Saturday, January 21, 2012

Florida State Ends Duke's Home Winning Streak

Michael Snaer #21 of the Florida State Seminoles scores the game-winning basket over Andre Dawkins #20 of the Duke Blue Devils as time expires at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 21, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina. Florida State won 76-73 to end Duke's 44-game home winning streak.

Wake Forest beat Boston College, Clemson beat Georgia Tech and Maryland lost to Temple.

More later.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

UNC’s Strickland Out For Year With Torn ACL

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
University of North Carolina guard Dexter Strickland tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in Thursday's win at Virginia Tech and will be unable to play the rest of the 2011-12 season.

Strickland, a junior from Rahway, N.J., suffered the injury early in the second half in Blacksburg as he drove to the basket.

He started every game this year for the 16-3 Tar Heels and shared the team lead in steals with 25 and was second in assists with 39. He was shooting a team-high 57 percent from the floor and was averaging 7.5 points per game.

Strickland is regarded as UNC's best perimeter defender. He also has filled in at point guard at times this season for Kendall Marshall, who was averaging 30.9 minutes of playing time entering Thursday night. Marshall played 37 minutes against Virginia Tech given Strickland's first-half foul trouble and, later, his injury.

Surgery to repair the torn ligament has not been scheduled.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday Night ACC Basketball

DAWKINS (Grant Halverston/Getty Images)
#4 DUKE 91, WAKE FOREST 73 – Andre Dawkins kept knocking down 3-pointers for No. 4 Duke, and those noisy Cameron Crazies chanted "'Dre all day."

Turns out his hot streak only lasted one half-but that was more than enough to help the Blue Devils beat Wake Forest again.

Dawkins scored all 21 of his points in the first half, and Duke routed the Demon Deacons 91-73 on Thursday night for its 45th straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

#15 VIRGINIA 70, GEORGIA TECH 38 – No, sorry Yellow Jacket fans, that’s not a misprint, that’s 38 points total.

SCOTT (John Bazemore/AP Photos)
Mike Scott scored 18 points and No. 15 Virginia bounced back from a tough loss at Duke, blowing out Georgia on Thursday night.

The Cavaliers (15-2, 2-1 ACC) were never seriously challenged by the Yellow Jackets, who put up their lowest-scoring game since a 53-38 loss to Wake Forest on Feb. 6, 1982, during Bobby Cremins' first season as coach.

Virginia was coming off a 61-58 defeat at Cameron Indoor Stadium that snapped a 12-game winning streak. The Cavs wasted no time getting started on a new streak, taking advantage of a team that doesn't have a true home arena.

N.C. STATE 76, BOSTON COLLEGE 62 – N. C. State's well-balanced attack overwhelmed youthful Boston College offensively and defensively on Thursday night at the RBC Center, as the Wolfpack picked up its third ACC victory of January with a win over the Eagles.

WOOD (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)
Junior Scott Wood led four Wolfpack players in double figures, scoring a game-high 16 points in the contest, thanks in part to his four 3-pointers. The Wolfpack, the ACC's second-highest scoring team, sizzled all night on offense, shooting 51.3 percent from the field on the night, while holding the Eagles to 40.3 percent shooting from the field.

Sophomore C.J. Leslie added 14 points, while junior Richard Howell had his sixth double-double in the Pack's last eight games, with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Sophomore Lorenzo Brown also had nine points and 11 assists, his first double-figure assist total against an ACC opponent.

#8 NORTH CAROLINA 82, VIRGINIA TECH 68 – It appeared that the Tar Heels remained hung over from Saturday’s drubbing at Florida State as they looked to be lethargic while the Hokies made seemingly every shot they put up as Dorenzo Hudson scored 16 points in 8 minutes…

BARNES (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Then halftime happened. 

Game over.

The Heels came out of a presumably blistering locker room and went on a 19-0 run to take control of the game.

Harrison Barnes scored nine of his 27 points and John Henson added 16 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks for the Tar Heels (16-3, 3-1 ACC), who trailed 44-36 before Barnes started the run with two free throws, a jumper and a dunk. Before it was over, it stretched to 31-5 and a 67-49 lead with 8:23 remaining.

HUDSON (Don Pederson/AP)
The Hokies (11-7, 0-4) missed 15 straight shots during the run and lost their fourth straight. They are off to their first 0-4 start in league play since the 2006 team lost its first six.

Pulled from the starting lineup in favor of Robert Brown after 0-8 three-point shooting in Virginia Tech’s prior three games, Hudson was honored before the game for joining Virginia Tech’s 1,000-point club. When he checked in at the first media timeout, he quickly established that he wanted to get busy on the scoring the next 1,000.

