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Archive for the ‘Quick Posts’ Category

Notre Dame vs. North Carolina: Recap and Thoughts

Posted by Patrick on November 27, 2008

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Last night was the final of the Maui Invitational, which always means that we’ll get to see two national powerhouses go head to head to bring the distinguished trophy home. North Carolina showed why they should be the unanimous top rated team in the nation- they absolutely picked apart Notre Dame’s defense, shooting 58% from the field. The Tar Heels grabbed the lead with 12:36 left in the first half and never looked back en route to a 102-87 victory over the eighth ranked Fighting Irish.

Kyle McAlarney broke his own school record of nine three pointers in one game with ten last night against North Carolina, accounting for 30 of his 39 points. To the credit of the Fighting Irish, their star player Luke Harangody had some kind of sickness all day leading up to the game, but still managed to score 13 points and grab seven rebounds.

Overall, North Carolina right now is too much for any team in the nation to even contend with. The talent level is way above any I’ve seen in college basketball in my lifetime, and they play hard on every possession. Even if Harangody was healthy they wouldn’t have a great chance to beat the Tar Heels. Another key to UNC’s success is their unbelievable depth. When they sub out a few players, its like replacing them with better rested versions of themselves. North Carolina’s bench would make up one of the better teams in college basketball.

Also, the last time North Carolina won the Maui? 2004. The last time North Carolina won a national championship? 2004.

ZACH: Three thoughts on North Carolina:

– Ty Lawson makes this team go. Anyone who watches college basketball on a regular basis knows this already, but watching him last night makes me think he added another gear to his electric speed baseline-to-baseline this summer. He abused Tory Jackson on multiple occasions after Jackson was foolish enough to risk a steal instead of staying in front of Lawson, using the quickest first step in college hoops and finishing every time down, often drawing a foul to boot. He knocked down free throws and hit outside jumpers too. If Lawson plays like he did last night all season, an undefeated season will happen.

– How’s that shin, Tyler? As the esteemed Red Sox announcer Don Orsillo might say, “Psycho T’s back…and he’s back BIG!” 34 points, an earth-shattering dunk, his patented turnaround hook shots, diving for rebounds, and even a three point shot? Yeah, I think he’s back. Hansbrough is really an incredible player down low- when he puts up a shot you think there’s no chance it goes in, then it hits the bottom the net.

– Carolina is so loaded, it’s not even funny/fair. They’ve turned into the Evil Empire even moreso than Duke, which puts me in an awkward position because the one game I used to root for Carolina was against the Blue Devils. As Pat pointed out, their bench of Drew-Frasor-Green-Graves-Davis would beat most high-major teams. While Notre Dame lost their legs by the end of the tournament, North Carolina was fresh because they’re so deep and talented.

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Xavier Henry Picks Memphis

Posted by Zach on November 18, 2008

The battle for the #1 player in the ESPN 150 came down to the Memphis Tigers and Kansas Jayhawks.

Kind of like something else I faintly remember.

Only this time the Tigers prevailed. After celebrating a midnight win over his disciple Derek Kellogg and Massachusetts, Calipari was informed this morning that Xavier Henry, a 6’7 forward from Oklahoma, will attend Memphis next season.

The decision came down to two main factors: 1) Henry loves the up-tempo style that Calipari employs and has resulted in deep tournament runs recently, and 2) Henry wanted to be at school with his brother, C.J., who is currently on the Memphis basketball team but sidelined with an injury. Both of Henry’s parents played at Kansas, so the decision was a difficult one that took much deliberation.

“What separates him [Henry] are physical tools and talent,” ESPNU National Recruiting Coordinator Paul Biancardi said. “He has consistently dominated the opposition and doesn’t take bad shots; he operates within the framework of his team.”

