Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mays May Make Move

Mays puts his name in, but doesn't hire agent.

Clemson junior forward James Mays has filed the necessary paperwork to make himself available for the 2007 NBA Draft, Head Coach Oliver Purnell announced Wednesday. Mays has not signed with an agent, thus leaving the option of returning to school open. The deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from draft consideration is June 18. The NBA Draft will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 28.

"James had been leaning toward this decision," Purnell said. "I'll help him get as much information as possible. Certainly, it should be something he should strongly consider if he's going to be a first-round selection."

The 6'9" Mays was a second-team All-District selection and honorable mention All-ACC performer this past season while helping the Tigers to a 25-11 overall record. He averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He also established Clemson single-season records for assists (95) and steals (69) by a frontcourt player.

"I feel this is an opportunity for me to explore my options," Mays said. "This will give me a chance to evaluate where I stand as a player. If I don't do as well as I hope to, by not signing with an agent, I will have a great opportunity to remain at Clemson and finish my college career." More...

Javaris Crittenton follows the crowd

Burlington Times News
Georgia Tech's Crittenton Going Pro
Rapid City Journal, SD - 29 minutes ago
ATLANTA - Georgia Tech freshman point guard Javaris Crittenton will enter the NBA draft, following the lead of classmate Thaddeus Young a day earlier. ...
Tech's Crittenton enters NBA draft Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription)
Crittenton testing draft waters
Georgia Tech's Crittenton going pro

Too Young for NBA?

Looks like we are quickly going from a year where almost everyone comes back to the ACC, to a whole lot of people testing the waters.

Tech's Young enters draft, won't hire agent

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/24/07

Thaddeus Young has made himself eligible for the NBA draft, but the Georgia Tech freshman is keeping open his option to return to the Yellow Jackets.

Young averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 rebounds last season, and will not hire an agent to protect his right to withdraw from the draft by June 18. The draft is June 29.

Upon filing for the draft, the 6-foot-8 small forward is allowed to consult NBA officials before making a decision on whether to hire an agent, which would end his NCAA eligibility.

"What we're trying to do is get a more definitive idea where he'll shake out," Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "Because of the way the NBA rules are set up, he nor his family could talk to anybody [in the NBA] unless he puts his name in. Now he can find out for sure what's what."

"I think the way he's conducting himself, he's planning on being in school unless somebody tells him something that could really change his mind."

Young's freshman teammate, point guard Javaris Crittenton, has until Sunday to decide whether to enter the draft. Hewitt said he has not made a decision. More...

New Flagship Station for Wolfpack Sports...

Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM Replaces WPTF

NC State officials announced today that an agreement has been reached
involving its rights holder, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Broadcasting
Corporation to partner with CBC station Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM. The agreement
moves Wolfpack sports programming to the FM side of the dial and solidifies NC
State’s flagship radio partnership through the 2016-2017 seasons.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sean Singletary to NBA?

It has always seemed logical to me that if you are a junior and eventually want to play in the NBA, why wouldn't you declare for the draft, not hire and agent, and just see what happens. You get to go workout for teams, get some serious feedback from the people who will eventually pay your salary on things you should work on to increase your worth, and have some fun along the way. It just seems logical.

But, as often as I've thought that it was a good idea and that the players would be coming back (Josh Powell, Damien Wilkins) somehow they never quite finished the plan and made it back to school, or at least not to the same school in Wilkins' case.

Sean Singletary was very quick to say he was coming back to school at the end of the season. But, settling back into the groove of classes, homework, and no hoops might be a little more boring than he expected. Rumor has it that Singletary may soon announce that he will make himself eligible for the NBA draft but not hire an agent, making him eligible for return to school if he withdraws his name in time. I think he would be 1st round, which means guaranteed money, so who knows what will happen if he does enter.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brandan Wright Gone!

Brandan Wright just announced he will leave UNC to enter the NBA Draft. I haven't looked at what the experts are saying, but I'd expect him to be top 5, possibly #3 behind Odon and Durant.

With Roy Williams by his side, supporting his decision, both stressed this allows Brandan to take care of his family.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Should I Stay or Should I Go...

Once upon a time this was a question that was only pondered by the top college juniors. Nowadays, it seems like every college player who averaged more than 10 points per game is considering the NBA draft. As a result, college hoops fans spend the time between the end of the season and the deadline for players to enter the draft anxiously waiting to hear if the stars on their favorite college team are going to make the jump to the NBA. There is no question that stars like Kevin Durant and Greg Oden will hit the jackpot when they are drafted. When Worthy and Jordon declared for they draft, everyone knew they were ready, and that they were going to cash in. But what about Brandan Wright and Josh McRoberts? Are they ready for the NBA? Where will they get drafted? Adding to this year’s confusion is the Randolph Morris loophole that may have added a few extra names to this year’s draft list.

