Morning Five: 02.27.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 27th, 2013

morning5

  1. The announcement by Mike Krzyzewski that he would no longer coach Team USA was not really a surprise to those who have been paying attention as he has been saying for quite a while that he would be giving up the position after the London Olympics. Given Krzyzewski’s age (66) his decision to stop coaching internationally is really not much of a surprise and it should allow him to focus on coaching Duke for the next few years although the way things are going it is hard to imagine him leaving the sideline at Cameron any time soon. It will be interesting to see how Krzyzewski’s international coaching credentials (two Olympic gold medals, one World Championship gold medal, and one World Championship bronze medal while reinvigorating the Team USA experience) impact how he is rated historically when he retires.
  2. The recruitment of Andrew Wiggins, the #1 recruit in the class of 2013, appears to be winding down as he is planning on taking visits to Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky. We are sure that those three schools, which along with Florida State are the four finalists for Wiggins’ services, will bring out all they can to woo Wiggins (presumably within NCAA limits). The most interesting experience for Wiggins may be at Kentucky where the school will honor the 1996 championship team with rings. We doubt this was planned to coincide with Wiggins visit, but given Calipari’s recruiting wizardry we wouldn’t put it past him.
  3. Jim Boeheim‘s post-game rants are becoming more regular these days, which might reflect his team’s struggles. His latest rant came at the expense of Jeff Goodman, who did not seem to mind Boeheim’s vitriol. As Goodman points out Boeheim’s rants are nothing new and in fact are part of who he is. For our part, we don’t mind when a coach goes off like this as we find it more amusing than anything else and even when we witness it firsthand (never on the direct receiving end yet) in the media room it doesn’t bother us. We will give Boeheim some credit here as he at least went after experienced reporters rather than lighting up some college kid who might have struggled with it more.
  4. It is not often that you see a conference come out and admit that its officials messed up, but it is not often that you see officials make as many glaring mistakes in crucial situations as the officials in Monday night’s game between Kansas and Iowa State did. In a terse statement the Big 12 admitted that mistakes were made and that the officials who made those mistakes would see a change in their schedules. While a few individuals have called for more specifics on what will be done with those officials we are just happy to see an organization associated with college sports admit that they made a mistake with the promise of trying to rectify it in the future. Now if they could just get the governing body to follow suit.
  5. We have heard of a lot of questionable decisions by the NCAA, but it appears that they are not the only national college sports organization making strange decisions. The latest example comes from the NJCAA, which declared Indian Hills Community College (26-4 and #3 in the NJCAA) ineligible for the postseason after its president posted bail for one of the team’s players. The tale of how the school and the player got there is fairly complex, but essentially the school played a game about 80 miles away from its campus that featured a large brawl that resulted nine players and one coach getting suspended. One player–Ronald Ross–was arrested for punching the opposing coach’s son, who was neither a coach nor player. Ross was charged with assault and taken to a local jail before being bailed out by the school’s president, who did not want to leave a player/student in jail 80 miles from campus. Unfortunately, when the school reported this to the NJCAA they were hit with probation and banned from this year’s postseason.
Share this story

