Thursday, May 31, 2007

Update on NC State assistant Larry Harris case

As you may remember Coach Harris was arrested a few months back. He had filed a report saying the officer used excessive force, and all has been quiet since. There is a video of the incident, so you have to assume the truth of the event will eventually come out. In the latest update, it looks like the officer will not be charged.


A Raleigh officer accused of assaulting a N.C. State coach will not be charged if a Wake County official has his way.
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Eyewitness News has learned that a magistrate judge has reviewed as internal investigation by Raleigh police and believes the officer should not be charged.

Raleigh police have completed their investigation of officer Robert King, according to Eyewitness News sources.

The report by the department's internal affairs division was taken to the Wake County magistrate's office earlier this month.

The chief magistrate reviewed the report and determined there was "no probable cause" for charges against Officer King. He was accused by N.C. State Assistant Basketball Coach Larry Harris of using excessive force during an April traffic stop.

Days after Harris' arrest, his attorney, Lee Turner expressed the coaches feelings. "He's upset that this ever...that this occurred."

Harris was stopped by Officer King in April for allegedly speeding on a downtown street.

In a police report, Officer King claimed Harris refused to follow instructions or provide a driver's license and physically resisted the officer.

Turner, who is also a friend of Harris' and a former Raleigh police officer, said King assaulted Harris.

"Coach Harris' conduct did not in any way rise to the level where he needed to be pepper sprayed or handled in the way that he was," Turner said.

But now a magistrate doesn't think the officer's actions were criminal. It's not the first time Officer King has been the subject of a Raleigh police investigation.

Last year, he was cleared after a Wake judge accused him of lying in court. Wake's district attorney is reviewing the latest internal investigation, but unless the D.A.'s office disagrees with the magistrate, it appears Harris will be the only one facing criminal charges.

King's case is scheduled for July.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Big Changes to Triangle Sports-Talk

The local fallout from Don Imus’ fall from grace concludes Tuesday morning, as the biggest change to Triangle Sports Radio since WRBZ began its all-sports format kicks off on 850 the Buzz and 620 the Bull. After 10 years of afternoon drive-time, Adam Gold moves to the morning drive-time slot on the Buzz. From the sound of things, the yet to be named show will include more than sports. I think this is going to turn into an Imus type show with more of a sports angle. I just hope the show does not turn into another morning zoo. Many long-time Buzz listeners will remember that Gold’s afternoon show was not always a sports show. When he first got to the Buzz, Gold was paired with the guy that replaced the outrageous Mike Church. At the time, it was obvious that Gold was there to take over the spot as 850 transitioned to an all-sports format. A.G. will be joined by former WFXC/WFXK morning co-host Terry Tuff. Joining Gold and Tuff will be former Morning Mo-Jo co-host Joe Ovies. Tony Riggsbee, who was doing sports-talk on WPTF before the rest of the morning crew was out of high school, will fill out the morning show.

While I haven’t always liked listening to Gold’s show, I appreciate what he has done during his ten-years in the afternoon slot. When he is not being a total jerk, he can be very insightful. Over the years, I have enjoyed the ongoing interviews he has done, but his rants when it appears he is desperately trying to fill time have been off-putting.

Replacing the Morning Mo-Jo on 620 the Bull will be ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning. I have been able to listen to these guys on and off for about 6 years and really enjoy their work. They have a good on-air chemistry, and being part of the world-wide leader in hype, they have an unlimited supply of regulars in weekly time-slots. If you are a baseball fan, Peter Gammons is a must-listen at 7:30 on Friday mornings. Conversely, if you can’t stand to listen to Dick Vital, don’t listen at 7:30 on Monday mornings.

The Sports Pig, Morgan Patrick, gets to sleep later by moving to the 10 am – 1 pm slot on 620 the Bull. If memory serves me correctly, Patrick was the first sports guy on 850 when he started the Sports Pig from 6 – 8 pm during the mid-90’s. The new time slot could prove to be an interesting challenge since it has fewer potential listeners than any other slot Patrick has done. However, unlike the Mo-Jo, I’m sure this show will actually take calls from listeners. In the past, Patrick has done well in call-in shows. His knowledge of NASCAR will also be helpful… at least Joe Ovies won’t be around to pick on racing fans.

ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd moves from 620 the Bull to fill the 10 am – noon slot on 850 the Buzz. Cowherd freely admits that as a sports talk show host, he is in the entertainment business. He approaches sports from the “hey guys, it’s a business” perspective. Frighteningly, although I am a traditionalist, I find that I agree with Cowherd’s opinion more often than not.

The Jim Rome show continues in the noon – 3 pm slot on 850. There is not much I can say about Rome, either you love him or you hate him…

ESPN Radio's Dan Patrick Show will continue in the 1 – 3 pm slot on 620 the Bull. Patrick is one of the few sports radio hosts who has the influence to go toe-to-toe with the biggest names in sports and continue to get them to return to his show. Recently, he got into an argument with NBA Commissioner David Stern regarding the suspensions in the Spurs – Suns series. His interviews with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig are also quite entertaining. However, the biggest highlight of the show comes from 2 – 3 when Keith Overman joins for the Big Show. Overman and Patrick still have the chemistry and irreverence that had during their Sports Center days.

The Bull leaves the Dan Patrick Show an hour early to pick up WFNZ’s "Prime Time with the Packman" from 3 – 7 pm. Mark Packer’s syndicated show can be outstanding… at other times, it’s hard to take. Remember the format on 620’s the Bullpen? Packer does this 5 days a week for 4 hours, and takes calls. In my opinion, Packer’s show is better during the non-drive-time hours when it seems like they take more calls and have more serious conversation. Once drive-time starts, they do too much of the zoo format.

850 the Buzz scored an absolute coup in the afternoon drive time slot by replacing Adam Gold with the ACC Area Sports Journal’s Dave Glenn who leaves his popular Sports Saturday show. Glenn, who has spent 20 years writing about the ACC, is arguably the most popular sports talk show host in the Triangle. I absolutely love his current show, but Glenn will face some serious challenges has he transitions to his new slot starting August 1. Can ACC discussion carry this show for three hours a day, five days a week? It depends; during hoops season, maybe; during the middle of summer, no way. In the past, Glenn has even commented that full-time ACC discussion would be difficult. Another challenge will be what I consider his biggest strength as a talk show host. Glenn is known for letting callers talk for a while… I think I’ve even had a ten minute call on his Saturday show. While this may work on Saturday morning, afternoon drive time is a different story. Chris Clark, who was Glenn’s predecessor on Sports Saturday, will host the show until August 1. The Buzz’s promos indicate that Clark will hold down the 6-7 pm slot once Dave Glenn starts, but I suspect Clark will be around from 3-6 to help Glenn transition to full-time radio.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

ACC still king in Columbia



It has been 15 years since the University of South Carolina joined the SEC and 36 years since it left the ACC. Yet, the Columbia television market is still considered prime ACC territory by some people.

For example, when Fox Sports Net (cable channel 31) announced it would be televising today's ACC and SEC baseball tournament games, it placed the ACC games in the Columbia market.

Kate Hart, publicist for FSN and SportSouth (cable channel 21), said that decision was made "because there are so many ACC teams in the Carolinas." It was pointed out that there is one ACC school in South Carolina and four in North Carolina and that Columbia was the home of an SEC school. Hart said, "I'll get back to you on that."

She called back on Thursday morning to say that FOX, which owns both channels, had come up with a plan: Today's 4 p.m. SEC game will be carried on SportSouth.

Today's second SEC game, at 7:30 p.m., will be seen in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee but not in South Carolina. As planned, FSN will have today's ACC lineup, with Clemson playing Wake Forest at 4 p.m. and Florida State scheduled to meet Miami at 7 p.m.

Hart said one of the reasons FSN put the ACC on in Columbia was because of the league's new tournament format, which features pool play. "We knew Clemson would be playing at 4 p.m. on Friday and didn't know if South Carolina would be playing," Hart said. More...

