The Nick Wilson Show

The Hornets return to practice tonight for the first time since they lost last Thursday at home, to start the All-Star break. The 8-day layoff came at the perfect time for the Hornets, as they lost 9 of their last 10 games before the break and currently sit at 29-31. 9th place in the Eastern Conference. This was a team that we believed had turned the corner earlier this season after marquee wins at Philadelphia, and at home against the Lakers. Since then, injuries have torn the roster apart, for a team that lacked little front-court depth as it is. Charlotte has 22 games remaining in the regular season, with 13 at the Spectrum Center, and 9 on the road. Earlier today, Hornets head coach, James Borrego joined the Nick Wilson Show, to express his message to his team, as they try to work their way back into position to host a Play-In game in April:

We're entering the third season of the Matt Rhule experiment in Carolina, and since he took over, the Panthers have yet to have a franchise QB lineup under center. That's an area of focus for the team this off-season after they started three different signal-callers during last season's 5-12 campaign. Carolina has been rumored to be interested in current 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Texans QB Deshaun Watson, as those are the two most desirable quarterbacks that might be available on the market this off-season.  Yesterday, a new name emerged as there was a report that Carolina has called Minnesota about the potential availability of Kirk Cousins, who's entering the final year of his contract with the Vikings. Cousins has had his struggles in the NFL both with Washington and now Minnesota, but when put in a situation to succeed, has proven to be more than capable of playing the position at a high level. Ellis Williams, Panthers beat reporter for the Charlotte Observer, joined the Nick Wilson Show earlier today, to discuss what adding Cousins to the fold, could mean for the Panthers

The Daytona 500, also known as the Great American Race is this Sunday, as the 2022 NASCAR season officially gets underway. Last season we saw the sport experiment with different tracks, formats, etc in an effort to make the racing more competitive, and fun to watch. This season, NASCAR will look to build off that success, as they try to recapture the popularity the sport had in the late 1990s. Earlier today, Tyler Reddick, a driver for Richard Childress racing joined the Nick Wilson Show to talk about a variety of different topics before the season starts. Of those topics, was how Reddick can win the Daytona 500, and etch his name in racing lore:

The Hornets are one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA, as they feature the best offense in the league. One of the reasons is the development of Miles Bridges, who in his fourth season, is the front runner for the NBA Most Improved Player, and is arguably the best game in-game dunker in the NBA. With his improved play, comes the discussion of his contract, as his option wasn't picked up, after declining a four-year, $60 million dollar extension over the summer. Bridges is a running mate of LaMelo Ball, and is clearly a core member of the Hornets future, as they try to build a contender in the Eastern Conference. Michael Jordan has long said that he's not willing to spend over the cap unless the team is a championship contender, which as of today, the Hornets aren't. That has raised the concern, that Miles may walk in free agency this summer. Rod Boone, beat writer for the Hornets for the Charlotte Observer, joined the Nick Wilson show to discuss that, and had this to say:

There are expectations at North Carolina every year to compete for both ACC and national championships, no matter the head coach, roster, etc. When you've won 7 national titles, been to 20 Final Fours, it's safe to have those expectations. Entering this season, Carolina was transitioning from Hall of Famer Roy Williams to first-time head coach Hubert Davis, but expectations remained high. The Tar Heels currently sit at 12-5 overall, 4-2 in the ACC. Now those numbers aren't bad, but Carolina is sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and have lost 3 games by 17 points are more, which means it is safe to say that UNC isn't living up to its potential. Brendan Marks joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier this afternoon, to explain why the Tar Heels struggles aren't all his fault:

Charlotte is the 5th youngest team in the NBA, yet they are four games above .500 and appeared primed for a return to the NBA postseason this spring. Their record has to do with being a good home team, head coach James Borrego being vastly underrated, the continued development of LaMelo Ball, the steady play of veterans, and the emergence of Miles Bridges. Bridges has elevated his game this season and is the front-runner to be the NBA's Most Improved Player this season. He's having this type of season, after not being extended over the summer, as he turned down a four-year, $60 million deal reportedly offered by Charlotte. After the type of season he's having, it is safe to say the asking price is going to be much higher this July.  In the NBA, teams that usually win championships, or are consistent contenders, are compromised of three All-Star level players, that carry the team night in, night out. It appears Charlotte has one piece of the puzzle in budding superstar LaMelo Ball, but the other two, remain a question, as Charlotte tries to be a competitor, despite being a small market team. Hornets beat reporter for The Charlotte Observer, Rod Boone, joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and had this to say about Miles Bridges being a part of a Hornets big 3:

The Panthers season finally came to a close on Sunday, as the team lost their seventh straight game to finish the season 5-12. After returning from Tampa, the players met with the media for the final time yesterday, and one of the big talking points was quarterback Sam Darnold. Both his head coach Matt Rhule, and GM Scott Fitterer stood up for the maligned QB, saying that he will be back in 2022 and that picking up his 5th-year option wasn't a mistake. They better hope not, because that 5th-year option will cost the Panthers over $18 million on the books for next season, and with over 20 players set to hit free agency, that money could be used in other areas. What is unclear as of this moment, is what will Darnold's role be? Will he be the clear-cut starter? Will the Panthers bring in the competition via a trade or free agency? Will Matt Rhule draft him a franchise quarterback, to cement his standing in the NFL? Nobody knows as of today, but for more on the situation, Panthers beat writer for the Charlotte Observer, joined Wilson & Norfleet today and had this to say on the topic:

The 2021 season came to a close yesterday for the Carolina Panthers, as they fell to the Tampa Bay Bucs 41-17, to finish the season with 7 straight defeats, and finish with an overall record of 5-12. The Panthers became the first team in NFL history to start a season 3-0 and finish with 12 losses, as Matt Rhule is just 10-23 as an NFL head coach. Despite that glaring record, Rhule is likely to be back for a third season. That has many Panther fans in an uproar, as they want more, expect more, and deserve more, than what they've gotten since Tepper ran Ron Rivera out of town. In his recent rebuilding stops at Temple and Baylor, Matt Rhule's teams won 11 games, but that was after taking a step in Year 2. That's what separates his rebuild in the NFL as opposed to the college game, is that his team didn't take that step, making it hard to imagine they will do so next. CBS Sports analyst Bryant McFadden, joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and he echoed that same sentiment:

At the start of the season, when Carolina was 3-0 everyone was singing the praises of Matt Rhule. The praises went as far as him being named as a candidate for the LSU and USC openings back in college when those jobs came available. Those praises can't be found these days as the Panthers are 5-11, as they enter their season finale Sunday, at Tampa Bay. It has gone as far as even at non Panthers events like the most recent Hornets game, "Fire Matt Rhule" chants erupted at Spectrum Center. Earlier this week, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport came to the defense of Matt Rhule on the Mac Attack, and today, ESPN studio host Kevin Negandhi, joined Wilson and Norfleet earlier today and came to the defense of the former head coach of Negandhi's alma mater. Here is what Negandhi had to say about Matt Rhule:

Monday Georgia takes on Alabama in a rematch of the SEC title game, as the two college football powers will face-off for the national championship, in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Tide routed Georgia 41-24 back in December to clinch their spot in the 2021 College Football Playoff. Both teams earned impressive wins in the semifinals, as Bama took down Cincinnati 27-6, and Georgia made quick work of Michigan 34-11, setting up the rematch. The biggest question entering Monday's game, is can QB Stetson Bennett IV lead Georgia to that elusive championship? The Bulldogs haven't won a national title since the 1981 season when Herschel Walker carried the team all the way. To help answer that question, Dari Nowkhah, SEC Network host joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and had this to say: