Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cooter Arnold suspended

Mostly posted for a handful of loyal readers who saw Cooter run over everyone while playing at Davie High School. He wasn't big enough to make it at RB in the ACC, but still looked to have a lot to contribute.

Cooter Arnold suspended at UNC

Cooter Arnold, a North Carolina football player, has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, school officials said today.

Arnold is a junior from Mocksville and played at Davie County High School.

UNC did not identify the rule Arnold violated. Kevin Best, UNC's football sports information director, said that Arnold was not arrested but could provide no further information.

Arnold is a 5-10, 190-pound free safety. He was listed at the No. 3 position at free safety on UNC's depth chart for Saturday's season opener against James Madison.

He played in 12 games last season and started twice. He had 48 tackles and recovered a fumble in UNC's 3-9 season.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ESPN's ACC Hoops Preview

Nice stuff here. Highlights include Gavin Grant talking up State, nice feature on Sean Singletary's return, top returning stats, and

Jay Bilas predicts finishing order as:

  1. UNC
  2. Duke
  3. Maryland
  4. NC State
  5. Clemson
  6. FSU
  7. BC
  8. GT
  9. UVA
  10. Wake
  11. Miami
  12. VT

Sunny Days for DJ

Suns Sign D.J. Strawberry

The Phoenix Suns announced today that they have signed rookie guard D.J. Strawberry, the 59th overall pick in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft.

“D.J. brings toughness, defense and athleticism to our team and we’re excited that he’s a part of our organization,” Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr said. “The fact that he spent four years in college as part of a very strong program with a winning tradition is important.”

Strawberry, who tested as the best athlete at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp in June, blossomed in his senior season at Maryland posting career bests in scoring (14.9), rebounding (4.4) and steals (2.03) in 34 games played, and earned All-ACC Second Team and ACC All-Defensive Team honors.

The 6-5, 201-pound Terrapin guard surpassed the 1,000 career points mark last season and averaged 10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.8 steals over his four-year collegiate career.

Friday, August 24, 2007

ACC Men's BBall Schedule

The hoops schedule is finally out. Full composite schedule in a PDF including TV schedule is at

Broken down by team it is at

First games start Friday November 9.

The first interesting game is Nov. 14 with Carolina and Davidson in Charlotte.

At quick glance, some of the interesting non-conference games that jump out at me are:

  • Clemson @ Mississippi St.
  • GT@Charlotte
  • FSU @ UAB (coached by former Indian coach Mike Davis)
  • UVA at Arizona
  • Wake Forest @ Charlotte
  • Duke vs. Davidson in Charlotte
  • GT@Vandie
  • Carolina @ Kentucky
  • Syracuse @ UVA
  • Wake @ Vandie
  • Michigan @ Duke
  • Wake @ Georgia
  • Miami @ Mississippi St
  • FSU vs. Butler
  • Kansas @ GT
  • Duke vs. Pitt
  • Clemson vs. Depaul
  • Davidson @ NC State (wow, took a long time to get to a good State game)
  • Clemson vs. Mississippi
  • Cinci @ NC State
  • NC State @ Seton Hall
  • Miami vs. Winthrop
  • Clemson @ Alabama (Clemson has a tough schedule!)
  • UVA @ Xavier
  • Kansas @ BC
  • Maryland vs. Charlotte
ACC Tournament is of course in Charlotte starting March 13. This fact seems to have helped Davidson and Charlotte (UNCC) schedule some ACC teams.

In addition to what is above, several ACC teams are playing in early season tournaments.

Maryland hosts the CBE Classic, which I've never heard of and can't figure out who else is playing in quite yet.

FSU Hosts the Glenn Wilkes Classic, and will play Georgia Southern, UAB, Cleveland State, and USF.

Miami is in the ESPN Puerto Rico Tip-off with Arkansas, Houston, Providence, VCU, Marist, Temple, and College of Charleston.

Georgia Tech is in the Paradise Jam, with Charlotte, Baylor, Ill-Chicago, Monmouth, Notre Dame, Wichita State, and Winthrop.

