Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Life Goes On: Wake Coaching Search

The shock of Prosser's death is wearing off. The sadness won't for a long time. But, in the typical American Spirit, life goes on and part of moving forward for Wake is finding a new basketball coach. ACCNation kicks off the topic

What direction should Wake take in basketball coaching search?

It would seem that Wake Forest will have one of two directions to take when it comes time to begin the process for hiring a new men’s basketball coach.

Direction #1 would appear to be to hire someone from within to serve as the interim head coach - perhaps Dino Gaudio, if only because Gaudio has Division I head-coaching experience (at Army and Loyola).

Direction #2 would be to hire from among the list of college coaches who are currently unemployed - say, maybe Pete Gillen, the late Skip Prosser’s mentor at Xavier who has ACC experience at Virginia.

I don’t see there being a Direction #3 - i.e. conducting a national search of current D1 head coaches and assistants.

The reason I see that being a problem is that it just seems that we’re too close to the start of fall practice in October to risk having to uproot somebody from where they are right now and then risk uprooting assistants from the current Wake staff and the staff of whoever it would be who would get hired.

Which gets us back to directions #1 and #2. Let’s say you go with Gaudio - who, on the minus side, didn’t fare all that well in his previous stints as a head coach, but on the plus side does have a track record at Wake and thus could provide some needed stability in this time of crisis.

But what about Gillen - who knows the Prosser system, since the two of them coached in it together at Xavier, and had some early success at Virginia before petering out in his last three years in Charlottesville? More...

While you won't find any Virginia fans who will think Gillen is a good choice, he might actually be a good choice for Wake. My vote however would be to go back to Xavier again, and hire Sean Miller. Miller is a bit stained in the minds of some NC based fans because of his stint as assistant at NC State to Herb Sendek. But I really believe the following:

  • Sean Miller can recruite big-time
  • He's proven that he isn't a Sendek disciple in that he doesn't hold to Sendek's system
  • Last years NCAA performance shows he's got all the potential in the world.
  • He knows this area which will help in recruiting
If I had the choice of Gillen or Miller, I think Miller would be a better choice, if for no other reason than I couldn't stand to listen to Gillen's voice more than a few times a year.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Where Dukies go to thrive?

Interesting article on Jamal Boykin and Eric Boetang.

Former-Dookie vs Former-Dookie:

Two former Dookies will be facing off each on the other coast next season. I am talking about undersized power forward Jamal Boykin at Cal and big man Eric Boetang at Arizona State. I applaud both players for making the right decision and escaping Coach Dracuka K's Cameron Den. Boetang could only take one year of K and used the ACC connection to escape to the west coast where former NC State head coach took over Arizona State. And Boetang, a McDonalds All-American selection, has a good chance to be the starting center of a Pac-10 team. Much better than warming the bench at the Dookestra. Jamal Boykin was more patient, he stayed for 1.5 semesters, so he won't be eligible until the Spring semester. He should also do well at Cal, regardless whether he starts or not. He was also a top 100 player coming out of high school, the biggest knock on him was his size for a college power forward. But will either one get any post-season play (other than the Pac-10 tournament)? Cal has a better chance, although Arizona State is bringing in a lot of talent. I can see at least one NIT bid out of those two teams. But it's better to play in the NIT than warm up the bench in the NCAA? Isn't it? Full Story...

Midnight Madness back at State

Midnight Madness was a Valvano tradition. I'm not sure who held the first midnight madness, but it sure seems like it became popular during that era while V was at NC State. Lee Fowler announced yesterday that Sidney Lowe will kick off basketball practice this year with a midnight madness opening, possibly on Oct 13. Now word on whether it would be in Reynolds or not, but I sure hope so.

I do know that while Valvano coached Lowe at State, all basketball practices were open to the public, or as a student I never had trouble walking in to one. I'm not sure if any coach has open practices anymore, but was just thinking how much fun it would be to tour practices of the ACC.

Duke's #1 Basketball Class

It's hardly news that Duke would have a good recruiting class coming in, but sure seems like they needed one. This class looks fantastic, although I'm not sure they've solved their point guard woes.

