Friday, November 20, 2009

BLAME THE BOSS

T.A.H. will be on a short sabbatical while the executive staff heads off to Baltimore for tonight’s Bruce Springsteen concert. The show will be held at the cozy 13,000 seat 1st Mariner Arena (formerly known as the Baltimore Civic Center and famous for indoor lacrosse, WWF and roller derby).

This is the next-to-last stop on the Boss’s Working On A Dream tour that started at the Super Bowl last February. Dude’s gotta be gettin' tired.

So, we will be out of action until Sunday. You will have to find the results of the tonight’s UNC v. Syracuse game all on your own, and you will have to develop your own opinions on same. We know you are up to the task. The other sites you contact (stick with ESPN so nothing scary or awkward happens) will not be nearly as entertaining as T.A.H., but they will give you accurate results.

Have fun.
We’ll be back on Sunday, or late Saturday, with all the scoop on Week 12 of ACC football, etc.

WEEK 12: ACC FOOTBALL

Saturday, Nov 21

DUKE @ MIAMI (-17.5), 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 190, Sirius 215) – Tough draw for the Devils, they need the win for bowl eligibility purposes, but you know the Canes are still pissed about losing to the Heels in Chapel Hill (again).

MARYLAND @ FLORIDA STATE (-18), 12:00 PM, TV: RAYCOM (XM 191, Sirius 216) – The Noles need to win to keep the bowl eligibility streak of 189 dog years alive. Maryland will again be without QB Chris Turner. We haven’t checked, but we wager Fridge as put a few of those pounds back on after suffering through some of the Terps’ games this year.

NORTH CAROLINA @ BOSTON COLLEGE (-3.5), 12:00 PM, TV: ESPN2 (XM 144, Sirius 123) – It’s Senior Day at Chestnut Hill, but if the Tar Heels defense can almost single handidly defeat a ranked Miami team, they should be able to shut down the Eagles.

VIRGINIA @ CLEMSON (-19), 3:30 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN (XM 190, Sirius 215) – The Tigers need this win to go to the Dr. Pepper Bowl and earn their coach a shot at a nice fat bonus. Virginia needs to win this game to keep from being demoted to the Colonial Athletic Conference with fellow Virginians JMU, Richmond and William and Mary.

N.C. State @ VIRGINIA TECH (-19.5), 3:30 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 190/191, Sirius 216) – In many ways, the Wolfpack has been the most disappointing/underachieving team in the league with only one good win over Pitt to show for their talent. Injuries have been a big problem and an upset of the Hokies would (and a win over the Tar Heels next week) would make it all better. Sorry, dudes, not gonna happen in Blacksburg.

*Point spreads for recreational purposes only.

UNC TOPS OSU

NO. 6 NORTH CAROLINA 77, NO. 15 OHIO STATE 73

Man, we hate it when Dickie V is right and last night he was right on two occasions.

At one point with the Buckeyes trailing the 2009 NCAA Divison 1 Men's basketball National Champion University of North Carolina Tar Heels by double digits, His V-ness said OSU was not “out of the game.” He was right.

On a later occasions, he said Ol’ Roy got exactly what he wanted out of this not-nearly-as-close as it looked final score game by testing his young players with a tight finish and earning a good win against a ranked opponent while still having enough things to yell at them about at practice today. Check, check and CHECK.

The Tar Heels led by double digits for most of the game (32 minutes), and when senior Marcus Ginyard made another rainbow three-pointer with 1:39 to make it 71-60, the game seemed over. But, the experienced Buckeyes kept coming while the inexperienced Tar Heels kept making turnovers and missing free throws.

In the end sophomore guard Larry Drew II sank a pair at the charity stripe to propel the Heels into the 2K Sports Classic - Coaches vs. Cancer finals tonight against Syracuse at Madison Square Garden.

Deon Thompson led the Heels with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Eleven Carolina players scored while committing 19 turnovers.

THURSDAY NIGHT HOOPS

MIAMI 75, Tulane 54

Dwayne Collins had 22 points and 14 rebounds for his 15th career double-double as Miami overpowered Tulane in the first round of the Charleston Classic.

Collins made all eight of his shots from the field -- a Miami program best, and eight of his rebounds came on the offensive end.

Collins was miffed that he made only six of 11 foul shots. The Hurricanes (3-0) broke away early in the second half with a 19-4 run. They advanced to play the Penn State-UNC Wilmington winner.

VIRGINIA 79, Rider 46

Virginia abandoned their four guard offense that didn’t work against South Florida for a bigger lineup. The Hoos surely liked the results as Mike Scott had 17 points and eight rebounds leading Virginia a victory against Rider in the Cancun Challenge.

