Friday, May 9, 2008

FORTY THOUSAND...

...but who's counting?

Thanks, everybody.

DROPPING LIKE FLIES

Florida State offensive tackle Daron Rose (glasses) is ineligible for the season and will attend a junior college.

Rose, who started 11 games last season, will attempt to regain his eligibility, school officials said Wednesday.

Rose's departure is the second this week for the Seminoles, who are coming off consecutive 7-6 seasons. Sophomore linebacker Marcus Ball (dreds), another projected starter, was released from his scholarship Monday.

Star receiver Preston Parker is ineligible until he resolves a felony gun charge.

Coach Bobby Bowden, and his designated successor Jimbo Fisher, will also begin the season without a half dozen of his top players for the first three games because of a classroom cheating scandal in a music history class.

Music history class?

C'mon!

FORMER DUKE STAR WINS EUROLEAGUE FINAL FOUR MVP

ESPN – Editied.
Suddenly, as Trajan Langdon collected his MVP trophy from former Real Madrid legend Walter Szczerbiak and the 2,500 fans who had made the long journey from Moscow began their delirious celebrations, it all made perfect sense.

Some 3,500 miles away in Langdon's homeland, Szczerbiak's son, Wally, is in the middle of a playoff run with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the very team Langdon left after three injury-plagued, largely unfulfilling years.

Sunday night in Madrid, Langdon's decision to build a new life, a new career for himself on a different continent and in a country so far from home, turning his back on every young American ballers' dream in the process, looked inspired.

Winner of his second Euroleague Final Four in three years, Langdon's 21 points and seven rebounds made him the MVP of an ultimately comfortable 91-77 victory for CSKA Moscow over Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv at Madrid's Palacio de Deportes.

"This is top two," said Langdon when asked to rank the performance among his career highlights, which also featured a 1999 NCAA Final Four appearance with Duke. "The one we won two years ago in Prague was just as big, but every time you win a championship, they just get better."

Tellingly, and understandably, Langdon made no reference to basketball highlights from his "other" life, from home on the other side of the Atlantic.

"Home" for Langdon is now Russia, and despite several NBA scouts' analysis this weekend that the 31-year-old (32 next week) could easily still be a solid player in their league, the 6-foot-3 guard admits the thought no longer crosses his mind.

"A couple of years ago I did," Langdon said when asked if he thought of returning home and trying to catch on with an NBA team. "Would it have been great to stay in the NBA and have a long, successful career there? Sure. But I've been blessed to have this opportunity."

DUKE #1 IN LAX TOURNAMENT

Led by number one seed Duke, the Atlantic Coast Conference will have 100 percent representation in the upcoming 2008 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship, as announced Sunday evening. Virginia received the No. 2 seed, while North Carolina and Maryland were seeded fourth and seventh, respectively.

Making 24 appearances in the title game, the ACC holds 10 NCAA titles as Virginia and North Carolina have four apiece. Maryland has two national championships (1973 and 1975), while 2006 national champion Virginia also won titles in 1972, 1999, 2003. The Tar Heels earned crowns in 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1991.

The Division I semifinal and championship games will be held at Gillette Stadium, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, May 24 and 26. The 2008 NCAA Men's Lacrosse title game will take place on Monday, May 26 at 1 p.m.

Tournament Breakdown:
No. 1 Duke (ACC) vs. Loyola (ECAC AQ) - May 10, 2:30 p.m.
No. 8 Cornell (Ivy AQ) vs. Ohio State (GWLL) - May 10, 5 p.m.

No. 5 Johns Hopkins (Independent) vs. Hofstra (CAA AQ) - May 11, 2:30 p.m.
No. 4 North Carolina (ACC) vs. Navy (Patriot) - May 10, 7:30 p.m.

No. 3 Syracuse (Independent) vs. Canisius (MAAC AQ) - May 11, 7:30 p.m.
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. Colgate (Patriot AQ) - May 11, Noon

No. 7 Maryland (ACC) vs. Denver (GWLL) - May 10, Noon
No. 2 Virginia (ACC) vs. UMBC (America East AQ) - May 11, 5 p.m.

(Photos courtesy of theacc.com)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

LOOKIN’ GOOD…Obviously in mid-season form, John Daly of the good ole USA plays his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the MC Methorios Capital Italian Open Golf at The Castello Di Tolcinasco Golf Club on May 9, 2008 in Milan, Italy.



(Photos by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ALMOST 3-D...USA's Andy Roddick returns a forehand to Tommy Robredo of Spain during their ATP Tennis Open in Rome on May 09, 2008.

(Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

YOU KNOW THE SAYING…It’s all down hill from here. Well, evidently, it is. Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet, drives (downhill) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge Challenger 500 on May 9, 2008 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

THESE HANDS HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY…talcum powder. A gymnast prepares his hands adding chalk prior to competing on the vault during the 28th European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Junior Championships on May 9, 2008 at Malley sports centre in Lausanne. A hundred and sixty-six athletes from 41 federations will compete in Switzerland from May 8th to 11th.

(Photo by Sebastien Berda/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

SOMEDAY HE'LL TELL PEOPLE...

