We have three ACC games in the state of North Carolina today. Well, they're not in the state of North Carolina. Wait, two of them are.
One of them is not. The best team in the state of North Carolina, I believe, NC State, is not in the state of North Carolina. But Brett Friedlander is from Saturday Road, and he joins us. I know you're gonna be at Clemson versus Wake at the Joel. We're gonna get to that probably third.
I want to start with the Wolf Pack. I know it's so, it's so new, and I know Carolina fans hate it. We put out a poll yesterday which is the best ACC team in the triangle, and I believe the correct answer is NC State. And boy did Tar Heel fans get mad at that.
So, are they? I guess maybe we'll find out on Saturday when they play each other in Chapel Hill, but right now, the way they're playing, the argument can definitely be made that the Wolf Pack is the best team right now. And, you know, it's just an amazing situation because at the end of the year, at the end of the calendar year, people were writing Kevin Keats' obituary, and now all of a sudden, 2023 has started up, and there are 3-0, and all three games may end up being quad one wins when all is said and done.
And here we are. Yeah, they have more, actually, I was looking at a chart. They have more quad one slash two wins than anybody else in the league right now. The power metrics, depending on which one you're looking at, either like or are kind of milquetoast on NC State. But from the very beginning, and I actually apologize to State fans yesterday, in that I disrespected them. I actually gave them a lot of credit at the beginning of the season. I saw the game against Kansas.
That, to me, was the eye-opening game because that was a that was a back-and-forth, even game. I didn't think Kansas played poorly. I thought State raised their level. And I said at the time, there's no reason why NC State can't be at the head of the pack of the middle tier of teams.
And I actually amend that. I don't think there's any reason why they can't finish in the top four and get a double bye. I think they're good enough. And, you know, they're going to get better, too, because Dushan Mahorshich is due back in a week or two. Wow. And so that will make them even deeper. It means that DJ Burns doesn't have to play as many minutes, which means he'll probably be even more effective.
Amazing. So, you know, the future looks bright, which, if you listen to our buddy Joe Gillio in The Law of the Wolf, that means something's getting ready to happen bad. Oh, let's hope it's not at Georgia Tech.
And that's usually where things like that happen, yeah. Yeah, they've lost six of them. They won last year, but that ended a stretch where they had lost, I think, six of seven against the Yellow Jackets. Look, I think much like North Carolina's game at Louisville, don't lose that game. I think Georgia Tech is better, obviously, than Louisville. So it's a loseable game, but I think if you're going to be a top four team, if you're NC State, this is one you shouldn't lose.
And Adam, you talked about metrics, and this is just as important a game as a quad one game, because it's probably a quad four game, although it's on the road, so it'll probably be quad three, but those are the ones you don't want to lose. And that's the thing right now about Clemson. Clemson's ahead of the, you know, two games ahead of the pack in the ACC right now, but they've got two quad four losses that really are very unsightly, and I think they're going to be on the bubble before NC State is on the bubble, so long as NC State doesn't lose games like the one they're playing tonight. Yeah, the thing about Clemson, and we can fold into the Clemson game at Wake, is that if Clemson continues to lead the ACC, it's going to be a moot point, because they'll just get in. I understand, we talked to Jerry Palm last week, they don't look at conference record, but winning a lot of ACC games, which is going to have a lot of teams, probably in the net from, say, between 25 and 60, those are ultimately going to be a lot of quad one, depending on where it is, or quad two wins.
So if you have a bunch of quad one and quad two wins, which Clemson should rack up if they still finish pretty high in the league, then they'll be fine. All right, Clemson at Wake. There's a lot of good things about the Wake Forest team, despite the fact that they lost two guys to the NBA a year ago.
What do you make of this game? Clemson's really good, but I kind of like Wake tonight. I kind of do too, and Steve Forbes is the transfer portal whisperer, and it's like, okay, so you lose the ACC Player of the Year in a first round pick, well, you bring in Tyree Appleby and the car kid to replace them, and they've done a great job. And then you throw in Cam Hildreth and the way he's playing, and this could end up being a better Wake Forest team than last year. And they're playing at home, and they've already played Clemson once. And yeah, they got beat pretty bad down in Clemson, but if you remember right, they played at Wisconsin two nights earlier, got back to Winston-Salem, and had to turn right around and go to Clemson. And so it was a tired team and a team that really didn't have a chance to prepare for that game. I think you're going to see a much different Wake team tonight.