The Cavaliers (2-1), who have trouble winning Puerto Rico, may be taking a liking to the Yucatan as they held Rider to 33.3 percent shooting (17-for-51), ending a fast start to the season that saw the Broncs (2-1) average 87 points in beating Mississippi State and Lehigh. Scott had 13 points in the first half, which ended with Virginia ahead 36-22.

The Cavaliers used a 14-3 run to start the second half to stretch the margin to 50-25 with 15 minutes left. The Broncs never got any closer.

NO. 18 Dayton 63, NO. 21 GEORGIA TECH 59

Speaking of Puerto Rico, Paul Williams' summer of work paid off for No. 18 Dayton. The sophomore guard hit the go-ahead three-pointer and went four-for-four from the free throw line in the last minute to seal the Flyers' win over the Yellow Jackets in the opening game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.

The Yellow Jackets (1-1) trailed the Flyers 31-22 at the half, but rallied with a string of dunks and layups by Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal.

A 3-pointer by Brian Oliver gave Georgia Tech its first lead of the second half at 49-47 and a layup by Zachery Peacock on an offensive rebound with 4:37 to play gave them a 57-50 lead. Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said Dayton's energy was the key to its comeback.

KRZXCVBW5SKI GOES BONKERS WHEN TOP RECRUIT CHOOSES UNC?

According to a reliable source – well, as reliable a source as can be if it’s a Tar Heel and the story involves Mike Krzrhvbpw3ski and Duke – close to T.A.H., Coach K had a wee bit of a meltdown when top recruit Harrison Barnes Skyped Ol’ Roy and not Coach K last Friday.

Word on the street prior to last Friday’s announcement was that the 6’8” wunderkind from Ames, Iowa had chosen Duke. This, in spite of the simple fact that the kid’s mom worshipped Michael Jordan enough to include "Jordan" in Harrison’s name.

The story goes like this: Barnes contacted the five coaches who were recruiting him on Thursday night and thanked them for recruiting him, etc - and told them that he was setting up a Skype call to the coach/school he picked. All of the coaches were, of course, near a computer when the press conference stated – waiting to see if Barnes contacted them/chose their school. Coach K was so convinced that Duke had landed the top prize that he had the entire team in the basketball lounge with several cheerleaders to add to the celebration.

When Barnes was having technical difficulties, Krzxpkrwsw7ski started yelling at someone in the office to fix the computer in a somewhat animated tone.

After Barnes said "Hello Coach Roy Williams," word is that K has a melt down/tantrum of sorts storming out of the lounge, slamming the door (knocking a picture off the wall). He retired to the coaches office where he knocked over a table of DVD's and threw a book across the room. Reports claim that assistant coach Chris Collins followed Krzqwsdf2ski down the hall yelling "How could he turn on us like this" along with a few other choice words.



Supposedly, the was all witnessed (and told) by a Sports Therapist who works part time with the women’s basketball team and was hanging around like everyone else waiting for the announcement.

Evidently, the sports therapist sister works with somebody’s wife and she told her and she subsequently her husband who told another guy who told us. Got it?

*Items in italics may not be true.


(Editor’s note: You know we love a good story and one that pokes fun at Duke is always welcome. The Duke fans, friends and family members of T.A.H. are always good sports about the ribbing [generally speaking]. Unfortunately, this lovely Tobacco Road Fairy Tale doesn’t pass the smell test. What’s funky in Durham? Simple, public display of outrage.

Work with us here…Nothing says confidence like blowing your stack in front of your current team over not getting a player for a future team. Yes, that was sarcasm. While K is volatile, we believe his volcanic eruptions are very carefully planned and he would never pitch such a fit in front of his CURRENT team spontaneously. That would simply erode their confidence, and he knows how important confidence and team-building is that this time of year.

Was he pissed? Sure he was, especially if he believed the Devils’ had landed Barnes, but we remain skeptical that he would be so demonstrative in front of his current squad.

On the other hand, maybe he’s tried of UNC and Ol’ Roy gettin’ all the props and the hardware and he flew off the handle when the one player all the experts were calling “the difference maker/playing field leveler” went Skyping off to Chapel Hill. Hey, who could blame him?)

LOOKS LIKE THIS NBA THING MIGHT AGREE WITH TY LAWSON

You never really know how good college basketball players are going to do at the next level, so there was no guarantee that Ty Lawson would excel in the NBA. While the jury is obviously still out, this is a nice play…

SI: OPTIONS ALL AROUND

Sports Illustrated ran a niece piece about Paul Johnson’s spread offense at Georgia Tech.

Enjoy.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

TALK TO US SEPP BLATTER? Who?
C’mon, you know Sepp, he’s the main man at FIFA and he’s in the hot seat now that Irish eyes are NOT smiling. Evidently, Frenchman Thierry Henry admitted to a “handball” that led to a tying goal that sent said Louvers into the World Cup and left are Guiness drinking Irish lads out in the cold.