Today there are only 60 draft picks. Of those, only the 30 first round picks are guaranteed money. I’ll have to admit that if someone came to me after my freshman year at State and offered me $100-thousand a year to go to work, I would have left in a second. Therein lies one today’s problems. Not everyone who declares for the draft knows where or if they will be drafted. Only a very few of the elite players know they will end up on the high dollar portion of the draft. For everyone else, it’s just a crap-shoot. Too often, players listen to the wrong people, declare for the draft, hire an agent and then poof, they end up playing in the Italian Pro League. Don’t get me wrong, money is money, and in most cases the guys playing in the European Leagues make more money a year than I do. One has to wonder if these guys would have declared for the draft and hired an agent if they had known where they would end up playing… maybe they should have read the NCAA manual a bit more closely before making a decision on hiring an agent.

The current NCAA rules put marginal players in a bit of a bind. If a player does not sign with an agent and pulls his name from the draft, he is eligible to return to school. However, if a player stays in the draft and gets drafted, his college career is over. If the player falls into the second round, he had better be impressive in camp. Otherwise, he’s headed to Europe, or worse.

The best thing that could happen to a marginal player, who is not bright enough to pull is name from the draft, would be to go un-drafted. Current NCAA rules allow a player to enter the draft once during his collegiate career. If the player is not drafted, he retains his college eligibility as long as he pays his expenses to pre-draft workouts and does not sign with an agent. The real kicker though is that an un-drafted player cannot be drafted in any future draft, making him a free agent. Many did not realize the ramifications of this loophole until Randolph Morris signed with the Knicks soon after Kentucky’s season ended.

Morris entered the draft after a lackluster freshman year at Kentucky. He was equally unimpressive during the pre-draft workouts and was not drafted. Unfortunately, Morris received bad advice prior to the draft that nearly cost him his sophomore season at Kentucky. After he repaid the expenses for the pre-draft workouts, and after Kentucky was able to demonstrate Morris had always intended to return to school, the NCAA reduced his suspension to 14 games. He was able to use the remainder of his sophomore season and this season to become at hot commodity among NBA teams. Technically, he could have signed with any NBA team during the college season. However, the feeling I get is that NBA Commissioner David Stern would not have been pleased with any team that pulled Morris out of Kentucky before the Wildcat’s last game.

So, before you write that favorite player of your off after he fails to pull his name from the draft, check to see if he hired an agent. If he didn’t, he may be smarter than you thought. If he goes un-drafted, he gains control of his own NBA destiny.

Later this week, after we learn what Brandan Wright plans to do, I will post my thoughts on how the draft should be handled.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Andrew Brackman Update

NC State fans will forever wonder "What If" regarding Andrew Brackman's decision to drop basketball to concentrate only on baseball. Who knows whether he might have developed into a real NBA capable player with Sidney Lowe at the helm. You have to believe given Lowe's offensive coaching ability, he would have found a way to help Andrew shine. At a minimum, I believe Brackman would have developed into a fine college player and have received lots of love from the Wolfpack fan base. Brackman along with NC State's returning stars and a great incoming class might have been looking at a top 10 preseason ranking.

BUT, I don't think anyone begrudges his decision. From all accounts he loves both games, and no question, he has a much better chance of the big payday in Major League Baseball.

His outings for the Pack haven't been stellar.

A.J. Carr of the N&O write:

Dwindling velocity, uneven performances plaguing bulked-up pitcher

To become a bigger, better basketball player, Andrew Brackman figured he needed to bulk up. Now the N.C. State baseball star believes excessive weightlifting has adversely affected his pitching this spring.

Regarded as a top major-league prospect, Brackman -- who will be on the mound Saturday at Georgia Tech -- has a 6-3 record and a 3.67 earned run average and has seen some of the zip slip off his fastball.

"It hurt my velocity,'' said Brackman, who was humming 99 mph pitches last summer but is throwing in the low 90s now. "I've got to cut back on the weightlifting. I feel I'm muscling the ball instead of having that whip action. I've got to concentrate on keeping the arm flexible."

Brackman, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound junior who played basketball for the Wolfpack as a freshman and sophomore, decided to play baseball full-time this year in preparation for the June draft. More...

If the year hasn't been perfect, it doesn't seem to mean that his prospects aren't bright. Keith Law rates the top 80 MLB Draft prospects for ESPN:

1. Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
2. David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt
3. Andrew Brackman, RHP, North Carolina State
4. Rick Porcello, RHP, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J.
5. Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress (Calif.) High School
6. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Ecole Secondary Du Versant, Gatineau, Quebec
7. Matt Harvey, RHP, Fitch High School, Groton, Conn.
8. Jason Heyward, OF/1B, Henry County High School, McDonough, Ga.
9. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Norwell (Ind.) High School
10. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State

And, if things don't work out and they figure that out soon, he's still got a year of hoops eligibility, right?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ACC Fan Blog Individual Awards

Player of the Year
Jared Dudley, Sr., Boston College

This was a close race between Dudley and the ACC’s leading scorer, Florida State Senior Al Thornton. Dudley, who finished second in scoring with 19.0 points per game, led the league in rebounding with 8.3 rebounds per game and finished fourth in the league in shooting. These are stats that would lead you to believe that Dudley is a post player, but he demonstrated his versatility by finishing 13th in the league in steals, 16th in free throw percentage, 21st in three pointers and assist to turnover ratio, and 22nd in assists. Dudley and his running mate Tyrese Rice combined to score 46.9 % of Boston College’s points in leading the Eagles to a three-way tie for third in the ACC’s final standings.

