Saturday, December 19, 2009

Roy Williams as "the Fonz"

I was a big Happy Days fan. One thing that for whatever reason I remember most about that show was how Fonzie had trouble saying he was "Wrong". Just always makes me laugh when I see someone who can't say they are sorry, or can't say they were wrong. I just think about Fonzie trying to say it, and he couldn't quite get it out.

I'm sure you've heard/read a million stories now about Roy Williams having a opposing fan thrown out of a Carolina game because during a free throw when it was real quiet, the fan yelled at a carolina player that he was going to miss the free throw.

On the surface it is absurd. The real facts of what happens, we'll never know. I mostly ignored the story but finally saw an interview with Roy where he's trying to finally put this to bed.

Whatever the facts, and while the mistake is understandable, Roy Williams was wrong. He made a mistake, should admit it, and say he was sorry.

That's it. Period!

Unfortunately, men of power these days it seems have too much ego to ever do that. They've invented their own language these days. There must be a playbook, a little insiders guide to the English Language that they all get a copy of once they reach a certain level of success or notoriety. I haven't seen a copy for myself, but I'm slowly learning some of phrases it teaches. When your ego is too large to admit you blew it, what do you say? You say
"I regret it happened".

This is what Roy says about this issue. To really gain respect, all he has to say is "I love these kids, and in the heat of the moment I followed my instinct to protect one of them, and I was wrong". But alas, like the fonz, you wont' hear those words. Roy regrets that it happened, wishes it hadn't happened. He might even say he's "sorry it happened". That isn't the same thing.

Not to pick on just Roy, but I'm getting pretty tired of these non-apology, apologies all the way around.

I can't wait to see what phrases Tiger pulls out of the little handbook.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clemson Blows...the Challenge

You wouldn't be alone if you assumed some things last night before the games were complete. I assumed the ACC would somehow pull out an 11th straight ACC-Big10 Challenge. I assumed that Duke would beat Wisconsin no matter where the game was played. And I assumed with a 23 point lead, that the Clemson game was over.

I guess that's why they play the games.

I love Clemson Basketball. I love the style of play, I generally love watching the kids Oliver brings in. As I watched the first half of the game last night, I couldn't help but drift out of the game a bit and think about what a great coach Oliver Pernell is, how lucky Clemson is to have him, how he is building a consistently strong team where one hasn't been historically. I couldn't help but think to myself, if only NC State had gotten him. Then my daydream went down the path of realizing that if we had Clemson's basketball team and their level of success at NC State, the fans wouldn't be happy, because Duke and Carolina would still kill us, because we wouldn't be going deep enough in the tourney, etc. But, I still thought how lucky Clemson is to have him, and how the fans probably really appreciate him there.

Then of course, the unthinkable happens. This loss isn't a tragedy. If it has a hangover effect, it might even be a positive one for this team. But wow, what a collapse. And somehow I have a feeling there isn't any Pernell Appreciation Day planned at Clemson anytime soon.
Something about the current instant gratification, 24hr news cycle culture we live in has led me to the habit of drawing conclusions too quickly. A week ago I said that Duke was the best team in the ACC, and Carolina will be good, but has a ways to go. I guess that is easy to do after seeing 'Cuse spank the heels and Duke easy over Uconn. After this week I'm convinced the Heels will take their 3rd title in the decade, and Duke isn't a top 20 team.

Of course neither extreme is true. I guess what I need to remember is, it is barely December, and that is why they play the games.

One other note though after watching Carolina beat MSU. I'm convinced you could take the 2nd 5 off carolina's roster and start a new team, and that team would finish 5th or higher in the ACC. Amazing the talent they have. I also think you could take any 2 of that 2nd 5, and give them to NC State, and State would become a tournament team. Parity in college sports is a myth. But, it always has been.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State vs. NorthWestern

Guess my mobile uploads need some work, what a bad picture.

State is young. Friend of mine just said, "Yeah, but they've been young for 5 years". Sure seems true. The last veteran player we had it seems was Atsur. Not really true, but sure feels that way.

Carolina friend I went to the game with said, "Where did the NorthWestern coach come from"? It only took as long as the first back door cut layup to remember his Princeton roots. They run it well. State fans know that offense well, and you couldn't help but just a little bit feel the tug of missing those days of beautiful back door cuts with Marcus Melvin or Ilian Evtimov making a sweet bounce pass to Jules for an easy layup. We hated that offense. We loved that offense.

After initial lapses, NC State 2009 actually defended it pretty well. I won't write a book on this game, but some things did jump out at me.

  • Javier Gonzalez is the heart and fire of this team. He isn't there yet, but he's getting better, and he won't back down from any challenge, and he's got the Heart. And man was he tired at the end of the game.
  • If Tracy Smith was 2 inches taller, he would be amazing. He's got amazing moves, just needs and inch or two to help him finish. BUT, he gives fantastic effort.
  • Scott Wood is a shooter. He looks like a shooter, he moves like a shooter, he spots up and pulls the trigger like a shooter. Everyone says he's a shooter. The only problem is I haven't actually seen him hit a shot. He will, he's going to be great, but I'd sure like for some of them to start falling soon. I think one thing Lowe needs to do is get him more shooting time in the RBC center. I couldn't help but wonder last night whether statistically overall state shoots worse at home from 3 now than when they practiced and played in Reynolds. No way to do a comparison like that because the talent is different, but you'd have to think more practice time in the RBC Center would help our home 3-pt shooting %.
  • Julius Mays is driving me crazy. He is quick with the ball. The problem is, he only showed that quickness once all night. The rest of the time, against that 1-3-1 trap, he looked very tentative, like he is afraid to make a turnover. Get over it, start moving, start making quicker passes, even if a few of them are to the other team.
  • All of the freshmen we've seen to date have talent. But they aren't yet ready to make plays. They make a great move, or have a great opportunity, and they just spazz out a little. It will come, but they are young. It is different with the Carolina and Duke freshment, who have been playing in all star games for years now. Our guys just aren't ready to play with the cameras on yet.
  • UNC and Duke are going to kill us this year.