UNC Men’s College Basketball Preview (sent to me by Dan Kane)

Despite my best efforts, UNC will be playing basketball this season. I have done everything I can, scouring PackPride for the latest rumors and gossip and seeking out classes where students wrote papers instead of taking exams for their final grade, to link the AFAM scandal and football player plagiarism directly to Roy Williams but so far I have not been successful. I remain hopeful, however, and refuse to let the matter die.

Don’t worry, folks, I’m taking the UNC basketball ship down!

So, unfortunately, UNC will take the court in the first game of the season with Roy still at the helm and no academic suspensions caused by my investigations this summer. The pressure will be on Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald and Dexter Stickland to be strong leaders on a very young team with players that will be question marks (and I don’t just mean about their eligibility). James Michael McAdoo, who by virtue of his last name stinks to high heaven of cheating, will have to step up and deliver on the promise he showed while filling in for John Henson after he was injured in the tournament.

P.J. Hairston continues not to dazzle, so it won’t be so bad for him when the season is vacated after I uncover that one of the classes he took last year did not have a text book, which is just another example of UNC’s long history of academic fraud. Whoever heard of a class without a textbook?

UNC is expecting big things from Marcus Paige, who I’m sure was paid $200,000 by UNC to attend because of some designer clothing I think I’ve seen him wear, but I just can’t prove it yet. UNC fans are also excited about J.P. Tokoto, who is being compared to that cheater Vince Carter, but I doubt he’ll get much playing time because he’s from Wisconsin, which is Big 10 country, a conference that features known cheaters Ohio State. I’m sure there’s a connection somewhere that will lead to his suspension midway through the season.

Final predictions: 0-28 (season will be vacated)
Vacated ACC tournament runner-up
Vacated 2nd round of NCAA tournament appearance

One-And-Done Or Die

Dana O’Neil, who I normally enjoy only slightly more than a root canal, has written an interesting piece explaining why fans (and opposing coaches) shouldn’t bemoan Kentucky for their tremendous success with one-and-done athletes.

She explains as follows:

You can fret over the bastardization of academics or denounce the death of college ideals until you are as purple as Frank Martin during a 15-point loss.

It won’t change a thing. Until the NBA decides that, like skilled carpenters or master craftsmen, basketball players don’t necessarily need to go to college, we will live in the age of the flyby.

Seriously, Dana?

In other words, don’t blame the people who have benefited from the rule. Blame the people in charge of making the rule.

O’Neil, with open disdain, describes Calipari as the game’s “P.T. Barnum.” A comparison that makes so much sense because P.T. Barnum was a coach in competitive sports that involved teaching and improving athletes as players and people. Oh, he wasn’t? My bad.

That aside, she goes on to make a few very valid points about the state and future of college basketball:

 The history of our world, the basketball world, is being rewritten before our eyes. This isn’t 1972. Bill Walton isn’t slinging hook shots in tube socks and short shorts.

 

… I realize that conventions don’t last. The construct of the rules dictate how the game is played, and one overriding rule from 1972 still applies: He who has the best players wins.

And why does Kentucky get the best players, Ms. O’Neil?

So Mom and Dad. You want your boy to succeed in his field of choice, the field being basketball? Well, tune in on June 28 and watch. UK is to basketball as MIT is to engineering.

I think that sums it up pretty nicely. If your goal is to play and succeed in the NBA, UK is the place to be right now. Don’t kid yourself. Getting to the NBA as fast as possible is most certainly the goal for every top prospect who isn’t lucky enough to have independently wealthy parents.

Kentucky coach John Calipari recruits the best players possible year in and year out because he can and talent equals wins. Unless the NBA changes the one-and-done rule, college coaches will have to adapt or die.

You can rest assured that the NBA will not be changing the rules any time soon. NBA GMs have benefited immensely from having an extra year to watch the top prospects compete against high level competition. The one-and-done rule has produced more players like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and John Wall than it has busts like Kwami Brown and Jonathan Bender.

Coach K has recruited and coached a couple of one-and-done players, so has Roy Williams. Rick Barnes and Thad Matta try to recruit as many as possible. They’re just not as successful at it as John Calipari.