Freshman of the Year
Brandon Costner, NC State

First, let’s settle this once and for all. Under NCAA rules, Costner is a freshman. Yes, he played in five games last season, but the NCAA allows injured players to apply for a medical hardship waiver if they play in fewer than 20% of their team’s games. Even with the redshirt year, Costner is only 19 years old. Last year’s ACC Sportswriters selection for Freshman of the Year was 20 when he won the award. Costner, led all freshmen in scoring with 16.8 points per game and rebounding with 7.3 rebounds per game. Additionally, he proved to be an outside threat by hitting 1.7 three pointer per game. Perhaps the most impressive part of Costner’s season was the four days he spent in Tampa when he scored 30 points against Duke, 22 points against Virginia, 10 points against Virginia Tech, and 28 points against UNC during the Wolfpack’s run in the ACC Tournament.

Coach of the Year
Sidney Lowe, NC State

Going into the last 10 days of the season, this award was Dave Lietao’s to lose. Instead of wrapping up the top seed in the tournament, Virginia lost to Miami and Wake Forest to end up with the second seed. In the ACC Tournament, Virginia became a footnote in NC State’s run to the championship game. Sidney Lowe did an outstanding job in piloting an undermanned Wolfpack squad to a 20-16 record, and keeping them out of the league cellar. In a season that the NC State was selected to finish 12th Lowe coached the Wolfpack to a 5-4 record against the conference’s top three seeds. After an amazing run to the ACC Championship Game, the man in the red coat coached a weary team to wins against Drexel and Marist in the NIT. During an amazing nine-day stretch in March, the Wolfpack went 6 and 1… the stuff legends are made of.

Next Fall's ACC/Big10 Challenge games are set

The good news, NC State ends its ESPNU run and has a headline game at 7pm Wed. at Michigan State and isn't up against Duke or Carolina in the time slot. Full release is at

Matchups for the ninth annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge have been determined with the event featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner's Cup on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The ACC has won each of the eight Big Ten/ACC Challenges played to date with league teams winning 48 of the 75 games played in the Challenge.

For the third consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games (an increase from nine in the six previous years) from 11 different college campuses and include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games. This year's event will be played on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (November 26-28).

This year's schedule will be highlighted by the first-ever meeting between basketball powers Wisconsin and Duke, a rematch of last year's Ohio State-North Carolina Challenge game and first-ever Challenge showdowns -- Georgia Tech-Indiana, Wake Forest-Iowa, Boston College-Michigan, N.C. State-Michigan State and Virginia Tech-Penn State.

2007 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule
(All Times ET)

Monday, Nov. 26
7:00 p.m. ESPN2 Wake Forest at Iowa

Tuesday, Nov. 27
7:00 p.m. ESPN Georgia Tech at Indiana
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Minnesota at Florida State
8:00 p.m. ESPNU Northwestern at Virginia
9:00 p.m. ESPN Wisconsin at Duke
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Purdue at Clemson

Wednesday, Nov. 28
7:00 p.m. ESPN N.C. State at Michigan State
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Illinois at Maryland
8:00 p.m. ESPNU Boston College at Michigan
9:00 p.m. ESPN North Carolina at Ohio State
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Virginia Tech at Penn State

2007 Challenge highlights:

  • Duke (8-0) is the only undefeated team in Challenge play.
  • The ACC (.642) and the Big Ten (.616) are the two winningest conferences in NCAA Tournament history.
  • First-Ever Meeting: ESPN will televise the first-ever meeting between traditional programs Wisconsin and Duke. Duke has won its previous eight Challenge games.
  • Challenge Rematches: Ohio State, a participant in the 2007 National Championship game, will play North Carolina, an Elite Eight team in the 2007 Tournament, in a rematch of last year's Challenge game, won by North Carolina 98-89. Another rematch from last year will pit Illinois at Maryland. Last year, Maryland won 72-66 and also defeated Illinois 76-63 in the 2001 Challenge.
  • Unfamiliar Opponent: Georgia Tech and Indiana's first Challenge matchup will also mark the first time the teams have met since 1969, an 87-65 Georgia Tech victory.
  • ESPNU Televises Two Games: For the third consecutive year, ESPNU will televise two games, both at 8 p.m.: Northwestern at Virginia Tuesday, Nov. 27 and Boston College at Michigan Wednesday, Nov. 28.
  • Since 2000, these two conferences have combined to make 14 Final Four appearances and captured four of the last eight NCAA Championships. In addition, the ACC and Big Ten rank either first or second in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, victories and Final Four appearances.

Seth Greenberg Talks about Tragedy

Several articles with Seth quotes

Virginia Tech basketball coach Greenberg, former LIer says that Hokie Nation is 'what we are'

He traveled from Plainview to New Jersey for his formal education, and the pursuit of his profession has taken him to universities from coast to coast. It didn't take the tragedy at Virginia Tech to convince Seth Greenberg he is a member of a special community. Nonetheless, the reaction of the school and adjacent town of Blacksburg confirmed his belief in what he and others call Hokie Nation.

