Thursday, January 31, 2008

ACC Hoops February 2 - 3

While it looks like Duke and Carolina are going to go best two out of three to determine who gets the opening round NCAA games in Raleigh, there is a five-way tie for the fourth and final opening day bye in the ACC Tournament. Look for a little bit of separation as Maryland plays at Georgia Tech and BC travels to Clemson. State, Miami, Florida State and Virginia need to win, or start planning to Host opening round NIT games. Although Ga Tech is in that massive tie for fourth, keep in mind that going into conference play, they had a losing record which they will need to win at least ten conference games to have a shot at a NCAA bid.

(right-cick on links to open in another window)

ACC Hoops is more important than anything.... period.
Don't believe me? John Edwards hinted at his true reason for dropping out of the presidential race during an interview on ESPN's broadcast when he said that there was nothing better than taking in a Carolina game. He went on to mention that had he stayed in the race, he would have been at a debate last night instead of the game... Therefore, ACC Hoops is more important than running for President of the United States.

Want more proof? During Green Night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Cameron Crazies made it quite clear that winning an ACC game was far more important than the environment. For those of you who missed it, the Duke student section was decked out in green t-shirts last night to commemorate “Focus the Nation” – a national teach-in intended to engage millions of students and citizens around global warming solutions. The Cameron Crazies were given green t-shirts emblazoned with the Green Devil and the slogan, “Bleed Blue. Live Green.” It was actually quite colorful until halftime. With the Blue Devils down by nine at the half, many of the Cameron Crazies, sensing bad karma, tossed away their green shirts. The result was a 55-26 second half that propelled Duke to a 20 point win over the Wolfpack.

Out of Nowhere?
Ga Tech senior Matt Causey seemingly came from nowhere to win a share of ACC Player of the Week honors with Duke’s DeMarcus Nelson. His 30 points off the bench against Va Tech were the third most points ever scored by a non-starter in ACC history. Prior to the Carolina game, many ACC fans had never heard of the Gainesville Georgia senior who started the season as Tech’s third-string point guard. Causey started his career at Georgetown and transferred to Division II North Georgia after the 03-04 season. In his two seasons at North Georgia, Causey averaged over 23 points per game before transferring to Tech after the 05-06 season. Causey who had to sit out last season due to his transfer, has said it was a dream just to be on the team at Tech… Tech fans need to be careful not to pinch Causey before mid-March...

Spin Doctors in Training…
OK, I’m finally smart enough to realize that Media Relations staffs aren’t the most objective group in the world. Through their magic, 5’-8” players magically become 6’-1”, and that four-game losing streak your favorite team is on is actually a good thing. I just had to laugh at this blurb on Clemson’s Website.

The Clemson men's basketball team will play host to Boston College on Saturday
night at Littlejohn Coliseum. The game between the Tigers and Eagles is
scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. tip and will be broadcast live exclusively on the
Internet via ACC Select.
Time was, a school would be embarrassed when a prime-time conference game that had some meaning in the conference standings wasn’t shown on TV… not even ESPNU, but I guess a game shown live and exclusive on the internet is better than following it on GameTracker… So far though, I haven’t seen a positive spin on the $9.99 a month it costs to catch your favorite team on the web..

Will the real Ty please stand up…
I’ll admit I am not the biggest Carolina fan in the world… Just the mere though of “Go Heels” could cause my NC State diploma at self-destruct, but it’s sad to admit that I know the Carolina Roster better than the guys getting paid to know it. During ESPN’s broadcast of the Carolina – BC game, Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes kept referring to Tyler Hansbrough as Ty Hansbrough. It’s not the first time I have heard that reference this year. I think I also heard it during Brent Musburger and Steve Lavin’s call of the Maryland. Unless I am mistaken and the Carolina Media Guide and Game Notes are wrong, there is only one Ty on Carolina… Suffice it to say the real Ty is a slightly better ball handler.

Monday, January 28, 2008

ACC Hoops - January 29-31

All the games are huge this week. Neither Miami, Wake, Florida State, Virginia nor State can afford to lose.