By Bill Cole

The most dominant basketball program in the ACC during the past 10 years needed a jolt of talent, energy and new blood after a sub-par finish in 2006-07.

And Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke appears to have succeeded on all counts.

His latest recruiting class has three players - forward Kyle Singler, wing shooter Taylor King and guard Nolan Smith - but each is among the top players in the country at his position.

Krzyzewski came up short at the end of the recruiting year when forward Patrick Patterson decided on Kentucky in May. Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons still ranked Duke’s Class No. 1 in the ACC. Full Story...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wake Tragedy

Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser died today. The Charlotte Observer reports that he collapsed after a jog, CPR was administered, and he later died at Baptist Hospital. This is truly a shock to ACC fans, and I can't even imagine how the team and school much be feeling.

The Winston Salem Journal has a guestbook up where people can leave their final notes and thoughts for skip
Skip Guest Book

AT this point I'm too shocked to formulate decent sentences, much less try to put what we all must be feeling into words.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ACC Fallout from NBA Ref Scandal

For anyone that hasn't heard, David Stern has a mess on his hands.

Yahoo! Eurosport
NBA hasn't done enough -- here are solutions
San Jose Mercury News, USA - 3 hours ago
But anyone who thinks ex-NBA ref Tim Donaghy -- who allegedly bet on basketball games -- is the league's first official to gamble is crazy. ...
NBA only hopes all other bets are off Boston Herald
TV networks stand by NBA amid betting scandal Washington Post
A Somber Stern Surveys the Damage to the NBANew York Times

Now word that the ACC has been pro-active:

ACC checking backgrounds of officials

Accusations an NBA referee bet on games he officiated and gave gamblers inside information led the ACC's commissioner to reconsider the question: Could it happen here?

John Swofford's answer: Not if he can prevent it. And he hopes he can.

The ACC is entering the second year of conducting background checks on football and men's and women's basketball officials. A private firm conducts the checks each year on about a third of the officials, chosen at random, and there's a guarantee that each official will be checked at least once every four years.

Every year, all officials in those sports fill out a form on which they consent to a background check and provide information about whether they have been involved in gambling. The league looks into criminal records, credit reports and driving records. Full Story...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is it too early to be excited about NC State Hoops?

Not to insult all the football guys out there, but I'm not one of them. Hopefully we'll have plenty of great ACC football stories in the coming months, but it seems like it has been a year since State's loss to WV, Duke's weak VCU exit, Carolina breaking our hearts against GTown, and Wake's, uh..., well nevermind about Wake.

State fans are getting excited about the upcoming basketball season. Hopefully the off-court issues with Sid's son won't be too distracting from what should be huge optimism in the Pack community. If you aren't excited yet, hopefully incoming freshman JJ Hickson will get you fired up.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

NC State Fishing...

You just can't make this stuff up.

Collegians getting hooked on bass fishing in big way

Bass fishing is now a competitive collegiate sport with its own tournament trail, national sponsors and television coverage. The reigning champions, from North Carolina State, were greeted like rock stars at the American Sportfishing Association’s international show in Las Vegas last week.

The event was a showcase for the world’s largest fishing-tackle manufacturers.

“We’re here courting some larger sponsors on behalf of FOX College Sports,” said Chad Craven, a team member who recently graduated. “The sport is growing exponentially. It seems as though people carry over the enthusiasm from traditional college sports like football and basketball. Everybody has their own team, and it’s really taken off.”

The Wolfpack sent two squads to last year’s National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Lake Lewisville, near Dallas. Craven and Alex Freeman, then a sophomore, took the final day of fishing with a five-fish limit of 13.57 pounds, easily beating out Eastern Kentucky and Oklahoma State. More...

Coach K still upset over ACC Expansion

I think it is time to get over this and move on, but Coach K hasn't yet

Coach K: ACC's power play hurt hoops

It's no secret Mike Krzyzewski wasn't supportive of the Atlantic Coast Conference's expansion movement, particularly once it was clear the league's presidents and athletic directors wanted to add more to the mix than just Miami.

But four years after that fateful vote to expand to a dozen schools, Coach K still hasn't gotten over it, apparently. Author John Feinstein recently facilitated another gripe session when he filled in as host of The Jim Rome Show. Full Story...

