Friday, December 28, 2007

All I want for Christmas is a new ACL
NC State's Degand Out for Season, NC - Dec 24, 2007
Degand, a 6-foot-4, 178-pound native of Boston, has started all 10 games for the Wolfpack, averaging 6.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 28.6 minutes per game. ...

The Money Times
UNC's Frasor tears ACL
Sports Network - 9 hours ago
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - North Carolina reserve guard Bobby Frasor will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee ...
Heels' Frasor Out For The Year With Torn ACL
UNC's easy win comes with a big loss MSNBC
Ellington on the mark as Tar Heels clobber NevadaSports Network

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back from Cuba

Not a headline you see often, but I had the really rare opportunity to spend a week in Cuba, which explains the long absence of posts. Net connections are really painful to come by there, as is Diet Coke and just about anything else American. I did manage to hear about State's win over Davidson, but haven't seen or heard much else of sports at all for about 10 days.

One quite unique thing worth posting here did happen. I hadn't really noticed, but I went nearly a week without seeing a single UNC related thing. Really nothing ACC related at all there, but it is hard to go anywhere in the world without seeing a tarheel shirt, hat, logo, something. Never did. But about 5 days into the trip, a friend points out someone with a sweatshirt I needed to check out. It was a tour group checking into our hotel from somewhere in Europe. On the back of the hood it says "Raleigh, NC". Really wasn't something I'd expect to see in Havana. Went to talk to her. As she turned around, it was a very old "NCSU" sweatshirt. If she understood English, she couldn't understand my southern version of it, so really couldn't find out how she had come by it or if she even knew what the letters meant, but it was very cool to see it there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

3 fouls in 16 seconds

I'm sure it has happened before, but I don't remember it.

Vasquez loss too much

After being called for a backcourt violation in the first half, Greivis Vasquez thought about pleading his case, but instead went over to a referee and gave him a hug.

By the end of last night's loss against Boston College, it's safe to say Vasquez had considerably less affection for the game's officials.

In a span of 16 seconds, Vasquez picked up his third, fourth and fifth fouls - the final one a technical, when he smacked the padding on Boston College's basket in frustration of the previous foul call.

"That was the key situation of the game, when he got his fifth foul, without committing his fifth foul," coach Gary Williams said.

"I've never seen a player get that many fouls in that short of time, so it was kind of stunning that he fouled out that quickly," said guard Eric Hayes, who at the time thought the technical was only Vasquez's fourth foul.

Vasquez fouled out with 10:30 remaining in the second half, and could only be a spectator in the final quarter of the game, as he watched the Terps give up a lead which he helped build. Full Story...

WRAL Archives

I use google alerts to help keep up with new stories. Interestingly, some very old stories have been popping up. I'll take a guess that maybe WRAL is slowly going through their entire story archive and putting really old stuff on the web, and in the process, those stories show up as new.

Anyway, just saw this one pop up. Or, maybe, since it is something written by Tim Peeler, maybe it is something special he is doing to follow the 83 teams track to the championship. Now that I think of it, the couple of others I saw were from 83 as well, so maybe this is somehow related to his new book When March Went Mad.

Harold Thompson Lends Hand vs. Michigan State
State 1983 Michigan State VO

By Tim Peeler

N.C. State junior Harold Thompson made the most of his 57 seconds on the floor Saturday night against Michigan State.

The junior from Raeford, the last recruit signed by former Wolfpack coach Norman Sloan, didn’t mind that he was limited to that lone minute, since it happened during some of the most important moments of the No. 18 Wolfpack’s 45-41 victory over the Spartans at Reynolds Coliseum.

His first steal of the season secured the Wolfpack’s fourth consecutive victory and ensured that third-year coach Jim Valvano and his team (4-0) will go into a 10-day break for exams with an unblemished record.

Thompson, inserted in favor of senior guard Dereck Whittenburg as a last-ditch attempt to stop Spartan star Sam Vincent, deflected an inbounds pass from MSU forward Derek Perry to N.C. State senior guard Sidney Lowe. Teammate Thurl Bailey put the finishing touches on the old-style victory with a pair of free throws with one second remaining.

“Vincent was trying to run me off the top of the pick,” Thompson said. “I knew if I got caught on the pick, he’d get the ball. So when the guard set the pick, I stepped around him and ran right to Vincent and got my hands on the ball.”
Worth checking out the WRAL page for this, as they have video story on it. Worth a watch just to see:
  • A much thinner, faster Sidney Lowe.
  • Reynolds in action.
  • A bit of V on the sidelines.
  • That insanely short 3-point line the ACC used in '83. (My range pretty much ends 6 inches beyond the current 3, and I dread the day it gets moved back, but anybody could shoot from that 1983 line).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ECU Scores First Ever Hoops Win Against ACC...

Unfortunately It's Against The Wolfpack

In another of those W.T.F games, NC State looks out of sync against ECU in Greenville. In the opening minutes of each half, the Pack looked like they would blow the Pirates out of Minges Coliseum, but after falling behind 11-7 and 47-38, the Pirates hit a parade of circus shots to win 75-69.