Virginia can't seem to catch a break. After the OT loss to Ga Tech, they have to face a ticked off Maryland squad... How do you shoot 54% from the field and lose by nine? I'm sure Gary Williams has reminded his team about the 22 reasons... make that turnovers that were key in the Terps loss to Duke.

The NC State - Duke game will be the first Raycom game shown in HD this year. I suspect that has something to do with the game being carried by ESPN2 outside of the ACC market area. As for the game, keep this in mind State's offense is not very efficient, only scoring 1.032 points per possession. Combine that with Duke allowing a league least 0.971 points per possession and forcing over 20 turnovers per game and you have a recipe for a long night for the Wolfpack.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

ACC Standings - Jan 27

It's never too early to start thinking about tournament seeding so we thought we would start publishing the ACC Standings. With seven teams having three losses, this looks to be a wild race for the fourth and final opening-day bye.

We have included a strength of schedule index (SOS). Basically, this is the won - loss record of the conference teams played by a school. As you can see, Duke and BC have played the weakest conference schedules so far, while Maryland has played the toughest schedule.

Also included are the home and away records. So far this year, there has not been a tremendous home-court advantage in conference play. Through Sunday's games, home teams are only winning 56.3% of their games. In fact, home teams are only scoring 4.09 more points per game than the visitors.

Friday, January 25, 2008

January 26-27 ACC Hoops

MY Picks
FSU, BC, Clemson, UVa, Duke

Where’s Billy?
By our count, Billy Packer has only worked one ACC basketball telecast this season. Love him or hate him, Packer is a big part of the fifty years of televised conference games that makes the ACC special. The former Wake Forest point guard has been a color commentator for ACC basketball telecasts since the 1972 when he teamed with the late Jim Thacker to form the legendary Thacker – Packer broadcast team for C. D. Chesley. Growing up in Winston-Salem, I can vividly recall the old ACC intro, a music piece fittingly called “Championship”, followed by “Hi, I’m Jim Thacker along with Billy Packer” and then the “Sail with the Pilot” intro music for Pilot Life Insurance. Back in those days, you knew it was a really big game when former Wake Forest coach Horace “Bones” McKinney joined Thacker and Packer on the ACC broadcasts. Somehow, the combination of Steve Martin and Jason Capel just don’t compare.

Lucky 7’s
Time for Maryland coach Gary Williams to head to Vegas. By now, it’s old news that the Terp’s stunning upset of number one ranked Carolina was the seventh time a Gary Williams coached team has beaten the nation’s number one team. Did you know that since Williams’ arrival in College Park, the Terps have appeared in seven Sweet-Sixteens? Not only that, seven of Williams' former Maryland players have been picked in the first round of the NBA draft. That’s 7-7-7. Now this is just downright strange. A Maryland win against Duke combined with a Houston loss to Marshall will tie Gary Williams with Houston coach Tom Penders for seventh in wins among active Division I coaches with 597.

Who drew up this schedule?
My college degree is in Parks and Recreation Management (NCSU ’89), so I know a thing or two about drawing up schedules. Maybe it’s the obsessive compulsive in me, or my college training, but I like to see a bit of symmetry in athletic schedules. You know, true round-robins, alternating home and away games, a couple of days between games, etc. Whoever is in charge of drawing up the ACC Hoops schedule should seriously consider taking a sports scheduling class. For starters, four of Clemson’s five ACC games have been at Clemson. It’s nice to be at home, but now the Tigers will play five of the next seven on the road. During that span, Clemson will make two trips to the Triangle, and two trips to Florida. Ok, so you don’t mind the long road trips, how about quick turnarounds? Wake managed to get four home games in each half of the season, but they paid for it with two quick turnarounds. The Deac’s hosted FSU on Sunday afternoon and then traveled to Clemson for a Tuesday night game. Later in the season they will host Maryland on a Thursday-night and travel to Atlanta for a Saturday afternoon game. The one time that Duke has a quick turnaround, they have a Thursday home-game against NC State, followed by a Saturday home-game against Miami. I know TV drives a lot of the scheduling these days, but there need to be some rules in place to prevent these quick turnarounds unless both teams are playing on short rest. Even then, the home-team is always going to have a big advantage.