In the end, I think that’s what rubs people the wrong way. It’s not that they give a crap about integrity or development. They just hate losing.

As long as they keep clinging to an outdated approach, they better get used to it.

EJSIC’s ACC Tournament Preview

Take that Joe Lunardi (click on image to enlarge)

Time for the ACC Tournament, or as Roy Williams has liked to call it  “a cocktail party” “that daggum tournament we need to win since we’ve been playing like crap, by golly”.  People have called this year a down year in the ACC, but ESPN’s most recent bracketology had seven ACC teams earning bids to the Big Dance.  That can be taken one of two ways, either that the ACC actually is a strong league, or that this is such a down year that mid-level ACC teams are backing in to the tournament.  Given how UNC has struggled this year I would love to believe it is the former, but in all honesty think its probably more of the latter.  Excuse me while I light my 2010 Tar Heels season t-shirt (which is really pretty ironically hilarious) on fire.

Anyways the Tournament kicks off on Thursday and we here at EJSIC love nothing more than to offer our unprofessional opinions and non-expert picks on college basketball.  Since this is most likely the only non-NIT bracket I’ll be able to fill out that has the Tar Heels in it this year I’ve painstakingly filled out my predictions for how the tournament will shake out.  Aside from the picks themselves here are some more thoughts on the ACC tournament.

Most Likely First Round Upset: UNC over Georgia Tech

Look I’m not saying this is by any means a sure thing but I think its just the best bet.  UVA is in a free fall and without Landesberg against a BC team that has been playing a little better down the stretch.  Miami is not beating Wake Forest.  Clemson should be able to take care of NC State.  Georgia Tech has beaten UNC twice, but the Tar Heels have a home crowd advantage in Greensboro and will come out fighting for the possibility of an NCAA tournament appearance (which will quickly disappear in the next round against Maryland).  Georgia Tech is inconsistent and may let the Tar Heels, who they destroyed in Atlanta, sneak up on them in the first round.

Most Interesting Player: Greivis Vasquez

I could use a different picture, but I like this one too much

Vasquez ended up beating out Jon Scheyer for ACC POY and deservedly so.  The guy can take over a game and be one of the most impressive players to watch when he’s on.  Furthermore you never really know what act of douchebaggery he will unveil next.  He is simultaneously the most entertaining and hateable player in the ACC, the latter of which is surprising since he doesn’t go to Duke.

Most Potentially Disappointing Team: Virginia Tech

The Hokies have been playing well as of late under the leadership of Malcom Delaney, but a matchup with Wake looms on Friday that just reeks of an early exit for Virginia Tech.  Wake played the Hokies very close down the stretch in Blacksburg and a home crowd advantage in Greensboro along with a Wake team trying to get back out of a late season tailspin may make conditions right for an mini-upset.

Freshman to Watch:  TIE- John Henson/Derrick Favors

Both were rated among the top recruits in the nation and are very talented.  Favors is likely to be a lottery pick next season and has been a strong, physical presence in the Yellow Jacket frontcourt all season.  Henson has recently begun to break out for the Tar Heels due to injuries in their frontcourt and has averaged 10.7 points and 9 boards per game over the past six games.  If the Heels are to make any type of run in the tournament, they will need Henson to come up big.

Potential Sleeper Team: Clemson Tigers

As has been the case over the past several years, the Tigers started the season out strong then managed to fall apart later in the ACC schedule.  However, the Tigers have actually gotten their act together over the past several games and are a potentially dangerous team that could make a serious run to the finals.  They have beaten FSU (their potential second round opponent) twice and also have split their series against Maryland who they could meet in the semifinals

Projected Winner: Duke Blue Devils

I tried to convince myself it could be someone else but I really just can’t see a scenario where Duke doesn’t win this thing aside from an injury to one of the big three.  Scheyer has been consistently great all season and Singler has really stepped up in the past few games.  The Blue Devils are probably not good enough to be considered NCAA title favorites, but no team in the ACC outside of Maryland and maybe Georgia Tech really has the ability to exploit their few weaknesses.  Jon Scheyer wins ACC tournament MVP.  I drink heavily.