ACC M5: 01.08.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 8th, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Grantland: Shane Ryan gave an update on college basketball as a whole but not surprisingly focused on the ACC. His main league points: (1) Duke is one of two dominant teams this year, along with Michigan; (2) NC State‘s ceiling is the Sweet Sixteen; and (3) Maryland looks like the second best team in the conference. My only caveats: (1) I want to see Duke win an ugly game in a hostile environment before getting too deep into “dominant” talk; (2) NC State has shown the ability to play better defense and make the Sweet Sixteen with a worse team and anything can happen at the Big Dance; and (3) Virginia Tech wasn’t really a test and we shouldn’t judge the Terrapins too concretely until the next six games happen.
  2. College Basketball Talk: Eric Angevine talked with Marcus Paige about the Tar Heels’ loss to Virginia. Paige was very complimentary of the Cavaliers on offense and defense. He pointed to Virginia’s fighting through screens and the pack-line’s ability to take away driving lanes as big parts to its defensive success. The Cavaliers not needing help on screens clearly flustered everyone on North Carolina’s team to no end (aside from Reggie Bullock, who had a great night). But the Tar Heels won’t see many defenses like that going forward, so that’s not as troubling as the number of wide open shots Virginia had thanks to running players off those screens.
  3. Charlotte Observer: Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton used to play for the same AAU team in middle school. Duke’s point guard pair’s longtime friendship definitely helps with team chemistry. It also probably played a big role in Cook’s dramatic improvement as a defender (seriously, watch some Duke tape from last year… he was one of Duke’s biggest defensive liabilities). Not to beat a dead horse, but there’s a closeness that pervades this Duke team that simply wasn’t there last year. That really close bond is also why Josh Hairston sees so many more minutes than the new, more talented, freshmen.
  4. Florida Today: Terry Whisnant is Florida State‘s best shooter. He’s part of the slew of combo guards Leonard Hamilton uses on a frequent basis, adjusting the rotation based on match-ups and who’s hot. It sounds like Whisnant would like more time, but understands his current role on the team. If the Seminoles start showing big improvements and get a couple of statement wins under their belts, that understanding may be a little less bitter. Regardless, if you’re looking for the man most likely to pull a Deividas Dulkys impersonation this season, Whisnant is your man.
  5. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Akil Mitchell was questionable for Sunday’s North Carolina – Virginia game thanks to a sprained ankle he suffered in practice. But Mitchell clearly didn’t want to watch from the sidelines, either. He gutted out the game, and played very well regardless. Interestingly, Mitchell wanted to keep his injury a secret before game time. He went as far as to tell his mother to remove a Facebook status discussing the injury. Now that the adrenaline and anti-inflammatories have worn off, don’t be surprised if Mitchell takes the next game off to let his ankle get better. But I’ll bet it was totally worth it to knock off the Tar Heels for the first time in the John Paul Jones Arena.
Share this story

On Florida State, Leonard Hamilton, and Puzzling Losses…

Posted by mpatton on December 3rd, 2012

Florida State has been to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four years. Leonard Hamilton‘s conference records during those years are (chronologically): 10-6, 10-6, 11-5, and 12-4. Last year the Seminoles were two games from tying North Carolina for the top spot in the ACC despite beating Duke and the Tar Heels (their only loss on Tobacco Road last year came at home against the Blue Devils). What held them back? A 20-point beatdown at the hands of a mediocre Clemson team to open conference play and the conference upset of the year against Boston College.

Leonard Hamilton’s teams rack up some great wins and puzzling losses (Photo Credit: Glenn Beil / Democrat).

But don’t stop with conference play. Last year the Seminoles also lost to two Ivy League schools; the year before they were Auburn’s lone non-conference win against a power conference school. The years 2008-10 were much smoother, as Hamilton’s squad escaped with only a head-scratcher at home against Sidney Lowe’s NC State and a 14-point loss at a middling Northwestern squad, respectively. This year looks like more of the same, as Florida State has already lost to Southern Alabama and Mercer (at home). But what is it about these games? Are they a product of Hamilton’s system? Or are they a part of it? It may be a little of both. I don’t believe for a second that Hamilton wants those losses. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he expected them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

ACC Team Previews: Florida State Seminoles

Posted by mpatton on October 30th, 2012

Throughout the preseason, the ACC microsite will release a preview for each of the 12 teams. Today’s victim: the Florida State Seminoles.

Leonard Hamilton and his team knocked off Duke and North Carolina to become the first ACC champion from somewhere off of Tobacco Road since Maryland in 2004. Hamilton’s team used experience, physical defense and drive to push through the ACC Tournament before falling in a brutal game to Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32. Still, the Seminoles’ triumph earned Hamilton the credibility where it’s time to start accepting his teams as conference contenders — especially when star guard Michael Snaer is at the helm.

Luke Loucks is gone, but Michael Snaer is ready to build on a dream season (Reuters)

This isn’t to say picking Florida State to finish near the top of the league again is a no-brainer; on the contrary, the Seminoles lost six players to graduation, including three starters. Among those leaving were Luke Loucks, the veteran point guard who played the cool foil to Snaer much of last year, and Bernard James, whose shot-blocking and tough defense anchored one of the best defenses in the country.