What seven number one teams Gary Williams has beaten as a head coach?

Which seven Williams-coached Maryland teams made it to the Sweet-Sixteen?

Who are the nine first round draft picks that Gary Williams has coached?
Seven played for Williams at Matyland.

Who was the play-by-play team for C. D. Chesley’s first live weekly ACC Telecast in 1957?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Positive Signs...

There were things to feel positive about last night for NC State in their close loss at home to GaTech. Fells continues to tear it up, there are signs that our bigs are starting to pass the ball well again, but the story of the night was Javier Gonzalez at point. In the first half, he was abused. The freshman had serious trouble dribbling anywhere against the Tech pressure. In the second half, he came out with a determination we haven't seen before and changed the game for most of the second half. He scored, he had assists, he made defensive plays. During the stretch before I believe he started running out of gas, he was the most important player on the court.

We, and tv commentators love these types of stories where young kids have their coming-out party, announcing to the league they are going to be a force. I remember Tom Gugliotta's sophomore year, at the Tournament of Champions in Charlotte, he had a monster weekend and you just knew he was going to be a special player and the year was going to be a good one. Well, this was almost one of those nights. Unfortunately Javier and State ran out of gas, lost the lead, and had to play foul and shoot to catch up at the end. They had a chance, and of course, Javier gets the shot at the buzzer from 3 to tie the game. The play didn't quite work out the way it was drawn up, but he gets a wide open 3 at the buzzer to tie, and it is an air-ball. Not exactly the story-book ending any of us hoped for. I'm sure he's taking it hard, he certainly did in the moment.

But you never really know how things work out. In that moment of disappointment, somehow I was reminded of Christian Laettner's freshmen year, when he missed free-throws in a huge game against Arizona that would have won the game. He was heart-broken, but, I don't think he ever missed an important free throw the rest of the year. He turned that pain into determination and work that helped win two national championships. I think it is sometimes part of the nature of being a State fan, that you learn to look for positives in loss...So, we'll have to wait a couple of years to see how this game really turned out.

Speaking of never knowing how things will turn out, I thought a quick look at the ACC and Pac-10 standings are interesting. I'm not saying what it looks like I'm saying, just interesting and a little humbling for those of us who think we understand the world of college basketball.

NC State, prior to their recent coaching change, had spent 4 or 5 years in the top third of the ACC, is now


NC State 1-3 .250 12-6 .667

In the Pac-10, prior to Herb Sendek's arrival, Arizona State had become accustomed to one of the bottom slots in the league, is now

Tied for 1st
Arizona State 4-1 14-3

I'm not saying...I'm just saying...

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 22-24 Hoops Schedule

We all knew it was just a matter of time before Duke found its way back to the top of the ACC standings. As the week starts they are alone in first place with a record of 3-0. The Blue Devils are lighting it up on offense, scoring 83.3 points per game (4th in conference) while leading the league in Field Goal percentage at 49.5% and 3-pointers made per game at 8.33 per game. Equally impressive has been the Blue Devil defense. Duke leads the league in scoring defense, 67.3 points per game and in steals at 11.0 per game. In addition, Duke is second in the ACC in 3-point field goal percent defense at 28.2% and second in turnover margin with an average margin of +3.67 per game.

With the two game suspension of Va Tech Freshman Jeff Allen, the ACC has sent a clear message regarding inappropriate contact with officials. Allen was ejected for making contact with referee Zelton Steed with 4:32 left in the game against Ga Tech. Allen who had just been whistled for his fifth foul walked past Steed and intentionally stuck his elbow out to bump Steed in his mid-section as he was reporting the foul to the scorers table. Allen, was immediately ejected from the game by Steed. I saw the contact and ejection as it happened and could not believe what had happened. Does anyone recall a player being ejected for contacting a referee? Fortunately the league took quick and decisive action.

