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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2024 6:12 pm

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The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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February 22, 2024 6:12 pm

On a Thursday Drive, Josh explains why he now thinks it's Duke that has the best chance to win the ACC regular season title, breaks down what the Charlotte Hornets goals should be in the final stretch of the season, reveals his ACC basketball awards in the annual "Josh Grahammy Awards", voice of Charlotte FC, Will Palaszczuk, joins the show to detail what to expect from first year head coach, Dean Smith, and how Charlotte FC has a player who just turned 16, and 2-time NC Sportscaster of the Year, David Glenn, joins the show to tell who he has on his All-ACC team and to give his reaction to the expanded ACC basketball tournament format.

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This is the DRIVE Podcast with Josh Graham. Now you're talking my language. You can hear the DRIVE weekday afternoons three till six on WSJS.

You are on a Thursday DRIVE. It is WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad, where every year at about this time on the calendar, we give our predictions for ACC Basketball Awards. We call them the Josh Grammys.

The Grammys was taken, sadly. And we'll share our award predictions later this hour, shortly after 3.30. But speaking of ACC Hoops, with about two weeks to go, it is a three-horse race for the ACC regular season title between Duke and Carolina, who are both tied for first place at 12 and 3, and the Virginia Cavaliers, who sit a game and a half back at 11 and 5. However, after winning on the road at Miami by nearly 30 last night, it is Duke that has the most likely path of winning the ACC.

And here's why. Three of their remaining five games are at home at Cameron Indoor Stadium. That includes home games against both Virginia and North Carolina.

That's a plus. Duke does not lose very often on their home court. Having the two teams that you're competing for an ACC crown with in your building in the final two weeks of the year, that is an advantage. The Blue Devils, they don't have another flight for any of their games until the ACC tournament in D.C. The two remaining road games are in the state of North Carolina, Saturday at Wake Forest, and then they have a road game at NC State. So they are staying in the state of North Carolina until the second week of March, at the ACC tournament.

North Carolina and Virginia, they have much more difficult paths. North Carolina has to go, they have the exact opposite of what Duke has. Duke has the other two ACC title contenders in their building.

North Carolina has to go to JPJ Saturday and close the year at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Virginia, as we mentioned, is one game back of Duke and Carolina, which isn't great with just a few games left to go. But they have one fewer game to make up that ground on the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels.

Meaning they have to win the rest of their games, plain and simple, to get to 15 wins. And it seems like to get a share of first place in the ACC, you've got to get to 15 wins. 15 wins is the magic number, but it's probably going to be a split ACC title. That's, I think, what's on the table for Virginia. I don't think they can win a solo, undisputed ACC regular season championship. They can only tie. Duke and North Carolina, if either of them finish 4-1 the rest of the way, 16 wins should be enough to have a singular, solo ACC regular season championship.

That's what needs to happen. 4-1 for either Duke or North Carolina. Duke's playing better than Virginia and Carolina, too. Ever since the loss in Chapel Hill, Duke has won five in a row.

Beat Miami by 29 last night. Here was John Shire on the way they're trending up, which looks a lot like how they were trending up this time last year. People can draw early conclusions about who people are, who teams are. Just as with teams, all along we've talked about privately, just getting better in the whole season. And we want to be at our best in February and March. And I think we're on an upswing.

I think we've continued to get better. They have, and it's a huge game they have Saturday at the Joel. Meanwhile, Virginia, on Monday, they got beat by 34 points in Blacksburg. It's Virginia. 90 points combined offensively in their last two games. Again, rolled by 34 points at Virginia Tech. North Carolina, before the Virginia Tech game on Saturday, they've struggled, had the loss against Syracuse, lost at Georgia Tech, who we know, Damon Stoudemire's team, a weird team, self-professed.

I have a weird team. Last night was blown out by Clemson. By the way, North Carolina lost to that team. Six straight games they played before the Virginia Tech game that were decided by single digits. Duke has won five in a row. And again, they have looked really good of late.

They have the most likely path out of the top three ACC teams, the three teams that have a shot at an ACC regular season title of earning that title. You can reach out to the show on X at WSJS radio. That's where we're streaming video. In addition to YouTube and Twitch, Will Dalton also taking your calls at 3-3-6-7-7-1-600. He's the executive producer of this show. W.D., you know who's back tonight? I do know who's back tonight. The NBA from All-Star break, which means Eric Collins and the Hornets are back.

They are at the Utah Jazz tonight at 9 o'clock. There are 28 games remaining in the season for the Hornets, and there are three goals that Charlotte fans should have for them for this stretch run. Number one being have Brandon Miller average over 20 a game the rest of the way. Right now on the season, he's averaging 16 a game. However, over the last month, 16 games, he has averaged over 22 points per game. Though Gordon Hayward anymore, Terry Rogier, PJ Washington taking shots away from Brandon Miller, more offense being run through him, over 20 points per game the rest of the way. There's goal number one.

