Section Six Is No More
Today I bid farewell to Blogger. Please update your bookmarks and/or blogrolls: I've moved here
. Other than the new address, nothing's changing. I promise to continue to support Macrowave awareness.
Take a few minutes to register and check out the new digs.
Nate Irving Injured In Car Accident
N.C. State linebacker Nate Irving is recovering after breaking his leg in a car accident.
Irving was expected to undergo surgery Sunday night at WakeMed Trauma Center in Raleigh, where he was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
School officials said Irving suffered a broken leg and a collapsed lung in the car accident Saturday night. Coach Tom O'Brien said in a statement issued by the school that the team's thoughts and prayers were with Irving.
Searching For Breakout Guards
I hadn't realized just how short on bonafides at the guard spot the league is until I read BJD's post on the subject
earlier this week. I looked through the numbers from last year and didn't find much in the way of breakout indicators. Mediocre track records abound. Some thoughts on a few guys:Javi Gonzalez:
Perhaps the only thing that kept Javi--who doubled his per-minute point production in '09--from making a true leap last season was his turnover rate. He's a solid candidate if he can slice into that ugly 6 TOs/40 number. There is a red flag, though: his 59.3 eFG% (67.2% in league play). He's not gonna match that.Ish Smith:
Made strides last season, and his free throw shooting improved immensely, which is encouraging. But his ceiling is limited if he can't improve on his career 32.7 3FG%.Maurice Miller:
How you feel about Miller's breakout chances depends on how you interpret this:
ORtg %Shots eFG% FT% 2FG% 3FG% Ast% TO% FTR
2008 109.1 17.9 52.6 80.2 47.1 39.7 28.2 24.8 58.7
2009 78.5 16.1 34.1 66.1 36.8 20.3 30.2 31.7 45.9
After a very nice freshman debut, Miller was supposed to be the guy at the point, but he went down with an injury early in the '09 season and his performance never recovered. So how much of the drop off can rightfully be attributed to the health issue? Which season is the more accurate reflection of his abilities? He'll bounce back to some extent--hard to imagine another 34% shooting year, health permitting--and considering how bad Iman Shumpert was, the door is open for him.
-- Steve Spurrier Q&A
from The State
Q: Do you feel like in some ways your success is hitched to Garcia?
A: Dependent on Stephen, and all the coaches? Yeah, it’s dependent on all these guys. But like I’ve said, we just haven’t quite put the total team together yet. We’ve been competitive, but we haven’t put the total team together. We still obviously think we can do it, and (it’s) very encouraging that we had such a good recruiting class. All those guys stuck with us. And like I said, we all like each other right now. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way.
Q: That hasn’t always been the case?
A: Not always the case.
Q: You’ve said several times you had some guys last year that had one eye on the door.
A: Well, we had some of those guys and had some guys we’d always take on the trips. We knew they weren’t going to play. I don’t know how much they wanted to play. You know, you want to take the whole team that wants to come and compete. And if they don’t play, they’re cheering for their teammates and things like that. We just haven’t quite had that, so hopefully we can get it going that way.
Spurrier adds later that he thinks he's "got a team on the verge." On the verge of destruction at the hands of Russell Wilson, I think he's implying.
-- Bad news for Duke today, as Elliott Williams has announced that he intends to transfer closer to home
-- David Aldridge picks Courtney Fells as one of his deep sleepers
. (See #17.)
-- With the Titans' Kevin Mawae rehabbing an injury, former Wolfpack offensive lineman Leroy Harris has been getting all the reps with the first team
-- "Three Dallas Cowboys sign heavy metal record deal
." Can't say I ever saw that headline coming.
-- I'm beginning to worry that the football opener will be canceled, or at least postponed until we can figure out a way to dislodge the state of South Carolina from Bermuda.
In-State Recruiting Off To A Better Start
Creecy is the second player making a pledge to the Wolfpack's Class of 2010 who is regarded as the best in the state at his position. The two major recruiting networks, Rivals.com and Scout.com, both have Creecy and Chapel Hill offensive tackle Robert Crisp in their early list of the nation's Top 100 prospects. Crisp committed to N.C. State in April.