NC State's 3-point field goal explosion against Miami Saturday night has propelled them to second place in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.4 %. Overall, State is only shooting 41.6% from the field. Before Saturday's 11-18 barrage, the Pack had converted a respectable 9 of 27 from beyond the arc in league play. State's 3-point shooting is about the only team stat to cheer about. So far the Pack is in the bottom-third in the league in scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, filed goal percent defense... I could go on, but it just gets more depressing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dean Smith recovering

ESPN reports that Dean is recovering from complications after knee replacement surgery:

Linnea Smith, his wife, would not give details about the cardiological and neurological issues. She said her husband doesn't want his medical matters publicized, nor does he want people to make a big deal of his recovery.

"He's working on physical therapy; he's better, and he's looking forward to playing golf again," she said, adding that it would be spring before Smith could tee it up again.

Smith was more optimistic.

"Hope to play in a month or so," he said. "The weather should be pretty by then." More...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

State Steals One... Literally

Pack Wins 79-77 in overtime on Gavin Grant's steal and layup with 2.1 seconds left

Just when everyone thought it was over, the Wolfpack who had been held scoreless in overtime scored seven points in the last 17.7 seconds to stun the Hurricanes. The biggest sequence came in the final 5 seconds when J.J. Hickson followed Gavin Grant's shot to tie the score at 77. Grant stole the inbound pass and hit a layup with 2.1 seconds for the win.

With the Wolfpack win, there a no winless teams left in the ACC. Ga Tech and Virginia both won earlier on Saturday.

... and we thought the end of the Carolina game was exciting...


Shocker in Chapel Hill

Are the heels in trouble, or is it just impossible to go undefeated anymore? Carolina is getting everyone's best shot (ok, not everyone, they did play NC State). Maryland has been terrible much of the year, but played the game of their lives. It appeared to be a terrible call to give the Heels back the ball with 10.7, Carolina should have lost this game. It took a bad call, a dozen lucky bounces, and the luck of the arrow to give them a shot at the end. I hope they aren't using up all of the years luck before March. But, as I type, Tyler's 3 pointer bounces off, and Maryland proves once again, anything can happen in the ACC.

Maryland 82
UNC 80


Friday, January 18, 2008

January 19 - 20 ACC Hoops Schedule

Clemson - Duke looks to be the most exciting game of the weekend. This one could be a real track meet. Just in case he can't get his favorite time keeper to work the game, Coach K has been working on Duke's free-throw defense.

Don't look now, but Boston College is tied with UNC for first place with a 3-0 record as they head to Charlottesville to play the Cavaliers. No one saw that coming after the departure of Jared Dudley at the end of last season. With early season losses to Providence and UMass, followed by a dismantling at the hands of Kansas and then an unexplainable home loss to Robert Morris the Eagles looked to have a tough ACC regular season ahead of them. It's amazing what a 112 point outburst will do for team confidence.

NC State desperately needs a win. In two conference games this year, the Wolfpack has failed to impress (that's putting it mildly). To make matters worse, Ben McCauley is questionable for the game. Carolina and Clemson shot 44.4% from beyond the arc against the Pack... somehow, I think that Jack McClinton who is shooting 46.8% from beyond the arc can't wait for gametime. A loss would give the Wolfpack on 0-3 ACC start for the second straight year.

Poor Miami. They had to travel to Boston a day early for the BC game because of an impending snow storm... Guess what it's forecast to do in Raleigh on Saturday.

Dave Odom out at SC

OK, not fair, the headline makes it sound like he's been fired. Several outlets are now reporting that Dave Odom, current South Carolina and previously Wake Forest basketball coach will announce that he is retiring at the end of the year.

Somehow I don't think SC will be calling College of Charleston coach Bobby Cremins for an interview.

My favorite Dave Odom story, the day an Odom assistant had me convinced that Herb was going to Nebraska, and then Odom would become State's coach. glad it didn't happen.

