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  • shwineka 10:33 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , Biscuit Briefs, , Bojangles, , , , , DB Camps, , , Dewey Burke, , EYE Program, , Franklin Street, Gerald Henderson, , , , , Sam Wineka, Sheldon Williams, Sky High Basketball, , , , ,   

    Want some gravy with that?:The Rafters’ Interview with Dewey “Biscuits” Burke 

    Rafters blogger Sam Wineka recently caught up with former Heels guard Dewey Burke, a.k.a. “Biscuits.” For those of you that might not know (and who are you?) Bojangles offers patrons of Carolina games two sausage biscuits for $1.00 in instances when UNC scores 100 points in the Dean Smith Center. Mr. Burke had a knack for pushing the Heels over the century mark and chatted with The Rafters about it.

    Rafters: Tell us a little about what you’re up to. Are you in Philly? How are DBCamps and Sky High Basketball coming along?

    DB: I am currently living just outside of Philly, where I grew up. I am building two different business that I have started. One is a basketball training company. Think personal trainer – but 100 percent basketball-specific. I do everything on the court. In the summer time I run camps for ages 7-18, and then in the Fall and Spring, I do individual and small group private instruction. Working on fundamentals, skills on both sides of the ball, shooting form, etc. Basically I evaluate the needs of the young players, and create a plan for improvement. So far things are going well and the business is growing nicely.

    The summer camps have really been fun to do because I’ve been able to have my teammates come up and speak for the kids. North Carolina Basketball carries such prestige around the country, so when you can bring in a Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Marcus Ginyard or Bobby Frasor – the kids really enjoy it and are mesmerized by what these guys can do. (http://www.DBcamps.com & http://www.skyhighbasketball.com)

    My second company is a small education firm. We specialize in after-school tutoring for students from low-income families. Our services are completely free to our students and their families – all of our funding comes from the state government. Through and educational grant my company has been approved to provide this supplemental education to students in desperate need of extra academic help. It is named the EYE Program, and EYE stands for Empowering Youth through Education. You can find out more here: http://www.EYEpartners.org.

    Rafters: I was in the Dean Dome the first time you pushed Carolina over 100 and secured your nickname, “Biscuits,” by hitting a trey near the end of regulation. I have to say that in my four years at Carolina, it was definitely in the Top 5 loudest moments I heard the Smith Center. What was that moment like?

    DB: There were a lot of special memories in the Smith Center, and that was a great one. Playing for Carolina is such a special gift, and the fans are the biggest part of that. The love we receive day in and day out is truly a blessing. It’s very, very unique to be a part of something that literally millions of people are so passionate about. I’ve always had a tremendous relationship with the Carolina fans, and I have so much love for the people of Chapel Hill. Even now, two years out, every time I drive up Franklin Street I get goose bumps. Chapel Hill will always be home for me. I have a lot of special feelings in my heart for that place. I think, too, that some fans see some of themselves in me. I’m not 6’8’’ and I wasn’t recruited out of high school to any big time schools. I just decided that playing for Carolina was what I was meant to do – nothing and no one was going to stand in the way of that.

    Rafters: While we’re talking about great moments, what was your favorite as a Carolina player?

    DB: My favorite moment was beating Duke in Cameron Indoor the first time (in 2006). The class of 2009 went on to do it 4 times in a row, but the first time was an incredible experience. JJ Redick and Sheldon’s last home game, senior night for them, they were # 1 – we had freshmen, etc etc. We just played so tough that night, and David Noel was the greatest leader you could ask for. The day before at practice, there was a sense and a feeling in the air that we were going to go over there and win. Coach talked about how there were very, very few people outside out locker room that believed we could win that game…but that was ok because we knew. And we were not just saying that. We came in so confident that night, we weren’t intimidate or worried at all. We knew they couldn’t handle us that night. It was an amazing experience.

    Rafters: In the infamous Duke game when Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansbrough’s nose, you were one of the guys holding Tyler back. I have to ask, did you kind of (maybe deep down) just want to let him go?

    DB: No. And that’s the truth. My immediate thought when he got up was “he’s going to kill someone.” All I was thinking was keeping him away from anyone else, because I didn’t want him to get suspended. It was the last game of the regular season. All we had worked for all year was about to be upon us (NCAA Tourney), and there was no way we were going into it without our best player. Truly, all I was thinking was keeping him calm. If you watch the clips, you can see me telling him “try to breathe, stay cool.” He was very upset. He took more beatings than anyone in college basketball since Shaq, and he never reacted. He would always say, I won’t care about it unless someone makes my face bleed – then it’s too far. Well, Gerald and Duke took it too far – but we took the high road. We won that game, the ACC a few times, and a National Title. That’s what matters.

