This is The Drive with Josh Graham Podcast. Tune into The Drive weekday afternoons 3 to 7 on Sports Hub Triad. There is nothing better than Big Four ACC basketball in March. It's Wake Forest North Carolina tonight in the Smith Center and we'll get to that game in a few minutes.
Also, Hall of Famer Mac Brown will be here in 30 minutes. But let me start with Duke NC State. Last night felt like the Pack's best shot at securing an NCAA tournament bid.
It was their last shot at feeling comfortable on Selection Sunday and thus was a massive missed opportunity. NC State, for the entire first half practically, was dictating the game. I didn't think Duke would get off to a sluggish start at home. NC State was given a gift by the Blue Devils because at times the Blue Devils looked sorry for themselves.
They looked out of character. NC State, much like the first meeting, a 22 point win at PNC Arena, was getting to the bucket. Markelle Johnson, Devin Daniels, C.J. Bryce, they combined for 24 points in the first half alone. Meanwhile, Duke, they liked to play in transition.
They liked to hang their cap on defense. Yet, they're giving up 36 points in the first 18 minutes. They're only getting to the free throw line four times.
They're not getting any transition fast break points. It was very surprising that Duke was having issues at home doing the things that they've done so well all throughout the year. Here were the two major differences in the game. There were two things that decided NC State, Duke. Number one, the final minute in change of the first half. I keep noting 18 minutes because everything changed once NC State went up 36 to 30. Duke, they get a miss. They missed the shot on one end of the floor. Offensive rebound, though.
They had a ton of them in this game, 16 or 18 on the entire ball game. And that leads to a putback, 36-32. NC State on the other side misses a shot. Then you get a reach in over the back foul that sends Vernon Carey to the free throw line. He's 8 for 8 from the line of the game. He hits two foul shots. It's 36-34. NC State has about 45-40 seconds left in the game. So you're probably thinking two for one. Get a bucket so that way, no matter what Duke does on its final possession of the half, you get another chance to score.
Well, NC State had something like that in mind but got a little bit too aggressive. Jordan Goldwire pulls away the basketball. It's a steal. And on the other end, it's a basket. The game is tied at 36-36. NC State can get the final shot essentially of the second half. They get a shot with 10 seconds left.
It's a miss. Duke has enough time to go all the way up the floor. Wendell Moore gets fouled, hits two free throws, and all of the sudden, NC State, which was dictating this game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, was leading it by 6 points, scoring on the 11th best scoring defense in college basketball, 36 points! And you're trailing at halftime. That was the major difference of the game. The first major difference. Like I mentioned, there's still another half of basketball to play.
The second difference? Robert, this is going to sound ridiculous. Get ready for it. Coach K taking off his jacket. You can tweet the show at sportsubtriad.
336-777-1600 is the phone number. This is probably the best stat I'm going to give you all day today. Are you ready for this, Robert? After Coach K removed his jacket on the Duke bench, upset with something he saw with his team, Duke scored on 17 consecutive possessions after that.
K takes off the jacket. 17 straight points. It almost seems like Scary Duke is only summoned at home. Like, when I say Scary Duke, I mean you're tossing lobs for Cassius Stanley and he's looking like Zion Williamson or Vince Carter out there.
That lob that he had in the Tomahawk Slam was out of this world. Duke playing in transition. Everybody's excited.
The building's very loud. It takes something strange to summon that. Zion Williamson, when nobody expects him to be in the building, he shows up, Duke goes on a 22-6 run or whatever it was against Notre Dame a few weeks ago. Very late, we learn that somebody who was expected to play for Miami or Wake Forest does it.
Duke recognizes that, sees a weakness, and like sharks sensing blood in the water, they just feast on it. Last night, it was Coach K removing his jacket. He's 72-73 years old. He doesn't have many moves. He's told us this before, like he can't do a cartwheel or anything. So what he could do is walk up to the scorers table, tell them to turn the music very loudly, or he could remove his jacket and be very upset at his guys and try to challenge him.