Someone smarter than me will have to figure this out, but is Odom the only successful coach to come out of Terry Holland's UVA staffs?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Updated Referee Stats Through January 16

Things are a bit skewed because of a few blowouts and a few referees not working many conference games, but a few trends are starting to develop. Overall the foul and free-throw differentials are really close. Also, score differential is fairly close considering the really big blowouts in the past week.

Get ready for a track meet if Mike Wood, Roger Ayers or Jamie Luckie shows up to work a game. On average, 175 points are scored when Wood is refereeing. Ayers is seeing just over 167 points per game, while 161 points are scored when Luckie works. Through 16 games, the league averages 150 points per game.

The way things are going for the Wolfpack, Jim Burr, Tony Greene and Mike Kitts will probably work Saturday Night's game against Miami. Home teams have yet to win in games they have worked.

A word to the wise, don't show your emotions if Ted Valentine is working your game. So far there have been six technical fouls called in games he has worked. I thought it was only fitting that he was involved in two technical fouls on the same night Bobby Knight won his 900th game.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sidney Lowe apologists

Obviously NC State is not a very good basketball team. There have been all sorts of speculations as to why, ranging from the fact they thought they would be so good the players didn't work this summer, to internal problems with guys not liking each other and bitching about playing time.

I have to say I'm pretty bummed about things, but we've been through worse. Despite spankings at UNC and Clemson, don't forget those teams are pretty damn good. State still has a good shot at post-season this year, although it will take some big improvements to make the NCAA.

Some fans are writing this season off completely, and also are somewhat worried about their coach. Fans and their relationships with coaches are pretty fickle in general, but the way last year played out, Sidney Lowe was put on a pretty high pedestal. He's fallen off pretty quickly in the eyes of those same fans. Given his history he'll have the longest leash in the history of the program as far as fans being willing to take losing with the hope and promise of the future. But before people start thinking the guy can't coach, let's do remember a couple of things:

  1. He's young and inexperienced as a college coach. That doesn't mean he isn't a very good coach, but there are things to learn about the college game and the kids that play it.
  2. I can promise you, one thing he never really had to deal with in the NBA was a team that doesn't quite have the skills to reliably get the ball up the court. That is going to be a learning experience.
  3. All off-season, he warned us, State can be very good, but only if we somehow get good point-guard play. While some problems seemed to exist, the Wolfpack seemed to be on the right track up until Farnold Degand was lost for the season. You take a great team and take away their point guard, and they can fall apart. You take a decent team like NC State and lose the point, and it can be devestating.
So, my advice to State fans (and myself).
  • Reset Expectations
  • Start looking for some positives and even moral victories in these tough road games.
  • Remember that we love our coach and that these are mostly the same kids who gave us a great run last year and are capable of it again.
  • Remember Coach Lowe is a work in progress - He's going to be the NC State coach for the remainder of his career, so even when he isn't perfect, he's learning and getting better, and we'll reap the benefits later.
  • Remember this is supposed to be fun!

No. 24 Clemson Tops Wolfpack
The Associated Press - 12 hours ago
CLEMSON, SC (AP) — Terrence Oglesby had four 3-pointers and No. 24 Clemson beat North Carolina State 70-54 on Tuesday night. Oglesby hit three 3-pointers in ...
Hammonds and No. 24 Clemson clobber NC State Sports Network
Clemson wallops NC State Winston-Salem Journal
Pack loses second straight at Clemson N.C. State University Technician Online

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hoops Schedule - Week of January 14

Will the blowouts continue?

After an average victory margin of 1.25 points in the first four games of conference play, the average margin of victory this weekend was 19.17 points. After starting the season 1-3, home teams won all six games this weekend.

As baldy as NC State was blown out of the Smith Center, they fared better than Wake Forest. Boston College blistered the Deacs by shooting 66.1% from the field, including 68.4% from beyond the Arc. BC's 112 points were the most the Eagles have ever scored in a conference game (ACC or Big East). It was also the first time the Eagles had scored 100 points in a conference game since joining the ACC 3 years ago. BC last scored 100 points in a conference game (ACC or Big East) in 1985.