"The respect and love people here have for each other is second to none," Greenberg, the university's men's basketball coach, said yesterday from his office. "Virginia Tech is a place where people ask how you're doing and actually wait for an answer. Hokie Nation is a real entity." More

VT Athletes escape Harm

Virginia Tech wrestler Eric Decker was about 200 yards from Norris Hall on Monday morning, walking to a class in another building, when he saw "seven to 10" police cars and a SWAT van, then heard "probably three or four" gunshots.

He said three police officers arriving on the scene sprinted toward him and screamed at him to get down.

"I bent down and was doing like a bent-over run, and they bent over with me and kind of covered me up until I got somewhere where I was out of view," said Decker, a freshman from Wells Bridge, N.Y., who then spent several hours in another building during a campus lockdown. More...

I'm Numb

Greenberg first learned of the tragedy shortly after breakfast Monday morning when his daughter, Paige, a freshman at Virginia Tech, called him and informed him of the first of the two deadly shootings.

Greenberg advised his daughter to meet him at his office in Cassell Coliseum, but she temporarily ended up at her boyfriend's off-campus apartment when the second round of shootings began just minutes later. Eventually, she made her way to the Greenberg family home roughly two miles from campus.

"It's all been just a blur," Greenberg said.

According to the report, Greenberg spent much of the day making sure his players had contacted their families to let them know they were safe. He also spoke with a school psychologist who will help counsel students and faculty members. More...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Out of respect for the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech,

the publication of our ACC Individual Awards will be delayed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Virginia Tech family.

This just Sucks - Shooting at VaTech

(CNN Photo)

At least 21 people were killed Monday in twin shootings on the Virginia Tech campus -- the worst school shooting incident in U.S. history. "Some victims were shot in a classroom," university police Chief Wendell Flinchum said. The lone gunman is also dead.

Sports aren't really important at a moment like this, but our thoughts can't help but jump to the players and hopes that they are all OK. A couple of related articles, as coaches react and scramble to make sure their guys are all OK and to reassure worried parents

Beamer 'in shock' after Virginia Tech tragedy

Va. Tech's Greenberg 'numb'

Saturday, April 14, 2007

ACC Fan Blog All Conference Teams

As promised, we have waited until the conclusion of the post season to announce the ACC Fan Blog All Conference Teams. Many of you may be thinking that it is a bit late to announce our selections, but keep this in mind; the deadline for The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACC Sportswriters) All Conference ballots was 9:00 pm on the final Sunday of the regular season… less than 2 hours after the conclusion of the UNC-Duke game. To us, it just didn’t make sense to honor the ACC’s best until the best part of the season was over. This season, eight of Carolina’s 38 games were played after the conclusion of the regular season. Would any of you make a key business decision while missing 21% of the facts?

Today we are announcing our all conference and all freshman teams. Tomorrow we will follow up with our individual awards.

First Team
Jared Dudley, Sr., Boston College
Al Thornton, Sr., Florida State
Zabian Dowdell, Sr., Virginia Tech
Tyler Hansbrough, So., UNC
Sean Singletary, Jr., Virginia

OK, so we selected the same first team as the ACC Sportswriters. Simply put, these five players dominated league play by scoring 10.4% of the leagues points and pulling down 7.3% of the league’s rebounds. All five led their teams in scoring and on average scored 24.1% of their teams’ points. All of our first team selections were among the league’s top seven scorers with Thornton leading the way with 19.7 points per game. Dudley, Hansbrough and Thornton were also in the top six in field goal percentage and the top eight in rebounding. Singletary, who tied with Dudley for second in scoring, also finished second in three-pointers and fifth in assists. Dowdell finished second in steals and 11th in assist to turnover ratio.

Second Team
Brandon Costner, Fr., NC State
Tyrese Rice, So., Boston College
Brandan Wright, Fr., UNC
J.R. Reynolds, Sr., Virginia
Josh McRoberts, So., Duke

Our second team would make a pretty good first team in most years. Brandan Wright led the league in field goal percentage at 64.6%. Rice and Reynolds were both in the top six in scoring. McRoberts who was second in blocked shots, third in rebounding and in the top 20 in assists and assist to turnover ratio, was hurt by Duke’s 8-8 ACC regular season and 0-2 post season. The only departure we had from the ACC Sportswriters’ second team was to replace D.J. Strawberry with Brandon Costner. In comparing the stats, we felt that Costner had a slight edge on Strawberry, but when comparing post season performance, there was no question that Costner deserved a spot on the second team.

Third Team
Kyle Visser, Sr., Wake Forest
Ben McCauley, So., NC State
Sean Marshall, Sr.,Boston College
D.J. Strawberry, Sr., Maryland
Ty Lawson, Fr., UNC

With our third team we really departed from the ACC Sportswriters. For starters, Ty Lawson was selected of over Georgia Tech’s Javaris Crittenton. The two were evenly matched statistically with Crittenton holding an edge in scoring assists while Lawson was slightly better in field goal percentage and assist to turnover ratio. We felt that Lawson deserved the spot based on Carolina’s first place regular season and ACC Tournament Championship. We also felt that McCauley who finished second in field goal percentage, was in the top ten in rebounding and in the top twenty in scoring, assists and assist to turnover ratio was a no-brainier selection for the third team. Marshall was selected based on his top twenty finishes in scoring, field goal percentage and three-pointers. Visser, who was the only Wake Forest player to score in double figures, finished second in field goal percentage, fifth in rebounding, seventh in blocked shots and eighth in scoring. Strawberry, who was fourth in the league in steals, also finished in the top 11 in scoring and field goal percentage.

