TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume XIV, Episode 19
February 5, 2011
ARE YOU PACKED YET, SID? EDITION
Mattís comments in blue.
Ire and Fice's comments in white. NORTH CAROLINA STATE (12-10, 2-6) @ #5 DUKE (20-2, 7-1)
So Kyrie got his cast off and thatís clearly great news. The tea leaves are a little hard to read, but the only certain indication is that no one really knows anything for sure. Weíll have to see how Kyrie responds, and thereís no real timetable for that. However, as I implied in the last edition, some people who purport to have information, knowledge, and belief are psyched. So take that as you will. Look, there have been many opportunities for the kid to be ruled out, and that hasnít happened yet. Iím very glad heís feeling better and I wish him the best, not just whatís best for our team.
Getting Out of McCants Correctional Facility Department
Ah, the end of an era, as Larry Drew MCMXVIIII finally leaves Chapel Hill. I guess it really is just intolerable there. I imagine Roidís plan all along was to dupe the kid into thinking he would start, then ďstartĒ him in an actual time split until the second semester, so that it would be too late for Turnover Jesus to transfer when Horseface finally bagged him for the sloth-toed Marshall. Young Lawrence was likely not amused by this chicanery, reportedly didnít get along with The Messiah, and now he exits the team in early February, which is virtually unheard of barring some sort of academic difficulties or off-court trouble (and despite the efforts of Tool Nation to plant suspicion of the former today, which is just the kind of fan base that they are, thereís absolutely no evidence of either).
Iíve seen a few stupids today braying that UNC should stop recruiting California kids, as if thatís the problem. Actually, anyone with a grain of knowledge of basketball history knows that Rrhoid has historically recruited quite heavily, and quite well, from Southern California. The problem is that lately, instead of studs like Paul Pierce, Jacque Strap Vaughn, Eric Chenowith, and Drew Gooden, heís been getting gems like Deon Thompson, the Wheres?, Stiffeson (finally and mercifully finishing up his career at Southern Cal this season - - by the way, he still canít hit free throws and has no discernible post moves), Drew and Quentin Thomas (from Oakland). So, yeah, maybe ratcheting up the talent evaluation is in order (avoiding napping while watching prep kids could help) instead of anything goofily drastic, although if they want to stop recruiting California kids, Iím sure thatís fine with us. I doubt the Tool name is real solid out here right now anyway.
Anyway, itís a good thing (a) that Olí Roy doesnít have to rely on a freshman who hasnít played more than 24 minutes in a game all season at the point with no real backup for the rest of this campaign; (b) that this isnít the same situation for next season, although the freshman in question will be a sophomore; and (c) that Drewís father is not an influential person of any sort in basketball circles. Heh. BAD PR MOVE, DORKS
Thanks For That Information. Whereís My Maryland Recap?
You can thank Jay Bias, whose comments from Wednesday night pretty much have to be transcribed to do them justice, for the delay. Donít worry - - itís partially written, and I wonít let you down on that edition. Promises, promises, but, yeah. You might like this one.
Can You Have a PSBAD Game Against Duke In Cameron?
I donít know. It would be harder to pull off than doing so at your own crib, naturally, but the Pack, who have been completely reeling lately, could certainly try. This is one of the worst-coached teams in the ACC, and I believe that Sweet and Lowe has finally written his own ticket, to be punched by Debbie Yow at seasonís end, but thereís still a lot of talent on this roster.
Some Historical Perspective and Mattís Usual Sendek/Lowe Rant, Partie Deux:
First of all, while Iím grateful to be playing *any* team home and home these days, for each squad, this is the second time seeing the same opponent in six games, which is just lazy and stupid. More ACC scheduling nonsense. Oh, and for those commenters and e-mailers who liked my 18-game ACC schedule from the Maryland, College Park preview: thanks. Iíd like to accept the credit that some of you very kindly gave me for hard work and research, but in actuality, I put both versions (one with three permanent home and home foes, and the second with five permapartners) together in, literally, eight minutes. Thatís no credit to me whatsoever - - rather, it illustrates how blitheringly easy and obvious that a fix to the asinine current schedule would and should be. Anyway, there it is if Swoffhard and his hirelings want to take a gape. Iím glad you folks enjoyed it.