The impressive start is a contrast to a year ago when the Wolfpack didn't sign a single player ranked in the state's top 10 and had only three in the top 30 - linebacker Ricky Dowdy, quarterback Everett Proctor and defensive lineman Sylvester Crawford.
Auburn on the hoops schedule?
Towards the end of this article
, Tim Peeler mentions the Tigers as a possibility. I assume this potential game would be played in Raleigh since we probably don't want to add another tough road trip to the schedule at this point.
Also in the article:
There will be challenges of course. With so few proven three-point shooters on the Wolfpack, Smith is likely to be crowded on defense by opposing teams. Unlike last year, when he scored easily at times, he will be surrounded.
“He’ll have to continue to improve and get better,” Lowe said. “I think he’ll get through it because, one, we will teach him to get through it, and, two, his teammates will help him out."
And three: we'll have Tracy unleash his mid-range game. There will be no survivors.
Where will the Deacs land?
Is Wake Forest headed for the bottom, or not
? Let's take a look at some of their issues going forward...
Wake Forest 08-09 (conf-only)
Rtg (Rk) eFG% (Rk) TO% (Rk) OR% (Rk) FTR (Rk) 2FG% (Rk) 3FG% (Rk)
Offense 106.8 (5) 52.0 (2) 21.2 (8) 35.8 (5) 42.0 (1) 52.7 (1) 32.8 (10)
Defense 101.1 (3) 47.5 (2) 19.2 (7) 32.3 (1) 35.2 (6) 47.6 (5) 31.5 (1)
If Wake Forest does find its way down to the bottom third of the league standings, it's likely that the offense will be the culprit, as Jeff Teague and James Johnson were not only the team's highest-usage players but also its most efficient players. Teague was Wake's sole reliable outside shooter in 2009, and now that he's gone, that area appears all the more glaring a problem. LD Williams hasn't been an effective shooter since 2007, and Ish Smith, for all the improvement he showed last season, still lacks range. When it is even slightly possible that the departure of Harvey Hale--who was an outside threat only in the sense that he possessed the strength necessary to lob the ball 21 feet--might hurt, you've got problems. Incoming shooting guard CJ Harris
may not be much help, as Scout.com lists perimeter shooting among his weaknesses.
But this is a team that, quite understandably, makes its living in the paint, and they attempt so few three-pointers that more sub-par production from outside probably won't be crippling. Al-Farouq Aminu and Chas McFarland were both reliable interior scorers, but that was with average workloads afforded them by the attention given to Teague and Johnson. It remains to be seen how they'll take to larger roles in the offense, though Aminu should be fine. Regardless, Wake Forest can't replace Johnson's 60% two-point shooting.
And what about the turnover rate now that Ish Smith is running the club full-time? Smith brought his TO% down to an acceptable level last season--it was easily the best mark of his career. Can he do that again?
At the defensive end, the Deacs used their considerable size to make shots difficult and second opportunities rare (relative to the rest of the ACC, anyway). Between Aminu, McFarland, and the additional services of noted tall guys Tony Woods, David Weaver, and Ty Walker, there's a good chance that continues. As long as it does, they'll be fine. But here, again, Johnson's absence looks like a big deal--he rebounded well and was arguably their most disruptive defender, if you buy the notion that block and steal rates reflect that sort of thing.
Just being tall isn't always good enough, though, as Sidney Lowe's last couple of teams have made painfully evident. Wake's interior defense showed some cracks down the stretch, and they were a few points per possession worse over the final month of the season. That slide culminated in a meltdown against Cleveland State in the NCAA tournament.
Wake Forest's overall performance in conference play wasn't quite as good as its results; they were just the fourth-best team in terms of efficiency margin. It's conceivable that the defense, which has a solid foundation but some uncertain new parts, declines a bit back toward league average, while the offense finds life much more difficult without Teague and Johnson. And if that's conceivable, so too is a bottom-third finish.
State/Tennessee Matchup Is Official
NC State will open the 2012 football season
in Atlanta against the Kiffin Family Circus.
"This matchup will continue the tradition of creating the Daytona 500 of college football," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president. "I fully expect that in 2012 both of these rising programs will be ranked in the top 20."
Although less than 300 miles apart, N.C. State and Tennessee have played just twice, the last time in 1939. The teams are 1-1 in those games.
