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Evaluating UNC basketball, Duke basketball after one month

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2023 2:53 pm

Evaluating UNC basketball, Duke basketball after one month

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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December 1, 2023 2:53 pm

Brendan Marks of The Athletic provided a breakdown of UNC basketball after defeating No. 10 Tennessee, 100-92, in the ACC/SEC Challenge that saw UNC score 61 points in the first half, but only 39 in the second half. Marks also shares his thoughts on Tyrese Proctor & Duke basketball after the No. 7 Blue Devils lost on the road at Arkansas basketball, 80-75.


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That's North Carolina, I mean rolled up Tennessee in the first half. 61-39 at the break. Duke had a little bit of a second half defensive hiccup in I think it was 80 to 75 loss in obviously very sweaty Fayetteville, Arkansas.

So I wonder how that maybe changed the narrative of the two schools. Brendan Marks covers both of them. He's a busy man is also a National College basketball writer for the athletic and a nominee by the way for the North Carolina sports writer of the year. First of all, congratulations on the nomination.

That is a stacked category by the way, and it's just a crazy. Good luck, man. I appreciate you coming on and whether you win this one, you're gonna win many of them as long as you stay in North Carolina, don't leave.

But congratulations also on the elevation to do some National College stuff for the athletic. How are you? I'm good. I appreciate that's one of the kindest introductions I think I've ever gotten.

I need to clip that, Adam. That was so nice. Take it! You can have it!

Look, it's all justified, man. You're great at what you do. That's why I keep calling you.

That's why I bug the hell out of you. I appreciate it. I'm just glad to be out of my hibernation and to have some high-quality basketball games for us to talk about.

That is right. Hey, I appreciate the fact that you sit out football. Let's start with the Tar Heels. That display was so good offensively because Tennessee came into the game.

I don't know exactly what they were ranked, but they had to be a top 10 defensive team nationally. I realize it's early. There's a lot of cupcakes at the beginning, but they haven't all been cupcakes for Tennessee. And that was a thorough beating for 20 minutes.

Not that you're going to do that all the time, but why did it look so good? Yeah, well, I mean you're spot-on about Tennessee for starters. And again, it's early and there are some, you know, cream puff games early on. But Tennessee coming into Wednesday night had Ken Palm's number one adjusted defensive efficiency in the country. And North, you know, people who live in the state of North Carolina, if they watch the NCAA tournament last year and saw what Tennessee did to Duke, they should be well aware of the kind of defense that Tennessee can play. And so I think like coming into this game, you're kind of expecting, okay, is North Carolina going to be able to match that level? And I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that that was like among the best singular halves of basketball that a Hubert Davis coach North Carolina team has played. Um, you know, obviously what they did in that magical month and a half is one thing, but, uh, running up 61 points on Tennessee, which it should be noted had not allowed more than 71 points in a game before Wednesday night allowed 61 in the first half. Um, you look at what they did offensively getting everybody involved, RJ Davis averaging 28 and a half points over his last two games, Armando Baycock coming back from a lackluster Bahamas trip, having to double double Harrison Ingram continuing to prove that he is, you know, the front court replacement, the North Carolina media correct Ryan hitting shots in the corner. Elliott Cadeau, the first, uh, you know, tennis this game by a freshman since Marcus Page in 2013, like it was as good as you could have hoped for. Everybody understood their roles. I don't know that you're going to be that good every single night, but clearly North Carolina has the ability to be one of the better offensive teams in the entire country.

And I, you know, here's what I liked the most about it. Brendan marks from the athletic is joining us here is that, um, Hubert Davis talked about how they made adjustments at halftime to the way they played. Because if you're not a great three point shooting team, and I'm not saying they're not, but they hadn't been, they certainly weren't last year. And that's not the way Hubert wants to build this offense. Um, if you're not that they shot the eyes out in the first half, and then they made the conscious effort to go inside in the second half. He wanted to make sure we got back to doing the things we wanted. I thought that's kind of, to me, like subtle, smart coaching because you understand that what was going on probably isn't going to continue.

Yeah. And a lot of people want to hate on Hubert Davis. Uh, you know, I thought the calls last year for his job were always kind of ludicrous. Um, you know, it's, it's, but I guess that's the way that sports go nowadays. But the thing is, especially this season, I think he's done a terrific job game over game in terms of making really smart halftime adjustments. I mean, some of those early games, maybe we're not going perfectly in the first half, second half comes out.

