Bobby Frasor is a Golden God!

Posted by rtmsf on April 30th, 2008

Continuing our UNC-themed week here at RTC, we came across this photo of presumptive Heel point guard doing his best Russell Hammond of Stillwater routine at a local house of fraternage. Also check Psycho-T’s stance immediately behind and to the left of Frasor (getting wrapped up by some TarPoon).

(h/t 850thebuzz)

Far be it from us to wax medical on the proper rehabilitation of an injury, but Frasor tore his ACL in late December and appears ready to take over the reins of point guard from Ty Lawson, who himself is testing the waters (shameless plagiarism, we know).

Update: Tyler Hansbrough got into the I’M ON DRUGS action as well…

(h/t DukeDevilsBB)

Just remember, folks, the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool…

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Obama & the Heels

Posted by rtmsf on April 29th, 2008

Yesterday we brought you a video showing Barack Obama playing ball with some yahoos at a gym in Illinois.  This is better. 

North Carolina’s primary is on May 6th, and what better way to pander to engage and interest Wal-Mart Nation the good people of the Tarheel state right before an election than to strap on some Air Jordans and play pickup ball with their beloved Heels.

Update:  moving pictures!! (h/t The Big Lead)

So is Obama’s gray shirt the hoops equivalent of the red jersey in football scrimmages?  How’d they know which team he was on??  Whatever you do, don’t hurt the guy in the gray shirt! 

Either Obama is asking Roy how he got down 40-12 to Kansas… or, they’re sharing fun tie stories. 

Yes, son [Ty Lawson], you will make more money than me next year.  Wanna contribute?

Even a skinny 46-yr old dude in too-tight sweats can find holes in the vaunted Carolina defense…  and yes, ACC refs, that was an offensive foul on Obama.  Hansbrough to the line for two. 

That’s more like it – I can play with these 12-year olds!

Um, what am I supposed to do with this

Uh oh – now we know Psycho-T’s problem with the NBA.  Smooth Sam is a legit 6’9 – so that makes Hansbrough, what, 6’7 + hair (even allowing for the slight tilt in the photo)? 

Final thoughts.  What must uber-Heel and former Democratic nominee John Edwards think of all this suckling at the teat of the Ram in Chapel Hill? 

Also, NC State fans are crying foul over this unsanctioned “practice.”  God love em. 

All photo credits:  Jeffrey A. Camarati 

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04.28.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 28th, 2008

It was a semi-busy weekend as the last few players thinking about declaring for the NBA Draft waited until the Sunday night deadline to make their decisions public…

  • The biggest news is that UCLA guard and all-american Darren Collison will remain in Westwood for his senior year.  It will be an interesting six weeks at UCLA as Ben Howland will await word on which of the remainder of his starters will come back (among Josh Shipp, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute).  We predict Shipp and Mbah a Moute will return. 
  • In a parallel situation across the country, UNC’s sixth man Danny Green became the third Tar Heel to declare his intentions to test the waters, joining teammates Tywon Lawson and Wayne Ellington.   In a related vein, STF posits that UNC ’09 will be must-watch tv next winter.  We would tend to agree, but only if we can make a deal with ESPN that Vitale/Patrick are nowhere near any of those games.  If not, all bets are off.      
  • Other early entry news.  UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet is sticking around for his junior year, while USC freshman Davon Jefferson will sign with an agent and is leaving for good. 
  • In case you were wondering, Big East POY and Pitt forward Sam Young will remain in school for his senior season.  Along these lines, Vegas Watch thinks that the Big East is in a position of strength (losing the least talent) going into next season.  Jeff Goodman backs that up by putting 8 teams in his post-early entry, pre-draft deadline Top 25
  • Reviews are so far mixed on whether Stanford’s hire of Johnny Dawkins was a good one.  Here’s a good one a mediocre one, and a not-so-good one. 
  • This is why using only stats to decide a champion is absurd.  No way in hell are 92 Duke and 96 Kentucky not 1-2 (either way). 
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Got a Scholly Available?

Posted by rtmsf on April 28th, 2008

Sign this guy up!  Does he have any college eligibility left?

(h/t TrueHoop)

Seriously though, for a 46-year old, dude’s still got some game.  His three-ball was money and he even showed a little bit of funk in his game with the crossover jukes and dribble-drive.  Now if we could just figure out where he stands with respect to guns and religion in small-town America…  Oh

PS – love the hard tuck in the sweatpants look there, Barack.  LOVE.  IT. 