Happy 25th Birthday three point shot:  The Hokies made 8 of 16 from behind the arc in the first half – 24 of their 39 first half points were from three pointers.  The Heels were of 1-8 in the first half and 3 of 6 in the second while the Hokies hit just 5 out of the 15 three pointers they attempted in the second stanza.  Sometimes we take for granted, how much the three-pointer impacts the game…

Quote of the Day

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
“People had some looks on their faces that aren’t really indicative of what we needed to do, and I think we came out in the second half and said, `We’re not going to let this happen again.’ I think something just clicked. I don’t know what it was. We kind of had a moment of truth.”

-- UNC’s John Henson. 

Time will tell…

Media Continues To Fawn Over Duke

Even though the Duke Blue Devils aren’t the #1 team in the country, some mainstream media outlets continue to treat them as though they are.

Last night the #4 Blue Devils routed the lowly Demon Deacons and Yahoo! Sports included 34 photos of their rout.  Conversly, the #15 Virginia Cavaliers crushed Georgia Tech, a victory worthy of 10 photos.

#8 North Carolina got back on track in Blacksburg and the obviously pro-Duke editors at Yahoo! Sports deemed that effort worth three photos.

Unranked N.C. State whipped up on BC and was rewarded with two images.

While it makes sense that the highest ranked teams get the most ink (a policy we follow at T.A.H., see Clemson and Virginia Tech during football season and UNC and Duke during basketball season), is Duke ranked three times higher than Virginia and ten time higher that North Carolina?


And before you say it, it has nothing to do with the geographic location of the event and the availability of photographers to AP, Getty or US Presswire.  Durham, NC is hardly a media center.

So, we have tasked our crack T.A.H. Research Department to investigate where the top honchos at Yahoo! Sports went to school and if that plays a role in their obvious pro-Duke bias…

Ok, ok, we’re kidding. 

(Sort of kidding…)

You know, satire, parody, humor that sort of thing.

(Not really)

(Editor's Note: The published photos of the Duke/Wake game were taken by Grant Halverston for Getty Images...we aren't bustin on the photog, he did some great work.)

Things That Make You Go…

Yuri Gilitski and Eugenia Tkachenka of Belarus perform in the Ice Dance Free Dance Figure Skating (Animal Print Division) during the Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Pictures Of The Day

N.C. State fans try to distract Boston College's Ryan Anderson (12) as he shoots a free throw during the first half. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)
Fans in the Virginia Tech student section show their colors as they wait for the start of the Hokies' game against North Carolina.  (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Kev Spooner and his team of Huskies get in some practice prior to the 29th Annual Aviemore Husky Sled Dog rally in Aviemore, Scottland.  (Photo by Russell Cheyne/Reuters)
Milwaukee Buck Brandon Jennings grabs the jersey of former North Carolina Tar Heel Ty Lawson as Carlos Delfino look on during an NBA game a few nights ago.  (Morry Gash/AP Photos)
University of Miami center Tyler Horn (65) blocks a fellow Hurricane in preparation for the East West Shrine College Football Classic in St. Petersburg.  (Chris O’Meara/AP Photos)
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return in a singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne.  (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday ACC Basketball

GRANT (Andrew Boch/Miami Herald)
MIAMI 76, CLEMSON 73 –Malcolm Grant scored 16 points and made the game-clinching interception with less than 5 seconds left Wednesday to help the Miami Hurricanes beat Clemson.

Hurricanes freshman Shane Larkin sank both ends of a one-and-one - his only points - for the game's final points with 5.4 seconds to go. Grant then picked off a pass by Tanner Smith.

Miami (10-6, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the first time in six games against Clemson since February 2008. The Tigers (9-9, 1-3) are on the verge of falling below .500 for the first time this season.

ACC Players Of The Week

DULKYS (Steve Cannon/AP Photos)
Florida State’s Deividas Dulkys has been named ACC Player of the Week and Boston College’s Dennis Clifford was selected ACC Rookie of the Week.

In earning Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career, Dulkys scored a career-high 32 points in Saturday’s 90-57 win over third-ranked North Carolina. The Silute, Lithuania, senior hit on 12-of-14 from the floor, including 8-of-10 from 3-point range, and had four steals and four assists in a season-high 33 minutes as the Seminoles won for the third time in four games. Earlier in the week, Dulkys had four points, six rebounds and five blocked shots in a 63-59 win over Virginia Tech Tuesday.

Clifford averaged 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as the Eagles posted wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech. The Bridgewater, Mass., freshman had 15 points and seven rebounds in Thursday’s 59-57 win over the Tigers and 15 points and four rebounds in a 61-59 victory over the Hokies Saturday. On the year he is averaging 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per games and is shooting .592 from the floor.

