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Why does the ACC get such little respect, in this case, regarding men’s basketball?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2024 3:27 pm

Why does the ACC get such little respect, in this case, regarding men’s basketball?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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February 14, 2024 3:27 pm

Brett Friedlander, Saturday Road, on ACC men’s basketball and looking at recent wins and losses within the conference.

How do they go about fighting the fight? What does Duke need to do to get more wins with this team? What happened with UNC vs Syracuse last night? 

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Grainger, for the ones who get it done. Last night, after North Carolina's shocking loss to Syracuse, it was a surprise. I thought Syracuse would cover. I didn't think Syracuse would win the game.

I thought they would cover the, I think it was seven and a half or eight, depending on what you had in the palm of your hand. And so I'm not surprised that the game was close. I'm a little surprised that North Carolina didn't win. I'm more surprised that North Carolina, by the way, we won that one.

It was one of our two wins last night. I'm not surprised that it was a close game. I was surprised that Carolina's defense was as poor as it was. And that's, to me, the surprise. Not that Carolina lost the game.

That's the real shock to me. I am surprised also that Virginia lost at home because they had been playing so great. But every time I've seen Pitt, except for the, I didn't watch the game that they got squashed on by Carolina. But when I watch Pitt, man, they look good to me.

So I ain't surprised by anything that team does. And I love Jeff Capel. Brett Friedlander, ACC columnist, SaturdayRoad.com, joining us on the Adam Gold show at Be Fried, ACC. Brett, I'll just start it this way.

I ask this question in all seriousness. How is it possible that North Carolina could lose any games in this, you know, middle-tier high school basketball conference that is the Atlantic Coast Conference? You know, it's funny because when Nevada beats San Diego State, John Rothstein is, wow, the Mountain West is so great. Or Texas Tech beats Kansas. Look at the balance of the Big 12. And then a team like Pittsburgh goes into Virginia.

And you mentioned it. And Pittsburgh got off to a 1-5 start in the ACC. But you have to remember, they're playing two freshmen in their starting lineup. And this is the time of year where freshmen start to kind of figure it out. And Pittsburgh is really a very good team and is starting to show it. I mean, they're 7-5 in the ACC now, I think, or 7-6.

So, listen, the ACC is not as bad as everyone out there, Joe Lenardi and all the proctologists. Wow. Wait a second. Victoria, did you hear that?

It's a proctologist. That's awesome. Hold on, Adam. I wish I could claim credit for that, okay? But that was a Steve Forbes line. But I loved it, so I gotta use it. No, no, it's good.

On credit. Why not? But the point is that this conference is better than it's being given credit for. Even Louisville down at the bottom is better.

They are. And, you know, I think it's a 5-bid league. And we'll see, but, you know. And here's the other thing about Carolina, too. You mentioned the defense. And the defense was abysmal last night. Although, to their defense, I believe it was Starling with.4 on the shot clock, fires up a 30-footer and banks it in.

It was one of those nights. But to me, the thing that concerns me most about Carolina is the fact that they still haven't figured out how to attack a zone defense. Brad Brownell exposed it. And I think you're gonna see others use it because last night Elliot Cadeau had no idea what to do against it.

And, you know, that's really a problem. Well, I think North Carolina in the past has been pretty good about getting the ball inside any zone defense and attacking it from the inside. I don't think they've forgotten that, but sometimes players go on the court and they settle, right? Especially if you've been in games where you've knocked out a lot of threes in the past, it's very easy to just fall in love with it. And I'm not saying they're doing what they did when they played Duke, however many days ago that was now, ten days ago.

Seems like about a year ago. Right, when they shot the ball really well. But look, I've been saying this for about North Carolina, they've got one guy I know I trust to shoot the ball from the perimeter, that's R.J. Davis. And they have two other players that when it's their night, they can be great. And when it's not their night, they can be bad. And that's Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan. We've seen Harrison go one for seven or something, and we've seen Ryan for much of the first half of the year, he was shooting under 30% from three. So sometimes it is a little bit about rhythms, but offense is not their thing. I think they're capable offensively, but it's really on the defensive end where I think they have the biggest impact. So when that goes away, it just opens the door for other things to happen.

How do we go about fighting the fight? Because Hubert mentioned it last night, but he mentioned it sort of in passing. What he said last night, he was trying to explain the loss, he goes, look, it's the best league in college basketball. Well, I mean, it isn't.

But it's not what people are trashing it with, right? It's not worse than the Mountain West, that's so dumb, it doesn't even merit a real response. Better than the Big Ten? Yeah, it is better than the Big Ten. I'd put it right behind the Big Twelve and the Big East, I'd put it number three right now.

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Grainger, for the ones who get it done. Maybe. I mean, if you go by the net, yeah. But we can't, that's my biggest problem. I've been screaming about this, I know people are sick and tired of hearing about this, but the longer we speak about it, maybe people will hear it, the Big Twelve gamed the system.