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Johnny Dawkins to Stanford

Posted by nvr1983 on April 26th, 2008

After Trent Johnson left Palo Alto for the Bayou, we wondered who the Stanford administration would target as their next head coach. It looks like we have our answer as the Cardinals appear to have reached an agreement with Johnny Dawkins.

Duke great Johnny Dawkins (far left)

Many of our younger fans know Dawkins as Coach K’s right-hand man for several years now and a potential candidate for several D-I head coaching positions, our older (and more well-read visitors) are also aware of his exploits on the basketball court. Here is a brief list of his accomplishments:

– 1986 Naismith College Player of the Year
– #2 on the all-time Duke scoring list (2,556 points)
– Named one of the 50 greatest ACC players of all-time
– 10th overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs (9 years in the NBA)

While I think that Dawkins will become a very good head coach, it is a pretty big jump from being an assistant coach (even at arguably the most well-known program in college basketball) to a head coach at a major D-I school in what might have been the best conference in the country last year. Dawkins will probably have a tough time the next few years especially with the Lopez twins leaving, but I think if Stanford gives him enough time he should transform it into a perennial Pac-10 power. Now the interesting question is how this will affect the Coach K succession plan as Dawkins was widely considered to be the favorite if and when Coach K decides to step down from his throne.

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Another Year of Psycho T

Posted by rtmsf on April 25th, 2008

We’re hearing confirmation from Chapel Hill this afternoon that the Great White Hope known as Tyler Hansbrough has elected to remain in school to further his assault on the ACC record books and opponents’ elbows. 

Somewhere in a bathroom in the Sarasota area Dickie V. is furthering his own brand of self-assault upon hearing this news. 

We already mentioned that Tywon Lawson is testing the waters, but apparently so will Wayne Ellington.  Carolina is going to be a top five team with Hansbrough returning, no matter what the other two do, but the real key is Lawson.  If he returns, the Heels are #1 with a bullet, probably as much of a preseason lock as Florida in 2006-07 or Duke in 2001-02.  Ellington, while very good, is expendable. 

ACC fans had better hope that Lawson blows up in the predraft camps; otherwise, UNC will once again blow through that league next year. 

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04.25.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 25th, 2008

Some news on early entries as the deadline (Sunday at midnight) looms and some other flotsam we’ve been holding on to for your Friday…

  • UNC’s point guard Tywon Lawson will be testing the waters.  Reading the tea leaves, does this signal a pending domino effect for his teammates Wayne Ellington, Tyler Hansbrough and/or Danny Green? 
  • Speaking of the Heels, in light of KU’s title, ol’ Roy’s face was consequently removed from a bathroom in a Lawrence, KS, barber shop. 
  • Super Mario Chalmers will be testing the waters of the NBA Draft, joining teammates Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur in the pool. 
  • Memphis juniors Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier joined Derrick Rose and CDR in declaring for the NBA Draft this week – both will test the waters.  With Joey Dorsey (ahem) graduating, Memphis could potentially lose its entire starting five.    
  • The Texas backcourt of DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams have also decided to declare for the draft.  Abrams is probably only testing the waters. 
  • Missouri’s DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons will be testing the waters this year as well. 
  • A returner!!!  Tennessee’s Tyler Smith will return to Knoxville, where he’ll likely lead the Vols to another SEC regular season title (and not much else). 
  • VCU’s Anthony Grant and UAB’s Mike Davis received contract extensions from their schools.
  • You’ve probably heard that the itinerant Larry Brown stepped down from his job as Executive VP with the Sixers yesterday.  At least one report thinks he might be going to Stanford to take over Trent Johnson’s old job. 
  • This is a neat article on which Tobacco Road players and coaches are supporting whom in the 2008 election.  Um, shouldn’t Grant Hill be supporting Billary, given that his mom roomed with her at Wellesley?  Or…  maybe that tells you all you need to know. 
  • From the leftovers department, YABB did a quick and dirty analysis of the final conference standings of the NCAA Tournament.  Big 12… good.  ACC and SEC… bad. 
  • This is something we found that shows the progression/regression of the top four programs in terms of total wins over the last ten years.  Carolina really took a hit during those Doherty years, didn’t they?
  • Turning to the NBA Playoffs, this is a nice article on the positive effects that the late Skip Prosser had on his players now in the postseason – CP3, David West and J-Ho. 
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Kenny Smith is no Kobe…

Posted by rtmsf on April 23rd, 2008

Ok, this is not college hoops related, but it was too fall-off-the-couch funny not to post the vids…

First, the much-discussed viral Nike video of Kobe jumping over an Aston Martin convertible:

Kenny Smith then decided to re-enact it on Inside the NBA tonight:

This proves, once again, the Inside the NBA is the best sports show on television. Aaaaaand Kenny can’t get up quite as well as he used to

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2008 Rivals Top 50 Seniors

Posted by rtmsf on April 23rd, 2008

We’re totally a rankings whore, and we love to cut/paste excel charts, so here’s the final list of the 2008 Rivals top 50 Seniors, which came out today.   

