Bethel Diagnosed With Colitis

You may have noticed that NC State’s recent skid has coincided with reduced playing time and production from point guard Tony Bethel. Bethel started the season hot, but has failed to score in the last three games. Well, now we know why. He has colitis, an inflammation of colon that gives you pretty severe diarrhea. As Bobby Hurley would tell ya, it’s tough to give a good run when you have the runs.
According to this site (and I know you want to read more about this!), colitis is not curable, but it is treatable.
Sucks for Bethel, but I guess it’s good that they know what it is. Actually, it sucks for me too, because every time I see the guy, I’ll think about explosive diarrhea. Nice. Ah well, I hope he gets better.

SG Grades The Celtics

If you’ve been reading my site, you probably picked up that I like Bill Simmons’ writing. He’s informative, different and damn funny. Except for one thing – the recent successes of the Patriots and Red Sox have mad him an insufferable prick at times. Smarmy and sarcastic is great when you are pulling for losers. When your teams win it all, you just sound like a jerk.
His best articles have always been his NBA ones anyway, so I’m happy to report that he’s back on the case. Yesterday’s article on the Celtics is great and has several laugh-out-loud lines.
Let’s just pray the Patriots get knocked out of the playoffs early this year.

An Upset Life

Mark Wells was the point guard 22 years ago on the Chaminade team that pulled off the most unlikely upset in college basketball history, beating #1 Virginia. That win over Ralph Sampson and the rest of the Cavaliers proved to be the highlight of a pretty sad life for Wells. He was found shot to death on a hiking trail on Maui. Evidently, Wells was homeless, had been in and out of drug rehab and had recently been charged with sexual assault on a minor.
As a Virginia fan, mention of that Chaminade game still burns me a little, but I can’t help but feel some love for those guys. I mean they were an NAIA school with just 800 students and they beat a team with one of the greatest college players ever (yes, Virginia had many legit excuses – the game was at the end of a long trip to Japan, Sampson had missed the previous game or two with the flu and several other teammates were ill – but all those shouldn’t have added up to a close game, much less a loss). You’d like to think that players on that team would be able to continue that pattern of success in their lives, but things don’t always turn out that way. It’s a sad story.
Thanks to the Sports Frog for the link.

Mike Jones = Cabbage Head?

Herman Veal Chops (still my favorite blog name) has a post up comparing Gary William’s use (misuse?) of Mike Jones to similar problems with Saruna Jasikevicius.
It’s an interesting point. Jones was a McD’s AA, looks very athletic and appears to be the best shooter on the team. I have to assume that he has bad practice habits and/or defensive problems.
I don’t remember Jasikevicius being misused in College Park, but maybe Terp fans thought so. His career has certainly blossomed in Europe more than most anyone would have imagined.
As the Veal Chops point out, Sarunas was recently named 2004 Euro Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-European Team along with Peja Stojakovic, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker. Pretty impressive group to be part of, huh?
Funny side story – I posted a brief article about Jasikevicius after he torched our Olympic team this summer. I mentioned that I had read someone explain the pronunciation of his last name to “head of cabbages.” Recently, I noticed that I had gotten some links from his personal site. It seems someone started a thread in the message board complaining about stupid Americans and my post was one of the exhibits – apparently, “head of cabbages” is a major insult in Lithuania. I couldn’t be prouder to be so noticed. I told my mom I’d be somebody someday.

State Loses Another Coach

The Wolfpack coaching carousel continues to turn with offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone leaving for Ole Miss. Many Pack fans had been complaining about Mazzone’s coaching this year, but that was probably unfair. I didn’t hear many complaints the year before when Philip Rivers was still taking snaps.
Whether the fans are happy or not, Mazzone’s leaving to what is at best a comparable job (yeah, it’s the SEC, but Ole Miss is never a player in that conference) is yet another red flag. It doesn’t sound to me like Amato is intentionally cleaning house, but maybe I’m wrong. If I’m not wrong, then things are not well in Raleigh.

ACC Notes – 1/3/05

It was a rough week for the ACC. NC State had two bad losses. Well, actually one horrendous loss to St. John’s where they scored a whopping 10 points in the first half and were down at one point 39-14. You might recall that St. Johns is pretty bad. The next loss came just three days later when West Virginia whacked the Wolfpack on their own court. In fairness, State was without Julius Hodge, but they should be versatile enough to overcome that, especially after being embarrassed just a few days earlier. Currently, State is in last place in the Big East.
Florida State had a bizarre week to go along with their bizarre season. First, they lost badly to a mediocre LSU team. Then, they rose up over the weekend to beat their rival, Florida. If you’re keeping score (and you should be), that’s 2-0 for the ACC Florida teams against the Gators. The Seminoles are about as schizophrenic a team as I can recall. I think I wrote the same thing last week, but they are still confusing me. Are they a good bad team or a bad good team? Either way, I’m still not too impressed with what Leonard Hamilton is doing with this squad. He clearly hasn’t figured them out yet.
Georgia Tech just missed out on a great road win against #2 Kansas. You can’t really complain about an overtime loss against a team like the Jayhawks, but the Yellow Jackets had that game. It would have been a great coup not just for them, but for the whole conference. As good as the ACC has been this year, they really haven’t had too many good non-conference wins. For some reason, mostly a combination of poor scheduling and bad luck, there just haven’t been as many marquee matchups as in years past. Outside of the ACC-Big Ten challenge, you had UNC beating Kentucky, Georgia Tech losing to both Gonzaga and Kansas and Wake beating Arizona and Texas. It seems like there should have been more. Duke played a surprisingly ho-hum early schedule
Duke had a tough break on Sunday when key reserve Reggie Love broke his foot (get it? Tough break? I kill me.) against Clemson. With Shavlik Randolph out with a bad case of Internet Rumoritis, or maybe it’s mono, Duke was already thin in the frontcourt. Anytime Clemson leads the Blue Devils in the second half in Cameron, you know things aren’t well. Duke is probably going to have a tough time against the better conference teams who are going to beat them up inside. I will say this for coach Krzyzewski though, he has done well in the past with a hampered lineup. Remember a few years ago when he went small after losing Carlos Boozer to a broken foot? That was extremely effective, so maybe he’ll do that again. He just needs to find another Shane Battier.
Lastly, if you didn’t see Sunday’s Virginia – Wake Forest game, you probably think the Cavs turned back into a pumpkin and took a beating from the Deacons. Wake did win by 19 points. That wouldn’t be accurate though. Virginia actually gave Wake a pretty good game, particularly in the first half, even without team leader and leading scorer Devin Smith (he has a bum ankle). The Cavs didn’t have the offensive power to stay with Wake, but they still looked pretty good. Wake just played their best game of the year, spreading the ball, rebounding and hitting open shots. When the Deacons play like that, there are only a couple of teams in the country that can beat them.
All-in-all, it wasn’t the greatest week for the conference, except for one thing – the intra-conference schedule really got going. Now that is good news.