Anyway, in the four games since the Woofers last appeared on Dukeís short-range sensors, they nipped Miami at home by two, lost by ten at Clemson, were destroyed by the Tools in Chapel Hill as always, and authored an eight-point dump to VPI in Raleigh. Consultant Herb was mediocre and uninspiring, but he was never this bad. Bear in mind that this team is supposed to be better than it was last season. Anyway, the NCSU administration should, right now, be identifying potential targets to replace Redjac at seasonís end. Young up and comers is the way to go here, and kindly stay away from nerdy, boring dudes who wonít be able to recruit. Someone with an NCSU connection would be nice, but a better idea would probably be to find someone with solid roots in or ties to New York City, Chicago, or Atlanta. N.C. State can already draw from Atlanta, so maybe that would be overkill, but I can see establishing a solid pipeline from NYC or Chicago to the school. Iíll have to think about an ideal candidate from my perspective, and would love to hear any thoughts from you readers. Sean Miller would have been perfect, and was probably available, but not anymore. At least Yow, a supremely smart and confident person, is in charge now. I donít think the next North Carolina State coach will continue the debacle embodied by his two predecessors.
So How Good or Bad Is NCSU This Season, Again?
Stop me if you get dťjŗ vu. They lack a signature OOC win of any real stripe, other than defeating George Mason - - the Patriots are 18-5 and 10-2 to lead the CAA. As you all know, the Pack went 2-6 in the first half of the (goofy) league schedule, and in terms of road wins minus home losses (RWHL, for future editions - - itís a quick, fun metric that I always enjoy examining) in conference, they are at (-2), with no road wins, two home losses, and their only wins coming at the ESA over awful, awful Wake and then, as mentioned, the Hurryclowns.
Their Last Game?
The VPI defeat. Ryan Harrow has been sick and didnít play, meaning that the program had to revert to the Days of Javi Gonzalez at the Point, and that didnít work out too well, although the diminutive punk did have four assists against no turnovers. However, he only played 25 minutes, which makes me wonder (I didnít watch the game - - can you forgive me?) who the heck was ďplayingĒ the role of ďlead guardĒ for the other 15. Horrenzo Brown???? Oh, man. That must have been great for the home crowd. Meanwhile, the Chokies (who are once again not going to the NCAA Tournament, but are readying themselves to shoot 70% against Duke in Blacksburg on February 26 just in case) dominated the glass and played their customary Thugball, as Ayers, Dorsey and Kitts wore out the whistles to the tune of 51 combined FTAs for both teams. This isnít one Iím sorry I missed, and Iím sure plenty of State fans who attended would like to join me.
Projected Starters and Pithy Comments
Tracy Smith, 6-8 SR PF - - still suffering from tendinitis in his repaired knee, which seems to be hampering him more on defense than anything else; he fouled out in only 26 minutes trying to guard Ref-Shover Jeff Allen. He had a very nice game against us in Raleigh, but Masonís defense was pretty good against Jordan Williams, and could be a problem for Smith here
Richard Howell, 6-8 SO PF/SF - - has been getting the recent starts while Leslie comes off the bench, which Iím sure C.J. #1 (Williams is C.J. #2) just loves
Scott Wood, 6-7 SO SG/WG - - he had a really, really tough time guarding Singler in Raleigh, which a person sort of has to have watched that game to understand, because Kyle scored 18 points on 18 shots. However, Wood was lost and had little to do with Singlerís errant shot attempts. Honestly, if Dukeís frontcourt is functioning properly, they become fairly difficult to guard, and Wood is going to have a tough time of it again
Ryan Harrow, 5-11 FR PG - - Iím assuming heíll be well enough to play and start. He briefly attempted to take over the first game with us late in the second half, scoring seven points and assisting on another bucket in a stretch of just 1:48, but Singlerís dagger three and an and-one by Miles Plumlee negated that and Duke maintained a double-digit lead, ending NCSUís chances of a comeback
Lorenzo Brown, 6-4 FR SG - - a total joke in the first game, and I honestly have no idea how or why heís garnering the minutes heís getting right now; shot 2-11 from the field in 31 minutes against VPI
C.J. Leslie, 6-8 FR SF/WF - - was okay in the post against us in the first meeting, but not dominant; things have been weird for him since. After being benched, he scored just three points in 14 minutes against Miami and was shut out in 13 minutes versus Clemson, before ending his pouting session and posting strong back-to-back games against the Tools (only he and Brown showed up) and Virginia Tech
Javier Gonzalez, 6-0 SR PG - - whatever. Heíll be good for around five points off the bench if Harrow plays, but if the freshman sits again, I pretty much doubt this space alien is going to light it up in Cameron
C.J. Williams, 6-6 JR SF/SG - - this guy is a good example of that random enemy swingman that Lance Thomas would always shut down, so if he got it together, he could be a problem, but Singler can probably guard him well
DeShawn Painter, 6-9 SO PF - - move along, nothing to see here; his name makes him sound like a Big Ten player
Most Likely to Bootsy:
Williams (17 points required)
NCSUís Likely Gameplan:
If Smith is really ailing more than the Pack is letting on, then their gameplan probably reverts to dribble drives and maybe some passing to Smith out of double teams for garbage buckets, and kickouts to Wood. On defense, they have to limit possessions, which they spectacularly failed to do against the Blue Devils in Raleigh.