Second goal. Play well, but not so well that you finish outside of the bottom five of the league standings. Right now, Charlotte has the fourth worst record in the league. The bottom five teams get double digit percentage chances of the number one pick. So the bottom five teams have over a 10% chance at getting the number one pick. The bottom three teams have a 14% chance. Charlotte would have a really good shot at getting the number one pick if they were one of the bottom five teams. And they are five and a half back of the team that is sixth worst right now, which means as long as they don't cover enough ground to be sixth worst in the NBA, which I think if they finish 500 or worse the rest of the way, 14 and 14, or worse the rest of the way, they should be good and clear of doing that. So play well, but don't play so well that you hurt your chances of potentially getting the number one pick.

You still want to have that bottom out in a way that helps you in the future. And related to the future, develop an identity with the new pieces you acquired. All five pieces that they brought in from the NBA trade deadline are under contract for next year. Now some of them are veterans like Seth Curry. I don't know if he's a long-term piece.

David Burton's the same way. But Grant Williams is 25. Trey Mann, he's 23. Those are guys who are starting for you right now that seem like could be long-term, good Steve Clifford type of players that you could develop an identity around. If you get LaMelo Ball back, that's a bonus. But if Brandon Miller's playing great and he's over 20 a game, and you're able to still secure a bottom five, spot in the standings to give you a better shot at getting the number one pick, and you could develop an identity that features significant roles for guys who are 25 and under in Grant Williams and Trey Mann, that's a very good thing. And that's what the goal should be moving forward for the Charlotte Hornets. Got my Carolina Hurricanes gear on today.

Canes, they're in action tonight too. In addition, You know what, let's start today's show off with a ton of energy. One of the people that we get out of the way for is the HHL when he calls every now and then the Human Highlighter is with us. And he's got some takes to espouse.

Human Highlighter, go right ahead. Oh, Josh Grant, I got mad respect for you, brother. I got mad love for you, brother. And I appreciate what you brought to the table. I got mad respect for you, brother.

I got mad love for you, brother, and I appreciate what you bring to the show. But I'm going to tell you, I could not disagree with you more in what you say as we come down the stretch for the ACC regular season title. Carolina, they just been bored, brother. They just been bored. They walked the dog. They showed what they could do.

They took it to do. They're going to one all over Virginia come Saturday. Wake Forest is going to take you to Duke. And let me tell you something, you talk about Duke and all the Cameron crazes and Cameron indoor and how they don't lose.

Let me tell you, they've lost already twice this year to interior teams. And when Carolina comes into Durham, wow, we're going to donate a smackdown on them. Just like we did at temple here. We're going to walk away with the ACC regular season title. And that's only going to set the stage for the ACC tournament.

And then the NCAA make no mistake about it. This Carolina team is for real. They have been bored. They are ready now when it gets to crunch time. When it comes time to lay your cards on the table, they're going to be there. They're going to be ready. They're going to be prepared. They are one of the best teams in the country. And starting this Saturday, they're going to prove it to not only you, but the entire country. There he is. I won't rebut much of that.

It feels wrong to rebut some of that. But I did find it funny that Duke has lost the two inferior teams at home. One of those is Arizona, who's ranked fourth in the country. And I think they were without Mitchell. And there's one more guy they were without. It wasn't Proctor. They were missing two starters when Pittsburgh won and Blake Henson was standing on the table.

Missing starters seems like kind of a big deal. But I'll let that one rest for now. Love the HHL. This Saturday, Charlotte FC opens its season at Bank of America Stadium, which means Will Pelagic's hibernation on the show has concluded every week between now and October. We'll have Willie P. back with us talking Charlotte FC soccer. But that can wait one second, because based on a Big Four story earlier this hour, we learned of somebody whose title is Reptile Wrangler, like a real person. And we were trying to think of a bad Netflix series that you could see pop up on your feed where somebody is the Reptile Wrangler and it's a show. And we started thinking who we could cast as the Reptile Wrangler. I thought Kiefer Sutherland would make sense, get him back. David Hasselhoff was suggested, 71-year-old David Hasselhoff. The comedic route, Jason Sudeikis, maybe a Craig Robinson would make some sense. Willie P, who could you see being the Reptile Wrangler? Why is the name Liam Neeson coming to my mind right away? Just based on, you know, kind of reprising his role in Taken and being like, you're a reptile. I can find you. Yeah. I can kill you.

I have a very particular set of skills and one of them is wrangling reptiles. The scene of him and Ted reprising his role, trying to buy a box of tricks, is comedic genius. Just genius. So since the last time we talked to you, Charlotte FC hired Dean Smith to be its head coach, manager type. Has anybody made any Dean Smith North Carolina jokes?

Has anyone done that? I haven't heard any. Plenty. He's got a standard line that he uses. He's actually pretty okay with it. He says, you know, if I can be combined with Dean Smith and be half the coach that he was, I'll be doing pretty well. So he definitely understands it. There was one remark he said, I forget, I think he was actually driving back from Raleigh and he was driving on the stretch of highway that's known as the Dean Smith Highway. And he said, I've been here three months.

They already got a highway named after me. So, you know, he takes it all in stride. What is most appealing about him leading this team after Charlotte decided to make a change after what many people would deem as a success getting to the postseason for the first time? Not too dissimilar to what Panthers head coach Dave Canales said in his opening remarks. I think he's going to be making sure that he adapts to the personnel as opposed to making the personnel adapt to him. And I think that's something that you're going to see a lot of with the way they start playing. I think you're going to see a lot more positional freedom.

