Monday, April 28, 2008

ACC DRAFT PICKS IN ORDER

Overall Selection
2 - Chris Long, Virginia, DE St. Louis
3- Matt Ryan, Boston College, QB Atlanta
15 - Branden Albert, Virginia, T Kansas City
17 - Gosder Cherilus, Boston College, T Detroit
26 - Duane Brown, Virginia Tech, T Houston
29 - Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina, DT 1 29 San Francisco
31 - Kenny Phillips, Miami, DB New York Giants
32 - Phillip Merling, Clemson, DE Miami
35 - Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech, DB Kansas City
42 - Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech, WR Denver
50 - Calais Campbell, Miami, DE Arizona
71 - Tavares Gooden, Miami, LB Baltimore
72 - Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech, DE Buffalo
82 - DaJuan Morgan, NC State, S Kansas City
87 - Andre Fluellen, Florida State, DT Detroit
93 - Philip Wheeler, Georgia Tech, OLB Indianapolis
102 - Jeremy Thompson, Wake Forest, DE Green Bay
115 - Dre Moore, Maryland, DT Tampa Bay
118 - Xavier Adibi, Virginia Tech, LB Houston
122 - Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech, RB Dallas
136 - Kenneth Moore, Wake Forest, WR Detroit
144 - DeMario Pressley, NC State, DT 5 New Orleans
148 - Carlton Powell, Virginia Tech, DT Denver
152 - Letroy Guion, Florida State, DT Minnesota
168 - Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech, P Washington
170 - Barry Richardson, Clemson, G Kansas City
174 - Josh Morgan, Virginia Tech, WR San Francisco
175 - Geno Hayes, Florida State, LB Tampa Bay
192 - DeJuan Tribble, Boston College, DB San Diego
196 - Tom Santi, Virginia, TE Indianapolis
201 - Steve Justice, Wake Forest, C Indianapolis
215 - Justin Harper, Virginia Tech, WR Baltimore
221 - Hilee Taylor, North Carolina North Carolina

Sunday, April 27, 2008

ACC LEADS NFL DRAFT

Look, we are quick to make a joke or two at the expense of ACC football, but things are looking up. The expansion to include Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College into the league was designed to improve the pigskin situation. It seems to be working, and yesterday's NFL draft is a positive indicator.

With Virginia's Chris Long and Boston College's Matt Ryan being chosen second and third in this year's NFL Draft, the ACC becomes the first conference in the nation to have two of its student-athletes chosen among the top four picks in the NFL Draft for three consecutive years. Who knew?

Long, who was chosen 2nd overall by the St. Louis Rams, and Ryan, who was tabbed third overall by the Atlanta Falcons, joined NC State's Mario Williams (Houston, 1st) and Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson (4th, NY Jets) in 2006 and Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson (2nd, Detroit) and Clemson's Gaines Adams last year (Tamps Bay Bucs, 4th) as top four selections, something no other collegiate conference has achieved in the 71 years of the Draft.

The ACC also led all Conferences with first round selections having seven players tabbed in the first round including Long, Ryan, Virginia offensive tackle Branden Albert (15th, Kansas City), Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (17th, Detroit), Virginia Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown (26th, Houston), North Carolina defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer (29th, San Francisco) and Miami defensive back Kenny Phillips (31st, New York Giants). The SEC and PAC-10 were second, each with six players chosen in the first round.

Phillips' selection continued a streak of 14 consecutive years for the Hurricanes to have had a player drafted in the first round.

The ACC leads all Conferences over the last three years with 25 first round selections compared to 21 for the SEC and 18 for the Big 10. The PAC 10 is next with 11 followed by the Big 12 (8).


In all, in the first two rounds of the draft the ACC had 11 players chosen, tying the PAC 10 for the most players in the first two rounds. The ACC had 9 of the first 35 players tabbed with Clemson's Phillip Merling (32, Miami), Virginia Tech's Brandon Flowers (35th, Kansas City) and Eddie Royal (42, Denver) and Miami's Calais Campbell all being chosen in the second round.


The selection of Virginia's Chris Long as the second overall pick was the second-highest selection for the Cavaliers and the highest since Bill Dudley was the NFL's first selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1942. The selection of Long second and offensive lineman Branden Albert 15th is Virginia's highest ever for two players combined. The next highest occurred in 1997 was James Farrior was chosen 8th and Jon Harris 25th.

(Photos by AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File, Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, AP Photo/Jason DeCrow and AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

STAYING AND GOING(?)

Psycho T is coming back, but Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and now Danny Green (in a surprise move) continue to test the NBA waters. None of the three has hired agents which allows them the option of staying in school by opting out by the June 17 deadline.

While UNC announced Friday that the power forward is staying in school, two other key members of this year's Final Four run -- point guard Ty Lawson and shooting guard Wayne Ellington -- will enter their names into the NBA Draft but not hire an agent. On Saturday, in a move that surprised UNC, sixth man Danny Green tossed his name in David Stern’s hat.

"I love playing at North Carolina and still have big dreams to realize here, including graduating,'' Hansbrough said in a prepared statement. "Of course I look forward to playing in the NBA some day but not next year."

Ellington and Lawson, meanwhile, are the first players under coach Roy Williams to "test the NBA waters." If they refrain from hiring agents and continue to attend class, they will have until 5 p.m. June 16 to pull out. The draft will be held 10 days later.

With the depth of this year's draft -- more than three dozen other underclassmen have also declared -- the sophomores are not currently projected as lottery (top 14) picks and may even risk falling to the second round, where contracts are not guaranteed.

The three players were not available for comment, but Ellington and Lawson said in a prepared statement that they planned to stay in good academic standing and were studying for final exams next week.

