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  • hiphopobserver 2:10 pm on December 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , UNC,   

    Seth Davis picks UNC to beat Michigan State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge 

    Seth Davis just put up his predictions for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge over at SI.com and has UNC with the win over MSU. He also has the ACC prevailing 6 games to 5. Bold prediction, I’m not as comfortable saying that after watching some of the others in the ACC play this year.

    Here’s what Davis said about the Tar Heels:

    On a neutral court and a 10-game series, I would go with the Spartans. But since the game is in Chapel Hill, I’ll give the edge to the Tar Heels. Michigan State is much stronger on the perimeter, but the Spartans are a short team, and the one thing North Carolina has is a lot of size inside. The big question will be whether the Tar Heels’ defense can hold down Michigan State’s impressive field-goal shooting.

    Prediction:North Carolina 80, Michigan State 76

    I’m hoping for that outcome as well.

     
  • hiphopobserver 2:37 pm on November 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , UNC,   

    Larry Drew II one of 10 sophomores Seth Davis thinks is poised for breakout 

    Tar Heels aren’t the only ones saying good things about Larry Drew II. Here’s what Seth Davis said today on SI.com:

    Larry Drew, 6-1 point guard, North Carolina

    Fr: 9.6 mpg, 1.4 ppg, 1.9 apg, 23.1 3-pt FG%
    Soph: 24.2 mpg, 7.0 ppg, 6.2 apg, 42.9 3-pt FG%

    Skinny: This is a classic case of preparation meeting opportunity. With Ty Lawson running the point last year, no backup, especially a freshman, was going to get a lot of minutes. Even when Drew was in the games, he looked shaky, but it was hard to tell whether that was because he couldn’t get into a rhythm or he wasn’t that good. Now it looks like it was the former. Drew has proved he can run North Carolina’s offense with efficiency and effectiveness, which is not easy to do with so many newcomers running alongside him. His assist-to-turnover ratio is nearly 2-to-1, and his improved field goal percentage reflects his confidence knowing the starting job is his.

    And this was written before his 10 assist, 1 turnover and clutch 3s performance last night. Yeah, he’s going to be good.

     
  • hiphopobserver 12:09 am on November 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , UNC,   

    Roy Williams Tie Tracker: Nevada 

    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.

    Hope all had a grand Thanksgiving this weekend and caught up on some college sports over leftovers and family time. Roy started things out with some minor surgery but was back in action on Sunday night as the Tar Heels took on Nevada.

    The most interesting part of Roy’s wardrobe tonight wasn’t his tie, which was a simple Carolina blue and white diagonal striped piece, but how Roy went sans tie for most of the game.

    (Roy preparing to remove his tie?)

    To me, Roy without his tie is like Batman without a utility belt, because much of his power seems to be derived from what’s hanging around his neck. I didn’t mind the casual look, however, as Roy went without the jacket all night as well.

    But really, you can wear whatever you like if you have 600 wins under your belt.

    This is all brings up a couple questions. One: Since Roy will be wearing the sling for the next four weeks [we hope not more, Roy seemed to tweak his shoulder during the game], does that mean no jacket or, eek, pocket square for that long as well? Roy never appeared with one tonight and it would make sense. Two: Roy looked to not be feeling the tie underneath the sling, as apparent by him removing it, will he do the same Tuesday against Michigan State, or will he just not wear one? Three: Has Roy ever coached a game without a tie? Do we have documentation?

    And most importantly, four: Do we like Roy without a tie?

    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

    Game 6: Gardner-Webb, W 93-72 – Blue and white dotted with pocket square

    Game 7: Nevada, W 80-73 – Carolina blue and white diagonal stripes with no jacket or pocket square, removed tie in first half

    [Photos by N&O’s Robert Willett]

    http://www.twitter.com/RoysTieTracker

    Facebook Fan Page

     
  • shwineka 5:06 pm on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Gardner-Webb, Grayson Flittner, , , , , Runnin' Bulldogs, Shane Battier, , , , , UNC, ,   

    Wrap-Up: UNC Routs Gardner Webb 93-72 

    (Photo by Robert Willett of the N&O)

    UNC 93, Gardner-Webb 72

    Box Score

    The story of this game is short and sweet.

