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Fantasy Draft

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
January 20, 2023 6:15 pm

Fantasy Draft

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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January 20, 2023 6:15 pm

On a Friday Drive, Josh explains why Wake Forest-UVA is the most exciting ACC game of the weekend, breaks down why it's taking so long to get the next Carolina Panthers head coach hired, talks about seafood and gym photos, with WD, in Weekly Positivity, reveals his team he could see pulling off an upset, in this weekend's NFL Divisional Round, Travis "TBone" Hancock, morning host for WFNZ in Charlotte, joins the show to discuss whether or not he has concerns about Duke, and ACC Network broadcaster & voice of the Atlanta Falcons, Wes Durham, joins the show to discuss how the UNC-NC State rivalry measures up to the Duke-UNC rivalry and to grade how impressive he thinks Wake Forest has been, this year.

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He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley. When some idiot in the press asked him, if you know what you know now, would you schedule this game?

He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey and he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taking the wind out of my city. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham.

We made it! To a Friday Drive, you are listening to WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad. We're all within an 80 mile radius here in the state of North Carolina. We've got not one, not two, but three massive games in the ACC tomorrow. Right here on WSJS at high noon, it'll be Duke Miami, two teams that are almost locks to make the NCAA tournament. At the Smith Center, it's NC State and North Carolina, the winner of that rivalry game. Almost certainly will be ranked in the top 25 on Monday, but even though it won't be billed as such, certainly not treated as such regionally, the game of the weekend in the ACC is in Winston-Salem between number 10 Virginia and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. As the cliche goes, W.D. something has got to give. A lot of interesting figures regarding this game.

Will Dalton, he's the executive producer of this show. Have you ever attempted the double before? You're going to Duke Miami and NC State North Carolina tomorrow. Have you ever done the double?

Not completely. I've done like a half of an NC State game and then went and called a William Pease basketball game in Raleigh one time, but this is my first ACC double. We'll have all three of these games covered.

W.D. is going to be at both of those games at two o'clock tomorrow. I'll be at Wake Forest in Virginia hanging out with my wife. My wife, who is a Virginia alum.

Makes things a little bit more interesting when your wife has a vested interest in the game, but getting into the actual basketball. It pairs the number one scoring offense in the ACC versus the number one scoring defense. Talking about in conference play. Wake Forest averages 78.6 points per game. They've scored at least 85 points in their last three.

Virginia, meanwhile, shouldn't shock anybody. They've allowed fewer points than anybody in the conference. Less than 60 points per game on the year. That's 13th nationally in scoring defense. You want to know how many times they've allowed 70 this year? One time and it was to a really good Baylor team in a game that Virginia won. Actually won that game considerably and that was two months ago.

This was interesting. Les Johns, Demon Deacon Digest dug this up this morning. According to efficiency numbers, two of the three best five-man lineups in college basketball are going to be meeting in this game. According to the efficiency numbers that grade how teams are on the floor with a given five-man lineup. Wake's starting five is second to the nation's to Purdue's starting five. Purdue, one of the best teams in the country, of course. Virginia's lineup of Clark, Beekman, Franklin, Gardner, and Cedric is the third best lineup in terms of efficiency in all of college basketball.

Those two are going to go head to head. Here was Steve Forbes the other night when I asked him about this matchup going into facing the Cavaliers. Remember last year, by the way, before we get to that sound, Wake Forest actually went into Charlottesville and beat the Wahoos. It wasn't a quad one win. Steve is still a little bit salty about that as he rightfully should be. He didn't get a quad one win against North Carolina either even though he won that game by 22 points and North Carolina was the national runner-up.

So can he make it two in a row? Well, Forbes has a lot of respect for Virginia. You know, I know Tony's team. I mean, they're going to be tough. You know, they're going to defend. They're going to run the club. They're going to be very patient on offense. They're going to get their shots.

I've watched them a little bit. They got a lot of guys back. I mean, and then they added Vander Plas who I think is a fabulous player. You know, McNeely's a freshman that can shoot it from about half court. You know, Dunn's an athletic new guy, but then, you know, they got all those bigs they run at you. Kiwi Clark is a 20th year senior.

I mean, like some of these guys, I mean, he's a great player, you know, so it'll be a really hard game. Kiwi Clark, outstanding pronunciation there. I'll let Steve stick to the basketball.

