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  • shwineka 8:00 am on December 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charlotte Bobcats, , , , , , Sportscenter, , ty lawson, 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!……

     
  • gonzologist 12:56 am on November 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arnie Stapleton, , Denver Post, George Karl, , ty lawson, Ty Lawson Dunk   

    Ty Lawson Posterizes 

    We can’t get enough Ty Lawson here at The Rafters. Poor seven-footer D.J. Mbenga of the L.A. Lakers got more than enough Ty Lawson on Friday night.

    Unreal. What might be even better is how the dunk blew the roof off the Pepsi Center. Ty’s teammates love the kid, and the Denver Post published two articles over the weekend that include more of the praise the rookie has been garnering almost as fast as he can run from baseline to baseline. In one article, Ty’s all-star teammates share their shock and awe at his funknasty dunk:

    Yet, all the Nuggets wanted to talk about afterward was rookie Ty Lawson’s first NBA dunk, when the 5-foot-11 guard skied past 7-footer D.J. Mbenga and 6-9 forward Josh Powell for the slam as he was hammered to the floor for a three-point play that had his teammates bolting from their seats and celebrating with the crowd as if they had won just the West.

    “That was nasty,” Anthony said. “A 5-footer against two 7-footers.”

    “That was incredible,” Billups said.

    The other article, also by Arnie Stapleton, gushes with the excitement and satisfaction that the Nuggets have in regards to drafting Ty. His valuable experience in the up-and-down, high-scoring Carolina system is mentioned several times, with UNC alumnus Gerge Karl adding, “Well, when Roy Williams whispers to you that he’s the best point guard he’s ever coached—I mean, he’s had a few good point guards.”

    Roy’s best? I believe it.

     
  • hiphopobserver 7:21 pm on November 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , hallowed ground, hyperize, , , , , , , , nike, ol school iii, , ty lawson, , , ,   

    UNC Men’s Basketball Team Shoes 

    Besides Chuck Taylor, there is no name more synonymous with footwear than Michael Jordan.

    Lucky for UNC, Jordan is an alum and the men’s basketball team is outfitted with the best Nike and Jordan Brand gear there is. The team has their pick at which shoes they want to wear each season, but there’s always two that most of the team rocks through the season. This year there’s three: the Jordan Jumpman Pro, Jordan Hallowed Ground and Jordan Ol’ School III.

    Jordan-Ol-School-III We’ll start with the Ol’ School III. As you can see, there are several colorways for these shoes, but you’ll notice the Carolina blue one is extra special with an argyle trim along the sole. So far this year Tyler Zeller, T. Wear and Leslie McDonald have been spotted wearing these.

    tylerzellershoes

    twearshoesexhibition

    [T.Wear to right of screen]

    twearshoes

    [McDonald to left of screen]

    As you can see though in the above picture, T. Wear has switched to wearing the Jumpman Pro, like his brother David, since the exhibition. Interestingly, Zeller wore the Jumpman Pros last season also but switched this season.

    tylerzellershoes2So, onto the Jumpman Pro.

    P1020195

    These are a holdover from last year, but some of the team members are still wearing them. Deon Thompson, T. Wear, D. Wear and Ed Davis are holding strong in the kicks. Deon and Ed did not wear these shoes last season.

    deonshoeseddavisshoes

    The UNC Player Editions of the Jordan Hallowed Ground have caught favor with a couple of the underclassmen.

    jordan-hallowed-groundAmong the Tar Heels, John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Justin Watts have been wearing the shoes.

    hensonshoesstricklandshoes2wattsshoes2Now for the outliers.

    Larry Drew II has gone with some of the Jordan “remixes,” an update on the orignal Jordan IIs. Drew II wears the Jordan 2.5

    jordan-2.5-unc-sample-1drewshoes

    The one that has stumped me so far is Marcus Ginyard. A definite benefit of going to Carolina is the exclusive Jordans. Ginyard, however, has opted to go outside of the Jordan Brand to Nike and wear the Hyperize. While I’ve never seen this colorway anywhere else, the Hyperize is favored by many professionals and is a very team oriented shoe that will probably be seen a lot this season, much like the Hyperdunk was last season.

    ginyardshoes2

    The one I can’t seem to put a finger on is the renegade Will Graves. I know he is wearing a pair that is within the Jordan Brand, I just don’t know what it is.

    willgravesshoeswillgravesshoes3Any ideas?

    Now while most players will stick with the same shoe throughout the season some will experiment, as shown by T. Wear. Come tournament time, it’s a different story. Last year UNC came out with everything from the Lebron James line on Ty Lawson to Deron Williams’ signature shoes on Wayne Ellington, making it very strange to see Wayne with a number 8 on his shoe.

    57146173

    5714615457146193Deon and Danny Green are seen in both those pictures in the Jordan 2.5

    In case you’re wondering, Tyler Hansbrough also wore the Jordan 2.5 last year.

    57146778

    I’ll keep you updated on shoes developments throughout the season.

     

     
  • shwineka 4:27 pm on November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , kenyon martin, , ty lawson, ,   

    It’s the Law, son. 

    tylawnuggest

    Ty Lawson has been getting some early praise in his rookie NBA season, not the least of which is coming from Denver Nuggets teammate, Kenyon Martin:

    “The kid is able to play,” Martin said of Denver’s rookie guard. “I played with Jason Kidd, man. Moving that ball, it was unbelievable. (Lawson’s) strength is getting the ball up the court, getting into the gaps, making plays.”

    K-Mart referred to Lawson’s quickness as “that speed.” Like you say about the weather or something.