    Gardner Webb was just outsized and out-athlete-ed. Yes, it’s a word. Anyways UNC’s perimeter defense was again shaky, it’s just GW didn’t have the guards Syracuse did. That didn’t stop Runnin’ Bulldogs guard Grayson Flittner from tying the record for most 3-pointers in a game in the Dean Dome (9). The kid could not miss. He finished with 32 points.

    Takeaways from the game:

    • It seems like Tyler Zeller has taken a charge every single game. It will be shorting him a few games worth, but starting now we’ll try to keep track of how many games he does this. So beginning yesterday, he’s 1 for 1.
    • Dexter Strickland has shown flashes of greatness. His development will determine a lot in regards to how far Carolina goes this year. If he steps up big, look out.
    • When both the Wear twins are on the floor at the same time, UNC plays smart. You can tell these kids have played together their entire lives. Did anyone else catch how the only resemblance of a comeback in the Syracuse game came mostly at the hands of the Wears? Wish they were a bit more athletic, but you can’t have everything, they’ll get there.

    Superlatives:

    • The “If you call me Shane Battier, I’ll kick your ass” Award: Tyler Zeller
    • Best Block: Once again to John Henson for his block-into-leap-frog-between-the-legs-bounce-pass-to-save-it-from-going-out play. It’s at the 1:23 mark of the video, though you can’t see the best part, which is the out-of-bounds save. That’s two wins in this category for Mr. Henson.
    • Stat Stuffer (aka the Danny Green Award): Marcus Ginyard – 8 pts, 5 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls
    • Most Minutes without a Turnover Award (sadly a very important one): Tyler Zeller, 15 min played

     

     
    • lulu 1:29 pm on November 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      will be looking forward to the “superlatives” “OVER-THE-TOP-CATEGORIES-THAT- SHOULD -NOT BE-MISSED.”

  • hiphopobserver 1:39 am on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , UNC,   

    Roy Williams Tie Tracker: Gardner-Webb 

    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.

    First off, let’s go ahead and give the title of Best Dressed Coaching staff to the UNC bench. Very well done gentlemen.

    Onto tonight’s matchup against Gardner-Webb, Roy matched up a blue and white dotted beauty over a white shirt. One of the more toned down of Roy’s choices thus far this season.

    Roy chose a blue suit and also went big with the contrasting buttons. Sharp look.

    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

    Game 6: Gardner-Webb, W 93-72 – Blue and white dotted with pocket square

    [Some photos by N&O’s Robert Willett]

     

     

     
  • hiphopobserver 5:15 pm on November 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , jackie manuel, UNC,   

    Where the Heel Did You Go? Jackie Manuel 

    This is a segment I have been thinking about starting for a while now, and when I saw this article today I thought, “Why not today?”

    Let’s all take a trip down memory lane and avoid as many cliches as possible.  The year was 2005 and UNC had just won Roy Williams his first NCAA championship. That June, UNC would make history with four players selected in the first 14 picks of the NBA draft and one more being picked in the second round. One notable exception from that list of draftees was shutdown man Jackie Manuel.

    Jackie has forgone the usual route of playing oversees and now plays with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA D-League.

    Last season Jackie averaged 9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds and shot 47.9 percent from the field as a starter.

    Over the off-season Jackie has changed up his diet, added close to 20 pounds of muscle and worked to improve his shooting touch. He was an abysmal 27.3 percent from beyond the arc and 59.2 percent from the free-throw line.

    Here’s to you Jackie, good luck in Erie and remember you’ll always have a possee in Chapel Hill.

    Read the whole article on Jackie at GoErie.com

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

    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: , , , , , , , , UNC,   

    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: , , , , , , , UNC, ,   

    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, , OSU, Player of the year, , Thad Matta, , UNC, , 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

     
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