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What was key to UNC’s win vs NC State last Wednesday?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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January 12, 2024 3:31 pm

What was key to UNC’s win vs NC State last Wednesday?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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January 12, 2024 3:31 pm

Brian Geisinger, 247 Sports/Buzz Beat Podcast, on upcoming games and ones we’ve seen since last Friday.

Can Brian remember the last time UNC was defense first? Adam thought NC State was rushed the entire second half, but what did Brian see? What was a huge hinge moment in the game from Brian’s perspective? What did Brian NOT see NC State do that struck him in the matchup vs UNC? Who does Brian say could be the player of the country on Duke’s men’s basketball team this year?

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Sign up now at I can't remember the last time that a North Carolina team made their bones on the defensive end. That's not to say that North Carolina teams in the past have not played good defense, because that would be a lie. There have been good defensive teams at UNC. At their best, I believe UNC's best defense really was scaring the hell out of you offensively to the point where, oh my gosh, if we don't score all these points, we have no chance to win, which actually makes it a little tougher on you because it ratchets up the pressure. But I think this team, I think this team is built on the defensive end. First, they can win games like they did at Clemson, holding the Tigers to 55 points. I thought their defense was the number one reason why they won at NC State.

Brian Geisinger, our ACC basketball maven who joins us every Friday, is joining us now on the Adam Gold Show. Can you remember the last time North Carolina was defense first? It's probably been a little bit. I still think I'd push back a little bit on this UNC team being defense first. They're pretty good on both ends. I'm not knocking their offense. I just think the defense is the best part of them.

It might be. It's a little interesting because if you think about them from a personnel standpoint, their best lineup right now is not the biggest lineup. It's Harrison Ingram at the four. It's two small guards with RJ Davis and Elliott Cadeau. And then Armando Baycott anchoring the defense.

I think under Hubert Davis, Armando has turned into being a pretty good defensive anchor. They use him in a lot of drop coverage, which means when they're guarding pick and roll, Armando Baycott is usually several steps below the level of the screen. And when they get those screens on the side, UNC is going to try to ice or down them to keep the action on that side of the court. So it's just like real sort of fundamental pick and roll defense and keeping your biggest guy in the paint. And then having your guards and your wings work hard to get over screens so they can stay attached to the ball handler when they come off the screen. And there isn't a screen defender right there because again, Baycott's in the paint. I do think it's probably flown a little under the radar, but like Cormac Ryan was a defensive stopper. You know, maybe maybe stopper is like an extreme use, but like he was basically the best perimeter defender the last few years at Notre Dame under Mike Bray. So like, well, that's that's like saying I'm the tallest guy in my family, Brian.

Fair. But that's a D. Your family is shorter than UNC's backcourt, Gold. But you've got a but with that, you've got a guy that's like knows how to play a couple different coverage types. And you've got a guy that's also pretty good at working hard to get over screens about fouling, which like that was a huge part.

That was like the fundamental principle of Mike Bray's defense was no stupid fouls. And I think that probably flew under the radar a little bit with the addition of Ryan. Was that like UNC got out and got like a pretty good wing defender.

But so, yeah, I don't know. It's interesting because their lineup flexibility is different now with Withers. You know, he came off the bench against State, didn't play all that much. Teams are not having to guard him when he spaced out at the four. And so by moving Ingram to from the three to the four, then UNC can, you know, has a better half court offensive lineup on the court and it can still obviously control the glass with with Ingram and Bekai.

I also like Trimble and the way they have deployed him defensively. And I think, look, maybe I'm overselling it because it wouldn't be the first time that I've done that where I where I latch on to something that I believe to be true and then drive it home. I am I am going to turn the narrative into this North Carolina team is a gritty team. Right. Again, this is not something that we are normally used to. Normally, it's pretty offense. How do you keep up with them scoring? Keep going fast. Keep going fast. Get out and run. And, you know, we'll do the best we can defensively.

Somebody is going to go for a career high from three point range against the normally. But I just think that they have so many ways to stop you, whether it's good and they're not a great offensive rebounding team either. That's the thing. They're OK, but it's not what it's not their specialty like it normally is. Yeah, that's actually what I was going to say.

Just real quickly, first off. Yeah, I like Trimble a lot. He's like really important for them just in terms of like a length athleticism standpoint in the backcourt.