Guys will be allowed to express themselves. And one thing is that he recognized that so much of Charlotte FC's attack over the course of its first two seasons has come from the flanks and it needs to be more diverse. They averaged over the first two seasons, Josh, just 25 percent of their attack coming down the middle with the rest of it, 75 percent coming down the wings.

The most successful teams have a more 33-33-33 split. That's something that Charlotte FC is going to want to try and make sure that they have somewhat under control going into this year as they will empower their midfield to do a lot more and build their offense around getting the ball to Enzo Cappetti in a variety of different areas, much to the least areas that he didn't necessarily see it as much a year ago. Listen to Will Palazzi and Jess Charman Saturday on WSJS as Charlotte FC opens its season at Bank of America Stadium Saturday night. Is it right they have a player who just turned 16 a couple of days ago? Today, actually. Sixteen today. He's 16 today. And it's weird, one of the things that Dean said is that they felt bad they didn't bring any cake for him, but they're hoping that they can maybe rectify that by the time next year comes around or at least by the weekend.

But it might not necessarily be on the training table approved foods. But yeah, Nymphasha Burkimas, he's somebody who was Charlotte's second homegrown signing the way the roster rules work, not to get too deep in the weeds, but the roster allows you to have homegrown signings that basically you have come through your player profile and Charlotte's got two of those. They had Brian Romero, who, if you remember the Chelsea game from two years ago, he was a bright star in that affair. He's yet to debut for the first team in league play.

But Nymphasha Burkimas is somebody who's risen through the ranks. He played in the under 17 World Cup this winter, scored three goals, really kind of took the international game by storm in that regard. And he's also done pretty well in the preseason. He debuted actually in the preseason opener for Charlotte FC as a starter, so that was interesting. Scored a goal against Phoenix Rising last week as well. I asked Dean Smith earlier today, I said, what concerns would you have about having somebody at 16 years and two days old debut at MLS for your team?

He said he has none. So I'm not necessarily sure whether he's in contention to start on Saturday, but I don't feel like Dean Smith has any problem trying to pull the saran wrap and the shrink wrap off of the guy who very much is at least driving under a provisional license if he's driving at all. How uncommon is this in today's MLS, because obviously when the sport really started to take off in the 2000s, you had Freddy Adue with DC United playing, I believe with a few days before he turned 16 or right around the time he turned 16. This still has to be uncommon, yes?

It's still relatively uncommon. I do think, though, a lot of times teams are not willing to rush when it comes to these guys, especially I think a lot of times situationally it's happened. I think the problem with Charlotte FC right now is that the right wing that they had been claiming to count on over the course of last year is one of their DPs, and they sold them overseas.

So from that perspective, you have to take that part of it into it. But you think about where Charlotte FC from a depth perspective is right now with their wingers. They have Tiger Smalls, who was a college player who would be a rookie this year. They have Yuri Tavares, who played for the MLS Next Pro team a year ago. He'd also be a rookie.

And the only other guy they probably would be able to trust at that position at the start would be a guy like Scott Arfield to be playing technically out of position. So if you at least put all those things in front of you, you go with the player who you feel like has got the most talent, regardless of whether or not their age necessarily fits the bill. One of the first things Dean Smith said in his opening press conference, if you're good enough, you're old enough.

And I don't know if it's going to happen on Saturday or not. But he said, you know, he made the comparison overseas. Wayne Rooney made his debut at 16 and looked pretty good. And he's already kind of drawing some comparisons to those two guys, because one of the things he did say about Nympho and his pressure today is that he's not slight physically.

He'll be up to the challenge if he goes out there. Outside of Charlotte FC, which Charlotte team are you more locked in on right now? The Panthers with offseason stuff and all the changes with Dan Morgan and Dave Canales or on the Charlotte Hornets post All-Star break? I mean, how could you not be involved with the Hornets the way that they kind of came out of the shoot after the trade deadline?

Three consecutive wins on the home stand. I think they're playing a lot better basketball cohesively. Veteran leadership does a lot of things for a young club, including, you know, the additions of Grant Williams and Seth Curry. And the guy that I absolutely have come to love is Vasa Micic. He's somebody who I think kind of came on the radar of a lot of Charlotte Hornets supporters, fans and people like me who watch from a divided aspect as a fan and also somebody who works on the postgame show. But I didn't realize he was 29. Like I just assumed he was one of these 19, 20 year old types. And he's a grown man out there. I call him the 30 year old rookie. It's crazy. And he's somebody who was a EuroLeague MVP for two years in Serbia.

He's somebody who I feel like Oklahoma City didn't really give a fair shake to because they had a roster glut because of all the draft picks that they kind of stashed under Sam Presti and he was looked at as a redundancy. And their loss is our gain. Charlotte FC, Saturday night in action. Bank of America State. Is it New York FC that they're playing or? New York City FC. New York City FC.

Sorry. Didn't want to insult the Red Bulls potentially with New York. The New Jersey.