We'll stick to the pronunciations. It's a great lineup. It's a great lineup. He is Virginia's all-time winningest player. Granted, he's in his fifth year given that extra COVID season. He earned that distinction the other night with the win against Virginia Tech, but Beekman might be the defensive player of the year. Franklin's a three-point threat. Hayden Gardner used to be an East Carolina pirate.

Shout out to the 252. Cedric's a North Carolina guy. It's just an intriguing game and there are a ton of stakes attached to it. If Wake Forest wins, they should be ranked at the top 25, frankly. You beat number 19 Clemson the other night and then you beat the number 10 team in the country? Yeah, you should be there if you're 15 and 5 and you have those wins.

In addition to that, wins against Virginia Tech and Duke under your belt and at Wisconsin. The last time Wake Forest was ranked, you want to take a guess, WD, how long ago that was? Ooh, maybe over 10 years? 13 years ago.

2010. Three coaches ago for Wake Forest. Dino Gaudio still coaching. If Virginia wins this game, they might just run away with the ACC. They're the one team, I think, that has a path to potentially being a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. If Virginia wins this game, they might as well just run away with the ACC given what the rest of their schedule looks like.

Other stats. Wake 28-2 at home the last two years. Nobody has more wins at home in college basketball than Wake the last two seasons.

Virginia has won nine of the last 10 against Wake, but the one exception was, of course, again last year's meeting. On Twitter at wsjsradio, if you want in, 336-777-1600, the phone number, we'll get to weekly positivity in just a few minutes. Our guy who's a Winston-Salem native, Travis Hancock, goes by T-bone, does morning drive in Charlotte is going to join us to talk about the Carolina Panthers coaching search.

And on that front, he's going to join us later this hour. If it seems like this search is taking a little bit longer than you expected, well, it is. And if you're wondering why that might be, there are a number of reasons for it. The Panthers are taking their time because there are only five openings this year. This is something I didn't realize until I went through the numbers. WD, there were nine openings last year. The year before that in 2021, there were seven. Five's not a big number, especially when one of those five is the Houston Texans and they've now three straight seasons been looking for a new head coach or they've had three head coaches in three seasons. Not to be four head coaches in four seasons.

So that's such an unappealing job. You don't even view Houston as a competitor to try and get your top flight coach. There isn't a race to have to get a candidate like the Panthers last time worried about the Giants interviewing Matt Rule.

So they gave him a Godfather offer that he wouldn't get on the plane. NFL rules have slowed this process. You have to interview two minority candidates, two minority external candidates.

So Steve Wilks wouldn't count in this category. It took eight days for the Panthers just to meet that requirement. There are a lot of training requirements. We see based on a Jonathan Jones report last night from CBS that the Panthers might have violated some of those training processes when it comes to Nicole Tepper, David Tepper's wife being involved.

We'll see if there are any ramifications of that. I don't think it's a coincidence that there are five openings and we've been through close to two weeks now since the season ended, the regular season, and none of those five teams have made hires yet. The process has just gotten slower with wanting to have as many coaches possible in consideration to make sure you're considering a diverse cast of candidates.

All that's a good thing, I think. And specifically with the Panthers, the tragedy with the Charlotte FC player who passed away this week, it changed things as well. Take today, the Panthers were supposed to interview Sean Payton in New York City. That's now been put on hold because David Tepper, rightfully, wants to be with some of Charlotte FC players back in Charlotte who are grieving the loss of their teammate who tragically passed away in an accident this week. Carolina also has requested to speak with 12 candidates. So if you're wondering why this is taking a little bit longer than usual, part of it is the NFL. Part of it is this given cycle of it only being five openings available and one of those is the Texans. And some of it has to do with Carolina too and unforeseen circumstances with the passing of that Charlotte FC soccer player. Our prayers obviously with his family. Coming up though, weekly positivity and the road team most likely to win in the NFL divisional round.

An answer that might surprise you. We're just getting started here on a Friday drive. We'll get back to college basketball shortly. Obviously a really big game in Chapel Hill, NC State, North Carolina. Wes Durham's going to be on the call for that game.

He'll be joining us on today's show. We have all the divisional round NFL games on WSJS this weekend. It just seems too easy, WD, to pick all the home teams to win. There's nothing sexy or fun about doing that.

