Happy Friday. Roy gets in his first dad-gum of the season. I have to say that I thought it was dag-gum. Perhaps there is and this was just more of a dad-gum moment. I just want to be clear….Quentin Thomas…if you are reading this blog….don’t listen to me…..listen to Roy. I can’t get my head around the first few paragraphs of the new Adam Lucas article.
COLUMBUS–Being a scorer isn’t all about putting the ball in the basket. That’s a requirement, of course, but being a scorer at the ACC level requires something else–a bit of attitude. It’s firing the ball and immediately backing down the court, secure in the knowledge that your shot couldn’t possibly do anything but drop through the net. It’s coming out of a timeout and wanting the ball. It’s realizing the other team knows you want to shoot…and still finding a way to score.
Maybe he meant being a scorer is actually all about putting the ball in the basket. I’m all for toughness, but I’m just not ready for that to be the key. The key will be scoring more points. Toughness or lack of toughness makes for an easy article though. Win = Tough, Loss = Need to get tougher. Barry Jacobs writes that you have to wait for Broward County to come in. Carolina March has some praise for the Big 10. Tomorrow we travel to Lexington and try to make it four in a row. The Wildcats are having a rough time so far and apparently a few necks are already ready to fire Gillispie. They are scoring OK, but are having trouble putting the ball in the basket. Who could have seen that coming. Oh right. John Gasaway.
But write this in stone: Gillispie’s Wildcats won’t shoot as well in 2008 as did Smith’s in 2007
Kentucky still has experience in the back court and talent in the front court. Clearly they’ll be up for this and will view the game as an opportunity to turn things around. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Wildcat defense. Ty will probably play. Both fan bases will have to endure Dick. Gasaway had some tough words for ESPN’s #1:
The announcing team working the game last night posed a constant and intractable obstacle between viewers and the game. Which, not to put too fine a point on it, is pretty much the precise opposite of what an announcing team is supposed to do. I literally found myself leaning in toward the TV and squinting at the screen, as if that would help me follow what Gerald Henderson was doing while the announcers went happily and blissfully AWOL, addressing such pressing matters as Ronde Barber, the new College Basketball Experience in Kansas City and, inevitably, Jimmy V. This announcing team has been tarred on occasion with the easy catch-all pejorative “ESPN,” but let us be clear. It’s not ESPN. Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery and Sean McDonough share a water cooler with these guys, yet they’re consistently outstanding. No, it’s simply that last night’s announcing team has apparently been given free reign by someone in the organizational chart to ignore the game whenever they want. Which, as it happens, is very often. That’s worse than annoying. It’s unprofessional in the most literal sense of the term. Anyone else in the world is free to talk about whatever they want to talk about. Last night’s announcing team, on the other hand, was paid specifically to talk about Wisconsin vs. Duke. They should have tried it from time to time.
Of the two obnoxious bald men I prefer di…I mean Vitale….but Billy at least does
talk bitch about basketball.
I’ve only got time for a bit o blog this morning as I actually have work to do. Before I get started I must say that pictures of Karl Rove and Mike Krzyzewski first thing in the morning is really terrible. Extremely sorry if anyone else had to deal with that. Carolina wins! It was not pretty and I thought the key was the play of Alex and Deon. Each of them had seven boards and played very well on defense. Carolina’s dominance on the boards was huge on a night when neither team shot 40%. Certainly, Wayne Ellington deserves some props as well. Lawson was missed but I could not be happier that Carolina was strong in two of the areas where I had doubts. Maybe the Ohio State is not very good, but I doubt many will go into Columbus and win. The ACC wins 8-3. TIVO ALERT!
Cash Cup round up. A quick look at the standings show that all but three groups have meaningful last round match-ups. Chelsea, AC Milan, Barcelona, Manchester United, Roma, Inter Milan, Sevilla, and Arsenal are already through. Might as well only allow clubs from England, Italy, and Span, no? The Canes are struggling. Might I suggest this song. I am in favor of this. Bye now.
I was browsing the DBR message boards this morning and though it really is the cheapest shot a blogger can take…here are some class posts in a thread about whether or not Dook supporters should cheer for UNC tonight:
dukeENG2003 -If the Taliban fielded a basketball team, I’d root for them over UNC (sorta like the rooting for the Russians post, but modernized)
Cameron -I vote Hilary before I ever did such a thing. Then I’d have to stop breathing.
ugadevil -i hope Carolina plays their best game of the year…and that it’s not good enough. Kosta Koufos drops 50 on Hansbrough!
