Posted on: February 9, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2010 1:18 pm
AUSTIN, Texas -- Bad weather has made my trip to Michigan State impossible.
So the second game of my three-games-in-three-days trip is off.
I'm stuck in Austin.
Thus, I'll miss tonight's Purdue-Michigan State game, but I'll still be at Duke-North Carolina on Wednesday. The plan is to stay the night here, then fly to UNC early tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll be accepting recommendations on good spots in Austin to watch Purdue-Michigan State, and dreading a 5 a.m. wake-up call that will most certainly be miserable.
Posted on: January 16, 2010 6:42 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2010 6:44 pm
The loss at Clemson was bad, I admitted.
But I still spent part of the week defending North Carolina and its five losses because, as I pointed out, lots of teams would have five losses with the Tar Heels' schedule. Proper context was important, I thought. And it was. But it's hard to continue to defend UNC's national ranking in the wake of Saturday's 73-71 loss to Georgia Tech at the Smith Center.
A good team just doesn't lose that game.
A good team certainly doesn't fall behind 29-9.
And that was the stunning part, really. The Tar Heels knew they were coming off a lopsided loss at Clemson, knew the nation was skeptical, knew they were in a show-us-what-you-got game against a Georgia Tech team coming off a loss to Virginia, and yet they still looked unsure of themselves, still lacked confidence and court awareness. Sure, North Carolina rallied to take a late lead; that was encouraging. But the Tar Heels couldn't close. So they left the court as losers for the third time in four outings.
Now to the question I know you're asking: Will UNC still be ranked come Monday?
It's honestly hard to say.
Truth be told, teams don't typically fall from 12th to unranked.
So I could see UNC hanging around the bottom of the Associated Press Top 25.
But if the Tar Heels drop out, they won't have a reason to complain.
They put themselves in this predicament.
Now let's see if they can fix it.
Posted on: January 15, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2010 3:03 pm
North Carolina's Roy Williams announced Tyler Zeller will miss four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot.
"He's frustrated," Williams said at a Friday press conference.
Zeller is a sophomore who missed much of last season with a broken wrist. The 7-foot sophomore is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game this season. He's scored at least 12 points in six different games.
North Carolina plays Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The 12th-ranked Tar Heels are 12-5.
Posted on: January 14, 2010 11:59 am
Edited on: January 14, 2010 12:01 pm
Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: I'm not hating on UNC, but there is no way you keep them in the top 25. I understand a reigning champion getting some momentum from last year, but this team is clearly not that good. Now they may come together and make a run, but their current body of work says otherwise.
I've received quite a few anti-UNC emails in the past 12 hours, and it's fair. The Tar Heels looked like garbage last night in that loss to Clemson. They were overwhelmed from the start. Roy Williams seemed depressed, and he should be. But those of you wanting North Carolina to disappear from the rankings are overreacting, because there aren't 25 teams better than North Carolina, and there aren't 25 better bodies of work, either.
Yes, the record is 12-5.
But you must look deeper.
One of the losses was to No. 1 Texas in Texas, another was at No. 2 Kentucky, another was to No. 5 Syracuse in New York, and the fourth was at No. 24 Clemson. So the Tar Heels have lost to three of the nation's top five teams, at No. 24 Clemson, and at Charleston without two starters. Those are the five losses. Meantime, North Carolina has wins over No. 7 Michigan State, over the Ohio State team that just won at Purdue, and over a Virginia Tech team that's 13-2 and coming off a win over No. 23 Miami.
That, my friends, is a Top 25 resume.
It just is.
So yes, North Carolina has five losses.
And yes, they looked awful last night at Clemson.
But my guess is that about 10 of the teams ranked in the latest Top 25 would also have five losses if they'd played North Carolina's schedule, and to not recognize that is silly. Do I have UNC ranked too high at No. 10? Yes. And I'll adjust accordingly. But unless the Tar Heels follow up their loss at Clemson with a home loss to Georgia Tech this weekend, they won't drop from the rankings completely.
Nor should they.
Posted on: January 13, 2010 2:21 pm
OK, here's a first for Twitter.
(Or at least I think it's a first.)
Far as I know, this afternoon was the first time in history that a point guard from a nationally ranked college basketball team Tweeted a photo from the team bus moments after it was involved in a traffic accident. Click this link to check it out. The photo is from North Carolina's Larry Drew, and it came with the following text: "Car hit us on the way to shootaround...like, how do you jus run into the side of a bus??"
North Carolina plays at Clemson tonight.