But you know what? Clemson's for real. This is not a fluke. I mean, they've got all ACC-caliber players, and they've got a point guard, they've got a big, and they've got Hunter Tyson who... It mystifies me that he's playing the way he is, because he hasn't the rest, you know, previously. But, you know, they're an older team, and they're an older team that's played together for three years, which is a rarity anymore, and I like Brad Brownell, and I've liked him since he was at UNC Wilmington. So this is going to be a very fun game to watch, and it's going to be an important game for both teams. But here's the thing, and we talk about metrics. Win or lose, this is not going to hurt either team. This, I think, is going to help both teams, because I think they will both move up for playing it.
It is interesting how the metrics do work. I think when Duke played Clemson, they lost the game, but I think Duke went up in the net by a few spots, because you're playing, I don't know, the whole thing doesn't make any sense to me. All right, to North Carolina with Brett Friedlander on Twitter, at BeFriedACC, Saturday Road ACC columnist. I know there are a lot of people out there that are down on Caleb Love, because he does a lot of three for seven teams. But this is the same Caleb Love that did that last year, and to me, the difference between last year and this year is that North Carolina wasn't quite, was never quite as good as they showed in March into April. They were never that good. They just got hot and won some games. They probably won some games they shouldn't have won.
Brady Maddock was an enormous part of that, and even though Pete Nance might be better in terms of individual skill, I mean, if he comes close to what Maddock did in the moments Maddock did it, then they've got something, but they're not that. I think they can be good. I think they can be a top 15 team, but that's basically where I see them, and you're just going to have to live with who Caleb Love is. I think the impact of Brady Maddock was more important off the court, or at least not in the box score, than it was with his play, because he was the kind of guy who came in, automatically gained respect from those guys, and was a forceful personality who, when things weren't going good, he grabbed him by the back of the neck and said, hey guys, come on, and slapped him around and said, let's get going, and I don't think this Carolina team has somebody like that. Leaky Black has become a leader, but he's not that kind of leader, and as far as Caleb Love is concerned, yeah, you're going to get the bad Caleb Love. You've got to take the bad with the good, and when he's good, look, the UCLA game last year, he's really good. But I think Caleb needs to learn that when his shot's not falling, he needs to start looking for others, because R.J. Davis has really had a very good year, and I think in those cases, he needs to shoot more than Caleb.
Yes. But you know what else, too, about this UNC team? This is a team that seems to be focused on win or bust. March overall, and I think that at times they look bored. They look just kind of going through the motions. They flip the switch every now and then, like the last ten minutes of the Wake Forest game, and the overtime against Ohio State, and you can see those flashes, but it's almost like they're biding their time until March, and that's a dangerous, dangerous thing to do, and we'll see tonight against Boston College how motivated they are, because this is a game I think that, okay, look, it's this game that they roll the ball out and they should win, but let's see how they win. Let's go out and take care of business and flip that switch and just play a good game from start to finish, and I think that's, to me, what I'm looking for tonight from UNC. Yeah, B.C.
is kind of plucky, is a plucky problem. They compete. What they did up at home against Duke for the second, Duke had their way with him down here for the most part. Go up there, Duke has a nice lead, and all of a sudden, Duke can't score.
He had two field goals in like the last nine minutes of the game. They were both layups. Duke doesn't hit any jump shots. We'll talk about Duke next time we talk.
Duke plays Miami on Saturday. That's a, the train is coming. Get out of the way.
The train is coming. I love Miami. I do, too. And they won yesterday with Isaiah Wong having a terrible game, which says a lot about them. No, look, Jim Larranaga is an amazing basketball coach. There's a reason he's a finalist for the Hall of Fame. Yeah, it's interesting. I really, I joked, I was joking about this with somebody.
I think it was, might have been West Durham a couple of weeks ago. I really thought that when Larranaga took the job, I knew he was a good coach. I mean, did great things at Mason.
He got George Mason to the Final Four for crying out loud. But I just thought when he took the job at Miami, it was just, oh, it's an older guy. He's just, it's the, he's retiring. He's moving to Miami. I thought that's what I thought, man.
He is something else. I got a Tilda over the end when he went to Miami. Yeah, I think that was great marketing. Wasn't it? Market.
It's all, it's all ball bearings these days. Brett Friedlander at Be Freed. ACC Saturday road, ACC columnist. I thank you very much for doing this. We'll talk soon. It's always a pleasure to be here. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 11:56:13 / 2023-01-22 12:01:23 / 5