Saturday, April 3, 2010

MEDIA BEING MEAN TO COACK K

Evidently, the Miami Herald and Indianapolis Star are not terribly interested in any further contact with Duke Coack Mike Krzyfvcx5ski or his Blue Devils. Both papers took big swipes at the Duke Coach the last few days.

In the Miami Herald, Israel Gutierrez said:

"Everyone hates Duke, and we're not even sure why. For some reason, we know that if the devil had a face, it would have little beady eyes (like Mike Krzyzewski's). If he had a voice, it would be nasally and annoying (like Krzyzewski's) and if he had a name, it would be impossible to spell and the sound would follow no laws of language (like, well, you know)."

..and it goes down hill (or up hill depending on your rooting interest) from there…

To read the column, click here.

The Indianapolis Star ran a front page story called Despising Duke which included a picture of Coach K with horns and a target drawn on his head. The photo (below) looked like it was “doodled” on by an angry Carolina fan…

The paper pulled the picture after some 30,000 copies were in distribution and hastily apologized.

Jim Lefko, the Star's senior editor/sports, said the paper pulled the illustration "when we realized it didn't meet our standards."

"First thing I thought, 'That can't be,' " said Krzyzfl9wski, who saw the illustration. "How could a newspaper do that?

"We have great kids who go to school, who graduate. If we're going to be despised or hated by anybody because we go to school and we want to win, you know what, that's your problem."

Star Editors met with Krzysdf7ski, his wife and a few other Duke officials in the team's locker room at Lucas Oil Stadium to apologize after the team's practice Friday.

Jeff Rabjohns, The Indianapolis Star writer who authored the story, was "stunned" to see the artwork.

"I had no involvement in the design whatsoever and was as stunned as anyone else to see that in the newspaper and horrified that it was above my byline," Rabjohns said.

Said sports editor Jim Lefko, "Coach Krzyzewski accepted our apology. The Duke people were very gracious about it."

Lefko said the paper also plans an apology column in Saturday's editions.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

DANCE FLOOR. A general view of the logo at center court of Lucas Oil Stadium prior to the 2010 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament on April 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DANCE BALL. A detail picture of a basketball as the Duke Blue Devils practice prior to the 2010 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

FUTURE BLUE DEVIL? A Duke fan holds up a sign during practice prior to the 2010 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Friday, April 2, 2010

UNC WINS NIT

April Fools.

MAKE…IT…STOP: DAYTON WINS NIT FINAL

Dayton (Flyers, 7,425 students and one Gravatte, Dayton, OH) 79, NORTH CAROLINA 68 –Dayton (a school where ACC grads are known to either send their children or go to law school) denied the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champions another title and took home one of its own for the first time in 42 years.

Marcus Johnson (r) scored 20 points and reserve guard Paul Williams added 16 points for No. 3 seed Dayton (25-12), which bounced back from a disappointing year to capture its third NIT title and first since 1968.

Will Graves shot North Carolina back into the game in the second half, finishing with 25 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (20-17), who started the season hoping for back-to-back NCAA championships.

Chris Wright had 14 points for the Flyers, as did tournament MVP Chris Johnson - who scored 22 in a semifinal victory over Mississippi.

Ol’ Roy and the Tar Heels fell short in their attempt to grab a somewhat dubious piece of college basketball history. A victory Thursday night would have made them the first team to follow up an NCAA national championship with an NIT crown the next year.

There was a bright spot for North Carolina in this one, though. Deon Thompson, nursing an aching back, set an NCAA record for career games played with 152, breaking a mark held by Kentucky's Wayne Turner (1996-99) and Florida's Walter Hodge (2006-09).

In the end, UNC lost this game like it lost so many others – poor shooting and too many turnovers.

To read more, (Dayton Daily News) click here.

NEWS FLASH: COACH K ALLOWS PLAYERS TO SPEAK AT MEDIA DAY

According to ACC Now, Coach K let his players talk to the media.

Scary stuff.

To read some of the comments, click here.

WAKE FOREST’S AMINU HEADED FOR NBA

Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu declared for the NBA draft Thursday and announced he will hire an agent, ensuring his departure with two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-9 Aminu averaged 15.8 points this season and became the first Wake Forest player since Tim Duncan in 1997 to lead the ACC in rebounding at 10.7 per game.