Honorable Mention
Engin Atsur, Sr. NC State
Ekene Ibekwe, Sr., Maryland
Javaris Crittenton, Fr., Georgia Tech
James Mays, Jr., Clemson
James Gist, Jr., Maryland
K.C. Rivers, So., Clemson

All Freshman Team
Brandon Costner, NC State
Brandan Wright, UNC
Ty Lawson, UNC
Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
Thadeus Young, Georgia Tech

Honorable Mention
Trevor Booker, Clemson

Costner led all freshmen in scoring at 16.8 points per game, placing ninth overall in league scoring. Additionally, he finished in the top ten in field goal percentage. Crittenton and Young both led Georgia Tech in scoring at 14.4 points per game. Crittenton placed in the league’s top three in steals and assists, while Young was seventh in field goal percentage. Lawson, who had the leagues best assist to turnover ratio at 2.57, also finished in the top ten in assists and steals. Wright, who led the league in field goal percentage, was also sixth in blocked shots.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Name from the Past - Tom Abatemarco

Saw Tom Abatemarco's name pop up in a news story. I guess rumors had him getting an assitant job at Colorado:

Forget It, Tom Abatemarco Fans---Colorado's New Basketball Coach Says It's 'Comical' To Think the Guy Dumped By Drake In 1990 Will Be An Assistant

Abatemarco was on Valvano's staff in 1983. I can sort of remember after the championship, V was so worn out and maybe a little sick that Tom did Valvano's radio show for him. You could almost mistake his voice for V's. Like V, he was funny. Like V, he had some major flaws, including apparently not always having his kids best interests in mind. He was fired at both Drake and Sacremento State in what could pretty much be called player revolts.

The strongest memory I have of Tom was from around 84 or 85. State didn't yet have a practice facility and had to share Reynolds with the women for practice. So from time to time the men's team had practice in Carmichael Gymnasium. At that time all of V's practices were open, but this was a real treat because you could climb up on the walk and watch practice from about 20 feet off the floor. Anyway, they are running drills or scrimmage or something and Abatemarco is standing inbounds on the court during it. Not sure if he was coaching or not paying attention, but he gets in the way and causes backup guard George McClain to tweak his ankle pretty bad. This was the first time I saw the ugly side of Valvano, who proceeds to go off, commenting about his "G-D F-ing useless assistant". It was both funny and disturbing, but I always remembered it.

Just kind of struck me as I'm writing this that this whole internet/blog thing has a pretty disturbing side to it. I'm not the first to notice this of course, but how different is the world now. I have a memory of something inconsequential that happenned 23 years ago and feel compelled to write it down, and someone thinking about using Abatemarco as their Realtor who decides to google him is going to read it. It isn't really fair, but that genie is out of the bottle and we'll all just have to learn to adjust.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What’s Going on at Wake?

With today’s announcement that sophomore forward Kevin Swinton will transfer, Wake Forest has had more defections this spring than the East Germans used to get during the Olympics. Swinton joins freshman Casey Crawford and sophomore Shamaine Dukes on the transfer list. Every program has players transfer to other schools. Let’s face it; 17 year olds don’t always make the best decision when it comes to picking schools, but 3 transfers in one year? One has to wonder if there are deeper problems at Wake Forest than the back to back bad seasons.

Neither of the transfers were major contributors to the Deacs this season, so this could just be a case of the coaching staff and the players agreeing that it is time to move on. The program was definitely hurt by Chris Paul's early departure to the NBA. However, we have reached the point where Wake fans and coach Skip Prosser can no longer use that early departure as an excuse. Even the Wake lunitic fringe would have to admit that Paul would only be around for 3 years. Prosser should have planned to have a new point guard in place at the start of this season. Of course we wouldn't be discussing this had Prosser landed Greg Oden. Skip Prosser’s job is safe for now, but another bad season and he will be on the hot seat. I never thought I would see the day that the Wake Forest Football program was more successful and stable than the basketball program.

Taylor Zarzour Returns to the Air… Sort of…

Taylor Zarzour who hosted the “Morning Sports Drive” on the now defunct Triangle Sports Talk 1090 now hosts the “Sports Drive” from 3-5 pm on Spring Lake’s ESPN Radio WCIE 1450-AM. Don’t go searching the dial in the Triangle area to find this station. When conditions are just right, the station can barely be heard at my home about 18 miles southeast of Fayetteville. Your best bet to hear Zarzour is via the web at

This should familiar to listeners of Triangle Sports Talk 1090… According to the Fayetteville Observer, The station manager at WCIE reports that one of their main priorities is to improve their signal strength. Many of you will recall that 1090 was a daytime only station with limited coverage into Raleigh. Triangle Sports Talk did purchase WDUR 1490 to improve their coverage into Durham and North Raleigh, but Zarzour did his last Morning Sports Drive the day after the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. I sort of had the feeling they were waiting until the hockey season was over to pull the plug.