Brandon Costner hurt in Pan Am Tryout

Wolfpack forward aching for spot on Pan Am team

If the ice wrapped around Brandon Costner's right knee did not explain it, the expression on his face did.

Costner's chances of making the U.S. basketball team for the Pan American Games became a little dimmer after he banged his already injured knee against another player in tryouts last week at Haverford College.

The sophomore at North Carolina State, who is the son of former St. Joseph's great Tony Costner, still hopes to hear his name called when the 12-man roster is announced today.

"It's definitely holding me back," a glum Costner said about his knee. "I'm putting my heart into it. This was something I was really looking forward to." More...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Best Line of the Week

This one caught my eye and you just have to laugh:

Hokies are lucky there's not a third Vick brother

Bob Molinaro

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Demarcus Surgery

You've got to love the game of Demarcus Nelson. He's been hurt for most of his career, he's too short to accomplish half of what he's done, and you've really got to hope he can get healthy in time for his last year at Duke. OR, maybe they should think about letting him have a year off to grow ;)

Duke’s Nelson out 6-8 weeks

Duke guard DeMarcus Nelson will be out six to eight weeks after having surgery Tuesday to repair a fracture in his left wrist. Nelson suffered the injury Thursday while participating in the Pan American Games Trials in Pennsylvania.

He was operated on successfully Tuesday at Duke University Medical Center and should be healthy in time for the start of Blue Devils practice in October.

“We are happy with the outcome of (the) procedure,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Despite the injury, (DeMarcus) and I are both glad he had the opportunity to participate in the Pan American Games Trials. We look forward to having him back at 100 percent for the season.”

It sounds like the Docs at Duke have been pretty busy.

Krzyzewski must hope all of his players are at full strength when the season rolls around in three months. With Tuesday’s procedure, Nelson became the fourth Blue Devil to have surgery since the team’s NCAA tournament loss to Virginia Commonwealth in March.

Sophomore center Brian Zoubek underwent surgery last week to repair a broken bone in his left foot, an injury he suffered while playing a pick-up game on campus. Point guard Greg Paulus had his left foot operated on immediately after the season ended and junior Marty Pocius had surgery on his right ankle in March as well. Full Story...

Sidney Lowe in trouble

OK, sensational headline without much meat. About 2 years ago when Raleigh was under water restrictions, you could only water on certain days. I hadn't used my irrigation system all year but finally decided to get it working. I hooked everything back up from winterization and decided to run it once through just to make sure everything worked. I probably knew I wasn't allowed to water on that day, but I needed to check it out and did it. One of my neighbors turned me in. Seriously, within 30 minutes of starting it, the water police were at my house, handing me a $200 ticket.

All I can say about this story is, these are pretty good days at NC State when the bad story of the summer is this.

Sidney Lowe: Water Bandit

from 850theBuzz's Joe Ovies

On July 1st, Raleigh started year-round water restrictions. Some of you might even have a magnet on your fridge with a friendly reminder. Under the new rules, odd-numbered addresses only get to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; even-numbered addresses on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Mondays are a big no-no for everyone, don’t even think about it. Hey, wash your car 3 times a day…everyday, and you’re cool. Water your lawn on a Monday, and the H2O Gestapo will cite you. And they are leaving no house unchecked:

Among those breaking the rules was Sidney Lowe, N.C. State University basketball coach. A citation was issued Saturday for improper watering at the 9,500-square-foot house he and his wife own on a half-acre lot in Brier Creek. A spokeswoman for the NCSU basketball team said Lowe would have no comment.

Full Story...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I've mostly been trying to ignore this Michael Vick story. He wasn't really an ACC Player, right? But I guess he's VaTech's most important, certainly most visible alum.

I guess I'm showing some of my own ignorance here. When officials said there may have been dog fighting at a seldom used house that Vick owns in Virginia, I somehow formed a picture in my mind of maybe a house out in that western Virginia area, which is very rural, and sometimes poor. I was thinking maybe it was an old, almost abandoned house that somehow he ended up owning, maybe buying from a friend as a favor or something. Then I somehow imagined that some of his old friends maybe use this shack as a party house and went and did something stupid like had a dog fight, but that Vick would have known nothing about it.

