Tag:UNC
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:27 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:14 pm
 

Coach K's letter of regret to Michael Jordan

By Matt Norlander

Crazy as it may seem, Coach K doesn't always get his way. And when he was a young pup trying to build up a program, he frequently fell short when trying to get blue-chip recruits to Durham. If it weren't for one man, Krzyzewski wouldn't have made it to a fourth year as Duke coach.

Of all the recruits K misfired on, Michael Jordan is the most famous. And after 23 picked UNC just a few days before Halloween in 1980, Krzyzewski sat down and punched out a 65-word letter of regret to the lanky kid who would go on to change the way the world viewed and cared about basketball. By the way, this was K's first season as head coach in Durham.

This is the third artifact related to MJ's recruitment to get some pub on the Internet this week. Yahoo's Jeff Eisenberg dedicated a post Thursday to Jordan's signed Letter of Intent and Dean Smith's recruiting letters to Jordan 32 years ago. A hat tip is in order to Sporting News' Chris Littmann, who alerted me to the letter on Twitter after he noticed Josh Benedek of Jordan Brand PR Instagram out the photo. Who knows, maybe the Jordan Brand is preparing to do some promo work or a retrospective on the fertilization of its namesake's career. The letter is currently housed at North Carolina's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Coach K's letter to Jordan starts with a heck of a line, filled with a guilt trip and what I think is a backhanded, minor, insult (maybe it's just standard fare on rejection letters, though), before he goes on to wish the young player luck in Chapel Hill. Cool little piece of history, the discarded decisions along the way to UNC and Duke history.


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:30 am
 

Podcast: Rivers, 'Bazz and the weekend ahead

San Diego State could realistically cement itself into a four or five seed if it beats UNLV this weekend. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Murray State. Duke. Rivers. The big games this weekend. Substitute teachers. Pickup basketball. The best recruits waiting the longest to commit to schools. It's all on today's podcast.

Oh, and Borzello's my guest. Sorry about that. Had to inject some "flo" back into the proceedings. 
 
On the docket:
  • From the beginning: Some jibbing and jabbing before the hoops.
  • 2:50: We get right to the Murray State talk. What seed are they now? How many games can this team afford to lose?
  • 9:35: Duke and Carolina and Austin Rivers. Why that amazing ending doesn't change things for Duke and why UNC is now questionable as a one seed.
  • 15:50: Top 10 freshmen are who? At this point in the year it's fair to say who's the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment.
  • 19:48: The games this weekend. Let's chat about the ones that stick out to us. A good dozen games are touched upon. Lots and lots of good hoop Saturday and Sunday. Can't wait to be ensconced in it.
  • 31:52: Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 2012 recruit, recently said he'll wait until at least April to announce where he's going. UCLA and Kentucky are in the lead. I don't think he's good enough to make coaches wait into May, but Borzello brings up a good point why he's bound to.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Nike sterilizes college hoops with platinum unis

None of these people currently play college basketball. (Nike)
By Matt Norlander

Syracuse fans' worst nightmares have come true. The team will wear gray uniforms. That's the color of the enemy, Georgetown.

It's not just Syracuse, though. Many teams will be wearing gray -- oh, sorry, PLATINUM -- at some point this season. Nike teamed up with a bunch of universities, primarily because Nike has lot of employees with a lot of time on their hands and is obsessed with this gray/platinum trend way more than it should be. Because of this, nine teams will don these generic, already-out-of-vogue uniforms.

Other schools duped into the marketing ploy include Arizona, UConnDuke, Florida, Kentucky, both the men's and women's North Carolina teams and the Baylor women's hoops squad. Here's the thing -- they're not even that ugly. It'd be one thing if these threads were Oregon's court reincarnated, but they're just ... boring-looking, nondescript from the past half-decade of altering team jerseys up and down the grayscale.

