Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

We will be back publishing on Monday. Go Freddie!

Friday, April 6, 2012

McAdoo Staying At North Carolina

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
That big gust of wind you felt was not a misplaced scirocco, but a big giant collective sigh of relief coming out of Chapel Hill where the University of North Carolina has announced that late-blooming super talented freshman James Michael McAdoo will be returning to school.

"I love being at Carolina and really enjoy competing with and being around my teammates and am excited about what we can do together next season," McAdoo said in a statement. 

McAdoo's decision is good news for the Tar Heels, who already have lost four-fifths of their 2011-12 starting lineup to the upcoming NBA draft.

McAdoo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Norfolk, Va., averaged 6.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 15.6 minutes this season. But he came on strong late, particularly when he started three postseason games (two in the ACC tournament, one in the NCAA tournament) in place of injured John Henson.

As he gained more and more confidence, McAdoo showed the athleticism that made him a McDonald's All-American. He averaged 10.6 points in his last seven games, including a season-high 15 points during UNC's loss to Kansas in the Midwest Regional final.

McAdoo's parents, Janet and Ronnie, said during a phone interview Thursday that the information they, and UNC's coaching staff, gathered confirmed James Michael likely would have been a lottery pick. 

"When it's all said and done, he's nineteen-years-old, and he still needs to develop emotionally and physically," Janet McAdoo said. "We told him we were confident he could make transition to the pro game if he wanted to leave -- but one more year with more playing time would make him stronger and tougher, not only just physically, but mentally. And it would give him a chance to lead."

No doubt, there is more than one member of Tar Heel Nation who's ready to nominate the McAdoos for Parents Of The Year...

Annual Barnstorming Tour Underway


For the past 34 years, the Sumner Group, an ad agency in Gastonia, NC,  has sponsored and coordinated the ACC Barnstorming Tour all across the southeastern United States. During that time, one can count among the barnstormers such players as Michael Jordan, Len Bias, Dereck Whittenburg, Tyler Hansbrough, and Nolan Smith to name just a few.

This year’s tour will consist of six games in three weeks following the completion of the NCAA Final Four in April.  The second game of the tour was last night in Bolivia, North Carolina.

In addition to the basketball games, each stop consists of a 3-point contest and a dunk contest. Players are available to sign autographs following each game. 

A portion of the proceeds from each game will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.  Additional proceeds will also benefit each hosting high school.

This year's tour is highlighted by the senior class members of the men's basketball teams at Duke, UNC, and NC State.


Barnstormers include Miles Plumlee from Duke, Tyler Zeller from the University of North Carolina and C.J. Williams  from N.C. State.  

N.C. State Tops Early Yahoo Poll (And We Do Mean Early)

No sooner than all the confetti had been swept up off the Super Dome’s Final Four floor, the prognosticators got busy predicting next season’s Top 25.

Why not?

According to Mike Huguenin of Yahoo! Sports, N.C. State will return to ACC prominence based on an incoming freshman class that includes three Hamburger Helpers.  Whether or not C.J. Leslie stays put will no doubt impact their season.  

Here’s an early look:  1. Indiana, 2. Kentucky, 3. Louisville, 4. Michigan, 5. N.C. STATE, 6. NORTH CAROLINA, 7. Florida, 8. Kansas, 9. Baylor, 10. Ohio State, 11. Syracuse, 12. DUKE, 13. San Diego State, 14. Michigan State, 15. Arizona, 16. Notre Dame, 17. Creighton, 18. Memphis, 19. Texas, 20. VCU, 21. Villanova, 22. Tennessee, 23. Gonzaga, 24. FLORIDA STATE, 25. Stanford. 

Here's what Hugeunin had to say:

N.C. STATEThis season: 24-13 overall, 2-1 in NCAA tourney. Assumption about next season: All the key underclassmen return. The buzz: Mark Gottfried has a superb recruiting class coming in, heading by hometown G Rodney Purvis, who should provide a ton of offense. He and PG Lorenzo Brown will make for a scary backcourt. F C.J. Leslie could turn pro, and he would be missed. But he certainly is not someone who cannot be replaced. For the first time in a while, the Wolfpack would seem to have a legit shot at winning the ACC.