It has been worse for the Wolfpack... On Feb 6, 1993, the Heels beat the Pack by a score of 104-58 in Chapel Hill. The Wolfpack did manage to score 23 points in the first half that afternoon.

Carolina has now scored 90 or more points in seven straight games for the first time in school history.

Clemson season ticket holders have gotten their money's worth from the Tiger's first two home conference games. Saturday night's double-overtime win against Florida State marked the first time in conference history that a team opened conference play with back-to-back overtime games.

Miami's 14-1 start ties this season with the 2000-2001 season for the best start in school history. The 'Canes are now 4-0 in conference openers since joining the ACC.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

ACC MarketWatch

This is a really unique look at $$'s and triangle hoops programs. You'd have to assume were it a real stock market, everyone would be shorting the pack.

The Most Valuable College Basketball Teams

Highway I-40, known as Tobacco Road, connects the universities of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State. These schools sit within a 25 mile radius of each other in a region where college basketball is religion. The passion that their students, alumni and sponsors have for college basketball translates into an abundance of riches for these universities, making their men's basketball programs extremely valuable, according to Forbes' first ranking of college hoops teams. Just how much are these "amateur" basketball teams worth?

The North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team is the most valuable in the country, worth $26 million. We base our valuations on what the basketball programs contribute to four important beneficiaries: their university (money generated by basketball that goes to the institution for academic purposes, including scholarship payments for basketball players); athletic department (the net profit generated by the basketball program retained by the department); conference (the distribution of tournament revenue); and local communities (incremental spending by visitors to the county during the regular season that's attributable to the program).

Last season the Tar Heels posted a $16.9 million profit and, thanks in part to a lucrative merchandising agreement with Nike (nyse: NKE - news - people ), contributed $800,000 to the university for academics. With Michael Jordan's jersey hanging from the Dean Smith Center's rafters and the basketball team a perennial contender for the national championship, basketball is the cornerstone of the university's athletic department. More on Duke and State

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weekend ACC Hoops Schedule

The good news is there is only one conflict with the NFL Playoff schedule (FSU-Clemson) and that one is only on the web in most markets.

During football, I went to great lengths to do a writeup for each game, but there are too many games, and hoops is just too unpredictable to attempt the same during basketball season. I could guess, which is what I did during football, but I don't want to demonstrate my absolute lack of hoops knowledge. Instead, I'll just write a few observations about what's going on in the league.

So far, the home court has not meant much in league play. Going into today's action, ACC home teams are only 1-3 in conference games. Wolfpack fans certainly hope that trend continues today... They also wouldn't mind if referee, Tony Greene, works the game since home teams are 0-2 in games he has worked.

Is Miami for real this year? They are 13-1 and ranked 25th in the AP Poll this week... They've even managed to sell out BankUnited Center for this afternoon's game against a struggling Ga Tech squad. After football, 'Canes fans definitely need something to cheer about.

If any team deserves to have a good season this year, it's Wake Forest. The death of coach, Skip Prosser, was an event that could have shattered the program. Instead, the Deacs have rallied around first year coach Dino Gaudio. The Deacs are 11-3, with all three losses occurring on the road. This afternoon they travel to Chestnut Hill to face a 10-4 BC squad that has unexplainable losses to Providence, UMass and Robert Morris.

Has Clemson shifted into self-destruct mode? After dropping a heart-breaker to Carolina in the league opener, the Tigers dropped a home game to Charlotte earlier this week. Especially concerning was the 13-3 run that Charlotte had to finish the game. If Clemson falls to Florida State tonight, it might be time to go into full panic mode. FSU leads the nation in Free Throw percentage at .800... Let's mot mention what Clemson is shooting from the line.

Jules Down Under

Long way from where he dreamed of being, but I have no doubt he's going to have a great career playing ball for a long time.