That's what he did last night, and it seemed to have effective results. Now for NC State's NCAA tournament case. I don't trust the pack to win two in a row, let alone three. I think in order to be comfortable on Selection Sunday, maybe not comfortable, but feel very good about your case, you got to win three. You got to beat Wake Forest, you got to win your first ACC tournament game, and you probably have to win your next game, which would likely require you to be either Duke, Louisville, Florida State, or Virginia.
That would have you securely into the tournament in my mind. If you win just two, I think Projections will have you there. Maybe you get in, but it feels very similar to the place State was a year ago, and we know NC State didn't make it and they weren't even on the first four left out. Also, NC State hasn't won three straight ACC games this year.
They've only won back to back ACC games one time. Doesn't it just feel like Wake Forest Friday night at PNC Arena has disaster written all over it? How worried are you, NC State fan, about Friday night? I can already hear how NC State fan is thinking at the moment.
I know what you're feeling after watching your team blow that lead in the first half. But Friday night, how worried are you about Wake Forest? And Wake Forest fans who want to see change in their program at head coach, how worried are you that the Demon Deacons might continue going on a run and maybe save Danny Manning's job? It's an interesting place to be in the Big Four right now.
3367771600 and on Twitter at SportsUpDryant. Speaking of the Demon Deacons, this might be the most compelling Wake Forest North Carolina matchup in over a decade. Here's the historical significance of tonight's game 7 o'clock tip at the Smith Center. Wake has never swept Roy Williams in a season series. The last time Wake swept the Tar Heels was 2003.
That was Matt Doherty's final year at the helm. Also, Wake Forest hasn't beaten North Carolina in the Smith Center since 2010. That's the last time Roy Williams, of course, didn't make the NCAA tournament. Wake Forest, like NC State, hasn't won three ACC games in a row this year. In fact, they didn't win three ACC games in a row last year or the year before that. You have to go back to John Collins' team in 2017, the last time Wake Forest has won three consecutive ACC games.
They could do that tonight with a win. Both teams, this is why the game is compelling to me, both teams are on level ground when you look at the ACC standings. They're both at the bottom of those standings. But both teams are playing their best basketball of the season, respectively. The Deacs, they beat Duke. First time Danny Manning's beaten the Blue Devils.
Did so in double overtime at the Joel. Then they took care of business against Notre Dame, another team right now that's ranked in the top half of the ACC standings. And that game was pretty convincing.
I was there last Saturday. North Carolina, meanwhile, we had Jones Angel on the show yesterday. He believes Saturday at Syracuse was the best game Cole Anthony's played this year. I'd make the argument it was the best game North Carolina's played all year long. It's not the best opponent they've beaten. They beat Oregon in November and the Bahamas, but going on the road to Syracuse in a game that was significant to them.
Last home game before they renovate the Carrier Dome, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Jimmy Fallon are sitting court side. It was a game that mattered to the orange. And North Carolina built off of the game they closed against NC State. Cole Anthony was tremendous, but also Garrison Brooks over the last five games has essentially been averaging a double-double with 20 plus points in each of those games.
He's been awesome. Kristen Keeling averaging 13 points over the last day. So this is the Tar Heel team. What we've seen over the last two games, this is the Tar Heel team that we thought we were going to see in late October when we were picking our ACC preseason rankings.
The preseason poll, North Carolina was picked second. But a win tonight, Wake Forest or North Carolina, it would be significant to both sides. For North Carolina, three straight wins. Belief heading into the Duke game in Cameron Saturday. Belief heading into the ACC tournament that you can string together a number of ACC wins and go on a run. Wake Forest. The Danny Manning status is one of the more interesting stories I think we're going to be following over the next week and a half.
Heading into Greensboro. Is he going to be retained? This is a very significant game for him. If you beat Duke and sweep North Carolina in the same year, and you have optimism in the way of a great roster coming back, it seems like. Maybe your most talented roster, including that 2017 team coming back in 2020-2021. I really feel like it is very close right now.