NORTH CAROLINA: This season: 32-6 overall, 3-1 in NCAA tourney. Assumption about next season: John Henson, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall are the only underclassmen who leave. The buzz: UNC took a huge hit with that trio of underclassmen joining senior Tyler Zeller in leaving Chapel Hill. But weep not for Roy Williams. He is bringing in four top-75 players and should get vastly more production from James Michael McAdoo and P.J. Hairston, touted freshmen this season who will get a lot more minutes next season. There are rumblings that McAdoo will go pro, which would be a mistake – and a reason to drop UNC a few spots in the rankings. Gs Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald should be healthy, which also will help. The key could be the play of freshman PG Marcus Paige, a four-star prospect.

DUKE: This season: 27-7 overall, 0-1 in NCAA tourney. Assumption about next season: G Austin Rivers is the only underclassmen to leave. The buzz: Freshman G Rasheed Sulaimon should help ease Rivers’ departure. What would further help is consistent play from G Quinn Cook, who was way too erratic as a freshman this season. Duke again should be a backcourt-centric squad. A holdover (or a transfer) will need to step up to help the Plumlee brothers in the frontcourt.

FLORIDA STATE: This season: 25-10 overall, 1-1 in NCAA tourney.  Assumption about next season: All the key underclassmen return. The buzz: The Seminoles lose six seniors, but only one, F Bernard James, will be truly difficult to replace, and that’s as much for his leadership as his production. Point guard will be the biggest problem unless incoming freshman Montay Brandon, a four-star recruit, can handle the job. He is part of a solid four-man recruiting class for Leonard Hamilton, whose team again should be in the ACC title hunt.

Quote Of The Day

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
“I just think there's a lot more kids that get ruined coming out early or going to school trying to be developed to come out early than actually make it.”

-- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who along with NBA commissioner David Stern, would like to get rid of the one-and-done trend created by the league’s requirement that players be nineteen-years-old and out of high school to be eligible for the NBA draft. 

Cuban would like to see the next step: Requiring the players to be NBA eligible three years after their high school class graduates.

In that scenario, Duke's Austin Rivers and Carolina's Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall would have to stay while junior John Henson would be eligible for the NBA draft. 
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)


Simply put, Cuban believes such a change would prevent players from making poor decisions that affect the rest of their lives, as well as help rid the sport of corruption among player agents.

Stern has previously stated that the players union would never agree to such a proposal and that the NCAA needs to change it’s rules about scholarship eligibility. 

An NCAA rule undoubtedly would push some anxious players into foreign pro basketball, but it would level the playing field in college basketball and resolve a great deal of fan post-season angst.   If a player chooses to go the college rout, and we believe many poorly advised kids would not choose this route, he isn't draft eligible until after his junior year. 


To read more, click here.

Pictures Of The Day

A sign warning of inclement weather is see on the leader board during the first round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
He’s back, and the Nats are undefeated! Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the opening day game at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Nats won 2-1. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods (T29th, even par) and his caddie Joe LaCava cross a bridge during the first round of the 76th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2012 at in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
First round leader (-5) Lee Westwood of England hits a tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the 2012 Masters. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino speaks during a news conference in Fayetteville, Ark. Petrino has been put on paid leave. Athletic director Jeff Long announced the decision late Thursday, April 5, capping a stunning day in which it was revealed that Petrino had a 25-year-old female employee with him during a weekend motorcycle ride that ended in a crash. (Beth Hall/U.S. Presswire)
Actor Bill Murray slides into home after rounding the bases before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Chicago. The Nationals won 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Arnold Palmer tees off the Ceremonial First Tee to start yesterday’s opening round at the Masters.  (Kohjiro Kinno/Sports Illustrated)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Off-Season Crime Update: Duke WR Dismissed

(Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
Junior wide receiver Tyree Watkins has been dismissed from Duke’s football team for what the university called “conduct unbecoming of a member of the program,” Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe announced Wednesday.