"Atlanta is the perfect spot to host the first meeting between the teams in over 70 years," said Dave Brown, ESPN's vice president for programming. "A matchup of this caliber is another great way ... to usher in the first week of college football."
Tickets will be split evenly between N.C. State and Tennessee, and the game and its surrounding events will be managed by the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Scott Wood Injured? And Other Items
-- I've been hesitating to mention this, as I've yet to find anything about this in the traditional places, but it appears that Scott Wood injured his knee in the first half of an all-star game on Sunday. This per a couple of people on Twitter (I know, I know. But one does work for a paper.). From The Anderson News
's John Herndon
10:16 to go in first, Indiana 15, Kentucky 10. Indiana's Scott Wood (NC State) just helped off the floor with a knee injury. Collided w/Hood
A bit later, from an IU blogger
NC State signee Scott Wood back on IN bench. His left knee looks swollen.
That does not sound good. I still have no idea as to the extent of the injury, though.
: Wolfpack Hoops caught up with Wood
, who said that the knee injury was not serious and that he'll be out a month at the most. Pending an MRI.)
-- The Charlotte Observer caught up with Russell Wilson
, who is hitting .208/.345/.271 for the Gastonia Grizzlies.
-- JP Giglio takes another crack
at predicting how the ACC basketball standings will look next season.
Painted No-Charge Arc Coming In 2011, Perhaps
One of the reasons the NCAA basketball playing rules committee last month didn't recommend a painted arc to go along with the new "no charge" zone under the basket for "help" defenders was because it could have taken four years to institute a new painted line.
But when the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the roughly-24-inch no-charge area earlier this month, it did something smart: It opened the door to quicker implementation of a painted semicircle, if one is ever recommended and approved by the membership.
The Oversight Panel agreed that if the committee opts next summer to suggest that the no-charge zone be painted, the markings won't need to go through an experimental stage in 2010-11. That could allow arcs to be added in 2011-12, when the next rule book is printed, said Ty Halpin, the NCAA's associate director of playing rules administration.
Previously the NCAA said that it could take four years to add the painted arc, thanks to a confluence of factors including dumbass bureaucracy, the need for an experimental trial run, and the fact that the NCAA rulebook is updated every two years.
I never understood why an experimental stage would be necessary in this case, because unlike, say, a change to the lane's dimensions or a change to the three-point line--modifications that could have significant effects on the way the game is played and thus require a wait-and-see period--the no-charge zone is less a fundamental modifier and more just routine maintenance. Not to mention a complete no-brainer.
It's encouraging that the rules committee seems to have reached this conclusion, but still frustrating that we're two years away at the earliest from seeing the arc implemented. Worse, we've got two years of the imaginary arc, two years of officials struggling to make a second judgment call on top of what's already a pretty damn tough original judgment call. My hope is that the imaginary arc goes the way of every other "point of emphasis"/"ineffectual crackdown"--officials pay extra attention at the outset before totally forgetting about it.
If there is a good thing about the imaginary no-charge zone, though, it's that we are a little bit closer to seeing Karl Hess's head literally explode on the court. Were his feet set? Was he in the imaginary arc zone? The fuck's the dimensions on that thing again? Shit.
Hoops To Play UNCG At The Gboro Coliseum
From the News & Record
(thanks to Dash
for the tip):
Game times aren't set yet. Heck, game days aren't even a done deal.
But the UNCG men's basketball team will play a healthy non-conference schedule in its first season of home games at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Four ACC opponents — including two ranked in the final AP top 25 poll last season — are among six teams that will play non-conference games at the coliseum against the Spartans. No. 12 Wake Forest, No. 24 Clemson, N.C. State and Maryland will help break in UNCG's new home court. The Spartans also will play host to East Carolina and Princeton and play nine Southern Conference games at the coliseum.
I know a lot of folks are against these sorts of games, but I think this is shrewd scheduling on our part. State gets to play a team it should beat comfortably, in front of what is likely to be a pro-State crowd, and gets RPI credit for a road/semi-road game. That's a good deal.