ECU guard Sam Hinnat had the game of career hitting 10 of 13 from the field including 6 of 8 from downtown for 30 points to pace the Pirates. Gavin Grant led the Pack with 25, but missed 2 key free-throws with the score tied at 64 with 2:27 left in the game.

After Gavin missed the free-throws, Hinnat hit a 3-pointer with 2:13 left to put ECU up by three and then Cory Farmer stole the inbound pass and hit a jumper with 2:05 left to put the Pirates up by 5.

After starting the game 21 of 23 from the line, the Wolfpack missed 5 of 6 free-throws down the stretch.

I think we can officially that unless the chemistry problems are resolved quickly, the Wolfpack is in trouble. Just too many wild shots and turnovers when the Pirates could not match up with Hickson and Grant. Let's hope that Marques Johnson is ready to handle the point when the first semester ends.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sendek at ASU

Nice N&O Article on how Arizona State is embracing Herb Sendek. I really hope over time he can build a strong team there. It took some of us longer than others, but I think most fans were glad when Herb moved on, but I also think we all appreciate what he did to turn around an NC State program that was completely lost. I hope in a few years State will start playing ASU, and I believe Herb would get a warm welcome back to the RBC Center. It just may take a few more years...

They call themselves the Herbivores. Without any reference to plant-eating animals, student fans at Arizona State created the moniker and accompanying T-shirt last season to pay homage to new basketball coach Herb Sendek.

"It makes no sense, but it has a nice ring to it," said ASU senior communications major Jacob Krug, who was sitting in the front row of the student section at Wells Fargo Arena last week in a gold shirt stenciled with a black and white profile of the former N.C. State coach.

Krug's buddy, Jack Leary, helped co-design the shirt with a picture that looks like a play on the work of John Tsombikos, the elusive graffiti artist who two years ago taunted Raleigh with his subversive Borf wall tags.

In considering Sendek -- the coach many N.C. State fans liked to dislike -- they overlooked the "boring offense" gripes, the "dull personality" complaints, the "he can't beat Duke or North Carolina" concerns and welcomed a successful stranger to a place that had never forged a significant basketball tradition.

"We listened, we knew what they were saying," Leary said of State fans. "But we were going to find out for ourselves."

With such an open welcome, Sendek has found a basketball home in the desert where his soft-spoken monotone, highbrow vocabulary, dry wit and 3-point bombing style seem to suit the locals just fine. More...

Duke vs. Michigan

Michigan comes to cameron today for a 2pm game on CBS in HD. This was once such an amazing rilvalry. I made it to one of those classic games when the Fab5 came to cameron. I've never seen Carolina play there in person, but I can't imagine even those games out-do the fire in the building on those nights. You just can't understate how much Duke and Duke fans hated the fab 5 and everything they stood for, and there was nothing quite as sweet as beating them.

It has been a long time since Michigan has been good. Tommy Amaker could just never get over the hump. We'll never know whether the probations and sanctions left by Steve Fisher and the Fab 5 were the reason, or if Tommy just wasn't the right guy for Michigan. Personally, I'd love to see Michigan be good again. Much like Spurrier at Florida, Patino at Kentucky, Tubbs at Oklahoma, some teams you just want to be good because it is so much fun to hate them. (subscription)
UM can't rest yet: Duke's up next, MI - 1 hour ago
6-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It's the end of a brutal stretch for Michigan (3-5), which has dropped five of its last six games and is coming off ...
Unbeaten Duke faces slumping Michigan HoopsWorld
Michigan Heads To No. 6 Duke Saturday
Michigan, Duke renew once classic series Burlington Times News

This is a powerhouse!

App State Headed to FCS Title Game

Appalachian State began the season by stunning Michigan and will end it playing for a record third straight national championship.

The Mountaineers can thank their elusive and versatile quarterback for their latest victory.

Armanti Edwards rushed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and threw for 182 yards and three more scores as Appalachian State advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision title game with a 55-35 win over Richmond Friday night.

Edwards dominated on the ground as the Mountaineers built a 21-point lead. After Richmond rallied to tie, Edwards went to the air to put it away.

His 29-yard TD pass to tight end Nic Cardwell with 10 minutes left made it 49-35. His 13-yard TD pass to Cardwell with 5:27 left iced it.

Edwards' yards rushing were the most by a quarterback in FCS — formerly Division I-AA — history, and 20 shy of the playoff rushing record. He also completed 14 of 16 passes in a nearly flawless performance that ended with the fans tearing down the goal posts, the same way they did when the Mountaineers won 34-32 at Michigan in the first week of the season.

Behind Edwards' shiftiness and bursts of speed, Appalachian State (12-2) won its fifth straight game and will play the winner of Saturday's Delaware-Southern Illinois game for the title Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn.... More...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wake says not so fast...

