Friday, July 11, 2008

FLORIDA STATE OFFENSE SUFFERS ANOTHER SETBACK

Offensive coordinators now studying “negative numbers” after a blood clot has sidelined starting left guard Evan Bellamy.

Bellamy will miss the entire season because of a blood clot in his leg and is expected to miss six months of football. In all likelihood, he’ll live, so what’s all the fuss about?

Bellamy played in all 10 games last season, including the first start of his career in the Music City Bowl, and he wasn't called for one penalty. His backup on the spring depth chart is Jacob Stanley, who doesn't have any game experience.

Long time coach Bobby Bowden does not know either player's name.

Bellamy will definitely be missed, as two backup offensive linemen will also be missing for the first three games because of the suspensions handed down after FSU's widely publicized academic scandal last season.

LAWSON FREE UNTIL AUGUST

According to the Associated Press, North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson's traffic case has been continued for another month.

The 20-year-old Lawson was scheduled to have his first appearance in court Tuesday following his June arrest for driving after consuming alcohol, violating a noise ordinance and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

The clerk of court office in Chapel Hill said Lawson's next court date is scheduled for Aug. 5.

Lawson recently announced he would return to school for his junior season instead of staying in the NBA draft, joining returning national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough. With their top six players returning, the Tar Heels will be a strong favorite to reach the Final Four for a second straight season.

BULLS TAP DEL NEGRO

Check out the picture at the left and tell me that if you were the owner or GM of a multi-zillion dollar sports franchise you would even vaguely consider hiring either one of these two dudes…?

Didn’t think so…

But the guy on the right, Vinny Del Negro, was recently hired to the be the 17th coach in Chicago Bulls franchise history.

Del Negro, 41, comes to the Bulls after serving as the Assistant General Manager for the Phoenix Suns. Prior to his promotion to Assistant General Manager, he served as the team’s Director of Player Personnel. Before making the transition to the Suns front office, Del Negro spent three seasons (2003-06) as a color analyst for the Suns broadcast teams. He has also served as an analyst for ESPN and the San Antonio Spurs. He has never been a head coach.

That would be “never” as in “never.”

Known to ACC aficionados as a sharp-shooting, big-talking guard for N.C. State, he was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round (29th overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft. He went on to play 14 seasons, including 12 in the NBA for Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Golden State and Phoenix. In 771 regular season games, he averaged 9.1 ppg, 3.2 apg and appeared in 54 playoff contests.

Del Negro also spent two seasons in Italy (1990-92), where he played for Benetton Treviso of the Italian A1 League. While in Treviso, he starred with former Bull Toni Kukoc to lead the team to its first Italian league championship in 1992, and earned playoff MVP honors during the club’s title run.

During a successful collegiate career at North Carolina State, Del Negro played under legendary coach Jim Valvano and helped lead his team to the NCAA Tournament four times. While with the Wolfpack, he averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.6 apg. As a senior, he averaged 15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 3.6 apg and shot .515 from the field and .839 from the line, en route to All-ACC First Team honors.

HBO TO MAKE DUKE/UNC DOCUMENTARY

HBO has announced the production of an hour-long documentary about the rivalry between Duke and North Carolina, similar to the documentary about Michigan and Ohio State it produced in Nov. 2007. The documentary will likely air in March to coincide with the NCAA Tournament.

According to Sports Illustrated, the tentative title is “Duke vs. North Carolina.” This, of course, immediately sets off wails of protest from Chapel Hill where they want to know why the hell it isn’t being called “North Carolina vs. Duke.”

Hmmm…good question.

Either way, the rivalry is certainly worth a closer look by a cable company with a rep for good sports news and documentaries.

"Jim Lampley (a UNC graduate) has been telling me about the rivalry for 20 years or so," says HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg. "I was also aware of the subculture of both universities, and even though UNC was the state school, they think of themselves as the dignified force in the rivalry. They think Duke is a bunch of animals even though Duke is supposed to be the Ivy League of the South. That never meshed right with me and it was interesting. Plus, you had all these legends coming out of these two schools, the [Michael] Jordan's, the [Christian] Laettner's and the [Mike] Krzyzewski's and [Dean] Smith's. Unbelievable iconic names have floated through both places and it makes for a great documentary."

Here’s the scoop from Ben Cohen of the Duke Chronicle:

“Hopefully by the end of the year, we will have completed a film that not only chronicles the great rivalry on the court and the battles for the ACC and national championships, but give folks the idea of the psyche and culture and passion that exists around the importance of what this game means to people in your neck of the woods, which is pretty unique,” said George Roy, the film’s director and producer.

Roy, who also directed the Michigan-Ohio St. documentary called “The Rivalry” and has extensive experience in sports film, began shooting for this film last year and was in Cameron Indoor Stadium for North Carolina’s 78-68 win over Duke last year. He plans to shoot a rivalry game in the Dean E. Smith Center this year, and already has plenty of footage from the early 90s.