One other quick item: if you've got 15 minutes to kill, check out this 2008 football highlight video
-- Mary Easley was informed that she was let go because of "the recent economic downturn
." Wink wink. YOU FOLLOWING ME, CAMERA GUY? In truth, my completely not bogus sources tell me, NCSU officials invoked university bylaw 12, section four, clause A-7, better known as the Holy Hot Goddamn This Here Is Some Shit clause. For obvious but regrettable legal reasons
, that could not be publicized.
-- "Without my hair, what would I blow-dry?" Watch General Ray Odierno
, who holds a masters in Nuclear Effects Engineering from NC State and is the Commanding General of Multi-National Force-Iraq, shave Stephen Colbert's head
-- Nice article about Scott Wood from the Indy Star
But the danger of labeling Wood as "a shooter" is to think of him only as a shooter.
"I've never coached anybody like him," said Joe Luce, Wood's high school coach. "He's the kind of kid you want to date your daughter because he's such a great kid, but there's a toughness about him you might not pick up on at first. He reminds me of a guy like (Purdue's) Robbie Hummel. He plays to win."
MLB Draft Complete (Updated)
The first 30 rounds are in the books
, and here's the damage:
Daniel Tuttle (RHP) -- 5th rd, Cincinnati Reds
Jimmy Gillheeney (LHP) -- 8th rd, Seattle Mariners
Dane Williams (RHP) -- 15th rd, Chicago White Sox
Sam Brown (RHP) -- 22nd rd, Texas Rangers
Marlon Mitchell (C) -- 27th rd, Philadelphia Phillies
Tuttle, Williams, and Mitchell are NC State signees.
I'm guessing Tuttle will go pro despite the Cincinnati/National League double whammy. According to Future Sox
, Dane Williams would have gone considerably higher but for signability issues. I get the sense that if the Sox are willing to shell out the six-figure signing bonus he wants, he'll go pro. Win-win for me, though.As for Mitchell
"Everything has to be right," said Mitchell, an N.C. State recruit who expressed similar sentiments as Lockwood and Taylor, both USF recruits. "I like my scholarship at N.C. State and the program there. I'm still negotiating, and I don't know yet. I think I'll know by the end of the summer, but hopefully sooner."Update:
Results from rounds 31-50...
John Lambert (LHP) -- 34th rd, Chicago Cubs
Daniel Canela (C) -- 37th rd, Detroit Tigers
Tarran Senay (OF) -- 38th rd, Detroit Tigers
Kyle Rutter (RHP) -- 41st rd, Boston Red Sox
Anthony Tzamtzis (RHP) -- 43rd rd, Houston Astros
Rey Cotilla (RHP) -- 48th rd, Milwaukee Brewers
Canela, Cotilla, Senay, and Tzamtzis are NC State signees.Full draft results
Oblinger, Easley Gone
"I understand that the University will be making public today the documents that it is providing to the grand jury in connection with the federal investigation," Oblinger wrote. "A handful of those documents - all emails - indicate that I was made aware of Mrs. Easley's potential availability as a faculty member by [NCSU board of trustees chairman] McQueen Campbell in April 2005. I did not recall those communications until reviewing the emails last week. The emails themselves indicate that I referred the issue to the appropriate university officials and they indicate no impropriety in the process in which Mrs. Easley was hired to come to NC State from her previous position at North Carolina Central University at an increase in pay of $1,072.10."
Oblinger, like Nielsen, said the intense scrutiny was the reason he was quitting.
"I am doing so because that is what leaders do when the institutions they lead come under distracting and undue public scrutiny," he wrote in a resignation letter. "This is particularly true for leaders of public institutions like NC State."
Oblinger became chancellor right around the time I graduated from NC State and didn't leave much of an impression in the years that followed, except that he seemed weak and unfocused when compared to his predecessor. So these last few weeks have been revealing in more ways than one. BOT terminates Easley's contract
Easley's job title was executive in residence, given when former NCSU Provost Larry Nielsen retooled her post and gave her an 88 percent raise last summer.
The job was actually four part-time roles cobbled together. She was to create and direct a public safety center; run a speakers series, which she started in 2005; coordinate law-related academic programming; and teach half a class each semester.
Documents released today show that the job was orchestrated at the highest levels of state government, and included the direct involvement of then-Gov. Mike Easley.
