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Is UNC the team we all thought they were at the beginning of the season?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 3:41 pm

Is UNC the team we all thought they were at the beginning of the season?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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February 15, 2024 3:41 pm

Luke DeCock, News & Observer, on UNC’s lose to Syracuse and other ACC teams in men’s college basketball.

What was Luke’s reaction to the announcement of an 18 team tournament? What’s going on with UNC that has them on this rollercoaster? How is Luke feeling about Pyotr in net for the Carolina Hurricanes, especially in the playoffs? What do the Canes need?

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Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. Grainger, for the ones who get it done. I looked at the ACC standings today, and Carolina's 11-3. Duke is 10-3.

I thought that race was over. Virginia's 10-4. Gosh, they should be 11-3, too. But maybe not.

Maybe Pitt should be 11-3. I don't know. Luke DeCock, news and observer, at Luke DeCock on Twitter was at whatever carrier dome is called now.

I don't know what it's called, but it's called something not named the carrier dome. He was there for Carolina's loss to Syracuse, and he was reporting back now. How was the trip? How bad was Carolina? Yeah, not great, but I also think there's a certain point, and you can't really say this after a loss, but you know, Carolina had the lead 20. I was watching the replay last night.

ESPN cuts to commercial. It's 64-62 Syracuse, and they come back from commercial, and it's 65-64 Syracuse, and they didn't show JJ Starlin's 40-foot banked-in heave that put Syracuse in the lead for good. And my point there is, getting back to what I was starting out saying, is sometimes when a team is making shots like that, you kind of got to tip your cap. Syracuse was making the shots that UNC wanted to give Syracuse. They were contested two-point jumpers.

They were long threes. They were at the end of the shot clock, and North Carolina could have done a better job covering Syracuse's ball screen actions. Certainly tried to change a few things in the second half, and could have gotten the ball down low to Armando Bacot more because Syracuse didn't really have an answer for that, but Bacot was a little gimpy, had a bad knee. The point is, there are all the things you can do better, but there are also times when someone shoots 63% better than anyone's shot against UNC in nine years that you just got to say, hey, they beat us tonight. And as good a team as we are, and I think UNC is a very good team.

I think UNC is one of the top eight to ten teams in the country. Sometimes, when you have a team that has two really good guards, and those two really good guards get hot, they're going to beat you. I think it's at all like NC State's trip to Syracuse, where State just didn't show up at all, and then rallied to close it late. And I do think UNC did look a little sort of maybe out of gear at times. But in the end, when someone shoots 63% against you, that isn't all your fault.

It's somewhat your fault. But I think you do have to tip your cap to Syracuse and say, hey, these guys came out and beat us tonight. So I know it's their third loss in five games, and there's a lot of sort of existential angst about the Tar Heels now, and are they the team we thought they were, and blah, blah, blah.

I mean, in those five games, there's also a win over Duke, which is not too shabby either. And they went over Miami, where they did figure things out on the road when they were trying to throw it away. So I don't know that this is a time for a whole bunch of hand-wringing. I do think it's a bit of a crossroads for them, because if they are going to fix this and move forward and be the team that they can be, now is the time.

But I also don't think that they're in some sort of spiral of death. Here's what I talked about. Luke Takaka is with us now. This is what I talked about yesterday. You were not with us yesterday.

I was here yesterday. You were flying back from Syracuse. In the first nine games of the season, Carolina's defense was terrible. I mean, awful. Then they had the players-only meeting, and then not too long after that, they went on a nine-game winning streak. And in that nine-game winning streak, their defense was next-level great. For the most part, if you use, in terms of adjusted defense, their defense was horrible for that nine-game stretch in the beginning. It was, in six of the nine games, they were under 100 or under 90, I think, in terms of adjusted defense, which is amazing. And then in this five-game stretch, they were bad again, including Syracuse. And yes, some of it is, Syracuse banks in a 40-footer and some other tough shots, which is going to happen. But a lot of those things happen because confidence is raised, because the defense wasn't as good, and it's okay.

And maybe they were a little tired, although I don't know. They only play twice a week in college, although there are stretches where you'll play three times in six or seven days, and Carolina's had to deal with that. But I also am not looking big picture at this at all, because I think they will be fine, as we have three and a half weeks left in the season. They'll play this Saturday, they don't play again until next Saturday, so maybe they'll be rejuvenated, and maybe they'll just wait until they play Duke again. Yeah, and they only have two road games left. Now those road games are Virginia and Duke, so it's not exactly like you're in the shallow end of the pool. But it is a relatively favorable schedule, especially in terms of travel the rest of the way, because obviously going to Duke isn't like getting on a plane, although sometimes those bus trips can be very tricky.

But especially between those two destinations. I think that still sets up very well for North Carolina. I still fully expect UNC to be the number one seed in Washington. I think, you know, that Duke is right there, and I think Wake Forest is the team that nobody wants to play.

And then, you know, the team that would scare me the most, honestly, if I were a top four seed, I don't want to see Pittsburgh in the bracket. That team has, that team has got, it's got fans, man. They play hard, they're not, they lose some games because they don't shoot well, and they've got freshmen in the backcourt.

And when they get going, and if you want to make it a battle of toughness, if you want to make it a battle of shoving people in the chest, they are more than happy to do it. And then if their freshmen get hot, and if Blake Hinson is feeling it, they can beat anybody. So there's some interesting sort of surges going on late in the year here in the ACC. There are, you know, Wake Forest and Pitt, to me, are the two teams that are going to sort of be under-seeded in Washington, and the teams like North Carolina and Duke are really going to have to watch out for them. And yes, and Wake Forest and Pitt will meet in Winston-Salem next week, and that game is on Tuesday next week.