Yeah, I mean, they beat up on Colorado School of the Mines and Moorhead State, you know, Colorado Mesa, it's, yeah. The system either has to change or basically use the net as a diagnostic and not as a, you know, the be-all, end-all. I got this question on Twitter, Brett Friedlander, Saturday Road ACC columnist, getting everything mixed up today, I'm old. The fact that they said a long time ago that the net is not a catch-all, it's not the most important thing. But here's the problem, they don't use it to select teams, but they do use the metric to rate teams. They use what you did against quad one. I love Gary Parrish from CBS, and Gary came on here two weeks ago and we were talking about the league and he goes, well, you know, this school is five and five in quad one games. And I'm like, okay, this is what the problem is, because let's look at the quad one games that some of these teams, you know, have played or have won. Or, you know, Iowa State, there's a bunch of teams in the Big Twelve that played nobody outside the league and have three quad one wins. Iowa State is a quad one win for Big Twelve teams.

Everybody. But Iowa State has not beaten an out-of-conference team rated higher than a hundred. No, one win against Iowa, right? I believe so, yes. And BYU is the same way.

Yep. San Diego State. It's crazy. They beat San Diego State in the non-conference at the beginning of the season, which of course makes you a top four seed. Iowa State in Jerry Ponsbrackett's third, he has a three.

I'm like, how? I look at their profile and I know this is going to sound weird and I'm not saying they're not better than Georgia Tech, but their profile looks a lot like Georgia Tech's. Except that Georgia Tech screwed the, I don't want to get in trouble, they screwed up when they got into conference play. They can't beat anybody. They're three and ten in conference play. But their three conference wins. Yeah.

You say it. Carolina, Duke, and Clemson, the three top teams in the, the three top rated teams in the net in the ACC. And Clemson was, they won at Littlejohn.

That was an incredible win. So, look, the narrative was there, the Big Twelve figured out the math, and they're reaping the benefits. The ACC should have not scheduled well outside of the league. That's their problem.

Here's the problem with that, Adam. About two, three years ago, NC State was number 35 in the net. Didn't get in.

Why? Because strength of schedule. That's what they told them. So they built up their schedule, and everybody else did. And then others figured out how to play the system, and now strength of schedule is totally meaningless. So I think they have to adjust the other way now. It's possible, though, that NC State didn't do enough within the league, didn't beat the right teams within the league also.

Right. In fairness to these schools that I've been trashing, they have good wins within the Big Twelve. Which makes me say, maybe the Big Twelve isn't as good as we think it is. And maybe it's just they have gamed the system to the point where every time they play a game, it looks better than it actually is. Maybe because the ACC, by and large, scheduled better in the pre-conference season, the ACC doesn't look as good, therefore you don't get the value for winning these games. Bingo has been called.

So that, I appreciate that. Give me your thoughts on the Blue Devils as we have our last, what, two and a half, three weeks, I guess three and a half weeks of this season. What do you see as a ceiling for them? Well, I originally had given the ceiling as an Elite Eight team. They're the kind of team that can get beat in the second round or go all the way to the Final Four, depending on matchups. But I've got to give John Shire a little credit because he's got a fundamental flaw to his roster that he's not going to be able to fix. And that is they don't have a rim protector on defense.

And they're really not, you know, they don't have a post-presence offensively. But with Jared McCain now being given the green light to crash the boards, this guy's got 10 or more rebounds in four of the last five games. That's kind of really kind of helped. It hasn't solved it, but it's definitely helped lessen the, you know, their deficiency on the glass. They're a better rebounding team because of it. And, you know, because of it, they can get out and get in transition a little bit more. I have to give him credit.

He's looking for ways to get around the problem that he can't fix. And so far he has. Now, they've only won two games since that dismal performance against the Tar Heels. Tomorrow, or actually tonight, is going to be, I think, a litmus test. Not tonight, Saturday, when they go to Virginia. Let's see how they do. They're at Florida State, that's right.

Virginia comes to Cameron after that. But I think that those two games are going to be a real test as to how far Duke has come. And, you know, whether we need to reassess their ceiling. Because if Tyrese Proctor starts playing like Tyrese Proctor at the end of last year, and I know we keep waiting for that to happen. But I think that's the last piece of the puzzle right now.

Because I think Shire has pushed the right button so far. But again, let's see. Last year, they rebounded from a really, really heartbreaking loss at Virginia. The overtime one where Filipowski got karate chopped in the throat and they didn't call it. And they didn't lose again. They swept the rest of the regular season, won the ACC championship. Well, you know, the UNC loss is kind of very similar. So let's see if they rebound, respond, and do the same.

Because I think the possibility is there. Filipowski got clocked in both games in the Commonwealth. They lost the UVA game. I believe they won.

No, they didn't. They lost both games. They lost Virginia Tech and UVA.

They avenged the loss in Blacksburg this year with a win. I agree. I think Tyrese Proctor is the key for them to go to another level.

And they need to get out and run. They need to push the tempo a little bit. They need to make it an all-court game. They can do that because they are going to play 3 and 4 guards. And Mitchell is an athlete. And you do that by getting stops and rebounding. And that's been a problem, but it hasn't the last 4 or 5 games. Well, it's because the league is trash, Brett. What are we doing?

It really is like playing a bunch of JV teams. And Duke is Duke. So, yeah, Duke is Duke. Brett Friedlander at BeFriedACC on Twitter. ACC columnist, SaturdayRoad.com. Thank you very much, man. Always a pleasure. You got it. Thank you. Brett Friedlander here on the Adam Gold Show. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-14 19:45:11 / 2024-02-14 19:51:25 / 6

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