Newcomers

Five freshmen and a junior college transfer join the Seminoles this season, headlined by Aaron Thomas and Montay Brandon. Brandon, a consensus four-star 6’7″ wing out of Greensboro, North Carolina, looks to be a paradigmatic Hamilton player: He’s very long, athletic and is ready to focus on defense. Thomas was also a consensus four-star recruit and is known as a slasher; he’ll be backing up Florida State’s very talented backcourt this season. His playing time will probably directly correlate to how his defense stacks up with Ian Miller. Devon Bookert and junior college transfer Robert Gilchrist also join the Seminoles, though look for their impact to be somewhat down the road. Bookert is an offensive-minded point guard out of Alaska, and Gilchrist is a skinny forward with terrific length and athleticism. Finally, there are the seven footers Michael Ojo and Boris Bojanovsky. Ojo and Bojanovsky are both very raw, but the Seminoles will need an eraser at the center of Hamilton’s defense, and one or both may play significant time if they can fit that role.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

ACC M5: 10.22.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 22nd, 2012

  1. Tallahassee Democrat: Veterans Ian Miller and Michael Snaer are really excited about the freshmen joining the team this season. Snaer specifically lauded Aaron Thomas, Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon as potential stars on this year’s team. Thomas has Snaer’s “can’t stop me” attitude which should make him an elite scorer, but Bookert may hold the key for Florida State making the next step with his ball-handling skills. The biggest issue with the last few Seminole teams has been offense, and most of the team’s offensive woes come from turning the ball over too frequently. If Bookert can run the offense and reduce the team’s turnover rate, look out.
  2. Associated Press (via Winston-Salem Journal): Apparently Reggie Johnson‘s dieting has started to work. The Miami big man started the season two years ago at a whopping 330 pounds and reportedly is now down to 290. He’s still got a ways to go, but believes his diet is helping. If he can play superstar minutes and can run the floor better, Johnson will make a run at becoming the ACC’s best big man. He’s already probably the league’s most polished returning half-court post player, but his weight keeps him from being elite. That said, take Johnson’s words with a grain of salt. It’s a little weird he pointed to his weight two years ago instead of last year (albeit when he was rehabbing a knee injury).
  3. Greensboro News-Record: David Morrison went to Duke’s Operation Basketball and got some interesting notes. First, Coach K is looking for major increases in offensive production from Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry this year. Krzyzewski wants this team’s offense to be less balanced, though Rasheed Sulaimon will definitely be an offensive factor if he lives up to his hype. Morrison also talked with Plumlee about Krzyzewski’s reaction to the Blue Devils’ less-that-stellar finish last season.
  4. Blogger So Dear: Most schools taking international trips already finished them, but Jeff Bzdelik and his young Demon Deacon team headed to Canada and won two exhibition games against Brock University and Ryerson University, 84-79 and 88-80, respectively. CJ Harris and Tyler Cavanaugh led the way for Wake Forest against Brock, scoring 16 points apiece in the win (Harris also added five assists and Cavanaugh grabbed nine rebounds). Saturday Travis McKie starred, finishing with 26 points. Freshmen Cody Miller-McIntyre and Cavanaugh also scored in double figures.
  5. CBSSports.com: Snaer isn’t the only one talking some trash this offseason. Dexter Strickland isn’t too worried about NC State being picked first in the ACC.

    “They talk those guys up every single year and we beat them every single year […] They are the least of our worries. Beat us one year and then they can talk smack. Until then, you can’t put them in the mix.”

    He also felt pretty strongly about the NCAA Tournament outcome if North Carolina hadn’t been hampered by injuries.

    “I’ll be honest. If nobody got hurt, you might as well have given us the trophy. Nobody had the ability to stop us.”

Share this story

Xavier Rathan-Mayes Commits to Florida State

Posted by KCarpenter on October 14th, 2012

Xavier Rathan-Mayes will be heading to Tallahassee next year, following in the footsteps of his father Tharon Mayes, a standout scorer for the Florida State Seminoles in the late 80’s. Rathan-Mayes is an ultra-skilled 6’3″ combo-guard (though, you should probably read that as “undersized shooting guard”) who is a genuine talent and a serious get (one of ESPN’s top 25 recruits) for Leonard Hamilton. Considering how much Hamilton gets out of his players, the rest of the conference should be concerned about what the sharp-shooting guard can add to Florida State’s attack.

Might Leonard Hamilton Be Looking at a Package Deal?