I am looking forward to that. I don't think it's an elimination game by any stretch of the imagination, but both of those teams, I think, are fighting to get into the NCAA tournament based on what they do in the regular season. And they both have a chance, which might give the ACC as many as six teams, unless Joe Leonardi has something to say about it. Let me, let me move on to another topic with you.

The ACC announced yesterday, Luke Tkachuk of The News and Observer is joining us here, that 15, only 15 of ACC, of the ACC's 18 teams will make it to the ACC tournament in basketball. What was your initial reaction to that announcement? Without the ones like you, who work tirelessly to keep things running, everything would suddenly stop. Hospitals, factories, schools, and power plants, they all depend on you. No matter the weather, emergency, or time of day, you're the ones who get it done. At Grainger, we're here for you, with professional-grade industrial supplies. Count on real-time product availability and fast delivery. Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by.

Grainger, for the ones who get it done. My reaction was, and I mentioned this earlier in the season, in our ACC Now newsletter, which I highly recommend everyone should subscribe to, but I think there was a solution to this. I think it's important for recruiting for the overall strength of the league, the help top to bottom, that all 18 teams have a chance to win. I think coaches need to be able to tell their players that. I don't think anyone wants an 18-team, six-day tournament starting on Monday and ending on Saturday.

But I do think there are, there were ways to do this. My proposal was, have two 14 pods that play Monday and Tuesday at off-site. You know, at, you know, in Charlotte, you could do it at the University of Charlotte, UNC Charlotte or at Bojangles. In Washington, you could do it where the Mystics play or at American or George Mason.

It doesn't really matter. Not many people are going to go to those games, but you have two 14 pods that play down over two days. So you have eight of your teams are in the play downs or whatever you want to call them, the qualifying tournament. And 10 of your teams advance to the tournament proper, plus the two teams that emerge from the pods.

What do you have? You have a 12-team tournament running from Wednesday to Saturday. And that's kind of a format that people seem to feel pretty good about. You know, you didn't have to go on Tuesday. It didn't feel too long, but it gives everybody a chance.

And obviously the team that emerged from the pods, you're most likely your 13 and 14 teams are not going to have much of a chance, but they have a chance. And everybody else doesn't have to show up on Tuesday. And I just felt like that was kind of a win-win. But obviously the people who run this league and the presidents in particular make decisions based on one thing. And I'm assuming the equation was ESPN wouldn't give them any money for any more games.

So that was it. If we're not bringing everybody, I would have just cut right to 12. I would have just taken the top 12. Let's cut to eight.

I thought about that, too. But at some point, the ACC will figure out the math and we'll have 11 or 12 teams fighting for NCAA tournament spots. And you don't want those teams being left home. Luke Tkach, before I let you go, I want you to put your Don Waddell, president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, mock turtleneck on. So get ready. So we are what, like three and a half weeks until the trade deadline, three weeks until the trade deadline.

What are you going out and trying to secure between now and March 8? You know, I think I'm going to try and obviously this is not what Don and Tom Duncan are probably going to do. I would make a run at a goalie.

I don't know what form that would take. I just feel like given all the uncertainty and some of the erratic nature of the goal planning that the hurricanes have gotten, I would give up assets to bring in someone, whether that's a veteran who hasn't played much better than the guys, the hurricanes have, or you do take on some salary for next year, whatever it is, or it's a guy who's, you know, hasn't played well this year, but has some potential. I think you need cover. There doesn't mean the guy's necessarily going to play or have to play, but I don't think you want to go into a potential Stanley cup campaign without other options in that, especially until you see Freddie on the ice in point. That said, I don't think they will. And I think there is some merit in saying, hey, they need to add at least one defenseman. I think a center man wouldn't hurt just from depth perspective.

So you're not counting upon tomorrow than in a conference final series. But, you know, if you if things go wrong, but, you know, I think they'll add a player or two and they should. But I think it's a shame that they have all this cap space and these questions in bold, and they don't seem to want to address that.

And I get it right. Like from their perspective, the prices are too high and they don't want to give up those assets or the contract situations are problematic, especially with what's going to happen over the next couple of years. And some of these guys get into new contracts. I get all that. But I also think at a certain point with this group, you have to say we can't keep saying next year. At some point, we got to throw some of these chips in the middle of the table. Yeah.

Again, what they will do and what I would do. This is why I said yesterday we have about 45 seconds left. This is no disrespect meant towards Jack Drury.

If Jack Drury is centering your second best scoring line, I don't see you advancing past the conference finals. That's the way I look at it. Yeah, I mean, I yeah, I mean, I think that's that's a fair point. But I also think that it's not that sort of as reductive and how this team is built that I totally agree.

They need some sort of center depth or adjustment there to some degree to bolt up down the middle, because it is a war and it is a marathon and guys are going to get hurt eventually. You know, we saw it last year. It's kind of a terrifying and they wouldn't kill them if they'd had someone better than yes. He pulled the RV to put in there. Yeah, no, no, Max, no Andre and no terrifying. And until and he came back too soon, he wasn't really ready to play against against Florida.

Luke, the cock of the News and Observer. Eventually, they'll play another hockey game at PNC Arena. Maybe I'll see you there for Connor Bernard night, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. That'll be that'll be Monday. Thank you, sir. All right. For the ones who work hard to ensure their crew can always go the extra mile and the ones who get in early. So everyone can go home on time. There's Granger offering professional grade supplies backed by product experts so you can quickly and easily find what you need.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 17:45:55 / 2024-02-15 17:52:16 / 6

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