Durham County court records indicate that Watkins was charged Monday with misdemeanor assault on a female. Watkins was released on a $500 bond. A June 18 court appearance has been scheduled.

According to various news reports, Watkins pulled his girlfriend out of a car, grabbed her by the neck and choked her causing her to hit her head on a wall. 

The dismissal comes just four days after Watkins had five catches for 78 yards in the Blue Devils’ spring game. 

A reserve wide receiver from Camden, N.J., Watkins played in 28 games over the past three seasons, totaling 24 career receptions for 152 yards. 

Former Terp “Dinosaur” Hahn Not Giving Up On Coaching

HAHN (Joe Sadlek/All Pro Photography)
The name of fifty-six-year old Billy Hahn should sound familiar to ACC basketball fans.  The now self-described “dinosaur” has been involved in college basketball since the 1970’s when he played at Maryland for Left Driesell.

Hahn was on the team that lost the famous ACC Championship game 103-100 to end the 1973-74 season.  That was back when the only the conference champ went to the NCAA tournament and the Terps voted to refuse an N.I. T. invitation having one that event two seasons prior.

The 1974-75 Maryland team voted Hahn a captain and finished 24-5 after losing to Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen.   Those Maryland teams would send Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, Tom Roy, Owen Brown, Brad Davis, Mo Howard and John Lucas to a then much larger NBA draft. 

HAHN #21 (BACK ROW)
Hahn went on to coach, working his way back up the ladder and landing back in College Park as an assistant to Gary Williams from1989 to 2001. Those Terp teams went to the Big Dance a school-record eight straight years, including the 2001 Final Four.

Although Hahn left at the end of the 2001 season to become the head coach at LaSalle, the scrappy former guard is generally credited with having recruited Maryland’s 2002 NCAA Men’s Division 1 National Championship team. 

While Hahn didn’t post a winning season in four years at LaSalle (no doubt the recruiting was a bit tougher), he lost his job after three of his players were charged with rape.  One of the rapes involved another student athlete and school policy required Hahn to file an internal report.  Hahn’s defended himself claiming the alleged victim, who a member of the women’s basketball team, didn’t want to report the incident.

The school subsequently forced both Hahn and the head coach of the women’s team, John Miller, to resign. 

After three years out of coaching, Hahn was “rescued” by Bob Huggins when he was hired by West Virginia in 2007.  This season “Hugs” moved Hahn off the bench and into an office, and while the “dinosaur” loves his current head coach for a plethora of good reasons, he wants to move back to “floor coaching” and is looking for a new gig.

Hahn who clearly loves the game of basketball does not think highly of the new breed of young coaches he says are “just in it for the money.” 

To read more about the life and times of Billy Hahn, click here


HAHN and WILLIAMS BOTH IN CLASSIC POSES (John McDonnell/Washington Post)


Ooops

Look, we make plenty of mistakes here at T.A.H. and, yes, the extra “o” in Ooops is on purpose.

That said, we don’t have an editor or a proofreader and while we do put up our stuff for the world to see on the World Wide Internets (sic), we don’t put it up on national television.  

So this is kind of funny...

NCAA hoop blog The Dagger provided the photo and some additional insight... 

Also, we were wondering what was up with the oddest National Anthem we’ve ever seen at a major sporting event...? The Dagger sayeth this: 

The Denver rock band tried to rework the 198-year-old song into a modern hipster version and failed in every respect. Finger-picking mood guitar, emo vocals and a guy doing his best impersonation of a Civil War drummer boy make not for a fine anthem. If you weren't listening to the lyrics, you'd have never known the band was singing our national anthem.  


Just in case you missed it...

We don't agree that they "failed in every respect." Seems as they were close, but it still wasn't quite right... 