Quote Of The Day

(Phil Sears/U.S. Presswire)
"I said, 'Guys, I apologize. There was a miscommunication between (assistant) coach (Joe) Holladay and myself. I would never have left you out there to play the game,' " – UNC head coach Roy Williams who took his team off the floor to avoid FSU fans storming the court, but left behind the five players still on the court.

Williams said he started to become concerned about the raucous crowd toward the end of the game. At the end of UNC's loss to UNLV in Las Vegas earlier this season, a female manager got pushed to the ground by rushing fans, and Williams said he was trying to avoid a repeat of that.

Williams says he tried to explain the issue to an official standing in front of the team's bench, but said the referee responded with,"I don't know what to tell you."

During a dead ball timeout, Williams said he spoke with Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton about his concerns and Hamilton agreed that Williams should take his players off the court…

Needless to say, Ol’ Roy took some heat from the fan base back in Chapel Hill…especially from the group that thinks the Tar Heels should be undefeated National Champions EVERY year. 

To read more, click here.

Pictures Of The Day

Here's a sample photos from T.A.H.'s editor/publisher's recent trip to Terrier Rouge, Haiti.  Click here, then click on the first photo to see them in slide show format.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back From Haiti

I spent last week in Haiti as the guest of Pere Jean M. Bruno and the Ecole St. Barthélémy school in Terrier Rouge.

This village in northeast Haiti is 70 air miles from Port-au-Prince but it takes 8 hours to get their by car. One of the first things I learned about Haiti is that there are large mountains  in the interior of the island– up to 8,500 feet tall.  By way of reference, ski town Park City, Utah is at 7,500 feet.  So, you've heard the saying "you can't get there from here"?  Well, you can't.

So we flew into Santiago, Dominican Republic which looked like a wild west town when we arrived and like the U.S. with armed guards when we returned.  That is how much one's perspective changes after a week in Haiti.  Santiago seemed dirty, primitive and dangerous on arrival and well-organized, clean and down right orderly when we returned.  I even got used to the guys with the big guns guarding the hotel, the neighborhood restaurants, and my favorite, the valet parking.

We traveled by bus to Haiti where the crossing over the border is best described as a "scene out of Dante's Inferno."  I lack the vocabulary to accurately describe the chaos, the crowds, the trash and the craziness.  It was very dramatic...for lack of a better word.  We headed off to Terrier Rouge in the back of a flat bed truck which afforded us a safe haven and a great view.  Until it rained.  Oh well, at least it was warm.

Terrier Rouge is about an hour away.  It is a fairly large town (20,000 in the region) which lacks both running water and electricity.  It is located about 30 miles from Haiti’s second largest city Cap Haitien.

"Cap" is located on the water pressed up against the mountains.  It was not impacted by the 2010 earthquake, but it is quite similar to Port-au-Prince in its sprawl and poverty.  Over 200,000 people and not a stop sign or traffic light to be seen which makes it the most chaotic place I’ve ever been.  Not to mention dangerous.  An earthquake of any scope would devastate the place.  Especially the houses hanging precariously from the hills above the city…They would simply roll down the mountain into the sea port.

Pere Bruno is one of those amazing people who quietly changes the world.  His school is a project done in partnership with Bethlehem Ministry, Inc., a non-profit organization out of Atlanta, created for the sole purpose of aiding Haiti's poor.   He was recently quoted saying, “if you have faith, and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain jump into the sea.  And it will."  After spending a week with this man and seeing all he has accomplished and all he aspires to accomplish in the future, I believe him.  If Pere Bruno decides the mountain is moving, it’s going to get wet.  And, in typical Pere Bruno fashion it will happen calmly and deliberately with minimal fanfare.  

PERE BRUNO (Center, beard, white shirt)
Bethlehem's Haitian efforts started some 25 years ago when they partnered with Bruno to establish a series of elementary schools in some of the Haiti's less recognized and lesser served regions.  Over time they have established a Montessori based pre-K through 8th grade school (Ecole St. Barthélémy); an income generating, sustainable agricultural project (Jatrofa Pepinyè); and a medical clinic (Clinique Espérance et Vie), which seems to be making great strides at meeting the health and wellness needs of the local population.