Carolina is in the Las Vegas Invitational with Iona, South Carolina State, Jackson State, Hartford, Louisville, BYU, and ODU.

Duke again goes to the Maui Invitational with Chaminade, Arizona State, Illinois, LSU, Marquette, OK State, and Princeton.

Virgina Tech goes to my favorite, the Great Alaskan Shootout with Butler, Michigan, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Western Kentucky, Alaska Anchorage, Eastern Washington.

NC State is in the Old Spice Classic with Villanova, Kansas State, George Mason, Penn State, Rider, Central Florida, and South Carolina.

We've talked about the ACC/Big 10 Challenge before
Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Monday, November 26
Wake Forest at Iowa ........................ ESPN2 ... 7:00
Tuesday, November 27
Georgia Tech at Indiana .................... ESPN ... 7:00
Northwestern at Virginia ............... ESPNU ... 7:00
Minnesota at Florida State ............. ESPN2 ... 7:30
Wisconsin at Duke ............................. ESPN ... 9:00
Purdue at Clemson .......................... ESPN2 ... 9:30
Wednesday, November 28
Boston College at Michigan ........... ESPNU ... 7:00
NC State at Michigan State ............... ESPN ... 7:00
Illinois at Maryland ........................ ESPN2 ... 7:30
North Carolina at Ohio State ............ ESPN ... 9:00
Virginia Tech at Penn State ............. ESPN2 ... 9:30

Maryland is in their BB&T Classic with GW and George Mason and some other teams TBD.

FSU is in the John Wooden Tradition against Butler.

Clemson is in the San Juan Shootout against Depaul and Ole Miss.

VT is in the ECAC Holiday Festival with Hofstra, St. Johns and Marist.

Miami is in the Orange Bowl Classic with Wintrop and maybe others...

One thing is for sure, $$'s rule college basketball. It wasn't that long ago that the NCAA was clamping down on these exempt tournaments. Not it is a free for all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

K gets some NBA Love

Coach K is guiding USA basketball, hopefully back to gold in the Olympics. But first, coimes the FIBA Americas tournament. Things tip-off for the USA tonight at 11 eastern on ESPN Classic.

Really sounds like the guys are really buying K's method:

NBA veterans rave about Krzyzewski

With a roster that includes proven veterans such as Chauncey Billups along with young stars such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Krzyzewski has been able to get his team to bond by treating everyone like family.

"The first thing is communication, which he does very well because he likes to teach," Kidd said. "I think he would do great in the NBA, but we all know that he has a great gig at Duke."

Krzyzewski understands that his legendary coaching status will not mean a thing if Team USA fails to reach the FIBA Americas Championship final and is forced to play in a world qualifying tournament to reach next year's Olympics.

"I'm proud that these guys have made this type of commitment," Krzyzewski said about Team USA players, who committed three years to work with the national program.

Krzyzewski, who led Team USA to an 8-1 record and bronze medal at the world championships last year in Japan, has made relationships a priority this summer, and his roster filled with NBA players has responded.

"He gets his points across very clear, and as a player, you respect that," Stoudemire said. Full Story...

Full TV Schedule is below.

In some ways there is now less pressure on Coach K that you would have thought, just because USA has had terrible performances that last few years. It is a great opportunity, where he has been giving a great deal of control over the process, and can in many ways be seen as the savior of USA Basketball should we bring home the gold.

The Roster is loaded, in fact loaded enough that he sent home Kevin Durant

Bodog Beat
NBA News: Kevin Durant Cut from US Basketball Team
Bodog Beat, Antigua and Barbuda - 21 hours ago
"With Kevin, one year in college and 18 years old and he's made giant progress and he's going to be one of the faces of the NBA and USA Basketball who will ...
(Roster and Roster comments from
Point Guards

Jason Kidd
Kidd has been the starting point guard throughout camp. His leadership and ability to find his teammates in scoring position has been invaluable to this team. He might not start every game, but he's just an important an addition as Bryant is. He will need to push the tempo as much as possible, because getting easy baskets on the break will be key to the Americans' success.

