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  • shwineka 12:30 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Kansas, , , , , ,   

    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.

     
  • RBarry 6:17 pm on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brandan Wright, , , , cigar, , , , , Kansas, , , , , Skype, , , , ,   

    Barnes Burns Duke, Signs with Carolina 

    Christmas has come early for the Heels.  This afternoon, top rated prospect Harrison Barnes selected UNC over Oklahoma, UCLA, Iowa State, Kansas and most notably, Duke.  Landing Barnes makes Carolina’s Class of 2010 one of the best in the country.  He will join PG Kendall Marshall and SG Reggie Bullock on a team that should undoubtedly challenge for the 2011 National Title.

    Barnes announced his decision in an unusual fashion-Skyping Coach Williams to inform him of his intent to play for the Heels.  I am rather impressed with Roy’s technical savvy.  As Coach would say himself, he has had the same putter and wife for the past 30 years.

    As for Duke, this is yet another blow to Coach K’s recruiting prowess.  Roy has outmaneuvered Coach K for other prized recruits in the recent past (Brandan Wright), and Barnes’s decision solidifies Williams as the top recruiter (and coach) on Tobacco Road.  All this should make for an interesting trip to Cameron for Mr. Barnes in February of 2011.

    Now, time for a victory cigar.

     
    • English Drama 6:57 pm on November 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      RBarry, a new addition to The Rafters?

      Look out Chapel Hill, Harrison Barnes is coming to town

      *puts on sunglasses*

      things should be heating up, no winter this year.

    • vucceewly 1:01 am on November 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im a first time visitor who hopes to become a daily reader!

  • shwineka 4:23 pm on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Austin Peay, , Cal State Northridge, , , Cole Aldrich, Connecticut, , Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgetown, Greg Monroe, Hofstra, Jay Wright, , , Kansas, 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 1:22 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Friday the 13th, , , Kansas, , , Research Triangle, , ,   

    Harrison Barnes Still Undecided 

    Harrison Barnes2

    Apparently as of yesterday, Harrison Barnes was still undecided as to which college he will attend next year. The No. 1 recruit in the class of 2010 even said that all six schools on his short list (North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Iowa State, UCLA and Oklahoma) were still in the running, giving his hometown Iowa State a fading bright spot.

    I don’t buy that. It’s been pretty well-documented that Barnes is likely down to two schools in the Research Triangle Area. What’s that, Kansas and Oklahoma? Never heard of the Triangle? That’s OK, it’s an area right on the border of YOUR two states. Promise.

    If he’s still undecided, which might not be true if he’s just being PC, I’m obviously hoping he’s leaning heavily in the direction of Chapel Hill. His arrival on either campus could have national championship implications in 2011, and I don’t know if my brain could handle another one in Durham.

    Let’s hope this Friday the 13th is our lucky charm.

     
    • hiphopobserver 2:08 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Barnes will be announcing his decision live on ESPNU Friday at 4 pm – http://blogs.newsobserver.com/accnow/tv-for-barnes-announcement

      • shwineka 2:16 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I believe that’s 4 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Eastern for us folks in ACC country

        • gonzologist 3:50 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink

          I’ve seen on several sources that the announcement is coming at 3:10 pm on Friday, which would be 4pm on the east coast. Also, the announcement has been opened up to the public, which some people are reading as an indication that he’s staying in Iowa, as ESPNU wouldn’t want to broadcast a bunch of people booing Barnes decision to come to UNC, baby! I don’t know if I would read that far into it, and I’ll be tuned in for sure.

        • shwineka 3:53 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink

          Confirmed. I’ve now seen East Coast papers say 4 p.m., whereas before I was reading an Iowa paper that said “starting at 3:10” and assumed it would be at 4 Central.

          Opening to the public because he’s staying home? That does seem possible. Honestly though, as long as it’s not Duke, I’m cool with it.

  • shwineka 5:08 pm on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iowa, Kansas, , , , , ,   

    Harrison Barnes Will Announce School Choice 

    The waiting is almost over.

    The No. 1 recruit in the class of 2010, Harrison Barnes, will make his choice of college — or “university of the people,” whichever — public next week. Hopefully his “public” decision will be the “public” choice. It’s been pretty well documented that his two leading contenders are UNC and Duke.

    In my opinion, Barnes is the quintessential Carolina kid. He  maintains a good GPA and is ultra-talented. He seems grounded (He kept Iowa in his top schools with the likes of UNC, Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma to be close to home), which is a great reason to join the Carolina basketball family. He wants to play in the NBA, but he recognizes the importance of an education, and may not necessarily leave after one year — though this kid is definitely of the breed that could and might.

    The downside to being a perfect fit for Carolina? That kind of fit is pretty good for Duke as well: good school, family-ish (clique-ish?) with a tight community surrounding the basketball program.

    According to the blog linked above, his announcement will be live on ESPN. (Commence biting nails)

     

     
  • shwineka 10:12 pm on October 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Kansas, , , , ,   

    Harrison Barnes Visits Duke 

    Harrison Barnes2

    Well, we knew this was coming. Harrison Barnes visited Duke last weekend. I don’t want to sound somber, but it sounds like he had a really good time. Apparently he is good friends with Duke freshman Andre Dawkins.