"This was a difficult decision," Aminu said in a statement. "But after talking it over with my family and my coaches, I believe now is the right time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

Coach Dino Gaudio said he did extensive research with NBA executives and believes Aminu is making the right choice. The Norcross, Ga., native is widely projected to be a first-round pick.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN WING DINNER. Or maybe just beer…

University of Dayton Flyers fans crowded Milano's and Buffalo Wild Wings on Brown Street to cheer on the Flyers to a NIT championship Thursday evening.


Nice beads, dude.

(Photo by Jim Noelker/Dayton Daily News)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THEY LOVE N.Y. The Dayton Flyers pose for photographs after defeating North Carolina 79-68 in a college basketball game for the NIT title Thursday, April 1, 2010, in New York.

(AP Photo)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TAR HEELS TRIP UP RAMS

NORTH CAROLINA 68, Rhode Island 67 OT – Not one to let their rival Duke corner the market on anything, the North Carolina Tar Heels took the ugly brand of basketball that got the Blue Devils past Purdue last week in a Sweet Sixteen game that was just plain hard to watch and took it to all new level of ugly.

UG-LEEE.

Statistics? Cover your eyes.

Carolina shot 34.9% on 26 of 83 shooting…yes, they missed 57 shots. They were 2 for 17 from behind the arc 11.6% and a lousy 8 for 20 from the free throw line. Oh wait, they also committed 17 turnovers and it seemed at times like two or three of them somehow happened on the same play…

Somehow, they won.

Out rebounding the Rams by 15 helped and Rhode Island’s mediocre shooting also played a key role as well.

Deon Thompson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Larry Drew II scored the Heels last five points in regulation to force overtime.

Will Graves added 14 points and Tyler Zeller 13 for the Tar Heels (20-16), who will try to make some bittersweet history Thursday night against Dayton by becoming the first school to follow a national title with an NIT title.

The game ended on a slightly controversial note. North Carolina had the ball with about 5 seconds remaining in overtime and the shot clock about to expire when Larry Drew II forced up a desperate shot. The rebound eventually wound up in the hands of Rhode Island forward Lamonte Ulmer, who lost control as he rushed up court moments before the buzzer tripping over Wayne Graves who also was diving for the loose ball.

When asked if he made contact with Ulmer, Graves said “no comment.”

While the ESPN television announcers insisted that “tripping” is a foul even if it was inadvertent, however no written accounts of the game from AP or any major newspaper has stressed the point. Perhaps it has something to do with the definition of tripping? A called foul would have sent Ulmer to the line. The no-call was certainly ironic as Rhode Island’s Delroy James missed two free throws with 28.6 seconds that allowed UNC to score forcing the extra period.

According to the Providence Journal: The circumstances of the final play will lie in debate in Kingston for awhile. While it was clear Ulmer fell to his knees, it was not clear how he got there. Ulmer left the Ram dressing room quickly and was not available for comment.

“We were both kind of out-scrapping each other but it seemed like they made more plays down the stretch,” said Rhody coach Jim Baron. “We got the rebound (on the final play) and were ready to go. I thought there was some contact and he tripped. He clearly tripped running down the court.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams wasn’t happy that his defense was so close to Ulmer with the final seconds ticking away.

“I don’t know what happened, but something probably should have been called there at the end,” said Williams. “I don’t know if our guy tripped over somebody else but it looked weird. I feel badly that the game ended like that.”

It is a well known fact that NCAA referees are reluctant to determine the outcome of games by blowing their whistle in the final seconds. This appeared to be another example of that well-established pattern and it was complicated by the unusualness of the play.

Controversy aside and to the Tar Heels credit, while relegated to playing in the tournament for also-rans, they have gone on the road to defeat two teams in Mississippi State and Alabama-Birmingham that were sitting squarely on the bubble on selection Sunday, then knocked off a Rhode Island team that had the best RPI of any program that failed to make the NCAA tournament.

To read more, click here (Raleigh News&Observer) or click here (Providence Journal).

(Photos by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

SKINNER OUT AT B.C.

As reported here yesterday, Al Skinner is out as the Boston College basketball coach, ending a 13-year tenure in which he led the Eagles to more wins than anyone else in school history.
Athletic director Gene DeFilippo said Skinner’s departure was by mutual agreement noting Skinner will be paid for the remaining three years on his contract.