McIntyre, Forte and Baxter in Italy

From Fayeteville Observer:

Terrell McIntyre’s game hasn’t changed after all these years. Only his priorities have.

“At one point in my life, all I ever thought about was proving people wrong,” the former Hoke County High and Clemson basketball star said. “Then I finally decided that it’s a blessing to be able to make a living doing what I love and I just went out and started playing.”

The funny thing is that once McIntyre stopped trying to show the world that he’s a great player, despite his lack of size and stature among the NBA scouts, he finally succeeded in doing it.

Now in his seventh professional season, at the age of 29, he has developed into one of the most respected and sought-after point guards in Europe.

It’s a reputation that was validated last week, when he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Italian A League for leading Montepaschi Siena to a 30-4 record and the league’s regular-season championship.

“It just goes to show you what winning does,” said McIntyre, whose averages of 13.5 points and 4.0 assists per game belie the impact he had on his team. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great teammates this year and I haven’t had to score as much as in the past. I was able to just be myself and concentrate on being a leader.”

That’s something McIntyre hasn’t always been able to do.

In high school, convinced that he needed to put up big numbers to attract the major Division I college scouts, he turned himself into a scoring machine who posted three 50-plus point performances during his days at Hoke County.

He added more of a playmaking dimension once he got to Clemson, but because he still ended up leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring as a senior, there are those who considered him better suited to play the shooting guard position rather than the point.

The problem is, 5-foot-9 shooting guards in the NBA went out with the Beatles, leaving McIntyre undrafted and unappreciated — though undeterred.

It wasn’t until four years later, after two seasons in Europe and a pair of All-Star performances with the Fayetteville Patriots of the NBA’s Development League, that the passionate youngster decided to reassess his goals and stop chasing a dream that wasn’t going to come true.

“I learned that there’s a big difference between the way teams look at players over here and the way it’s done back home,” McIntyre said. “In the NBA, the tendency is to look for potential — things like size and speed. Here if you can play basketball, you can play basketball. That’s all that matters.”

So while a steady stream of European stars such as Andrea Bargnani, Boris Diaw and Tony Parker have come over to the U.S. to make a name for themselves, McIntyre has decided to accomplish the same goal by making the trip in the opposite direction.

Together with former ACC rivals Joseph Forte of North Carolina and Lonnie Baxter of Maryland, he has helped turn Montepaschi into an Italian juggernaut. The team recently swept its first-round playoff series and is awaiting an opponent for a semifinal series scheduled to begin Tuesday. More...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

13 Dukies in NBA

Nice Article
13 Former Duke Basketball Players Now In NBA

  • J.J. Redick - Orlando
  • Grant Hill - Orlando
  • Shavlik Randolph - Philly
  • Elton Brand - Clippers
  • Carlos Boozer - Utah
  • Luol Deng - Chicago
  • Mike Dunleavy - Pacers
  • Corey Magette - Clippers
  • Shane Battier - Rockets
  • Dahntay Jones - Memphis
  • Chris Duhon - Chicago
  • Daniel Ewing - Clippers
  • Sheldon Williams - Atlanta
In case you are wondering, Only Uconn (not UNC) has more players in the NBA with 14, although they don't have as many impact players at this point.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A good walk spoiled

After years of not getting around to it, I happened to see "A Good Walk Spoiled" by former Dukie John Feinstein. I've enjoyed most of his books, especially the basketball ones and seem to be obsessed with golf this time of year, so I'm finally starting to read it.

Was half asleep reading about Tom Watson preparing as the Ryder Cup captain when Roy Williams' name jumps off the page. Turns out Watson went to see Roy for coaching advice before the matches. Their discussion focussed mainly on playing in hostile environments (matches were to be played in Europe). Roy's advice, tell the players to "Listen for the Silence". On the road, that silence, indicating you've taken the crowd out of the game, is golden. He coaches is players to play for the silence, strive to hear it, revel in it on the road.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

SI's NC State Road Trip

Kind of a fluff story, but it's a mention:

Road Trip: NC State

Sitting only a few miles east of North Carolina and Duke, NC State is typically regarded as the red-headed stepchild. The two rival schools typically use the Wolfpack as a punching bag or as the butt of a joke. But it didn't used to be that way.