Certainly not interesting. Hey, here's a take. I've got the Chiefs, the Eagles, the Niners, and the Buffalo Bills to win this weekend.

Wow, that guy sounds like a genius. Which road team do you give the best shot at winning this weekend? While you think about it, for me it's the Jacksonville Jaguars. Easy answer would be smallest spread, maybe the Dallas Cowboys. But given the fact they have less than six days to prepare and the Niners have eight, and given the offensive line situation with Cincinnati, I don't like that spot of them going into Buffalo. For me, it's the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I get it. They're the Jags. They were down 27 to nothing last week and they're facing Kansas City, the number one seed in the AFC. But going into the Chiefs background, the Chiefs had a lot of difficulty, it seems like, with the AFC South. The AFC South was actually worse than the NFC South this year. When you look at how bad the conference was from top to bottom, yet that did not stop the Chiefs from losing to the Colts. The Chiefs lost to the Colts.

They went to overtime with the Titans, overtime with the Houston Texans, beat Jacksonville 27-17 at home about a month and a half ago. There's a familiarity there. Familiarity playing the team twice, familiarity with Doug Peterson who was a longtime assistant. For Andy Reid, Peterson knows Andy well. He is 6-0 as a playoff underdog straight up Doug Peterson. And I've watched a lot of Kansas City this year.

Their secondary is not good. And Doug Peterson is known for putting the ball up, putting it in the air. And Trevor Lawrence, you know what he's capable of.

And you've got weapons. Evan Ingram was big last week. Zay Jones has been really good all year long, former East Carolina Pirate. They've got dudes to throw the ball to. So I think the Jags are going to score. It's an unlikely place to go because that is the biggest point spread of the weekend.

But that's where my head goes. I think the Jags have the best shot at pulling off an upset on the road. What team do you circle as having the best odds? Are you continuing to ride with your Super Bowl pick, the Bengals?

I'm riding with them. I do like your Jags pick because they entered my head and I could see that. But I'm I got to go with my Bengals. I'm still taking the Chiefs. Don't get me wrong, but I think the Jags have the best shot.

Yeah. At pulling off the upset. I like all the home teams to win this weekend. That's just not fun, though. I don't think they're all going to be blowouts.

No. And I think the game that a lot of people are pegging to be a blowout, that's Jags, Jeeves. I don't think it's going to be. Well, and getting back to the Bengals offensive line situation, like they went to the Super Bowl last year with one of the worst offensive lines in the league. So I think they could pull it off. They can.

Still going to go with the Buffalo Bills. Part of our role, W.D., here is a radio station. Truth Broadcasting is our parent company, is to encourage people across the triad. That's what we want to do here.

Encourage people. It's Friday. You're supposed to be in a good mood, cheer people up. So this segment we call the Dick Vitale radio segments and that it's weirdly polarizing because it's just weird. And also it's incredibly positive. It's just a chance every week for us to say some things that are good and invite you in on the action.

336-777-1600. If you want to play along, weirdly, it's one of the most popular things we do each week. It's called weekly positivity. Yeah.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. W.D. watched Caddyshack for the first time this week. That's good. Do you remember what movie you're watching next week? I am supposed to be watching.

What is it again? Good fellow. Good.

I wrote it down. One of the five best movies to come out the last 35 years. I'd venture to say.

Pulp Fiction's getting close though. I don't think it is. That's next on my poster. It might be on your poster. You need to send me a picture of your poster. I will.

So I know what to scratch off. I will. I'll tell you something good. Sarah Bradford and I are going to the Wake Forest Virginia game together tomorrow. Your wife.

My wife. That's good. She thinks she's gone to one other basketball game this year, but it's one of those deals. I'm working as a hybrid tomorrow. Going to be doing some media stuff, but then going up to where they're sitting.

It's her and some girlfriends that are going. So that's going to be a lot of fun. You're working the double tomorrow.

I'm excited about it. Outside of sports. Tell me something good. I did something the other night that I'd been planning to do that I finally did. I grilled up some salmon the other night. Yeah, I saw you posted on IG. It was so delicious.

I was really excited about it. Your IG is a weird place sometimes. Yes, it is. You're posting pictures of videos of you in the gym, which you know how I feel about that. Yes, I do. Who's that for? Just to document my day.