...my parents took me to the old Yankee Stadium...You know the house that Ruth built.

Then they tore it down.

The Yankees beat the Mariners 6 to 1.

What will they tear down next? Fenway? Wrigley?

OFF SEASON CRIME AND OTHER SHENANIGANS

While we were away, folks were getting’ in trouble…

Former Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton was charged with marijuana possession, driving under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run early Tuesday, less than a week after he was hired as the school’s assistant director of player personnel.

“The matter is under investigation,” Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “An appropriate action will be taken upon completion of the investigation.”

Hamilton, 31, also was charged with having an open bottle of beer in his Ford Expedition when arrested by Georgia Tech police shortly after midnight. Hamilton remained at the Fulton County jail Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman at the jail.

Hamilton was pulled over by an officer because his vehicle matched the description of a car involved in an alleged hit-and-run.

The officer smelled alcohol on Hamilton, who acknowledged he hit another car from behind, according to the police report. Hamilton failed a series of field sobriety tests, and the officer reported that he found the open bottle of beer and a marijuana cigarette in the vehicle’s ash tray.

Hamilton recorded blood-alcohol contents of 0.193 and 0.199 in two tests, according to the police report. The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08.

Hamilton, one of Georgia Tech’s most popular and successful quarterbacks, led the Yellow Jackets to the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference championship and finished second in the 1999 Heisman Trophy balloting.

Hamilton’s new job includes responsibilities in recruiting and serving players’ needs.

(Photo courtesy of St. Petersburg Times)

POINT GUARD TRIES NEW RADICAL THERAPY

An unidentified point guard who suffered a season ending knee injury is trying a new therapy recommended by med students vacationing in Cabo San Lucas for Spring Break. Evidently, the “vacation weary” future doctors contacted the player via email back at his university located somewhere in between Virginia and South Carolina and recommended that he “jump off a building into a pool of water” at least once a day.

Frustrated over missing most of the season when his squad reached the Final Four, the unidentified point guard said, “I was willing to try anything to get well..besides Tyler…Oops, I mean my tall friend over there…dared me to do it.”

There were unconfirmed reports that a certain unidentified Player of the Year was not far behind the injured point guard in trying the new radical treatment. Worried about decreasing his NBA value, the larger and heavier power forward who hails from the Midwest asked the pool technicians to “fill it up all the way…really, really to the top…Like overflowing” to break the fall.

Safety first.

When located, the “vacation weary” future doctors were “unable” to respond.

Whatever you do, don’t tell Ol' You-Know-Who.

DUKE HIRES "NOT SO BIG" MAN

Responding to harsh criticism that Duke’s big men don’t play well because Duke lacks an assistant coach who either was a “big” or specializes in coaching “bigs,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski hired former player Nate James as an assistant on Tuesday.

James was a 6’6”, 180 lbs. forward as a Blue Devil. Today, he is no taller.

That should solve the problem. (Oh, that's right...Coach K doesn't respond to criticism.)

James, a 2001 Duke graduate, scored 1,116 career points as a member of the program from 1996-2001. He helped the Blue Devils to a 71-9 ACC regular season record and is the only player in ACC history with five straight regular season conference titles (he redshirted in 1998 after playing in six games).

James, a two-time team captain, played on a pair of Final Four teams, including Duke’s 2001 National Championship squad. As a senior, James averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while helping the Blue Devils to a 35-4 record.

James, an All-ACC and ACC All-Defensive team selection in 2001, played professionally in the United States and overseas from 2002-2007. After being named the Carolinas Basketball League Most Valuable Player in 2003, James spent various parts of the next five seasons playing in the Bosnia, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Philippines, and Poland.

Asked what he knew about coaching players in the post, James said, “Absolutely nothing, why do you ask?”

(AP Photo/Bob Jordan, File)

PROOF: UNC GETS ALL THE CALLS

Some Tar Heel detractors will tell you (ad nauseam) that UNC gets all “the calls.” This is especially true of those folks over in Durham who actually do get all the calls. However, this little item from the N&O will give them ammo for years to come!

From the Raleigh News & Observer - Robbi Pickeral, Staff Writer

North Carolina's men's basketball team on Tuesday had what a team official called an extraordinary chance to play basketball with presidential candidate Barack Obama.
So extraordinary that an NCAA rule appears to have been broken -- and the NCAA is apparently going to ignore it.

"This was a unique situation and not an NCAA issue," NCAA media relations director Erik Christianson said in an e-mail message to The News & Observer on Tuesday. "It certainly was a great opportunity for the student-athletes to interact with a presidential candidate."
At issue is the timing of the informal scrimmage and the fact that UNC coach Roy Williams watched it from the sideline.

According to NCAA bylaws, coaches are not allowed to watch pickup games at any time during the offseason. Division I basketball teams also are prohibited from any mandatory athletically related offseason activities through final exams. Exams began Monday at UNC.
Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Williams knew he wasn't supposed to be at the Smith Center practice gym under the letter of the NCAA rules, but that these were "extraordinary circumstances," and, with the number of Secret Service personnel on site, the coach wanted to be there to make sure that everything went OK.