Of course, there is a juicy subplot to this: Rathan-Mayes plays basketball at Huntington Prep, where he has a younger teammate and friend named Andrew Wiggins. You may know Wiggins as the easy consensus top recruit of the 2014 class (and as a young man mulling reclassification to the 2013 class). Like Rathan-Mayes, Wiggins’ father also played at Florida State, and the families are close.  Of course, ESPN has the intriguing quote:

“It’s crazy,” Rathan-Mayes said in an interview last summer. “(Our fathers) playing together and they played on the 76ers together, as well. Me and Wiggins growing up together and playing on the same AAU team, now on the same high school and maybe going to college together — that’s pretty special. We lived about 15 minutes from each other (in Canada), but our dads were always together. We hung out all the time and played ball at the rec center.”

Now, surely Wiggins has lots of other considerations about how he will decide where to play his college ball, but this connection may mean that Florida State is one step closer to pulling off one of the more incredible recruitment victories of the era.

Share this story

ACC Weekly Five: 08.27.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on August 27th, 2012

  1. ESPN: Michael Snaer has major swagger. He’s coming off his best year yet and spent the summer dominating Lebron James’ and Kevin Durant’s respective camps. Here is a sampling of quotes that should make you not count Florida State out when predicting the ACC standings this year:
    • “If I’m not the best, I’m one of the best. I can’t be guarded.”
    • “I just straight destroyed people.”
    • “Anybody wants to prove me otherwise, come get it. […] That’s how I feel.”

    Those quotes may show something negative, but they sound a lot like a promise that another ultra-competitive combo-guard brought to fruition a few years ago.

  2. Raleigh News & Observer: Rodney Purvis still isn’t cleared to play, despite the NCAA last week approving him to take classes. Because of one of the NCAA’s many odd rules, Purvis wasn’t eligible to start classes at NC State the week prior because of an unrelated eligibility question. Purvis’ high school, the Upper Room Christian Academy, is being checked out. Purvis was part of the school’s first graduating class, which prompted the NCAA to vet his academics a little more closely. Purvis didn’t travel with the Wolfpack to Spain earlier this summer, though his eligibility should be decided in time for the regular season.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Great news out of Atlanta, as Bobby Cremins is back at Georgia Tech after retiring from College of Charleston for health reasons at the end of last season. The longtime Yellow Jackets’ coach (and floor namesake) will be working with Brian Gregory and the athletic department to bring back as many of his former players as he can find for the season opener on November 9. So far the committee has contacted over 200 players and hopes to get in touch with nearly 500. It’s good to see Cremins back in the fold at Georgia Tech with his jokes and contagious grin.
  4. USA Today: Mark Turgeon is hoping to replace Terrell Stoglin “by committee” this year, and he’ll have to. The mercurial Maryland guard made up almost all of the Terrapins’ offense last season, and there’s no one on this year’s team with that sort of playmaking ability. Turgeon pointed out last year injuries made it where Stoglin had to do everything.
  5. Keeping It Heel: Reggie Bullock has been putting in work this summer and brought home the North Carolina ProAm MVP and Championship for his effort. Bullock’s summer play concluded with a 31-point game in the finals to seal his accolades. Bullock’s performance makes it seem like he’ll be relied on a lot by Roy Williams to replace much of the offense that left Chapel Hill for the NBA.
Share this story

Morning Five: 05.24.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 24th, 2012

