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  • hiphopobserver 3:46 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ohio State, , , , ,   

    Roy Williams Tie Tracker: Coaches vs. Cancer – Ohio State & Syracuse 

    One thing all UNC fans have come to know, love and expect of Roy Williams is his fashionable selection of ties, most often courtesy of Chapel Hill outfitter Alexander Julian. The same man who put the argyle on the side of the basketball uniform is still turning heads with  what he’s putting around Ol’ Roy’s neck. So, here at The Rafters we decided to pay homage to the best accesory in college hoops, if not the entire sporting world, and document every tie Roy Williams wears this season.

    Well, the finals outcome wasn’t the way we wished it would have been, but Roy was in top form for two days in Madison Square Garden.

    On Friday, Roy brought out what looked to be the same tie for Ohio State that he wore during his ESPN All Access feature: a light-blue with white diagonal stripe.

    Here’s a look from the All Access piece.

    It actually looks like exactly the same outfit. I’m surprised Wanda let Roy leave the hotel that way. I just take that as complete disrespect to Ohio State. I may have been worried about the game, but Roy doesn’t even bother with a new tie for them. I like the subtle insult. Also, ESPN showed the All Access piece during the game which is interesting. Would have thought it was filmed the same day had I not known better.

    Almost forgot to note the pocket square and pinstriped suit. Also really like the vertically striped shirt with white collar. Nice contrast.

    For the Syracuse debacle Roy went back to his standby paisley. Sorry for the lack of good shots, but it’s a navy and Carolina blue large pattern with maybe a hint of accents of a lighter hue.

    Roy wore a paisely in the first three wins before changing it up for the fourth. After revisiting it, we take the first L.

    Here’s this years stats:

    Game 1: Florida International, W 88-72 – Small paisley in aqua and dark blue with pocket square

    Game 2: North Carolina Central, W 89-42 – Large paisley in Carolina and navy blue and gold with pocket square

    Game 3: Valparaiso, W 88-77 – Large paisley-ish in gold, navy, brown and Carolina with pocket square

    Game 4: Ohio State, W 77-73 – Diagonal white stripes over light blue back with pocket square

    Game 5: Syracuse, L 87-71 – Large paisley in Carolina and navy blue with pocket square

    [Some photos by Inside Carolina’s Jim Hawkins]

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

    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.

     
  • hiphopobserver 3:12 pm on November 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Ohio State, , , ,   

    Who’s got a 9 in the Clutch column? 

    So, the main thing that worries me about tonight’s showdown against Ohio State is what happens when the game is close in crunch time?

    No player has yet to stand out as a go-to man in this sort of situation, and after watching Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan St. and other ranked teams take early games down to the wire, it made me wonder.

    Let’s run down the players:

    Ed Davis is always a viable option, and I really think kid’s got ice water in his veins. My only concern would be getting the ball down low to him for an easy basket. Same goes for Deon Thompson. I know he can score, but can we get the ball to him?

    Larry Drew II has proven that he’s a much improved point guard this season, but I’ve never seen him have to take control of a tight game. Again, not questioning his skill, but sometimes it takes an experience in this sort of situation to have what’s needed. I just don’t want tonight to be a trial by fire and come out on the wrong end of it.

    Moving out to our shooters, there really isn’t one that I completely trust. Will Graves’ shots always look like they are going in, but that’s not always the case. Drew II has knocked down a couple jumpers as well from outside, but he’s not going to take the shot. And Marcus Ginyard has also been reliable from outside, but only when the game has not been in jeopardy.

    I almost like the idea of having John Henson taking a 15 footer around the charity stripe. A couple times this year his defender has played off him and he’s knocked the shot down, but I’d hate to put the ball in his hand, have something go wrong and lose confidence. I’d rather take an early L then that.

    Here’s what I think, Tyler Zeller for a short jumper or Marcus for a drive to the basket.

    Tyler has showed us he can put up the points and knock down open shots. If Ed, Deon and Zeller were all in the game, any big will be down low on Ed and Deon, move Tyler right outside the paint and Bam!, easy two points.

    Otherwise, clear it out in the middle and let Marcus drive. He’s not going to lose the ball and he’s strong enough to take it up and either draw the foul or get a good shot off. Dude is a 5th year player and has been through it all, he’s the one with the confidence and athleticism to get us the points.

    That’s just my take, what’s everybody else think?

     
  • shwineka 2:21 pm on November 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buckeyes, , , Dallas Lauderdale, David Lighty, , , , James Madison, JMU, John Diebler, , Kyle Madsen, madison square garden, Ohio State, OSU, Player of the year, , Thad Matta, , , , WIlliam Buford   

    Trees vs. Bees: UNC vs. Ohio State Preview 

    Tomorrow under the blazing lights of Madison Square Garden, Carolina will get its first test of the season against  No. 15 Ohio State in the 2K Sports Classic.

    The matchup will be tricky as the Heels are a frontcourt-heavy team, and Ohio State is guard-laden — star guard-laden.