Two or Three Sabermetric Stats about North Carolina State:
- Only sixteen teams in the country score a smaller percentage of their points from arcland than NCSUís 19.1%. Thatís fine and dandy if your defense is containing the other team by keeping things at a halfcourt pace, but itís not a real good recipe for establishing a lead or coming back from a deficit.
- Only about sixty Division I teams are worse at limiting opponentsí opportunities on the offensive glass, or put more directly, only about sixty Division I teams are worse at defensive rebounding. This is part of what enabled Miles Plumlee to have that huge 11-point, eight-bound effort off the bench at the ESA, and is yet another hurdle for NCSU in this game.
Two Weird or (Un)Cool Tidbits:
- Thanks to the usual stupidity emanating from the flatulent direction of Greensboro, only Smith, Gonzalez, and Williams have played at Cameron. The rest of the players might be a bit surprised at the atmosphere if itís up to snuff, which I assume it will be.
- The Wolfpack has not won on the road this season, and has not won in Durham in its last 12 attempts; its last win in Cameron came during the Gaudet Protectorate.
Looks like the players just didnít want to provide any effort against St. Johnís, since the strong performance at New Cole on Wednesday looked like it came from a completely different team. And itís not as though St. Johnís matches up with Duke any better than MDCP does. Here, the Blue Devils have a lot of pride and a lot of solid streaks on the line. At least one goofball, probably Elmore, will suggest that Duke will be ďlooking past this oneĒ to the subsequent tilt with Our Honored Colleagues, a/k/a Those Idiots from Chappaheeya, but I doubt that will happen. More on this in the Maryland game recap, but I thought Krzyzewski made some very sound adjustments in that contest, which I would expect to continue here. Playing Ty Thornton was an obvious one, but running Nolan out there for only 28 minutes in a hostile-environment, ACC road game??? Unheard of. Then there was the rather obvious dictate to the starters that they establish the post early and eschew the long bomb unless open. This worked to great effect all game long, particularly when Dawkins put the final bead of sweat in the Twerpsí coffin with those shiv shots in the second half. More of this, please!
NCSU also has a host of matchup problems here. Smith couldnít guard VPI thug-in-chief Allen, and might therefore struggle with Mason and Miles, who could be primed for another big effort. Wood canít stop Singler, as mentioned above, and Howell is going to be drawn outside to guard Kelly, which isnít natural for Richard. Leslie plays no defense, Brown at least gives an effort but is lost, and neither point guard can stay with Nolan if he starts driving the lane. Then thereís the disparity in coaching talent. Wow!!! Is there a disparity in coaching talent. Yes. Look, Duke can give this game away, but the Blue Devils are going to have to be very earnest parties to that effort, and I doubt theyíre in the mood. By the way, keep Wood and Harrow, who are Redick-like free throw shooters, away from the line.
Who Is Blathering Over The Sound of the Game?
ESPN - - Patrick and Elmore. After the Bias and Bullethead Root Root for Maryland Show on Wednesday, Elmoreís shtick, which at least does not include giggling over players suffering concussions, will actually be a welcome relief. As a bonus, Patrick wonít be fervently coaching the Pack and diminishing Dukeís efforts at every turn, unlike those two dolts broadcasting our game from Industrial Park.
Bottom Line This For Me, Please:
NCSU has lost all six true road games it played this season, and only (oddly) the game against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome was close - - the average margin of Packed-in defeat in the obviously more recent ACC visits has been 13.0 ppg. Iím assuming that nothing strange is going to happen in Cameron for this one, although it would not surprise me to see the Wolfpack hang tough in the first half.
The Missing Link(s):
NCSUís state-run propaganda.
If you didnít feel like going to pack, this might make you feel more at home.
Duke 82, North Carolina State 68.
Other ACC Action:
@ Boston College 78, Virginia Polytechnic 74.
@ Georgia Institute of Technology 60, Clemson 58.
@ Miami (Florida) 70, Virginia 64.
@ Maryland, College Park 78, Wake Forest 52.
Florida State 72, @ North Carolina-Chapel Hill 71.