Chauncey Billups
Mr. Big Shot has also taken on a leadership role and should see plenty of playing time (along with a start or two) throughout the tournament. He will be asked to hit shots from the perimeter, because the wings will draw defenders, leaving him alone beyond the arc.

Deron Williams
Even though he's the third point guard on the depth chart, D-Will is a lock for this roster. Coach K has talked about playing two of the point guards together in the backcourt in order to take advantage of all the skill he has at that position. Williams is one of the best shooters on this team, so they may need him to knock down shots as well as run the offense. Kidd has taken his "son" under his wing during camp, and that will not only benefit Williams, it will also benefit USA Basketball down the line.


Kobe Bryant
As Coach K said, KB24 will start at the two throughout the FIBA Americas tourney, and you can probably guarantee the same for next year's Olympic Games. He will be the go-to guy down the stretch of close games, but he'll probably draw multiple defenders in such cases, so he will need to make the right decision with the ball. He'll also be asked to defend some of the better shooters in the tournament, so keep an eye on his defense as well.

LeBron James
Like Kobe, LeBron is the starter at the three. He will be the primary option on the fast break, because he runs the floor well and of course, nobody wants to get in front of him when he has a head of steam. In the half court, LeBron will be asked to use dribble penetration to create for his teammates.

Michael Redd
Redd has shot the ball pretty well in camp. No one on the roster can get a shot up quicker than he can, so he's obviously a key weapon off the bench. If there weren't as many injuries, he might be battling with Mike Miller for the designated shooter's role, but with only 14 healthy bodies, there looks to be room for both of them on the roster.

Mike Miller
Miller has been just as good as Redd from downtown, and he's also filled the boxscore in other ways. In fact, Redd and Miller have often assisted on each other's baskets during camp. The two of them could see time together on the second unit, to really make defenses pay for packing it in the lane.

Tayshaun Prince
Prince's shooting has been a bit inconsistent, but he's the best defensive player in camp. There's probably room for him on the 12-man roster, but he may not see significant playing time.


Carmelo Anthony
With the lack of skilled bigs, Coach K will go with Anthony at the four in order to have his best players on the floor. That gives Team USA some extra offense in the starting lineup, but 'Melo will need to guard some bigger opponents, and he'll need to help out on the boards.

Amare Stoudemire
First of all, it's just great to see Amare at 100 percent this time around. Secondly, it's great to see how much his shooting has improved in the last couple of years. His offensive game is more complete than it has ever been. He'll start most games at the five, he'll get some easy baskets playing with the playmakers listed above, and he'll be asked to clog up the middle defensively.

Dwight Howard
Howard could start a game or two at the center spot. He's not nearly as good a shooter as Stoudemire is, but he'll grab his share of offensive boards and there's not a player in this tournament who can out-muscle him. He's a beast and if he puts himself in position to score, the guys handling the ball will find him.

Tyson Chandler
If you assume that Durant isn't going to make the roster, then the last spot probably comes down to Chandler and Nick Collison. Chandler gives Team USA their biggest shot-blocking presence, should that be a need. The guy can go from one side of the lane to the other in a split second in order to erase any mistakes the perimeter defenders may make. But he's a true center, and the team may be want their fourth big to be able to play the four, since both Stoudemire and Howard are centers as well.

2007 FIBA Americas Championship Television Schedule


Date Game Network / Time
Preliminary Round
Wednesday, Aug. 22 USA - Venezuela ESPN Classic, ESPN360 / 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 23 USA - Venezuela ESPN2 / 1:00 a.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 23 USA - U.S. Virgin Islands ESPN Classic, ESPN.360 / 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Friday, Aug. 24 USA - U.S. Virgin Islands ESPN2 / 2:00 a.m. (EDT)
Saturday, Aug. 25 USA - Canada ESPN2, ESPN360 / 3:00 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Aug. 26 USA - Brazil ESPN2, ESPN360 / 9:00 p.m. (EDT)
Second Round
Monday, Aug. 27 USA - TBD ESPN2, ESPN360 / 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 USA - TBD ESPN2, ESPN360 / 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 USA - TBD ESPN2, ESPN360 / 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 30 USA - TBD ESPN2, ESPN360 / 12:00 a.m. (EDT)
Saturday, Sept. 1 USA - TBD ESPN Classic, ESPN360 / 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday, Sept. 1 USA - TBD ESPN2 / 10:30 p.m. (EDT)