    Rafters: Follow up: are you in fact, the only person capable of stopping Psycho T?

    DB: Well we both know that no one can stop him on the court… Off it, he’s a really a gentle giant. He’s quiet and reserved, and until you get to know him and get into his inner circle – he won’t say a whole lot. The real Tyler Hansbrough is a regular friend like anyone else. He laughs, jokes and enjoys life. He’s no different. He’s an intensely loyal friend and great example of what a Tar Heel player is supposed to be about. On the court he’s the most focused and driven person I’ve ever seen. Off the court, he’s just a regular guy and a great friend.

    Rafters: What do you think about this year’s team? I think all Carolina fans expect their team to go really far.  Are your expectations higher or lower than a Final Four?

    DB: This year’s team is going to very fun to watch grow. We have so much talent. We have everything you could want: speed, size, length, athleticism. Maybe all we are missing is a knock-down shooter, but Will Graves can fill that role if he wants to. We will be in every game because we are further along defensively than most teams are at this time. Marcus is the main reason for that. He’s so good on defense, people just don’t even begin to understand. Defense is so much more than not letting your man score. It’s about communication, and positioning, and timing and toughness and grit. Marcus is the best we’ve had in a long time.

    My feeling is, people better beat us now. Come March, when Coach Williams has 90-100 practices with this team, look out. They’ll get the offensive end figured out and continue to get better defensively. We will learn to run better and better and get easier baskets. We are so young that all we can do is improve. We can be a force by March, and barring injuries – we will be.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    You can listen to more of Dewey’s take on UNC basketball on his podcast, Biscuit Briefs.

     
  • shwineka 11:54 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , , , Buffalo Billiards, , , , , Dean Smith Center, , , , , Larry Drew, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Deja Vu: UNC Handles Michigan State 

    UNC 89, MSU 82

    Box Score

    It’s becoming a common thing. UNC plays Michigan State. UNC wins.

    The Heels have taken their last five meetings with the Spartans, and these aren’t just in the Big 10-ACC Challenge games. I recall an April day in 2005. A hot Spartan team was in the Final Four making some noise and ready to take down the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels. Or wait was that 2009?

    Anyway, for all the things that Tom Izzo does well, he can’t seem to figure out his Carolina conundrum. And honestly, who didn’t think Tuesday was going to be his night?

    A completely different UNC team showed up in the Smith Center than I’ve seen this year. The froshs and sophs played like upperclassmen right from the tip-off, with UNC jumping out to an early lead. It had to feel sickening for MSU fans, a horrible case of deja vu. Us DC-based Rafters bloggers sat with a decent contingent of UNC fans at Buffalo Billiards. A great idea emerged. Anyone not privileged enough to live in Chapel Hill, like our esteemed colleague Benn, should tweet us to meet up in the DC area for game viewings. We like to go out. If we go out anyway, we’ll make sure to say where we’re going.

    Hey, we might even put your picture on the internets.

    Before I get all hot and bothered thinking about tweet ups:

    Takeaways:

    • The recruiting class of 2008 came out of its shell. LD and Easy Ed both notched career highs in points (18 and 22 respectively). LD hit some clutch shots and had a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio in 27 minutes. Davis was his normal smooth self. You must watch this guy on Ustream sometime. Just follow him on twitter and he’ll notify when he’s getting on. If you want to know why we love him so much that will tell you everything.
    • If there’s only 5 seconds left in a half, who gets the rock? Answer: Dexter Strickland. Strickland hit his second buzzer beater of the year at the end of the first half, sinking a trey.
    • Will Graves is a starter, but he logs bench minutes. He’s getting about the same run time as Strickland, John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Gut tells me that once Roy is more comfortable with Henson or Strickland they’ll get the start. (And after last night I gotta be leaning towards Strickland)
    • Back to Dex. Strickland had zero turnovers while logging some significant minutes at point. And as Luke Winn reminds us, he is a converted shooting guard. Got to be happy with that.
    • Are the Wears twins? …………or clones? Travis – 2 pts, 3 rebs in 6 minutes; David – 2 pts, 2 rebs in 7 minutes

    Superlatives

    • Players of the Game: Larry Drew and Ed Davis –  see above
    • Lookin’ Fierce Award: Roy Williams
    • John Henson, if there was an award for throwing the ball between your legs to save it from going out, we’d give it to you. I don’t think even the Rafters has an award for that.
     