The start to Henry’s senior season will be delayed up to six weeks following surgery to repair a broken cheekbone suffered in an automobile accident on October 22. He is expected to be cleared for game action in late December. The Tigers will lose seniors Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier and likely freshman Tyreke Evans after this season, so the commitment of Henry is huge for Memphis. He’ll team up with Shawn Taggart, Willie Kemp, Angel Garcia, Roburt Sallie, Wesley Witherspoon, his brother C.J, and the rest of a solid 2009 recruiting class next season which could include both John Wall and Dominic Cheek.

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A Look Back at the Opening Week of 2008-09

Posted by Tommy on November 16, 2008

If this week has been an indication of how the rest of the season will play out, college hoops fans better strap themselves tightly to their favorite chair and get ready for a ride. Usually the first week consists of the big schools tuning up against weaker opponents, but a number of big programs failed to avoid upsets or barely did so.

Most notably, Kentucky suffers another upset at the hands of a weak non-conference opponent. Some may question the choice of the high-octane Keydet offense as an opponent to open the season, but a team like Kentucky has no business losing to VMI. Virginia, a bottom feeder in the ACC, beat VMI by 10 today led by freshman Sylvan Landesburg. Wildcats have no reason to fret quite yet, just look at last season.

Alabama, another contender in the watered-down SEC, lost to Mercer earlier today in Tuscaloosa. Guards Brandon Hollinger and Alonzo Gee were a combined 3-16 from the field. The Tide shot 66.7% from the line and were out-rebounded 49-32.

In my opinion, the worst loss of the week belongs to Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies in their debacle against Portland. Brockman had 30 points and 14 rebounds, but even that effort couldn’t prevent the Pilots from flying past the Huskies. Quincy Pondexter and Darnell Grant couldn’t buy a bucket. Pat’s #3 team in the Pac-10 has some serious work to do in their supporting cast if they want to live up to that prediction.

Another terrible loss took place in Utah, where the Utes lost to the Division II Southwest Baptist. The Bearcats drained 16 3-pointers. No matter who you are, you’re not going to win if you let the other team make 16 3’s. I really liked the Utes chances to challenge UNLV at the top of the Mountain West, but this loss is giving me some second thoughts…

A couple of teams in the ACC dodged some bullets over the week. Duke played host to URI, who beat Brown by just two points earlier in the week. Nobody thought the Rams could charge into Cameron and play with the Dukies, but Jim Baron and his sharpshooting son had other plans. The Crazies haven’t seen a shooting performance quite like the one Jimmy Baron put on since J.J Redick. He was bombing them from the “Coach K Court” symbol, fading into the Crazies and sinking shots pretty much everywhere else from beyond the arc. Singler hit two go-ahead free throws with just under 20 seconds to go and stopped Baron on URI’s final possession to win the game 82-79.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb were looking to pull off another upset at a major conference team’s arena. Virginia Tech, who had a handle on the game for a large portion, saw their lead dwindle to one point with 24 seconds left. Malcolm Delaney hit two clutch free throws to put the Hokies up by three, and their defense did the rest to hold on 65-62.

The parity that is developing in college basketball should make for an exciting 2008-09. We’ve already had a fair share of upsets and a couple of overtime games. Just hope that your team doesn’t fall to the upset bug.

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Thirty Must-See Games This Season

Posted by Zach on November 14, 2008

If you call yourself a college basketball fan, here’s thirty games you absolutely cannot miss this season. Not for a wedding, not for a funeral, not for your son’s Bar Mitzvah. There is no excuse. Get the calendar out, folks.