Posted on: December 15, 2009 4:46 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2009 4:47 pm
Roy Williams used his radio show to discuss the details surrounding the removal of a fan during Saturday's win over Presbyterian. The North Carolina coach did not apologize for reacting to the heckler who yelled "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" while Deon Thompson shot free throws. But Williams did talk about the incident at length.
His comments in full are below (courtesy of InsideCarolina.com) :
"It’s strange that it has gotten a heck of a lot attention, but the good news is that I haven’t had to pay too much attention to it. I haven’t heard it, but people are telling me about it. It was unfortunate. Just to tell you in my opinion what happened… Let me give you some background first. In New York City, when we played Ohio State, it was the absolute worst scenario that I’ve ever had to put up with.
“A couple of guys about 10 feet from our bench screamed and yelled at us all night long. Yelled at our players and would say, ‘Deon Thompson – you stink.’ But they didn’t use the word ‘stink.’ Or ‘Dexter Strickland – you stink,’ but they didn’t use the word ‘stink.’ We had to listen to that garbage all night long and we had two different parents that sort of got a little disappointed, a little upset, could have gotten into a confrontation. The security guards did absolutely nothing and it really ticked me off. So I said, ‘I know we have to put up with that on the road, let’s just go.’ We didn’t say anything. Joe Holladay was sitting two or three feet from the guy, but we didn’t say anything whatsoever.
“Saturday night, all of a sudden, some guy stands up and starts yelling at Deon and it came from behind our bench. And you know how when some things happen, you instantly think of something? My first thought was, ‘Now our parents are having to listen to somebody else, and it’s in our own building.’ And so I turned around and I said, ‘Who said that?’ And about 40-50-60-70-80 people started pointing up at this guy. The guy gets up and starts gyrating with his arms and everything like, ‘Yeah, it was me,’ and that kind of thing. And it really did tick me off. I turned and said something to the ushers behind the bench and they started up through there, and I turned around and coached the game. I have no idea what happened. I never turned around to the guy again.
“But my feeling was immediately that our parents who sit right behind our bench have to put up with that stuff again in our own building. So that was it. And after the game, they told me that they had escorted the young man out. Supposedly what had happened was they had asked him for his ticket and he didn’t have a ticket or wasn’t supposed to be sitting in that seat. Supposedly, and I want to emphasis the word supposedly, he didn’t cooperate as much as they wanted, and they chose to take him out.
“Am I disappointed in the whole thing? Yeah, I’m disappointed that it happened. I’m disappointed that I even reacted to it. But again, in our own building, I don’t think that parents ought to have to listen to somebody chastising their son. And whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the way I am. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I hate that it happened. I wish that it never happened. Evidently, people have been getting after us all day [on Monday] or getting after me all day. But I tell you what, if that’s the only thing they’ve got to get after me about, I’m a happy young man… If I’m wrong, then that’s good, but I’m not apologizing.”
Posted on: December 15, 2009 3:27 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2009 3:28 pm
Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Do you agree that coaches should have fans removed for taunts? Also, should sports writers ignore these types of stories?
I suppose that's John's not-so-subtle way of demanding that I write about Roy Williams having a fan removed from North Carolina's win over Presbyterian, and so here goes. What did I think of the incident? I thought it was ridiculous, small and completely out of line, particularly for somebody of Williams' stature. Coaches shouldn't have any control over what happens in the crowd, regardless of whether they are at home or in an opposing arena.
Let spectators be spectators.
Long as they aren't vulgar, throwing things on the court or causing real problems in some other way, nobody should be removed from a sporting event. Best I can tell, all the fan did was yell "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" while Deon Thompson was shooting free throws. Nothing more, nothing less. Assuming that's the case, Williams should've never flinched. There were enough UNC fans around the guy -- he was wearing a Presbyterian shirt, by the way -- to make sure he didn't do it again, if he tried to do it again. So Williams should've just stayed out of it completely.
In other words, Roy Williams should handle things on the court, North Carolina security should handle things in the stands, and if all the guy did was yell at Deon Thompson, then there really wasn't anything to handle. Either way, the Cameron Crazies should have tons of fun with this story. I imagine we'll here "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" each time Thompson steps to the line in the Duke-UNC showdown March 6.
Posted on: December 14, 2009 10:15 am
You can tell finals are happening on many campuses because the games this week are terrible.
Nobody wants to travel.
Nobody wants to compete.
A quick glance of the schedule shows there are no matchups between Top 25 teams between now and Saturday. Nothing Monday night. Or Tuesday night. Or Wednesday night. Or Thursday night. Or Friday night. The next time two ranked teams play each other will be Saturday afternoon, when North Carolina and Texas meet at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. We also have Duke-Gonzaga on Saturday. But until then, prepare to be bored.