    • Zach Evans 12:46 pm on December 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      With all due respect to Henson, maybe the award should be the “Don’t Save the Ball Underneath the Other Basket” Award. As impressive as it looked, it did lead to an easy MSU basket.

      I guess I’m just never satisfied.

  • shwineka 5:51 pm on December 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Legacy Fulfilled, ACC, Big Z, , , , , Durham Herald Sun, , , High Five, , , , , Spartans, , , ,   

    UNC Takes on Michigan State in ACC-Big 10 Challenge 

    (pic from Edthesportsfan.com)

    Tonight begins what could be the toughest two weeks of the Tar Heels’ season. The defending champs are taking on the team they ousted for the title just eight months ago. The headlines back on that glorious April day: “A Legacy Fulfilled” – DTH and “High Five” – Durham Herald Sun, among others.

    The headlines might be a little different tomorrow as the Spartans are the favorites favored about equally tonight, but the test could prove to be a turning point for the Heels. Win or lose, I can’t see the impact of tonight’s result being negative. A win could start a wave of confidence that helps the Heels plow through December. A loss would identify the main weaknesses in a young team, preparing them for their other Top 10 match-ups this month and getting them ready for the ACC season.

    Some think we’ll win, others think we’ll lose. (No link for the lose crowd. After all, who actually picks the Heels to lose?)

    BTW that was the first time I’ve ever used the term “we” when talking about Carolina on this blog. I’ve tried staying away from it, but c’mon. You know you say it, too.

    Here’s a Rafters-worthy prediction:

    The Heels bigs hassle the tiny Spartans side-to-side and up and down the court. MSU shoots a horrible percentage while Big Z, Easy Ed and damn-he-needs-a-sweet-nickname Deon Thompson corral the boards and teasingly hold the ball above their heads. John Henson, who is also in need of a sick nombre, will have a breakout game and play 20 minutes, scoring 20 points. LD will teach Kalin Lucas to respect the wood — as Lucas will be on the floor after his ankles get broken so many times — and UNC will win by 15.

     
  • hiphopobserver 2:10 pm on December 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , , , ,   

    Seth Davis picks UNC to beat Michigan State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge 

    Seth Davis just put up his predictions for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge over at SI.com and has UNC with the win over MSU. He also has the ACC prevailing 6 games to 5. Bold prediction, I’m not as comfortable saying that after watching some of the others in the ACC play this year.

    Here’s what Davis said about the Tar Heels:

    On a neutral court and a 10-game series, I would go with the Spartans. But since the game is in Chapel Hill, I’ll give the edge to the Tar Heels. Michigan State is much stronger on the perimeter, but the Spartans are a short team, and the one thing North Carolina has is a lot of size inside. The big question will be whether the Tar Heels’ defense can hold down Michigan State’s impressive field-goal shooting.

    Prediction:North Carolina 80, Michigan State 76

    I’m hoping for that outcome as well.

     
  • shwineka 4:23 pm on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ACC, Austin Peay, , Cal State Northridge, , , Cole Aldrich, Connecticut, , Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgetown, Greg Monroe, Hofstra, Jay Wright, , , , Kemba Walker, , master of your domain, , Mississippi State, Morehead State, Penn State, Pennsylvania, , Purdue, Rider, Storrs, , Tennessee, , Top 10, , Tulane, UConn, , , UNC Greensboro, Villanova, William & Mary   

    Official College Basketball Opening Night 

    2009-ncaa-bracket

    Unless you’re one of the lucky fans whose team is playing in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer — as per us at The Rafters — then tonight begins the best four and a half months of the year.

    And unless you are a Master of your Domain (DVR), you’re going to have to miss some of the action as many teams are playing at the same time.

    SCHEDULE SNAFU:

    Six Top 10 teams are playing overlapping games tonight. Kentucky (5)– perhaps one of the most anticipated debuts — plays at 6:30 p.m., while Michigan State (2), Villanova (6), Purdue (7) and Duke (8) play at 7 p.m. To top it off, the preseason No. 1 Kansas plays at 8 p.m., further complicating things  for the second half of the 7 o’clockers.

