RTC Has Truly Arrived: Spotted in the Cameron Crazies Section on Saturday Night…

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2012

Consider this an open letter to the Cameron Crazie who painted “RUSH THE COURT” on his chest and stomach during Saturday night’s game against UNC. We don’t know who you are, or why you made this plea for our attention, but we saw you (h/t @matt_poindexter) and we’re ready to offer you permanent status on our Board of Directors for your free advertising (or a t-shirt, if you prefer).

Great Product Placement in the Cameron Crazies Section (credit: News-Observer)

And who says that the Cameron Crazies are lame and unoriginal? Contact us at rushthecourt@yahoo.com for your prize.

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ACC Morning Five: 02.06.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 6th, 2012

  1. Blogger So Dear: Here’s part two of the long-winded chat on the state of Wake Forest basketball. The overwhelming opinion appears to be cautious optimism thanks to a deep incoming recruiting class. It’s interesting from an outside perspective to see (intelligent) fans react a school coming off one of its worst years in history. I agree with the consensus: Jeff Bzdelik was a bad hire; he appears to be on a decent track (though some signs are definitely negative); and he deserves one more season before making a final judgment. I definitely think coaches should get a couple of recruiting classes under them to establish their system and a foundation. Bzdelik’s first two years have been awful, but he’s also dealt with a lot of off-the-court issues.
  2. Washington Times: As I mentioned in Friday’s link about officiating, Mark Turgeon was ejected from Maryland’s game last week at Miami. He jokingly blamed his ejection on not picking up on his mentor Roy Williams’ “dadgum” vocabulary. But the important part of the game came after Turgeon’s ejection, when his team battled back from being down double-digits to tie up the game and sending it to two overtimes before conceding. You don’t hear many coaches happy after a loss, but Turgeon sounds much happier with his team’s fight now than he did at the beginning of the year.
  3. ACC Sports Journal: You may not know this, but ACC basketball on Super Bowl Sunday is a tradition going back nearly 40 years, starting back in 1973 when NC State’s David Thompson emerged on the national scene on Super Bowl Sunday. He would go on to lead the Wolfpack to an undefeated season (though they were banned from postseason play because of NCAA violations) followed by a national championship in 1974. That’s not really the point of the article, which addresses all the traditions sacrificed by conference expansion (rivalries, balanced schedules, etc.), but it was an interesting tidbit.
  4. BC Interruption: Speaking of hurt rivalries, Brian Favat points out that pretty much every ACC team was hurt by the new scheduling rules except Boston College. Seriously, think about it. Everyone else loses a meaningful rival (even if some are more than a little forced), but the Eagles lose home-and-homes with Virginia Tech and Miami. They only played the Hokies and Hurricanes because of the ACC’s first raid of the Big East. Now, they’ll play a more regional and actual rival in Syracuse. Syracuse will certainly bring more fans and better basketball to Conte Forum, although it’s unclear how many net wins BC will earn out of the switch.
  5. Greensboro News-Record and Asheville Citizen-Times: Looking for a couple of local criticisms of ACC basketball? You’ve come to the right place. Both articles focus on the recent mediocrity of ACC basketball. I admit it’s mediocre. I also admit it’s just sad when Virginia Tech can’t sell out a game against Duke and Wake Forest can’t sell out its game against North Carolina. But I think there has been a lot more compelling basketball than people are giving the league credit for. Sure, it’s not necessarily been at the highest level, but it’s often very exciting (see the Florida schools’ upsets over Duke for two examples).

EXTRA: This will be the final mention of Duke‘s student section woes, but Jeff Kovacs (the Mullet Man) wrote an editorial for Duke Basketball Report on the current complaints about Cameron Crazies. It’s worth a read.

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ACC Morning Five: 01.30.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 30th, 2012

  1. CBSSports.com: Gregg Doyel hits the nail on the head in this column (by the way, Doyel covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer before going to CBSSports.com and wasn’t exactly close with Mike Krzyzewski over the years) on Duke‘s Cameron Crazies. The one caveat is that he didn’t really offer a solution to the boredom and lack of ownership. For comparison’s sake Coach K offered his thoughts (courtesy of Duke Hoop Blog):

    “Our crowd sometimes becomes fans instead of part of the game. Overall, our crowd has been part of what we’ve done. They haven’t come there to watch us play. They’ve come there to compete with us. I think this year it’s more of watching us play and cheering us on. When you do that you don’t really understand the game situations as well. You don’t have a feel for the game. You can’t be as on point. That doesn’t mean we don’t love them. But, this team needs it more and would benefit from that support.”

    I think both Doyel and Krzyzewski are probably right. The Cameron atmosphere was developed as Duke got more talented. It gradually became more and more controlled in the 1990s and eventually morphed to its present state. Other than big games (I’m thinking of Maryland and North Carolina recently) and big-time players, the Crazies don’t seem as connected with the game as in the past. It has started to feel like more of a show. Basically, I think Coach K describes the current issue that led to the problem brought up by Doyel.
    Author’s Note: As a side note, Coach K gave a pretty scathing press conference after Duke beat St. John’s at home. It’s worth a watch.

