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  • shwineka 10:33 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Biscuit Briefs, , Bojangles, , , , , DB Camps, , , Dewey Burke, , EYE Program, , Franklin Street, Gerald Henderson, , , , , Sam Wineka, Sheldon Williams, Sky High Basketball, , , , , will graves   

    Want some gravy with that?:The Rafters’ Interview with Dewey “Biscuits” Burke 

    Rafters blogger Sam Wineka recently caught up with former Heels guard Dewey Burke, a.k.a. “Biscuits.” For those of you that might not know (and who are you?) Bojangles offers patrons of Carolina games two sausage biscuits for $1.00 in instances when UNC scores 100 points in the Dean Smith Center. Mr. Burke had a knack for pushing the Heels over the century mark and chatted with The Rafters about it.

    Rafters: Tell us a little about what you’re up to. Are you in Philly? How are DBCamps and Sky High Basketball coming along?

    DB: I am currently living just outside of Philly, where I grew up. I am building two different business that I have started. One is a basketball training company. Think personal trainer – but 100 percent basketball-specific. I do everything on the court. In the summer time I run camps for ages 7-18, and then in the Fall and Spring, I do individual and small group private instruction. Working on fundamentals, skills on both sides of the ball, shooting form, etc. Basically I evaluate the needs of the young players, and create a plan for improvement. So far things are going well and the business is growing nicely.

    The summer camps have really been fun to do because I’ve been able to have my teammates come up and speak for the kids. North Carolina Basketball carries such prestige around the country, so when you can bring in a Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Marcus Ginyard or Bobby Frasor – the kids really enjoy it and are mesmerized by what these guys can do. (http://www.DBcamps.com & http://www.skyhighbasketball.com)

    My second company is a small education firm. We specialize in after-school tutoring for students from low-income families. Our services are completely free to our students and their families – all of our funding comes from the state government. Through and educational grant my company has been approved to provide this supplemental education to students in desperate need of extra academic help. It is named the EYE Program, and EYE stands for Empowering Youth through Education. You can find out more here: http://www.EYEpartners.org.

    Rafters: I was in the Dean Dome the first time you pushed Carolina over 100 and secured your nickname, “Biscuits,” by hitting a trey near the end of regulation. I have to say that in my four years at Carolina, it was definitely in the Top 5 loudest moments I heard the Smith Center. What was that moment like?

    DB: There were a lot of special memories in the Smith Center, and that was a great one. Playing for Carolina is such a special gift, and the fans are the biggest part of that. The love we receive day in and day out is truly a blessing. It’s very, very unique to be a part of something that literally millions of people are so passionate about. I’ve always had a tremendous relationship with the Carolina fans, and I have so much love for the people of Chapel Hill. Even now, two years out, every time I drive up Franklin Street I get goose bumps. Chapel Hill will always be home for me. I have a lot of special feelings in my heart for that place. I think, too, that some fans see some of themselves in me. I’m not 6’8’’ and I wasn’t recruited out of high school to any big time schools. I just decided that playing for Carolina was what I was meant to do – nothing and no one was going to stand in the way of that.

    Rafters: While we’re talking about great moments, what was your favorite as a Carolina player?

    DB: My favorite moment was beating Duke in Cameron Indoor the first time (in 2006). The class of 2009 went on to do it 4 times in a row, but the first time was an incredible experience. JJ Redick and Sheldon’s last home game, senior night for them, they were # 1 – we had freshmen, etc etc. We just played so tough that night, and David Noel was the greatest leader you could ask for. The day before at practice, there was a sense and a feeling in the air that we were going to go over there and win. Coach talked about how there were very, very few people outside out locker room that believed we could win that game…but that was ok because we knew. And we were not just saying that. We came in so confident that night, we weren’t intimidate or worried at all. We knew they couldn’t handle us that night. It was an amazing experience.

    Rafters: In the infamous Duke game when Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansbrough’s nose, you were one of the guys holding Tyler back. I have to ask, did you kind of (maybe deep down) just want to let him go?