Roy’s Favorite Fan Heads to Duke

Duke fans can be insufferable, pretentious and generally annoying, but sometimes they do something that you can’t help but applaud. Just such an instance happened during Duke’s rout of UNC at CIS over the weekend, when the Cameron Crazies snagged a front row seat for Brian King.

For those of you that have been hiding under a rock the past few months, Mr. King is the Presbyterian fan that Roy Williams had carted out of the Dean Dome for yelling, “Miss it Deon!” during one of the senior’s free throws.

The Charlotte Observer has a write up on the whole situation here, if you want to check it out.

“I had a lot of people reach out to me after what happened … and now that time has passed, this just looked like fun,’’ he said.

King, who is from Concord, attended Presbyterian but grew up a Duke fan; his family even had season tickets to games, “although this is a lot better seat,’’ he said, smiling.

The truth of the situation does come out a bit right there. Did Roy sense that he was Dukie in disguise? I digress… Either way it seems that Brian was very grateful and held no ill will towards Ol’ Roy.

“The whole thing is something everyone can laugh about now.”

You got that right, Brian. Well done, Dukies.

[Hat tip to Anthony Wireman]

The most interesting race in the ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference, a juggernaut in college basketball, is having a down season by its own standards. But don’t give up on them yet. The Tar Heels may be free-falling and the Blue Devils pulling away a little more after each game, but an intriguing competition remains.

Like most seasons, it involves the Heels and the Devils. However, this race is all about the coaches: Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina. Both coaches are vying for the coveted “ACC Douche of the Year” award.

Coach K has long been considered such, but he actually finds himself trailing this season. He was getting shutout, actually, until this past week, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Roy Williams
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The good ole boy who says “daggumit” when he spills his Coca-Cola on his baby blue vest has lost a little luster on his image this season with two douche moments. The first occurred during the non-conference season when Roy had an opposing fan thrown out of the Dean Dome.

That opposing fan happened to root for the powerhouse Presbyterian College Blue Hose and said fan hollered during one of Carolina’s players free throw attempt. Roy had him escorted away. The incident caused some ripples in the blogosphere, but the real douche move occurred recently when Williams compared his team’s struggles to the Haiti earthquake. A public backlash ensued and he later apologized.

Roy Williams – 2

Mike Krzyzewski
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The coach of the Duke Blue Devils who enjoys gardening and employing a soft-spoken voice during television interviews has long been hated by the rival Heels and college basketball fans nationwide. But as I stated earlier, he was on the verge of being blow out in this race if it hadn’t of been for a game this week in Miami.

In the second half, Duke guard Jon Scheyer was at the free throw line when Coach K heard an unusual sound in the stands. It turns out it was a conch shell being blown by a student. Krzyzewski had the Miami staff remove the noise maker (I’d like to point out that Miami University is now up for the biggest pussy award for not protecting their home court) and the game resumed after a slight delay.

Mike Krzyzewski – 1

Now the ACC has something to really promote in the last two weeks of conference play plus the tournament. Duke and UNC already hate each other so their respective fans should jump on this immediately. Good luck to both coaches and may the biggest douche win.

Luke Warm Linkage

She’s watching you, Andy.

Luke Warm Linkage

Do you think she had a C-Section?

Who wore it better? Jeff Fisher vs. Roy Williams

Tuesday night, Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher was at a charity event to introduce former Colt’s coach Tony Dungy. Before he introduced Dungy, he took off his button up shirt to reveal that he was wearing a Colt’s jersey. He went up to the microphone and began his intro with, “I just wanted to feel like a winner.”

Needless to say, this riled up some Titans fans. Fisher responded to the criticism by basically saying, “It’s for charity, get over it.”

Fisher shows off the Manning Jersey
Fisher shows off the Manning Jersey

I was reminded of another coach wearing another teams colors. Roy Williams.

Back in the 2008 National Championship game, Williams was watching his former team, the Kansas Jayhawks play against Memphis. He watched from the stands while wearing a black Tyler-Hansbrough-hand-me-down mock turtle neck with a Jayhawk sticker on it. This riled up a sect of UNC fans, who thought it was in bad taste for a coach to wear his former teams colors only a day or two after they had knocked them out of the tournament.

Roy Showing Off Some Old Colors
Roy Showing Off Some Old Colors

So readers, who wore it better?