Who's that for? It's just to document my day. Just. Okay. Just you go to the gym. We get it. Yeah, I do. Didn't go today, though.

I need to go tonight. I don't remember the last time I had salmon. It's been a while. Maybe on my honeymoon. Probably the last time that's happened.

I don't know. I really like salmon. Me too. I was telling our operations manager, DJ, the other day, because he just got back from a trip where he had a lot of seafood.

He was in Costa Rica. And I think seafood's probably my favorite type of food. A lot of people don't like seafood when I say that. That's weird.

Yeah. And I don't hear many people say they don't like seafood. Maybe like specific types. I'm very picky about where I get my seafood. Where do you go?

Depends what we're talking about. See, I love crab cake. Very few places do crab cake that well.

Usually when you get it. Here's how you know what's a good crab cake and what's a bad crab cake. If it looks like a hamburger patty, it's not a good crab cake. It's got to be lumpy and going in all sorts of different directions. That's how you know it's a good crab cake.

Not a big crab guy because it's just a lot of work and you're not really getting filled up on the crab. It just takes a lot of time. Wow. And that's been Weekly Positivity. I should have mentioned, what's also pretty positive, what's pretty good, is that AM600's back up. Tell your friends, extremely positive.

Tell everybody you know that AM600's back up. 101.5 should be following in suit before too long, but it's been a crazy week. Appreciate all the thoughts that people have expressed. All the people who have reached out to us and what's been a really difficult week and a half. We're not completely out of the woods yet, but that's something that we were really pleased to have gotten back on last night as we were getting off the air. So that's really good news with our signals getting back to full capacity. We're still trying to get there completely, but by the time we get there, we're going to be stronger than we ever were. Not a cliche, not an exaggeration.

No, I think we might actually be reaching farther than we ever have before. And that's a really exciting thing. Something to gotta give with Virginia and Wake Forest. That's the most compelling game of the weekend to me. NC State don't like their chances in Chapel Hill. That's another game that we're watching closely. And right here on WSJS tomorrow, I've got real concerns for the Blue Devils as they welcome Miami to Cameron Indoor Stadium. It's not just Jeremy Roach who's banged up now. Jalen Blake's, according to John Shire earlier today, broke his nose at practice a couple days ago. What are we talking about?

Practice? He's going to wear a face shield like a mask during the game tomorrow. So Jeremy Roach, who might be back, called the game time decision, not going to be 100% when he returns, if he returns. And another player that Duke relies on in the backcourt, Blake's probably going to be dealing with some stuff too.

Trying to play with a broken nose, going to have the mask on tomorrow. Playmaking, that's going to be key against a Miami team that has arguably the best backcourt in all of the ACC. And here's the thing about Miami. Jim Larranaga is not afraid of playing in Cameron Indoor. Pulled this stat earlier today. He is the only active coach in college basketball that can say that he has multiple wins, make it three wins at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Only active coach that could say, not once, not twice, but three times, I've gone into Cameron and got a win. That's because since 2012, only five teams have multiple wins at Cameron. Notre Dame with two, Louisville with two, Virginia with two, Miami has three, North Carolina has five, but four of those were wins by Roy Williams.

Hubert Davis got a win last year. Jim Larranaga won in 12, 15, and last year, some really good Miami teams. That 2012 Miami team that won the ACC regular season and won the ACC tournament, one of my favorite ACC teams of the last two decades.

I don't know if any of those guys amounted to anything in the pros, but Shane Larkin, Julian Gamble, Kenny Kaji, Reggie Johnson, that was a great Miami team. And this Miami team looks really good too. All those teams that won in Cameron were special Miami teams, and this has the capability of being another one.

And a couple of guys from last year's team that won in Cameron, going back to not being afraid of the environment you're stepping into, they're going to be playing in this game. Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller, and the Blue Devils really have only played well twice over the last month and change. They lost on the road three times. They barely edged one out against Boston College.

Thank you for that. And the two wins that they have outside of the Boston College game were home games against Florida State and against Pittsburgh. I was at the pick game last week. They looked really good, but we'll see if Roach is able to go. Jalen Blake's with the mask, and you're facing a really good Miami team.

That's a concerning game for Duke. Now joining us is a Winston-Salem native who is a Duke basketball fan, also a part of the morning tandem that has taken over the city of Charlotte the last couple of decades. You know him as T-Bone. It is Travis Hancock joining us from WFNZ. Bone, it's good to have you back on in your old stomping grounds.

