Was Matt Doherty Wrong?

Leave it to SportsByBrooks. The “sports” site most famous for its copious pictures of the … uh … gifted SportsByBrooks girls has dug up a pretty compelling video of the rarest of species, an attractive female Duke student/fan. Now, I’m sure that statement will upset some folks, but just watch the video. The young lady modestly makes this same claim herself.
I should add that while this chick is fairly attractive at first, that all goes out the window when she opens her mouth. Out of her glossy lips come some of the most arrogant, insipid and obnoxious words you’ll ever hear. Frankly, I didn’t think she was really a student at Duke until she makes a comment about having a class with Josh McRoberts. God knows how this girl and her sidekicks got in.
By the way, listen for the description of the heretofore glamorized Krzyzewskiville tent-dwellers as “refugees.” Nice.
Hat tip to Joe Ovies at 850 The Blog for the find. I’m sure he was reading SBB for the articles.

ACC And The Final Four

For those of us still licking our wounds after a second consecutive ACC-free Final Four, Barry Jacob’s article today at the DBR is a soothing salve.
He looks back the FF since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams. And for those who say that 1985 is probably an arbitrary year picked to make the ACC look good, you’re wrong. Carolina won the whole thing in 1982 and NC State did the same in ’83. Carolina lost in the finals in ’81 and UVA made the Final Four in both ’81 and ’84’. Jacobs should have gone back to 1980!
For the 64-team years (and yes, I’m ignoring that stupid play-in game that makes it 65 teams now), the ACC still leads the next best conference (the Big Ten) 21 to 16. Duke and Carolina alone have more than any other conference.
Speaking of Carolina, this chart shows something that’s been bugging me a lot recently. Back in the day, folks used to joke about how Dean Smith always came up short in the tournament despite having the best talent in the country. That talk cooled a bit when he won in ’82 and again in ’93, but it’s a stigma he still carries with some people. Mike Krzyzewski used to have the same label. He made Final Four after Final Four in the late 80’s but couldn’t break through until 1992. Even now, after building the best NCAA resume this side of John Wooden, folks claim K has lost his touch since Duke hasn’t been to the final weekend in three whole years.
But the current favorite target of snarky comments is Roy Williams. When he was at Kansas, everyone joked about how they always choked in the tourney. Williams built the greatest overall winning percentage of any coach in the country, but that didn’t really count, because anyone could win at Kansas. Then, he came to Carolina and promptly won a title in his second year. But those weren’t really his players and besides, winning at Carolina is even easier than Kansas, right? Roy Williams hasn’t proven anything! He didn’t make the Final Four this year with the most talented team in the country! What a choker! A rube!
OK, that’s enough sarcasm for one paragraph. Now, take a look at Barry’s table. Since 1985 (and Roy didn’t take over at Kansas until 1988 and even then, he inherited NCAA sanctions), Roy has taken his teams to a combined five Final Fours – four at Kansas and one with UNC. Only three schools have hit the promised land more than that and two of them are the very teams he coached! Sure, it’s easy to win at Kansas, but somehow Williams has managed to make the final weekend more times than Kentucky, Indiana, Syracuse, Arizona, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, UNLV, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville or any other basketball power you can name outside of Duke or UNC. Isn’t it easy to recruit and win at all of those schools? Does Kansas really have greater access to talent than those programs?
Hmmmm. Maybe he’s not such a chump. Or maybe every coach is a chump. You can’t have it both ways.
p.s. One more note about the notion that Carolina was the most talented team in the country and should have made the Final Four. Every year, there are a half-dozen or so schools who think they should make it. You have the four #1 seeds and at least two of the #2 seeds. This year, that group didn’t even include Arizona (a team with at least three NBA players), Kentucky or Duke. Considering that the Final Four usually includes only about two or three of those favored six teams, it’s just not unusual for good or even great teams to miss out. It doesn’t mean anything. One year is not a trend, particularly in light of what I wrote above.

Bad ACC Year? Not For The Accountants!

Expansion was supposed to help the ACC by making it more competitive in football and as a result, more profitable. Well, one out of two ain’t too bad! Expansion has NOT produced much in the way of fantastic football (or basketball, for that matter), but as Bill Maloney (Eagle In Atlanta to you and me) points out, but the ACC is still raking it in.

According the latest financial numbers, the ACC pulled in nearly $20 million more in 2006 than 2005. Boston College and Virginia Tech aren’t yet earning full shares, but they still pulled $1.4 million and $2.5 million respecively more than they got in their final Big East year. Only Miami lost out, because they had a good football team in their last year in the Big East.

So, maybe the ACC put Wake Forest in the BCS, had only one team in the Sweet Sixteen and none in the Final Four this year, but at least the athletic departments are making more money! That’s all that really matters, right?

