Could I despise Miami more right now, considering the weather we're having up here? Probably not.
But I can put that aside for a minute to discuss this Saturday's contest between two ACC basketball behemoths with Gobbler Country's good friend, Jerry Steinberg, over at SB Nation's sister site: State of the U. Per the usual format, I have provided Jerry with some searing questions regarding the burden of following such a high-profile powerful program like the Hurricanes. I empathize, as I know all too well the pressures that come with covering such an excellent team on a regular basis.
Fortunately, unlike myself, Jerry isn't prone to hyperbole, and calls it like he sees it, which in my opinion is fairly accurately. You'll see here below:
GC: Nevin Shapiro-lackey Frank Haith built the program up and left Jim Larranagga with a nice solid core of guys that could earn a #2 seed in the NCAA tourney by winning both the ACC regular season crown AND the ACC tournament. Was the hire made with that group in mind, getting a veteran voice who could adapt and win with that group immediately?
3) Miami has a losing home record at 5-8. VT has similar home woes this year, though to our dubious credit the team is in such disarray that it's expected. Is the Miami crowd fair-weather? (Keep in mind that I'm acknowledging our basketball crowd definitely is!)
GC: Rion Brown. Is he going to be all-league as an upper-classman? Has he made strides this season, or has the situation stunted his growth? It seems his shot selection is sketchy. Is that a product of trying to do too much or is he just that inconsistent?
GC: This is an evenly played series, with Miami holding a 13-11 edge since the teams began play in 2000. VT is 5-5 at home in the series, and at present has lost 10 games in row. VT's only ACC win came at the expense of Miami in the ACC opener. In your opinion has Miami come far enough since early December to deal with the juggernaut Hokie program on their home court?
GC: At least we both still have football, right? I mean....right?
GC: What do you think happens this Saturday, Jerry?
SOTU: I like the Canes to pull it out 65-62. Looks for big games from Brown, as well as freshmen Manu LeComte and Davon Reed, both of whom are playing with a lot of confidence lately.
Many thanks to Jerry in what will be our last Q&A until we can get a baseball one in later this Spring. We also hope to have Jerry back sometime this summer as we get together will all our ACC counterparts on previewing the football season.
Also, please check out the Q&A that I did with SOTU on their site later today! I'll pump the link out on Twitter @gobblercountry.