  1. You may have heard that a group (Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics) issued a statement criticizing John Calipari for his recent actions and statement regarding Kentucky‘s scheduling. The group, which is composed of 59 faculty members from FBS schools, says that Kentucky’s desire to play neutral site games is “the type of warning sign we would expect to see on the path toward a full professional model.” Most writers who have already written about this statement have, in our opinion, correctly ripped the COIA for their self-righteous tone, which is mildly amusing with all of the other bad things going on in college athletics and they decide to focus on this. One thing that we are still having trouble understanding is why those same writers continue to rip Calipari for his decision to essentially put the Kentucky-Indiana series on hold because of his desire for neutral site games. Numerous writers have penned columns saying that Calipari should submit to Indiana’s wishes in order to continue the series to do what is right for college basketball. Calipari’s job isn’t to make college basketball overall better it is do what is best for his players and his program. If he decides to do something that is not “in the best interest” of college basketball and it does not break any rules, we could care less about how he schedules and think that any criticisms of him for doing so come off as self-righteous.
  2. If you thought that the conference realignment rumor mill could not get any more ridiculous yesterday may have raised the bar as reports surfaced that Florida State, Clemson, and Miami were exploring a move to the Big 12. Those reports were based on a statement made by TCU‘s athletic director, but were subsequently squelched by the same person who said that he was only making a statement that the rumor mill indicated those schools were interested in moving. Outside of FSU, we had not heard of any potential moves so basically he was the driving force of the majority of that rumor. Of course, with all of the strange moves we have seen during the last few years nothing would surprise us at this point.
  3. The report that Reeves Nelson was suing Sports Illustrated for its  story earlier this year about UCLA did not really come as much of a surprise to us given what was reported about him and how litigious our society has become. The story, which was written to show how chaotic the UCLA program had become, featured several stories about Nelson including one where he urinated on a teammate’s bed. The lawsuit states that the reported events were not adequately investigated and is asking for $10 million in damages. We doubt that Nelson will get that much, but Tyler Honeycutt the supposed victim of the aforementioned incident claims that it never happened so the case may be a little more interesting than it appears at first glance.
  4. Ohio State plans to give 500 of its student-athletes iPads this coming school year as part of a new digital initiative the school is undertaking with a plan to give all 1,110 athletes the devices within the next two years. The iPads will be pre-loaded with materials already given to the student athletes and will have Wi-Fi capability. We applaud the effort to try to give the student-athletes something educational in addition to their scholarships, which we assume many of these individuals are already getting, but we know that this will become the subject of quite a few jokes for rival schools given the tendency of some old Buckeyes for trading in things for tattoos.
  5. Many Kansas State fans are probably interested to see what Bruce Weber can do to replace Frank Martin. There may be some question about Weber’s ability to coach, but there should not be any question of his ability to lure in assistant coaches after the stunt that one of his new assistant coaches pulled this past week. Newly hired assistant Chester Frazier, whom you may remember from his days at Illinois playing under Weber and getting a little too physical with Eric Gordon, was playing for a German professional basketball team until he got a call from Weber inviting him to join the Kansas State staff, which Frazier jumped at. And we literally mean jumped at as he abandoned the team he was playing for in the middle of their league playoffs. While we are sure that some Kansas State fans appreciate the dedication we imagine that he will have a tough time selling his future players on sticking with the team after he has done something like this.
Share this story

Florida State, Conference Realignment, and the ACC…

Posted by mpatton on May 15th, 2012

Florida State president Eric Barron released a statement Monday with his response to conference realignment rumors — specifically focused on Florida State Board of Trustees chair Andy Haggard‘s comments from last week. To summarize, Haggard wants out of the ACC. He pointed out that the conference’s attachment to Tobacco Road and basketball in general represents a fundamental chasm between the Seminoles and their current conference. He also pointed to the ACC’s new television deal, which reportedly will eventually pay the schools an extra $4 million dollars per school but still lags behind the Pac-12, Big 12, the Big Ten and SEC. Haggard also erroneously pointed to the ACC’s treatment of third-tier television rights as proof of the league’s anti-football bias (he claimed schools got to keep unused basketball games and not football games, but the schools actually do not have rights to either).

Florida State Eric Barron Wants to Stay in the ACC. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

Barron’s statement sided with the ACC, citing increased travel costs, lower ticket sales and the high exit fee as financial reasons to avoid a deal with the Big 12. He also highlighted Texas’s influence on the conference, losing the rivalry with Miami, and academics. Barron’s statement also falsely suggested that the Big 12 will not share revenue equally: Unlike the old Big 12 deal, the new deal will include equal revenue sharing except for third-tier rights which belong to the schools (which unlike the ACC includes unused basketball and football games). Barron also failed to acknowledge that Florida State joining the Big 12 would improve the conference’s television deal, so the current $3 million dollar difference would likely increase. Additionally, the Big 12 may share travel costs but I couldn’t confirm that one way or another. For the Florida State fan perspective, Tomahawk Nation is the best source for conference realignment (and really everything else). Bud Elliott wasn’t impressed with Barron’s statement. It’s clear that a majority of Florida State fans are at least interested in what the Big 12 has to offer. On the other side of the argument, Chadd Scott makes strong arguments for the Seminoles staying in the ACC and on the specifics of each deal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Morning Five: 05.15.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 15th, 2012

