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Tag:Duke
Posted on: August 5, 2008 1:26 am
Edited on: August 5, 2008 1:46 am
 

Dear Gary (on UNC, Elite Camps, etc)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: I have a few questions for you about college basketball. I know North Carolina holds some kind of tournament or skills camp at the Dean Dome for high school players every summer. Is that the same thing as an Elite Camp?  Also every summer I hear about how our players get to play against UNC alums (NBA players former and current) in pickup games. I know that if you play on/against a professional sports team before you go to college you lose your amateur status. Why can you play against a pro once you're in college?  Does it have to do with the NBA players taking summer school classes?  I also wanted to say THANKS for giving us real coverage of college basketball and the way things really work in recruiting and officiating.  It's always a real eye-opener and NO ONE else does it nationally that I have found. Keep up the good work!

-- Chris
 
OK, Chris.

Let's take these one at a time.

Q: I know North Carolina holds some kind of tournament or skills camp at the Dean Dome for high school players every summer. Is that the same thing as an Elite Camp?

A: I believe what you're referencing is the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, which is one of the more prestigious AAU tournaments. It's an annual event that attracts most of the best summer teams to the campuses of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State each May. And though it's another "creative" way to get prospects on campus (for UNC, Duke and N.C. State, at least), no, it is not an Elite Camp. The Elite Camp is something totally different.

Q: Also every summer I hear about how our players get to play against UNC alums (NBA players former and current) in pickup games. I know that if you play on/against a professional sports team before you go to college you lose your amateur status. Why can you play against a pro once you're in college?  Does it have to do with the NBA players taking summer school classes?

A: Those games you hear about are between former Tar Heels and current Tar Heels, and they are OK because, well, I don't really know. I just know they are OK, per NCAA rules. Where schools run into problems -- like UNC did with Iman Shumpert -- is when recruits participate in pick-up games -- or have any substantial interaction - with former players because former players are considered representatives of the school (just like boosters) and are thus forbidden from interaction with recruits. Simplified, recruits can talk with current students and current players but not with former students or former players (but former players can hang with current players all day long).

(Does that make sense?)

As for the part about former players taking summer school classes, well, that's the loophole, if you will. Remember the Shumpert story from last year? It was OK for him to talk with Marvin Williams and Raymond Felton because they were enrolled in summer classes and were labeled as current students and allowed current students' rights. Sean May, on the other hand, was not enrolled in summer classes at the time. Consequently, he was considered a former player and representative of North Carolina, which means he was forbidden from interacting with a prospect like Shumpert.

(Does that make sense?)

Anyway, I hope that cleared some things up.

And, in all seriousness, thanks for the kind words at the end of your note.

You keep reading.

I'll keep trying to tell you how things really work, best I can.

Posted on: March 22, 2008 4:53 pm
 

Duke isn't in the Sweet 16 (again)


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Last year you could call it a fluke.

That's what I called it, at least.

But Duke's loss to West Virginia on Saturday means the Blue Devils will now miss the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season, this after they had made the Sweet 16 in nine consecutive seasons before losing to VCU in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament. So yeah, the mighty have fallen on hard times relative to their usual type of times, and the only obvious explanation is that Mike Krzyzewski has made multiple bad recruiting decisions that have left him with a roster full of nice guys, only some of whom are physical and/or athletic enough to lead an elite program.

And don't tell me about all the McDonald's All-Americans.

That's a splendid thing to put in a media guide. But it is accepted fact that many players are named McDonald's Al-Americans because they are being recruited by Duke, meaning Duke doesn't sign McDonald's All-Americans as much as it manufactures them.

To this point, I'll ask this question: How many future NBA players were on this Duke roster?

Answer: A couple, probably.

Kyle Singler will play many years in the NBA, and I'm assuming Gerald Henderson will, too. But there weren't any serious prospects beyond those two, which is fine for most programs but less-than-fine for a program that has long been considered the best of the best. I mean, scrappy play and hustle and slapping the floor is great and all. But it takes pros to hang banners, and Duke is now mostly devoid of pros relative to the North Carolinas and UCLAs of the world.

And it's not getting fixed by next season.

The Blue Devils are losing DeMarcus Nelson and replacing him with Elliot Williams, a McDonald's All-American shooting guard from Memphis. But when Duke missed on prep standout Greg Monroe it ensured the Blue Devils will play another season without a notable post presence, and so it's hard to imagine Krzyzewski won't again have the same issues with his team.

Which is not to say Duke will be bad.

Let me be clear about that.

The Blue Devils should return four starters from a 28-win team, and that'll put them in the preseason Top 10. But the guess here is that they'll still be a piece away from having the personnel to hang another banner. And though that's OK for most programs it's just not what we've traditionally expected from Duke, which will now watch the second weekend of the NCAA tournament on television. Again.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 8, 2008 8:47 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2008 1:41 pm
 

UNC-Duke (Yeah, I made it here)


DURHAM, N.C. -- After US Airways screwed up my flight (and then bumped me off another two) I gave in to reality, shuffled over to the Avis counter, rented a PT Cruiser (strange little car) and drove 146 miles northeast to Durham. It's been a crazy day, I tell you (see the blog below for proof). But I am now inside Cameron Indoor Stadium and ready for tip-off, though slightly depressed because when I checked into my hotel I realized this is the weekend where we have to set the clocks forward an hour.

Unbelievable.

I lost who knows how many hours at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport today, and now I'm gonna lose another hour when I finally get to sleep. Seriously, I hate 23-hour days. I'm not even sure why they're necessary. Couldn't we like take a minute here or there throughout the year, just catch up that way? Nobody would even notice. But taking an entire hour from a man's day seems cruel, particularly on the day where he is dealing with a 9 p.m. tip-off.

But that's enough complaining for one day.

I'm at North Carolina-Duke.

The band is playing.

So it could be worse, right?

(I'm still pissed at US Airways, though)
 
 
 
 
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