NC State will host Notre Dame tonight. Hard to believe they've lost two in a row to the Irish because I think State's been, well I don't know if it's hard to believe. State's, I think State's very good this year and Notre Dame is very not good this year.
I've termed this a don't lose this game. That's me editorializing. This is not analyst Tony Haynes of the Wolfpack Radio Network who will be on the call on the radio tonight as the Wolfpack take on the Fighting Irish. I've not spoken to you in a while. How are you Tony? I'm doing just fine. How about yourself?
Doing well, doing well. Let me, first of all, let me go back to the game in Chapel Hill on Saturday that, look we could talk about free throws, we could talk about the foul, the leaky black foul on Terquavian Smith that took him out of the game. Looks like he's going to be fine.
I don't know if he's playing tonight. We'll ask that in a minute, but I still think that the Wolfpack with all of that played a pretty good basketball game. Obviously Carolina played a great game. I like, I love the makeup of this team. I think it's a different group that Kevin Keats has this year. How do you feel about the overall makeup of this team? A lot different than last year and and that's not a criticism of last year's team, but you know when Manny Bates went down, all of a sudden it became a very young team. I think it was sometimes a soft team and maybe that's what you expect when you've got so much youth and of course they use the transfer portal to change that and now NC State all of a sudden is a very old team. In fact, the team Notre Dame they're facing tonight is even older than that.
You look, they got four graduates in the starting lineup, but it just changes the perspective. You know, DJ Burns mentioned something to us. We interviewed him after the Wolfpack played that great game against Duke and I think I asked him a question about it. So you guys were pressuring Duke and they looked flustered in the first half.
Did you get the feeling that was the case? And his first answer, he says, well you got to understand we're a lot older than they are. You think of Duke and all the great high school players that they keep bringing in there and they still have incredible talent this year, but it was a great point by him. Duke highly ranked begin the season by NC State because of guys like DJ Burns and Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell. They are an older team than Duke and it kind of showed up in that game. So that's kind of been enjoyable to watch that transformation going from very young into very old and the other thing that happens with young older teams, the players are more vocal and they hold each other accountable. I mean, if the coach's voice is the only voice you hear all season long, you're probably not going to be very good as a team.
That is not the case with this team. I think it's a great locker room and those guys like Burns and Joiner and Morsell, you know, this is their last year certainly for Burns and Joiner. This is their last year of college basketball and they want to make it a positive season and a positive experience and I think all of those guys have been kind of the driving force both on and off the court.
It's funny, the transfer portal really can make or break everything that you are. Now for a school like Duke, it's enhanced them, the Ryan Youngs of the world. For Carolina, it's enhanced them with Pete Nance, but Wake Forest was made by the transfer portal last year and to a large extent this year and these additions that Kevin Keats has brought in in the portal. Even last year, Casey Morsell was sort of, it wasn't written, I mean people weren't slamming Casey Morsell, but he did not make a great contribution last year, but a year later, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more valuable player than what Casey Morsell has meant to them in everything that he does. His defense, his offensive rebounds, obviously the shooting. I love everything about what this guy has meant to this team this year. Yeah, he's a great kid too.
I don't want to call him a kid. He's a man because you know he's a very physical guard. You mentioned his rebounding. He's been tremendous all season long, but it's really been needed without Clark and Mahorshish because those were your two leading rebounders and you know they haven't been around for a while, so you need guards to rebound and Casey has done that.
He's averaging five per game. He's gone from being a 29 percent three-point shooter last year. Right now as we speak, he's the most accurate three-point shooter in the ACC at 45 percent and I think what he went through last year and Kevin Keats often mentioned that he had to learn to play a completely different style of basketball. You know, on defense he got stuck playing pack lines sometimes. That's not the way NC State plays. In fact, it's more extended with its defense and he had to get used to running the court and getting taking those open threes instead of Virginia with more low scoring team. They're great obviously every year, but their style and their tempo is very different and what you see a lot of with a lot of Casey Moore's three-point shots this year, many of them are in transition where he's spotting up on the wing or down in the corner because you know he understands instinctively run the floor, I might get an open shot and he's made a lot of big threes in transition for them this season.