1. North Carolina at Duke (2/11)– A given for anyone that loves the best rivalry in sports
2. North Carolina vs. Michigan State (12/3)– This battle at Ford Field tops any other non-conference duel
3. Connecticut at Louisville (2/2)– This one could very well decide the strongest league in NCAA history
4. Notre Dame at UCLA (2/7)– A historic battle of top ten teams in the heat of conference season? Sign me up.
5. Gonzaga vs. Connecticut (12/20)– The rematch in Seattle could very well be a Final Four preview
6. Texas at Oklahoma (1/12)– The battle of Big 12 contenders begins in Norman with the first meeting
7. Michigan State vs. Texas (12/20)– This game directly follows Connecticut-Gonzaga. Not a bad December doubleheader
8. Duke at Purdue (12/2)– The Blue Devils travel to a raucous atmosphere to face the Baby Boilers in the ACC/Big Ten challenge
9. Memphis at Tennessee (1/24)– It won’t be 1 vs. 2 like last season, but surely this intense rivalry will provide another thriller
10. UCLA at Texas (12/4)– The Bruins are looking for revenge after Texas knocked them off in Pauley early last season
11. Connecticut at Notre Dame (1/24)– If the Irish are ever going to lose at home, this should be the date
12. USC at Oklahoma (12/4)– Two of my underrated teams and two of my favorite players- Griffin vs. DeRozan
13. Michigan State at Purdue (2/17)– This could determine the winner of the Big Ten and possibly a 2-seed in late February
14. North Carolina at Wake Forest (1/11)– Early enough in the conference season where Wake can shock the college hoops world
15. Gonzaga at Tennessee (1/7)– This could be very tough for the Zags. This one isn’t neutral, either…it’s in Tennessee’s backyard
16. Davidson at Duke (1/7)– Cannot wait to see what Stephen Curry has in store for the Cameron Crazies. Good luck Nolan
17. UCLA at Arizona State (2/12)– Some feel Arizona State has a chance to dethrone UCLA this season. Here’s your chance
18. Duke at North Carolina (3/8)– The only contest that repeats on this list. And, really, what else but Duke-UNC deserves it?
19. Texas at Wisconsin (12/23)– The Longhorns would love to win this huge road game after Flowers three last season
20. Wisconsin at Marquette (12/6)– One of the more underrated rivalries in college hoops. These players and fans hate each other
21. Kentucky at Louisville (1/4)– Speaking of bitter rivalries…Kentucky would love to play underdog and knock off Pitino here
22. Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s (2/12)– Don’t think for a second that the Gaels will be pushed over here, especially in their house
23. Louisville at Notre Dame (2/12)– This could be the date, also.
24. Connecticut at Pittsburgh (3/7)– Not an easy place to play for the Huskies in March. This may have BET seed implications
25. UCLA at USC (1/11)– This budding duel should reach a climax in the battle of two outstanding freshmen- Holiday vs. DeRozan
26. Purdue at Wisconsin (1/27)– The Baby Boilers marched into Madison and won last year. How about a repeat performance?
27. UNLV at Louisville (12/31)– This New Year’s Eve clash could end up being a stunner in Louisville
28. Tennessee at Florida (3/1)– Could this game decide the SEC? I wouldn’t be surprised.
29. Duke at Wake Forest (1/28)– Wake stunned the Dukies last season in Winston-Salem. They’re well-equipped to do it again
30. Kansas at Michigan State (1/10)– If KU can win this game, it could be a huge step for this young team

If I missed any, please leave them in the comments. Because I’m sure I did.

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November 11: The Day After

Posted by Patrick on November 10, 2008

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PATRICK: The first two college basketball games were played this evening as part of the 2k Sports Classic. Here is what we should take from these two games as we move on into the rest of the season.

1. Are Georgia Southern and Houston trendsetters?- That was a great basketball game, and while I sat at my computer in Milwaukee, I listened to the game via live radio feed (we told you we were diehards) and was really into it. Georgia Southern pulled off the first upset of the year, and better yet it was just a great basketball game. The final score was 65-63, and Houston had a final shot with 4.7 seconds left. What a way to kick off the 2008-09 season.

2. Kyle Singler is a beast- Remember when he looked like the picture above? Singler hit the gym and put on about 20 lbs of muscle. Now he just looks dominant (I know it was against Presbyterian) and he is definitely a favorite to be All-ACC First Team. He could be the missing link that the Blue Devils are looking for- a strong frontcourt player that can contend in the post.