UNC usually has come out with some sort of 10 Oh run eight Oh run nine Oh run, and they've sort of quelled any sort of doubt that they were going to win the game. And he has been very intentional about making those adjustments. And I think that what we're seeing now is a guy who has a full compliment of players that he sought out, like from the way he coaches from the way that he manages his rotation.

Obviously he's going deeper than he ever has. You know, North Carolina is still outside of the top one 50 in terms of bench minutes, but compared to being like 10th to last in the entire nation, that's a huge improvement. Um, he looks and sounds and coaches like someone who finally has complete autonomy over the program. And I think the way that you're seeing this team respond, being able to listen to him, make the adjustments, being able to have different people step up on different games.

Some nights it's Armando Baker, some nights it's RJ Davis, some nights it's Harrison Ingram. Like that is what you want from a team. You don't want it to all have to rest on one guy's shoulders. And so like I give Hubert a lot of credit. I think he did a really nice job in the portal. I think he was really honest about what his team was lacking, was really honest about what he needed to get. And now that he got, he got those pieces, we're seeing how he truly coaches. And you know, if North Carolina fans weren't happy after Wednesday night with him, they're never going to be. Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan to me are game changers because of what they provide. Uh, and I think that they're, you know, Jalen Washington is obviously going to play more Elliot Cadeau.

I think, uh, Hubert has usable depth that he didn't trust in the past. Uh, I think they'll be able to play eight, nine guys a game. And, uh, I liked the way they played. I thought, uh, they were, they won the game in the first half, obviously they weren't as good. And they, they, their defense kind of relaxed too much in the second half, but that, that happens when you're up 22. Let me get to Duke for Brendan Marks from the athletic covers, both that's two full-time jobs.

I hope they pay you twice as much. Um, the, uh, blue devils to me, I thought they had two problems. One defensively. I thought they were poor, especially getting out on shooters, getting broken down, um, off the dribble. And I thought Tyrese Proctor had a kind of a lackluster game. Uh, to me, that's why you lose to Arkansas.

Other than the fact that they're good and it's hot as hell in that arena. John's Shire was sweating like crazy during the halftime interview. Uh, what was your read on the game? Yeah.

You know, I don't think that you're wrong in either of those assessments. You know, I think that defensively, you know, Derek lively, the second clearly did not get the credit that he deserved early on last season for just kind of being a bandaid on some of the defensive issues that have shown up this season. Like he, by the end of last season, I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating was the best defensive player in college basketball. He was a unicorn. The fact that you could have a guy who was seven foot one who could defend on the perimeter, who could switch everything, who could talk to the rim, like there's a reason he's starting in the NBA and having success already.

He is that good. And the thing is not only did Duke not really bring in a replacement for him, but in trying to, uh, fill that rim protection void and trying to figure out what Duke wanted to do defensively this season. They didn't, they not only did not bring somebody else in, but in moving Kyle Philipowski to center in terms of moving other people around, you're asking people who had established roles to kind of refigure themselves. And we saw with North Carolina last year, even when you have players coming back, when they're asked to do different things, sometimes that takes some time to get to that point. And right now, I mean, I say it's, again, it's early Duke has played some really good teams, Arizona, Michigan state now, Arkansas. I think what we're seeing is that Duke is going to have to get creative defensively because Kyle Philipowski good as he is. And I think he's been one of the best players in the country so far. He's not a conventional five, right? He's better as a foreman, you know, and, and he has told reporters in the past, like one of the guys who he watches a lot of NBA tape on is Lori marketing.

And I think that you can see some shades of that. But as a, as a center, other than being seven feet tall, that is not his best. It's not the best way to use him. And so what is John going to do to me really Duke Duke's problem gets down to this it's twofold with Derek lively last year they were one of the biggest teams in the country they mold you inside dominated the glass with the ninth best offensive rebounding team in the country. Right now Duke is outside of the top 200 in terms of offensive rebound.

A big reason for that. They're playing three guards. They want to play faster. They have all this backcourt talent.

That'll make sense to me. The problem is they're not playing fast and they're not making three point shots. And so if you're not rebounding and you're not making three point shots and now you don't have the size advantage, you start putting those things together and they stack and they create problems.

So there are a couple things I'm interested to see about Duke but but John Shire certainly has some things you need to figure out. Yeah, he's he said in the offseason that he wanted to play faster I I joked with him during last season, because they were basically in the 300s in terms of tempo, which is where Virginia usually lives. And it's appalling.