Although it was short-lived, Triangle Sports Talk did reshape sports talk in the Triangle. Prior to the Morning Sports Drive, there was no morning sports talk in the market. The presence of the Morning Sports Drive forced WRBZ’s parent company, McClatchey Broadcasting to start a morning show. Not wanting to drop Imus in the Morning, McClatchey acquired a broadcast agreement for WDNC and started the Morning MoJo in the 6-10 am slot. As a result, 620 the Bull and 850 the Buzz now hold a monopoly over sports talk in the Triangle. Between to 2 stations, there are now 10 hours a day of locally originated spots talk.


(WRAL Photo)

In all of the stories I'm reading, words like acquitted and charges dropped lead the stories. After all this time, I don't understand why people are afraid to tell the truth, these kids are "innocent". There is absolutely no evidence that they did anything other than attend a party where there were poorly chosen strippers. On the other hand, there is evidence that Crystal Mangum, shown below(WRAL Photo), perpetrated a hoax. Of course, legally holding her responsible for that is hard to do despite testimony from her co-worker for that night. But at this point I think it is safe to say these guys were the victims and a whole lot of people owe them apologies.

Amaker lands on his feet

Michigan may have been a no win situation for any coach. Hard to say. They just never recovered from the Fab-5 and Steve Fisher. Hopefully Tommy will find some peace and revive his career at Harverd.

Source: Ex-Michigan coach Amaker going to Harvard
ESPN - 2 hours ago
Harvard will name former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker as its next men's basketball coach, a source close to the situation told Wednesday. ...
Amaker lands after being fired by Michigan MSNBC
Amaker accepts offer to coach at Harvard
Report: Amaker to take over at Harvard

Coach K listenning to critics?

Nice post by Joe Ovies on 850 Blog about Coach K rethinking things...

Don’t we all. Just don’t go Speedo down in Myrtle.

The News and Observer has fascinating feature on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his plans to rethink the way he does his job. Only in Durham does a 22-11 season with first-round exits in the ACC and NCAA tournaments cause so much deep thought (by Jack Handy). That’s not a knock, it simply illustrates the standards set by Coach K. The areas he and his staff have begun analyzing are the team, USA Basketball commitments and their relationship with the media. Concerning the players and USA Basketball, you can read between the lines on a couple of quotes and compare notes with a few theories that have been making the rounds. Did Duke swing and miss on recruits, or at least fail to properly evaluate the players who arrived in Durham? Has USA Basketball taken more of a toll on the coach than he would like you to believe? All valid questions, and Coach K gives some insight on the subject. More

Duke Nightmare OVER!

2:30 News Conference Scheduled

Duke Lacrosse Case Charges to Be Dropped

ABC News is the only one out there on this so far. ABC has been wrong before, but things certainly have the look of being over. This has been such an ugly story for Duke and college athletics. I sincerely hope that Nifong is disbarred for his clearly politically driven actions in this case, and I hope these kids can somehow turn this horrible experience into something positive, or at least find a way to get on with their lives now.

More from the ABC Story...

April 10, 2007 — The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case.

The three players, Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, were facing charges of first degree kidnapping and first degree forcible sexual offense. The charges stem from an off-campus party on the night of March 13, 2006.

In the hours after the party, one of two dancers hired to perform for the players claimed she had been violently raped in a bathroom by members of the lacrosse team. The players had also been indicted for first degree rape, but that charge was dismissed on Dec. 22, 2006.

Special prosecutors from the Attorney General's office took over the case after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself in January, citing charges of unethical conduct filed against him by the North Carolina Bar. Since then, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead have examined the case from scratch, interviewing key witnesses and working through reams of evidence.

The reasons that will be cited for the dismissal are not yet known, though the case has been riddled with criticism and colored by controversy since its early months. Defense attorneys released documents showing the accuser changed key details of her story in the weeks and months after the alleged assault.

Legal analysts and forensic experts have criticized what they call a critically flawed photo identification lineup — a lineup that led to the identification and indictment of Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann. No DNA evidence was found matching any lacrosse players with samples from the rape kit, while DNA from unidentified men was found on the accuser's body and clothing.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General confirmed to ABC News that his office had completed its investigation into the Duke lacrosse case. A press conference on the outcome of their inquiry is widely expected sometime this week, though members of that office have not yet revealed a date and time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Return of the Big Man

I'd love to see stats on this to understand if it is just coincidence or maybe something in the food supply 18 years ago, but seems like the big man is coming back to college basketball.

Wake Forest lands 7-footer

Wake Forest made an impressive start on its 2008 basketball recruiting class by receiving a commitment from Wilmington 7-footer Ty Walker.

A likely top-50 prospect when new rankings of the rising seniors come out at the end of the current school year, Walker chose the Deacons over N.C. State, Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Miami.

All of those schools offered scholarships, as did East Carolina and UNC-Wilmington. North Carolina showed considerable interest, but did not get to the offering stage. Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona and Texas were among about 40 other Division I schools that were in the hunt.

Walker, thin at 215 pounds, averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.1 blocked shots as a junior for Wilmington New Hanover High School, which defeated Charlotte Vance to win the state 4-A championship.

He rejected eight shots, while scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds in the Wildcats’ 39-35 title game victory and was named most valuable player of the game. New Hanover finished 29-4 in winning its first state hoops championship in 39 years.