"I'm not dying to leave here, but playing in the NBA is another dream I have,'' Ellington said.

Williams also said in the statement that he supports the decisions by each of the three players and will continue to help Ellington and Lawson through the predraft process.

(Photos AFP/GETTY IMAGES/File, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images and by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

GOING GREEN OR STAYING CAROLINA BLUE?

Danny Green was not part of Roy Williams NBA draft research program as the UNC head coach thought his sixth-man was coming back to play bigger role next year. Somewhere between their last meeting and yesterday, the Greens decided to check out the next level.

"Roy was thinking it was a certainty that Danny was coming back," Green’s father, Danny Green Sr. said. "But we felt it wasn't a bad decision for him to go through the process and not hire an agent. ... [Danny] was one of the top sixth men in the country this year, came up big in the end when the team needed him too ... let him compete [against other pro prospects] and see where he stands."

The trick, though, might be getting that competition. Only 64-66 players are usually invited to the NBA's predraft camp in Orlando, draft analyst Chris Monter said, and with roughly four dozen underclassmen already declared for the June 26 draft, some are going to be left off the list.
Green averaged 11.5 points per game last season for a team that lost to Kansas in the national semifinals. The 6-foot-6 New York native came off the bench to play small forward and power forward -- and became a home-crowd favorite with his pregame "Jump Around" dance.

Still, "he's a second-round pick, at best," said Monter, publisher of College Basketball News. "And with so many other players in this draft, he might not get drafted at all."

Second-round draft picks are not guaranteed contracts, and Monter said that on average, only about half them end up playing in the NBA. Others end up in the NBDL or overseas.

"It might be good for him to get the experience, get some input ... but he'll probably be wise to come back [to school]," Monter said. "Next year's draft doesn't look nearly as deep as this one."


Indeed, some mock drafts for 2009 already have Green penciled in as a low first-round pick, where players are guaranteed two-year contracts worth millions.

Even so, Green's dad said his son's decision to declare has nothing to do with financial reasons, even though he was paroled from prison after serving 22 months on drug trafficking conspiracy charges (he has maintained his innocence), and he has three younger brothers.

"I've told him, 'I've still got to go to work and pay the bills, no matter what you do,' " Green Sr. said. "He's worked his behind off to play at Carolina, to play for Roy Williams ... and every player at Carolina has those dreams to play in the NBA. If he has a chance to realize his goals, why not? If it doesn't work out this summer, he can return to Carolina ... and that's not a bad scenario."

Can’t really argue his point. Just keep up the grades and don’t break any NCAA rules…


(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images and Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

NEW RULES MAKE TESTING WATERS LESS SHARK INFESTED

What? The NCAA is using its collective noggin?

Wow…what next, football playoffs?

According to the News Observer, a new NBA rule makes it more financially feasible for underclassmen to be further evaluated by NBA teams. In the past, players who declared for the draft but wanted to retain the option of going back to school had to pay for their own airfare and hotel rooms for individual NBA workouts.

That has changed. According to a March educational document from the NCAA:

"You may try out with an NBA team during the academic year if you are enrolled full-time as long as you do not miss class. You may receive actual and necessary expenses from the NBA team in conjunction with one 48-hour tryout per team. The 48-hour tryout period begins when you arrive at the tryout location."

If the tryout lasts more than 48 hours, the player must pay the additional expenses, except in the case of the NBA predraft camp.

Amy Herman, UNC's director of compliance, said that she would keep in close contact with the basketball coaches and players to make sure they keep receipts and other documentation in case something came up. She also asked coaches to share with the players an NCAA memorandum that spells out the rules of submitting your name for the draft without hiring an agent.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

OF COURSE, IT RAINED...British policemen walk around an A1 Grand Prix motor racing show in London on April 27, 2008. 22 A1 Grand Prix cars were lined up on Regent street, London as part of an event ahead of the A1 GP race on the Brands Hatch race circuit in Kent on May 02 to 04, 2008.



(Photos by Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

PRACTICE PAYS OFF...Recently, we ran a picture of Darren Clarke practicing in a bunker while talking on his cell phone. Evidently, it helped.

Here Clarke (c) of Northern Ireland holds his winners trophy next to second place Robert-Jan Derksen (r) of the Netherlands and top amateur finisher Hu Mu (l) of China at the BMW Asian Open golf championship in Shanghai on April 27, 2008. Clarke won the event with a score of 8 under par.

(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

RARE SIGHTING...In this photo, all or part of all 10 players can be seen -- a rare sight, indeed.

Tracy McGrady #1, Dukie Shane Battier #31 and Chuck Hayes #44 of the Houston Rockets battle for a rebound against the Utah Jazz in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Energy Solutions Arena on April 26, 2008 in Salt Lake City.

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 4

BIG WAVES...Jamie O’Brien from the US state of Hawaii rides a wave for the day's highest score in the Air Tahiti Nui – Von Zipper surfing trials at Teahuppp on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti on April 26, 2008. The Trials event, run over four days, awards two wildcards into the Billabong Pro main event and pits 40 respected international big wave surfers against 40 Tahitian locals.

Ryan Hipwood of Australia rides a massive wave before being crushed by the it in the Air Tahiti Nui – Von Zipper surfing trials at Teahuppp on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti on April 26, 2008.

Hipwood made it back into the line- up but failed to find the required scores to advance.

(Photos by Steve Robertson/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

DOPING MASCOTS...? Young anti-doping activists demonstrate at a sports event in France.

Embattled US athletics coach Trevor Graham has warned that his upcoming trial on doping-related charges could lead to revelations that will humiliate retired athletics stars from around the world.

(AFP/File/Joel Saget)

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