    It’s not that hot out, but that humidity!

    We knew it already, but looks like NBA teams are realizing what it means to get the Ty treatment.

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

    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?!

     

     
  • gonzologist 9:51 pm on November 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Brandon Wright, , Jawad Williams, Jones Angell, , , , Matt Dougherty, , , Sean May, Tarheel Sports Network, ty lawson, ,   

    Tar Heel Tipoff Videos 

    Here are some pretty sweet videos to check out when you’ve got about ten minutes to kill. Tar Heel basketball writer Adam Lucas and Jones Angell from the Tar Heel Sports Network host the videos, introducing each clip with around 50 seconds of commentary that is definitely skippable (nothing against the guys, but the videos speak for themselves).

    No Tarheel fan can stand to miss “Summer Pick-Up with the Pros.” The video shows some of the best evidence for UNC being the top NBA talent producer – Brandon, Marvin, Ty, Vince, Rashad, Jawad, Raymond, Antawn – ALL on the same court. Even Hall of Famer Larry Brown is seen chatting up some players. It’s priceless to see Larry Drew II and Zeller describe their attempts at guarding Tar Heel legends. And, in an incredibly surprising and somewhat awkward moment, we see none other than Matt Dougherty clowning around with Sean May at around the 3:12 mark.

    Definitely check out “The Art of Shot Blocking,” as it is the best Ed Davis highlight reel I’ve seen thus far. We here at The Rafters can’t get enough of this kid, and you should expect to see much of the same this coming season.

    no way, jose.

     
  • shwineka 4:36 pm on October 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , elliot williams, john, , Kyrie Irving, , , , , , scheyer, , , ty lawson, , ,   

    UNC, Duke Tie for preseason No. 1 ACC ranking; Duke inks PG 

     

    Late with posting both of these – apologies – but it’s only fitting that in the 41-year history of preseason ACC rankings, UNC and Duke would be the first to tie for the top spot. What’s disturbing is that Duke garnered more first place votes, yet tied when it came down to total points. I know they just signed Kyrie Irving and all, but c’mon, he’s not playing this year.

    kyrie-irving2-298x480

    Actually what’s striking to me is that both of these teams are at the top with huge expectations of their current freshmen. Granted UNC has arguably the best recruiting class in the country (some weird folks might argue Kentucky), they has very little experience. Duke has a 17-year-old point guard who should be good, and Mason Plumlee, the supposedly more talented Plumlee brother.

    Side thought: Wouldn’t it be great if the Wears vs. the Plumlees became a big rivalry over the next three years?

    Anyway, both teams will be shorthanded in the backcourt. It’s my suspicion that Andre Dawkins (the young PG) will get a lot of time at the position, even after John Scheyer ended up playing the spot for them a lot last year. That puts a freshman PG in the mix for Duke, never a good thing in the ACC. Usually, if a PG does relatively well as a freshmen in this league, then we all knew about him well before he sets foot on the court. This is not exactly true in this case, considering Dawkins rushed to graduate early after Elliot Williams transferred. Man. How much of a factor do you think Coach K was in getting that to happen?

    The Heels will have sophomore Larry Drew II, who saw some regular, though limited, minutes backing up Ty Lawson, and freshman Dexter Strickland. Strickland is ranked higher than Dawkins as far as I know, and is actually a more natural two guard.

    Between Dawkins and Strickland, it’s probably a toss-up. I don’t like putting tons of merit into unproven freshmen, so let’s just say they cancel each other out. After that we have a Drew II vs. Scheyer match-up at point. I might actually give the nod to Scheyer, who started more games and generally played a bigger role as a PG, though I think Drew II has more upside.

    Regardless, there are a lot of question marks on the top two preseason teams in the ACC. Are these indicators it might be a down year for the league? Tough to tell. After a few months it will be more evident which conferences are the best. The Big 10 looks strangely good this year, but I digress. The best conference argument must be later by necessity. Now’s time to get ready for Thursday night football.

     

    Go Heels!

     
  • hiphopobserver 1:06 pm on October 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , nuggets, ty lawson, ,   

    George Karl calls Ty Lawson “Whiz Kid” 

    Nuggets Lawson Basketball

    Here’s an article from the Nugget’s website with coach and UNC alum George Karl referring to Ty as essentially and NBA protege who, even as a rookie, “doesn’t make mistakes.”

    More quotes from the article.

    Karl: “The downside to playing young guys is it usually leads to mistakes. This rookie doesn’t make mistakes.”

    Chauncey Billups: “A lot of rookies when they make good plays, you didn’t even have to see the play. You know what happened because they’re just so emotional and they’re running back and they’re so happy. (Lawson’s) got a great composure. He stays even-keeled the whole time, which I love. It’s something that reminds me of myself. I love playing with Ty. He’s earned his spot with us.”

    Read the whole article.

     

     
  • hiphopobserver 6:58 pm on October 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: jerry stackhouse, , ty lawson, ,   

    Where will Jerry Stackhouse play this season? 

    jerrystackhouse

    I came across an ESPN article about the former Tar Heel and College Player of the Year Jerry Stackhouse and how he’s still on the free agent market. Sounds as if he’s waiting for the right oppourtunity with a playoff team. I like the thought of him winding up in Denver. Watching him play with Ty Lawson would be real exciting, especially come the playoffs. The article makes it sound though like he’ll wait until the season begins to sign with a team.

    Read the whole article at ESPN.

    **Editor’s note** Stackhouse was named “College Player of the Year” by Sports Illustrated. He did not win the Naismith or Wooden Awards.

     
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