  2. ACC Sports: Adrian Atkinson (normally our North Carolina defensive-charting connoisseur) took a look at Duke’s most used lineups this season. Remember, he’s only using Duke’s conference games so the sample size is fairly small, meaning you should take the efficiencies with a grain of salt. That said, I think his overall conclusions are fairly interesting. Duke’s most effective lineup is Tyler Thornton, Seth Curry, Austin Rivers, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. It’s a little surprising to me that this lineup isn’t used more often given the fact that its defensive efficiency is so outrageous. It’s also worth noting that Duke’s defense drops off dramatically by just replacing Thornton with Andre Dawkins. Even worse than that (shockingly) is replacing Ryan Kelly with Miles Plumlee (which leads me to believe that both Plumlees are good defenders at the five, but horrid defenders at the four). Anyways, these numbers are fascinating and worth a look.
  3. Fox Sports South: Apparently, Harrison Barnes isn’t a fan of pink shoes. At halftime against Georgia Tech Sunday, Barnes switched from the team’s pink kicks to the normal ones. Andrew Jones makes it sound like Barnes really struggled in the pink footwear, but Barnes was 4-8 from the field with 11 points at the half. More interestingly, Barnes shared his pregame soundtrack and meal. Tunes: John Legend. Food: “I always eat mashed potatoes, rice, spaghetti, chicken and steak [...] Two pieces of chicken, one piece of steak, [and the] steak’s cooked medium.”
  4. Palm Beach Post: If you told me one ACC coach would get a midseason contract extension I wouldn’t have been surprised. Pretty much all but two coaches appear to be doing strong jobs; Jeff Bzdelik and Jim Larranaga are the outliers (I also would probably hold my horses on Steve Donahue and Brian Gregory until I see them recruit, but that’s different). But it was Larranaga who got himself a three-year extension through 2019. Larranaga looks older than many of his coaching brethren, but he’s only 62. My guess is that the extension came (at least in some part) indirectly associated with the current NCAA investigation of Miami athletics.
  5. Charleston Post and Courier: It’s not directly related to the ACC, but former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins is taking a short medical leave that will probably last until the end of the season. Cremins did a terrific job putting College of Charleston on the map the last few years, though his trip to the Final Four at Georgia Tech stands as his career’s crowning achievement. Assistant coach Mark Byington will take over in his stead. The details of Cremins’ medical issues weren’t announced, though it’s reportedly not life-threatening and may be sleep-related.

EXTRA: Dan Wolken thinks college basketball should push its season back to January (moving March Madness to May) in order to shirk college football and the NFL, attempting to keep casual sports fans from ignoring the regular season. It may be in the NCAA’s best monetary interest, but I can’t see something this drastic happening without a big push. Still it’s an interesting piece.

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Kyrie Irving is a Star, a Star I Tell Ya!

Posted by rtmsf on November 12th, 2009

What is it with the Duke players and all the wanna-be acting lately?  Duke superstar recruit Kyrie Irving recently did an interview with the (Newark) Star-Ledger where he explained that he’s a “regular kid” off the court who has fun with life, including acting in a school rendition of “High School Musical.”  The backcourt of Nolan Smith and Irving will be incredibly interesting next year — we’ll tune in just to see if one of them decides it’s a good idea to rip a dance routine from The Lion King after a timeout.   It’s honestly a shame Irving is headed to Duke next year because the Cameron Crazy treatment if he had chosen another, unnamed ACC school would have been priceless.   (h/t NJ.com)

Duke basketball recruit Kyrie Irving stars in high school play
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Beach Blanket Hurricane

Posted by rtmsf on October 18th, 2007

The ACC likes to tout itself as the best basketball conference year after year, much to the annoyance of fans everywhere else.  While the merits of that stance is arguable (ahem, 2007), one thing that is not is that on balance the ACC is the most passionate conference about its hoops.  The history and culture of a league that has identified predominantly with roundball for over fifty years has created rabid fanbases from College Park to Atlanta that make home court advantage really mean something.

With expansion of the ACC from its base in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic to now entail western Virginia, parts of Florida (Tallahassee & Miami), and Boston College, the culture of ACC basketball has proliferated in these remote outposts – with one exception.  Florida St. has fostered a tough home environment (for a formerly dominant football school) at the Leon County Civic Center since joining the league in 1991.   Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum has already become a bottomless pit for ACC teams in only its first few years in the conference.  BC’s fans were already rabid, and that hasn’t changed.  Which brings us to our exception - the curious case of the University of Miami.

Kids sandbox

Miami Fans Burying a Terp?

Since joining the ACC in 2004-05 in a purely football-related decision, Miami has gone 18-30 in ACC basketball, worst in the league.  This relative on-court ugliness is reflected in the stands too, as Miami in 2007  finished outside the top 100 schools in home game attendance, dead last among ACC schools (next lowest:  BC #81).  Look, we get that there are other things to do in the dead of winter in Miami other than heading downtown to see the Canes take on Georgia Tech on a 75-degree Saturday afternoon, but still, even we were amazed by what the school’s administration has cooked up in an effort to increase student attendance this year.

Determined to boost men’s basketball attendance, UM is about to unveil some of the most creative ideas we have ever seen from a local team. Besides dropping most season-ticket prices by about 50 percent, UM will add a hot tub, a sandbox and lifeguard tower in the student seating section — students will be encouraged to attend in beach attire — and elsewhere in the arena, in-game shoe-shines, massages, haircuts and a computer work-station will be offered.

Yes, creative is putting it lightly.  What the Miami Herald really meant to say is certifiably insane.  We’re so completely disturbed by this idea that we’re not even sure how to process it.  Nothing says ACC hoops like a bunch of SoBe kids in swimwear building sand castles at the arena.  We’re sure the Cameron Crazies are already planning on shipping in their own sand from the Outer Banks – that’ll show Tyler Hansbrough and Sean Singletary what’s up.  Please, Miami hoops, for all of us who remember ACC basketball, just go away. 

ACC expansion - killing the league one marketing campaign at a time.  Since 1991.

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