E-mail messages show the creation of the job was orchestrated in April and May of 2005 by the governor and that her job formation involved the chancellor at N.C. State, James Oblinger, who resigned today; a key trustee, McQueen Campbell, who also has resigned from the board; a senior adviser to Easley who now heads the Golden Leaf Foundation, Dan Gerlach; and an NCSU lobbyist at the time, Andy Willis.
-- The Shelby Star caught up with Sidney Lowe
at the Coaches Caravan stop in Gastonia:
Q: What was the biggest surprise for you switching from coaching in the NBA to coaching in college?
A: "What surprised me more than anything is the extras that coaches have to deal with on this level. When I say the extras, I mean the extra people. When I played and came to school, it was me. That was it. My high school coach sent me off to school. My mom and dad sent me off to school. So the only person coach (Norm) Sloan and Coach V (Jim Valvano) had to deal with was me. Today, you've got to deal with a lot of people. Parents are much more involved now with their kids' careers than they were before. Our parents were excited about us going to college and playing basketball. It was a privilege to play, not something somebody owed us. Now, because of the coverage of the NBA, the parents and a lot of AAU coaches - not all, but some - are looking at these players as someone that's going to help them get to the next level. So there's a lot of pressure on these young men, who are trying to come in here to go to school in addition to having a coach outside of your college coach trying to tell you what to do and what's best for you. And in some cases, you get the heat from the parents as well. So that's the biggest difference for me."
Those could be veiled references to the Wall saga, Costner's old man, or neither.
-- The latest from Tim Peeler
regarding the NCSU athletics history project.
-- This hit my email inbox yesterday:
Just for me. I'm big on the internet like that. Yes, I think I will feel the thunder.
*plays video*Ooh, a Russell Wilson touchdown pass!
Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!Wait a second.
Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!No no no no. This is all wrong.
Thun! Der! duhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuhnuh Thun! Der!This is a cruel joke. A cruel, cruel--wow, sweet kick return.
Enter some bogus info here
and see the brief highlight video yourself.
-- Steve Hauschka is battling Graham Gano--among other things
--for the kicking job in Baltimore.
-- Reading this post
from Dr. Saturday, I couldn't help but recall the two-point conversion for the win at Syracuse
, still one of my favorite Wolfpack football games of all-time. The image of Paul Pasqualoni jumping around, desperately hoping one of the Orangemen on the field would see he wants a timeout, is one I'll never forget. To this day, I wonder what the Syracuse special teams guys were thinking during that play. What the hell kind of extra point formation is this? Oh crap.
"There was no question in my mind about going for two at the end," said O'Cain, whose job was said to be in jeopardy. "In that kind of situation, you need to choose your opportunity. Their defense was reeling and had lost its confidence."
That NC State team finished the season 6-5 on the strength of a three-game winning streak, but O'Cain was reduced to pleading/begging for a bowl berth, because bowl games hadn't yet proliferated to the point of absurdity. Had circumstances been different, had they managed a bowl appearance that year, O'Cain would have been coming off of two consecutive bowl seasons rather than one in '99, the year of his dismissal. I wonder if that would've changed things. State's 6-6 record in '99 would've been good enough for a bowl game today, too. I don't regret the way it went down...it's just something terrifying to think about.
-- Billie Gillispie struggles with unemployment
Billy Gillispie is back in his hometown of Graford, Texas, looking to buy a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, closing a sale on his Lexington abode, dealing with a lawsuit against his former employer Kentucky, mapping out his summer and fall plans and figuring out how to handle idle time that he hasn't had in his adult life.
"I've gone strong for a long time," Gillispie said. "I was a head coach in high school to a Division I coach, to a head Division I coach, and I got lucky, real lucky. It's amazing how quickly things happen. I never took a vacation. I'm not sure what to do with the down time."
As someone who has also recently earned some unrequested vacation time, Billy, let me help you out.
11:30 -- Wake up.
12:03 -- Pour first gin and tonic.
12:10 -- Should I put pants on?
12:12-7:15 -- It's whatever.
7:30 -- Decide to go out because it's Wednesday night but at the same time it's also Saturday night.
7:33 -- I should put pants on.
And so on and so forth.