    DB: No. And that’s the truth. My immediate thought when he got up was “he’s going to kill someone.” All I was thinking was keeping him away from anyone else, because I didn’t want him to get suspended. It was the last game of the regular season. All we had worked for all year was about to be upon us (NCAA Tourney), and there was no way we were going into it without our best player. Truly, all I was thinking was keeping him calm. If you watch the clips, you can see me telling him “try to breathe, stay cool.” He was very upset. He took more beatings than anyone in college basketball since Shaq, and he never reacted. He would always say, I won’t care about it unless someone makes my face bleed – then it’s too far. Well, Gerald and Duke took it too far – but we took the high road. We won that game, the ACC a few times, and a National Title. That’s what matters.

    Rafters: Follow up: are you in fact, the only person capable of stopping Psycho T?

    DB: Well we both know that no one can stop him on the court… Off it, he’s a really a gentle giant. He’s quiet and reserved, and until you get to know him and get into his inner circle – he won’t say a whole lot. The real Tyler Hansbrough is a regular friend like anyone else. He laughs, jokes and enjoys life. He’s no different. He’s an intensely loyal friend and great example of what a Tar Heel player is supposed to be about. On the court he’s the most focused and driven person I’ve ever seen. Off the court, he’s just a regular guy and a great friend.

    Rafters: What do you think about this year’s team? I think all Carolina fans expect their team to go really far.  Are your expectations higher or lower than a Final Four?

    DB: This year’s team is going to very fun to watch grow. We have so much talent. We have everything you could want: speed, size, length, athleticism. Maybe all we are missing is a knock-down shooter, but Will Graves can fill that role if he wants to. We will be in every game because we are further along defensively than most teams are at this time. Marcus is the main reason for that. He’s so good on defense, people just don’t even begin to understand. Defense is so much more than not letting your man score. It’s about communication, and positioning, and timing and toughness and grit. Marcus is the best we’ve had in a long time.

    My feeling is, people better beat us now. Come March, when Coach Williams has 90-100 practices with this team, look out. They’ll get the offensive end figured out and continue to get better defensively. We will learn to run better and better and get easier baskets. We are so young that all we can do is improve. We can be a force by March, and barring injuries – we will be.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    You can listen to more of Dewey’s take on UNC basketball on his podcast, Biscuit Briefs.

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  • hiphopobserver 3:12 pm on November 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , will graves   

    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?

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

    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 12:41 am on November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , will graves   

    If Harrison Barnes Goes to UNC…. 

    hbarnes02_0

    Now — while there’s still hours before we know where he’s headed — it’s still reasonable to think about what it would be like if Harrison Barnes comes to UNC.

    Oh, how glorious.

    Starting Line-up assuming Ed Davis leaves for the NBA

    PG – Larry Drew II
    SG – Dexter Strickland
    SF – Harrison Barnes
    PF – John Henson
    C – Tyler Zeller

    Now, realizing that Henson could be gone as well. That would likely put one of the Wear twins in the power forward position. Regardless, Carolina would play big, and play fast. Add to that the fact that UNC would  have blue chippers Kendall Marshall as a backup point guard, and Reggie Bullock at small forward shooting guard coming in as freshmen, and you’ve got a lot of talent. Marshall is high-profile enough that he might challenge for a starting spot. Plus Will Graves, Leslie McDonald and Justin Watts would be getting minutes and that’s a 12-man rotation. Talk about deep. This team would no doubt challenge for a national championship.

    And after Tyler Hansbrough stayed for four years, it can’t be helped to ask: What if Ed Davis stays?

    Think about that, Harrison. Think about it.

     
  • shwineka 10:53 am on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , will graves   

    Ginyard Dunk Sequence 

    So when Marcus Ginyard took the steal from Will Graves and made his way to the basket in the season opener vs. FIU, I was expecting an efficient, predictable layup. The type of play that I think is the gold standard of Ginyard’s playing style.

    Wrong.

    The dunk that ensued was unexpected. It was a show of flash, and also confidence, considering there was a defender in the area. And when it boils down to it, it was just a good f’ing dunk.  We gave Ginyard’s dunk co-top-play honors. Here is a sweet little sequence of pictures by the News & Observer’s Robert Willet.

    First_Look__UNC_s_season_opener_11.09.09_w6oRrDpG_0035.embedded.prod_affiliate.156 First_Look__UNC_s_season_opener_11.09.09_w6oRrDpG_0036.embedded.prod_affiliate.156First_Look__UNC_s_season_opener_11.09.09_w6oRrDpG_0037.embedded.prod_affiliate.156

     
    • Zach Evans 6:44 pm on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t seen the dunk in a separate video clip, but it is in the DTH video recap, around the 2:35 mark of the video.