Construction has begun on a high school adjacent to the Ecole St. Barthélémy and the first $70,000 of the $200,000 needed to complete the project has been raised.  Currently, Ecole St. Barthélémy is educating and, more importantly, feeding 700 students per day.  To attend, students need $250 in tuition and a uniform.  Uniforms and backpacks have been donated by various entities and some students are sponsored.
The project’s intent is fairly straight-forward.  Both Bethlehem and Pere Bruno recognized years ago that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty in Haiti – a country devastated by a harsh environment, a long-series of corrupt governments with little interest in helping its people, limited public utilities and transportation, no widespread individual agricultural efforts that can be utilized to feed it’s masses, a unique language that isolates them  and a host of odd traditions and superstitions fueled by voodoo among other things.  Suffice to say, it’s a complicated place with complicated problems.

That said, they are making great strides.  The power lines are up in Terrier Rouge although nothing runs through them.  Ironic at best.  About six miles down the road, a new university opened on January 12th – the two year anniversary of the Port –au-Prince earthquake.  Both the presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic visited the area while we were there (lots of helicopters which is odd for Haiti) as did former U.S. President Bill Clinton. That said, the primary mode of transport remains horses (ponies really and donkeys)

I was part of a mission trip sponsored by the Warrenton Rotary and the Warrenton Presbyterian Church.  We were an eclectic group – old, young, black, white, men, women and a variety of religions. Our primary mission was to learn about the various projects going on in the area and to take these stories back to the U.S.  As I told a fellow traveler “This is about branding Haiti and all of us are part of that effort.” 

We saw many amazing things, places and people and had a wonderful grounding experience.  One of our treks was up the mountain to a very remote village that previously had a broken well.  The Warrenton Rotary raised $2,000 last year to get the villagers a new well, so we went to see how it was doing.   The residents were delighted to see us and explained (not to me, I don’t speak Creole or French) that the new well had all but wiped out Cholera there and generally improved the health of everyone.  We were very welcomed guests, and I left there resolved to build some additional wells in other local villages…

On the second anniversary of the 2010 earthquake we attended a moving service at the school before heading off to do a food drop at two isolated villages.  The night before we had repackaged over a ton of food in to individual bags for distribution to those in need - rice, beans, oil, pasta and salt herring.  A community leader distributed chits to various needy folks and they were lined up waiting for us when we arrived.

Both of these villages, Phaeton and Paulette, were both "company towns" for a factory that manufactured rope from a local plant.  When synthetic rope became less expensive to produce the factory went out of business leaving it's employees with no way to make a living.  As a result, the overwhelming majority of the food was distributed to elderly people who once worked for the rope plant.  This is something Pere Bruno does whenever he has the extra cash to buy the food and it  is very moving to see and always leaves at least one volunteer in tears and the rest not far behind...

We also built a garden for the clinic specifically for fruit trees and medicinal herbs.  I can’t say I was particularly pleased with my design (done over a bowl of delicious pumpkin soup at lunch), but I’ll be delighted if it’s there and functioning as intended next month, next year and ten years from now…The Warrenton Presbyterians coming in behind us will plant it and hopefully a few of our new Haitian friends will tend it from there.  Richard, who manages the clinic, did get some barbed-wire so he could keep the goats and pigs out…hopefully.  

While in Cap Haitien we visited the Kay Anj (Angel House) Orphanage established by four folks from Haymarket, VA.  It was, as all visits to orphanages are, both inspiring and distressing at the same time.  This particular place is a wonderful oasis in the middle of a hillside slum.  I feel badly about calling the area a "slum" since everyone seems to be doing the very best they can, but I don't know a better word to describe it. The children were sweet and loving and leaving them was difficult.  To read more about this amazing project, click here.

As guest of the school, we had deluxe accommodations – electricity (solar and generator), running water (no hot water), three square meals a day, briefly sort of cold beer each evening, an all important ceiling fan…and, yes, believe it or not, WiFi!  So we were hardly roughing it.  Cell phones worked perfectly in not inexpensively. 

Outside the compound was a very different story…

That said, one of the great things about the projects tackled by Pere Bruno is he knows his limitations.  He thinks globally and acts locally and he only tackles the mountains he knows he can move so efforts in Terrier Rouge, at the school and farm and the clinic all produce achievable goals and eventual results.

My first goal is to raise enough money to provide several remote villages with clean water under Pere Bruno's direction.  We had tried to visit such a village last week, but it had rained there and the road (as it is) was a giant bog and impassable.

Each well costs about $2,000 to $5,000. Construction is expensive in Haiti - for example, gasoline is over $6 a gallon. If you would like to help, feel free to send a contribution to T.A.H.'s  “Wells of Health and Hope,” c/o GPetty-VTA, 38 Garrett Street, Warrenton, VA 20186.

To read more about Terrier Rouge, click here and here

For more info about the school, farm and clinic, click here and scroll down a little or here.

-- Glenn Petty/T.A.H.

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