The New Jersey Red Bulls. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yeah.

I'm not I'm not I'm not giving them the New York treatment. We got a little on business business when it kind of comes to them here later on this season. I love it. Will Pelagic, we have plenty of unfinished business because we're going to be seeing a lot of you throughout the season.

Thanks as always. And we'll talk next week. When are you and WD coming down for a game?

That's my biggest that's my next question. Considering I learned the opener was this Saturday like two days ago because of college basketball kind of like muddying my timeline. We'll get back to you. We'll make it happen and we'll make it happen post April.

Plenty plenty of action post April. Yes, it's the 2024 Josh Grammy Awards. Everybody dressed so beautifully in the past. When we didn't do this on video, we'd make fun and say that we were wearing tuxedos and all that. But now, since we're on YouTube, we've been exposed to Twitch and X, people could see I'm wearing a Hurricane's hoodie and WD's wearing a Costco hoodie that I think he's worn three times this week. The Josh Grammy Awards, where with two weeks to go in the season, are ACC awards being handed out.

Usually these award shows like the Grammys or the Oscars start with a pretty big award right out of the gate. So we're going to follow suit with that. It's time for ACC Coach of the Year.

Drum roll, please. North Carolina coach Hubert Davis, your winner. He transformed this roster, moved off of his leading scorer in Caleb Love, because that was best for RJ Davis. Convinced Armando Bacot to come back for another year in Chapel Hill.

Added players from the portal, none of which were in the tournament a year ago, but have been fantastic fits, like Harrison Ingram. And North Carolina has been transformed to the best team in the league. And that's why Hubert wins ACC Coach of the Year. Next award, the sixth man of the year in the ACC.

B Dot! Just kidding. Ishmael Leggett Pittsburgh, the winner of this award. He's been relegated to the bench in ACC play, but coming off the bench in 12 of 26 games for Pittsburgh this year, he averages 12 a game. Pitt, a formidable team, and he's one of the guards you have to keep a close eye on.

Game in, game out. Congrats to Ishmael Leggett, ACC Rookie of the Year. Dukes Jared McCain. I think he's the best player on Duke, a team that could win the ACC regular season.

He's been a consistent player. It's been a great crop of freshmen this year from Carleton Carrickton and Jalen Lowe from Pitt, Elliott Cadeau at North Carolina. A worthy winner, Jared McCain, who's been most consistent throughout the year among the ACC freshmen. Next up, the most improved player in the ACC.

Ian Shefflin Clemson. He averaged five a game last year, that's it. This year, he's averaging nine and a half points, nearly 10 rebounds as well.

He's averaging close to a double-double. Last night, he almost scored 20 points in a game for the Clemson Tigers. The man who plays at Little John Coliseum deserves to be recognized. Most improved player in the ACC. Most improved player, defensive player of the year in the ACC. Ryan Dunn, Virginia.

It's either Ryan Dunn or Reece Beekman. Why are you laughing? This is just fun. I love this. Giving out awards.

It's the Josh Grammy Awards, man. Celebrate. Enjoy the trophy that you're going to receive. Boston College. Why did Boston College just play? The trophy is going to have like your face doing that. That's the face that's on it?

Okay, yes. I think Reece Beekman has not been as good defensively as he's been the last couple of years because he's being relied on offensively more. Scoring close to 15 points a game, which is impressive at Virginia. Assist, leading the ACC.

Ryan Dunn is solely focused on defense and he's been fantastic at it. Our defensive player of the year. This is the biggest award we've got. ACC player of the year.

Those surprises here. It's RJ Davis from North Carolina. That's a wrap. He's averaging 21 a game. Nobody else in the league averages 20 a game. The best player on the best team getting the recognize. Recognition he deserves. And the last thing that we'll get to real quickly, WD, just hold your applause till the end in the audience. Feels like graduation.

The all ACC first team, RJ Davis, North Carolina, Reece Beekman, Virginia, Hunter Salas, Wake Forest, PJ Hall, Clemson, and Kyle Filipowski, edging out Blake Henson for that fifth spot on the all ACC team. And there you have it, the John Grammy Awards. You like me, you really like me. Oh, Star Wars playing there at the end. It's exciting. It really was. It got me jazzed up. That whole segment did.

Taking off like a rocket ship. I do want to reserve my right to adjust some of these. In terms of close races, this is something we'll discuss with David Glenn. I think Davis, Beekman, and PJ Hall should all be on that first team. But then it gets tough with Salas, Filipowski, Blake Henson, Norchad O'Mear, those are guys that are right there on the borderline.

Even Armando Beekhut is probably in consideration for that. That for that all ACC team, we must talk, go ahead, talk back to the drive with Josh Graham. Will Pelagic is going to be back on the show at 4.30 this afternoon. It's been a long winter without our guy on the show. Weekly appearances from now and through October during Charlotte FC's season just shot us a text making sure we talk about something going on with the team. Dean Smith now the coach of Charlotte FC. Yes, he is.

I'm not even going to say not that Dean Smith because if you thought it was that Dean Smith... Get help. You might be right. You got to figure it out.