Roy and his crew have interviewed some of the most-recognized characters in the rivalry–”everyone from Vic Bubas through J.J. Redick,” he says–but he does not the want the film to be a simple history of the Tobacco Road rivals.

“This is a real story,” Roy said. “A lot of games, the more memorable ones, will act as templates because people remember specific games for specific reasons…. Certain games are significant because they supersede the actual game. Characters, personas, perceptions of Duke and Carolina fans, Duke vs. Carolina academically… the whole thing gets thrown into the mix and gets stirred around and hopefully creates a story that’s a dramatic story more than a beginning-to-end.”

Roy was particularly affected by the impact of the proximity of the two schools. Ann Arbor, Mich. and Columbus, Ohio are about 200 miles apart, nothing like the eight miles that separate Duke and UNC. Michigan and Ohio State athletes don’t run into each other at the barbershop, or play in the same pickup games, or eat at the same Hibachi restaurants.

“Like anyone who goes into Cameron for the first time for a Duke-Carolina game, you’re immediately transported to a different place when the game starts,” said Roy, who was also fascinated by the Cameron Crazies. “I had been to a Duke home game, but it was my first Duke-Carolina game. I’ve been to a lot of sporting events–including Michigan-Ohio St. at the Horseshoe and the Big House–and there’s nothing that can even begin to compare to that experience.

“When people look at the list that sports fans have to do before they die, I clearly would agree that that would be one that people should try to experience, because it’s almost indescribable.”
Almost. Because that’s exactly what the documentary will try to do: describe the indescribable.


Not everyone is enthralled with the idea. John Clay a columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader which closely follows University of Kentucky basketball, had this to say: “ HBO will air a one-hour documentary on the North Carolina-Duke basketball rivalry in February. Suggested title: “Hoop Snobs on Tobacco Road.”
And that was all he had to say…

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images and Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

FEAR THE TURTLE…

Key word being "the"…they have ONE recruit.

Maryland men's basketball prospect Sean Mosley is expected to qualify academically under NCAA guidelines, an athletic department official said last week.

Kathleen Worthington, Maryland's senior associate athletic director, said that she has seen Mosley's recent SAT and ACT scores and believes the 6-foot-4 guard from St. Frances will be approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse this summer.

It's the first piece of good news recently for Maryland coach Gary Williams, who in the past six weeks has seen two potential starters, center Gus Gilchrist and guard Tyree Evans, ask to be released from their scholarship commitments.

Mosley, who was The Baltimore Sun's Player of the Year as a senior at St. Frances, is expected to be a significant contributor as a freshman, giving the Terps the shooting and athleticism they lacked at the wing guard position last season.

Mosley would become Maryland's 10th scholarship player. Williams seemed confident that he will sign a couple of more players before the end of the summer.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

TOUR DE ACCIDENT...We know you have been waiting breathlessly for our annual BIG TIME coverage of the Tour De Tricheurs. Well, here it is.

Like dem good ol’ boyz in NASCAR, let’s start by talkin’ ‘bout sum wrecks…

German Heinrich Haussler is pictured after a fall, on July 9, 2008, during the 232 km fifth and longest stage of the 2008 Tour de Tricheurs cycling race run between Cholet and Chateauroux. Britain's Mark Cavendish (Columbia -ex-High Road/US) won the stage ahead of Spanish Oscar Freire (Rabobank/Ned), triple world road race champion (1999, 2001 and 2004) and German Erik Zabel (Milram/Ger).

(Photos by Joel Saget/AFP and Stephane Monte/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

TOUR DE URINEZ...Stop the peloton, I gotta pee...!

Yep, even dem boys in the Tour De Tricheurs gotta stop and pee jes like everybody else.

This is the caption from Yahoo Sports: “Riders urinate, on July 9, 2008, during the 232 km fifth and longest stage of the 2008 Tour de France cycling race run between Cholet and Chateauroux.”

“Riders urinate” – descriptive, short and to the point. Good solid journalism.
(Photo by Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

TOUR DE DIABLE...German fan Didi Senft (L), known as El Diablo, jumps as the racers ride past, on July 9, 2008, during in the 232 km fifth and longest stage of the 2008 Tour de Tricheurs cycling race run between Cholet and Chateauroux.

(Photo by Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

TOUR DE CHEVAL...How does one say "yee hah!" in French?

A woman on a horse runs alongside the peloton during stage five of the 2008 Tour de Tricheurs from Cholet to Chateauroux on July 9, 2008 in Chateauroux, France.

(Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

TOUR DE CARAVANE RESIDENTIELLE...Welsh (L) and English (R) fans wait for riders in front of their “camping cars” on the road side July 9, 2008 during the 232 km fifth and longest stage of the 2008 Tour de Tricheurs.

(Photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

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