I'm like, I had a hard time hiding my disdain in our conversation for it. He understood, but I just can't, they should be playing faster. And I mean, I'm hoping here that they will play faster and we'll get a chance to see it this weekend against Georgia Tech. But what's your read on Proctor because I just didn't seem like he met that met that moment in Fayetteville. Yeah, and I think he's gotten a little bit of an unfair rep so far this season, I think that there have been a lot of games, the Arizona game stands out really strongly to me where, you know, I think he finished with five or so a fifth and he's like could have had 10 or 12 because he was hitting guys and make right days for making their shots. So I think that he has probably gotten a little more criticism in his fair I think that he's played better than the pure box scores reflect.

But no, certainly on the road, tough environment. He needs you to step up. Like Jeremy Roach has been that guy now for Duke for since going back to the final four and Coach K's last season, he was that guy in the final four. He was that guy last year when Duke needed someone clutch to step up and make shots.

It was Jeremy Roach. And to reach its ceiling this season, Duke needs another guy to do that. And a lot of people, myself included thought that that would be Tyrese Proctor. One thing that I have noticed about him that I'm interested to see how it changes as we get further into the season is for as crafty as he is for as good as his handle is, you know, I think he's one of the better pick and roll point guards in the country. He absolutely eats up drop coverage.

He has great size. Tyrese Proctor is not a guy who is just going to absolutely run by you. And so I think there are a lot of times where he starts to drive or he starts trying to make a move, doesn't get the separation and ends up settling for jump shots and especially settling for three point shots. And that's why you've seen his percentage drop somewhat compared to what he did at the end of last season. He's taking a lot of off the dribble shots. He's taking a lot of shots where that was not what he was intending to get out of that possession.

And as a result, you end up seeing some of the rust and hurried looks that we are. But he's a good enough player that he can figure that out. Duke has enough talent around him to get him set up.

You know, look at what R.J. Davis is doing this year in North Carolina when he's got a legit point guard next to him setting him up. So I think that Tyrese is going to be fine in the long term. I think he's gotten more criticism than he probably deserves. But at the same time, there are certainly ways that he can improve.

And I think better shot selection and realizing what he can and can't do is probably the first step in getting back to the level a lot of people expect. I'm only concerned with being correct about Tyrese Proctor. I think I picked him to be the ACC Player of the Year. And I just want to be right, Brendan.

That's all I'm really concerned about. Brendan Marks at Brendan R. Marks on Twitter from the Athletic National College Basketball writer reporter covers Duke and Carolina as well. And also writes great things about what Aaron Matson over at at UNC, the Michael Jordan of field hockey, no question about it. She's awesome. Appreciate your time, Brendan.

I'll talk to you very soon. Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I appreciate you. You got it. Yeah, Brendan is, I mean, next level we are.

Go to or just Google piperloo, L-O-U. You're smart. You can figure it out. Play for free right now. Are you feeling lucky? Absolutely fortunate to have him here covering these two teams. Look, it's been a it's been a great start to the basketball season and now conference play starts at least a month early. I wish this was January. I remember the days not to be old man yells at cloud, but I remember the days when conference play didn't start until January. Yeah, have ACC basketball conference games on the same day as your football championship. It just doesn't make sense.

That is also curious. Yeah, you're like to me. You're taking away attention from your biggest day for your football season. I mean, if all of your basketball games were like early in the afternoon, I get it and maybe you do that.

Maybe you do a special. All right, here's our four best teams and we're going to roll them out at a noon and a two o'clock doubleheader. I could see something like that. I have argued that during the Super Bowl that weekend that the ACC ACC should take their four best teams and do a doubleheader on Super Bowl Sunday at noon and then at 2 30. And have a make a big deal out of the best ACC basketball Super Bowl Sunday.

That's when you do it. If I'm not mistaken, NC State fans will back me up on this back in the day, Maryland and NC State, which was a huge game in the 70s. They used to do that frequently Super Bowl Sunday. Let's have that.

Let's make some special things like that. Have you done Fayetteville? Have you walked among the dinosaurs and then the roses?

Have you cheered on the home team or zip through the trees? Have you done North Carolina history while experiencing history in the making? Find art, find culture, find adventure, explore the nightlife, then make your day. If you're looking for a place off the beaten path that's actually right next door, visit Fayetteville, North Carolina. Have you done it yet? Plan your trip at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-01 17:48:45 / 2023-12-01 17:56:06 / 7

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