You got to Google it in order to find out. Apparently there's a guy who just turned 16 two days ago that's going to be playing for Charlotte FC this week. That's wild.

So we will get to that when he joins us. My cell phone is working now apparently. If you have AT&T... Yeah, it's been a problem today. Been an issue. I have Verizon. Nationwide outages which has not been fun and the thing that's least fun about it is being exposed how addicted to your phone you are.

Oh yeah. Where it's like oh this thing's not working? Oh I can't make a phone call?

Was I going to make a ton of phone calls today? No, but it's stressing me out that I can't if I needed to. This isn't good. You don't realize it until you take it away.

You don't. Hasn't been great but it appears that that has been resolved. Shout out to you AT&T. We also need to talk about... It's time we talk about Duke's Guards. They might be the most underrated group in all of college basketball. Certainly in the ACC. And more specifically Jeremy Roach might be the most underrated player in the sport.

Think about who Jeremy Roach is. He is a four-year player at Duke. And not just any four-year player at Duke. He was a starter for an ACC tournament championship team last year. The year before that a regular season championship team. A final four team at Duke. Jeremy Roach, a four-year player.

And it doesn't feel like he's talked about at all in terms of the national conversation. And there's a chance he might be the best player on Duke. In fact, Randolph Childress. It kind of blew my mind. I was a victim of this. Randolph came in here it's like, yeah, I think Jeremy Roach is the best player on the team.

Huh? My reaction was, and again, I covered the team at Cameron. At Cameron, almost every home game.

And I never felt that way. But when you look at the numbers, he's averaging 14 a game. Over three assists. A couple of rebounds. Like he's shooting 48% from the field. 46% from three.

86% from the line. He's having a heck of a season. Why is no one talking about him? He's not in the all-ACC conversation. And he's at Duke. We thought that if you did these things at Duke and you were there, a four-year player at Duke, you're just going to be naturally talked about. Why is he not being talked about in terms of legacy talk the same way Armando Bacott is talked about at Carolina? Armando.

That's a legit question. We talk about, oh, he's his name. He's going to be up in the rafters and, oh, his legacy. It's important his career ends out well. Jeremy Roach went to that Final Four too in 2022. Jeremy Roach won an ACC title. Armando never did that.

Armando. Like he's done so much. And pretty clearly, John Shire has noticed this because John Shire, after Roach had another big game last night against Miami, he went out of his way to point out just how good Roach has been this year. I think Jeremy's having quietly, for whatever reason it is quiet, one of the just big time senior seasons for Duke Guard, man. You know, I want you guys to go back and look at Quinn Cook's stats as a senior and then look at Jeremy Roach.

They're, I think it tells a story. And Jeremy's impact though is way more than just the numbers and the stats. You know, I hope for Duke fans, they appreciate having a four year player here who could have left at any point, whether it be transfer or going pro. And he's taken us to a Final Four already. You know, he's been through a tough season where we didn't go to the tournament. Yeah, I'm just proud of him for what he's done this year. Let's look at Quinn Cook's senior year stats.

Why don't we? Quinn Cook averaging 15.3 points while Jeremy Roach, as I mentioned, averages 14.1 points. So a full point better. Quinn Cook shot from three, 30, 40% from three point range, 39.5 specifically. Jeremy Roach is shooting 46.2% from three. From the field, Quinn Cook shot 45.3%. This year, Jeremy Roach shooting 47.8% from the field.

So it is comparable in terms of assists. 2.6 assists for Quinn Cook in 2015, the year they won a national championship. Of course, his final year at Duke, 3.2 assists for Jeremy Roach. And Roach has more rebounds too.

Free throw shooting, 86% for Jeremy Roach, 89% for Quinn Cook. They are very similar players, but they're being talked about very differently. Meanwhile, Jared McCain is the ACC's best freshman. And you could argue he's Duke's best player.

I would make that argument. I didn't know he could dunk like he did last night. Knew about the three point shooting, knew he could grab some rebounds, didn't know he had, I feel like the Shaq meme.

Sorry, I was unfamiliar with your game. That's exactly what it's like. Jared McCain, that dunk he had last night. Here he was with Kyle Filipowski. This is courtesy of Duke Basketball's social media.

Tyrese Proctor in the locker room. And something called the positive potato. So I think we won because of the power of the positive potato. And yeah, Flip, how'd you feel out there to get some revenge? I felt really positive. You know, we had to owe them, right?

Didn't we have to owe them, Reece? Hey, what about Jared's dunk thing? The power of the potato, you know what I'm saying? This is, sometimes I like to pull out my athletic abilities, but shout out to the positive potato. What is the positive potato? It is a, doesn't seem like a real potato.

It seems like, it doesn't. It's not. It's like a little, a squishy toy. A squishy toy. It looks like a potato that has eyes on it and a sign that reads, I may be a tiny potato, but I believe in you.

Do your thing. It is very Jared McCain. Positive potato. It is so Jared McCain and I love it.

It's also very Josh Graham. W.D., tell the people about a phone call you got on yesterday's show. During the show. Oh yeah. While we were on a commercial break.