Got to love how these reports contradict so quickly. Let's hope he's staying...
AD says Grobe staying at Wake, not headed to Arkansas - College ... - 33 minutes ago

Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe will return next season to the Demon Deacons, rebuffing an apparent attempt to lure him to Arkansas to replace Houston ...
ESPN - 262 related articles »
Grobe to Arkansas? If so, the SEC just got a lot tougher - Atlanta Journal Constitution - 45 related articles »

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Grobe to Arkansas

This is really bad news for Wake Forest fans. Jim Grobe was the perfect coach for Wake Forest. I'm sure this was a really hard decision for Grobe. But you really can't blame him. While no doubt there could have been more ACC championships in his future every ten years or so, there is simply no way to compete for a national championship at Wake Forest. It just isn't possible. But it is certainly possible at Arkansas, and you have to believe this is one of those "once in a lifetime" chances that is just too hard to pass up.

So now, both Wake Forest and Duke are looking for pretty much the same guy, a coach with D1 experience, clean as a whistle, and an innovative offensive mind. I have to believe Wake gets their guy before Duke does.

Arkansas Offers Wake Forest's Grobe, AR - 1 hour ago
by Chris Bahn FAYETTEVILLE — Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe is expected to be named Thursday as head football coach at Arkansas, multiple sources confirmed. ...
Arkansas Hires Wake Forest's Grobe To Lead Razorbacks KHBS/KHOG 40/29

The end of V Week

Anyone who spent a minute on ESPN in the last week knows they had their inaugural V Week.

I've given to the V foundation in the past, but never often enough and I just made a donation and would invite any readers to do the same. It only takes about a minute at

The money will do some real good, and you'll feel great about doing it.

I was at NC State starting in '84 and got to see V raise the championship banner. I can't describe what a treat it was to go to games in Reynolds while he was the coach. But what was certainly a much more rare treat was the many practices I watched, either from the upper level of Reynolds, or from the balcony in the gym when they were forced to practice there.

There is even today no shortage of people who all too quickly point out Valvano's flaws, and he had plenty of flaws. But he also had enthusiams and thirst to squeeze something great out of almost every moment of his life. Somehow, that amazing drive and the personality he shared in pursuit of his dreams and desires touched people in very lasting ways. I never met him personally, but I still feel like he touched me in ways that still motivate me today. And I think a clear sign of his ability to touch and motivate people still shows in a lot of people, ranging from his players, most who have gone on to really nice success, to all of those at ESPN who worked with him. In this age of short corporate memories, especially given the fact that ESPN is now part of mega-corp Disney, Valvano's legacy and cause could have easily been long forgotten. The fact that ESPN has committed more time and resources to the V foundation this year than ever before is a clear testament to how much V touched the lives of those who knew him well.

Duke's Pocius done

Season ending ankle surgery will mean a red-shirt for Pocious. He wasn't looking like a vital part of the team, but this combined with McClure's very slow comeback from his injury makes Duke a little thinner.

Duke's Pocius done for the season

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Big East Championship Game...

One of the fears going into expansion was that the a couple of Big East teams would come in and dominate. In fact the two teams were put into the same division so the survivor could face the expansion team that joined the league in the 90's in the championship game every year. If Bobby's team had a bad year, no problem, his son's team would be able to face one of the big bad expansion teams from the Big East in the championship game. No one really worried about the other expansion team. They were just a middle of the road team that would win seven or eight games and not compete for a division title. Little did anyone realize that Miami and FSU's football programs would tank and that this little private school from Boston would find just the right quarterback to carry them to the conference championship game.

1:00 PM

Boston College vs. Virginia Tech
Jacksonville, Fla. (Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game)
TV: ABC (XM 190/191/192)
Championship Site ACC ISP Sports Radio Network ACC Championship Saturday Preview Show

Here we go, Tech and BC for a trip to the Orange Bowl… Think about it if Tech had played just five more minutes of defense in the first game between these teams they would be playing for a shot at the BCS Championship Game… BC’s season has been one to remember, but one has to wonder how many of their fans will remember to go to their bowl game if they don’t make it to the Orange Bowl…

Matt Ryan is by far the best QB in the ACC. In my mind his signature moments were the comeback wins at Va Tech and at Clemson. Not too many visiting QB’s can say they have won games in Death Valley and in Blacksburg, during the same season. None of them can say that the led last minute come backs that stunned the home crowd. Ironically, the Eagles face a Hokie team that has struggled some at QB this season. Tyrod Taylor has added a spark to the offense with is play making ability, but after a disastrous start, Sean Glennon has played well down the stretch and given the Hokies a passing threat. People often say that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. That’s not the case here as both of these guys can hurt you. It reminds me of when NC State rotated Charles Davenport and Shane Montgomery at QB the year they beat Iowa in the Peach Bowl.

Now to the game. Tech will definitely remember that they let one get away from them when these teams played in Blacksburg. I am sure Bud Foster’s defense will not change up and go to the prevent if they have a late lead. The key is to keep pressure on Ryan. The bad news for the Hokie Defense is that there is only a slight chance of rain today in Jacksonville. The Eagles will have to avoid giving up the big plays on special teams. Ryan will have to have a complete game and not count on being able to come back late in the game. Although on paper it looks like a ticked off Hokie team should be able to handle BC, remember the last time the Hokies were in the Championship Game they lost to a very underwhelming Florida State team… Hokies 28-24