      A very impressive dunk, indeed.

  • gonzologist 2:08 pm on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bringin' 88 back, , , , , , , Quentin Thomas, , will graves   

    Luke Winn on Opening Night 

    I enjoy reading Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn. He’s a good writer and seems pretty unbiased in his opinions, which is why I hate to read in his opening night observations that he’s taking Ohio State to roll the Tar Heels in MSG next Thursday. He has some heavy praise for OSU’s 6’7” guard Evan Turner; we’ll see how he fares getting inside against our bigs next week.

    can't see the basket for the trees

    Three of Winn’s other points focused on the Tar Heels’ apparant weaknesses. He cites the lack of a consistent outside threat and the obvious problem with turnovers. The three point shooting was definitely suspect last night, but Marcus and LD both impressed with improved shots. Hopefully Will Graves can live up to his reputation as a dangerous distance shooter. Of LD’s performance as the floor leader, Winn had this to say:

    “While Larry Drew II didn’t put up a triple-double in his debut as North Carolina’s point guard, he acquitted himself quite well with seven points and six assists against just two turnovers. I don’t think many Carolina fans knew what to expect — they just knew their sophomore starter wasn’t going be as good as Ty Lawson (an impossibility), and they hoped Drew wouldn’t be the second coming of Quentin Thomas. Drew showed the Lawson-eque ability to push the ball at a high speed while staying under control on the primary and secondary break, and appeared quicker than I remember him being in brief stints as a reserve last season. He seems to understand that his primary duty is to feed Thompson and Ed Davis, and not force shots; as long as Drew keeps doing that, he’ll be a serviceable point.”

    I agree that LD put in a solid performance last night, looking faster than I remember him being. Though I hate to see the words “acquitted” and “serviceable,” and the evocation of the rhymin’ Quentin Thomas may seem like a low blow, Winn’s summation simply reflects the harsh expectations for LD having to bear the torch passed by the incomparable Ty Lawson. He did have some nifty dishes inside, and will only get better running the break. While Dexter Strickland struggled with 5 turnovers, Justin Watts put in some quality supporting minutes at the point and had one satisfying dunk. The backcourt story will continue to be the most intriguing moving forward in the next few weeks.

     
  • shwineka 11:02 am on November 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , turnovers, , , , will graves   

    Takeaways from UNC Season Opener vs. FIU 

    UNC 88, FIU 72

    EdDavis2

    Box Score
    Video

    While last night’s game was not absurdly impressive, Carolina looked good considering how much practice they’ve had. On that note, though, it appears that the team is still very rusty. They did not finish well around the rim. I recall one sequence when Ed Davis and Deon Thompson combined to get two offensive rebounds and miss two layups.  UNC’s sheer size advantage was the story of the game. The team shot a ridiculous 55.7 percent from the field — lots of dunks. The three-pointers, however, were noticeably lacking. For a more balanced team, the Heels are going to need someone to step up their shooting

    Could that person be Marcus Ginyard? Ginyard showed some stroke last night, going 2-4 from beyond the arc. He also hit a long two, in which I believe he thought he was taking a three. Roy Williams might be expecting Ginyard to perform a little better from downtown, too, starting him at shooting guard and Will Graves at small forward. One thing is certain, if Marcus becomes a reliable threat from three, UNC would instantly be more dangerous and more difficult to beat.

    As expected, Ed Davis was stellar.

    But, as was evident in the Belmont Abbey scrimmage, the turnovers are the biggest concern. Had the Heels not turned the ball over 26 times (eighth most in school history and tied for most under Roy ever) this game would have been an even bigger blowout. The good news? Larry Drew II only had two of those 26. The bad news? His backup, Dexter Strickland, had five.