Yeah, so I guess a commercial played for Try Today, something that they were doing today. We're gonna start a controversy. We're gonna start a controversy, gonna start a rivalry. Caller gonna start a radio war with NWSJS.

That's right. So this caller asked me, he's like, hey, like, did they rip you guys off? I'm like, what do you, apparently they have their own positivity segment. We don't have exclusivity on positivity.

Like, Tryout Today is maybe the most positive show ever. Like it is three hours of positivity in the morning. So when they have a moment of positivity, which I think is the name of the segment that they do.

Something like that. Their show might as well just be Moment of Positivity because you just can't listen to that show without feeling good. Yeah. We have weekly positivity.

We've got, it's the most popular thing we do. Oh yeah. You better get rid of that positive potato. Cease and desist, Jared McCain. This is our second weekly positivity in a week. Oh yeah.

Can I hear the beginning of the Jared McCain clip really quickly? Because it feels like it belongs in weekly positivity. Or I guess we won because of the power of the positive potato.

There it is. One because of the positivity of the positive potato. Next time I see Jared McCain, which will be on Saturday. I'm going to look for the positive potato. So I think we won because of the power of the positive potato. Power of the positive potato. Oh yeah.

If Duke wins, I'm going to steal that potato. That's been an abbrevi... Okay. Yeah. People are all in on positive. I'm not accusing them of stealing anything. No.

But I might steal the potato for next week's weekly positivity. Yeah. I think we might need to tell him about this. We'll get to the bottom of that when he comes to the Triad on Saturday.

When Tyrese Proctor is healthy, get him back to Duke. Duke might have the best backcourt in the ACC. See, Carolina fans were the ones getting mad at me because Carolina, there was a stretch when they were killing everybody that they wanted to allow other people to have nice things.

Oh yeah. Well, we're the best. We got Cadeau and RJ Davis and we have one guy who's in the top 40 of the ACC in scoring right now.

It's not Carolina. You're the best team, but RJ Davis is the best player and those other guys. They're fine.

They're fine. But I think when healthy, Duke might have the best backcourt because of Proctor, who's going to be a first round draft pick. Jared McCain, who I think is the freshman of the year. Jeremy Roach, who's having a fantastic season and that's pretty darn good right there.

I don't think I have to add to that. Wake Forest though, right now, because again, Proctor hasn't been healthy for a while, for a lot of the season. Probably still has the best backcourt with Boopy and Hunter Salas and Damari Monsanto and Parker Frederickson and Cam Hildreth.

They're probably the best backcourt in the ACC. There is good news and there's bad news for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. The good news is they are at home and they are on a heater currently. Three straight wins for the Canes. Game two of a three-game home stand tonight. They've actually won five of their last six games.

Here's the bad news. It's the Florida Panthers that are in town tonight. Dating back to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, they have beaten Carolina five straight times. Swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. The last time they visited the Florida Panthers, PNC Arena. It was games one and two of the Eastern Conference Final. Both overtime losses for Carolina, including that 4-0-T game that WD went to during the week.

What time did you get back? 4 a.m. Yeah, WD still hasn't forgiven the Florida Panthers though. Mr. Tkachuk, nope, for his efforts. The Canes' goal-tending situation, it's still in flux. Spencer Martin, since being claimed off of waivers, has won his last two starts for Carolina.

Freddie Anderson, for the first time since his medical episode and the blood clot, spoke with the media yesterday. Seems like he's getting closer and closer. You got P. Oder, Kuchetkoff, and Ante Ranta on the roster too. My guess is, because there doesn't seem to be a lot of great options in the trade market, Carolina is probably going to try and figure out their goal-tending from within.

I hope one of the four names that I just mentioned, Spencer Martin, Ante Ranta, P. Oder, Kuchetkoff, Freddie Anderson, can figure it out and be a hot hand in the postseason for the Canes. Canes, Florida Panthers, 7 o'clock tonight in the capital city. A couple of Wake Forest basketball updates from the last hour.

For those who value what bracketologist Joe Anardi has to say, he is literally trolling the Deacs now. First team out Wake Forest, but that's not the piece I'm talking about. Wake Forest is not playing tonight. He makes sure to point out his bracket games on his social media, and he made sure to point out that the Gonzaga... What's Gonzaga's mascot?

Slipping my brain right now. David Glenn, I'm sure, probably. The Bulldogs. Although the Bulldogs, yeah. Gonzaga's his last team in to the field currently. They're playing at Portland tonight, and Joe Anardi has written, the Zags must win and win big to keep from being passed by first team out parenthesis and very cranky dot dot dot closed parenthesis Wake Forest. So he hears the Deacon fans.

That's not great news. The good news I can bring to you is, we've kind of looked ahead to this Duke game for a while now as potentially being the biggest crowd of the Steve Forbes era since he's been back in Winston-Salem. After all, the NC State game, NC State unranked, attracted more than 12,500, which is the second biggest crowd that Steve Forbes has had, only trailing January 2022 facing North Carolina on a Saturday night. Well, according to Wake Forest Athletics, this has just been passed along to us in the last half hour. The game is a sellout against Duke. It is the first sellout at Wake Forest since January of 2017. Seven years ago, also a Duke game, otherwise remembered as Connor O'Neill points out as the Luke Kennard game in 2017. David Glenn now with us.