On Friday, afater Henry’s admission to an “accidental, intinctive” handball, FIFA officially turned down a request from the Irish football authorities to stage a replay of their controversial World Cup playoff defeat to France.

Backed by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Thursday, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) had lodged the request with FIFA on Thursday.
The French Football Federation (FFF) said it had "taken note" of FIFA's decision but said it would make "no further comment". This poster was seen displayed outside FC Barcelona's Joan Gamper Sports Center near Barcelona, Spain.

"Where is Sepp Blatter?” asked former famous Irish midfielder Ray Houghton. "He's very good at telling other countries how to run their game. It really needed the top man to come out and tell the footballing public why they have made this decision."

"... I have seen the video and it's a mistake by the referee. I don't understand why we are expected to say sorry," said France coach Raymond Domenech.

Footballing…we don’t get it. We really don’t get it, and that’s a shame because apparently everybody else does and it’s a really big deal.

Nice, FIFA, NICE!

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

GOING TO POST. Christian Williams takes Prince Des Marais down to the start of The Wincanton Racecourse Handicap Steeple Chase Race run at Wincanton Racecourse on November 19, 2009 in Wincanton, England.

(Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images Europe)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOOPS

FLORIDA STATE 80, Stetson (Hatters, 2,273 students, DeLand, FL) 38

Florida State's defense shut down Stetson Wednesday night, holding the Hatters to just 10 first-half points.

Deividas Dulkys led four Seminoles in double figures with 13 points, but it was FSU's defense that led the way. Florida State blocked 10 shots, forced 17 turnovers and held Stetson to 27.5 percent shooting.

Stetson's 10 first-half points tied the Tucker Center record for the fewest points FSU allowed in a half. The Hatters' 38 total points broke the Tucker Center record and were the fewest FSU allowed in a game since March 2, 1979.
WAKE FOREST 83, High Point (Panthers, 3,079 students, High Point, NC) 60

Al-Farouq Aminu had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help Wake Forest pull away early in the second half and beat High Point on Wednesday night.

Ishmael Smith (#10) added 13 points for the Demon Deacons (3-0), who trailed almost the entire first half before finally pushing ahead by three at the break. But Wake Forest scored the first seven points after halftime to finally get some separation from the pesky Panthers (1-1), then steadily increased the margin down the stretch.

Nick Barbour scored 15 points to lead High Point.

ACC OWNS UP TO BLOWN CALL AND REVIEW

N.C. State has announced that football coach Tom O'Brien has been informed by ACC officiating coordinator Doug Rhoads that a key play in last week's loss to Clemson should have been ruled a fumble.

The play occurred in the third quarter was a fumble that would have given the ball to the Wolfpack with Clemson leading 24-14. Clemson was driving and would eventually score a touchdown.

Officials initially ruled that Clemson running back C.J. Spiller was down and the play was dead before the Wolfpack’s Clem Johnson stripped the ball away. O'Brien challenged the call, but a replay review upheld it.

The call was a bit confounding as it was clearly obvious on television that the ball was coming out before Spiller’s forward progress was stopped or his knee was down. It was difficult to understand why the call was not reversed unless the replay official was seeing a different television feed than the home audience.

N.C. State's note to the media said Rhoads told O'Brien that the call should have been overturned and ruled a fumble.

That, and $4 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks...

NOTHING 'MICKEY MOUSE' ABOUT HERZLICH'S LATEST AWARD

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich who has not played this season due to a form of bone cancer has been selected for the Disney Spirit Award given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspirational figure. Herzlich has helped inspire more than $120,000 in donations for cancer-related causes during this summer and subsequent football season from various ACC schools as well as Notre Dame (pictured) and others.

Herzlich will be presented with the award during The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards at Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 10. The 19th annual awards show is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN.

“The Disney Spirit Award is an award that means more to me than any award based on statistics and on-the-field achievements,” Herzlich said in a prepared statement. “I have had to battle a deadly rare disease this past year and, along with beating the disease, I was fortunate to be able to help others along the way. To be recognized with this award is an honor and I hope that it shows people around the world that there is hope and that it will encourage them to continue to battle.”

On Nov. 2, Herzlich received his final chemotherapy treatment and is currently cancer free. Later this month, he will have a rod surgically inserted into his leg to strengthen the bone. After a two-week recovery process, he will begin his journey to rejoin the Eagles on the field for the 2010 season.

(Photo via sartracker at Flickr)

HUMP DAY LINKS

Via ESPN:

*Nobody -- not even Kendric Burney -- knew that when Burney gave up baseball to play football at UNC he would end up leading the Tar Heels in interceptions.