By our count, here are the big winners:

  • UCLA – 4 players
  • Arizona – 3
  • Wake Forest – 3
  • Alabama – 2
  • Florida – 2
  • Georgetown – 2
  • Kansas – 2
  • Kentucky – 2
  • Louisville – 2
  • Memphis – 2
  • UNC – 2
  • Ohio St. – 2

In other words, the usual suspects (minus Duke who only had one player, but loses virtually nobody off of this year’s team).

Before getting all giddy and making F4 reservations, keep in mind Bruin, Wildcat and Demon Deacon fans that more than one pundit has declared the Class of 2008 as one of the worst in recent memory.  There are no Greg Odens, Michael Beasleys, Kevin Durants, Derrick Roses or Kevin Loves in this year’s group – you’ll be lucky to get a Kyle Singler or two. 

Update:  we missed this previously, but here’s the Rivals Top 30 classes.

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04.22.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 22nd, 2008

Happy Earth Day everyone. 

  • Mississippi St.’s Jamont Gordon announced today that he will be testing the waters of the NBA Draft. 
  • ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski has an opinion about the spate of 1-and-dones from the last two seasons – i.e., they suck!
  • In the wake of Travis Ford’s departure to Oklahoma St., former Minuteman and current Memphis assistant coach Derek Kellogg will take over as the head man at UMass. 
  • Draft Express used its contacts to get the lowdown on what several of the marquee names still on the fence about the draft.  For a more exhaustive list of all draft-eligibles, see Chad Ford’s
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And the Angels Shall Sing…

Posted by rtmsf on April 22nd, 2008

Several commentators are already all over this story, but we cannot simply sit by without giving our view on the NY Daily News blurb that Mr. Cash and Purveyor of All Things Hoops and Holy, Mr. William “Billy” Packer, might be on thin ice at CBS for his insistence that the national semifinal game between Kansas and UNC was “over” at the 7:32 mark in the first half.

Bill Raissman writes:

CBS is paying $6 billion for the right to air the tourney over the life of its contract with the NCAA. From a business perspective, telling viewers to turn off the TV is not a great idea, especially in a soft advertising market. Naming a “winner” with plenty of time left in a game does not sit well with corporations paying top dollar to advertise their products during the tournament. Some of these same companies will be asked to purchase time on next year’s tourney.

Photo Credit – Where’s He Get the Mask?

You might recall that we wrote last week that, from a purely statistical standpoint (h/t Bill James), Packer was egregiously wrong (the magic number of insurmountability was 44 at that point in the game); but from our own sensory perspective and the ultimate result of the game, he was absolutely correct.

Still, we find it beyond hilarious that a man who has based his entire career on unabashed vitriol, criticism, vituperation and downright nastiness could end up getting canned (or at least censured) for something like this. Should that happen, there will undoubtedly be a national day of celebration not unlike what we saw when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon – angels will sing, the dealers will bust and even the strippers will taste a little sweeter.

In summation, remember kiddies – all you young Packers out there with your mics and your viscous hatred – you cannot call a game over in the first half, but you can do this:

  • Call Allen Iverson a “tough monkey” on the air of the Georgetown-Villanova game in 1996.
  • Publicly disparage two Duke women checking press passes at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2000 by stating, “Since when do we let women control who gets into a men’s basketball game? Why don’t you go find a women’s game to let people into?” When asked if he was joking, Packer reported said, “No, that’s just the kind of guy I am.”
  • Tell Charlie Rose in an interview in 2007 that he always “fag[s] out,” as in promising to help but not following through.

All we can say is best of luck to Billy in his dealings with CBS brass, as we’d hate for him to have to revert to his Mr. Cash persona full-time. For poking fun at such a sinister figure, we’d normally be a little nervous that Packer might read this and hunt us down with his henchmen, but remember, the man famously doesn’t even own a computer. Whew.