    What a move, K! Pull in Dawkins a year early, probably knowing full well that Barnes is his buddy. Already has a homey feeling over there in Cameron eh?

    It’s hard to read into these things. Barnes has sounded like he enjoyed his visits to UNC, Oklahoma and Kansas as well. One thing that made me feel nervous though, was Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis tweeting this afternoon:

    @sethdavishoops Duke has slight lead over NC, Kansas a clear 3rd RT @JeffVT03: @SethDavisHoops seth, where do you see Harrison Barnes going?

    …….constant updates on the Barnes sweepstakes are sure to come.

     

     
  • shwineka 4:57 pm on October 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Coaches' Poll, , Kansas, , , , USA Today   

    UNC No. 4 In First Preseason Coaches’ Poll 

    UNC was ranked No. 4 by the USA Today/Coaches poll today.

    I think for the preseason, the Heels are deservedly in the top five. After all, they did win the title last year and have a ton of talent this year. And EVEN though they tied with Duke for No. 1 in the ACC and received less first place votes in that poll, they’re ranked higher that the dukies in the national coaches’ poll. What’s surprising was the first place vote they received in the national poll. This points out a pretty vast discrepancy in my opinion between the way coaches see things and the media see them.

    Now the obvious question is which of these coaches gave us the No. 1 nod IN THE COUNTRY??!

    The USA TODAY/ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions. All are members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The board for the 2009-10 season: Mike Adras, Northern Arizona; Dana Altman, Creighton; Tommy Amaker, Harvard; Tevester Anderson, Jackson State; Ronnie Arrow, South Alabama; Randy Bennett, Saint Mary’s; Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio); Steve Fisher, San Diego State; Greg Graham, Boise State; Rob Jeter, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Billy Kennedy, Murray State; Billy Lange, Navy; Dan Leibovitz, Hartford; Fran McCaffery, Siena; Mike McConathy, Northwestern State; Bob McKillop, Davidson; Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s; Ron “Fang” Mitchell, Coppin State; Matt Painter, Purdue; Tom Pecora, Hofstra; John Pelphrey, Arkansas; Mike Rice, Robert Morris; Doc Sadler, Nebraska; Herb Sendek, Arizona State; Scott Sutton, Oral Roberts; Bob Williams, UC-Santa Barbara; Gary Williams, Maryland; Doug Wojcik, Tulsa.

    I will update this post as soon or if I find out.

    Here’s the full rankings. No surprise, Kansas is at the top.

     
  • shwineka 12:29 pm on October 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Kansas, , , Missouri, , , , Xavier Henry   

    SI’s Power Rankings 

    Sports Illustrated writer Luke Winn posted his first version of Power Rankings for the coming season last week. I’d have liked to have seen a little more analysis of the Heels than he included. Half of his post, which he admits, is just plugging the SI commemorative for 100 years of UNC basketball, (which I will be buying, but that’s not the point) and the other half is about the current recruiting battle with Duke over Harrison Barnes. Winn is usually more on his game, so I’m gonna chalk this up to preseason malaise.

    The best UNC part of the rankings is in the entry about Kansas. It states that KU’s current situation is similar to UNC’s in ’05, bringing in a major recruit to a veteran team a la the Marvin Williams effect.

    Whether Xavier Henry is the next Marvin remains to be seen. We’ll know for sure when he hits a last minute jumper to win over KU’s arch rival, Missouri. Wow, that sounds as exciting as UNC-Duke doesn’t it?

    Read it if you want, preseason rankings are hit or miss anyway, but if you want to know what it says in a nutshell, it’s: “Buy the SI commemorative issue. College teams wore funny uniforms in the past. Ed Davis name drop. Harrison Barnes is a big-time recruit!”

     
  • shwineka 1:27 pm on October 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Kansas, , , ,   

    Roy Talks About Upcoming Season, His Time at UNC 

    So I’m a little late in posting this, but there’s a pretty freakin’ AWESOME story about UNC on espn.com right now. You should go read it. Now.

    Two main takeaways for me.

    1) Roy confirms that he will probably have to play three bigs and two guards, instead of his typical three guard format. With the plethora of big men UNC has this year, it seems like the logical choice even though it strays from what Roy likes to do, the idea being to have your most talented on the floor. I wondered about this a while ago on another blog (it’s my personal one, geeky, don’t judge.)

    2) Roy also talks about his retirement, saying it’s anywhere from six to 10 years away. I know I hope it’s the latter of the two numbers, but it stuck out to me because I forget that Roy has been in the game for a while now. My first reaction was: “He just got here and now he’s going to leave?!” I guess time does fly when you’re having fun. If Roy stays a full 10 more years. That would put his tenure at Carolina at 16 years, one longer than at Kansas, and 31 total years as a Division 1 head coach. Roy would be 69 at that point. I guess I’m just being selfish asking him to be there any longer.

    Seriously though, go read that story. Great quotes abound and it gives a good idea of what feelings are among the team heading into this season. It goes into Roy’s mindset on recruiting and winning more championships. There’s also a video, but I haven’t watched that yet. The perils of blogging at work.

     
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