3. Brian Zoubek still sucks- If I was a Duke fan I’d be pissed he has one of my team’s scholarships.

4. Better games on the first night please?- I know, I just ranted about how great the Georgia Southern vs. Houston game was, but seriously I would love to see two juggernauts battle it out on the first night. I think it would be a great way to start the season.

I hope you all had fun tonight, whether you watched the games or not, and here is the TV schedule for tomorrow:

7 ET: Michigan Tech at Michigan (ESPNU)

9 ET: Georgia Southern at Duke (ESPNU)

———————————————————-

ZACH: I wanted to expand a bit off of Patrick’s proposal for opening the season with a more intriguing matchup. College basketball is starting to get the right idea with their 24 hours of coverage next Tuesday, and in no way do I think they should move that up to the first day of the season, but I have to agree with Pat’s suggestion. I fully understand that teams want to begin their season with a cupcake opponent to feel out rotations, playing time, and have their players log some minutes before the meaningful action begins. I find it hard to believe, though, that two high-major coaches in America wouldn’t agree to a contest on a neutral court the first day of the season. The hype and exposure would be tremendous. How about Texas and Michigan State pushing up their battle in Houston this year? I’d even take a matchup like Missouri vs. Illinois on ESPN2.

MLB has the Sunday night opener usually pitting the defending World Series champion against a division rival. The NFL has their Thursday night game, once again featuring the defending champ. Even college football manages to find two teams to play a conference game in August. I’m not asking for a conference game, I’m not even asking for a huge rivalry or a game with enormous implications. Just give me something besides the first round of Coaches vs. Cancer on ESPNU. It makes what should be a grand opener for the greatest sport in the world look foolish and irrelevant. It really is a shame.

I’ve got five thoughts from the first night of college basketball, as well:

1. If someone was living under a rock for the past three years and were shown that Duke game last night, they’d clearly choose Nolan Smith as their point guard over Greg Paulus. Expect that to be a switch that lasts the entire season. Paulus coming off the bench for Duke is hugely beneficial. It’s nice to have that long range shooter off the pine and limited minutes means limited turnovers.

2. Not sure I’m sold on Singler in the post yet. He attacked the rim very well starting from the outside, but I didn’t see any exceptional post moves that blew me away. Lance Thomas continues to look lost during short stretches on the floor and Brian Zoubek is a complete disaster. He fouled out against Presbyterian. Think about that for a second.

3. See how much we’re talking about Duke-Presbyterian? THINK OF THE FIRST GAME WAS ILLINOIS VS. MISSOURI IN SAINT LOUIS!! Why wouldn’t coaches jump at this golden opportunity?

4. This is a huge overreaction, but I foolishly penciled in Houston to play Duke in my Top Ten Games of the Week on Sunday and it came back to haunt me right away. So it’s probably time to start looking for a team like UAB, UTEP or Tulsa to challenge Memphis in Conference USA instead of Tom Penders’ Cougars. Kentucky rebounded quite well from their Gardner-Webb shocker, though.

5. Massachusetts and Southern Illinois also kick off their season tonight in Carbondale against D2 opponents. That should be an excellent second round matchup that I wish was televised.

Also, some important news out of Knoxville: freshman point guard Daniel West was ruled academically ineligible and will not play this season. Bruce Pearl expressed disappointment and was surprised at the ruling after West did well in summer school sessions. The Vols lose some important depth at point guard, with more responsibility now on the shoulders of Bobby Maze and J.P. Prince to run the offense.

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5 Things To Look For This College Basketball Season

Posted by Patrick on November 9, 2008

Ah! Do you guys smell that sweet aroma lingering in the air? I do, and it smells like a new college basketball season. So, here are the top five things that I will be looking for this college basketball season. It should be one hell of a ride.