* It's an unfamiliar situation for Duke as the Blue Devils head into Miami on Saturday -- it's a must-win situation if Duke is going to go to a bowl game, and they'll face "skill, skill, skill."

* Georgia Tech could be without its starting center for the regular-season finale against Georgia.

* Maryland quarterback Chris Turner will miss his second straight game, but the Terps could get running back Da'Rel Scott back against Florida State.

* Miami could also get two key injured players back in Sean Spence and Ray Ray Armstrong.

* Clemson can't afford to overlook Virginia, especially since the Tigers haven't seen anything like this 3-4 defense yet.

* If Virginia wanted to fire Al Groh, it has the money for the buyout. How did Virginia's program unravel? Longtime Virginia writer Jerry Ratcliffe has some theories.

* NC State quarterback Russell Wilson will return to his home state and play in Lane Stadium for the first time.

* Duke's quarterback situation took a hit when backup Sean Renfree went down with a torn ACL against Georgia Tech. Can Thad Lewis, who is also banged up, stick it out the rest of the season?

* Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel has a few more bowl predictions for you.

* Bobby Bowden wants to stay another year, but he might not have the choice.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

BIG WEEK. UNC’s Kendric Burney snagged three interceptions last weekend and the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in UNC's 33-24 win over Miami.


(Photo by Robert Willet/Raleigh News & Observer)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

RUMOR: Is Dwight Howard holding hands with J.J. Redick?

Here, they listen to the national anthem before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 18, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NICE CENTURY. Sri Lankan cricketer Prasanna Jayawardene leaps in air to celebrate his century on the fourth day of the first cricket Test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, 2009.

Sri Lankan Jayawardene was unbeaten on 204 as the tourists closed the third day at 591-5 in their first innings, a lead of 165 runs over India's 426 with five wickets in hand at the Motera stadium.

Say what?

(Photo by Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TUESDAY NIGHT HOOPS

No. 9 DUKE 101, Charlotte (Forty Niners, 24,700 students, Charlotte, NC) 59

Nolan Smith scored a career-high 24 points in his return to the lineup, Jon Scheyer added 20 and the ninth-ranked Blue Devils routed Charlotte on Tuesday night in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Kyle Singler finished with 17 points for the Blue Devils (3-0) — who never trailed, hit 12 3-pointers and shot 52.9 percent in advancing to next week's semifinal matchup at Madison Square Garden against the TCU-Arizona State winner.

No. 22 CLEMSON 79, Liberty (Flames, 14,478 students, Lynchburg, VA) 39

David Potter felt good from the start, early wakeup call included, and his career-best performance helped No. 22 Clemson roll over Liberty.

The Tigers hit 10 3s in all, most on wide open looks, and buried the Flames from the opening tip at 10 a.m. They led 17-1 before Liberty got its first field goal, and 42-19 at halftime, giving them more points than their smothering defense allowed in 40 minutes.

Potter needed only eight minutes to match his career high of 12 points. He made four 3-pointers, and later added another 3-pointer and a layup.

BOSTON COLLEGE 72, St. Francis (NY), (Terriers, 2,400 students, Brooklyn Hieghts, NY) 44

Senior Tyler Roche scored 19 points and sophomore Reggie Jackson tallied 17 points to lead Boston College to a win over St. Francis (N.Y.) before 2,882 fans in Conte Forum.

Juniors Joe Trapani and Josh Southern each added 13 points for the Eagles. Trapani grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

BC (2-0) used an early 15-0 run to take command. The visiting Terriers held a 7-4 lead four minutes into the game, before the Eagles' rally gave the home team a 19-7 advantage with 12:14 left in the first half. Southern and Roche each scored five points in this stretch.

VIRGINIA TECH 59, UNC Greensboro (Spartans, 14,392 students, Greensboro, NC) 46

Jeff Allen recorded his first double-double of the season and both he and Malcolm Delaney keyed an 11-0 run midway through the second half that propelled the cold-shooting Hokies to a hard-fought victory over UNC Greensboro Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

The victory lifted the Hokies to 2-0 on the season and 6-0 all time against UNCG. The Spartans fell to 0-2.

UNCG tied this one at 38 on a basket by Kyle Randall with 10:48 remaining. But Allen and Delaney sparked Tech’s 11-0 run, with Delaney scoring seven of those points and Allen the other four. Delaney’s 3-pointer with 6:39 left in the game gave the Hokies a 49-38 lead and the Spartans got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

No. 25 MARYLAND 71, Fairfield (Cardinal, 3,841 students, Fairfield, CT) 42

Eric Hayes scored 14 points, and No. 25 Maryland celebrated its return to the AP poll with a victory over Fairfield.