Very close to 50-50. Wake Forest keeping Danny Manning. Wake Forest moving on from Danny after six years of him being the Deac's head coach.
As I mentioned, Hall of Famer Mac Brown going to join us in less than 20 minutes. But coming up, the perfect commencement speaker happens to be a former NFL star. And is apparently controversial, according to the Ivy League students.
I'll explain next on the drive. This is maddening. Princeton students are upset that Marshawn Lynch has been named the school's class speaker this semester. They're citing how rigid he was with the media.
He's getting fined, then arriving Super Bowl week and infamously saying he's here so he just won't get fined. Might have missed that by a second, but this is crazy to me because I don't remember anybody caring who the class speaker was going to be. Your commencement speaker at any school ever. But apparently at Princeton, it's a big deal.
So this is a quote that was given in the school newspaper at Princeton where an op-ed was written displaying some of the angst students have about beast mode coming to school. As seniors, we've been looking forward to the speaker announcement for months. Many of us were disappointed when we saw that this year's speaker was to be Marshawn Lynch, mainly because we did not feel included in the process by which this speaker was nominated and finally selected. What kind of life are you leading in college to say seriously that for months you've been waiting to learn who the class speaker was going to be in college? Robert, I don't know about you, but we both went to East Carolina University in Greenville, America. I feel like Marshawn would be the perfect class speaker because he checks a lot of the boxes that, quite frankly, as far as I know, the class speaker I had did not accomplish. Number one, he is a celebrity. I think maybe Linda McMahon was the commencement speaker when I was a senior there, but it might have been after I graduated.
I don't know. You don't remember these commencement addresses. Robert, did you even go to your commencement address? Yeah, I had Linda McMahon, so I think it was the year after. Okay, so you had Linda McMahon, and do you remember anything that Linda McMahon said?
She talked about how her and Vince met and then talked a little bit about her being a woman in the workplace. I mean, this doesn't really support your argument that much that I remember. Well, that's pretty good.
I'm surprised by that. It's always a plus when they're a celebrity because I don't even remember who my commencement speaker was. Secondarily, though, his message, Marshawn, it would be memorable. Let's look at some of the pearls of wisdom Beast Mode has given us the last decade or so.
Just give me something recently that we've obtained from Marshawn Lynch. So while y'all at it right now, take care of y'all bodies. You know what I mean? Don't take care of y'all chicken. You feel me? Don't take care of y'all mantles because we ain't lasting that long. You know, I had a couple of players that I played with that, you know what I mean? They no longer here no more.
They no longer. So, I mean, you feel me? Start taking care of y'all mantles, y'all bodies, and y'all chicken. So when y'all, you know, ready to walk away, you walk away and you be able to do what you want to do.
That's great advice. And you're going to remember that forever. Marshawn Lynch in a robe told me at my commencement address, take care of y'all chicken, take care of y'all mantles. And because you're not going to be here that long. You're not going to be here no more. So, I mean, it's good stuff from Marshawn.
Can I hear more from the all wise Beast Mode? That's when it just clicked in my mind that if you just run through somebody's face, a lot of people ain't going to be able to take that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. They just not going to want that. Yeah. How did that one end? Run through someone's face, I believe. I think it was run through a mother bleepers face.
I think that's the deeper metaphor he was going for there. So, Marshawn, I'm only seeing checks in the plus column, I don't see any checks in the con column here. Marshawn, the perfect class speaker. And this is the best reason. Yeah, you could dabble on the message and just how much of a celebrity he is. If you're not a big football fan, maybe you don't know who Marshawn is. The most important thing that I guarantee you Marshawn Lynch would accomplish as a public speaker.
He's going to be short. That's not going to be a very long speech. Jay Billis, he once gave a commencement address in Charlotte, and he described to the Pew that was sitting there, everybody in attendance. The five B's.
That's when it just clicked. The five B's of public speaking. Those B's being. Be brief, brother. Be brief.