1. Can North Carolina run the table?- Zach wrote a previous post that centered around this question, and there is no doubt that if any team is going to be able to do it, its UNC. Everyone is back, and I can assure you that UNC’s goal is to finish not only as National Champions but with a goose egg in the loss column. Although I was one of the people that said the Tar Heels will go undefeated, ever since Hansbrough’s injury I’ve had doubts. There are too many things that can go wrong during the long college basketball season and when you’re playing in a conference as tough as the ACC it would be damn near impossible to not slip up at some point. However, like the Patriots last season, it will be fun to watch this team “Chase Perfection”.

2. The Freshmen- Every season you hear people talk about why this year’s freshman class is better than the last, and after a while that argument gets pretty tiresome. However, I think it is very fun to watch how the freshman make the transition from high school to high major NCAA teams. Look out for DeMar DeRozan, BJ Mullens, Delvin Roe, Tyreke Evans, etc. (I could go on all day) to make a huge impact in college basketball this season.

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3. Stephen Curry- Stephen Curry is like your sibling that goes off to college and months later you realize that you miss him/her and had always taken them for granted. When Curry leaves for the NBA (fingers crossed that it never happens) we will realize a couple of months into the next college basketball season just how much we miss that kid. So take advantage of the opportunity this year, it may be your last chance to see Curry play meaningful basketball.

4. Coaching Changes- Its always fun to analyze the top coaching moves and how they play out, especially when it is a former mid-major coach making the transition to coaching a BCS conference team. Look for Keno Davis, Travis Ford, Trent Johnson, Tom Crean, and Buzz Williams this season as the coaches that will be under the most pressure in the first year with their teams.

5. Gus Johnson- Well, you can’t really look at him while you watch games so this is more of a “Top 5 Things To Listen For”. Everyone that has listened to Gus Johnson announce a close game knows that no one else is in his league in terms of getting into the moment. Now Johnson is at the Big Ten Network, so get ready to watch MSU-Purdue go down to the wire while Gus Johnson loses his vocal cords. I can hear it now “Lucas brings it up the court! Gives it to Roe outside the key! Pump-fake! FIIIIIIIRRRRRRREEEESSS!!!!!!!!!!! ITS GOOOOOOOOOOOOD! THE SPARTANS WIN!!!!” (or insert players from Purdue and switch Spartans to Boilers).

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait.

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Jai Lucas Leaving Florida

Posted by Zach on November 5, 2008

In a bit of a stunning decision, sophomore guard Jai Lucas will transfer from the University of Florida. The 5’10 playmaker chose Florida in a heated recruiting battle with Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and may look to one of those schools to conclude his college career.

Lucas, the son of former NBA player John Lucas, informed Billy Donovan of the decision Wednesday. If he transfers to another Division I school, he’d have to sit out next season. Lucas resides from Bellaire, Texas. If he wants to return closer to home, get Rick Barnes, Mark Turgeon and Pat Knight on the phone. He’s going to be a big-time coup for some program in the future.

Lucas may have felt his minutes were at risk with the commitment of top-10 recruit Kenny Boynton for next season. The Gators would prefer Lucas slide over to point guard full-time, but Boynton and the emergence of Erving Walker, who impressed in the Florida scrimmage, was deemed a threat. Lucas finished at 8.5 PPG in 36 games (he started all) last season, leading the Gators in three-point shooting accuracy.

“He didn’t get rattled by opposing arenas,” Donovan said. “When you lose a player like that who’s got that level of experience, it always hurts because you look at a guy like Erving (Walker) in the backcourt, he’s got none. We’ve got to try to figure out some things. We’ve got to get Erving ready.”

“Any time a player leaves your program you always get a little disappointed, but at the same time there was a point where Jai wasn’t totally happy,” Donovan said. “He wanted to try to make it work…I hate to see him go, but my biggest focus for him is I want to see him be happy wherever he can go. We haven’t even talked about schools.”