At Carter-Finley Stadium, you never know when a player may enjoy a touchdown celebration with fans in the front row.
At Carter-Finley Stadium, you never know when a player may enjoy a touchdown celebration with fans in the front row.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Photo Gallery: NC State fans in action

In 1974, State won its first basketball national championship and nine seasons later, the Pack won another under Jim Valvano. Sidney Lowe, the Pack's current head coach, was the starting point guard of that team. While it's more than 20 years since NC State beat Houston in that historic game, the image of Valvano running across the court is still in fans' minds.

Best place to see a game:

It doesn't get much better than Carter-Finley Stadium, the school's football facility. With suites and a press box that is four levels and goes from one end zone to the next, it's tough to imagine something much nicer. The Murphy Center -- another state-of-the-art building -- includes the workout area for the team and has all of the coaches' offices.

Best place for a professional event:

Directly beside the school's football facility, Carter-Finley Stadium, is the RBC Center -- the home of the men's basketball team and the Carolina Hurricanes. During the winter, students can catch a men's basketball game in the afternoon and then stick around for a hockey game later that night. Yes, they have actually set a record for the fastest time from switching a basketball court to an ice rink. Tickets for hockey games can go for almost $10 and are a great getaway for many students. More...

Patterson says No to Duke

Duke BasketBall Report is reporting that Duke's last remaining recruiting target, and #4 ranked high school senior Patrick Patterson will not be attending Duke next year. He's expected to announce his decision later today, and it is likely to be Florida.


Patrick Patterson going to Kentucky

Patrick Patterson, a power forward from West Virginia, announced this afternoon he will play college basketball at Kentucky.

Tudor Talks schedule

The Raleigh N&O have a nice podcast with their ACC Beat Reporter. This wee he talks basketball scheduling:

Carlton makes the argument that the 18 game season will be coming, mainly because TV wants it, and Swofford loves that TV Revenue.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Proposal for ACC Basketball Scheduling

Since going to 12 teams, there has been a lot of talk about basketball scheduling. Gone are the days when you could play a 14 or 16 game schedule and get home and away games against each team. To go back to those days, conference games would take up 22 games, leaving little for those big out-0f-conference games like Duke vs. Michigan, UNC vs. Arizona, and Clemson vs. Monmouth.

So, we are left with an imbalanced schedule. Some teams get Duke twice, some teams get UNC Twice, some lucky team gets Miami twice. The problems with an imbalanced schedule are:

  1. An imbalanced schedule can be inherently unfair, with two teams fighting for regular season championship, but one of them having a weaker schedule than the other.
  2. Duke and UNC are big draws, bring a lot of excitement and a lot of ticket sales, but not everyone can play them twice every year.
Those issues are going to remain. You can reduce their impact by going for more conference games, but this reduces the control that coaches have on scheduling, and you can make an argument that it could hurt the ACC come tournament time, because teams would have fewer opportunities to play different styles and fewer opportunities to impress the committee with quality out of conference wins.

The somewhat random nature of the current imbalanced scheduling is part of the problem with its perceived unfairness. What I'd rather do is take a page from the NFL. The NFL takes a couple of games for each team every year, and based on the previous years record, schedules teams of similar strength. So for example, if a team finishes near the bottom of the NFL record wise, those two flex games would be against 2 teams that also sucked. While it is a small part of the schedule, many credit this system for the parity in the NFL, with teams seemingly often making bottom to top turn-arounds in a single year.

So, why not do something like that for the ACC. The ACC has always been progressive in its thinking, from the first conference tournament, to the 83 season with short shot clock and short 3 point line.