    As an ACC junkie, and Tar Heel alumnus, naturally I’ll be glued to the Duke game “just to see if they lose.” It’s amazing how many Duke games I watch under that pretense. I’ll also watch the first half of the first half of Kentucky, because I desperately want the Calipari experiment to fail.

    But what about during breaks in the despised Durhamites’ matchup?

    Of course, when there are multiple games on, it’s inconceivable that one would watch commercials. Here’s my hierarchy of channel flippage for tonight. (We ordered the college hoops package, so yes, be jealous. Or order it, too!) If No. 1 is at commerical, I proceed down the list until I find a game.

    6:30 p.m.

    1. Kentucky vs. Morehead St.

    7:00 p.m.

    1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – For Obvious Reasons
    2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – I told you I want him to fail!
    3. Michigan State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Love Kalin Lucas
    4. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Is it me, or is the Big 10 scary this year?
    5. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Will Jay Wright continue to wear pinstripes for an entire season!?

    7:30 p.m.

    Otherwise same as above:

    5. UConn vs. William and Mary – Down year in Storrs?
    6. Penn State vs. Pennsylvania – Hopefully I won’t make it down this far
    7. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Just not that interested for some reason

    8:00 p.m.

    1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – Still anticipating failure!
    2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – See above
    3. Kansas vs. Hofstra – Are they really THAT good?
    4. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – ACC with a capital A!
    5. Michican State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Remember when UNC beat them twice last year?
    6. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Again, I hope I don’t make it down this far.
    7. UConn vs. William and Mary – Kemba Walker is fast

    9:00 p.m. and on

    1. Kansas vs. Hofstra – I will never forgive you, Cole Aldrich
    2. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – Can Trevor Booker carry you guys?
    3. UConn vs. William and Mary – W&M has a nice campus
    4. Georgetown vs. Tulane – Greg Monroe should be beastmode
    5. Tenneessee vs. Austin Peay – It rhymes!
    6. Mississippi State vs. Rider – Blocks, blocks and more blocks
     
  • shwineka 1:02 am on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , , , , , , , NCCU, Nick Chasten, , , , ,   

    Block Party: UNC Defeats N.C. Central 

    UNC 89, NC Central 42

    Box Score

    For the first few minutes, it seemed Carolina would have its hands full trying to stop the hot-shooting N.C. Central Eagles. With 12:28 left to play in the first half, NCCU trailed UNC 19-17. Then the Tar Heels remembered that they had six players taller than 6’8″.

    And the block party commenced.

    N.C. Central would score three points in the rest of the first half and Carolina had nine team blocks after tallying eight in the season opener. This time the swatting was handled by Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller, Deon Thompson and — emphatically — John Henson.

    The entire team’s defense was vastly improved, as evidenced by the Eagles’ final score (which only surpassed 40 on a scrub-time 3-pointer). But it was Henson’s thunderous block late in the second half that was the nail in the coffin for Central. After a steal, Central forward Nick Chasten dribbled the length of the court to what he thought would be an easy lay-up. Henson raced back and came from the weak side to send Chasten’s shot to what seemed like the tenth row. It’s safe to say, Chasten’s mother was probably crying. UNC’s lead would reach 51.

    The defense improved, but the offense still sputtered. Not that 89 points is shabby production, but that the method of reaching it was again sloppy, with the Heels coughing up 18 turnovers. I’ll take 18 over 26 (See FIU game), but come time for ACC play that will need to be less than 10.

    Still, a great performance from a young, unproven team.

    Superlatives

    1. Best Missed Dunk. Ever. – John Henson for his missed reverse alley-oop
    2. Most Demoralizing Block – Mr. Henson again
    3. Don’t wanna jinx it, but dude can play! – LD II
    4. The David Noel Award – Marcus Ginyard 7-10, 17 pts., 2 Reb, 3 Asst, 2 Stl and best goatee on team
     
  • gonzologist 5:36 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , , Pat Forde,   

    Pat Forde ranks 2005 Tar Heels “Best Champions of the Decade” 

    In his first “Minutes” column of the 2009-10 season, Pat Forde took a retrospective look at the past decade in college basketball.

    “Roy Williams, Gary Williams and Jim Boeheim were ringless. And hearing about it. Mike Krzyzewski was toying with North Carolina and seemingly would forever.”