Date Game Time

Preliminary Round
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Canada - Brazil 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 23 Argentina - Uruguay 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Friday, Aug. 24 Brazil - Venezuela 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday, Aug. 25 Virgin Islands - Brazil 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday, Aug. 25 Argentina - Mexico 11:00 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Panama - Argentina 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Second Round
Monday, Aug. 27 TBD - TBD 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD - TBD 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 TBD - TBD 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 30 TBD - TBD 7:00 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Sept. 2 Bronze Medal Game 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Sept. 2 Gold Medal Game 7:00 p.m. (EDT)


Date Game Time
Preliminary Round
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Uruguay vs. Panama 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Puerto Rico vs. Mexico 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Canada vs. Brazil 8:30 p.m. (EDT)*
Thursday, Aug. 23 USA vs. Venezuela 1:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 22)
Thursday, Aug. 23 USA vs. Venezuela 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 22)
Thursday, Aug. 23 Argentina vs. Uruguay 3:30 p.m. (EDT)*
Thursday, Aug. 23 Venezuela vs. Canada 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
Friday, Aug. 24 Panama vs. Puerto Rico 1:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 23)
Friday, Aug. 24 USA vs. Virgin Islands 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 23)
Friday, Aug. 24 Mexico vs. Panama 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Friday, Aug. 24 Brazil vs. Venezuela 11:00 p.m. (EDT)*
Saturday, Aug. 25 Canada vs. Virgin Islands 1:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 24)
Saturday, Aug. 25 Puerto Rico vs. Argentina 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 24)
Saturday, Aug. 25 Virginia Islands vs. Brazil 6:00 p.m. (EDT)*
Sunday, Aug. 26 Uruguay vs. Puerto Rico 1:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 25)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Argentina vs. Mexico 10:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 25)
Sunday, Aug. 26 USA vs. Canada 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 25)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Venezuela vs. Virgin Islands 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Mexico vs. Uruguay 6:30 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Panama vs. Argentina 12:00 a.m. (EDT)*
Monday, Aug. 27 USA vs. Brazil 2:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 26)
Monday, Aug. 27 USA vs. Brazil 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 26)
Second Round
Monday, Aug. 27 TBD vs. TBD 3:30 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD vs. TBD 1:00 a.m. (EDT)** (game played on Aug. 27)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD vs. TBD 10:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 27)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 USA vs. TBD 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug 27)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD vs. TBD 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD vs. TBD 6:00 p.m. (EDT)*
Tuesday, Aug. 28 TBD vs. TBD 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 USA vs. TBD 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 28)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 TBD vs. TBD 3:30 p.m. (EDT)*
Wednesday, Aug. 29 TBD vs. TBD 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 TBD vs. TBD 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 30 USA vs. TBD 1:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 29)
Thursday, Aug. 30 USA vs. TBD 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 29)
Thursday, Aug. 30 TBD vs. TBD 4:30 p.m.(EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 30 TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m. (EDT)
Thursday, Aug. 30 TBD vs. TBD 9:30 p.m.(EDT)*
Friday, Aug. 31 USA vs. TBD 2:00 a.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 30)
Friday, Aug. 31 USA vs. TBD 12:00 p.m. (EDT)# (game played on Aug. 30)
Saturday, Sept. 1 TBD vs. TBD 11:00 p.m. (EDT)#
Saturday, Sept. 1 TBD vs. TBD 1:00 a.m. (EDT)#
Sunday, Sept. 2 Bronze Medal 4 p.m. (EDT)*
Sunday, Sept. 2 Gold Medal 7 p.m. (EDT)*

* Simulcast Live on FSN
** Taped Delay from FSN
# Replay of ESPN Telecast

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vick Plea and VT in a tough spot

No surprise that everyone is now reporting, Vick will Plead guilty.