David Glenn show that you can find and also on YouTube. He has, fittingly as he joins us, Hunter Salas joining his show and exclusive with him tomorrow that you can find on the David Glenn show. DG, it's good to have you back and we'll start with Hunter Salas. We did our Josh Grammy Awards. The Grammys were already taken, sadly, looking at potential All-ACC players. I think Hunter Salas is an All-ACC guy right now. Who are guys that you see as being locks for the All-ACC list with a couple of weeks left and who else is in contention for you? Yeah, I probably have seven guys for those five slots, Josh.

And I saw your team and it's a really good one. Obviously, RJ Davis of UNC is an absolute lock, no doubt about it. And the front runner for ACC Player of the Year.

I think Kyle Filipowski, while not as great lately as he was for most of the season, still does so many great things for the Blue Devils that he's going to be on my first team. PJ Hall of Clemson is on there. And then, I still think Reece Beekman of UVA, Hunter Salas of Wake Forest. Armando Bacot of Carolina is part of that seven.

And then I still have Norchett O'Mear of Miami in the mix. That guy, the Canes aren't very good, but it's not his fault. He's one heck of a player whose analytics are off the charts. Blake Hinson is a bit of a polarizing guy. Some really like him in the numbers, but he also is a champion.

Also, it's a chucker. A lot of people look at him and say- Not a first team guy. Not a first team guy, with all due respect. I mean, he doesn't play much defense and he's not one of those guys who makes his teammates much better. So I put a lot of thought into these votes over 37 years and I do think Blake Hinson's an all ACC player.

But when you start adding up what some of these other guys do at both ends of the floor, Blake Hinson might make my second team, but probably is even on my third team. I want to pick your legal brain for a second with the ACC's ongoing case with Florida State and how both sides seem to be throwing mud at each other. There are things that we are learning through this process that are being exposed, including the option that ESPN has for 2026 that we did not know about at the start of this legal process. How likely is it through a couple of months of this that Florida State gets its way, either a get out of jail free card, which seems unlikely from the courts, or a get out figure from the ACC that, with the help of likely private equity, they can use to pay to exit?

Well, they're not going to get out of jail free. I know Florida State has some very creative legal arguments, but they're mostly, the technical arguments are usually what you make when you have no other argument to make. I mean, they're even suggesting that there was no actual contract. The grant of rights was not even a properly executed contract, because you need certain, and I practiced contract law for a long time, so I know contracts, you need an offer that you need an offer, you need an acceptance, and you need what's called consideration.

I see them very clearly. Florida State's lawyers are arguing otherwise. I don't think they're going to win on that technicality, although they're making some creative legal arguments. What this is going to boil down to, Josh, is Florida State wants to get out for $100 million or so, right? The ACC, you can't force a school to stay.

That's not the end game here. It's you have to hold a school to what they agreed to, and what Florida State agreed to, without anybody putting a gun to their head, was an exit fee that totals right now about $130 million and a grant of rights where they signed away their media rights to the ACC all the way through 2036. When you combine those values, it's not quite the $570-some million that Florida State's lawyers keep including in their filings. It's really $400-plus million when you do the math and the remaining years, right? It's not like Florida State's leaving this calendar year. $400 million plus the $130 million that they agreed to, right? Well, I would say, including the exit fee, the number is less than $500 million.

Okay. But the bottom line is that the ACC wants to hold them to as close to the $470 million or whatever that total is exactly as they possibly can, and Florida State wants to make enough interesting legal arguments that the ACC gets scared that it could lose on one of those technicalities, so they accept something less than the maximum. And then you saw recently, of course, basically the ACC said, and this was no surprise to me, if you want to buy your media rights back, which you've already assigned to us willingly, let's negotiate.

That's how these things happen. This is very unlikely to get all the way to some judge's mega decision a year or two from now. This is going to probably be resolved once both sides see which legal arguments are working well and which are not.

A judge is going to say, we all get together and pick a number between this low $130 million and this high $470 million. And if I'm the ACC, unless I see some red flags about my legal arguments, I'm not budging, because if the ACC allows Florida State to leave for a low number, well, then that could open the floodgates of realignment because we know Clemson and others would be targets of the Big Ten or the SEC. What role do you believe in this process television networks play, whether it be ESPN and that clause for 2026, and whether they're just part of this negotiation altogether, since they are the TV partner that is funding the ACC and seems to be at the center of this. And of course, other networks that might look at potentially Florida State as a good add if you're, say, Fox with the Big Ten or NBC and CBS, who also are in partnerships with the Big Ten, but not the ACC, most importantly. Yeah, the TV networks are fundamentally involved in every chapter of this story, because number one, Florida State's not looking to leave if the ACC had a better TV deal. Number two, Florida State would have left by now if other leagues, the Big Ten and the SEC, and their TV partners had not said, hey, Seminoles, we're not touching you with a 10-foot pole until you get your legal mess figured out.