OK, can't ignore it anymore, since he's been indicted. So finally I go check things out a little, and here is the shack:

Not exactly what I expected. Looks like a pretty nice house, and not the kind of place you just turnover the keys to some buds any old time.

Time will tell whether Vick and his career are in serious trouble or not. Who knows. But one thing I've been pondering is, where does dog fighting rank on the scale of normal bone-headed football player idiocy? I'm trying to decide where it fits in this list

  • Smoking Pot
  • Strip Club Addiction
  • Assault
  • Steroids
  • Drunk Driving
  • Murder
I'm not really making the point that a lot of NFL players are bad, there are a lot of bad people in all walks of life. But I'm more just trying to decide for myself, where does dog fighting fit into that list. I know we all love dogs and think it is bad, but is it worse than drunk driving? I can't imagine it is. What if it had been Cock Fighting? We like dogs more than chickens, right, so that wouldn't have been as bad? Not sure there is really a point to this post, was just thinking...

Michael Vick indicted on dogfighting charges
Newsday, NY - 48 minutes ago
BY NEIL BEST Michael Vick, once considered a superstar in the making and a fresh face for the NFL in the 21st century, now is a defendant in a federal ...
Vick indicted in Virginia dog fighting case
Canada.com, Canada - 50 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three other men were indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on conspiracy charges tied to a ...
NFL star indicted over dog fighting
CNN - 1 hour ago
(CNN) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick faces criminal charges and a possible prison sentence for allegedly participating in an enterprise that ...
Prosecutors Say Vick and Three Others Trained, Raised and ...
ABC News - 2 hours ago
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted for his alleged involvement in a dog fighting ring. (John Amis/AP Photo) By PIERRE THOMAS, ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

ACC Football Questions abound

Nice article from Tony Bar

ACC Atlantic burning questions

1. Will five new coaches really make a big difference at Florida State?
2. Speaking of Clemson, what’s life going to be like for Tommy Bowden this season?
3. Wake Forest’s ACC championship was a fluke, right? They can’t be that good again, can they?
4. Is Tom O’Brien going to take N.C. State to a bowl in his first season?
5. On paper Boston College looks like a contender. Could the Eagles win this division? Shouldn’t they be getting more love?

Full Story and some answers...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Return of the Singing Coach

Cliff Ellis is a unique character, from his down home charm, witty southern sayings on TV broadcasts, and I'm pretty sure he's made an album or two and has a pretty good voice. After leaving Clemson for Auburn for a pretty good 10 year run, then TV, Cliff is back in coaching.

Coastal Carolina hires Ellis as head coach

Seems like a pretty good place to semi-retire. Not too much pressure and minutes away from golf heaven in Myrtle Beach.

CONWAY, SC -- Coastal Carolina University has hired Cliff Ellis to take over as head coach of its men's basketball program and signed him to a five-year contract, CCU President David DeCenzo and Athletics Director Warren "Moose" Koegel announced today. He will be the sixth coach in Coastal history, succeeding Buzz Peterson, who has taken the Director of Player Personnel position with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats after two years at Coastal.

The 61-year-old Ellis has been a successful coach throughout his career, amassing a Division I record of 534-337 (.613) record and 612-349 (.637) as a head coach overall, ranking him 47th in nation in all-time Division I wins prior to the 2006-07 season and will re-enter the game as the 12th winningest active Division I coach by victories. He is also just one of 10 coaches in NCAA Division I history to post 100 or more wins at three separate schools and has been named conference Coach of the Year five times in his career.

Most recently, Ellis has worked as a television broadcast analyst, doing numerous national and regional games including Big South Conference and Coastal Carolina games during his three years. Prior to that, he spent 10 years (1994-2004) as the head coach at Auburn, posting a 186-125 (.598) record as head coach. During his time, after leading the Tigers to a school record 29-4 mark, including 14-2 in the SEC to win the league title and advanced the team to the NCAA Championship as a No. 1 seed, eventually advancing to the Sweet 16. He was the 1999 Southeastern Conference and National Coach of the Year by six difference organizations, including the John and Nellie Wooden and Associated Press awards, Ellis also led Auburn to the 2000 NCAA Tournament after a 24-10 record overall, becoming a finalist for National Coach of the Year. He also garnered 1995 SEC Coach of the Year honors in his first year at Auburn after taking the Tigers to a 16-13 record overall and 7-9 in the league, earning a berth in the NIT.