CNN Reports: FL quarterback Michael Vick accepted a deal Monday to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges involving illegal dogfighting, one of his lawyers confirmed to CNN. "Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter," attorney Billy Martin said in a written statement.

I actually caught myself feeling sorry for him for a moment, but screw that. He's a sick idiot, but he's got plenty of money in the bank and I really don't care whether he plays again or not. At least he won't be screwing up my fantasy team.

Saw this over the weekend and it has to be a tough position for VT.

Beamer, Va. Tech standing by Vick

Michael Vick's former Virginia Tech coach says he's standing by the embattled quarterback, and the school has no plans - at least not now - to remove a portrait of Vick from the athletic complex or a Vick flag that flies over the stadium.

As two more defendants finalized plea agreements yesterday in a dogfighting case tied to Vick, a school official said it would be premature to consider dismantling a virtual shrine to the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. In 1999, Vick led the Hokies to an 11-0 regular-season record and a berth in the national championship game won by Florida State.

The entrance to a corridor in the $10 million Merryman Athletic Center says "Michael Vick Hall" in raised lettering above a framed portrait of Vick, who faces three felony charges related to the alleged Virginia dogfighting ring. The Associated Press reported that Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Vick's attorneys were negotiating with prosecutors as of late yesterday afternoon, trying to hammer out a plea deal. More...

This is a hard comparison to draw because of the vast difference in the crimes committed, but I'll draw it anyway. This has to remind you a bit about the pickle USC was in after the whole OJ thing. Their most famous alum got away with murder and his history and face were all over the USC program. They eventually found a way to distance themselves, but it was very uncomfortable.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Miami's 3 machine Diaz gets $$'s

Clippers Sign Guillermo Diaz

he Los Angeles Clippers added another piece to the team’s backcourt with the signing of guard Guillermo Diaz today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Diaz, the Clippers’ second round selection (52nd overall) in the 2006 NBA Draft, averaged 20.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 15 games played for CEZ Basketball Nymburk in the Czech Republic last season. Diaz also played in five games with AEP Olimpiada Patron in the Greek League in 2007, tallying 13.0 points per game. More...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brackman signs with Yankees

Contract incentives include end to hoops career

The Yankees and Andrew Brackman played beat the clock and it appears that Brackman won to the tune of $3.3 million guaranteed. The incentive laden contract could be worth up to $13.8 million if Brackman gives up basketball.

NC State's Andrew Brackman beat the midnight deadline and signed a major
league contract with the Yankees.Brackman's deal is 4-years worth a guaranteed
$4.5 million which includes a $3.3 million signing bonus.
The contract could be worth $13.8 million if certain clauses and options are met, one being giving up basketball.

...“I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders — for today,”
Brackman told the North Carolina State Web site, “Tomorrow, I have to get my things packed up and go to Tampa, and see what will happen from there."... Full Story

Apparently at one point during the negotiations, Brackman was considering returning to the Wolfpack for his senior year and returning to the basketball team... I wonder how much extra that earned him in the final contract with the Yankees?

...“This has been a very difficult process for Andrew,” said Avent, who got
confirmation that Brackman had signed while attending an afternoon football
practice. “We have been talking for the last five or six days and negotiations
were going very well. At one point, they took a turn and Andrew was actually
thinking about coming back to school. I talked to [basketball coach Sidney] Lowe
about him playing basketball again. It was getting quite interesting for NC
State... Full Story

Josh Powell Sighting

Clippers add frontcourt depth by signing forward Josh Powell

The Clippers added frontcourt depth Tuesday by signing former North Carolina State forward Josh Powell.

Elton Brand, the Clippers' starting power forward, ruptured his left Achilles tendon earlier this month and is expected to be sidelined for the first several months of the season.

I've been pulling for Josh. When he left NC State, it sure seemed like one of those bone-headed moves destined to ruin his future prospects. No-one on the planet thought he was ready for the NBA, and he wasn't, but a long stint in the NBDL has turned him into a decent NBA player. We'll never really know how good he could have been in college, or whether staying in college would have made him a better pro.