I suppose it's just years of on-the-record conditioning at work, but it's a bit disappointing that college coaches can't fully drop the gloves even when blessed with anonymity
Boston College: "I think the offensive line has gone down every year since 2006, when I thought it was they were the best offensive line I'd seen. But they've deteriorated since then." -- An opposing ACC assistant coach.
It'd be funny if the unnamed assistant were NC State OL coach Don Horton, who coached BC's offensive line from 2003 to 2006.
Maryland: "They're probably one of the last teams in the ACC that really come off the ball and really try to get downhill and run the ball at you. But they don't scare me." –– An opposing ACC assistant coach.
I love the tone of this comment. Maryland football: how quaint!
The Columbus Dispatch: Secrecy 101
The Family Eductational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which was created to protect the privacy of students' academic records, has come to be interpreted broadly and inconsistently by the NCAA's various member institutions, as the Columbus Dispatch discovered in a six-month investigation
(thanks to a reader for the tip):
Across the country, many major-college athletic departments keep their NCAA troubles secret behind a thick veil of black ink or Wite-Out.
Alabama. Cincinnati. Florida. Florida State. Ohio State. Oklahoma. Oregon State. Utah. They all censor information in the name of student privacy, invoking a 35-year-old federal law whose author says it has been twisted and misused by the universities.
Former U.S. Sen. James L. Buckley said it's time for Congress to rein in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which he crafted to keep academic records from public view.
A six-month Dispatch investigation found that FERPA, as it's commonly called, is a law with many conflicting interpretations. And that makes it virtually impossible to decipher what is going on inside a $5 billion college-sports world that is funded by fans, donors, alumni, television networks and, at most schools, taxpayers.
The Dispatch learned of the wildly different legal interpretations by sending public-records requests for athletics-related documents to all 119 colleges in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). The goal was to gauge their openness and use of the FERPA law.
The requests sought airplane flight manifests for football-team travel to road games; lists of people designated to receive athletes' complimentary admission to football games; football players' summer-employment documents; and reports of NCAA violations.
The records could help shed light on the inner workings of college-sports programs, including identifying the people who have access to athletes -- some of whom are boosters and agents who, if acting improperly, can bring shame and fines to an entire athletic department.
In some cases, documents were unobtainable because of substantial fees charged by schools. For example, Maryland wanted $35,330 to produce the same documents that more than half the schools provided free.
Of the 69 schools that provided information:
• More than 80 percent released unedited information from ticket lists.
• About half did not censor flight manifests.
• Twenty percent gave full information about summer jobs held by football players.
• Ten percent provided unedited NCAA violations.
Here's how the ACC's public institutions responded to the requests:NC State:
Refused to provide any information about flight manifests, complimentary tickets, or summer job forms. Provided info about NCAA infractions but blacked out names and details.Clemson:
Fully disclosed flight manifests, refused to provide information about complimentary tickets, provided summer job forms but blacked out the students' names, provided information about NCAA violations but black out the names of some students and non-students.Florida State:
Fully disclosed flight manifests and documentation regarding complimentary tickets. Provided summer job forms and information about NCAA violations, but blacked out names and details in both cases.Georgia Tech:
Fully disclosed flight manifests, documentation regarding complimentary tickets, and summer job forms. Provided NCAA violation info but blacked out the names of students and some non-students.Maryland:
Demanded a $35,330 fee from the Dispatch
for the public records, which, obviously, the paper could not pay. Maryland was one of 14 institutions that charged significant fees
for its documents, but the only one to ask for more than a grand.North Carolina:
One of 11 institutions that did not produce a single document in six months.Virginia:
Like Maryland, Virginia charged a fee that made the records unobtainable to the Dispatch
Provided flight manifests and information about complimentary tickets but blacked out the names of student athletes in both cases. Refused to provide summer job forms. Provided info regarding NCAA violations but blacked out the names of students and some non students.
Here's a link to the Dispatch's database
, which, in addition to the above, includes athletics revenues and expenses, graduation rates, and APR reports for each school.
From most transparent to least:Open
Florida StateFairly Open
Virginia TechWhat Are You Looking At, Pal?
NC StateNo Hablamos Ingles
North CarolinaA Pretense Of Openness