  1. Next year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be highlighted by three big matchups: North Carolina at Indiana, North Carolina State at Michigan, and Ohio State at Duke. There will also be three other games featuring solid teams: Minnesota at Florida State, Virginia at Wisconsin, and Michigan State at Miami. Given how down the ACC should be next year it is a pretty solid set of top-level games. The other games? They will be borderline unwatchable. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your opinion of tacky t-shirts), Tyler Zeller will not be playing, which means we will be spared countless shots of the Zeller family wearing those atrocious shirts with half of one logo on one side and half of another logo on the other side. Now they can just show their support for Cody Zeller instead of tormenting us with commentators talking about their split loyalties. Actually the commentators will probably still do that.
  2. With all the talk of power moves and money being the driving force behind conference realignment it is somewhat amusing that the biggest winner of the chaos (at least for basketball) may end up being the Atlantic 10. Yesterday, reports surfaced that Virginia Commonwealth intended to move to the Atlantic 10 joining Butler as new members of the conference that lost Temple and Charlotte. This apparently was news to the CAA as the commissioner of the conference said that VCU has not made the CAA aware of its intention to do leave for the Atlantic 10. If the move does go through it will be interesting to see how the Atlantic 10 adapts to the loss of two major media markets while gaining two of the premier basketball programs in the country (mid-major or otherwise). Meanwhile, Old Dominion announced that it would explore a potential conference membership change although it did not indicate that it had an open offers to change conferences. Theoretically, VCU moving to the Atlantic 10 would close the door to a spot for Old Dominion, but with all the movement we have been seeing surely there will be an opening somewhere in the not too distant future.
  3. We recently linked to a piece by Andy Glockner looking at the coaching carousel from a big picture view. Now we have his CBS counterparts–Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish–analyzing each move on a team-by-team basis. One thing that we found amusing was that two writers (particularly Parrish) who have had no qualms ripping others including their colleagues (Poll Attacks, anyone?) were effusive in their praise of almost all of the new hires. The two exceptions: Trent Johnson to TCU, which was described as “a strange hire”, and possibly Ray Harper to Western Kentucky. Other than that it is basically all “good”, “great”, or some variation on that.
  4. Like many people making a major decision, Florida State president Eric Barton uses a pro/con list to guide his decision-making. Unlike most people Barton isn’t trying to decide on something like what kind of car to buy. Instead, Barton’s pro/con list is about whether the school should stay in the ACC or move to another conference like the Big 12. As you can see the con list is literally quite a bit longer than the pro list, but the school may have 2.9 million more reasons per year to add to the pro list. If the school does make the move, which we still have a hard time seeing, it would create a fairly significant change in the ACC and likely start another wave of conference realignment moves.
  5. After a brief hiatus since his last post (nearly two weeks) Luke Winn is back taking a look at three-point defense. Building on the work of Ken Pomeroy that we linked to in February, Winn examines the efficacy of teams that limit the number of three-point attempts and those that essentially invite their opponents to take shots from beyond the arc. For those of you who tend to get overwhelmed by advanced metrics it is a fairly intuitive piece that analyzes teams looking at the percentage of shots their opponents take that are short two-point attempts, long two-point attempts, and three-point attempts. While many successful teams take vastly different approaches to come to a successful result on defense, the degree to which they do so can be staggering. Having said that although we usually agree with Winn’s work we do have some qualms with his assertion that teams are essentially playing the lottery by allowing opponents to take three-point attempts increasing the likelihood of an upset. The anecdotal evidence can be spun to be compelling, but there are enough stories of good teams getting hot from three against better teams and still not winning (like Wisconsin against Syracuse this year) that we are not quite willing to accept the theory even if we agree with it on a theoretical level.
Share this story

ACC Morning Five: 04.06.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on April 6th, 2012