It also seems that we may never know the real reasons he left college early. By all accounts, he was a great student and very bright, which led to a lot of speculation and rumors that he left either because he didn't get along with Herb, Julius Hodge, or Damien Wilkins. I've always thought that he may have resented being over-shadowed by Jules, and certainly people with some personalities might have trouble with Jules.

One moment always stuck in my mind. When Powell signed, it was a really big deal for Herb and the wolfpack. He was going to be the star of the class and was a sign that State was turning things around. But then Julius Hodge became the complete focus of the staff, media, and fans. At the yearly Red/White scrimmage, played at the RBC Center before a football game, both Jules and Powell were sitting baseline to watch the scrimmage. They were high-school seniors at the time. The fans, seeing Jules, started chant after chant of "Julius - Hodge". I sat, watching this and watching Powell during it. He seemed amused at first, then maybe slightly irritated. Finally, after 15 minutes or so the fans had the sense to change Josh Powell, but I've always wondered if the seeds of some jealousy were sown then, that eventually led to Powell's escape.

Just remembered one other thing on the topic. Powell's last game for the wolfpack was in an overtime loss to Cal in the NCAA first round in Oklahoma City. I made the insane drive from Raleigh to OK for that game. It was a very painful loss, punctuated by a failed end of game play that I don't really remember, but know didn't include Powell as the 1st or 2nd option. Powell had played a good game, but the staff drew something up for someone else at the end of the game. After the game, Julius Hodge called out the coaching staff, saying something to the media to the effect of "Josh owned those guys, and I can't believe we didn't keep going to him". No idea what the quote is, but it was very much out of character for Julius and I thought at the time it was a sign of trouble. In retrospect, I think it was Julius knowing that Powell was extremely frustrated and was possibly considering leaving, and was trying to do something to boost Powell and hopefully talk him into staying.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Time running out for Yankees to sign Brackman

Under new rules adopted by Major League Baseball, any drafted player who is not signed by midnight on August 15 cannot be signed. As of Tuesday night, the Yankees had not signed NC State Junior Andrew Brackman.

NEW YORK: The Yankees and their top draft pick, North Carolina State
right-hander Andrew Brackman, were trying to negotiate a deal by Wednesday's
midnight deadline. Brackman is represented by Scott Boras. ... Full Story

And from

North Carolina State righthander Andrew Brackman (No. 30, Yankees), yet
another Scott Boras client, ranked among the 2007 draft’s top prospects until a
late-season slump fueled talk that he has an elbow injury that will require
Tommy John surgery. Nevertheless, industry sources expect New York will more
than triple MLB’s slot recommendation of $945,000. Full Story

In my previous post on Brackman falling to 30th in the draft, (Brackman Drops to 30th in MLB Draft ) I stated that Brackman's Wolfpack Basketball and Baseball careers were probably over. At the time, I thought there was no way he would go unsigned. If the speculation about his elbow injury is true, it appears that Brackman's Wolfpack career is over even if he is not signed by the Yankees.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Steve Blake and what could have been

The memory of a wolfpack fan is just too long. We just never let go of any painful memory at all. Memories of great wins slowly fade. I've got vague memories of dozens of wins over Carolina, but most of the losses are burned in my brain forever.

Saw this article about Steve Blake today
Blake carves a niche in the NBA with competitiveness, character

Reminded me of the all too painful knowledge that Steve Blake wanted to play for NC State:

He's a classic overachiever, the NBA equivalent of the kid who gets picked last in a pickup game only to grudgingly earn respect. Fans relate to him as a spindly Everyman - the likable boy next door all grown up.

But Blake, 6 feet 3, 172 pounds, has an inner scowl, a super-competitive streak that helps explain his success. Terrapins fans remember his rivalry with North Carolina State's 6-7 Julius Hodge that led to Hodge receiving a one-game suspension for a forearm to the back of Blake's head.
Blake was rated among the top 50 to 75 players in the nation after a high school career split between Florida and Virginia's Oak Hill Academy. He was being groomed by former N.C. State guard Chris Corchiani, a family friend, to play for the Wolfpack. Corchiani even took him to meet then-coach Herb Sendek, but the N.C. State coaching staff showed only lukewarm interest, and Blake enrolled at Maryland.
BOYDS - "Later, the coaching staff said, 'We blew it. We never thought he was going to be that good,'" Corchiani said. "Sometimes you really don't see the inside of a guy."

