Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: March 19, 2009 5:22 pm

Lawson: "I'm ready to play."

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Just minutes after missing North Carolina's first-round win over Radford, Ty Lawson promised he'd be "ready" for Saturday's second-round game with LSU here at the Greensboro Coliseum.

"It's not painful anymore, just stiff," Lawson said when asked about his injured right toe. "I'm ready to play."

Lawson dressed but did not participate in Thursday's 101-58 win over Radford.

He has not played since a March 8 win over Duke.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 19, 2009 12:36 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2009 1:38 pm

An udate (or non-update) on Ty Lawson

GREENSBORO, N.C. --  I've received a few emails and texts from readers wanting to know if there's anything new with Ty Lawson and his big right toe. In short, there is not. Officially, North Carolina hasn't ruled out Lawson for today's game against Radford. But there is no indication whatsoever that he will play, and for that reason it'll be a shock if he's on the court.

My guess: He'll play Saturday.

But not today.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 18, 2009 1:47 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2009 2:24 pm

Lawson likely out vs. Radford, Williams says

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Ty Lawson isn't expected to play in North Carolina's NCAA tournament opener.

"There's a huge, huge probability he will not play," coach Roy Williams said here Wednesday afternoon.

Lawson missed the ACC tournament with what is being described as a jammed or sprained big right toe. He said he went through about half of practice Wednesday morning, but it seems Williams either did not see what he wanted or does not think it's worth rushing Lawson back for Radford, because the odds of the ACC Player of the Year competing Thursday are unofficially slim-to-none.

If Lawson is out, Bobby Frasor will start in his place.

The Tar Heels are 1-1 without Lawson this season, 27-3 with him.

"If I don't play Thursday, I'm sure I'll be ready by Saturday," Lawson said. "When it comes down to it, I'm going to play."

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 18, 2009 11:17 am

I'll be talking to Ty Lawson's toe shortly

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Roughly 25 hours from the NCAA tournament, and the big story is ... a toe.

Ty Lawson's big right toe, to be exact.

And the good news is that Lawson and his toe are here in Greensboro with me. Talk about right place and right time and all that. So what I'll do is spend the day talking to people about the toe, and I might even try to get a one-on-one with the toe, like a private sitdown where I can really ask the toe some tough questions and try to have a better understanding of its overall health and ability to deal with pain.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 15, 2009 11:18 am
Edited on: March 15, 2009 3:33 pm

How the possible No. 1 seeds stack up

NEW YORK -- By most accounts, there are still six schools in play for the four No. 1 seeds.

They are Pittsburgh, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut.

The following is a look at what each has done this season, to date.


  • RPI: 1
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Providence)

-- DUKE --

  • RPI: 2
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 11-6
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 3
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 6-4
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 4
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 2 (UNLV, Notre Dame)


  • RPI: 7
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 2-2
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)


  • RPI: 8
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)

(All projections are based on Jerry Palm's Sunday morning bracket .)

Posted on: March 10, 2009 4:11 pm

My rebuttal to Doyel (and some other stuff)

Obviously, I disagree with Gregg Doyel's column .

I love Gregg.

I wish I was as muscular as him.

But I disagree with the idea that Tyler Hansbrough has to be a first-team All-American. That's why I made him a second-team All-American. And if you understand my criteria -- which Gregg does, and I appreciated him acknowledging it -- then you know that this decision came down to me selecting DeJuan Blair or Tyler Hansbrough, because I'll put no more than two bigs on any All-America team, and I wasn't leaving off Blake Griffin.

So really, that's the debate: Hansbrough or Blair.

Gregg thinks it should be Hansbrough.

That's a reasonable opinion.

But to me, Hansbrough has not had a better season this season than Blair has had this season.


Sure, Hansbrough is averaging more points per game (21.1 to 15.6). But Blair is averaging more rebounds (12.4 to 8.1), and he's doing it while playing 3.3 fewer minutes per game than Hansbrough (30.0 to 26.7). Also worth noting is that Blair simply doesn't get the opportunities Hansbrough gets on the offensive end, which is why his points aren't comparable despite the fact that Blair actually has a higher field goal percentage (59.6 to 52.5).

Understand, Hansbrough takes 12.96 shots per game and shoots 8.42 free throws to get his 21.1 points. Blair takes 10.90 shots per game and shoots 4.23 free throws to get his 15.6 points, which means Blair takes roughly two fewer shots and four fewer free throws than Hansbrough per game, and if you consider Blair's percentages from both the field (59.6) and free throw line (69.2) it's clear he'd average more points than Hansbrough if he had the same opportunities.