Although there were a slew of big-name schools pursuing Walker, his choice of Wake Forest was pretty clear-cut. New Hanover coach Linc Lyles was quoted as saying, “I don’t think there was a second choice. It was basically Wake and then everybody else.”

More ACC promises

Three other Atlantic Coast Conference schools have received promises from juniors, with N.C. State, Clemson and Virginia Tech getting two apiece.

LaRon Dendy, a 6-8 power forward from Kings Mountain Hope Christian, and 6-1 point guard Cashmere Wright of Savannah (Ga.) Urban Christian have picked Clemson; 6-5 Jack Britt small forward C.J. Williams and Julius Mays, a 6-2 point guard from Marion (Ind.) High, have chosen N.C. State; and Virginia Tech has pledges from 6-6 power forward J.T. Thompson of Kings Mountain Hope Christian and 6-3 wing guard Shamarr Bowden of Charlottesville (Va.) Miller.

All seven of those prospects plan to sign letters-of-intent in November.

Ty Walker
Ht: 7-0 Wt: 220 PPG: 19.0
Position: C, PF
Year: Class of 2008
AAU Team: Boo Williams
High School: New Hanover HS

N.C. State is one of several schools trying hard for Ralph Sampson III. The son of the 7-4 former Virginia standout is a 6-11 power forward at Duluth (Ga.) Northview. Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Auburn and Oklahoma State are also in pursuit.

Sampson (the No. 42 junior), who averaged 14 points and 11 boards, scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a matchup with Wolfpack 2007 signee J.J. Hickson (No. 19), a 6-9 power forward from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler. More...

Sampson is planning on attending another high school, for his junior year. Check back with for updates regarding which school that will be.

Another 2008 big man targeted by the Pack is in-state prospect Catalin Baciu, a 7-0 center from Fletcher Veritas Christian. The native of Romania has visited N.C. State twice on his own, while also taking unofficial trips to Clemson, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.

Catalin Baciu
Ht: 7-0 Wt: 225
Position: C
Year: Class of 2008
High School: Veritas Christian Academy

Most of this article is from Thad Mumau

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Senior All-Star Games

I didn't know they still had these things, given the extreme exposure of basketball during the season, but growing up, I always really looked forward to these end of season games where ACC Seniors toured the area, sometimes in small arenas, sometimes in places like Wake's old gym, but looks like these things are still around, giving outgoing players a chance to earn a little spending money and have some fun.

ACC Stars Bring Game UPHS

UNC seniors Reyshawn Terry and Wes Miller have played in more than 100 basketball games in arenas all over the United States. Union Pines High School will soon be joining the list of venues the two have played in during their careers.

On April 19, ACC fans will be able to say goodbye to the UNC seniors and other ACC players from Tobacco Road when a team of ACC All-Stars arrive at Vikingville to play a team of Moore County All-Stars.

Other seniors expected to join Terry and Miller are Tar Heel teammate Dewey Burke; Kyle Visser and Michael Drum from Wake Forest; and Engin Atsur and Bryan Neiman from N.C. State. The Moore County All-Stars will consist of seniors from Pinecrest, North Moore and Union Pines high schools.

The game is being held to benefit the Moore County Magic, a local AAU/YBOA youth basketball program.

"This should be a great game and exciting night for family fun," said Richard Maness, coach of the Magic and local coordinator for the game.

In addition to the game, there will be a slam-dunk contest, a three-point contest at halftime and an autograph session after the game.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 in Union Pines' gym. Tickets are on sale at Union Pines, New Century Middle School and Johnny O's Awards in Aberdeen. Tickets are also available at How You Doin' Pizzeria & Sub Shop and Brats European Bristro, both located in Southern Pines.

A limited number of VIP tickets are available. VIP tickets include reserve seating behind the bench and a reception for the ACC players after the game.

"We expect a sellout," Maness said. "The game will be a good way for ACC fans to see a great night of basketball."

I Still have my Jimmy Black, Chuck Nevitt, and Max Perry autographs from one of these somewhere.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Kentucky Gets Billy to Accept Coaching Job

Image courtesy of

... Billy Gillispie That is...

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie will be introduced as the next coach at the University of Kentucky. ESPN reported that Gillespie never signed the contract extension that he recently negotiated with A&M.

So much for reporting contract extensions...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Billy Packer's old Southern Roots betray him again

I like him, I've grown up with him, and most of the time I think he knows more about basketball than the others I hear, so I'm probably always going to defend him probably. You may or may not remember many years back when he called Allen Iverson a "tough little monkey". The politically correct crowd tried to make him out as a racist, which he isn't. What people around the country don't understand is that a lot of little kids in the south, white or black, at one time or another were called tough little monkeys.

Well, here we go again.

Packer says he wasn't being homophobic

CBS college basketball analyst Billy Packer said he wasn't being insensitive or homophobic when he made a comment while being interviewed Friday from Atlanta on "The Charlie Rose Show," which airs on PBS.

At the end of the interview, Rose, who was in New York, asked Packer whether he needed a runner for the Final Four. "Because I could jump on a plane and could be there," Rose said.

To that Packer, a Charlotte resident, responded, "You always fag out on that one for me, you know. You always say, oh, yes, I'm going to be the runner, then you never show up."