No question about that. Let me ask you about some you mentioned Jack Clark, Dusan Mihorcic and of course Terquavian Smith. How many of how close are we to getting some of the injured players back and what's the status that as far as you know about Smith for tonight? Well, the first two you mentioned Clark and Mihorcic as of yesterday, Coach Keats said something along the lines. I think they're at least a another couple of weeks away.
Okay. And their injuries are very different. You know, Jack Clark's dealing with growing and you got to be very careful with that. You know, if you don't come back a hundred percent or close with an injury like that, it's like a hamstring and you can make it worse. And Mihorcic of course with the the the ruptured, not the ruptured patella, but the patella injury, it's something he actually had last year. He suffered it last year. They chose not to do the surgery last season. Just let it heal this time. They did did the surgery and you know, hopefully he can get back as those guys would.
They need some depth on the front line. Obviously, as for Terquavian Smith, I don't know what the decision is as of right now. I know the plan was to try to get him into practice, see if he could practice yesterday, see how effective he would be, then come back today, assuming that he could practice, see how he feels a day later, and then they'll go through shoot around and make a decision. I don't know what that decision is yet. I will say though, I will say that knowing that young man and the way he's wired and built, he is, he loves basketball so much and he's so competitive. So if he's physically able and the doctors given the green light, I think that it would be hard keeping me out of the lineup.
But again, I don't know how how that's gone over the last 24 hours. We'll just gotta wait to see. I think we'll have an answer when we go out and you watch NC State warming up before the game and see see if he's out there. Tony Haynes, Wolfpack Radio Network, joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. How do Smith and Jarkel Joyner complement each other?
Seems like Joyner is really more point guard than Smith, but they obviously are interchangeable. This is the smell of the leftover tuna fish sandwich you left in your lunch box over the weekend in a wimpy trash bag. Whimpy, wimpy, wimpy. And this is the smell of that same sandwich in a hefty ultra strong trash bag. Smell the difference? Hefty ultra strong has arm and hammer with continuous odor control. So no matter what's inside your trash, you can stay one step ahead of stinky.
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Insured by NCUA. Well, they've mixed that up this year. I think that was one of the things that Coach Keats discovered early in the season that they can flip those two guys and still be effective. And one thing to Quavion Smith has done this year, he's a much better passer.
He looks to pass more. There was a long stretch where he led the ACC in assists. And in fact, right now he leads NC State in assists. You think of Triquavion Smith, the shooter, but he's got 90 assists this season for the pack.
Jarkel Joiner's got 69. So, you know, sometimes they've taken the pressure off of Joiner and gotten the ball out of his hands. And once Smith started running the point, a team saw how effective he was either coming off of ball screens and getting in the paint or pulling up and taking shots. A lot of teams started doubling him off of pick and roll actions and ball screen actions.
And Triquavion Smith, because he's such an improved passer, he was finding his open teammates, which added another dimension to his game. And I think when he went through those NBA tryouts last year, he got some feedback from a lot of the NBA teams. And one of the things they wanted to see from him is, hey, can you play point guard and can you pass the basketball and make your teammates better? And I think he was bound to determine to show that he could, and he's been able to do that. Is this the best half court defense that Kevin Keats' teams has played?
Wow, that's a good question. I thought the defense against Duke was the best I've seen since he's been here. I mean, I thought the Blue Devils were just absolutely overwhelmed, particularly in the first half. You know, they were being pushed way out to mid-court when they started to run their offense, and they were having a tough time running their offense, and all of a sudden they become a one-on-one team. And State just kind of blew up everything that they were running. And yeah, that's a good question because, you know, in his first five years here, you thought about NC State as a full court pressing frame, which they had been. But sometimes maybe their half court defense wasn't as good.
Yeah, you're right. I think the half court defense is tremendous, and they've certainly made major strides since last year. That was not a very good defensive team, and it was only compounded when Manny Bates obviously wasn't able to play other than, whatever, 50 seconds of the season. So you take away the rim protector. That team defensively just wasn't very good. So again, you go back to the initial conversation we had here.
