The (Unofficial) ACC-Big East Challenge Begins

OK, so there’s not really an ACC-Big East Challenge anymore, but there should be. With the improvement of the Big East and the recent raiding of three of their members by the ACC, it would be a hell of a spectacle. But, it doesn’t exist, so we have to make do with the regularly scheduled matchups.
Oh, it looks like there was one last night!
Let’s see … Duke won, beating Seton Hall by a slim 53 point margin! Ouch.
So, just a couple of days after sleepwalking through their opener against Boston University, Duke found their game. And how. Man did they put an ass-whipping on the Pirates.
Before the season, I really thought DeMarcus Nelson would be the key to this team. All great teams need that do-everything glue guy and I think Nelson is their guy. With 16 points and 5 rebounds last night, he’s off to a great start.

Terrapins, Tigers and Cavs, Oh My!

What a great weekend of football we had last weekend! Going in, almost all of the games had critical importance to one or both teams. With so many ACC teams nearing the magical 6-5 mark that earns (potentially) a bowl bid, it’s a certainty that the last several weekends will have plenty of triumph and heartache. The ACC may not be as loaded as the SEC this year (it’s far from it), but it’s still been surprisingly competitive and interesting.
Let’s start with the Clemson-Florida State game. Because of the “Bowden Bowl” stuff, this game will always have a reasonable level of interest, but what has made it even better in recent years has been the nearly constant attention paid to Tommy Bowden’s job status. Every year, he seems to be in hot water and needs some critical wins to earn another season. Beating Florida State (and his dad) pretty much always qualifies as a good win.

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All-Time Squad Hoops Tourney

ESPN has a rare interesting article where they put together an NCAA Tournament field using schools’ all-time rosters. They limited each school to just seven players, so some teams are not quite as overpowering as they could be.
They seeded the 32 teams they picked and Scoop Jackson (he’s actually tolerable in this – go figure) and Eric Neel predict all of the first round matchups.
The ACC programs that made the tourney are UNC (#2 seed), Duke (#9), Maryland (#7), NC State (#23) and Georgia Tech (#28).
What’s nuts is to look at Carolina. Their second squad could be about a 10 seed. My pick for their second seven:
Sam Perkins
Jerry Stackhouse
Rasheed Wallace
Donald Williams
Kenny Smith
Brad Daugherty
Antawn Jamison
And some All-Americans like J.R. Reid, Joe Forte and Vince Carter didn’t even make that team (I’m looking only at college production, while the ESPN guys considered both college and pro careers).
Update: Damn, I completely forgot about the most recent Tar Heel squad. I’d be tempted to bump Rasheed and put Sean May on there instead. I’d love to work Felton in there as well, but I can’t figure who to bump. Donald Williams is the weakest guy on that squad, but you need someone to hit jumpers.

Brick

Former Duke basketball player Robert Brickey is now the new basketball coach at Shaw University. I really liked Brickey as a player mainly because the dude could jump out of the gym. He wasn’t the greatest player, but man I loved to watch him get up.
It’s interesting that he’s gotten into coaching and seems to be finding some success. You tend not to think of the athletic stud-types as future coaches. I guess he learned some things along the way other than “hey, I can just jump over these guys!”

Tar Heels Take Top Talent

The News & Observer had a nice article yesterday about UNC’s ridiculously good recruiting class for next year. Better get your kicks in this year, because they won’t be down for long.
As a very interesting addendum to this story, they also ran brief listings of Bob Gibbon’s best recruiting classes ever including details about his top-five ever classes. There’s plenty of discussion fodder in there!

ACC Football Roundup – Week Ten

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted about football, huh? That’s what happens when the sneakers start squeaking the round balls start bouncing. I get distracted. Or at least, that’s my excuse. I have two weeks worth of thoughts to dump here, so I’ll probably miss some stuff.
The big event in the ACC of course was the stomping that Miami gave Virginia Tech last weekend. They were very impressive and are clearly now the class of the league.
The other big event was NC State’s surprising, yet somewhat predictable, upset of Florida State. Does that mean that the Pack is back? I’ll talk more about both teams below in my rankings.

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You Go Girls!

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the controversy swirling around Fisher DeBerry’s comments about black and white athletes. At the end of the article I questioned if that sensitivity is really productive.
And now I found out about this. Sigh. Again I ask, is this what we want as a society? Do we want to live in a place where professional football cheerleaders can be arrested merely for having hot lesbian sex in a bar bathroom? See, I think we shouldn’t frown on this sort of thing. Nay, I think we should celebrate it. Promote it even!
God bless America.

Doyel Disses Calhoun

Wow. This is something you don’t see everyday – a well-respected national columnist savaging the head coach of a major athletic program. CBS Sportsline’s Gregg Doyel goes off on Jim Calhoun in this article, saying without reservation that Calhoun is a man of low integrity who plays dirty.
Let me give you a taste:

Connecticut stole a recruit from St. John’s this week, and the sad part is, nobody’s surprised.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun is a Hall of Famer and a champion, but when it comes to coaching, he is not a moral beacon of light. This is not a news flash.

And it gets better:

Calhoun is feared, but he is not respected. Not by coaching colleagues who have grown tired of his cutthroat negative recruiting tactics and by his exploitation of NCAA loopholes like the one that landed him Brown and Gay.

There’s plenty more of that sort of thing in there.
Now, I’m sure this article will piss a lot of people off – Connecticut fans, in particular – but I think it’s great. It seems like Doyel has plenty of facts to back up his assertions and too often reports shy away from telling the truth in these situations because they are afraid they’ll lose access. To be clear, when I say “the truth,” I’m talking about the specific instances he lists, not his interpretations of those. I think his interpretations are spot on, mind you, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still opinions.
Give it a read and see what you think. An unfair hatchet job? Is Doyel right and Calhoun is a snake? Or is Calhoun just doing what everyone else does and Doyel is off-base for singling him out?
I think you can guess what I think.
Credit goes to the Georgia Tech Sports Blog for finding this one. They were particularly interested in the story about how Calhoun recruited Ed Nelson to UConn while Nelson was still at GT.

Name That Site 4

It’s time for the fourth episode of Name That Site! If you aren’t sure what that is, check out the previous versions (one, two, three).
The gist of is it that I’m posting a picture from Google Earth below. You get to guess what building/stadium it is and explain (if it isn’t obvious) what ACC relevance it has.
Got it?
OK then, does anyone know what this is (click for larger view)?
What is this?
As always, I’ll wait several days before revealing the answer.