So, here is my proposal. Like the current system, each team plays every other team at least once. That takes up 11 of the 16 games. Also like today, each team gets 2 natural rivals. These are teams that no matter what, you play twice a year. For example, each year, NC State gets home and home with UNC and Wake. Duke's rivals are UNC and Maryland. Maryland's are UVA and Duke, etc. In some cases these "rivals" may be forced relationships, as BC doesn't really have natural rivals yet. But this type of setup is required, because any system that doesn't ensure 2 Duke/UNC games or 2 UNC/State games is a non-starter.

So, 13 of the 16 games are spoken for, but that leaves 3 additional games on the schedule. These would be scheduled based on the previous seasons results. Some purists might argue that unlike professional sports, the college game really starts fresh each year. Have you ever heard coaches talk about how they never defend a title, because each team is so different. That may be true, but often times you can draw conclusions about a teams likely strength based on the previous year. Sure, teams get better and worse, but previous years finish I'd argue is probably most often as good a predictor as is the pre-season writer's poll.

So, based on the previous years finish, you divide the league into 3 divisions. The top 4 teams are in the Top division, then middle 3, bottom 3. Those 3 remaining ACC games would be scheduled against the team that finished in your same division. So, based on 2006-2007 results:

North Carolina 11-5 31-7
Virginia 11-5 21-11
Virginia Tech 10-6 22-12
Boston College 10-6 21-12
Maryland 10-6 25-9
Georgia Tech 8-8 20-12
Duke 8-8 22-11
Clemson 7-9 25-11
Florida State 7-9 22-13
NC State 5-11 20-16
Wake Forest 5-11 15-16
Miami 4-12 12-20

North Carolina's additional games would be against Virginia, Virginia Tech, and BC.

Duke, who finished in the middle would get Maryland, GaTech, and Clemson.

Before I go on, let me say that this past year was a pretty odd year in the ACC, and more times than not, I think you could expect Duke and UNC to both be in the top division, with two other teams that are typically solid. The other thing is that as you look at the plan above, some teams end up in the same division as their natural rivals. You wouldn't schedule 3 games with a team, so when that happens, you just work through it, grabbing the next highest finishing team you aren't already scheduled with.

All of this sound pretty convoluted, but it isn't that hard to do. The end result would be more good games and fewer blowouts, more marquee games, and more parity. By letting better teams play more games against better teams, they get more quality experience to prepare them for the NCAA's. By letting middle teams play more games against middle teams, it gives them a chance to prove themselves to the selection committee. And the bottom dwellers get a better chance to lift themselves out of the basement instead of 3 or 4 automatic losses against Duke and Carolina.

What do you think?

Women Finally get a Challenge

ACC/Big Ten Challenge extends to Women

The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten today announced the formation of an annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge for women's basketball, which will span at least four years and will begin in the fall of 2007. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge will match 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after Thanksgiving, following the men's basketball Big Ten/ACC Challenge. More...

NC State extends Yow and Lowe

N.C. State extends basketball coaches' contracts


N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler announced contract extensions for both Sidney Lowe and Kay Yow on Monday.

Lowe, who was hired in May 2006 to replace Herb Sendek as the Wolfpack men's coach, was initially given a six-year contract to guide the program he led to the 1983 national title as a player. On Monday, he was given a one-year extension that will keep him on the State bench through 2012.

Yow's contract was also extended through 2012, yet another reward for a Hall of Fame career that has produced 708 wins, including 651 in her 32 years at N.C. State.

The Hall of Fame coach, who currently ranks fifth all-time in Division I career victories, was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer in late November, an illness that forced her to miss nearly two months of the season.

But despite aggressive chemotherapy treatments and extreme fatigue, Yow returned to the bench in January and stuck with the Wolfpack until the end of the season. Inspired by their coach’s courage, the State women won 25 games and advanced to the championship game of the ACC tournament. More...

Should ACC Basketball go to 18 game Conference Schedule?

At this weeks ACC Meetings in Florida, one of the things to be discussed is an 18-game conference schedule. Big 10 is going to 18, and so is the Big East apparently.

From Charlotte Observer:

Meetings this week will address expanding conference schedule



Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski opposes increasing the conference schedule from 16 games to 18. 'It would be a huge mistake,' Krzyzewski says.