I try to follow those guidelines, every single time I'm asked to speak somewhere. Be brief, brother. Be brief. Marshawn, without a question, would be brief. B Dot just tweeted in, Robert.
Rob just let me down tremendously. I have no clue. WTF did our commencement address. Sidebar. Chicken. B Dot's next grammar lesson.
Don't go home and do your homework. That means B Dot. I know what Marshawn Lynch is talking about here. I'm well aware what Beast Mode is saying when he's stepping away from the game like he did a couple of months ago. Mac Brown going to join the show in a little less than 10 minutes. Let's get to what Tubby Smith said yesterday. Because Robert, did you catch this? Tubby Smith, he's on our show, had something interesting to say about the NCAA one time transfer proposal.
And I put it on social media right after he got done saying it. And all of the sudden I'm seeing Nicole Auer back from the athletic. I'm seeing Dan Wolken from USA Today, national media picking it up, and I'm still getting notifications. It's a firestorm based on what Tubby Smith said. If you missed it, here's what Tubby, the High Point head coach, spoke on when I asked him about this one time transfer proposal.
I remember I said something, I made a comment about it when I was in Memphis. Well, what are we teaching kids how to quit? And they were upstairs, Coach, you leave, you win. Yeah, I get fired too. You know, hey, I've been fired.
And I said, have you been fired? So I, you know, I remember saying if that's where we want to go, that's the direction you want to do. Pay student athletes, you know, let them transfer, free agency. But even the NBA has a deadline, you know, when you have to, and then they have to give up certain things. So something obviously disrupted a nerve inside Tubby Smith, but that wasn't the meat of the quote. This part here is what really stirred people. You know, we're all making a lot of money. The Power Five schools, if they want to, I think if a kid transfers from High Point to a Power Five school, then we should be compensated. The university should be, you know, and that's just my, I don't mind. That's just the way it is.
We live in America, where you can have opinions that people disagree with. But what bothers me, and I've seen a lot of this on social media, Tubby Smith being dismissed because he's older, Tubby Smith being dismissed because they disagree with what he had to say. What I respect so much about Tubby, he's smart, he's qualified, one of nine active D1 head coaches who have won a national championship. And he's always honest, maybe even too honest at times. I've talked to Darren Vaught about this, who broadcast High Point basketball. He says there's times Tubby says things and I'm like, or he's like, you don't have to say this on the record.
Tubby just doesn't care. His ideas, I thought, were interesting. For one, it should be noted, he was essentially saying that if it's pro sports, if we're going to treat college athletics like pro sports, let's act like it. Let's go all in on it. Let's say players, if players are going to be paid, then acquiring them should cost you something. Secondly, there needs to be regulations or deadlines on this. If we're going to have, and I think a lot of coaches across the country, they're fearful of this. I'm interested to ask Mac Brown about this when he joins us in five minutes North Carolina Hall of Fame coach. We don't know what it's going to look like when a one-time transfer is now the law, something you can do in college.
You could transfer without any punishment, don't have to sit out a year. What does it mean for the high points of the world? In college football, what does it mean for the app state, for the East Carolinas?
What does that mean? And I could see why coaches are worried about this. It's part of the reason why in college basketball, Coach K talks about we need a college basketball commissioner.
We need somebody that can regulate things. In the NFL, in the NBA, there are trade deadlines. There are times where you cannot sign free agents.
There are times where you can't execute trades. Like the Panthers can't trade Cam Newton until the start of the league year because it's well past the trade deadline from late in 2019. There's none of that in college.
None of that. So there just needs to be regulation so coaches know when they can feel good about the team that they have, knowing that what they have is something that's going to be there when the season starts. So I may disagree with what Tubby is saying when he says, oh, we can get fired as coaches. Okay, well, players can lose their scholarships too. But I do think we're heading to a place where we just got to be honest with ourselves. Is it really college sports or are we already in a place where it's semi-pro athletics?