How are you? Always great to be on with you, Josh, my friend. Can I give a shout out to two of my old high school friends that they may be listening? So you are the pride of West Versailles High School, so yes, give a shout out to Chris Paul first because you know he's a big fan of the show, and then who else do you got? Well, I was going to say Chris Paul, but you stole my thunder, but I always mention Chris Paul, but I forget his brother Cliff Paul. Cliff Paul, also a West Versailles graduate, and I don't think we give Cliff enough credit for also being a legend in his own right. So Chris Paul, yes. Let's not forget Cliff Paul, too, for what he's done for the insurance industry.

Okay, yeah. Tell me about what Cliff was like when he was in school. Well, he was very much like Chris. That's what I remember. You know, some people, they're kind of like one and the same.

It was kind of odd, odd back then. But yeah, Duke tomorrow, Miami, that's kind of to me, tomorrow Duke at home against Miami, that's kind of a barometer game for who Duke might be. If they go beat Miami and they beat Pittsburgh in Miami, two out of three, with a pretty good showing against Clemson in between there, you can make the case that all right, everything might be okay with Duke. But if Miami puts it on them and Miami's done that before to Duke and they lose two out of three and they fall at home to Miami in a harsh way, you could say that that Duke might not be anything that we thought they were going to be. So tomorrow is a highly important game, in my opinion, for kind of who Duke might be the rest of the way. There is one thing that John Shire has to factor into his decision tomorrow when it comes to Jeremy Roach. Is he well enough to want to play him tomorrow and also play against Virginia Tech on Monday?

They have two games in three days. When you were living in Winston-Salem, or in Clemons I guess I should say, if Wake, I mean Wake-Warris was was really good obviously. Chris Paul was obviously at Wake-Forrest after you guys graduated and if Wake wins Saturday bone, if they beat number 10 Virginia after beating number 19 Clemson, they could be ranked for the first time in 13 years. You have to go back to 2010, three coaches ago. What did your situation look like in 2010? Well, I was in radio my fifth year in radio.

So I was already in the industry. I believe that was James Johnson, right? That was Jeff Teague. That was that run.

So it's been that long. Yeah, I moved to Winston in Tim Duncan's senior year. So I was pretty blessed to have seen the very end of Tim Duncan and Ricky Feral was there. And then, you know, they went through a Robert O'Kelley stage and then it was the Chris Paul year.

Yeah, Rafael Vitaretta. Yeah, I was there for all of that. So yeah, it was C-Forbs has done just a miraculous job. You know, I'm preaching to the choir, but Wake's a tough job when you've got Duke and Carolina not far away. It's hard to sustain it in Winston, but the fact that that the Deacs lost the ACC Player of the Year and Alanis Williams, they lose Jake Larravia to the first round of the draft and he gets a roster back a year later.

That's doing almost better. If not, if not better than the team the year before Steve Forbes is not only one of the best coaches in the ACC. He's one of the best coaches in the country and he's always going to make do with what he had and make the most out of his roster. I can't say enough for my respect level for the coach that is Steve Forbes. He's the perfect guy for Wake Forest at the perfect time. That's a great hire for the Deacs.

T-Bone joining us here from WF&D in Charlotte. What result when it comes to the Carolina Panthers coaching hire would have the highest approval rating? What hire would have the highest approval rating among Panther fans? I think it would be Steve Wilks based off what the fans saw at the end of the year cleaning up the storm that was Matt Ruhl and did a remarkable job. It's not just about plays and design.

It's about leadership and he has that. I think Sean Payton would be an unbelievable hire under the right circumstances and depending what the compensation would be from the world. So I think Sean Payton came here. I think eventually fans would just... How much is too much when you hear compensation? How much is too much? Two first rounders is probably too much. If they had the quarterback in place already, all right.

Well, go ahead and spend and do what you got to do. But you got to find the quarterback as well to go with Sean Payton. Is number nine too much? Would you have an issue if number nine was the compensation? Just number nine?

Yeah. I would say if you could get Sean Payton and Derek Carr here as a combo, I think I would sacrifice number nine. But I don't want to give up too many first rounders down the line. I think that that's feasible because Sean Payton puts your offense on another level. And I say that Steve Wilkes would be the more popular hire. I'd say that right now because there's still a lot of fans that just hate Sean Payton. It doesn't matter his success.