Hodge hyped for home debut

36ers topple Kings 115-93
The Age, Australia - 1 hour ago
Adam Ballinger top scored for the 36ers with 35 points, with Brad Davidson (31) and newcomer Julius Hodge (24) also decisive. Mark Worthington was superb ...
Hodge hyped for home debut, Australia - Jan 10, 2008
Adelaide 36ers supporters can expect an entertaining Distinctive Homes Dome debut from recruit Julius Hodge when he and his team mates tackle the Sydney ...
Angry Sixers planning regicide Advertiser Adelaide
all 2 news articles »
36er wants another crack at NBA, Australia - 14 hours ago
A dominant defensive performance against one of the NBA's best players has left Adelaide 36ers recruit Julius Hodge hungry for another crack at the big ...
'People person' Hodge eyes NBL play-offs
ABC Online, Australia - Dec 23, 2007
New Adelaide import Julius Hodge is confident of making an immediate impact in the NBL when the 36ers play the South Dragons in Melbourne on Wednesday night ...
36ers unleash Hodge on Dragons, Australia - Dec 20, 2007
The Adelaide 36ers are set to unveil their latest US import, Julius Hodge, against the South Dragons in Melbourne on Boxing Day. The 201cm recruit, who will ...
Hodge released, but not ready
Adelaidenow, Australia - Dec 17, 2007
JULIUS Hodge is up in the air - but not in a plane the way the 36ers want him to be - and Josh Pace has not been picked up by the NBA. ...
Julius Hodge on 36ers' radar as import replacement
Adelaidenow, Australia - Dec 12, 2007
JOSH Pace has declined the 36ers' offer to play out the NBL season as Mike Chappell's replacement but Julius Hodge is considering the move. ...
Ex-NBA player could be Sixers' saviour
The Age, Australia - Dec 26, 2007
New Sixers signing Julius Hodge was drafted high in the 2005 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, but played only a handful of games in the world's best ...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Zebra Statistics

Taunting the Zebras can be dangerous, so we thought it was time to start tracking of refereeing statistics so you would know what to expect from the referees who are working your favorite team's games... Remember that sick feeling you used to get when you saw Lenny Wirtz on the sidelines before the start of a game? Since non-conference games tend to skew things a bit, we will only be tracking stats for conference games.

As time allows, we will try to update team records by referee for all games, and as promised earlier, we will be tracking technical fouls called on coaches.

Here is an explanation of the different columns...

HOME SCORE - Average number of points scored by the home team in games worked by the referee
VIS SCORE - Average number of points scored by the visiting team in games worked by the referee
SCORE DIFF - Average scoring differential between the home team and visiting team in games worked by the referee
HOME FOULS - Average number of fouls called against the home team in games worked by the referee
VIS FOULS - Average number of fouls called against the visiting team in games worked by the referee
FOUL DIFF - Average difference in the number of fouls called against the home team and the visiting team in games worked by the referee
HOME FT'S - Average number of free-throws shot by the home team in games worked by the referee
VIS FT'S - Average number of free-throws shot by the visiting team in games worked by the referee
FT DIFF - Average difference in free throws shot by the home team and visiting team in games worked by the referee
HOME FG% - Field goal percentage shot by the home team in games worked by the referee
VIS FG% - Field goal percentage shot by the visiting team in games worked by the referee
TECH FOULS - Technical Fouls called in games worked by the referee
HOME RECORD - Home team's record in wins and losses in games worked by the referee

Herb's big win

"Herb Sendek has indeed surprised many people with this quick turnaround. A lot of people thought that it would take him 3-4 years and there were no guarantees he would be able to do it. Of course the season is far from over, but for Arizona State standards, he already has three conference wins, and *gasp* a 3-0 conference start. When was the last time ASU won more than 3 conference games in a whole season?"