Audio and video clips of that interview have been appearing on Internet sites.

"I said he fagged out on me, and it had nothing to do with sexual connotation," Packer, 67, said Wednesday in a phone interview. "I got to know Charlie a number of years ago and have great admiration for his program and intellect." defines "fag out" as meaning "to tire or weary by labor; exhaust." Which is what Packer said he meant.

"I can assure you I will use that phrase again and I won't think twice about it," he said.

Get REAL people, its in the damn dictionary. Anyone offended by it is downright ignorant.

This reminds me a lot of some firestorms generated when people have used the word "niggardly". This is a perfectly legitimate word meaning stingy or miserly, which just happens to have an unfortunate similarity to the second worse word in the English Language. I won't mention the worse word in the English Language, but use it around your favorite girl and you are toast. Anyway, there have been a whole host of stupid controversies over the use of niggardly you can check out HERE.

The sad thing is, Packer's comments haven't really offended anyone, it is just opportunistics dumb-asses trying to self promote by feigning offense at the expense of someone else.

If you are so inclined and want to checkout my nominees for Jackass of the Month
Jay Mariotti Calls for Suspension of Billy Packer
Basketball announcer uses antigay slur in interview
If CBS is Looking For a Reason to Fire Billy Packer, Here They Go
Sportscaster Packer Slurs Gays

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Cinderella team has done it…

The glass slipper fits…

The Wolfpack has won the National Championship!

Twenty-Four years ago tonight at 11:14 pm, the late Wally Ausley made that legendary call as NC State stunned the basketball world and defeated Houston 54-52 to win the National Championship.

I still get goose bumps whenever I hear the play-by-play of the last minute of that game. When the game ended, I jumped up from the couch, leapt over the coffee table, screamed, jumped back across the table and kissed my girlfriend. My mom, who had long since gone to bed, came rushing downstairs to see what the commotion was. She didn’t believe us when we said State had won the game.

What really sucked though was that school was on spring break. I had to wait a full week before I could rub it to the obnoxious Carolina fans that I went to school with at good ole RJR.

N.C. STATE (54)
Thurl Bailey........39...7-16...1-2...5...0...1...15
Lorenzo Charles.....25...2-7....0-0...7...0...2....4
Cozell McQueen......34...1-5....2-2..12...1...4....4
Dereck Whittenburg..39...6-17...2-2...5...1...3...14
Sidney Lowe.........40...4-9....0-1...0...8...2....8
Alvin Battle.........4...0-1....2-2...1...1...1....2
Terry Gannon........18...3-4....1-2...1...2...3....7
Ernie Myers..........1...0-0....0-0...1...0...0....0

Clyde Drexler.......25....1-5....2-2...2...0...4....4
Larry Micheaux......18....2-6....0-0...6...0...1....4
Hakeem Olajuwon.....38....7-15...6-7..18...1...1...20
Alvin Franklin......35....2-6....0-1...0...3...0....4
Michael Young.......30....3-10...0-4...8...1...0....6
Benny Anders........17....4-9....2-5...2...1...2...10
Reid Gettys.........20....2-2....0-0...2...2...3....4
David Rose...........7....0-1....0-0...1...0...2....0
Bryan Williams......10....0-1....0-0...4...1...3....0

N.C. State......33...21...54

Duke Women lose Coach

This move looks a lot like Roy Williams' move from Kansas. He got Kansas to the highest levels, but couldn't seem to win a championship, so moved to a place where he could. Gail Goestenkors has built Duke into a power that nearly matches the Men's team, but they've been plagued by coming up short in the NCAA's. I don't know the details of what offer Duke came back with, but rumors had been, that since the women's team was a money loser instead of winner for Duke, they wouldn't be offering enough to match what Texas can spend. Football is King where $$'s are concerned, and Texas has money to spare.

Duke's Coach G Heading to Texas

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Do You Know Who This Is?

If you watched last night’s National Championship game, you saw him in action on the court.

Still stumped?

Well, he was involved in the opening tip…

Too short to be a center?

Well, he was the one tossing the ball...

That’s right, veteran official Karl Hess during his playing days at Liberty where he remains the Flames’ all-time leading scorer. Hess’s appearance in the National Championship game, his third Final Four appearance, gave the ACC at least one representative at the Final Four. He was joined by Big East official Ed Corbet who was working his fifth Final Four and SEC official Tony Greene who was working his fourth Final Four and second straight championship game.

Other officials who worked in the Final Four were Richard Cartmell (PAC-10), Michael Kitts (Big East) and Ted Valentine (SEC) who worked the Georgetown – Ohio State game. Vern Harris (PAC-10), Tom O’Neill (C-USA) and Curtis Shaw (Big-12) worked the UCLA-Florida game.

Interesting... none of the officials who worked the Big-10 tournament advanced to the Final Four this year. I guess they had to get prepared to work the Big-10 spring football scrimmages.

Hess who had his jersey retired in December works as a psychologist in Lynchburg.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Lefty in the Hall of Fame

Charles “Lefty” Driesell, coach

Driesell is one of five coaches to take four different teams to the NCAA Tournament — Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia State. His 41-year record is 786-394.

More Here.