The serenity of the seaside Ritz-Carlton resort is the perfect place for ACC Commissioner John Swofford to discuss a contentious issue with the league's men's basketball coaches.

If it gets too hot in the conference room at the ACC meetings this week, Swofford can escape for a walk along the beach.

He said ACC officials would discuss increasing the conference schedule from 16 games to 18 beginning in the 2008-09 season. Many ACC coaches will resist that idea.

"It would be a huge mistake," Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said.

"An 18-game schedule to me appears to be too many," Clemson's Oliver Purnell said.

It's not too many for the Pac-10, which plays 18 conference games. Or the Big East and Big Ten, which will begin playing 18 next season.

Swofford said extra conference games could generate more ticket revenue for schools and would appeal to fans and television executives. But coaches say two more conference games would make their schedules too difficult.

Full Story

With some very vocal coaches against the move, hard to believe it happens in the ACC. I also wonder, what impact does the expanded conference schedule have on NCAA tournament berths. If you look at a team like Syracuse, who didn't get in because they didn't play anyone. If your conference has a down year, and 2/3's of your games are against conference teams, the reduced number of non-conference opportunities could become a real scheduling nightmare, making sure you have some winnable games but still enough quality opponents.

No suprise that Oliver Purnell is against this ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

ACC Fares Well in Three-Year APR Averages

The report cards are out, and overall, the ACC has outperformed the other BCS conferences in academic progress for basketball and football. Information compiled from the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rates indicates that the ACC has the highest average combined APRs in basketball and football. Additionally, five ACC schools, led by Wake Forest, Duke and UNC, were among the top 10 performing schools among BCS conferences.

The APR replaces the graduation rates that were previously used by the NCAA in determining how well student-athletes are progressing academically. As part of the NCAA’s Academic Reform, teams with APR’s of 925 or lower may subject to penalties such as reduced scholarships. Since the current score are only based on three years of data, sports with smaller squads such as basketball have been given a grace period. However, after next year teams like Clemson (894 APR), Maryland (909 APR) and Virginia (919 APR) basketball could be in trouble. In addition to these schools, Virginia Tech’s football team was dangerously close to the penalty-threshold with a 928 APR.

Combined Football and Basketball APR’s of BCS Conferences
1. ACC_______954.33 946.08 1900.42
2. Big-10____938.64 933.82 1872.45
3. SEC_______943.17 920.83 1864.00
4. PAC 10____933.50 929.40 1862.90
5. Big East__945.25 912.88 1858.13
6. Big-12____931.17 919.67 1850.83

Top Ten Schools among BCS Conferences
1. Wake__________966 986 1952 ACC
2. Duke__________978 972 1950 ACC
3. UNC___________948 993 1941 ACC
4. Stanford______984 955 1939 PAC-10
5. FSU___________952 980 1932 ACC
6. Vanderbilt____955 974 1929 SEC
7. Northwestern__962 962 1924 Big-10
8. Georgia_______963 959 1922 SEC
9. BC____________976 940 1916 ACC
10.Rutgers_______971 943 1914 Big East

Of course all BCS conferences pale in comparison to the Ivy Leagues combined total of 1974.60. To put things in perspective, Wake Forest’s combined score of 1952 would rank last in the Ivy League.

There are no surprises at the top of the ACC with Wake, Duke and Carolina clearly scoring higher than the rest of the league. A bit surprising are the 7th and 9th rankings for Georgia Tech and Virginia. However, these could be the result of tough academic requirements once in school. State grads often comment on the unusually high percentage of UNC students who graduate in four years, while State students tend to take a bit longer. The running joke was that sure, it's hard to get into Carolina, but once in, anyone can graduate, the opposite could be the case here for Ga Tech and Virginia.