Pictures Of The Day

A way sign and leaderboard are seen as fog hovers above on the first hole prior to the start of a practice round during the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
Nice Mess. Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson walk down a storm debris covered fairway with their caddies Joseph Skovron and Adam Marrow during a practice round prior to the start of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia. We thought Fowler only wore those neon threads when he was on TV, but evidently, we were wrong.  (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
Um, fellas...your jerseys don't match...Waratah players pose wearing their club jerseys during a Waratahs Super Rugby training session at Victoria Barracks on April 4, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPa)
Greg Reynolds, who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, runs in to the bench between innings during the Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball Classic at Nationals Park April 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. With a team comprised of veterans and active duty service members from across the United States who lost limbs while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, members of the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior softball team travel the country competing against able-bodied opponents. (Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)
Thaddeus Young of the Philadelphia 76ers goes to the basket against Ed Davis of the Toronto Raptors (by way of North Carolina) during their game at the Wells Fargo Center. Tar Heel fans won’t want to remember that Davis was in the same class as Tyler Zeller and would have been a senior this year had he remained in school.  Oddly enough, Davis broke his wrist against Duke in February of 2010 and left for the NBA the following spring. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
Where’s the first tee, and what’s the course record?  Karl Stenson gets a ball ready for his dad Henrik on hole #4 during the Par-3 Contest at Augusta National prior to the Masters.  (Boyden-Holmes/The Chronicle/ZUMA)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

UNC’s Smith And Gutheridge: Coaching Lives Shared

(Bob Rosato/Sports Illustrated)
Dean Smith and Bill Guthridge have known each other most of their lives. They grew up not too far apart from one another in Kansas and Smith once dated Gutheridge’s sister.

In 1967, Smith invited Guthridge to join him in Chapel Hill where the two spent their remaining basketball careers together.  They won National Championships in 1982 and 1993, and even after Smith retired in 1997, the two remained very close.

“He was still the head coach, as (far as) he and I were concerned,” Guthridge said.

And even though Gutheridge was offered jobs at places like Arkansas and Penn State, he never left Smith and the Tar Heels.

Now, at 75, Guthridge maintains an office in the Smith Center (as does Smith) and visits with this old friend for an hour three days a week.  Unfortunately, the two old comrades can’t reminisce about the good old days as Smith’s dementia has taken so many of those memories.

Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News & Observer wrote about these two fixtures of ACC basketball history last Sunday.

To read the story, click here.

New Deadline Faces ACC NBA Hopefuls

LESLIE (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
C.J. Leslie, Mason Plumlee and James Michael McAdoo have less than a week to decide if they are leaving early for the NBA.

A new rule, has pushed the deadline to declare options from May 8th to April 10th which eliminates time to visit teams and work out. 

Instead, players now get input from the NBA’s advisory committee, a group of league executives charged with giving early entry candidates some idea of their draft status. Tuesday was the deadline to file that non-binding request, which Leslie and Plumlee did, while McAddo did not.  The NBA is required to provide a response by Friday.

McADOO (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Joe Kotoch, editor of probasketballdraft.com has said he believes McAdoo and N.C. State’s Lorenzo Brown will both stay in school. 

McAdoo is a likely lottery pick this year but could be the top pick next year. 

The freshman emerged as a dominant scorer in the ACC and NCAA tournaments after seeing limited playing time behind senior Tyler Zeller and junior John Henson for most of this past season.

McAdoo would give the Heels a much needed inside scoring presence to a team that figures to be heavily weighted toward the perimeter next season.  A good sophomore season in Chapel Hill could put him in the mix for the No. 1 pick.

“Aside from Cody Zeller, I can’t think of any other returning guys who are going to be top-five picks definitively,” Kotoch said. “(Incoming freshmen) Shabazz Muhammad and (Nerlens) Noel, and then probably a battle for that fifth spot.”