    Oh how sweet it is to see the changes that have traken place between UNC and the Dookies since 2000. Forde also ranks the “Best Champions” of the decade, with the ’05 Tar Heels taking the number one spot, and the ’09 team taking 3rd place honors, with Florida’s ’07 team at number two, mostly due to the fact that it was a repeat (don’t forget, their Final Four matchup that year was George Mason. I get a stomachache just mentioning that horrible postseason). No doubt that the ACC was the best conference this decade. The “Best Team Not to Win a Title” was Illinois in ’05, which was a powerhouse of a team that just couldn’t hang with the All Star Tar Heels of ’05. Also an entertaining choice: “Worst Title Game” goes to last year’s game at Ford Field.

    Do you have this framed, yet?

    Blowout. Love it.

     
    • Lulu 8:46 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ni-i-i-i-ice!

      • shwineka 11:28 am on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I think also worthy of noting, in Forde’s Top 10 College Teams of all time, UNC is ranked No. 2, after the almost inarguable UCLA, but BEFORE, yes BEFORE Kentucky, who has more national championships than UNC. I guess when you have more NCAA wins and more Final Fours than any other team it means something. Suck it, Wildcats.

  • shwineka 5:23 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, CBS Sports, , , , , , Gary Parrish, illinois, K.C. Rivers, noel johnson, oliver purnell, south carolina, , Terrence Oglesby, , , ,   

    CBS picks Tar Heels to win ACC 

    As if we needed something to back up our personal opinions, CBS Sports picked UNC to win the ACC over Duke, even citing the fact that ACC media voting came to a tie:

    The ACC media poll named North Carolina and Duke co-favorites to win the league.

    But we don’t do co-favorites around here.

    Just a single favorite.

    And the Tar Heels are the favorite…”

    Blah, blah, blah. Yada, yada, yada. There’s nothing here that we haven’t heard or read already. The Heels will be lead by Ed Davis and Deon Thompson. The point guard situation is hairy. They lost a lot of talent. Etcetera, etcetera, etc.

    Bottom line: “Another league title is likely. Another Final Four is possible.”

    Interesting thing to me about the story is that Gary Parrish thinks Clemson will finish third in the league. I wouldn’t put money on that.

    purnell

    Because the Rafters knows, just like Oliver Purnell (above) knows, that Clemson lost both K.C. Rivers and Terrence Oglesby, their two main outside threats. They will probably rely heavily on a freshman guard in Noel Johnson, and though Trevor Booker is straight nasty, he can’t carry them. Their non-conference schedule is pretty weak. The only somewhat legit teams they play before January are Illinois and South Carolina. Consider this a forecast that — once again — Clemson will start very fast, jumping out to potentially a 12-0 record before they play Duke on Jan. 3, and it’s all downhill after that. I’m not sold on their guard play, even if they are adding one more Booker in the post for good measure.

     
  • shwineka 6:36 pm on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, andy katz, Big 12, Big East, , espnu, Pac-10,   

    Set Your DVRs!! 

    Tweets from Andy Katz. Hope you get ESPNU!

    @ESPNAndyKatz Just finished our ESPNU Preview shows. I think you’ll like the content. Here is the schedule on ESPNU: (next tweet)

    @ESPNAndyKatz Wednesday: 8 p.m. ACC; 8:30 p.m. Big East; 9 p.m. Big Ten; 9:30 p.m. Big 12; 10 p.m. Pac-10; 10:30 p.m. SEC; National show Thur 5:30 p.m.

     
  • shwineka 12:15 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC, , , Devin Booker, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Brotherly Love: Wears, Plumlees and Bookers All in ACC This Year 

    As The Rafters mentioned before, wouldn’t it be awesome for the Wear twins and Plumlee brothers to become big rivals over the next three years or so?

    Well, turns out there is ANOTHER pair of brothers this year in the ACC. Clemson standout Trevor Booker’s younger bro, Devin, will play for the Tigers this season. This potential rivalry could only last one season at most because Trevor is a senior, but it could make for some interesting games this year. The article linked above doesn’t really go into the Wear’s on-court demeanor with each other, but says that the Plumlees at Duke “take each other to another level.” At least according to John Scheyer.

    The writer mentions what might have been a forgone conclusion by some, that the Wears won’t see much floor time this season with the glut in the frontcourt. But Roy Williams has in the past played a lot of players to accommodate his roster. If they only come on once this season, I hope it’s against the brothers Plumlee or Booker.

     
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