's been able to hit some good passes. Uh, the problem has been, you know, his teammates haven't necessarily knocked down some of the shots that he's created.
So, uh, I do think that a lot more Whitehead and letting him sort of, you know, not saying you hand him the keys completely, but giving him the ball and saying, Hey, go, go make a play. Uh, I think right now there are worse things that Duke could do offensively. The challenge against Pitt, it looked, it looked like Pitt ran a lot of ISO plays for, I mean, a bunch of guys that they were just letting guys go one-on-one and make plays. Can Duke defend that? You know, at the start of the season, I would have said absolutely after the past couple of games, I'm less resolute in that answer. You know, I think, you know, we, we have heard from John Shire since, I mean, April, that this was going to be a defensive first team and that's kind of slipped the last couple of games.
I mean, obviously against NC state was sort of the bottoming out of that. Uh, I think that this is a better matchup for Duke defensively because the guys who do a lot of the damage for Pitt, uh, Burton and hidden on the wind on the wing, excuse me, they match up Duke matches up better with them. You know, I think Mark Mitchell is going to be a really important guy defensively tonight. Um, he has been Duke's, I would argue perimeter defender.
He's huge. Doesn't really foul stays in front of guys. I think he's going to have a big night tonight. And again, I think whitehead, you know, it's an opportunity for him to prove that he still has those defensive chops that made him such a tat of a crew. So, uh, it, I will say that if Duke doesn't contain those guys and let those guys get straight line drive to the basket, uh, I'm not going to say it's going to get NC state ugly, but it's going to be tough to win a game like that.
I don't, I think Pitt, I think Pitt's pretty good. Uh, we'll find out what's going to happen tonight. Brendan marks from the athletic at Brendan R. Marks on Twitter save trip the rest of the way back, man. We'll talk to you soon. Absolutely. Appreciate you. And I hope everyone enjoys the game tonight.
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