Kirschner also said the Tar Heels play voluntary pickup games all the time that are within the rules because they are not mandatory. That's what took place on Tuesday, he said.

(AP Photos by Jae C. Hong)

THE NEXT QUINN SNYDER?

Johnny Dawkins, a Washington native, did the whole meet-and-greet thing on Stanford's campus recently after becoming the Cardinal's new men's basketball coach.

Dawkins, 44, a longtime assistant coach at Duke under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, was formally introduced by the school. He replaces reigning Pacific-10 coach of the year Trent Johnson, who led Stanford to the region semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001 before leaving to coach LSU.

"We're going to do something special here," Dawkins said. "It takes ownership from everyone. The one thing I believe is it's our program, it's not Johnny Dawkins's program. You only do things special when you do it together." . . .

One of the criticisms of Duke’s current coaching staff is that it was heavy on guards who couldn’t effectively coach big men. Immediately upon hearing of Dawkins’ hiring Stanford’s twin seven foot Lopez brothers declared for the NBA draft.

(Photo by Paul Sakuma/AP)

SPEARS TO UNC

Not Britnany and not Chapel Hill.

Boston College forward Shamari Spears is transferring to UNC-Charlotte after finishing as the Eagles' third-leading scorer last season.

A Charlotte spokesman said last week that Spears wanted to be closer to his home in Salisbury, NC because of an undisclosed family medical issue.

Spears will have two years of eligibility remaining. Transfers normally have to sit out a season, though it's possible Charlotte will appeal to the NCAA for a waiver to allow Spears to play next season because of his family situation.

The 6-foot-6 Spears averaged 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Eagles and played nearly 27 minutes a game last season. He started 17 games, reaching double figures in scoring 15 times with four double-doubles.

THE KING IS DEAD…

...Long live the King.

No really, he died.

Rameses XVII, the blue-horned ram who led the UNC-Chapel Hill football team onto the field for the past five years, died last week of complications from a wound he suffered at the horns of his own son.

Rameses XVII was 8.

The son Pablo, 3, will take the name Rameses XVIII and succeed his slain father as Carolina mascot, keeper Rob Hogan said.

Rameses and Pablo shared a field at Hogan's farm outside Carrboro. On April 13, they butted heads, as rams are occasionally wont. This particular collision was so jarring that it snapped off one of the older ram's horns.

The injury was serious. Infection set in.

GOING PRO: GOOD MOVE, BAD MOVE

Chad Ford over at ESPN has been pondering the NBA draft declarations. Here’s his take:

A lot has been made the past few weeks about the significant number of early entries into the draft. A dispassionate analysis says the influx of underclassmen is directly related to the fact that the NBA can now pay for workout expenses for underclassmen without them losing their eligibility. That rule change means that essentially every underclassman gets one free look. In other words, in the minds of some prospects, "What can it hurt to declare?"

Frankly, I'm surprised more of them didn't take the NBA up on its offer to let them fly from NBA city to NBA city, get to work out in front of GMs and scouts, and try to improve their draft stock. As long as prospects don't hire an agent, they're free to return to school if they don't like the feedback.

ESPN.com has more than 60 underclassmen (including young international players) on the early-entry list. That number likely will grow as a few lesser-known names trickle in.

So, who made the right decision to declare for the draft? Who declared too early? And who should've declared and didn't? We have the answers.

(*To preserve eligibility, player has not hired an agent.)

THE RIGHT MOVE: Michael Beasley, F, Kansas State; Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis;
Brook Lopez, C, Stanford; O.J. Mayo, G, USC; Jerryd Bayless, G, Arizona; Eric Gordon, G, Indiana; D.J. Augustin, PG, Texas; * Russell Westbrook, G, UCLA; Brandon Rush, G/F, Kansas and Chris Douglas-Roberts, G/F, Memphis.

THE WRONG MOVE: DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A&M; * Kosta Koufos, C, Ohio State; * Donte Greene, F, Syracuse; JaVale McGee, F/C, Nevada; Nicolas Batum, G/F, France; Robin Lopez, C, Stanford; Davon Jefferson, F, USC

* J.J. Hickson, PF, North Carolina State - I love Hickson's game, but the draft is so crowded. He'd be better off going back to school, dominating for a year and then testing the waters as a sophomore;

and...

* Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina – Laws on struggled down the stretch for the Tar Heels and saw his draft stock plummet. I wonder whether he's going to look great in workouts. He runs the risk of hurting his stock even more coming into his junior year.
So if Lawson shouldn’t be in the draft, what does that say about UNC’s Wayne Ellington and Danny Green? They’re wrackin’ up some frequent flyer miles? Remember, the NBA draft only has two rounds – 60 players chosen.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

THE APTLY NAMED...Bubble Economy (white cap and silks) upset the 84th $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday at the expense of Miles Ahead and Hot Springs.



(Photos by Douglas Lees)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NO WORSE FOR THE WEAR…Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown (perhaps named so for the large ears) is headed to Baltimore for what will hopefully be an accident-free Preakness Stakes on May 14.

(AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Blog Archive