Landon Milbourne had 10 points and eight rebounds, and Sean Mosley scored 13 for the Terrapins (2-0).

The Terrapins took control against Fairfield (2-1) with a 15-0 run in the first half, then pulled away with a 14-4 spurt immediately after halftime.

AWARD WINNING ACC FOOTBALL?

Awards?

Really?

Yes, and for starters there should be much more Heisman buzz about Clemson's C.J. Spiller. Spiller is not only a legit Heisman candidate who is racking up all-purpose yards like it's going out of style, he is also the team's MVP. When Spiller touches the ball frequently, the Tigers win.

While bringing back a moribund program to the precipice of a championship, Spiller is the only player in the nation with two 300-yard all-purpose running games this year while accounting for a touchdown five different ways this season. All that kid does at Alabama is run over people.

If the Clemson defeats the Hoos on Saturday and earns a spot in the Dr. Pepper bowl, maybe the Heisman voters will start to pay attention.

Time is running out.

Here’s a breakdown of ACC footballers and coaches in the running for other year-end honors.

WALTER CAMP AWARD Presented to the nation's most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Foundation
C.J. Spiller, Clemson

LOU GROZA AWARD Presented to the nation's most outstanding kicker by the Palm Beach Sports Commission
Robert Randolph, Virginia
Will Snyderwine, Duke

JIM THORPE AWARD Presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back by the Jim Thorpe Association
Brandon Harris, Miami

DAVEY O’BRIEN AWARD Presented to the nation’s best quarterback by the Davey O’Brien Foundation
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris

GEORGE MUNGER AWARD Presented to the nation’s most outstanding coach by the Maxwell Football Club
Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Randy Shannon, Miami
MAXWELL AWARD Presented to the nation’s most outstanding player by the Maxwell Football Club
Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder

BUTKUS AWARD Presented to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker by the Butkus Foundation
Mark Herzlich, Boston College
Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina

BILETNIKOFF AWARD Presented to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver by the Tallahassee QB Club Foundation.
Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech

TUESDAY LINKS

Via ESPN.

*NC State hasn't given up on its season yet, and points to opportunities to knock off Virginia Tech and North Carolina as remaining inspiration.

*That's one of the reasons UNC is trying not to get complacent with its bowl eligibility.

* If Clemson wins on Saturday against Virginia, Dabo Swinney's wallet wins -- huge. And believe it or not, that victory could pay off for at least one other coach in the ACC.

* C.J. Spiller is running out of opportunities to make his case for the Heisman Trophy. Me? I say what more could he possibly do?

* FSU is preparing as if it will be without injured offensive guard Rodney Hudson on Saturday against Maryland.

* For those of you who had been wondering about Kendric Burney's pitch/pass/fumble to Melvin Williams, the officials got it right.

* While a possible buyout hangs over the head of Virginia coach Al Groh, he is still rewarded by the weekly game preparations.

* Even though some ACC coaches are struggling this year, it's easy to forget they're human, too.

* NC State quarterback Russell Wilson isn't giving away many clues as to whether he'll pursue baseball after this season.

* Not that Miami quarterback Jacory Harris needed any more obstacles to overcome, but the soft cast on his throwing arm could keep him out of practice today.

HURRICANES SPORTING NEW THREADS NEXT WEEKEND

The University of Miami football team will wear the Nike Pro Combat uniform, which according to their swooshiness is "a new system of dress and the lightest weight football uniform Nike has ever created," when the Canes take the field for the South Florida game on Saturday, November 28.

Miami is one of 11 programs to debut the Nike Pro Combat uniform during the month of November before it is officially introduced at the start of the 2010 season. The Hurricanes are joined by Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and TCU as the schools debuting the uniform this month.

Wahoo fans (assuming there still are some) will see this as just another reason Groh Must Go.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

XMAS GIFT FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING? Nearly 35 years after taxpayers spent $55.7 million building the Pontiac Silverdome and a year after a $20 million sale fell through, city officials have sold the arena once called the most desirable property in Oakland County, Michigan.

The price: $583,000.

The 80,300-seat stadium opened in 1975 and has largely remained empty since the Detroit Lions left for Ford Field in 2002. The sale included 127 adjacent acres.

(Photo via Deadspin)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ROCK OUT WITH YOUR BOXER OUT? Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao hands out roses to the crowd as he performs with his band during a victory party after defeating Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, at a Hollywood nightclub on November 17, 2009.

The nation celebrated when Pacquiao, 30, took the World Boxing Organisation welterweight title by stopping Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, becoming the first fighter to win seven world titles in seven weight classes.

We don't know if he can sing or not...?