                       [SEE THE COMPLETE SLIDESHOW OF NEW UNIFORMS AT NIKE'S WEBSITE]

The relief comes from the fact these things will not affect player performance. Because players don't much care what they wear, or at least they don't let the colors they don alter their game. As long as fans can restrain themselves from vomiting onto the floor, we should all survive this. Look good, feel good; feel good, play good and all that, but these just look like uniforms that take away from the spirit of the team. They're not playing for Syracuse or UNC or Arizona anymore. They're playing for Nike. Aren't we all. Them or Apple.

There is good news. First of all, the uniforms are apparently great for the environment, having been made up of mostly recycled polyester material, as well as most of Jim Boeheim's old, sweaty dress shirts.

Secondarily, the teams won't be wearing them on the regular. Syracuse will place them on their backs for the most meaningless game of their season: the Feb. 22 home game against South Florida. Kentucky, so fa as we know, is only throwing on the throwfronts for the Jan. 31 game against Tennessee. UConn will give these things a go this Sunday, against Notre Dame.

They'll come and go until the next uniform trend arrives. And when that happens, let's abide by dominant team colors.

(Via Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Podcast: Why does UNC's 33-point loss matter?

By Matt Norlander

If a team gets beatdown like UNC did at Florida State Saturday, does it mean they won't win the title? Well, nobody's ever lost by 33 and gone on to cut down nets. In fact, no one's ever lost by more than 27 in a season and gone on to win it all.

CBSSports.com recruiting savant and bro supreme Jeff Borzello calls in from the Hoop Hall Classic to discuss Carolina's chances of bucking that trend, as well as Roy Williams taking his team off the floor before that game was over. Bro-zello and I also get into the Ryan Boatright situation at UConn -- he's sitting out of games again, pending NCAA review of his eligibility -- as well as a look ahead to tonight's huge game: Baylor at Kansas.

Here it is:
  • From the beginning: Borzello's watching the best high school tournament of the season, the Hoop Hall Classic, up in Springfield, Mass. For people that follow this stuff, or want more, he runs down the essentials.
  • 7:13: It's on to UNC. That huge loss. No team's ever loss by more than 27 points has gone on to win a title that season. Why should UNC be any different?
  • 13:40: Roy Williams complied with Leonard Hamilton's suggestion of getting UNC's coaches and guys sitting on the bench off the floor before the storm. But the walk-ons on the court? Left for dead. Williams deflects talk from the loss. Brilliant.
  • 16:24: Ryan Boatright is again ineligible. He sits and waits while his situation is reviewed. Why's this happening right now and what's the crux of the problem?
  • 20:21: The nation's most underrated great player? Arnett Moultrie.
  • 23:24: Advance of Baylor at Kansas, which amounts to a game that could have some more big-picture reaction if Baylor smothers the 'Hawks.
  • 26:42: Some gib-gab to finish up. Insanity workouts, Borzello trying to drop 20 pounds in two months, the NFL playoffs, 30-person birthday parties at german restaurants.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:29 am
 

Which program boasts most NBA players?

By Matt Norlander

OK, so take your guess. Which college program do you think has the most representation at the NBA level right now?

What jumps to mind? North Carolina’s superb lineage? You know Ben Howland had all those pros at UCLA in the past seven years. What about UConn? It’s always got a few future millionaires wearing its threads for a year or two.

The answer’s actually …

Duke: just plain more athletic and more talented than anyone else. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke. It’s ironic at face value, since the joke’s always been something to do with Duke’s players always being so great at the college level and amounting to nothing beyond that. But Duke’s been consistently getting guys into the Association.

You want to know how Mike Krzyzewski’s really keeping his program at the top? Well, winning that 2010 title helps, but just as importantly, he can walk into any recruit's home, flash those four rings, and also proclaim he’s putting more guys into the NBA than John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Donovan and Jim Calhoun. Most wouldn't think that was the case. Until I came upon this information, I would've maybe put Duke in the top five; certainly not atop the list.

According to rosters listed on the NBA official website as of the season-openers on Christmas Day, here’s who is sending the most players to David Stern's empire.