.............FB..BB..Tot..BCS Rank
1. Wake______966 986 1952 1st
2. Duke______978 972 1950 2nd
3. UNC_______948 993 1941 3rd
4. FSU_______952 980 1932 5th
5. BC________976 940 1916 9th
6. Miami_____966 938 1904 16th
7. Ga Tech___959 944 1903 17th
8. NC State__942 947 1889 23rd
9. Virginia__948 917 1865 35th
10.Va Tech___928 934 1862 36th
11.Maryland__944 908 1852 42nd
12.Clemson___945 894 1839 47th

Clemson and Maryland are concerned about possible penalties as indicated in these posts:
Terps Low Graduation Rates Could Cost Scholarships
Low marks threaten scholarships

However, things could be worse. At least they are not part of the BCS Hall of Shame.

56. Washington State__932 892 1824 PAC-10
57. South Carolina____913 902 1815 SEC
58. Texas A&M_________922 891 1813 Big-12
59. Arizona State_____926 885 1811 PAC-10
60. Kansas State______926 884 1810 Big-12
61. USF_______________910 898 1808 Big East
62. Arizona___________883 924 1807 PAC-10
63. Minnesota_________919 887 1806 Big-10
64. Iowa State________930 852 1782 Big-12
65. Cincinnati________941 838 1779 Big East

ESPN's Top 10 of the last 10

A clear sign that it is hard for basketball writer's to come up with good stories this time of year, ESPN has named their Top 10 College Basketball Programs of the last 10 Years.

I'm not really sure I can argue with them, although I'd like to see Michigan State lower on the list.

10. Syracuse

9. Maryland

8. Arizona

7. Kentucky

Tied for 5th. UNC

4. Florida

Tied for 2nd.UConn

Michigan State

And the #1 College Basketball Program from the last 10 Years

Thursday, May 3, 2007

NBA Early Entry List Announced...

How Should the NBA Draft be Handled?

The NBA has announced the Early Entry List for this year’s draft. Of the 58 college players, there are 42 juniors, seven sophomores and nine freshmen. College players have until 5:00 p.m. on June 18 to withdraw and be guaranteed of retaining their NCAA eligibility as long as they don’t hire an agent. As I stated in my "Should I Stay or Should I Go" post, players who are not drafted are eligible to return to their college teams as long as they don’t hire an agent.

Sixteen sophomores and freshmen is actually fewer than I thought. Keep in mind though, there are only 60 spots in the draft, and this list does not take into account the seniors who are eligible for the draft. I guess if a player has stayed in college for 4 years, the NBA scouts are no longer interested in wasting a draft pick on them.

I would have posted my thoughts on how the draft should be handled earlier, but I was busy considering whether or not I should enter my name into the draft. In the end, given my hoops skills, I thought it would be financially more advantageous for me to forego the draft and stick with my day-job as a municipal employee. That should give you a hint of my hoops skills.

For starters, let me state that I am a traditionalist. By that I mean that I have never cared for players leaving school early for the NBA. As a college basketball fan, I want to see the best players stay in school, but I guess there won’t be any more Tim Duncans. Over the years I had accepted that the elite juniors needed to make the jump to the NBA. Of course being a State fan, I was happy to see the likes of Worthy and Jordan go early, but seriously, they had done all they could do in college and it was time for them to play for pay.

After the elite players, there are those who fall under the Charles Shackelford rule. These are the players who would not be academically eligible to play their senior year. I guess some of these players could red-shirt and hope to regain their eligibility, but if a player has not been able to adjust to college life after 3 years, they probably never will.

While I was thinking about this article, Adam Gold made a remark about the NBA and the draft that made sense. The NBA does not set their rules up to benefit the NCAA. The only reason that 18 year olds cannot enter the draft is because the league got tired of making bad picks and wanted more time to evaluate young players. Let’s face it; I could probably look respectable against high school talent. The NBA realized that they could not properly evaluate high school players, so they decided they needed to see what young players could do against college talent.

For all intents and purposes, the NCAA has become the minor league for the NBA. This is a great deal for the league’s owners. In Major League Baseball, there are about five minor league players for every major leaguer. Player development and payroll are tremendous expenses for major league owners. There are 12 D-League teams feeding the 30 NBA teams. As a result, the NBA’s player development costs are minimal.