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FIU Still an NBA Breeding Ground

Posted by rtmsf on April 21st, 2008

Spring is in the air, the F4 is well into our rearview mirror and we’re gearing up for nightly visits with Ernie, Chuck and The Jet on Inside the NBA (with occasional stop-ins from Magic, Reggie and several others, of course). This means it’s playoff time in the Association, which also means its time for RTC’s second annual review of the pedigree of the key contributors for all sixteen playoff teams. Yes, second annual. That’s the first time we’ve been able to say that and it feels invigorating.

Where Are All the Auburn Players, Chuck?

As the three of you who were around at the beginning of this blog may recall from last year’s post, we learned that 56% of key contributors on playoff teams went to a BCS conference school, another 18% came from other levels of college basketball, and 26% were foreign and/or never stepped foot on a college campus. We also learned that the historically best schools tend to produce the most contributing pros on playoff teams, as Duke, Kentucky, UConn, UNC and UCLA led the way with the most players last year. But that trend was bucked somewhat when one considers that teeny little Florida International University managed to produce two players who were key contributors to playoff teams, more than such notable programs as Syracuse, Louisville and Indiana.

So what about this year? For ease of analysis, we did what we always do – we created excel tables! Remember, all data only considers what we call key contributors – players who played in at least half of its team’s games and averaged over 10 minutes per game. For the starters data, we used the starting lineups as announced in the first game of each playoff series last weekend (therefore, Gilbert Arenas is not represented, having only played 13 games this year and coming off the bench in the first game of the playoffs). We ended up with 158 key contributors and 80 starters over sixteen teams.

Quick Hits:

  • Roughly the same number of key contributors on this year’s playoff teams (25%) never stepped foot on a college campus as compared to last year (26%). We expect that the foreign cohort will stay roughly the same (15%/16%) or even rise a little in the future, but with the NBA’s new one-and-done rule now in the second year of its implementation, the high school-only crowd (11%/14%) should continue to dwindle in the next five years.
  • Last year Duke, UConn and Kentucky each had six players contributing to playoff teams. This year, only UNC has as many as five contributors, all of whom are starters (R. Wallace, J. Stackhouse, M. Williams, A. Jamison, B. Haywood). There are five other schools with four contributors each, and seven schools with three each. After UNC’s five starters, only Duke (C. Boozer, G. Hill, S. Battier), UConn (R. Allen, C. Butler, R. Hamilton) and Wake Forest (T. Duncan, J. Howard, C. Paul) have as many as three starters in the playoffs this year (although we’d take Wake’s three over anybody else’s).
  • The cream rises, doesn’t it? Of the top 13 schools mentioned with three or more contributors this year, they account for 38 of the last 60 Final Four teams (63%) and 10 of the last 15 national champions (67%).
  • Which school doesn’t belong (again)? Thanks to Raja Bell and Carlos Arroyo, little Florida International once again made its name onto the list among all the heavyweights with two key contributors. FIU has more players contributing in the playoffs than the likes of hoops stalwarts Ohio St. (0), Louisville (0), and Indiana (0).

More Quick Hits:

  • Considering only the 118 players who went to college in some capacity, the six BCS conferences account for 69% of key contributors and 50% of playoff starters. This is a dropoff from last season (76%/77%), which shows some of the variability that goes into comparing different playoff teams in a year-over-year manner – four of the sixteen teams in this year’s NBA playoffs are different.
  • Take a look at the top three conferences above – the ACC, Pac-10 and SEC. They look roughly equivalent when comparing them by number of key contributors (17/15/15), but when you consider them by starters (13/3/8), you see a rift develop. It appears that all three leagues produce a lot of NBA talent (47 players), but the ACC appears the best in producing playoff-caliber starting talent. The SEC is solid at doing so, but the Pac-10 appears to excel in producing backups for good teams. By the same token, the Big East may not have as much NBA talent on good teams this year (only 11), but they tend to be starters (8).
  • The mid-major and low-major D1 conferences account for 29% of key contributors and 27% of starters this year, somewhat above last year’s totals (24%/13%). Speaking of mid-majors, take a look at the Atlantic 10 again – with 8 key contributors and 5 starters, this league arguably outdoes a certain midwestern conference with eleven members. Other than the A10, only the MAC and the Sun Belt are mid-majors with multiple starters in the playoffs this year.
  • Devean George (Augsburg College), Ben Wallace (Virginia Union) and Jamario Moon (Meridian (MS) Community College) represent the three non-D1 players who contribute for playoff teams.

Well, that’s all that jumped out at us in reviewing the key contributor and starter lists. If you see something else we missed, just put it in the comments. And if there’s a calculation you’d like to see, let us know and we can try to figure that out as well.

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