Yeah. So the TV executives are influential at that chapter. Now, moving forward, it's a little harder to say exactly how they're going to impact the way these Dominos unfold. But you know that each of these conference commissioners is talking to their TV partners. And of course, Florida State has to talk to TV about, hey, what would you offer us if we buy back our rights through 2036 from the ACC?

What could we get as an independent? Or what are you willing to do for our new league that we bring these, you know, it's a very big football brand? You know, they were only getting one slice of the pie while providing a lot more value than the slice that they were getting back financially from ACC headquarters. So TV is the tail that wags the dog, man.

You know that. And they've been involved in every step of this process, and they'll continue to be influential. I have no doubt that TV is involved as well. David Glenn with us here in the decisions that were made in Charlotte last week, where we learned about the ACC tournament future, where two weeks ago, the next five tournaments are going to be in North Carolina after the one in DC next month. Some of that's probably a lot to do with the bribe that North Carolina lawmakers gave them to keep headquarters in North Carolina that required four tournaments in the state, including two in Greensboro.

Your tax dollars at work, Josh. There you go. So that's good for us that we have five straight tournaments in North Carolina, even though it's weird the 75th tournament's going to be in Charlotte. But we'll have plenty of time to talk about that in the future. We learned that it'll be 15 teams, just like it is right now.

Status quo. Three teams will not be going from the ACC to the conference tournament in Charlotte next year. That was voted upon. 20 league games will remain as well. A lot of coaches want it to go down to 18. My understanding is that television, which funds all of this, they have in contracts, it's a 20 game league schedule, and they don't want to affect the amount of money that's coming in. So the 20 league games stay. And I think the language is very important about the conference tournament. It said for 2025, it is a 15 team ACC tournament with three teams not being there. It didn't say that would be the case beyond that. And there have been several people since that announcement in the ACC that have made, that have pointed out that distinction to me saying that for 2025, that's the case.

What did you find interesting about all of these announcements? What was most interesting to you about the North Carolina piece with destinations, 15 teams, 20 league games? Yeah, I'm happy as a North Carolinian that the tournament is going to be here very often because remember, there was a time from the 1950s all the way through basically the expansion and realignment dominoes where the ACC tournament was on North Carolina soil.

I mean like 90% of the time. It was in Raleigh back in the day. And of course, we have the wonderful Greensboro Charlotte rotation. So 90% of the time, our fellow members of North Carolina could drive to this event and enjoy it and of course, we're the state that celebrates this event the most. I've been to almost every city that's hosted it so I can vouch for that personally. So I'm just happy that looking forward, we're getting back to a North Carolina-centric approach because if you look at about a 20-year period that we're in right now, it was only here a little bit more than half the time.

And I like a little variety. I didn't mind going to Brooklyn or I'll be in DC next month. But I was in Tampa where nobody cared and I've covered this event long enough to know that interest has decreased dramatically. And there was no public sale of tickets for like 40 some years. And I was there in Tampa. I walked right up and offered to buy some tickets for my buddy.

That was a public sale of tickets in 2007 or whatever that was. So I'm just glad that we have this crown jewel. People are debating the future of conference tournaments and even the future of the NCAA tournament and its size. But I think it's a great part of our sports culture and I'm happy to see Charlotte and Greensboro remain part of the rotation. It seems obvious to me Jim Phillips is an advocate for NCAA tournament expansion. Do you think if he were to be injected with truth serum and tell you truthfully, Jim Phillips views NCAA tournament expansion as a solve for the perception problems that have plagued the ACC for all three years of his commissionership so far?

I don't think so. I think so many of these decisions just boil down to money. You know, philosophically, do we really need to expand the NCAA tournament?

I don't think philosophically we do. Logically speaking, if you got to the point where you felt there was enough college parity in college basketball that you felt those first four teams out could have won the whole thing, well, that would be a logical sign, financial sign, reasonable sign to expand the event. But, you know, through all these years, the lowest seed to ever win it all was an eight seed. It's extremely rare that a double digit seed even makes the final four, much less makes a run at a title.

So those 11 and 12 seeds last at-large teams in, they're not really threats to win the national title. But it's all about money. And it's been about money for a long time in college sports. Why did they adopt a college football playoff after swearing for decades as university presidents that they would never allow such a thing? Because they were showing how much money that the TV partners would pay them. Similarly, you know the deal, the NCAA men's basketball tournament directly or indirectly pays for 90 plus percent of the NCAA's entire annual budget.

I run a lot of businesses. I'd be nervous if any one event was 90 plus percent of my annual budget. They know that if they make it bigger, they'll get more money. And of course, at the same time, they're nervous that the power schools will somehow take the men's basketball postseason away from the NCAA umbrella.

The way those power conferences successfully took the football postseason away from the NCAA umbrella a long time ago. DG, look forward to hearing what Hunter Salas has to say on your most recent YouTube podcast. You could check that out. The David Glenn Show, some of you might be watching on YouTube right now. If you haven't already subscribed to DG's channel, be sure to do so. DG, it's good to see you and I'll see you hopefully at a game before DC. If not, I'll see you in our nation's capital. It's great to see you, my friend. You too, WD. Take care, guys.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-22 20:27:13 / 2024-02-22 20:49:22 / 22

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