EarlJam -I hope Hansblahblah develops silver dollar-sized blisters on the balls of each foot, as well as on his genitalia. Then, I hope, after UNC loses, that he gets stressed out and develops numerous zits on his skin, especially in the area where the nose meets the cheekbone. That crevice. Zits are painful there, as are silver dollar-sized blisters on the genitalia (not that I know…but am assuming). Anyway, yeah, I hope those things happen.
ArnieMc -I’d pull for the al-Qaeda All Stars over the Eunuchs. (Eunuch is the proper way to pronounce UNC.)
SilkyJ -what a REDICKulous question. 9F
So….which one do you think is Stingy Jones?
The Ohio State University tonight and if the game is even half as much fun as last year we are in for a treat. The biggest news surrounding the game is that Ty Lawson might not play. Robert Frasor is ready to fill in and Robbi Pickeral notes that last year’s game was the one when Tywon took over for Bobby. If Lawson is unavailable tonight it will take away a huge advantage the Heels figured to have against Ohio St. The Buckeyes have some great young talent but Lawson would likely make Jamar Butler’ s life pretty difficult on both ends and the pace would certainly be faster. The Ohio State looked really good against Syracuse and really bad against Texas A&M, but I imagine we will get their best shot tonight in Columbus. Once again, they have a dominant freshman center who looks like he’s 40. At 7′ 0″, it should be very interesting to see how he matches up with Tyler. They liked to play at a slower pace than they did in Chapel Hill last season and I’d imagine Thad will try and keep the possessions down tonight. Adam Lucas answers the mail and has a nifty chart that shows how impressive Carolina’s road schedule is. Seth Davis realizes that there is very little thought needed to write for CNNSI. All the favored teams won last night and if any ACC team wins tonight the conference will win the competition for the ninth straight season. I was trying to come up with match-ups that might give the Little 10 a shot. Indiana-Virginia Tech, Wake Forest-Michigan St., Ohio St-Miami, Wisconsin-Boston College, Illinois-Florida St, Purdue-Maryland perhaps? The bottom of the Big 10 is so terrible that it seems unlikely they could ever beat the ACC in this format with ESPN making the schedule. They are favored in 3 of 5 tonight though.
Sanford’s Soccer Net has cash cup recaps and previews. It was disappointing to see Arsenal’s unbeaten run come to an end. Not really a better time for it though. Since there have not been too many disappointments this season, I have to point out a few negatives. Emmanuel Eboue is a talented footballer but he’s also a complete tw*t. I’d prefer he leave early for the African Cup than give the ball away every other minute and then dive and roll around like he’d been shot whenever his touch is poor. I really like Phillip Senderos, but he’s just not ready to play for a side like Arsenal. He is a real liability and if he replaces Kolo in January it could be a long month. Looking at the standings a dream match up with Barca could be in the cards for the knock out round.
Anyone who watched either the basketball game between Wake Forest and Iowa or the American football game (honestly you can’t call that gridiron because there was no grid) between Miami and Pittsburgh might want those hours back. Anyone who watched both needs a sport vacation. Holy f*ck, that was terrible. I felt like one of those people who watches Everyone Loves Raymond or a Wigan supporter or really anyone whom watches something truly terrible just because it is on. Why didn’t I have the strength to turn it off? And why will I do it again?
The news on Ty Lawson is null. He is questionable for Wednesday, but we all are questionable for Wednesday, really. S.L. Price has a nifty short on MJ. Not really much else going on. We travel to Columbus tomorrow and I’m sure they’ll be more about that game later today. The ACC is favored in 4 of 5 games tonight. Could the ACC clinch tonight?
Canes Country(no link because it keeps shutting my browser down) has some interesting thoughts on some trade possibilities. It would be lovely to have a puck moving defensemen. It would also be nice to have an unlimited amount of 12-year Glenfiddich. I can’t see it happening though and I can’t say that I’d drop Kaberle from the PP for Dennis yet.
Bill Conlin wants me killed by Hitler and he thought Jimmy Rollins was a good choice for MVP. Bill Conlin also did not vote for Nolan Ryan on his HOF ballot. Cash Cup action resumes tonight. Jozy to Real Madrid and Thierry to Real Salt Lake? Have a lovely day and maybe go see a band or a movie if the sport is bad tonight.