Ellis coached at Clemson from 1984-1994, putting together a 177-128 (.580) record in his tenure. While at Clemson, Ellis led the Tigers to the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference title, the only in the school's history, with a 24-8 overall record, a 10-4 ACC mark and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. For his efforts, he earned ACC and NABC and US Basketball Writers District III Coach of the Year honors. He had previously garnered the ACC and District Coach of the Year awards in 1987 after pacing the Tigers to 25-6 mark, the best in school history, a runner-up finish in the ACC and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Ellis started his Division I head coaching career at South Alabama from 1975-1984, where he developed the program into a nationally-recognized team in his nine years. He had a 171-84 (.671) record, the highest winning percentage in USA history and led the Jaguars to three Sun Belt Conference Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances, while earning one Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year award. He led the Jaguars to a top 10 national ranking during his tenure. During his time at USA, he also served as the Athletic Director and was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 for the work he did with the Jaguars' basketball program.

He started his collegiate head coaching career at Cumberland University, where he also served as Athletic Director from 1973-1975. In his three years, he led Cumberland to a 78-12 (.867) record, including two league championships. Ellis started his career in the high school ranks, coaching at Ocala Vanguard and Niceville High Schools and Ruckel Junior High School in his first four years.

Ellis got his bachelors degree in physical education from Florida State in 1968 and earned his masters degree, also in physical education, from Middle Tennessee State in 1972. He has also published three books and two videos on basketball coaching in his career.

Ellis is married to the former Carolyn Ratzlaff and they have three children, Chryssa Rutland, Clay and Anna Catherine, and two grandchildren, Hannah Grace and Ellis Rutland.

-Courtesy Coastal Carolina

Monday, July 2, 2007

'Pack's O'Brien On A Roll

NC State's Tom O'Brien must really be in a good mood these days. Since June 19th, the Wolfpack's new coach has received verbal commitments from six different highly skilled players.

Dwayne Maddox started it off in mid-June. Maddox is a 6'-2", 220lb MLB from Shelby (NC) Crest HS. A 3-star LB with 4.65 speed, Maddox was the subject of a fierce recruiting battle between several high-profile schools in the ACC & SEC. Maddox chose State over offers from Alabama, Clemson, ECU, UNC & South Carolina.

Next the 'Pack got a verbal from RB Brandon Barnes from Bunn (NC) Bunn HS. Barnes is a 4-star RB that is most likely the highest profile recruit State has received since Mario Williams. Barnes is a 6-foot, 180lb RB who is rumored to have 4.4 speed. Barnes had received nearly two dozen offers from major programs & finally chose the 'Pack over Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Southern California, & Virginia Tech. The prospect of staying where his family could see him play regularly was a huge boost for the 'Pack.

Local Raleigh (NC) Wakefield HS star WR TJ Graham was next. Graham played for the program that Phillip Rivers' father started a few years back. A 6-foot, 180lb WR with 4.4 speed, Graham never even gave any other schools a chance.

QB Mike Glennon came next. Glennon, from Chantilly (VA) Westfield HS, is a 6' 6", 195lb QB with a 3-star rating. Glennon received several offers from major programs all around the country & finally chose the Wolfpack over Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Virginia, & Virginia Tech. Mike's brother Sean is Virginia Tech's current starting QB.

State also received a verbal commitment from Raeford (NC) Hoke County HS safety Earl Wolff. The 6-foot, 190lb Wolff runs a 4.45 & chose the 'Pack as soon as they offered.

Last, there was the 3-star Milton (FL) Milton HS SLB William Beasley. The 6'2", 225lb SLB with 4.6 speed chose the 'Pack over offers from Maryland, Iowa State, South Florida, & Southern Mississippi.

Beasley capped of a very productive June for the Wolfpack staff. As much as I wanted O'Brien to take over & install some much needed discipline, I was sure we would suffer setbacks in recruiting. WRONG!!!