And if it is, well, is what Tubby had to say really that crazy? North Carolina Hall of Famer Mac Brown is going to join us next on the drive. Here's what you have to remember when you fill out your bracket in less than two weeks. Anybody is capable of losing, but only a few are capable of winning it all. And this list can get smaller in the next two weeks. But right now I have my list at nine teams that I think are capable of winning the NCAA tournament, of winning March Madness, being the champions of college basketball. And the two teams that are left off of it before I get to the teams that are in it, Duke and Gonzaga. I don't think Duke or Gonzaga are built to win a national title. Duke, they're underdeveloped.
They have two key flaws. Pick and roll defense. We even saw it last night. Markelle Johnson, C.J. Bryce, Devin Daniels in the first half. They were on, they were getting to the basket. They combined for 24 points in the first 18 minutes of the game. And NC State is a fringe team that Joe Leonardi right now doesn't have in the field of 68. Duke, when they win the national title, they're top 30 in the nation for three-point range. That was the case of 15, 2010, 2001, 92, 93.
We're making 91, 92. Terrific three-point shooting team. Even though the Blue Devils are fourth in the nation scoring, they are 96th in three-point field goal percentage. This team still has a lot of room to grow. They're not very mature. Coach K, he said it last night and he said it throughout the year that this team is a slow growing team. It's a slowly developing team.
This was Coach K after the NC State game. What happens at times, people overreact. They overreact and now everything is wrong. Whereas when you just won by one percent, everything was right.
And it's neither one. And people say, I'm telling you that we're developing. We are developing. And by the way, if you don't continue to develop throughout the year, then you're going to it's going to be sad for you. I agree with that.
But what I'm saying is also not an overreaction. This is something that I've been stewing on all throughout the year. First time I went to a Duke basketball home game, I talked to a Duke basketball official. I said, who's the best shooter on this team? And I asked another person at Duke the same exact question and asked another person the same exact question.
I got three different answers. And that question still isn't cemented right now. You might say it's Trey Jones. Statistically, it says it's Matt Hurd. Okay, Alex O'Connell. He hit the biggest shots from three against North Carolina in Florida State. Joey Baker when he comes in.
Is he the one that you're going to lean on? Who's to say? That's a question you should be able to answer on March the third. And I can't with Duke. So I don't think they are a Final Four team. I don't think they're a national title contender. This is the team in the top five I don't have as a national championship contender. They're just not built the way championship teams are generally built.
Gonzaga. I don't trust any of their guards. They have three good, not great forwards. Killian Tilly.
You have Philip or Philippe Petrussev. He's a great player. When you look at him being a wooden award finalist. Player of the Year candidate in the Mountain West Conference.
Corey Kispert. They have good bigs. But nobody who's a dynamic guard. Gonzaga teams that have been great under Mark Few have at least one guy who you can really lean on to be a ball handler. Who can hit clutch free throws that could get you into the front court.
Hit a big shot from the perimeter. There's no Zach Norvell Jr. on this team. There's no Josh Perkins who's in the G League right now. There's no Nigel Williams-Goss who was on that team that faced North Carolina in 2017 in the national championship game. I don't see Gonzaga getting to the final four and being a national championship contender. So Duke and Gonzaga, they're out of this. Here are the nine teams that I have who are going to be national championship competition. National championship caliber teams.
One of these nine teams will be holding the trophy at season's end. Kansas. Baylor. San Diego State. Dayton. Louisville. Kentucky. Maryland. Seton Hall. Florida State. Those are the nine.
And here's what they have in common. All those teams have experience. They have depth and dynamic ball handlers. Dayton.
Obie Toppin. He's a big guy. He's going to be a lottery pick, likely a top five pick.
He's the one that gets all the attention. However, they have three excellent guards who have been awesome for Dayton. And the A-10 is a good basketball league. Jalen Crutcher. He's been hitting big shots for them when it's not Obie Toppin. And Trey Landers and I.B. Watson. All really good players on the perimeter for Dayton. Seton Hall.