    Superlatives:

    1. Most Improved Shot: Marcus Ginyard
    2. Play of the Game: Tie between Justin Watts’ alley oop to John Henson and Will Graves’ steal into Ginyard dunk (both on video above)
    3. The Danny Green Award: Ed Davis – 13 pts., 11 rebs., 4 blocks, 2 Asts
    4. The Tyler Hansbrough Award: Deon Thompson – 20 pts., 10 rebs. (6 offensive)
     
  • hiphopobserver 12:13 pm on November 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , will graves   

    UNC routs Belmont Abbey 107-59 in exhibition win 

    A lot of good things to take from UNC’s win over Belmont Abbey. Unfortunately I did not make it out because I was out doing hoodrat stuff with my friends, but I’m well-read, so, that counts.

    Deon Thompson goes 11-12 from the field and finishes with 23 points in only 17 minutes. It’s great to see Deon putting up numbers like that to pick up some of that huge scoring void that was left by last year’s departures. Just hoping that Deon doesn’t put up big offensives numbers at the beginning of the season that start trailing off by the end of the season like what happened this year.

    Even after a year, save three games, off the court, Marcus Ginyard was back in the starting lineup and was a box score filler: 9 points, 6 assists and 4 steals in 18 minutes. The 6 assists is what stands out to me. Obviously the back court has been a topic of discussion about this year’s team, but knowing we’ll have Ginyard as an if-needed backup at the point calms me a bit. I know Ginyard has played at the point some in the past and he played last night against a much over-matched opponent, but I still really like that 6 assist line.

    Also back in form, Mr. Ed Davis. Ed continued his offensive blossoming and threw in 13 points. Add that to his 6 rebounds and 4 big blocks and there you have a reason why Ed is considered one of the best big men in the nation. Also, Ed dished out 5 assists. That’s not something Carolina fans are used to seeing from their post players, example Tyler Hansbrough.

    Speaking of Ed, the nation’s best (in this blog’s opinion) 6th man last year got the start last night. He was joined by Larry Drew and Ginyard at guard and Deon and Will Graves at forward. Ed was also listed as a forward.

    The last of the starters, Drew II has a decent showing. In 18 minutes Drew II had 8 assists but also had 3 turnovers. He only shot the ball 4 times, hitting once and never made it to the stripe, leaving him with 2 points on the night. That’s really unacceptable. We need more point production from the sophomore. Graves surprised me a bit with the start, but then it made sense that Roy wouldn’t be starting Henson yet. Graves finished with 6 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes but missed both his 3-point attempts.

    Ah, the 3-pointer. Something that has also been mentioned in flaws of this year’s team. By far one of the dark spots in last night’s exhibition. The team shot 25% from behind the arc, hitting on only 2 of 8 shots, one coming from Ginyard the other from David Wear. At least they weren’t out there jacking them all night.

    The other downside from last night, the free throw shooting was atrocious. 13-24 for 54% as a team. Seeing right now that we can’t hit 3s or FTs consistently worries me about games that will be decided in crunch time. Don’t know if we have that right now.

    Quick round-up and the rest of the bunch:

    • Tyler Zeller scored 17 points off the bench and had 6 rebounds and only 2 fouls, pretty good for Tyler. Need him to keep up the scoring, because if he continues coming off the bench that would be a huge lift. Don’t like his 4 TOs.
    • Freshman David Wear had 9 points and 3 rebounds while twin Travis had 7 points and 4 rebounds.
    • John Henson only had 5 points, which I’m sure underwhelms a lot of people because his expectations are so high, but also pulled down 8 rebounds and had 4 blocks. Not the columns in the box score I thought he’d be filling, but I’ll take it.
    • Freshman Dexter Strickland was 4-5 from the field and finished with 8 points and 3 steals. Have to cut back on the 4 TOs.
    • Last Freshman Leslie McDonald took an 0-fer in the points column but grabbed a couple rebounds, an assist, steal and block letting me know he was at least out there hustling.
    • Sophomore Justin Watts contributed 4 rebounds and 4 points in 13 minutes

    Read the whole article and see the box score

     

     
  • hiphopobserver 6:51 pm on October 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , will graves   

    Daily Tar Heel: UNC Basketball Preview 2009-2010 “Out of the Shadows” 

    (Left to Right) Dexter Strickland, David Wear, John Henson, Travis Wear, Leslie McDonald

    Another Daily Tar Heel project that deserves a lot more attention than just this post, the annual basketball preview was released today. Below is a link to a nice browse-able version of the print edition. Good features on Tyler Zeller, Will Graves and the five freshmen.

    Check out Out of the Shadows

     
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