“Change is good sometimes. How many basketball coaches have been in the same position for 13 years? Very, very few,” said DeFilippo, who arrived in Chestnut Hill shortly after Skinner in 1997 on the heels of a gambling scandal that had devastated the athletic department.

DeFilippo said he was looking for a more exciting style of play than the banging, Big East style that Skinner favored and that DeFilippo blamed for half-empty arenas that have long plagued the Eagles.

Attendance has declined for four straight years at the 8,606-seat Conte Forum, and though Skinner would play lunchtime pickup games on campus he was not otherwise “engaged in the BC community” or a person the school could build a marketing campaign around.

DeFilippo made news last year when he fired football coach Jeff Jagodzinski for seeking an NFL job without permission.

Skinner was not available for comment.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SEVENTY-SIX IN A ROW. Connecticut's Tiffany Hayes, left, hugs Caroline Doty after Connecticut won the NCAA Dayton Regional final college basketball game 90-50 over Florida State Tuesday, March 30, 2010, in Dayton, Ohio. Connecticut advances to the Women's Final Four in San Antonio.

(AP Photo)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

TECHNICAL FOUL. Reginald Buckner #2 of Ole Miss hits Chris Johnson #4 of the Dayton Flyers in the face during their semi final at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2010 in New York, New York.

Dayton won the game and will face UNC in the N.I.T. final on Thursday night.

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SECRETARIAT!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the birth of Virginia-bred Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Bill Millsaps, retired executive editor of The Richmond Times-Dispatch, was a reporter, columnist and editor for the sports department of the newspaper from 1966 through 1991.

He was asked to write about his memories of Secretariat. Here's a little tidbit:

In the fall of 1975, Virginia Tech played football against the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The day before the game, then-Tech coach Jimmy Sharpe put his traveling party on two buses for a trip to Claiborne Stud and a visit with Secretariat.

They arranged the team and coaches in a large semicircle outside the stud barn, and a man brought out Secretariat for the viewing. The big horse slowly scanned the group from right to left, then back left to right, tossed his head and turned his rear to the group, as if to say, "I know who I am. Who the hell are you people?"

To read the article, click here.

REPORTS: SKINNER OUT AT BOSTON COLLEGE

According to the Associated Press, a Boston College official says basketball coach Al Skinner and the school have agreed to part ways.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the decision was not to be announced until a news conference at noon.

Skinner just finished his 13th season guiding the Eagles. He was the winningest coach in school history, with a 247-165 record and seven NCAA tournament berths since 2001.

The official said the decision had been made before Skinner was been given permission to interview for the St. John's job.

Skinner's departure was first reported by The Boston Globe.

ACC PLAYERS DRAFTED IN THE 2009 NBA DRAFT

GERALD HENDERSON, Duke, Charlotte Bobcats No. 12, first round – Henderson has played in 40 games an average of 7:47 per game. In that time, he has averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds.

TYLER HANSBROUGH, North Carolina, Indiana Pacers, No. 13, first round – Hansbrough has been plagued by an off-season injury. He has played in 29 games averaging 17:36 and scoring 8.5 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds.

JAMES JOHNSON, Wake Forest, Chicago Bulls, No. 16, first round – Johnson has played in 60 games averaging almost 12 minutes, four points and two rebounds per game.

TY LAWSON, North Carolina, Minnesota Timberwolves, No. 18, first round – Lawson has been hurt as of late, but has he has played in 58 games in his rookie season averaging 21 minutes and 8.8 points and 3.2 assists.

JEFF TEAGUE, Wake Forest, Atlanta Hawks, No. 19, first round – Teague plays 9:30 minutes per night and is averaging 2.p points per game and 1.5 assists.

WAYNE ELLINGTON, North CarolinaMinnesota Timberwolves, No. 28, first round – Ellington is playing 18:30 minutes per game and averaging 6.9 points for the woeful Wolves who are currently mired in a 16 game losing streak.

TONEY DOUGLAS, Florida State, Los Angeles Lakers, No. 29, first round – Douglas, traded to the Knicks, averages 17 minutes, 7.8 points and 1.7 assists per game. He is currently starting at point guard.