1. Duke, 17
2. UCLA, 15
    Kentucky, 15
4. Texas, 13
    Connecticut, 13
6. North Carolina, 12
    Kansas, 12
8. Arizona, 10
    Florida, 10

Credit for this information goes to the Arizona sports information department, which sent me a notice that this was the 12th straight season the NBA’s employed at least eight former Arizona players.  As for conference play? Yeah, let's throw out some more ammo for the ACC honks, who can rightfully proclaim their league brings in the most elite talent -- by a wide margin.

1. Atlantic Coast, 62
2. Pac-12, 53
3. Big East, 49
4. Southeastern, 45
5. Big 12, 40
6. Big Ten, 25

Some think these facts mean little, but that's not the case. Here's how it boils. What's a coach's job? Win games. How do you win games? You get the best players possible. How do you do that? What are the best players thinking about? When it's not their next meal or girls, they're daydreaming about playing in the NBA. And at the heart of it all, a coach who puts players into the NBA dangles the biggest carrot in the garden.

The names on that list aren't surprising, and they're not going to change. Winning titles doesn't go hand in hand with elite talent, but keeping your program at the forefront of college basketball does.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 9:40 am
 

Podcast: This one's all over the place

By Matt Norlander

Jason McIntyre has built up the most successful independent sports blog in Internet history. He runs TheBigLead.com. He also happens to be a fanatical college hoops fan.  (Fun fact: I did a couple of hoops posts for TBL back in '08, and almost became a freelance writer on the site until he greedily and rightfully wanted to take on that endeavor himself prior to the '09-10 season. Now look who's coming on whose podcast.)

In what's one of the more fun podcasts we've had so far, Jason and I go back and forth on a number of topics. Some hoops, some not -- the whole thing really flies by. The man's got his opinions; his polarity is what's made his blog a must-read on a daily basis for so many. And why he's well over 31,000 Twitter followers.

It was a pleasure to finally get Jason back on after a glitch in the recording of a previous podcast prevented it from publishing. It's good to step outside the realm of talking strictly hoops and go after some other subjects, and we do that here.

The roundup:
  • From the beginning: Introducing Jason to the podcast.
  • 2:50: Coach K and Pat Summitt earned the Sportsman/Sportswoman of the Year. Right choice? And did you ever notice how SI, in retrospect, almost always picks the right person for this?
  • 4:45: All thoughts on UNC-UK, and why the argument being propped up against a title game rematch in hoops (like LSU-Alabama in football) is beyond foolish.
  • 9:40: Lots of draft talk/potential here. Barnes, Sullinger, Thomas Robinson, Perry Jones, Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Brad Beal, plenty more. Looking big picture can be fun, even if it's early.
  • 15:55: NBA draft and the age limit.
  • 18:45: Tables get turned on me, and J-Mac tosses some questions my way. We talk about media-type stuff, and he fluffs CBSSports.com up and mentions the big hires we've made. I was completely awkward talking about this, but it's that kind of awkward energy that I know you're looking for when you tune in. There's also talk of how we do what we do here at the blog, the method behind it, etc. 
  • 28:04: The college basketball season is one month old, and here's the big debate. Big Ten the best conference? I think so. McIntyre says the Big East. And he hates tempo-free stats. And Wisconsin. Oh, yes. It's about to get ugly up in this piece.
  • 35:09: How can someone be a fan of Syracuse and Georgetown? Listen as McIntyre tries to persuade you.
  • 38:50: Our favorite announcers in the game wraps up the chat.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.


Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:37 am
 

Podcast: Seth Davis makes his return

By Matt Norlander

It is my honor to welcome back on to the podcast CBS/Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis, who was on this back when it was the College Hoops Journal Podcast. Seth is one of the classiest guys in the business; a true treat to have him come on.

I want to mention: today's podcast is a little "hot" here and there on Seth's end. Normally I record these podcasts Skype to Skype, but we did this one via Seth's house phone line, and I had no idea until after the call was done that his levels were so harsh at some points, so forgive the audio since it's not as smooth as it normally is. I'll make sure Seth boots up his Skype account for his next appearance.