  1. Duke Basketball Report: The other day I pointed out the tunnel vision for Charles Bloom‘s national championship stat. Barry Jacobs took it several steps further, charting national titles since 1990 and 1980. Duke and North Carolina own more championships than any other conference since either date (seven since 1990 and eight since 1980). Even more impressive, the pair own more Final Four appearances than any other conference since 1990 (each school has as many semifinal showings as the Pac-12 over that span).
  2. NBCSports.com: Boston College’s second leading scorer Matt Humphrey is hitting the road for the second time, transferring away from the Eagles after just one year, as Humphrey had already transferred from Oregon. Because Humphrey is graduating from Boston College, so he’ll be able to play immediately wherever he ends up. Despite his inefficiency, Humphrey did average more than 10 points per game on this year’s team. Look for Patrick Heckmann to pick up the slack once he fully recovers from mononucleosis.
  3. Wilmington Star-News: James Michael McAdoo decided to come back to North Carolina for his sophomore year despite many projecting he’d go in the lottery of this year’s NBA Draft. His decision was well-received by the Tar Heel faithful, as it closed the “on-paper” gap between them and NC State. However, with stories like Harrison Barnes’, Jared Sullinger’s and Jeremy Lamb’s, it’s tough not to wonder if McAdoo is making the right financial decision for his future.
  4. Gobbler Country: Here are individual report cards for all of the players on Virginia Tech’s roster. My one issue is that Cadarian Raines only got a B. Sure Raines wasn’t exactly a world-beater the whole season, but he looked terrific down the stretch. He’s strong, appears fine on the court for extended stretches, and knows how to get deep position (which is virtually unstoppable). I’m not sure how anyone could have expected more. It will be interesting to see if the Hokies try to feed him more down low next year. I expect them to make a pretty big leap forward with nearly all of their key pieces coming back (minus Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila). Dorian Finney-Smith and CJ Barksdale should be very good players to compliment Erick Green.
  5. Seminoles.com: In an award selection less surprising than Anthony Davis winning player of the year, Bernard James won the USBWA’s Most Courageous award. I don’t need to tell you James’ story, which was even more in the spotlight with Florida State’s success. The other recipient this year was Tennessee women’s head basketball coach Pat Summit.
Share this story

ACC Morning Five: 04.03.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on April 3rd, 2012

  1. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Speaking of tall lanky game-changers in college basketball, Ralph Sampson finally was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame. You can blame the delay on his injury-laden NBA career and a combination of Sidney Lowe, Michael Jordan, and Sam Perkins (who kept him from ACC Championships in 1983, 1982 and 1981 respectively). Sampson was truly a once-in-a-generation player. At 7’4″ and athletic, he was comfortable smoking opponents from inside and out. He’s also one of two players to be chosen the consensus national player of the year three times (Bill Walton is the other).
  2. Yadkin Valley Sports: This is a great article on Victor Davila, who watched his senior season evaporate from the bench with a groin injury. Davila is a product of Puerto Rico by means of the foothills of North Carolina. Here’s to hoping he finds some basketball success overseas before having to get a real job.
  3. Durham Herald-Sun: Steve Wiseman checks in with questions facing Duke in the offseason. I will try to answer them. Will Mason Plumlee return? No idea. Will Rasheed Sulaimon make an impact as a freshman? Yes. He’s a great shooter and looks like a solid defender (albeit in the McDonald’s All-American game). Will Duke pick up any transfers? I think Alex Oriakhi comes if Plumlee leaves; Trey Zeigler seems more likely. Strengths? Definitely scoring, though the defense should get better with the addition of Alex Murphy. Speaking of Murphy I think he will start next year, and Marshall Plumlee will get decent minutes off the bench (to commit fouls if nothing else).
  4. Fox Sports: Here’s Andrew Jones with Florida State‘s final report card for the season. I think he’s a little harsh on the Seminoles’ offense, though their nonconference play certainly merits a harsh rating. The real question is what Leonard Hamilton can put together losing so many players. The team was so deep last year that he’ll still have plenty of players coming back with experience, but things will look very different in Tallahassee next year (Michael Snaer is the difference to me).
  5. NC State Technician: While part of me agrees that CJ Leslie should stick around for another year (namely, he’s not a first round lock), I abhor these types of articles. Players know fans want them to come back. I think the jump Leslie made between last year and this year was the difference between a flame out career and sticking around in the NBA. He matured a ton between last year and this year. If Leslie comes back, he’s definitely preseason first team All-ACC and should be in the running for conference player of the year (on a team that might be picked on top of the league).

Today in Carefully-Framed Stats:

(That would be ignoring the ACC’s three consecutive championships from 1991-1993.)

Share this story