Getting older, right? Guys who know how to play defense at the college level. And Jarkel Joiner, his ability to heat up the basketball, I think kind of sets the tone for everybody else on that end of the court. He's been a blast to watch this year, but nobody is as much fun to watch as DJ Burns.
And I don't even want to slight anybody, but I use this example from the Duke game. He played 16 minutes against Duke. He had 18 points. And I would have sworn, if you had asked me, without looking at the box where, how many minutes did DJ Burns play last night?
I would have said 35 because his, his impression on the court was such that I thought he was always on the court. He's maybe my most enjoyable player to watch this year. Is he as much fun from your vantage point? Yeah, but I always think to myself, okay, who does he remind me of? And I'm not, I'm having a hard time comparing him to anybody the way he goes about it because he'll catch the ball off the lane, 18 feet, 19 feet away from the basket.
And then they'll just clear out a side for him and he'll just back his way in, back his way in, back his way in. And then once he puts the ball up on the rim or the glass, I mean, for a guy that big, his touch is absolutely incredible. And Ernie Myers thinks that he reminds him a little bit of like a Willis Reed.
You know, Ernie is a New Yorker and of course, Willis Reed was a lefty like that, but I don't remember. I don't remember Willis Reed catching the ball that far away and then backing his way down in the basket, but he did have a great touch, but then you throw in the fact that DJ Burns is such a terrific passer as well. That just makes him a really unique and talented post player. I looked at the North Carolina game the other day.
I was surprised that he didn't have an assist, but you remember there was one stretch where North Carolina did try to trap him and double him. And although he didn't get credit for an assist two or three times, he made the pass that set up the assist, like the hockey assist, right? Is that what you're the hockey guy? Absolutely. Yeah.
Yeah. If there's an, so if a basketball had, you know, the hockey assist, DJ Burns probably would have had about three or four of those the other day against North Carolina. See, if we just used a little bit more, just judgment calls on those types of things, we could recognize the pass that really makes the play that doesn't necessarily lead to the assist. But that's what coaches do. Coaches know. They know that DJ really makes the offense go.
I love everything about him. I hope the more he stays on the court, the more fun I have watching it. And it should be fun tonight. Sure. Yeah.
Can I say this quickly? This was, is going to be a difficult test for him defensively tonight though. Probably, although he just went against Armando Baycott, who's arguably the best post player in the ACC, Nate Laschefsky will be unlike anything DJ Burns has played this year because he's basically a pick and pop five, right? Last year's Laschefsky was a pick and pop four.
He, he played the five sometimes, but now, I mean, it's a real dilemma. I tend to tonight, I think for NC state coach Keats and the staff figuring out, all right, how are we going to use DJ Burns and how do, how does he guard a guy like Nate Laschefsky who can shoot threes? He's a 42% three point shooter, half of the shots from out there. And he'll, he's not a traditional post player. And we know that DJ is somewhat limited in his ability to defend out away from the basket.
So I'm, I'm curious to see how, how that all works out here in this matchup tonight. Yeah. Just maybe, maybe puts a bigger spotlight on guys like Ernest Ross or Edby DeWanna who are a little bit, a little bit quicker. But look, I know. You don't want to get, you don't want, you don't want to get DJ Burns offense off the floor for too long, right? That is true. And that's the dilemma. That's the dilemma that faces them tonight.
That's why, that's why coaches get paid. Tony Haynes. And you have a lot to talk about on the Wolfpack radio network tonight. I thank you very much for the time, man. We'll do it again soon. Have fun.
And you just heard my entire pregame show. Well, good. Now you just we'll, we'll send the tape over to Wolfpack sports marketing and you can go have a, I don't know, an extra taco or something. Maybe that's a good idea.
I might do that. Thanks, Adam. Thanks, Tony. This is the smell of the leftover tuna fish sandwich you left in your lunchbox over the weekend in a wimpy trash bag. And this is the smell of that same sandwich in a hefty ultra strong trash bag. Smell the difference. Hefty ultra strong has arm and hammer with continuous odor control. So no matter what's inside your trash, you can stay one step ahead of stinky and for bigger jobs, try the superior strength of hefty, large black bags.
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