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Tar Heels HC Hubert Davis Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2023 4:05 pm

Tar Heels HC Hubert Davis Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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January 31, 2023 4:05 pm

Head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels, Hubert Davis, joined the show to talk about the upcoming rematch against Pitt, the passing of Billy Packer, and his thoughts on the possibility that Armando Bacot getting ACC Player of the Year.

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The Drive with Josh Graham
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The Drive with Josh Graham
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Now we're being joined by the head coach of the Tar Heels, Hubert Davis. Don't look now, but it's been one week since we've seen the Tar Heels on the floor. They'll next be in action tomorrow night against Pitt, and ahead of that matchup, Coach H.D., kind enough to be on with us in the triad. And Coach, you mentioned last week that with the little break that you have, you and your staff might have a chance to look inward and self-scout a bit.

What does self-scouting look like and what's something you might have learned from it? Well, you know, it was, you know, having the, you know, not the week off, but a week in between games since we played Syracuse last week, you know, gave us an opportunity to, you know, to practice and to work on us. And, you know, I feel like definitely for most of the year, but at times it's felt like the entire season, you're always practicing in preparation for a scout, for a game. And it just gave us an opportunity just to, you know, squarely focus on, you know, the things that we're doing well and just reinforce that to continue to do those things and make those strengths even sharper.

And then the things that we need to improve on to address those things and highlight and work on those things to point us in a direction where there are strengths. And it's great to be able to have that in the middle of the ACC season. And I think it puts us in a really good position to hopefully play our best the last 10 games of the regular season.

Give me an example of something you saw on film that you would describe as being something we're really good at. Well, we're really good at transition, you know, and one of the things that has really improved for us throughout the year is our rebounding defensively. And once we, you know, limit teams to one shot every possession and we're able to rebound the basketball and get out in transition, I think we're really good at that. You know, we push the ball up the floor, we get great opportunities, whether it's a pitch ahead three, attacking the basket through penetration, getting to the free throw line or a deep post catch for Armando as he seals and runs down the floor. So that's something that consistently we've done really well and things that we want to continue to do well. And I also felt like we, you know, especially coming off the Syracuse game, just the level of toughness and from, you know, a defensive standpoint of getting stops when you need to get stops, getting rebounds, stepping in, loose balls, taking charges. And, you know, no better example of that is what, you know, RJ did in the Syracuse game, taking back to back charges and putting us in a position to get a really good win against a very good Syracuse team on the road.

Hubert Davis is with us here on WSJS. So it's Pitt tomorrow night. After that game, it's off to Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday.

I don't think I need to sell anybody on how big that game is. And a week from tonight, the Tar Heels will face Wake Forest in the city that you were born in. But one quick thing on the rivalry, one quick thing. You've told us before on this show how you grew up on Patterson Avenue and you root for the Deacs when they're not playing the Tar Heels. What were your earliest memories of ACC basketball and more specifically the Duke Carolina rivalry? Well, you know, my memories of the ACC was, you know, coming to see my uncle Walter Davis play. That's what started, for me, the desire to want to play basketball and wanted to play basketball here at the University of North Carolina. I just remember growing up in school when the ACC tournament started, you could get an excused absence if you were going to the ACC tournament or you can get an excused absence if you wanted to stay home and watch your team play in the ACC tournament. And there were a number of times where at 12 noon when North Carolina came on, the teacher would, and I grew up in Washington, D.C., right outside of Washington, D.C., and they would put on the ACC tournament during the middle of the school day.

And, you know, right in the middle of the classroom, they'll put on North Carolina playing at noon, the number one seed. And so that's what I grew up with and, you know, watching my uncle. And then there were a number of times where the ACC tournament was in Landover, Maryland, at the Capitol Center. And so it gave me an opportunity to go there physically and just have a lot of cool and unbelievable memories of my uncle and watching North Carolina play in the ACC. My earliest recollection of the rivalry in ACC basketball was hearing Billy Packer on TV. Of course, Billy's a white guy, but that didn't stop Carolina basketball from putting out a statement on his passing last week. And I know he called the Final Four that you played in, and I'm sure you crossed paths with him on television. For college basketball, how important of a figure was Billy Packer?

Well, he was, you know, obviously extremely important. You know, the history and the impact that he has made on basketball. You talked about that, you know, your earliest memories that hearing Billy Packer call games. And that is something that drew you to college basketball and specifically towards ACC.

And I think there's so many people that have those similar type of memories that you have. And you're right, he called the Final Four game in 91, the year, my junior year that we got to the Final Four and ended up losing to Kansas and Indianapolis. But his passion, his love for the sport, his passion and love for the ACC, his passion and love for the game of basketball and the way that he presented it and the way that he did it on air, not only drew basketball fans to ACC basketball, he just drew common, you know, just regular people that found a love and an interest in the sport because of Billy Packer. And so the impact that he's made on this sport and specifically this conference is unmatched. Let's close by talking about one of your guys on this year's team, Hubert Davis with us here on WSJS.

Armando Bacot, he's created a legacy for himself. He breaks those records a few weeks ago against NC State. There are former players that we've spoken to say already he belongs in the rafters at the Smith Center. But given how many great players have rolled through Chapel Hill, there's criteria you have to meet in order to do so, whether it's being All-American or being the Final Four most outstanding player, winning ACC Player of the Year. I know last year you were pretty tight when he didn't win saying that he was a deserving player with one month left in the season.

How do you like Mondo's chances of being the ACC's Player of the Year? Well, you know, I think, again, he's put himself in a position to be able to be named ACC Player of the Year. And, you know, one of the things that not only in my discussion with Armando, but I talk to the guys all the time is focus on what is real and focus on what you have control over. And what Armando has control over is his preparation, his practice, and his play.

And at the end of the day, everything else will take care of itself. And so, you know, did I think Armando was deserving last year? Yes, I thought he was deserving. Do I think he's deserving this year? Yes, I do think he's deserving this year. But last year, you know, there were a number of other unbelievable great players. And this year, there's a number of other deserving players from other programs also as well. The most important thing for Armando and our team is just to continue to work hard, continue to improve. And at the end of the day, whatever awards you do get or don't get, it really doesn't matter. Just making sure that you're reaching your full potential and you're giving everything that you got when you get out there on the floor.

That's what Armando does every time he steps on the floor. Just massive games that you guys have over the next week. Now I can see why you guys say one game at a time when you talk about Pitt and then Duke and then Wake Forest. Best of luck against the Panthers tomorrow night, Coach. And thanks for making the time in the Triad. All right. Thank you very much. Have a great day.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-31 18:05:58 / 2023-01-31 18:09:48 / 4

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