Miles Powell is a senior guard. What an award finalist. San Diego State. Malachi Flynn. He just won Defensive Player of the Year in his conference.
Great score too. He's the best player on San Diego State. Louisville's on this list because I trust David Johnson is going to be capable of doing something at some point.
Like consistently. We saw it at Duke. We saw it down the stretch against Georgia Tech. When Louisville looks scary good, like the team I picked to win the ACC in the preseason, Louisville looks like the best team in the country.
And it's David Johnson who's leading the way. So I believe Louisville's a part of that mix because I still think they have another level they can take it to. Maryland and Seton Hall. They look like teams of destiny. Maryland, the last time they won it, they had all these experienced players. Cowen Jr.
He's an older player and he has wings who are older as well. Maryland hasn't been to the Final Four since they won the championship in 2002. And when they won it, they were in Atlanta. Where's the Final Four this year? Atlanta. Seton Hall, they've gotten close and this team looks like the best team they've had in a long time. So those are two teams I really like. David Glenn is going to join us in a little over five minutes.
We'll talk more about ACC basketball with him. However, it is March and you also have spring baseball going on. And Major League Baseball players, they are still upset. They are acting crazy as a result of this Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. Trevor Bauer's been outspoken recently. He was on CeCe Sabathia and Ryan Ruko's podcast and he has been one of the loudest voices of criticism from the players against the Astros. Yesterday, he was pitching and just intentionally giving signs away to the batters and even the broadcasters.
They picked it up on the broadcast. He was just flipping his glove forward, motioning it forward every single time he threw a fastball. And it got to the point where they sent a reporter down to the Reds dugout to ask one of Bauer's teammates what the heck he was doing and this is how it sounded. Down here with Derek Dietrich, you guys were talking about Bauer giving up what he was throwing to Beatty there and do you have an answer for this?
In fact, I do. Trevor and I are good friends and if you follow baseball this offseason, there's a little thing going on with signs stealing. Trevor's not too fond of it so he figured he's going to try something new this season and he's going to start telling the batters what's coming. And that way there's no ifs, ands or buts about what's going on. Just here it comes, try to hit it.
That's fantastic sound. Just trolling on the Astros. This is going to end up being good for baseball, isn't it?
It's a scandal that is about the game versus something that happens in the shadows, something that we can't see. Like we're going to watch to see what teams do to troll the Astros, to hit the Astros. The Astros, they're being plunked already by players in spring training, by pitchers.
They're not hitting them in places you would think it would look intentional. So it's going to be fascinating because another thing is this, the Astros are a really good team. So it doesn't seem like the best way to get at the Astros is giving them a bunch of free passes, allowing them to get on base.
So I'm interested to see how far this goes. Before this offseason, baseball was the sport where the athletes were most vanilla, most uninteresting in what they said to the media. Never said anything scathing. Like Mike Trout, I don't think ever uttered an interesting syllable in his life. However, even he is criticizing Rob Manfred publicly saying that he should have penalized the Astros more. And you got Trevor Bauer and you have everybody in the sport just ticked off and upset. And the Astros are worried they're going to get hurt with guys throwing baseballs at him. So this storyline, it is not going to die down.
It's not going to go away. It's going to be the biggest story in baseball all throughout the season, I suspect. David Glenn's our early afternoon host, also writes for The Athletic and ACC Sports dot com. Do you trust NC State to win two consecutive games? It seems that's something they need to do in order to make the NCAA tournament. Also, what is Danny Manning's status at Wake Forest?
We'll talk to DG about those things and more next. He may not be beautiful and we do sit around all day and talk sports. And yes, Britt McHenry, we feel great about.