Like they really need him. And he's a solid third guard off the bench. But yeah, usually when I think when you think of UNC is being like gritty because I think of their twenty seventeen title team as being that. But it was mass you on the offensive glass. It was an offensive rebound. You know, they're going to rebound 40, whatever percent of their misses this season.

They're under thirty three percent. Yeah, they really only have one guy that hits the glass. And that's Baycott. He's an elite offensive rebounder. And also he's very good at drawing fouls. And like his ability to draw fouls is huge for them in terms of the half court offense. He's really the one guy that can do that at a like a high clip. NC State's best low post guy, DJ Burns, is he's incredible. He's a huge talent.

But but Baycott draws almost almost draws fouls at a rate that almost double burns. That's because like he's a guy that plays. He plays physical going towards the rim, whereas DJ is incredible. He's sort of best by throwing in like weird hook shots and, you know, flinging out skip passes and doing those kinds of things. According to Bart Torvik, North Carolina's defense adjusted defensive efficiency better than their offense.

I'm just saying I'm just saying I'm not I'm not trying to compare size of basketball brains because I cannot compete with yours, Brian. But I would always I would only say my guess is that opponents won't shoot twenty nine percent on threes all season against UNC. That's right.

Point. That number will jump up a little bit. And that defensive efficiency will probably like some of this is just like, you know, is shooting luck to an extent. But no, they they played a great defensive game against state. But NC State missed how many open looks on spot up threes that that burns kicked out to last night, like three or two nights ago.

And if two of those or three more of those go in, it totally flips the game. So let me ask you about the game, because this is the way I I looked at it, because I've said this for you've heard me say this. I think great defense is has a cumulative effect that if I'm defending you well, seven straight possessions, maybe I slip up on the eighth.

But because I have defended you so well, you're sped up a little bit. I felt like NC State played the first 10 or 11 minutes of the second half when the game was there. They could have they could have had a more positive impact on the way that game was ultimately going to play out.

And state just rushed everything. They were not in balance when they when they took shots. Some good shots were just hoisted up early in shot clocks. I wouldn't even call them good shots. I would call them acceptable shots or open shots, but they were not in rhythm. I thought they were rushed the entire second half and they gave away some opportunities that they normally wouldn't have.

I think that was a lot had a lot to do with UNC's defense. I'm going to keep trying to sell this line. I appreciate you. You stick in your guns.

I'm with you like I'm with you. But like it in like early in the early in the second half to the point of being sped up, there was an exchange, probably about four or five minutes. I think UNC was up probably five or seven points, something like that. State played probably its best defensive possession of the game, just like a perfect 25 to 30 seconds worth of defense. UNC misses a shot.

State runs the ball down, drag screen action. D.J. Burns seals and, you know, either horn or Taylor throws it to him in the post. And D.J. Burns has played.

I thought he played pretty well offensively the other night. He misses a layup that he probably makes goal probably like 98 out of 100 times. And then UNC rebounds the miss.

They go down. R.J. Davis trains a three. Pull up three. It was a five point swing, a five point swing in the span of, you know, 10, 15 seconds. And that was one of those moments where it's just like, man, if State's going to actually pull off the upset tonight, you just can't have like that was such a huge like leverage hinge moment of the game. I think my biggest gripe with State in terms of like their managing of pace in that game, though, was it took State so long.

I think it was probably seven or eight minutes into the game before they threw out their first press. And part of that was they weren't making shots. But they weren't ready for UNC to get to the secondary break and push after misses. And like, that's just something I look, it's tough to stop and UNC has got great guards and but you know, it's coming.

And it just it seemed like something that State wasn't ready for. And it's a nice counter that UNC has because like NC State presses a lot. They use the press to force a lot of turnovers or to force teams to play late into the shot clock. And then they can run off those those plays in like State's not a great half court offense, especially when the jumpers aren't falling. And so they need that transition game that's juiced up by the press.

And they just it didn't really hit the other night. I agree. A hundred percent agree. See, we found we found agreement. All right. As I as I transition to do, we have just a few more minutes left.

But I'm going to tack on one more North Carolina thing here as we get to Duke. R.J. Davis, to me, the difference like that game was defined by one team had R.J. Davis and the other didn't. Because I think he does so many things at important times. That three that you mentioned, I before it left his hand, I was watching it with with my 15 year old. And I'm like, this is in. You know, you can tell what he is about to make that shot. And he can beat you in a whole bunch of different ways.