These players have grown up dreaming of this day. 2007 Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational Champions. I can hardly believe it. North Carolina won two pretty entertaining contests on both Saturday morning and Saturday night to take home the title. In case you didn’t watch even 30 seconds of the ESPN broadcast, Ty Lawson was hurt in the second minute. I could not find any updates on Tywon and if you read or hear something…take it to the comments. Obviously we’ll need Mr. Lawson back ASAP. I was really surprised with how well Old Dominion took care of the ball and made so many tough shots. Danny Green continued to impress and Wayne Ellington continued to knock down the big shots. BYU was also pretty impressive and it was nice to win a game played at a slower pace. The commitment to getting the ball inside in the second half really paid off. One thing that really is worrying me is our rebounding. Both Old Dominion and BYU out-rebounded the Heels and I’m not sure we can survive that on a day where the shots are not falling. Eddy Landreth has the myth, John Gasaway the reality. Or does he?
The strength of this defense last year was its ability to make opponents miss their twos. North Carolina was also exceptionally good on the defensive glass. These are precisely the strengths you’d expect to see from a team that starts three players 6’8″ or taller. They may not have looked terribly feisty. Maybe their fundamentals needed work. But they were tall. At the end of the day, that’s a good thing to be on defense.
The article is a must read and I do think last year’s team was unfairly seen as poor defensively. Obviously, Gasaway is discussing last year’s defense and wouldn’t jump to conclusions after such a small sample size about this team. Stat guys are funny that way. I on the other hand can be reckless and perhaps wrong when I say: we are not a good defensive team. If North Carolina doesn’t get better on the glass, this year’s team will be giving up more than a point per possession. Possibly, significantly more. We’re unlikely to be capable of replacing Wright and Terry’s solid work on the boards and so we’re either going to have to defend the three even better or create more turnovers. Something that hasn’t happened through five games. Danny Green and Marcus Ginyard seem to be our best rebounders, but that says as much about Tyler and Deon, doesn’t it? All of that half-empty talk aside, if we play as well on offense as we have so far…not many teams are going to beat us. Somebody had to write that headline. Luciana Chavez previews the ACC-Big 10
The N&O has a gridiron recap. I’m sure you all heard about Butch’s raise and contract extension. I’m really glad Dook has no kicker and that we pulled it out on Saturday. It really might have been tough to take a coach blowing a 4th down call, losing to Dook, and getting a raise. In the end, UNC
football gridiron finished right about where we expected them to. Considering the experience we will bring back, expectations will be higher next year. If we can pull another Marvin Austin, then things really will be looking up.
How many times will I look at the table this week? If only it wasn’t still November. Premiership highlights are here. 2010 World Cup draw was done yesterday. They really should combine CONCAAAAAAAAACCCCCAAAAAAAAAAAAAF and CONMEBOL. Seriously, how rad would that be? Perhaps they could drop all the con stuff and call It ‘Americas Qualifying’ too. Opie is really bringing class to State. Go Wake Forest and I’ll see you same time and same channel tomorrows.
Well, that was impressive. Sounded that way anyways. We were down 8-4 or something and then two minutes later the game was over. Wayne Ellington is off to a terrific start and he is showing the ability to get to the basket. North Carolina won’t play another game in the Smith Center until December 19th. Old Dominion in the LVI (still no link) is next and they have beaten both South Carolina State and Iona in Norfolk. They also gave Clemson a bit of a scare before the Tigers pulled away in the second half. The Monarchs lost their three best players from last season and have really struggled offensively. They are well coached and appear to be a good defensive team but surely don’t have enough firepower to hang with us. They do have a decent Fin who should be fun to watch. Assuming we show up to play on Friday night (Saturday morning) we’ll play Louisville or BYU in the title game on Saturday (10:30 pm EST). Many are assuming it will be a UNC-Louisville showdown and that remains likely. That said, BYU is pretty good team that has won every game by more than 20 and they’ll be in their time zone. If it is Louisville then a big key will be taking care of the ball. From the Basketball Prospectus Louisville preview:
The Cardinals turned the ball over just 17 percent of the time in conference play, while their opponents coughed it up on 23 percent of their trips. That imbalance in turnovers was one of the largest in the country last year.
Turnover Margin, 2007
Conference games only: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC
Opponent TO percentage Minus Team TO percentage Mississippi +6.9 Louisville +6.2 Seton Hall +5.2 Clemson +5.0 Texas Tech +4.7
Granted the other teams in that chart aren’t exactly A-list. The difference is that Louisville last year combined ball-control with talent in a way that perhaps no other team has since Illinois in 2005. Take away this imbalance in turnovers and the Cardinals were merely good, a solid above-.500 team. For all their undeniable talent, it was their mere ability to hold on to the ball, and their determination to take it away from the other team, that carried them to a 12-4 record in the Big East. That bodes very well for the Cards’ future.