(Quotes courtesy Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATE: Unrelated to the Lucas story, but ESPN Full Court’s schedule is officially out. This is a national holiday for me. Patrick ordered the package at his crib this year, and needless to say I expect to spend an inordinate amount of time there this winter. Here’s the schedule. First ESPNU game next Monday and first Full Court slate of games next Friday!

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Tyler Hansbrough Out Indefinitely

Posted by Zach on October 31, 2008

Put those undefeated talks on hold. On the same day North Carolina was rewarded with a unanimous number one ranking by the coaches, the best player in college basketball and most celebrated Tar Heel in years- Tyler Hansbrough- discovered he has a stress reaction in his left shin and is out indefinitely.

He joins Marcus Ginyard and Ed Davis as players hurting right now for coach Roy Williams. But this Hansbrough injury trumps any that may occur in college basketball this season if it turns out to be majorly serious. The Heels are partially relieved because they caught the injury before it became a stress fracture, which probably would have ended his season. Williams will address the problem in a press conference Friday.

It’s hard to tell how long North Carolina could be without their preseason All-American. The best medicine for this type of injury is rest and more rest, and UNC has already released a statement saying Hansbrough will be “out for a while.” Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports estimates he might not see the court until mid-December. It’s really unpredictable at this point.

True college basketball fans have to feel sad for the senior forward. Here’s a player who is ultra passionate about basketball and his team, one of those rare gems that stays in college for all four years. It would have been exciting to see this loaded North Carolina team at full strength for the entire season. Now they could very well be without Hansbrough for a Maui Invitational with Texas and Notre Dame (who is going to contain Harangody now? Deon Thompson?) as well as a Ford Field battle with Michigan State. It’s still too early to tell, though.

Hansbrough averaged 22.6 PPG and 10.2 RPG for the Final Four Tar Heels last season. He won National Player of the Year in his junior season and is the favorite to defend that honor this year. The Tar Heels open November 15 against Penn at home.

Gene Hansbrough, Tyler’s father: “He’ll be OK. His leg’s been bothering him for a couple of weeks. It’s a stress reaction and he needs to rest a bit. He just needs time to let it heal. There is no reason for him to limp through it.”

“I just hope he recovers soon.”

So do the Chapel Hill faithful.

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Abdul Gaddy Commits To Washington

Posted by Zach on October 29, 2008

Following Lute Olson’s abrupt resignation as Arizona head coach last week, point guard Abdul Gaddy has found a new home- the University of Washington.

The highly touted 6’3 guard out of Tacoma will stay in his home state and play for Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies. The decision came late Tuesday night and was originally reported by Scout.com, with multiple sources confirming the commitment this afternoon. To have Gaddy rescind his LOI to Arizona and opt for a rival Pac-10 school must be devastating for Wildcat fans. It may also save Washington coach Lorenzo Romar’s job following a few years of mediocrity. Landing the second best high school point guard in the nation should help.

Olson’s stroke in this past year ultimately led to his resignation just a week into practice and caused three top-100 recruits- Gaddy, Solomon Hill and Mike Moser- to all de-commit and search for new schools. There is a strong rumor that Hill, a Los Angeles native, will commit to Southern California, adding another former Arizona signee opting for a Pac-10 school. Olson’s resignation should have major lingering effects. As if losing Brandon Jennings to Europe wasn’t bad enough.

Gaddy should be Washington’s best player the moment he arrives at campus. He has tremendous point guard instincts similiar to Derrick Rose. His feel for the position is off the charts and can anchor a Washington program in need of a backcourt leader since the departure of Brandon Roy. Most expected Gaddy to head to UCLA when he de-committed from Arizona, but Washington ended up landing the ultra-talented guard.

