Eric Montross is a veteran of several Duke North Carolina games.
I was told the rivalry ended last year, but I didn't believe it. This is a big game, and we're excited to talk to Eric Montross from the Tar Heel Radio Network, and of course a veteran of so many of these. How are you, sir? It's been kind of a rollercoaster year. You guys are on the up, though.
Well, it's been a Adam. It's been a been a rollercoaster year for the Tar Heels. But it's a day before Carolina Duke.
So what? What could be more fun for a Carolina or Duke fan before they're on the eve of one of these games? And you know, it's, uh, it's always loaded with story lines, and certainly there are no shortage of those. And, you know, Carolina's is playing better in the last three or four games. Um, and we hope that that continues from a partisan perspective, but I think also from Duke's perspective. Well, they really should be feeling confident and they've got size.
They've got guard play. Um, I just it just really will be fun for me as a fan of the rivalry and as a former player within the rivalry. To watch two former players who are now head coaches who are trying to nurse their teams to be who they are. Um, it's gonna be really fun, and it's gonna be enjoyable to watch the next chapter start to be written.
Eric Montrose is with us here on the Adam Gold show. How different does it feel? I know we've already had a year's worth of Hubert, but how different does it feel without Roy and Kay? And I'm sure it felt different, although Roy was already established as a superstar when he came back from Kansas. But how different does it feel without those two giants on the sidelines? Well, I think it feels different, but I will tell you when I was over in Cameron, sitting up in our perch above the court, watching the Cameron crazies file in.
They didn't act any differently. In fact, if anything, there was there was just as much enthusiasm between these two teams. Um, I think you know that we look all of us who have been a part of or enjoyed, um, the tobacco road rivalry and the rivalry between two Hall of Fame coaches and Shushevsky and Williams. But that that's special and that and that holds its own place and will hold especially as we further ourselves from that era. It will hold its own chapter in history as being one of the unparalleled moments to watch those two men. Take their teams and lead their teams to championships to ACC championships to tournament championships. NBA stars coming out of their programs.
That's that's awesome. And but I also think that, you know, our fans are not ready to say, Oh, well, those guys are gone. But, you know, that's what I'm talking about. Let's hang it up. This is this is this is a renewal. This is an opportunity to really get after it again. And I think that the teams and the coaches who are there in place now and who will be in place are really excited about the opportunity.
And so they they both completely get the whole thing. Let me let me ask you about the the similarity between where this Carolina team is now to where they were last year. And I'm not trying to compare the teams, but there were there were so many doubts all year long. And then they sort of, you know, late in the season last year, started to figure it out.
Is there any similarity between this year's team and last year's team in that regard? Well, Adam, you just went way above my pay grade to try and figure out the dynamics of how this season has gone about. And I have too much time where we could be.
So I'll take your apology for asking me this question later. But but I do, you know, I tell you, I think last year we looked at the moment. It was kind of right after the Atwing Forest game where the team pulled together and in my opinion, just my opinion, said we're going to listen to the letter of what coach is saying, right? And we're going to act upon it to the letter of what coach is saying. And when they started seeing positive results, they said, Well, we want more positive results.
So we're going to do more of that. And right now, I think that for Carolina currently in this year, they have to get to that place. And although the personnel is more veteran, the personnel has deeper talent, a deeper bench.
It's still not tapped the way last year's team was. And I think that, um, you know, as I can say this because I was one of these years ago. 18 1920 and 21 year old young men, um, are unpredictable at times. So just like we've watched the team have moments where they. Don't play very well. We've also watched them have very high moments. And here in the last three or four games, they have had more high than low. So does the trajectory bode well for this team?
I don't know. What I do know is that tomorrow against Duke is the most important game of the season right now, because without that game, this season shuts down after the tournament. You believe that? I understand everybody keeps saying it, but I have a hard time closing my eyes and seeing North Carolina not being in the NCAA tournament. But maybe they win the game and make the whole thing.
I mean, look, look, I mean, who's going to? I mean, I agree with you from that standpoint. I just know that if if the letter of the metrics is followed, right? I mean, then then I have a hard time, right? I see people saying, Well, you don't have quad ones, etcetera. But the thing that I look at is if we're a 12 who's the five that wants to play us? It's not saying it's not saying that we're that great all the time.
And I know that this is not a tournament on potential, but that's a real question. And to your point. No. Yeah, I would know. I would I would be screaming like I earned a five seed. Are you giving me that? Get out of here.
I would be a hundred percent in agreement with you. Eric Montrose here on the Adam Gold Show. Let me ask you about the Blue Devils because you started talking about guard play and Duke has a lot of very good players. I don't know that they have the one guy who dominates the game like they have in the past. When you watch them, what do you see?
Who scares you? Well, I think for me, number one, I give John Shire a lot of credit because this team is playing really hard. And I like I love watching coaches get that kind of passion out of their players and being able to see it happen on the court. So I have a ton of respect for where for how this team plays.
No surprise, Adam. I will pick a big guy to focus on. I happen to think that lively is a real real significance, not just what he has done through the season, but also tomorrow, because we know Baker can be affected by height and jumping ability and shot blocking ability. We also know that shot blockers across the board, not just talking about versus Carolina across the board. They affect perimeter players interest in going to the rim because a lot of guys get embarrassed if they get their shot. Rebounding has been a component with Ian Filipowski that to me is key for Carolina. And I think that we can expect that that will continue to be a major source of concern.
But also they caught and company can can offer some pushback. That being said, at the guard play, Jeremy Roach has been terrific for them, and he has that veteran ship and he has that kind of that that Duke style of play that is leadership bound. And that is one that his team is playing with him and for him, it makes big plays. So I think we could continue to go through the lineup. But when I think of core components, you love to have balance and balance means you've got to have perimeter and interior players that are effective and extremely important and wins and how they impact their opponents that you're facing.
And those are the guys that I come up with first and foremost. Eric Montrose, before I let you go, want to tell what you to take me back to your playing days and the morning of not just your a Duke North Carolina game, but maybe your last Duke North Carolina game. You know, Leaky Black is playing in his last one. It's very possible that this could be Armando Baycots. I know he has an option to come back another year if he wants, but it's very possible it could be his last one.
Could be Caleb Love's last Duke North Carolina game. What did you feel like the morning of the last one? Well, first of all, Adam, I'm 51. So you're asking me to peel back a lot of layers. You are a young man to get back to that day. But look, I think what I will tell you is I never made it about one game. I always and I think particularly with the lens of time getting away from that game, getting away from this rivalry as a player. The thing that you absolutely appreciate is the fact that it is so darn consistent and it is so consistently good. And it just there's always there are always pieces and parts that draw your attention.
It draws the attention world nationwide at minimum and certainly their international interest as well. This is the best rivalry in college sports. And so to be a part of it on that final day as a senior or as a player who may be in their last year wearing one of these uniforms. It's a tremendous opportunity to just soak it up and and also to have great, great respect for these kinds of moments. Eric Montrose, you're such a gentleman. I appreciate your time. Have a great day. Enjoy the ballgame tomorrow. I know it'll be a blast. Thanks a lot, Adam. Always good to be with you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-03 17:54:27 / 2023-03-03 17:58:53 / 4