(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

FLYIN’ HIGH? Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland hangs tough during a qualifying heat of the International Ski Federation's World Cup snowboard big air competition as part of the Barcelona Snow Show festival at Olympic Stadium.

(Photo by David Ramos/AP Photos)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MONDAY NIGHT HOOPS

NO. 9 DUKE 74, Coastal Carolina (Chanticleers, 8,360 students, Conway, SC) 49 – Kyle Singler had 23 points and 11 rebounds, as Duke (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) beat Coastal Carolina on Monday night in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Freshman Andre Dawkins had 13 points and Jon Scheyer and Miles Plumlee added 10 apiece for the Blue Devils (2-0).

Mario Edwards scored 12 to lead the Chanticleers (1-1).

FLORIDA STATE 87, Jacksonville (Dophins, 3,400 students, Jacksonville, FL) 61—Solomon Solomon Alabi's 17 points led a balanced Florida State offense in a win over Jacksonville on Monday night in the season opener for both teams.

The 7-foot-1 Alabi helped the Seminoles take advantage of their height in the rout.

Five Seminoles finished in double figures with highly-recruited freshman Michael Snaer adding 14 in his collegiate debut.

MIAMI 108, Nova Southeastern (Sharks, 28,796 students, Miami, FL) 58 – James Dews scored 19 points to lead Miami past Nova Southeastern on Monday night.

Malcolm Grant added 17 points and freshman Durand Scott had 14 points and eight assists for the Hurricanes, who saw all 13 players score in the game.

Miami (2-0) jumped out to a 24-6 lead to start the game and never looked back. The Hurricanes led 61-18 at halftime and by as many as 53 in the second half.

South Florida (Bulls, 34,447 students, Tampa, FL) 66, VIRGINIA 49 – Dominique Jones had 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals Monday night to lead South Florida over cold-shooting Virginia.

The Bulls (2-0) began the second half with a 17-5 run to take a 48-32 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game. The closest Virginia (1-1) got the rest of the way was 10 points. The Cavaliers were held to one field goal in the final 7 minutes.

Augustus Gilchrist had 18 points for South Florida, and Jarrid Famous finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Sylven Landesberg had 14 points to lead Virginia, which shot just under 33 percent (17 of 52).

BOSTON COLLEGE SUSPENDS THREE

Boston College has suspended three basketball players, two of them starters, for two games for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Forwards Corey Raji and Rakim Sanders (#15) will miss Friday night's opener against Dartmouth and Tuesday's game against St. Francis, N.Y. Cortney Dunn also will sit out the first two games.

All three players are juniors. Raji and Sanders started every game last year.

MONDAY LINKS

Via ESPN:

*Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said his team isn't very lucky this year. Bad luck is when the person who takes your seat at the slot machine in AC right after you hits the jackpot. It takes more than bad luck, though, to lose eight games.

*Wake Forest will be home for the holidays for the first time since it raised the standard by going to the Orange Bowl in 2006. It was tough news for quarterback Riley Skinner to swallow.

* It's quite fitting that once "coach Dabo Swinney becomes over the hill, Clemson should get over the hump." Clemson beat writer Paul Strelow writes that age is just a number with Clemson's new coaches.

* Florida State's newfound hopes at a bowl won't determine whether or not Bobby Bowden will come back in 2010 -- he says he will (again).

* Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell apologized after he "lost it" on a fourth-and-1 call that was determined to be short on the Cavaliers' final offensive play.

* Why wait two weeks to make a predicition on Georgia Tech/Georgia? The Jackets have this one in the bag, right? If so, is it time to sweeten the deal again for Paul Johnson? Tony Barnhart says yes.

* Is BC's best bet the Emerald Bowl, even with a nine-win season?

* Regardless of which bowl UNC winds up in, it's certainly a better scenario than the one they had a few weeks ago.

* Despite Duke's loss to Georgia Tech (no shame in that, by the way), the Blue

* Devils have still made progress.
Virginia Tech won, but did it mean anything?

* Despite the mounting turnovers, Miami coach Randy Shannon said he still has confidence in quarterback Jacory Harris. (Realistically, though, what else could he say?)

ACC BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Wake Forest’s Al-Farouq Aminu has been named ACC Player of the Week while Miami’s Durand Scott garnered ACC Rookie of the Week honors.

Aminu, a 6-9 sophomore forward, averaged 24.0, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals and shot 64 percent from the floor (16-for-25) as the Demon Deacons opened the season with victories over Oral Roberts and East Carolina.

In Friday’s 76-56 win over the Golden Eagles, the Norcross, Ga., native posted the 11th double-double of his career with 25 points and 13 rebounds. In an 89-58 victory over East Carolina Sunday at the Greensboro Coliseum, Aminu led Wake Forest with 23 points and nine rebounds.