(Please, just stay with me; this is going to be good.)

If Blair took the same number of shots (12.96) and free throws (8.42) per game as Hansbrough, and if Blair made those attempts at the same rate he currently makes his attempts, then Blair would make 7.72 field goals and 5.83 free throws per game. Multiply the 7.72 field goals by two (for two-point baskets) and the 5.83 free throws by one (for one-point baskets), and what you'll find is that if Blair took as many shots and free throws as Hansbrough he'd average 21.27 points per game, which is slightly better than the 21.12 points Hansbrough is averaging.

(Jesus, my head is hurting.)

So that's that.

I think Blair has been just as dominant as Hansbrough, but he's done it more efficiently and for a team that has accomplished just as much. Basically, that's why I went with Blair, but I did feel sick about it, because I love Hansbrough and think all the anti-Hansbrough talk is insane. If you hate Tyler Hansbrough, something is wrong with you, not him. But for these purposes, I had to look for the two bigs who are having the best seasons in this particular season, and in my opinion -- with apologies to Gregg Doyel -- that's Blake Griffin and DeJuan Blair.

As for some other controversial decisions, I'll address them quickly.

Right now.

Where's Jodie Meeks?

If you look at my All-America teams you'll see that every guy I have listed is projected by Jerry Palm to play in the NCAA tournament, except for Davidson's Stephen Curry. That should show you how much emphasis I put on winning, and how much I disregard players posting big numbers for bad teams. I mean, lots of guys post big numbers on bad teams (UCF's Jermaine Taylor comes to mind). So while I do think Meeks is great and one of the most fun guys to watch in college, the reality is that he's posting big numbers for a bad team, one that is especially bad by Kentucky standards.

For that same reason, I left off Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, too.

Simply put, I like impact players on successful teams.

Let the world be warned.

So how do you justify Stephen Curry?

I don't think Curry was on a bad team. I think he was on a conference champion that got caught in the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament, and now he'll pay the price for that. Is Davidson as good as a good Big East or ACC team? Of course not. But relative to Southern Conference teams, the Wildcats are very good, which means Curry was succesful by any reasonable measuring stick, just not when you have to be in a one-bid league, unfortunately.

And why can't you have three bigs on the same team again?

Think of an All-Pro football team.

They don't just take eight quarterbacks when they do those.

They take a quarterback, a few receivers, a kicker, a couple of safeties, so on and so forth. I like that because it better resembles an actual team , and that's my thought process on not having three traditional bigs (like Griffin, Blair and Hansbrough) on the same team, because there's no way those three would ever actually get on the court together at the same time, I don't think.

If you want to know the truth, I believe there are eight players worthy of first-team All-America status.

They are ...

  • Ty Lawson
  • Stephen Curry
  • James Harden
  • Blake Griffin
  • DeJuan Blair
  • Tyler Hansbrough
  • Hasheem Thabeet
  • Sherron Collins

That's my top eight, regardless of position. So what I did was take a point guard (Lawson), a shooting guard (Curry), a wing (Harden) and two bigs (Griffin and Blair) from that list, and I called it a day. It really was that simple. And I hope that makes some sense, though I'm sure it won't to some.

Posted on: March 8, 2009 4:04 pm

Lawson going through final warmups

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Senior Day festivities here at the Dean Smith Center just concluded.

Predictably, Tyler Hansbrough received the loudest ovation.

As for Ty Lawson, he jogged onto the floor about 15 minutes before tip-off to a huge round of applause.

If he doesn't play, I'll be shocked.

He's in the layup line right now.

Posted on: February 26, 2009 2:32 pm

Dear Gary (on a wrestling partner)

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: If you had to tag-team wrestle the British Bulldogs in a steel cage match, would you rather have Sherron Collins or Ty Lawson on your team?
-- Dane

Collins, I think.

Because though the two are listed similarly in terms of height and weight, my guess is that Collins is a little stronger, and I'm putting a huge emphasis on strength given that this is a wrestling match and all. Plus, things could get out of hand; don't forget, it's a cage match. And if things do get out of hand, I want somebody on my side who is capable of getting out of hand right along with them, and who's better at that than the guy who once allegedly exposed himself to a female in an elevator?

Clearly, Sherron Collins will do anything to win.

Even pull his junk out.

So given a choice, I'm taking Collins, and the plan will be for us to wrestle until Markieff Morris comes from the back with his BB gun and pops one of the British Bulldogs while the referee isn't looking, at which point we make the pin and walk away champions. Should be simple, and I appreciate you giving me an opportunity to address this issue.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com