It doesn't matter what he can do. There's a lot of fans that can't let go of the past. And to me, they say they'll never root for the Panthers again.

They're lying. They would, but it would take a little bit of time for Payton to be here. I think for some fans to really embrace it. Good to hear your voice, Bone. Keep up the great work in Charlotte. You're always welcome on here in your old stomping grounds, my friend.

All right. Shout out to your listener, David Sorensen too, bud. That's a great man right there. David Sorensen. David, shout out to you. And there he goes.

T-Bone on Twitter at T-Bone, W-F-N-Z. Those who know me well know how much I love baseball. That's why I've got Orioles gear on right now that you can see on our streams, YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter. And as we get into state Carolina tomorrow, and Wes Durham is going to be calling that game, joining the show now, how about a baseball analogy? I would say, Wes, that state Carolina is Yankees Mets, not Yankees Red Sox in the sense of it's not a national rivalry, so to speak. The two programs, they're not as, both programs aren't as great, or NC State's not as great in terms of the excellence of being a national program now as they were, say, 50 years ago. But where the game is played, it's probably fiercer than Duke and Carolina, considering when you go to the water cooler, when you go, you know, where people are in the state, there are just more state and Carolina grads mingling around, like I'd imagine when you go to a Yankee game.

And if you're in your office in New York, you're probably seeing more Met hats around you than you're seeing Red Sox hats. So it's just a different kind of rivalry, I've always viewed it. How, as somebody who knows this state about as well as anyone, how have you differentiated what state and Carolina means historically versus, say, what Carolina and Duke have become? Well, I think you have to look at state Carolina and I understand the parallel and I like it. I think the thing I always tell people is state Carolina is an everyday thing. State Carolina is one of those things that gets talked about, like in all sports.

I mean, you know that from the chair you sit in, right? I mean, you got football, you got both basketballs for sure. There have been baseball moments. I mean, there have been more than a handful of baseball moments. There have been moments, I think, and you'd have to find somebody to talk about the club hockey, but I'm pretty sure the club hockey's also had some moments.

Yes. Yeah, I think it is the more common ground, populous rivalry. Duke and Carolina is one that is geared, and I'm going to emphasize this, Duke and Carolina is geared nationally by basketball, and it's geared nationally by men's basketball. But there are moments in the Duke Carolina series that spill over to football, most notably some spill into baseball, some spill into women's basketball.

There was a Sylvia Hacheal-Gale Guesting Corps series of games that were fairly intense, as I recall, but the men's basketball series between Duke and Carolina sets a bar nationally that is different than the state Carolina rivalry that can go, you know, most of the calendar year if you want it to in any sport. And I think there is some bearing to that, and I think tomorrow is a scenario that's going to play out in men's basketball where both actually need the game. The quad one status of the game affects both teams, certainly in terms of their postseason. They have identical conference records. You know, there's some records at stake in terms of Armando Bacott and Carolina, but there's also, you know, Kevin Keats is trying to win in the Smith Center for a second time.

I mean, think about that. So there are a couple of different lines of thinking here that I think are pretty fascinating, and I think it makes for an entertaining game tomorrow on what is a fairly important Saturday of ACC basketball. It's crazy to think that four of the last five meetings between state and Carolina, state and Carolina, unranked going into the game. But it seems like tonight or tomorrow afternoon, excuse me, that the winner of this game probably going to end up in the AP poll when Monday rolls around.

West Durham, Dan Bond are going to be on the call. ACC Network tomorrow at five o'clock getting to Wake Forest. You mentioned how big tomorrow is the ACC slate. It's just big within the 80 mile radius that we look at around here with Duke facing Miami and we already talked about state Carolina. I'd argue the most compelling game tomorrow from a basketball standpoint solely is number 10, Virginia, which is the number one scoring defense in the ACC, facing Wake Forest with the number one scoring offense in conference play that's dropped 85 in the last three at least. How good are you willing to say the Deacs are at this present moment? Well, I think they're getting play from the guys who you thought would help them and then they're getting play. Carr has certainly moved his game to another level from when I saw him in December.