Do you feel good about your job? This is The Drive with Josh Graham. It is the best month of the year to be doing what we do. And the we is plural because we're being joined by our early afternoon host, David Glenn, who visits with us each and every week. This week, we already had NC State Duke last night. Tonight, it's Wake Forest in North Carolina, what I would argue to be the most compelling matchup between these two teams in over a decade. Then it's NC State facing Wake at PNC Arena Friday night. Saturday, it's North Carolina Duke, the first time they've met since the classic game in Chapel Hill, the double overtime win for or the overtime win for the Blue Devils that had two buzzer beating shots with Windell Moore winning the game at the very end. The NCAA tournament is going to be in Greensboro, as is the ACC tournament where DG and myself will be broadcasting from next week.
It's just so much to cover. The women's tournament starts tomorrow in Greensboro as well. But DG, let's start with NC State's NCAA tournament chances. I felt last night was their best chance to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday. NC State for sure has to beat Wake Forest and has to win their first game in the ACC tournament. Do you trust the pack to win two consecutive games? I'll trust the pack to win those two against Wake Forest and then on Wednesday next week at the ACC tournament.
But I think to feel good, they got to win three straight, meaning against one of those top four seeds on Thursday of the ACC tournament. We all know that would not be easy, even though the pack does have great wins on its resume. But yeah, the next two, Wake at home and then a bottom tier team, we all know it can be about matchups.
And I think the pack would rather not be the Carolina team that swept them during the regular season. But otherwise, against a bottom tier team, yes. I believe with these veteran guards playing well more often than not, I was not alarmed by a loss at Duke that I thought would happen that way. And I think the good has outweighed the bad lately and even for the entire season.
And I think they can take care of business these next two outings. NC State has won back to back games in ACC play just once this year. They have not won three consecutive games in ACC play all this year. In a similar stat though, D.G., Wake Forest has not swept North Carolina in the season series since 2003, which means they have never done it against Roy Williams. They haven't won in Chapel Hill since 2010. And on top of that, they haven't won three consecutive ACC games since John Collins was playing for them in 2017. That's what's at stake tonight.
But more so, I think the case for Danny Manning potentially returning for a seventh season, that is starting to grow, that is starting to become more of a conversation when that seemed inconceivable even a month or two ago. Wake Forest beat Duke. Wake Forest beat Notre Dame, which is in the top half of the week. Beat North Carolina for the first time under Manning. What do you believe Danny's status is today?
I don't know, is the honest answer. If I were the athletic director or the university president at Wake Forest, I would pull a plug on this operation. I've been around a long time. And when you have five losing seasons in your first six years, as Danny has had, it becomes unbelievably difficult to turn things around for a lot of different reasons. And whereas there are the rare examples, did you know Leonard Hamilton didn't go to the big dance at all in his first six years at Florida State, they kept him, and obviously it's turned out wonderfully for the Seminoles over this last decade plus. Seminoles might even win a regular season title for the first time under Leonard Hamilton in his 18 years there.
But those are the exceptions. And I've heard you break down the details. I saw an outstanding piece of sports journalism from, it was Connor O'Neill in the Winston-Salem Journal recently, talking about the Joel being half empty for all but the biggest games, and being on its way, a half-empty arena, to its lowest average attendance numbers since the building opened, or since the Diggs started using it back in 1989. And when you hold 14,000-plus and you're averaging 7,000 in most games, that reflects a level of apathy that can lead to, it can be expensive to keep a coach, even though we all know that Wake would rather not pay that mega-million-dollar buyout to send him packing. I know the argument. I know who's eligible to return.
I know who's been signed for next year. And if they're going to keep him, that's going to be the argument. But man, the six years that I've seen would not justify another year. Again, I like him as a person. I respect his body of work.
But I don't see enough pluses to outweigh the obvious minuses. And I think Wake Forest basketball fans deserve better than what they've gotten over these last ten years. And that is the biggest difference between Wake Forest and, say, Leonard Hamilton and Florida State.
The standard for Wake Forest basketball, it's just higher than Florida State is. You had Dave Odom on your show. He said, by the way, Leonard made four NITs in his first six years while missing the NCAA tournament every year. So it's not like he had five losing seasons in six years the way Danny has. So I brought up that as a rare example of a coach keeping his job after a six-year resume that was not very good.
