Virginia’s Ty Jerome used the Cavaliers NCAA Tournament Championship victory as an opportunity to poke the detractors, mainly sports radio hosts Stephen A. Smith and Mike Francesa.
“I just feel so bad for Stephen A. Smith,” Jerome told SI’s Andy Staples. “He said he hated watching us. And he had to watch us every single round of the tournament. I feel so bad for him. It must have been so hard for him.”
Jerome didn’t stop with Stephen A., calling out WFAN host Mike Francesa next. Courtesy of the Twitter handle @BackAftaThis, a previous video of Mike Francesa stating head coach Tony Bennett “will never win a championship with this team, they can’t play offense,” circled the internet following the Cavaliers victory over Texas Tech. Jerome shared the video with Francesa, leading the social media savvy Sports Pope to invite the national champion onto his show.
A native of New York, Jerome quickly explained to Mike why he chose to attend Virginia, “Great coaching staff, I know some would disagree, but I love the coaching staff from day one,” a clear dig at Francesa’s claim that Bennett wouldn’t win a championship.
Jerome stood up to Francesa again after the WFAN host claimed Virginia played their best offensive basketball of the tournament in the first half against Texas Tech. “Our offensive numbers, offensive efficiency, I think we’re top five in the country, we have been all year. I’m sure a lot of people don’t do their proper research of college basketball before they speak,” Jerome said.
Mike acknowledged the comment from Jerome as a shot, but let it slide, instead continuing to ask an in-depth basketball question. The interview lasted 21 minutes, with Jerome sounding more like a seasoned NBA veteran than a college student. Thankful for the invite, Jerome answered the rest of Mike’s questions without retort.