Seth writes a weekly Hoop Thoughts column that I can't recommend enough, and you can also follow him on Twitter. Loved having him on, and will aim to get him back on in January and February as well.

The rundown:
  • From the beginning: One more time, with gusto: the Syracuse story. I can't recommend this part of the podcast enough. Seth and I have a respectable, intelligent (on his end) debate over morals and ethics with this story. It's about 14 minutes long, and I think is the first time I've ever really butted heads with someone on the podcast.
  • 14:45: Jim Boeheim's legacy and future.
  • 16:50: Ohio State, the fact Aaron Craft as the best point guard in the country, which Seth stated in his most recent column (linked above).
  • 19:39: What does Deshaun Thomas do for Ohio State if he becomes the offense force he's flashed himself to be?
  • 22:00: Seth's pick for best freshman so far. You won't see it coming.
  • 24:10: Seth will be at Vandy-Louisville before UNC-UK, so we touch on that one first.
  • 26:52: Here's the juicy part: Carolina-Kentucky talk. We close out the podcast talking this big game, and why Seth disagrees with my UK-will-win-by-double-digits prediction.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.

Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 12:10 pm
 

Roy Williams angry at UNC fans ... again

 

By Matt Norlander

Ol' Roy's frustrated with the Tar Heel fan base again.

This happens from time to time. In fact, a simple Google search of "Roy Williams angry at Heels fans" brings up instances in the past when the man's gone after his fan base. But when you've won two national titles at your alma mater, you've got the slack to be honest with your feelings. Too many coaches are afraid to challenge their fan base; Williams can be a phony in some areas, but in this one he's not, and I love that about him. The man has emotions and he gets his feelings hurt and he's going to tell you about it. There aren't three other head coaches in college basketball like that.

The latest fan base frustration Williams has stems from Saturday night, when his top-ranked Heels fell to UNLV in Vegas. Apparently the team lacked the comfort of having a few rows of Carolina Blue supporters behind the team bench. A few dozen seats for road games are normally reserved for UNC fans, usually by boosters who have the cash to front those kind of ducats.

But the team didn't have its usual rah-rah'ing behind the baseline Saturday night. Evil UNLV fans infiltrated the system! And so Williams is now ticked.

On his radio show Monday, he went after anyone who sold their seats, alienating the unknown in the process.

ESPN.com's Robbi Pickeral writes:
“For some of our fans to … get tickets through the Rams Club, and sell their tickets to UNLV boosters that are sitting right behind our families, I don’t like that,’’ he said. “And if the shoe fits, wear it. I don’t care who it is, and I’ll tell the sucker face-to-face: I do not like that, will not like that, don’t ever forget it. I’m trying to find out who it was.”

According to Williams, there was a UNLV fan sitting next to one of the Tar Heel coaches’ wives who was being so negative toward the team that his usually-non-confrontational high school coach turned around and said something to that fan. ... Williams has long been sensitive to who's sitting behind his bench; a couple years back, he was accused of having a Presbyterian College fan thrown out of the Smith Center after that fan was screaming for a UNC player at the free throw line to miss it; Williams insists he never asked for that fan to be escorted out, only to find out if the man had tickets for that section.

But to the people who sold those tickets: “If you sell our tickets, your tickets that you get to the Rams Club to somebody else, and they come in cheering for UNLV, I’ve got no use for you,’’ Williams said. “And that’s as blunt as I can put it.”

He later added: “People have a right -- but not our people. You’re either with me, or you’re not. There’s no middle ground.”
There's plenty of schadenfreude to go around here, as enemy fans of UNC will get plenty of glee from Williams getting his undies in a knot over not having his little space perfect during a road game. The funny thing -- yes, this story is funny -- is, Williams is going up against a faceless enemy. In tough times, you can't stop people from selling their seats. Just how it is.

Carolina's next road game is Saturday at Kentucky. There's going to be plenty of blue behind UNC's bench their, too -- just no telling which shade it will be.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com