Davis or Kyle Filipowski right now, who is the ACC's player of the year. Lucky Land Casino asking people, what's the weirdest place you've gotten lucky? Lucky? In line at the deli, I guess.

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See website for details. Yeah, I mean, for me, it's it's Filipowski pretty convincingly. And that's nothing against R.J. Davis. Like, I think he's been the, you know, 1A, 1B best guard in the league, along with maybe Judah Mintz up at Syracuse. I thought Elliot Cadeau played awesome for UNC. Maybe the best game he's had as a as a Tar Heel. But no, Filipowski in for the simple reason that he is doing something that I don't think anyone else in the country is doing, where he is orchestrating Duke's half court offense from every spot on the court as a seven foot center, whether it's the high post at the elbow. It's above the break on pick and pops. It's in the post and him having to like work around double teams and opponents sagging off Mark Mitchell and like what he's doing, mapping the floor and spraying passes around often for Jared McCain threes or to Mark Mitchell in the dunks dunker spot for a finish at the rim.

But it's not just that. Duke's now probably top, I would guess, top 12, top 15 in defensive efficiency. And he's anchoring the defense for them. It's the rebounds. It's the rim protection, the block numbers are up, he's still getting skills at a high rate this year too, which is part of his game he gets a lot of deflections and those can often translate into steals. But I think I brought this up last Friday, gold like they're able to guard pick and roll every different way they need to be able to do it and it's because of Philip policy he can switch out onto opposing guards, like he did against Bob Carrington, who's an NBA player for Pittsburgh, he can be in the drop, he can be up at the level, he can hedge, he's just doing everything for them he's he's expending a ton of energy on both sides of the court I just don't think anyone's being asked to totally like carry an offense and anchor a defense. And he's doing that and putting up monster monster numbers at super high efficiency like I think he's the player of the year in the country personally, maybe some just beyond the ACC but but Davis is awesome too and and look, you know, big hot has probably like an outside shot at player beer from like a statistical standpoint as well. Yeah, if, if it comes down to stats I just I don't know how you're going to talk, Kyle Philipowski and say he does everything and watching him go four from four from deep at Pitt, I, and I know they mentioned it. I don't know how you deal with that as an opposing defense. If he is going to pick and then pop out to the three point line and knock that down, you can you can you can try to switch, but then you're going to put a guard on him and he's going to mall that person in the post, like, he's, he's a total matchup destroyer like he's, he's, he's, he is absolutely a problem because he's huge. He can shoot, he can really pass and he's in he can dribble he just he's forced from everywhere like they use him the way that like they would use Ben Caro if they played Palo at like small ball center more that season, but like he's being applied in very similar ways, and Jared McCain is shooting high, a high percentage from three so is Jeremy roach Philipowski that mean they shot a high percentage from three against Pitt so they were eight of 14 in the first half at that. And, you know, it's weird. We have to look we're going to close on this and apologize for other things that we didn't get to today but we'll get to them.

Next week when do this every Friday with Brian. The, the, the margin that they created the score the margin of the game which ended the game to me was their defense was great, but that's not a 4823 game at the half, unless they go bonkers from three point range, and it was really over at halftime. I, in some ways, it was it was deceiving even though Duke was so much better that score could have been way worse than it actually was. I'm, I'll be curious to see if they can do that again without destroying the nets from three point range. Because, because they're not going to be, you know, a 70% three point shooting team. So yeah, but I mean, but you can go to the game right before that on the road at Notre Dame right Proctor doesn't score, Jared McCain has an off game until he gets like a little hot down the stretch, Philip house he didn't score until the second half. They scored under one point per possession in that game. They were 13 of 33 on twos, and they still want, like against the Notre Dame team that like, by the way recently hasn't been too bad, almost beat NC State beat Virginia, and just beat Georgia Tech too so like, I think they can.

I think because the defense is rounding into form and it's a huge part of Philip house key in Jared McCain also just like playing better on that side of the court that like Duke has the ability to win ugly to. Brian Geisinger 24 seven sports BuzzFeed podcast at B guys underscore bird talk to you next week my man. Have a good weekend you guys, you got it. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-12 18:01:55 / 2024-01-12 18:09:19 / 7

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