Corchiani, who owns a mortgage company in Raleigh, N.C., had more than a clue about Blake. Gabe Corchiani, Chris' father, had coached Blake at Miami Killian, and Blake visited the Corchianis in North Carolina the summer before his college career began.

"We played one-on-one numerous occasions," said Corchiani, 12 years Blake's senior and by then an ex-NBA player. "I was a little stronger and more mature. But if I beat him, he always wanted to play again." Full Story...

Who knows how different Herb Sendek's tenure at NC State might have been if he had taken Blake. But Herb fell into a trap, probably the same path I would have taken. Coming from Miami-Ohio, where he was able to recruit lower level talent and had to only dream about the great athletes in the power conferences, Herb found himself with the recruiting clout of the ACC, and able to really go after the kind of team he dreamed of. Unfortunately, that early dream was for the best athlete rather than the best player, and the pack chose Cliff Crawford.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Crawford, his speed, his ability to outrun everyone on the break, and the day Coach K dared Crawford to beat Duke with his shaky outside jumper, and he did. But, had Sendek chosen a path early to take Blake, I strongly believe wolfpack history would have taken a positive path. Not that I'm complaining about where we are now, but it was a mistake, and wolfpack fans never forget those.

NC Sports Hall of Fame

Neat article on NC Sports Hall of Fame from the N&O

Guru of N.C. sports transcends school rivalries

Talks a bit about how popular David Thompson and Jim Valvano are with everyone.

If you haven't been, this place is worth a visit. More details at their site

Monday, August 6, 2007

ECU Spins Firing

Ricky Stokes is out at ECU.
I grew up watching him play and he was a blast to watch. But he's just never been able to cut it as coach.

My one Ricky Stokes memory. I'm in Hartford, CT watching the Big East/ACC Challenge. Double-header with Wake and State playing someone I've long since forgotten. I somehow walked into seats literally on the row behind the State/Wake bench. This was the first year that the number of timeouts changed, maybe from 5, down to 4 for TV games. Wake is in a tight game, down a couple late. Wake calls their 4th timeout. As they break the huddle, I think to myself, I sure hope they remember only 4 timeouts. As Stokes walks back to his seat as the players head to the floor, we make eye contact. I literally could have said, in a normal voice "Ricky, no timeouts left". I didn't say it. Sure as hell, a few moments later wake has the ball and they call a fricken timeout. They have no timeouts, they get a technical, and go on to lose the game. Aside from the normal fan crap of, if I watch in this chair, eat a banana before the game, wear this shirt, watch it live, or whatever State will win, this was probably the one time that I really could have had an effect on the outcome of a college basketball game, and I didn't do it.

OK, enough about me.

Ricky was fired today, but Terry Holland is a loyal guy. Check out he Spin of this headline

Stokes takes new job with ECU hoops

Greenville, NC (Sports Network) - East Carolina men's basketball coach Ricky Stokes has decided to take a new position as associate athletic director for basketball. Full Story...

Thursday, August 2, 2007



Raleigh — WCMC-FM will change its format this fall from country music to sports-talk.

The station, which has been known as 99.9 Genuine Country, picked up the radio rights to Carolina Hurricanes games in June.

Officials with station owner Capitol Broadcasting Co., said the move is part of an effort to consolidate Capitol's sports interests. Sister station WRAL-FM also recently picked up the radio rights to North Carolina State University football and basketball games.

WCMC will become part of Capitol's sports division, which also includes the Durham Bulls baseball team. The station's studio will eventually move to WRAL-TV so television, radio and online sports coverage are located together, officials said.