And ironically, as we stand now on my schedule, I will not see Wake Forest to get live until potentially, I guess, the tournament. But I think that what they've done is that Steve, to his credit, has once again found that chemistry point with a basketball team where they can play 94 feet and play it at that length better than anybody else in the league right now, Josh. And I think that's a huge piece to this. I also think the fact they did it last year counts this year, maybe even more so, because there's the belief that, hey, you know what guys, we did what we did last year and we didn't achieve the goal. So we've got to make sure we don't let the goal slip away this year. Now, they've still got some work to do. You know that and I know that and they know that, more importantly.

But I'll add to the piece that I think here is really interesting for a lot of folks. I think you're going to see a basketball team that plays with an edge and tomorrow you get the great gear shift to transmission games, right? I mean, you get the automatic sports car against the manually shifted Cadillac Deville, if you will, right? Wake wants to go one speed and Virginia wants to go the other and I think the old styles make fights deal that probably is more applicable than anything else.

Yeah, Virginia, 10th in the country. If Wake Forest wins, it's wins against number 19 Clemson and 10th ranked Virginia, some would probably make the argument that could be in the top 25, which hasn't happened in 13 years. You have to go back to 2010 the last time that that's happened. But I wonder if your concerns, you're talking about like they still have a lot of work to do and that's true. If your concerns are similar to what they were last year where of course they won 13 games and didn't get into the tournament because my feel Wes is they only had five quad one opportunities all year last year and they've already played five and the next four that they play as of now are quad one games. It just seems like at six and two right now in the conference, if they go, let's say they split the final 12 and win six, 12 wins in this ACC, given the quad one opportunities that exist, it feels like you can throw the Joe and already Joey bracket stuff at me all you want right now. It feels like the metrics will take care of themselves this year.

Do you agree? I don't know that I can yet, Josh, because I don't know the chemistry around Wake Forest yet. And then when I say the chemistry, I don't have a grip on the teams that are around Wake Forest in the net, okay? And you look, Joe Lenardi has taken an activity that a lot of us do in March and parlayed it into an industry. So look, I'm not going to hate the man for his hype, right?

Sure. But I would say this, Joe, the way the chart flows differently every day, I would, I would offer you this, I think there's a way that Wake Forest gets in. And you're right about the league, because I think the league's better this year than it was last year. The problem is, is that there's not this, you know, mammoth, you know, star power in the top 10. Virginia is 10. Miami has had moments Clemson was in there, obviously this week, Carolina and Duke have all been in. But you don't have the star power in the ACC right now for everybody to embrace it like you do in the big 12. And when I say the big 12 is really good, their entire league was in the top 60, right? Of the net. I mean, it's a legitimate league and it's worth it.

It should get its flowers. But I will also say too, I think they're parts of the big 10. They're hot garbage. I know they're parts of the SEC that are hot garbage when it comes to basketball. And I think the PAC 12 is an intriguing league, but I don't think it's any better, any worse than the ACC. So while I'll push the big 12 out there, everybody else is kind of in the same path.

And I think that's probably going to be the more compelling story nationally going through the month of February than maybe somebody else. If it's a big 12 discussion, not anybody else can really play in it. A school can, but another league can't go that deep and be that successful yet.

It's imperative upon those leagues though. And I'll use the ACC analogy here for you on this. The front 10 teams in the ACC don't need to lose to the bottom five. Because if your team is in, let's say that six through 10 range, you do not need to lose to any of the 11 through 15 in the ACC. Because there's nothing good that's going to come out of that for the league, for the school, for anybody. So while we're all, boy, we feel really bad for Kenny Payne. We feel really bad for Josh Pastner.

We feel really bad for whatever. Notre Dame, for instance. You don't need to take a loss to any of those schools right now. Because that would be, I'm not going to say lethal to your postseason, but you at least have to know that it's going to impact the way the net goes. And we don't have enough history of the net.

Here's the back part of this, Josh. We don't have enough history of the net to really know how much damage would be done, for instance, if Louisville were to have beaten Pitt the other night in the game Dan and I had. And Louisville may get somebody. How impactful will it be?

I think it'd be pretty impactful based on what I've seen so far. West Durham will have the call tomorrow for NC State North Carolina. Wes, it's crazy to think we're less than a couple months away from the ACC tournament being in Greensboro. Man, it is super March in the Greensboro Coliseum. When you consider, you've got the women's tournament, the men's tournament, the NCAA tournament, and you got Bruce Springsteen the week after that. I think the Eagles with Vince Gill going to be the week after that.