In his collegiate debut against North Carolina Central Saturday, Scott, a freshman from New York, had four points, two steals and handed out a game-high 10 assists with zero turnovers as the Hurricanes opened their season with a 83-53 victory. The 10 assists were the most by a Miami player in exactly three years, since Anthony Harris finished with 10 assists versus Alcorn State on Nov. 14, 2006.

WEEK 11: ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSIVE BACK – C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB, Sr., 5-11, 195, Lake Butler, Fla. (Union County) Clemson senior running back C.J. Spiller had a hand in a Tiger touchdown in three different fashions in a 43-23 win at NC State. Spiller threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to teammate Xavier Dye in the second quarter that gave Clemson a 16-point lead.

He then scored on a 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass to become the first player in school history to rush for a touchdown, catch a touchdown pass, and throw a touchdown pass in the same game against a Football Bowl Subdivision team. Spiller piled on 158 all-purpose yards in the game, with 97 rushing yards, 48 receiving yards, and 13 kickoff return yards.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – Cord Howard, Georgia Tech, G, Sr., 6-5, 308, Phenix City, Ala. (Central) Georgia Tech senior guard Cord Howard garnered his second Offensive Lineman of the Week selection of 2009 in helping the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets to a Coastal Division-clinching win at Duke. Howard helped anchor an offensive line that cleared space for 519 total yards of offense, including 306 rushing yards in Georgia Tech’s 49-10 win over the Blue Devils. Howard and the Yellow Jacket offensive line have paved the way for 300 or more rushing yards nine times this season, including the last six games in a row—all wins.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Ben Anderson, Georgia Tech, DT, Jr., 6-2, 274, Aiken, S.C. (South Aiken) Georgia Tech junior defensive tackle Ben Anderson recorded five tackles, three for loss, and two sacks—all career-highs—against Duke. Despite allowing 10 first-quarter points to the Blue Devils, Anderson helped the Yellow Jacket defense blank Duke for the final three stanzas. Additionally, Georgia Tech limited Duke’s high-powered passing attack to just 256 yards and gave up only 25 rushing yards, while the defensive line pressured the Blue Devil offense for four sacks in the game.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Kendric Burney, North Carolina, CB, Jr., 5-9, 190, Jacksonville, N.C. (Southwest Onslow) Junior cornerback Kendric Burney intercepted three passes and broke a 29-year old ACC single-game record with 170 interception return yards, including a 77-yard touchdown, in North Carolina’s 33-24 win over No. 12 Miami. Burney’s 170 yards also broke the school-record for interception return yards in a season and upped his career mark to 317, also a new school record. The junior returned his second interception of the game for a 77-yard touchdown, his second career interception return for a score. Burney returned his third interception of the day 46 yards before losing a fumble to teammate Melvin Williams, who ran the remaining 44 yards for the touchdown.

SPECIALIST – Casey Barth, North Carolina, PK, So., 5-11, 180, Wilmington, N.C. (Hoggard) North Carolina junior placekicker Casey Barth extended his streak of made field goals to 13 with boots of 22, 42, 32, and 33 yards against Miami. His 42-yarder in the second quarter matched a career-long and extended the Tar Heels’ lead to six points. Barth has connected on eight field goal attempts in the last two weeks.

ROOKIE – EJ Manuel, Florida State, QB, Fr., 6-4, 225, Virginia Beach, Va. (Bayside)In his first career start, Florida State freshman quarterback EJ Manuel completed 15-of-20 passes for 220 yards in the Seminoles’ 41-28 win at Wake Forest. Manuel directed Florida State to three touchdowns and a field goal in its first four possessions, including a one-yard touchdown run of his own. In addition to his 220 passing yards, Manuel rushed for 45 yards on 10 carries, and threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to teammate Jarmon Fortson in the fourth quarter that put the Seminoles ahead by 19 points.

COACH K DROPPED ON HEAD AS CHILD?

You know how when people do or say odd things other people say “Maybe he/she was dropped on their head as a child?”

T.A.H. has discovered this previously unreleased photo of a young Mike Krzhfvb3ski with an unidentified baby-sitter who looks to be just about to drop the future Duke and Olympic coach right on his precious little noggin!

Who knew?


*items in italics may not be true.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

TIGER WINS DOWNUNDER. Tiger Woods of the USA prepares to putt on the 3rd hole during the final round of the 2009 Australian Masters at Kingston Heath Golf Club on November 15, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.

(Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images AsiaPac)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

FUNNY LITTLE HAT. Not that we would ever say that to Mr. Attwood’s face.