Sheed Skeelz

Did you see the 60-foot shot Rasheed Wallace hit the other night to send the game to overtime? Pretty impressive.
But if you’d seen this video of Sheed performing trick shots at practice, you might not have been too surprised. It’s crazy just how coordinated and skilled this guy is. And he’s 6’11”! That’s just unfair. If only he could control his brain half as well as he can control his hands.

Sidney Lowe’s Son Arrested

What is it with coaches’ sons? Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid had to take a leave of absence to deal with his two sons’ malfeasance and now NC State coach Sidney Lowe’s son was arrested and charged with involvement in at least two armed incidents.
Now, Sidney Lowe played a while in the NBA. He coached for quite a while, including a stint as a head coach. Now, he’s the head man at NC State. Money is not an issue with this family. Sidney Lowe II (the son) didn’t grow up in any projects. How does he, a college student at NC A&T, get caught up in crap like this? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Where In The World Is Byron Mouton?

Remember Byron Mouton? Starting guard on the 2002 national champion Maryland Terrapins? Essayist and Cadillac owner?
Well, the Washington Post found him playing for the Wilmington Sea Dogs of the ABA. It’s an interesting and somewhat sad read. Mouton’s played all over the world, trying to keep alive the hope that basketball can someday make him rich. Articles like this should be required reading for every Division 1 basketball player.
By the way, this was my favorite part of the story:

Mouton ended up in Wilmington by mistake. When he signed a contract with the Sea Dawgs in late January, he thought the team played out of Wilmington, Del., a 90-minute drive from Mouton’s apartment in Bowie.

Video Of The Day

If you missed the Division II Championship on Saturday (and I did), then you have to watch this video of the last 45 seconds. Hell, if you watched the game, click that link to enjoy it again. It’s one of the most amazing sequences of basketball I’ve ever seen.
If you don’t know the story, Winona State was up 7 points with 45 seconds left. They had won 57 games in a row. The point guard for Barton proceeds to outscore Winona 10-1 in the final 36 seconds for the win, including a layup with .1 seconds left.
And if that’s not enough (and it really is), the same dude, Anthony Atkinson, had hit game-winners in each of their two previous tournament games!
Hollywood would reject a script with that in it.

Blue Monday

Tough loss for the Tar Heels yesterday. Brutal.
All year, I’ve maintained that I thought this squad was a year away. They were too young and too prone to lapses in concentration, intensity and/or judgment. Still, I hoped that they’d get it together enough or maybe just “talent” their way to the Final Four.
It almost happened. But then the inexperience and youth popped up. They thought they had it won. Kids are prone to impatience and that’s exactly what the Heels were, impatient. Seven minutes left and up by ten. Why not just end the game now? They started jacking up unnecessary threes, trying to hit the knockout punch instead of pounding it inside like they’d done all game. Tyler Hansbrough, Brandan Wright, Deon Thompson and Alex Stephenson combined to score 56 of Carolina’s 84 points, but for some reason, the guards thought they would be ones to finish things off. Keep in mind that when Carolina successfully battled back from a 16-point second-half deficit against Southern Cal in the previous round, they didn’t attempt a single three. Not one.

Continue reading “Blue Monday”

Who Dat?

A little quiz for you.
First, take a look at this table of statistics:

PPG

RPG

APG

TO/G

BPG

Min/G

FG%

Player A

14.4

6.9

3.19

2.50

.611

34.5

.584

Player B

13.0

7.9

3.45

2.42

2.22

35.3

.502


Those two players had pretty damn similar statistics, right? One guy scores about a point and a half less, but makes up for it with an extra rebound. Both apparently pass well, but probably turn the ball over too much. One guy does block a lot more shots, but the other guy makes up for it by being a more efficient shooter. So, all-in-all, they had pretty compatible seasons.
OK, a bit more info. Both players play the same position, are about the same size, have about the same athleticism, play in the same conference, play for teams with similar records and are sophomores.
Here’s where they differ greatly. Player A is beloved by his fans and is considered a rising star. Player B has been roundly criticized and has been largely considered a bust.
Figured it out?
It’s not really that tough to guess that Player B is Josh McRoberts, who just left Duke for the NBA, without causing too many teary Blue Devil eyes. Player A is NC State’s Ben McCauley.
It’s interesting how expectations affect our view of players, isn’t it?

Gopher Tubby

This is just crazy. Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith is apparently leaving to become the coach at the University of Minnesota.
Wow!
Talking about shrinking from the light. I thought it was a bit of a stretch to think that he might take the Virginia job a couple of years ago (although by all accounts, he seriously considered it), but Minnesota?
Every AD in the country with a successful coach better start working on a new contract for your guy, because there’s a good chance that Kentucky’s going to be sending some Emery trucks full of cash his way soon.