40-0

You gotta admit, that's an impressive record.
Destiny Williams #10 of the Baylor Bears controls a rebound against Kayla McBride #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Final game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Head coach Kim Mulkey of the Baylor Bears and her players celebrate a 3-point basket in the second half by Odyssey Sims #0 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Head coach Kim Mulkey of the Baylor Bears holds up the National Championship trophy as she celebrates with her players after they defeated Notre Dame 80-61. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Head coach Kim Mulkey of the Baylor Bears holds up the National Championship trophy as she celebrates with her players after they defeated Notre Dame 80-61. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Makenzie Robertson #14, Mariah Chandler #44 and Brittney Griner #42 of the Baylor Bears celebrate winning the National Championship and going 40-0. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Heisman trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III (bottom C) poses for a photo with the Baylor Bears women's team after they won the National Championship. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Canes Looking For A Few Good Men

(Facebook)
Right on their own campus...


Evidently, the Miami football coaching staff posted fliers around campus this spring, searching for walk-on offensive linemen in the current student body.


The flier calls for "any student that is 6'1 and 230+ pounds" interested in jointing the football team to contact an athletic department staff member.


Some critics have used the flier as an opportunity to take a shot at the 
Hurricanes' football program, prompting head coach Al Golden to say: 


"I think it's laughable that people are making a big deal about that. Every football program in the country looks for walk-ons from the student body. The hope is that you find one or two that help us. It's an easy target, and people want to make fun of it, that's fine."


Earlier this week, the Denver Post's Woody Paige was one of those critics on ESPN's Around The Horn. Paige said the Hurricanes were in "deep trouble" and added that "you wouldn't beat anybody" with a 230-pound offensive lineman.


We’d call that a typical over-reaction. We doubt Golden is looking for starters, but role players for practice.  If the Hurricanes can turn up a kid who can play a few downs, so much the better. 


Some say cultivating the student body in search of walk-ons is just Miami preparing for the future. The Canes have already self-imposed one postseason ban because of the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Nevin Shapiro scandal. If and when the NCAA imposes their own penalties on the program, a scholarship reduction is likely.


"I'm not a politician," Golden said. "I'm not really looking for public approval. We're trying to find people in the student body that can help us."

Soccer Top Shots

Look, soccer's not our thing, but the Champions League quarterfinal produced some great shots...
AC Milan's Ghanaian defender Prince Kevin Boateng heads the ball during the Champions League quarter-final second leg football match FC Barcelona vs AC Milan on April 3, 2012 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. (Alberto Lingria/AFP Photo)
Barcelona's Brazilian defender Daniel Alves (L) falls on ground with Barcelona's goalkeeper Victor Valdes during the Champions League quarter-final. (Olivier Morin/AFP Photo)
Barcelona's Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano (L) fights for the ball with AC Milan's Brazilian forward Robinho. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP Photo)
Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta (C) scores past AC Milan's goalkeeper Chistian Abbiati. (Josep Lafgo/AFP Photo)

Pictures Of The Day

 Just a friendly reminder that Kentucky shares a border with West Virginia...Nice, Kentucky, NICE!  Many burned couches, such as this one on State Street, were found scattered on the streets of Lexington, Kentucky on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 after UK’s victory Monday night.  (Laura Strange/Lexington Herald-Leader)
If the ACC had bicycle racing...Here, the Belgium team races in the men's team pursuit heats during the World Track Championships in Melbourne on April, 4 2012.  (Mark Gunter/AFP Photo)
Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes covers up the puck as Jack Johnson #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks for a rebound during the thrid period of the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on April 3, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Blue Jackets 2-0. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
A crowd of over 20,000 welcomed Kentucky home and it's UK 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Trophy back to Rupp Arena.  (JoJonathan Palmer/Lexington Herald-Leader)
A fan of the Baylor Bears holds up a sign which reads "B.G. #42 will you marry me" in reference to Brittney Griner #42 of the Baylor Bears. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Confetti lies on the floor as the Baylor Bears celebrate their 80-61 win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Final game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Carissa Moore of the U.S. performs a top turn in her head during the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro in Torquay, Australia. (Kristin Scholtz/AFP/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods during a press conference after his practice round prior to the start of the 2012 Masters in Augusta, Georgia.  (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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