Arizona at Arizona State

Pac 10
Freshman Harden leading ASU to hot start
HoopsWorld - 9 hours ago
By Kevin Pedersen PA SportsTicker Staff Writer Thanks to James Harden, Arizona State coach Herb Sendek is enduring a much different season than he did a ...
Opinion by Greg Hansen : Cats finally strike out after years of ... Arizona Daily Star
Pac-10 Basketball | Freshmen talent animates ASU Seattle Times
ASU freshman puts spark back in series Arizona Daily Star
East Valley Tribune - East Valley Tribune

Ugly in Chapel Hill

I'm reading Tim Peeler's "When March Went Mad" now (review coming), and if it teaches you anything to relive those moments it is that anything can happen in basketball.

NC State visits #1 UNC on Saturday. This years UNC team, on paper, might not be quite as good as last years. In reality, I think they are much better. This years NC State team on paper, should be much better than the team that beat carolina last year. In reality they are much worse. It also turns out that State may be without Courtney Fells after an ankle sprain last night. Degand is already gone for the year, and Horner is hurt.

NC State is in a 7 game winning streak, but it is hard to find a wolfpack fan around that really feels like State has truly played a good game all year against a decent component. They've had some good wins, but we still haven't seen a half of basketball played like we expected.

I know Sidney has a little touch of magic, and if somehow his red jacket and talk of dreams and hope can bring out the best in his players for 40 minutes, anything can happen. But my guess... It is going to be one UGLY day in Chapel Hill for NC State.

Can you say Letdown?

Didn't take a rocket scientist to predict this. It has to be so frustrating as a coach, knowing that coming off what your team had to feel was the game of the year, they are going to either overlook a lesser opponent, or simply not be able to muster the enthusiasm and emotional energy to have their bodies do what their brains tell them to do.

Seattle Post Intelligencer
Goldwire, 49ers upset No. 18 Clemson
Sports Network - 10 hours ago
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Leemire Goldwire scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Charlotte to an upset over 18th-ranked Clemson, 82-72, ...
Charlotte Stuns No. 18 Clemson The Associated Press
Charlotte comes calling on No. 18 Clemson Sports Network
Charlotte shocks No. 18 Clemson Charlotte Observe

Monday, January 7, 2008

ACC Basketball Underway

I know there have been games already, but for me the ACC Basketball season just began last night. What a game. Clemson is good. Carolina is just a little better, but Clemson is damn good. Maybe this is the year Clemson can finally get a win in Chapel Hill?

It took an Ellington 3 with 0.4 seconds left in overtime for the Heels to stay perfect on the year. I'm still having a little trouble getting into full ACC gear with NFL still exciting and the Giants and Chargers still alive, but if this game is any sign, this year is going to be a lot of fun.

Heels stun Clemson in OT
Baltimore Sun, United States - 4 hours ago
19 Clemson (12-2). Ellington scored a career-high 36 points. He had seven of North Carolina's nine points in overtime. "It shows our maturity. ...
Ellington's three lifts No. 1 UNC over Clemson in OT Sports Network
No. 1 North Carolina survives scare against Clemson Kansas City Star
No. 1 North Carolina opens ACC slate at No. 19 Clemson Sports Network

Thursday, January 3, 2008

ACC Hoops December Review

Football has still been dominating TV time and most sports fans lives, so let's review what we've missed (Only listing quality opponents and bad losses).

Boston College
Nice win at Maryland, but losses to Providence and Umass.

Wins against South Carolina, at ECU, at Depaul, and at Alabama. Loss in Puerto Rico to Mississippi.

Wins over Michigan and Davidson, Loss to Pitt.

Losses to Butler and Providence, win at GaTech.

Georgia Tech
Losses to Vandie, Kansas, and FSU

Losses to VCU, BC, Ohio, American.

Wins over St Johns, Mississippi St., Penn. Loss to Winthrop.

North Carolina
Wins over Kentucky, Penn, Rutgers.

North Carolina State
Loss to ECU, wins over Davidson, Cinci, Seton Hall.

Loss to Syracuse.

Virginia Tech
Wins over GW and St. Johns. Losses to ODU and Wake.

Wake Forest
Losses at Vandie and Georgia. Wins over Bucknell, Air Force, Virginia Tech.