Dave Attwood of Gloucester runs into Jack Wallace of Wasps during the LV Anglo Welsh Cup match between London Wasps and Gloucester at Adams Park on November 15, 2009 in High Wycombe, England.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

Monday, November 16, 2009

WAHOOS WIN MEN'S SOCCER TITLE

Defense reigned supreme in the ACC Men's Soccer Championship between fifth-seeded Virginia and seventh-seeded N.C. State at WakeMed Soccer Park on Cary.

Will Bates of Virginia scored the game's only goal to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 victory and their 10th ACC Tournament title. No other team has more than three.

"This is a tough, tough tournament," said coach George Gelnovatch, who has led Virginia to four conference championships, most recently in 2004. "It's incredibly difficult to win, and I couldn't be more proud of our guys."

Entering the game, neither Virginia (13-3-3) nor N.C. State (13-6-2) had allowed a goal in the tournament.

Here, N.C. State's Federico Nachmann gets fouled by Virginia's Tony Tchani during the first half.
(Photo by Takaaki Iwabu/Raliegh News & Observer)

ROAD MAP TO THE DR. PEPPER BOWL

Georgia Tech has clinched the Coastal Division with its win over Duke, and Clemson needs only to beat Virginia in its home season finale on Saturday to earn their first trip to the ACC championship game.

It’s been a while for both teams, as Clemson’s last ACC title was in 1991, and Georgia Tech’s last outright title was in 1990, the same year the Yellow Jackets’ won the national championship. Georgia Tech also shared the ACC title in 1998, and made an appearance in the championship game in 2006.

Boston College needs Clemson to lose, and then they need win out against North Carolina and Maryland.

Maryland is bad, UNC has been good of late…

SUNDAY NIGHT HOOPS

No. 6 NORTH CAROLINA 88, Valparaiso (Crusaders, 3,874 students, Valparaiso, IN) 77 – Roy Williams had promised there would be times when his North Carolina team looked ready to make a serious run at defending the national championship.

And then there would be days like Sunday….

Williams was irked by the time the Tar Heels had finished a tougher-than-should've-been win over Valparaiso. He saw his team blow much of a 24-point second-half lead and look a little shaky after a promising start to the season.

Deon Thompson scored 16 of his 20 points after halftime to lead the Tar Heels, while sophomore Ed Davis had a career-high 16 points. North Carolina led just 38-31 at halftime, but scored on 12 of 13 possessions to build a 67-43 lead midway through the second half and look on its way to another easy win. But Valparaiso hung around sinking 12 three-pointers, pulling as close as 84-75 on a 3-pointer from Brandon McPherson with 1:47 left before the Tar Heels finally closed it out.

The Heels have a tough game on Thursday against No. 16 Ohio State as part of a trip to New York to play in the 2K Sports Classic.

WAKE FOREST 89, East Carolina (Pirates, 27,703 students, Greenville, NC) 58
Al-Farouq Aminu added to an already impressive opening weekend, scoring 23 points and pulling down nine rebounds to lead Wake Forest over East Carolina on Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.

With the win, Wake Forest moves to 2-0 on the young season. East Carolina drops to 1-1 with the loss.

Aminu led the Demon Deacons in both games this weekend, scoring 25 points against Oral Roberts on Friday followed by 23 today against the Pirates. He added 13 boards against ORU for a double-double and just missed another with nine rebounds against ECU. Aminu shot a combined 16-for-25 (64 percent) in the two games.

Ishmael Smith and Tony Woods joined Aminu in double-figure scoring on Sunday. Smith finished with 14 points, while Woods had 12. Smith also led the Deacs with four assists, pulled down six rebounds and had the first two dunks of his career. Woods chipped in six boards, five of which came in the first half.

The Deacon defense held East Carolina to just 24.6 percent shooting from the field. The Pirates also committed 22 turnovers on the afternoon.

VIRGINIA TECH 69, Brown (Brown Bears, 8,020 students, Providence, RI) 55
Malcolm Delaney scored 21 points and Jeff Allen added 17 as the Virginia Tech Hokies opened the 2009-10 season with a victory over Brown in an opening round match-up of the Philly Hoop Group Classic played Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

With the victory, the Hokies moved to 7-0 in season openers under head coach Seth Greenberg.

The Hokies never trailed in the game and broke open a close contest late in the first half with a 16-5 run, taking a 34-19 lead on a free throw by Victor Davila with 1:08 remaining. Five different players scored in that run and Davila led the way with seven of the 16 points.

With the victory, the Hokies moved to 7-0 in season openers under head coach Seth Greenberg. Brown, an Ivy League school, fell to 1-1 overall on the season.

Tech, which never trailed in the game, broke open a close contest late in the first half with a 16-5 run, taking a 34-19 lead on a free throw by Victor Davila with 1:08 remaining. Five different players scored in that run and Davila led the way with seven of the 16 points.

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