    The Buckeyes’ point guard, in case you hadn’t heard of him, is Evan Turner, and he might challenge for National Player of the Year. If you get a chance — which if you read this blog, you probably will tomorrow night — you should watch this guy play. At 6’7″, he’s OSU’s point guard and fifth tallest player. He chalked up a triple double in the Buckeyes’ first game of the season, with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, and followed it up with 24 points and 17 rebounds against James Madison last Thursday. As you probably inferred from that stat line, the guy is active on the glass, and once he gets a defensive rebound the ball is consequently in the hands of  OSU’s point guard, making the outlet pass a threat.

    Other than Turner, they’ve got David Lighty, William Buford and John Diebler, who are all 6’5″ or 6’6″, play guard and log starter’s minutes. After watching the James Madison game, it appears Turner and Lighty look to drive first, but are certainly not shy about popping a trey. Diebler and Buford seemed more perimeter oriented. As a team, they don’t take a ton of threes, but don’t leave them open because they can shoot them at a good percentage.

    Sounds like a pretty dangerous team right?

    Here’s where the matchup gets interesting. Of the four players taller than Turner (6’8″ and up), only two of them play significant minutes. At 6’9″, Kyle Madsen has been starting and last year’s starting center, 6’8″ Dallas Lauderdale, has been coming off the bench while he recovers from a broken bone in his hand. Against JMU, Madsen played 19 minutes and Lauderdale 13. OSU doesn’t really depend on its post play.

    Carolina, however, does.

    It’s widely accepted that UNC’s frontcourt is certainly the deepest and possibly the most talented in the nation. It will be interesting to see how Thad Matta decides to defend the Heels. If he plays man-to-man, mismatches will result out the wookie, allowing the likes of Deon Thompson, Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller and John Henson to dominate down low. I’m guessing he’ll play some kind of zone, if not for the whole game, at least large portions of it. This would challenge UNC’s guards in getting the ball inside and also require them to make plays they might not normally make.

    The thing I could see hurting the Buckeyes is foul trouble. Their top six players, maybe seven, are talented enough to play with the Heels, but after that, I’m not so sure they have the depth. Another observation, is that the Bucks’ best player is also one of their tallest on the floor many times. If OSU decides to match up size-wise, Turner would end up banging down low more often than not, possibly tiring him out.

    Prediction: OSU’s shooting will suffer because of Carolina’s size on defense. UNC will win the rebounding, not often giving up more than one shot. Evan Turner will have 20 points and 11 rebounds, but his efforts will be in vain. Carolina is too deep and by the time the game’s over, Turner is worn out and his teammates are frustrated because they couldn’t get their offense going.

    Final Score: UNC 82 OSU 70

     
  • shwineka 12:13 am on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AP, Brandon Mcpherson, Brandon Wood, , , , , , , , Ohio State, , , ,   

    Going Through the Motions: UNC beats Valparaiso by 11 

    UNC_88__Valparaiso_77___11.15.09_tJU58jGL_0002.embedded.prod_affiliate.156

    (Photo by Robert Willett, The News & Observer)

    Box Score

    A young team certainly goes through a growing process over the course of a season. The focus and discipline that are characteristics of a championship contender are not as instilled in a group that’s getting to know each other just as much as they’re getting to know a coach’s system.

    This was never more evident than in Carolina’s win over Valparaiso on Sunday.

    The brilliant defensive play that marked the Heels’ last contest was nowhere to be seen. The impressive – even demoralizing – blocks and thunderous dunks that have been so prevalent were also missed. To be frank, the Heels didn’t show up for work.

    From the AP story:

    “I could feel it coming a little bit,” fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard said. “In warmups, we didn’t seem like we had that pep in our step. Nobody was really talking. We just didn’t have that intensity and it showed tonight.”

    The sheer size talent differential was enough to keep UNC ahead for the game, and honestly that will carry them in some of these shaky non-conference games when they play small-time schools like Valparaiso.

    The trouble is UNC is playing five ranked opponents in a month, starting Thursday against Ohio State. The other trouble is that Valpo’s Brandon Wood lit up the Dean Dome for 30 points, including six 3-pointers, and Brandon Mcpherson had 20 points behind 4-6 shooting beyond the arc. The Carolina frontcourt might be imposing, but the backcourt will need to step up defensively so that a hot-shooting guard isn’t the downfall of the team on a given night. Especially given that Evan Turner is a monster.

    The good news is that the team knew they laid a stinker tonight, and Roy does, too.

    “I said before the season started that some days we’re going to be pretty good and some days we’re going to be pretty ugly. And today was one of those days, I thought we were pretty ugly,” Roy said after the game.

    So by Thursday, everything will be fixed!

    Superlatives

    1. Most Missed Lobs – The whole team
    2. The This-won’t-be-my-career-high-for-long Award – Ed Davis, 16 pts (career high), 6 rebs, 2 blks, 6-6 FG
    3. Best Production in Limited Minutes – Justin Watts, 2 pts, 2 rebs, 4 assts, ZERO TURNOVERS, 10 min played
     
    • hiphopobserver 12:23 am on November 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Favorite stat of the night: Justin Watts, 4 assists, 0 turnovers

  • shwineka 12:41 pm on November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Golden Panthers, Isiah Thomas, , Ohio State, 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?!

     

     
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