I think Blake Shelton's the last week of February. They're really juicing things up at the Coliseum. And obviously the men's basketball tournament is the crown jewel of it all when you consider. This is going to be the first time in eight years that we've had a real ACC tournament in the Coliseum when you consider 2020 was the disaster. 2021, it was, I forget what capacity it was.

You're talking about maybe 20%. And then now, after a year in Brooklyn, they're coming back and that's going to be a really neat deal. I just got to know how nostalgic are you for block seeding now that that's going to be thrown by the wayside and they're going to a different approach. Yeah, I saw that note this week.

I guess I saw it on social media before I talked with somebody about the way it works. And yeah, I mean, look, I think that was part of the flavor of the tournament. But I also am a realist, Josh, and I think you know that in the years we've talked about stuff like this. I think you have to do some things sometimes to understand more of a business acumen than just, hey, by the way, we've done it this way since 1953, so we're going to keep doing it this way. And I think you, I think if you're the ACC and you want to try something new and the schools support the idea, then I think you do it. It doesn't mean the block seeding is gone forever, but as you move this event around, and while we all have terrific memories of Greensboro and certainly recognize the support that the city and the Triad has given the event, the event is going to continue to move around. So where and how, I don't know, but obviously this year at Greensboro, next year at DC, we have to look at that and be real about the event, right? And so to try the seeding configuration in a place where you have a degree of familiarity with it, I think it's really important. And I think it's important for people to also say, hey, look, let's go in here and see what it's like in Greensboro because you'll have a better, you know, if you say this the right way business-wise, you'll have a better measurement of what it looks like in a building where you know what the other process looks like as opposed to doing it in Washington or doing it in Brooklyn. So I hope people embrace it. Look, it's still one of the unique events in the history of college sports because you can tailgate for a basketball tournament, right?

You can't do that in just about any other market that I can recall. And I think that's one of the things that, you know, we embrace more than anything else is just how special is Greensboro as a location for a, you know, set event that's had as much impact in this in this conference as the men's basketball championship pass. We'll save you a plate at Stamey's. Wes, have a great- No, no, no, no, no, man.

That doesn't happen for me. Come on now. You know me. Everybody, I want to, here's the, here's the people I want you to talk to the week of the tournament.

They're not sponsors of the station, so you can say whatever you please. I want you to talk to the people that play fantasy basketball at the ACC tournament. I ran, have I told you the story about the guys I ran into in the 90s? No, we're doing the fantasy basketball draft. This is back when we had the eight, nine game, right?

And then you played the tournament behind that. Yeah. There were guys, Randy Waters and I got out of the parking lot. There was a fantasy basketball draft being conducted by like eight guys in the parking lot.

Okay. Now the fantasy basketball and it, look, I bet you got people listening to your show or watch it now. How are you guys distributed? Where I can tell you that there are people who had little fantasy basketball leagues going at the week of the tournament and they go to the tournament and their school might get knocked out day one, whatever the case may be, but they would have fantasy basketball the rest of the week. And by the time you got to Sunday afternoon, your goal was you had to get good players in the early rounds because somebody might go off, right? But you also had to pick players that you thought might be there till Sunday because the end game was, as I understood it in the parking lot that day, was to score as many points as you could, collectively. Wes, I'm going just because of the idea and I have heard stories about fantasy basketball drafts that happened at the Coliseum.

We're going to do a fantasy basketball draft. You want in? No, it's illegal. I can't do that. Oh, I mean, not for money or anything like that. Just for fun. Just for fun, Wes. Just for fun. No, if I'm working the tournament, I'm not going to do it. Okay.

I'm not going to do it, but you'll have fun with, oh, come on, with the Rolodex you've got, Graham, you'll be able to fill that thing up in a heartbeat. Oh yeah. Well, that's a good idea.

We'll see if we can make that happen. All right, Wes. Have a great call tomorrow. Say hi. Be nice to WD. He'll come out and say hi to you tomorrow and I'll see you sometime soon.

Oh, B Dot. Yeah. He's going to be there tomorrow.

Will Dalton, our producer, is going to be there too. Just be nice to people as you are. Yeah, no problem. Take care, man. Be well.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 11:06:17 / 2023-01-21 11:23:58 / 18

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