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  • shwineka 8:00 am on December 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charlotte Bobcats, , , , , , Sportscenter, The Rafters, , Verizon Center,   

    Where the Heel did you go, Raymond Felton? 

    Those of you that watch Sportscenter (one word or two?) probably know very well where Raymond Felton is because he’s taking names in the NBA. As point guard for the Charlotte Bobcats, Ray has been getting some great compliments from his coach, Larry Brown. Not an easy task, considering Brown is known to be one of the toughest coaches on points guards in the game.

    Felton has the squad playing pretty well. Charlotte just beat a very good Denver Nuggets team, against another former UNC PG Ty Lawson no less. The Bobcats have won six of their last eight games. Needless to say, one of those came when they visited the Wizards Nov. 28. Rafters blogger Matt and I made our way to the Verizon Center to catch the game and took some super sweet video of our boy Felton from our “upgraded” seats in the lower level.  So please, do check it out below:

    Look closely and you’ll see another former Tar Heel, Brendan Haywood, in that second video. And now, the highlight of the Wizards’ night!……

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

    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 7:48 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Salisbury, The Rafters, The Salisbury Post   

    The Rafters Gettin’ Some Pub 

    So The Rafters got a mention in the Salisbury Post about a week ago. It’s the hometown paper of three out of the four Rafters bloggers, who all happen to have gone to the same high school in said hometown.

     

     
  • hiphopobserver 11:05 pm on November 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , argyle, Chapl Hill, , Inside Carolina, Jim Hawkins, , , paisely, , , , The Rafters, , ,   

    Roy Williams Tie Tracker: Valparaiso 

    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.

    For game three against the Valpo Crusaders Roy busted out a dark brown, gold and darker-hued blue with a touch of Carolina large-paisleyish patterned gem.

    roytiegame3_3

    Roy was definitely working this one off the tan suit and again brought the heat with a pocket square matching his tie. As for the stripes on the shirt, we’ve definitely seen a lot of mixed patterns thus far this season.

    roytiegame3_2

    Really apologize for the lack of real good shots I’ll be updating this as soon as possible.

    roytiegame3

    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

    [Photos by Inside Carolina’s Jim Hawkins and N&O’s Robert Willett]

     
  • 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, , , , Kemba Walker, , master of your domain, , Mississippi State, Morehead State, Penn State, Pennsylvania, , Purdue, Rider, Storrs, , Tennessee, The Rafters, 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 5:23 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CBS Sports, , , , , , Gary Parrish, illinois, K.C. Rivers, noel johnson, oliver purnell, south carolina, , Terrence Oglesby, The Rafters, , ,   

    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.

     
  • hiphopobserver 2:12 pm on November 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: The Rafters, ,   

    Wayne Ellington to get No. 22 Jersey in the Rafters 

    Did someone mention The Rafters?

    Over the summer UNC changed the criteria to have a jersey raised into the rafters of the Dean Dome. Previously, only the team-voted MVP from national championship seasons was guaranteed a spot among the legends. The rule has now been changed to include NCAA-voted MOPs (Most Outstanding Player) into what can qualify a player.

    That means that Wayne Ellington will now be enshrined in the Dean Dome, but guess who else gets to join the club? Donald Williams from the 1993 championship year, who averaged 25 points a game in each of the Final Four games that season but was beat out by George Lynch who was recognized by the team as MVP for his entire season’s worth of work and leadership.

    Also during the summer, UNC changed the rafter rule to include ACC players of the year, meaning Ty Lawson’s No. 5 will also be raised. With the addition of Williams, Lawson and Ellington, the ’93 and ’09 teams will each have three members in the Dean Dome joining Lynch (’93), Eric Montross (’93) and Tyler Hansbrough (’09).

    Some other interesting points from the Adam Lucas article on TarHeelBlue:

    • Williams was not told about the honor until the Alumni Game where he admitted to not remembering the first several minutes after finding out about his jersey: “I sat down and I started thinking about where mine would be going,” he says. “I looked up at all those jerseys, and to think that mine would be up there, especially for someone like me who is local, it’s really big for me.”
    • Williams is also trying to break into coaching and will be on the sideline this year for St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, an independent, college-preparatory, girls boarding and day school dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement for grades 9-12.
    • The ’82 (James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Michael Jordan), ’05 (Sean May, Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants) and ’57 (Lennie Rosenbluth, Tommy Kearns and Pete Brennan) championship teams also have three members in the rafters, but three different non-title teams have four players represented–’76, ’84 and ’94.

     

     
  • shwineka 2:20 pm on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: David Bradley, , Duke University Improv, , Nolan Smith, The Devil's Den, The Rafters, Titanic   

    Duke Videos ARE Trying to Repair Image!! We KNEW it!! 

    Well, well, well. Looks like the Rafters got something right. If you have been reading this blog in its short existence, you’ll remember a post regarding Duke’s basketball team starring in videos produced by Duke University Improv. One of our astute editors — I don’t remember who, honest — posited that the reason the players were being allowed to be in the videos was to promote a more easy-going atmosphere in Durham.

    Today, that prediction was proven.

    An interview on The Devil’s Den with recruiting coordinator David Bradley had me in stitches all morning. Bradley confirms that Duke’s image has been suffering, and that since 2007 his department has been working to curb those troubles. Here are those videos in case you missed them, but if you read this blog, I’m sure you didn’t.

     

     

    My favorite part of the interview was that a question asked by the reporter was basically the same reaction as the headline to our post, which was “Duke Basketball Presents Great Moments in Cinematic History. Really!?” Here it is:

    “Speaking of Nolan. The Titanic scene…really?

    The scene showed great confidence by Nolan and he is probably the only guy who could pull that off – and obviously he was wearing shorts.

    On a broader level though, we aren’t in the business of making decisions based on the expected reaction of opposing fan bases. Duke Improv included it in the script, and we trust them to create both hilarious and appropriate situations. From there, Nolan was willing to do it, and it was part of an event where we were trying to be fun, entertaining and at times outrageous. Whatever comes of that sign on the road will be a lot more tame than many of the other stunts we have seen.”

    Please, Mr. Bradley. Please, please, pleeeeeeeease keep making decisions without basing it on the “expected reaction of opposing fan bases.”

    You have a great thing going for us.

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

    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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