Of course, that was written before the Cardinals suffered a devastating injury last weekend. Louisville still has plenty of talent, but let’s hope Roy is packing a Cougar scouting report just in case.
On Saturday, North Carolina will host Dook. The Blue Devils are coming off a devastating Super Bowl loss and Ted Roof might need a win to save his job. Assuming he wants to save his job, that is. If I were Nicky Saban I might say that keeping the Dook football coaching job is like remaining Prime Minister of Iraq or something. I would not say that though. I’m not an enormous f8cktard. Obviously, Dook is not very good at gridiron and anything other than a win will be very very disappointing. Hopefully the Hillside boy will be fired up. The game is on at 3:30 and will be broadcast by ESPNU. Carolina is favored by 14.
Football Outsider’s latest playoff odds were posted. Arizona in the playoffs? This afternoon we’ll find out who will be in Auswitzerland next summer. Hopefully not England. Unbelievable in a totally predictable way. Have a lovely Thanksgiving everyone. GO HEELS!
It is South Carolina State tonight in the Dean Dome and I suppose this is part of the Las Vegas Invitational. Does anybody understand how the LVI works? I looked around for a website or competition format and came up with zeroogle. The first three ’rounds’ were already set up and so we’ll play Old Dominion regardless on Friday. Could be a midnight tip too so I may just have to head to the pub for that one. Carolina will attempt to display improvement tonight. Hopefully they’ve got a nice shiny improvement case or maybe even an improvement table. It is easier to see that way. Adam Lucas has a new mailbag and in it we learn that the real Carolina blue is pantone 278. OK then. THF has a tribute to Tyler’s dunk. I’ll admit it was impressive but really only because Tyler rarely does that kind of thing. Not sure dunking over an Iona guard is really all that hypetastic. The game tonight is the only one that will not be televised but it will be nice to listen to Woody. The Bulldogs (yes I had to look that up) are 0-3 and have lost to Old Dominion, South Carolina, and Jacksonville. In the Blue Ribbon preview, coach Jeff Carter says:
“I was attracted here because everyone I talked to said South Carolina State was ready and primed to make a move as far as commitment was concerned,”
I think it was the fountains though.
Butch Davis is talking about adding on to Kenan. Maybe he should sign a contract extension and commit to being here when those additions are made. Carolina March says we should hold up and it is a reasonable point. Are we Bizarro Virginia? No doubt that a few breaks can make a huge difference in this conference. Still we did get some luck against Miami, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and State and so really we could be 1-10. The only game I felt really unlucky about was South Carolina but even in that game we got three interceptions and a missed field goal. The league isn’t very good but neither are we. All will be fine if we beat the Blue Devils though.
I think it’s time to face reality. Move the Bobcats to a region where they can be appreciated. Nearly twenty of my friends and I made the trip from the Triangle to Charlotte for the Bobcats game against Kevin Durant and the Seattle Sonics. The game was delightful, and the Bobcats organization goes out of its way to provide a relatively affordable and entertaining gameday experience, yet the arena was maybe two-thirds full. On a saturday night? I had a handful of extra tickets and I couldn’t get rid of them to save my life. Twenty dollars for a professional sports event is a steal, and Charlotte can’t come through.
I can forgive the gaudy, overpriced guido bars that line the streets of downtown. While I’m amazed that a self respecting pub can bring itself to charge four dollars for a Miller Lite after making me pay a cover just to have a few beers, I can’t blame them for making a buck where they can in a city of bankers and lawyers. But the lack of interest in your professional sports franchises is just disgraceful. Let the Bobcats move north so that they can be appreciated by real sports fans. In exchange, this UNC fan will glady offer up the NCSU and Duke basketball programs. Think it over.
Good Monday morning posse. Carolina destroyed Iona last night. Not much to add as it was never really a contest. Danny Green is making a very strong case to start, though perhaps he’ll just be getting the big minutes. Wayne is blooming which is good. I think. Holy Bejesbus…. Roy needs a new sweater. Only three to go for State!
Nats beat South Africa! Euro 2008 roundup. TOP has thoughts on all that. Canes Country pays tribute to Glen Wesley. What a dark day for New England sport. DFB thinks it was a crazy time to have the final. I agree…have it in May ffs. Bruce misses the championship? This was awesome. Scrapper to the Mets? Could not have happened to a bigger douche bag.