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Smith And Plumlee Starting For Duke; ACC Media Day

Posted by Zach on October 27, 2008

Seth Davis attended Duke’s practice over this weekend and wrote an in-depth rundown over at SI.com (By the way, since Clark Kellogg is now the #1 play-by-play man for CBS, Davis will be joined by Greg Anthony in the studio for their college basketball coverage). He writes about how Jon Scheyer will take the big shots for the Dukies, how Kyle Singler put on 20 pounds to counter the workload of playing in the post, and how bust Lance Thomas (should have gone to Rutgers) may find himself in the outside looking in with Coach K’s man crush David McClure, 7-foot stiff Brian Zoubek and 6’8 freshman forward Miles Plumlee receiving more playing time.

The story of Plumlee is ironic because Duke scooped him up after he de-committed from Stanford when Trent Johnson left for LSU. Of course, Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins ended up taking the Stanford job. Coach K didn’t do any favors for his long-time assistant and continued to pursue the improving Plumlee. I thought Plumlee would spend a year off the bench as a role player getting asserted into the Duke mindset, but their lack of size (and faith in Thomas) means he might start at the 5-spot.

Davis: For someone who is as young and tall as he is, Plumlee has plenty of meat on his bones, and he is very agile to boot. (Krzyzewski told me he jumped 6 feet, 9 inches for his high school track team.) He seemed a little lost at times basketball-wise, but that’s nothing unusual considering it was only his fourth practice. Plumlee is Duke’s best shot-blocker, and he fits the Blue Devils’ wide-open style much better than 7-1 sophomore center Brian Zoubek. If the season started today, Plumlee would be Duke’s starting center.

Also surprising is near confirmation that Nolan Smith will start at point guard for the Blue Devils over three-year starter and senior Greg Paulus. Paulus was slowed by knee injuries over the summer and the vast improvement of Smith, along with his athleticism and purer point guard skills, appear to have given him the edge.

Smith had a listless workout when I was there, but that’s only because he was trying to shake off a stomach virus that had him vomiting for two straight days. Everybody I talked to, Krzyzewski included, said that Smith had played better in the summer and fall than any other player. And when I raised the question to Coach K that this development might be tough for Paulus to deal with, he brushed me off. “There’s only one ego on this team, and that’s our team ego,” he said. “So everybody is responsible for doing what’s best for the team. This isn’t some inherited wealth. Each year you have to earn it. That doesn’t mean Greg’s a bad player, but right now Nolan would start.”

I asked Krzyzewski if he had talked to Paulus about this. “We talk to all of our guys. We’re a program of full disclosure,” he said. “You have good chemistry by telling the truth. You can tell a lie without ever saying anything, just by not playing the right people.”

Surely a bold move by Coach K and we’ll see how long it lasts. I wouldn’t doubt the motives of Coach K, though; for all of Paulus’ talent, he knows his players more than anyone. And having Paulus’ shots off the bench could be genius. Expect a small crunch time team of Smith-Paulus-Scheyer-Henderson-Singler.

Today was ACC Media Day in Atlanta and here were the final results for preseason standings/teams (rundown of various thoughts by Jeff Goodman here):

1. North Carolina (unanimous 1st place)
2. Duke
3. Wake Forest
4. Miami
5. Clemson
6. Virginia Tech
7. Maryland
8. Georgia Tech
9. N.C. State
10. Florida State
11. Boston College
12. Virginia

(I’d have BC slightly higher, and NC State could emerge if the reports of Brandon Costner looking like the Costner of old are indeed true. Not sure about Georgia Tech; Shumpert may be their best weapon).

All-Conference Team
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina (unanimous)
Tyrese Rice, Boston College (unanimous)
Jack McClinton, Miami
Ty Lawson, North Carolina
Gerald Henderson, Duke

(No arguments from me here. Toney Douglas of Florida State is my sleeper for this team after the season).

Player of the Year
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

Rookie of the Year
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest

I’m loaded the next two nights so expect my #3 Big East team (Notre Dame) on Wednesday.

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