DANNY GREEN, North Carolina, Cleveland Cavaliers, No. 46, second round – Green has played in sixteen games averaging six minutes and 2.4 points. He should enjoy a ride with King James deep into the NBA playoffs.

JACK McCLINTON, Miami, San Antonio Spurs, No. 51, second round – McClinton was waived by the San Antonio Spurs and then signed with Aliağa Petkim in the Turkish Basketball League. Halfway through the season he was averaging 16.1 points on 40.4% shooting and 34.1% from three-point range in 30.7 minutes.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

REVENGE IS SWEET. Baylor's Kelli Griffin (21) and Kimetria Hayden, center, celebrate at the buzzer as Baylor beats Duke 51-48 in the NCAA Memphis Regional championship college basketball game Monday, March 29, 2010, in Memphis, Tenn.

Baylor advances on to the Final Four with the win.

Florida State, the last remaining ACC team in the tournament, faces the daunting task of playing #1 UConn. The Huskies (36-0) have won 75 games in a row.

(AP Photo)

Monday, March 29, 2010

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR BLUE DEVILS!


Duke is going to Indianapolis, and it’s now quite clear that this version of Blue Devils.2010 is quite different from its predecessors that have taken early exits from the Big Dance.

The primary differences: size, depth, experience and grit.

All were evidenced in Saturday’s heavy-weight match with the big Baylor Bears. The Blue Devils went toe-to-toe with the Big 12 boys and never blinked. Two back-to-back clutch three pointers (one by Nolan Smith and one by the resurging Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer) turned out to be the 15th round knock-out punches.

Both shots came after Duke’s big men had grabbed offensive rebounds during the late-run that put the Devils out in front to stay and sent them back to the Final Four for the first time since 2003.

The Bears threw a seven-footer, two 6-10s and zone at the Blue Devils, but Coach K’s kids made shots and pulled down an amazing 23 offensive rebounds (17 of those in the second half) against a zone defense designed to position Baylor’s front line to gather in missed shots.

All the while, Kyle “Twilight” Singler did not score an offensive basket – a poorly-timed career first.

Not to worry, Smith scored a career-high 29 points and Scheyer added 20 points (five three-pointers) for Duke (33-5), which became the only No. 1 seed to advance to Indianapolis and earned its 11th Final Four trip under Krzyztlw9ski.

In the national semifinals for the first time since 2004, the Blue Devils will play East Regional champion West Virginia on Saturday night. They have won 11 of their last 12 regional finals under Krzycvbr5ski, but haven't won a national title since 2001.

LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points and Ekpe Udoh scored 18 for the Bears (28-8), whose program was in shambles when coach Scott Drew took over in the wake of murder and scandal less than seven years ago.

Drew took the Bears from tatters to the cusp of their first Final Four appearance in 60 years.

Tweety Carter and Quincy Acy had 12 points each for Baylor at Reliant Stadium (3.5 hours from Baylor), where most of the crowd of 47,492 was dressed in the green and gold of the Bears.

After tying the game for the 12th time on a free throw with 3:36 left, Smith missed his second attempt. But Lance Thomas grabbed the rebound and quickly passed the ball right back to Smith, who nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Duke up 64-61.

As Bill Raftery would say: DAGGER!

Scheyer extended the lead to six with his fifth 3-pointer on the next possession 67-61.

Boom, another DAGGER!

Game over.

To read more click here (GoDuke.com), and/or click here (Raleigh News & Observer).

PICTURE OF THE DAY

REGIONAL CHAMPS. Members of the Duke Blue Devils hold up the trophy after their win over the Baylor Bears in the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

RADIOHEAD. Guard Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils does a radio interview after a win against the Baylor Bears during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CAREFUL WITH THOSE SCISSOR, EUGENE. Forward Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils cuts the net after a win against the Baylor Bears during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

PRESIDENTIAL PROPS. Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush congratulates Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils after a 78-71 win against the Baylor Bears during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

PICTURE OF THE DAY

ONLY ONE ONE LEFT. Duke is the only No. 1 seed remaining in the NCAA tournament.

Here, DeAndre Liggins #34, Darnell Dodson #3, Ramon Harris #5, Darius Miller #1 and Eric Bledsoe #24 of the #1-seeded Kentucky Wildcats sit in the locker room dejected after they lost 73-66 to West Virginia during the east regional final of at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2010 in Syracuse, New York.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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