Pack Rate

The News & Observer ran an interesting story yesterday about the new luxury boxes being built at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The boxes sound quite nice – a wet bar, sofa, television, cable, high-speed Internet, etc – and they better be. To land one of those suckers, you need to pony up $45,000 or $55,000 a year for a five year lease. That price doesn’t include an annual “donation” of $3,000 to the Wolfpack Club.
Now, I don’t really know if those prices are out of line with other ACC teams, but man, that seems pretty steep. Just think how much they’d be if NC State had finished above fourth in the conference recently!

Best One and Two-Year ACC Players

With Chris Paul announcing that he was taking his skills to the NBA, I got to thinking about other ACC players who have gone pro after just one or two years. I don’t think any player can really be considered one of the conference’s all-time greats with just one or two years in the league. Instead, I think it’s useful to just compare them against each other.
There have been some incredible talents with short stays – Kenny Anderson, Joe Smith and Stephon Marbury quickly come to mind. To me, those two Georgia Tech guards were the most exciting of the short-timers, but Joe Smith probably had the best two years. Maybe he wasn’t quite as dynamic as Anderson or Marbury, but he was damn close. Elton Brand wasn’t quite so entertaining, but he was virtually unstoppable in his second year. Brand and Smith are the only two ACC sophomores to be named national player of the year and then leave (Ralph Sampson was also NPOY, but he stayed two more seasons).

Continue reading “Best One and Two-Year ACC Players”

The Eagle Has Landed

Doh!You wouldn’t expect objectivity from the Duke Basketball Report in a story about a former North Carolina coach, and thankfully, we get none in their review of Matt Doherty’s new gig at Florida Atlantic.
It’s a nice piece with a few stories of Doh’s UNC career that I hadn’t heard.
I also liked two aspects they revealed of his new job. First is that FAU averaged fewer than 550 fans at their home games last year. The other is that Doherty helped raise money for his own salary! How weird is that? I don’t know what’s worse, that he begged people to chip in to pay his salary, or that he did it to join a school that averages fewer than 550 fans per game.

Virginia Hires Dave Leitao – Links

Surely you’ve heard by now, but I’ll report it anyway. Virginia has hired former DePaul basketball coach Dave Leitao to replace Pete Gillen. Leitao has a somewhat short but solid resume as a head coach and also worked for long time as an assistant to Jim Calhoun at Connecticut.
Here are a ton of links about the hire and what it means for Virginia in the near future:
TheSabre.com
The Daily Progress – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Richmond Times-Dispatch – 1, 2, 3
The Roanoke Times – 1, 2
The Washington Post
The Cavalier Daily
The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
The Virginian-Pilot
Gregg Doyel (SportsLine.com)
The Duke Basketball Report
And a couple less-glowing articles from Chicago about DePaul’s unwillingness to fight for Leitao:
Jay Mariotti
Rick Telander
(Thanks to The Sabre and the DBR for the link compilations).

Assist Info

Ken Pomeroy has emerged from his postseason hibernation to throw up a post today. Today’s post is about assist average and Ken says that according to his numbers, Boston College was the best passing team in the country last year.
I didn’t see them play nearly enough to comment on that, but it does make some empirical sense. They are a team that was widely believed to overachieve – your classic “total greater than the sum of their parts” team. To be a team that achieves more than their talent would let you feel is possible, they would need to play together extremely well – good team defense, good team rebounding and good team passing. Well, Ken shows that the passing part of that was certainly true.
BTW, I wish Ken had published his numbers!
One last point, and actually the real reason I’m posting about this. Ken quotes an excerpt from the NCAA Basketball Statistician’s Manual that an official assist “should be more than a routine pass” and that “[i]t is not even necessary that the assist be given on the last pass.” Wow! I’ve never heard that second part before. I bet you could win a lot of bar bets with that little nugget.

Fact, Fiction & Rumor

It seems the only news out these days about ACC basketball deals with who is or is not going to take the Virginia job and who is or is not going to jump to the NBA. As a public service to my loyal readers, I’ll run down a few of the most recent ones and award them with title – Fact, Fiction or Rumor.
Tubby Smith has declined the Virginia jobRumor. This one is probably true, but you won’t get any verification until Virginia hires someone else. Tubby’s certainly not going to come out and publicly state that he was ever a candidate.

Continue reading “Fact, Fiction & Rumor”

NCAA – No Shame

This is rich. The NCAA is headed towards changing the rule on football scheduling to allow 12 games instead of 11.
Sounds great, right? I mean that’s more football for fans and more money for the schools!
But wait a second. I thought that a playoff would be Very Bad because the extra games would be too much of an academic burden on the players?
Think about that. If there were an eight-team playoff, a size most agree would be reasonable, half of those teams would play just one game (they’d lose in the first round). Those four teams would play the same number of games they otherwise would have, because the playoff would replace their bowl game. Two teams would play one extra game and two more would play two extra games.
And that’s bad.
But having all 117 D1 schools play an extra game is OK?
So maybe it’s not really an academic issue.
Hmmm, this isn’t about money is it? It couldn’t be that the bowls are bribing the universities to maintain their system, could it? No, no, that can’t be it. Can it?

Felton To Go Pro

A TV station out of Raymond Felton’s hometown (well, close enough) is reporting that he’s leaving for the NBA.
This isn’t really shocking news, but it’s obviously critical. Sean May has said he’s returning, but you have to wonder how he feels now. The game will be much tougher without Felton getting him the ball. Not to mention the losses of Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel and Rashad McCants. If Marvin Williams leaves (and I’m sure he will), will May decide that it’s not worth returning to a team of guys he barely knows?
Hat tip to Heels, Sox & Steelers for the find.

Keeping Perspective

The Duke Basketball Report has published a letter from one of their readers. The guy is a lifelong Duke fan, but if you replaced a few names, his letter could be about any school. The gist of it is that we all need to remember that the players we root for, jeer, taunt, criticize and idolize are really just kids. They feel pressure that the vast majority of us could never truly amagine.
Give it a read. We could all use a dose of perspective from time to time.