So, what should be done about the draft? I have always thought that Major League Baseball has the right idea. The First-Year Player Draft as it is called allows Major League teams to draft players once they have graduated from high school. Once a player attends a four-year college, they cannot be drafted again until they have completed their junior year in college, or until after their 21st birthday whichever comes first. Teams lose their rights to a player if he returns to school after being drafted.

This system has an advantage over the NFL Draft, because, it gives talents like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant a chance to play pro-ball right out of high school. It also allows underclassmen return to school without penalty if they are not drafted as high as they would have liked or if they are drafted by an undesirable team.

Realistically, I do not think this system will ever be adopted since there are not nearly enough minor-league basketball teams to allow extended player development. In the long run, everyone would be benefited by NBA teams drafting on a player's actual accomplishments instead of their upside. Also, it would be helpful if there were a better system of advising underclassmen on where they can expect to be drafted. Today’s elite players are pampered and are often surrounded by people who will do and say anything to profit from their relationship with the player. Until there is a way to curb the influence of these people, there will always be players who lose their college eligibility based on poor draft advice.

The ACC Fan Blog will keep you posted on which players actually listen to the realistic advice and pull their names from the draft.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Gene Corrigan and the ACC

Charlottesville's Daily Progress has a 3 part series on former ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan. First of the 3 is

During the last 50 years, Gene Corrigan’s fingerprints are all over intercollegiate sports as an athlete, a coach, director of athletics, conference commissioner, NCAA president and finally as a knowledgeable consultant.

Nowhere has his impact been felt more than in Charlottesville where he was first a coach, but later became the man that changed the path for University of Virginia athletics as a bold, progressive athletic director.

He hired Terry Holland, hired Debbie Ryan, hired Bruce Arena - all destined for halls of fame of their own. He started the women’s athletic program at UVa and authored one of the most important papers ever penned at a history-rich university that knows something about important penmanship: The Corrigan Report.

When he was hired away from Washington and Lee in 1971 to become Virginia’s athletic director, Corrigan wasn’t blindly walking in. Years before, he had simultaneously served as the Cavaliers’ lacrosse coach (replacing Bob Sandell), soccer coach, freshman basketball coach, was also the varsity’s only assistant basketball coach and main

recruiter, plus taught three physical education classes a day. Oh yeah, he also sold insurance in his spare time.

So, he kind of knew what he was getting into. Virginia was one of the worst athletic programs in the ACC. It had little money budgeted for sports and little support. More...

Part 2
CORRIGAN SERIES: Notre Dame a new world for Corrigan

Part 3
CORRIGAN SERIES: Spearheaded ACC growth

One of the wisest decisions Gene Corrigan ever made was telling the Atlantic Coast Conference no the first time the league approached him about being its commissioner.

It was in the mid-1960s and the ACC’s first-ever commissioner, Jim Weaver, wanted Corrigan to become his successor. Weaver was a big ol’, slow-talking, owl-wise commissioner. Everybody loved him, especially Corrigan, who worked and learned under Weaver as the service bureau chief in what was then only a three-person conference staff.

Corrigan had gotten out of coaching at Virginia to make more money and to spend more time with his wife, Lena, and their seven children. Because Weaver didn’t like to travel, Corrigan found himself bouncing all over the ACC landscape to meetings with league athletic directors.

Weaver begged Corrigan to stay on, but Corrigan knew he wasn’t ready to become commissioner and opted for the AD job at Washington and Lee, where he had once coached lacrosse, soccer and basketball.

Years passed and so did Corrigan’s numerous roles as AD at W&L, Virginia and Notre Dame, where he finally got the ball rolling by hiring Lou Holtz to coach the Irish football program.

But in 1986, Georgia Tech athletic director Homer Rice called Corrigan and told him that Weaver’s successor, ACC commissioner Bob James, was planning to step down and the league wanted Corrigan to come home.

Corrigan insisted he didn’t know anything about being a commissioner and rejected the idea. After James died the following spring and Rice called again with no success.

The situation changed quickly. More...