And from the News and Observer

...George Habel, Capitol's vice president for radio networks and sports, said that although Capitol was committed to the move, there was no timeline for changing WCMC's format from "Genuine Country" to sports radio.

Habel said the station intends to have local programming during the morning and afternoon drive periods and will have a heavy focus on sports news reporting.

"We will be very information-intensive, keeping with what we do on TV and the Web," Habel said."There will be plenty of opinion, but we will cover sports news with an intensity we haven't seen in radio in this market."

Job listings seeking a general manager, program director, promotions director, hosts, reporters, producers and account executives are posted on Capitol Broadcasting's web site. Full Story...

Should have seen this one coming once Capitol Broadcasting picked up the rights to NC State and the 'Canes. Just wonder what they are going to use for programming. I am sure ESPN radio would love to have a FM affiliate in the Triangle, but 620 and 850 currently have the ESPN rights.

While I like WRAL's sports staff, there is a note of caution should they find their way over to the radio station. Does anyone remember when WTVD's former sports director, Drew Smith, hosted Sports Saturday on 850 the Buzz? Well, he sucked. The generalization is that since local TV sports guys only work in 30 sec sound bites, they have trouble with sports talk formats.

Does anyone remember what former WRAL reporter is now at ESPN?

Grant’s Immigration Problems Finally Over

From the Charlotte Observer…

An immigration judge's ruling Wednesday in Atlanta will allow N.C. State basketball player Gavin Grant to move forward with his application for permanent resident status, Grant's lawyer said.

Judge Wayne K. Houser Jr. administratively closed removal proceedings against Grant, Elaine Komis, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, said Thursday.

Grant's lawyer, Anna Baird Choi, said his application for a green
card was held up after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents initiated
removal proceedings in October 2005 that could have resulted in Grant's
deportation. More…

One more cloud removed from NC State's Basketball Program. Hopefully Gavin will have a standout senior year without this hanging over his head.

Top 10 returning ACC Basketball Players?

Perry Misner at ProFantasySports has come up with an interesting list:

10. F Kyle Singler*, Duke Blue Devils
9. G Jack McClinton, Miami Hurricanes
8. G Toney Douglas, Florida State Seminoles
7. F/C James Mays, Clemson Tigers
6. G/F Gavin Grant, North Carolina State Wolfpack
5. G Tywon Lawson, North Carolina Tar Heels
4. F Brandon Costner, North Carolina State Wolfpack
3. G Tyrese Rice, Boston College Eagles
2. G Sean Singletary, Virginia Cavaliers
1. F/C Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina Tar Heels

Lots of details and opinions in his full story.

I'm not sure I'd agree with this list, but haven't put a lot of thought into it yet. The Wolfpack is sure getting a lot of love. As much as I love James Mays and Gavin Grant, you have to wonder if this is a really down year coming for the ACC if these guys are that high.

Savior turned Stinker turned Tight End?

(Photo from N&O)

When Marcus Stone came to NC State, he was supposed to be the next Philip Rivers. He had the skills, he had the high school numbers. He just never quite had the instinct. But he's for sure got the right attitude. Out at QB, he want to coaches and offered to do anything he could to contribute. Now, with State's tight end Hill out for the season, Marcus Stone is stepping into the starting lineup with hopes of leaving a positive mark on his college career.

Ex-QB ready for new job

O'Brien calls TE 'the most selfless person on the football team right now'

Why does the US Stink in International Basketball

US just finished 5th in the PanAm Games.

U.S. defeats Panama, finishes fifth at Pan Am Games

I know there are lots of reasons, including early exits to the NBA, a lot of kids not participating for other reasons, and the rest of the world getting a lot better. But I sure do miss the days when we could at least count on competing for the gold. This team should be good, right?

They were: Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt), Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low (Washington State), Eric Maynor (VCU), Bryce Taylor and Maarty Leunen (Oregon), Josh Carter (Texas A&M), D.J. White (Indiana), Drew Neitzel (Michigan State), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), James Gist (Maryland) and Joey Dorsey (Memphis).

Then again, where are guys like Greg Odom, the Florida crowd, etc? Too much money on the line to take a chance I guess.