But yeah, there's some differences and there's some similarities. It's our early afternoon host, David Glenn, who's with us. He's on Twitter at DavidGlennShow.
Listen to his show. Of course, noon to three right here on Sports Hub Triad. I am not concerned for Duke being a top-of-the-line ACC team. And they have a lot of talent. And last night they showcased it in the second half. Scary Duke came out when Coach K took off his jacket.
They scored 17 consecutive possessions after the jacket went off, according to Brendan Marks. That's the next-level analytics you can expect from the athletic Carolinas. But I am concerned for the Blue Devils being a national championship contender because this Blue Devil team, Coach K, he spent a lot of time telling us where they're not at. They're developing.
He says that they're not as mature as he would like them to be. That's why they could have a loss in Winston-Salem and also lose to Stephen F. Austin at home and lose a game to NC State by 22 points. There have been very low moments for Duke this year. And I think statistically this is not a team that could shoot itself out of problems either. They're 96th today in 3-point shooting percentage. So when you look at the Blue Devils, not as a team that we can all acknowledge is one of the best in the ACC this year, but as a national title contender, what's your biggest concern with them?
Gosh, there's a couple. And you don't usually say that at this time of year for Coach K, right? I know this. I've covered all five of the Duke national championship teams. And I promise everybody, if you did your homework and you dug into the archives and you watched the details of all five of those teams that ended up cutting down the nets for Coach K, none of the five had three losses to unranked opponents in the month of February.
It just didn't happen. They didn't lose many games at all after January. But when they did lose, it was to really high-ranked opponents and other good teams. Maybe one loss that was a little bit eye-opening, but not three or certainly the two at NC State by 22, as you mentioned, and at Wake by double digits and double overtime. It's one thing to lose at UVA by a bucket.
Those other two were red flags. Vernon Carey has trouble against the pick and roll. And in modern college basketball, a lot of teams are going to try to exploit the Blue Devils that way. Duke even has mixed in the occasional zone to try to protect against that.
They're not a good free-throw shooting team. Vernon Carey made them last night, but he hasn't made them as consistently this year as you need to. And then the other concern is, whereas we know Trey Jones and Vernon Carey, point guard and post, are going to do their thing almost every night.
They're both All-Americans, and to me they're both first-team All-ACC players, as we all fill out those ballots. But who's going to show up beyond those two? Cash to Stanley against State, so did Jordan Goldwire off the bench. But there have been other games where nobody showed up besides Trey Jones and Vernon Carey Jr.
If those supplementary players contribute more regularly, again, it's getting late in the game for this to happen, right? Well, then Duke is a national title contender again. But if it's really Trey and Big Vern and a guessing game, that is a recipe to get you bounced in the round of 32 or the Sweet 16, because whereas there's nobody to be afraid of out there, and Duke beat Kansas, among other contenders, earlier this season, Duke doesn't look different than that top half a dozen or a dozen teams when they're not sure what they're going to get from the complementary players in that lineup. D.G., I cannot wait for Duke Carolina on Saturday.
It's always a spectacle in Cameron. And of course, the Greensboro Coliseum hosting the ACC men's basketball tournament for the first time in five years next week. It's my first ACC tournament in Greensboro, so looking forward to that. D.G., thanks for spending time with us. We'll talk soon. I'll see you in Durham and I'll see you in Greensboro, my friend.
Always good to be with you. Yep, that's David Glenn. He's on Twitter at DavidGlenshaw. And we've got breaking news into the studio involving the Charlotte Hornets and arguably the greatest demon deacon ever. Greg Popovich is not going to coach tonight due to personal reasons. This just released by the Spurs, which means Tim Duncan is going to step in and be the Spurs head coach tonight.
Tim Duncan is going to be the acting head coach of the San Antonio Spurs against the Charlotte Hornets tonight. How bleeping cool is that?
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-11 07:08:03 / 2023-02-11 07:24:48 / 17