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  • shwineka 10:33 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Biscuit Briefs, , Bojangles, , , , , DB Camps, , , Dewey Burke, , EYE Program, Final Four, 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.

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  • shwineka 11:54 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Buffalo Billiards, , , , , Dean Smith Center, , , Final Four, , 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 12:30 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Final Four, , , , , , ,   

    Coaches Vs. Cancer Wrap-Up: ‘Cuse Hands Heels First Loss of Season 

    (photo by Jack McIssac – Getty)

    After a nail-biter against Ohio State, one could almost see it coming. The way UNC sloppily handled its double-digit lead Thursday didn’t bode well for the contest on Friday against a Syracuse team that is seemingly firing on all cylinders. The Heels lost 87-71.

    Carolina’s turnovers are starting to become a broken record, 19 this time, and ball security seems to be their biggest weakness. Syracuse scored more than 20 points off those turnovers, but it wasn’t until the second half that the game got out of hand. UNC’s defense kept them in the game in the first half, creating some turnovers of its own and  helping the Heels to a three-point halftime lead.

    In the second half, two different teams showed up than had played in the first. UNC, whose offense hadn’t been very effective all night, suddenly forgot how to play D as well. Syracuse became an unstoppable force, hitting 10 of it’s first 14 shots in the half and going on a 22-1 run that effectively won the game. UNC made a late charge to bring it within eight, but it was a short-lived rally.

    Sometimes you hear coaches say that it’d be good for their team to get a loss, so what good will come of this?

    How about just the sting of a blowout loss? The Heels haven’t had a loss like this since the 2008 Final Four loss to Kansas, which ended 84-66. Last year’s team lost four games by a total of 16 points combined. This year’s team equaled that in one game. Pride can be a great motivator.

    The parts are all there — and I’m sure Roy hadn’t spent too much time on playing against a zone like Syracuse’s — so this loss may sting now, but it will be something to build on. And with the Heels non-conference schedule, they better get building.

     
  • shwineka 12:41 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Final Four, , , Golden Panthers, Isiah Thomas, , , season opener, , , ,   

    UNC Basketball Season Opener: Florida International 

    UNC100Celebration

    It’s heeeerrrrrrrree.

    Time to tell all your football friends “Goodbye.” Time to say, “Hey, I’d love to stay at work a little longer tonight, but really, I can’t. It’s a 7 o’clock tip-off.” Time to jump around. Time to strategically wear Carolina blue clothing items on gamedays. Yes, ladies and gentlmen, it’s college basketball season.

    The Heels take on Florida International tonight, though if Golden Panthers coach Isiah Thomas had his way, FIU would be playing Ohio State. As season openers go, the whole Isiah thing has given this one a little punch for me, a little extra pizzazz that playing FIU would not have had without it. Plus, it’s Isiah’s first game as a college head coach. I’m interested to see if he’s got game in regards to coaching college kids. That and the fact that this kicks off the 100th season of Carolina hoops.

    I was going to take some time and post any local previews about the game, but TarHeelBlue has kindly done that for me, so let’s not let their diligent work go unnoticed. Check it out.

    Three things I’ll be looking for:

    1) Larry Drew II at the point: If (as some of those game previews suggest) the Heels really are a Final Four caliber team, they will need a strong point guard. Drew II did not play significant minutes last year and as such is a big question mark.

    2) Cutting down on turnovers: From memory, I believe Carolina had something like 20 turnovers in the exhibition against Belmont Abbey. That’s unacceptable. UNC fans have been spoiled by the likes of Ty Lawson, who seemingly never gave the ball away. The turnovers didn’t just come from Larry Drew II, who dished out eight dimes to his three turnovers, however, they were spread out over the team.The whole group needs to focus on taking care of the basketball.

    3) Post play: It’s what should be the Heels’ strength this year, so let’s see it in action, eh?!

     

     
  • shwineka 5:23 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CBS Sports, , , , , Final Four, 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.

     
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