Gerald Henderson talks UNC vs. Duke

February 7, 2011

The biggest rivalry in college basketball kicks up again this week, and to start things off, here’s a few comments from former Duke star Gerald Henderson on the rivalry:
UNC Duke Rivalry

UNCW Hires Buzz Peterson Away from App State

April 17, 2010

Buzz Peterson, the former head coach of Tennessee and Tulsa and former Director of Player Personnel for the Charlotte Bobcats, returned to Appalachian State last year after the school concluded an extensive hiring process.

Peterson had previously coached the Mountaineers in a very successful stint from 1996-2000. Peterson also played for the North Carolina Tar Heels under legendary coach Dean Smith and during his college career played alongside Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, James Worthy and fellow head coach Matt Doherty.

Now, only one year later, Peterson has left Appalachian for a new job as the head coach for UNC-Wilmington, leaving the Mountaineers with another coaching search and instability in the program.

App State AD Charlie Cobb thought after last season’s drawn out hiring process, Peterson might be the head coach for some time, but according to the Winston-Salem Journal, was dismayed and somewhat caught off guard by Peterson’s abrupt departure:

“The situation we went through last year was a little bit difficult,” Cobb said. “Certainly every indication was that he was going to be the coach here for a long period of time. So it’s terribly disappointing, frankly, in that regard. But everybody’s got to do what’s best for them and their family.”

So why did Peterson leave after only one full season? To put it simply, the job at UNCW will bring him an annual salary that’s about twice his current salary, once performance incentives, bonuses and other compensations are added, putting the total somewhere in the $435,000 a year range.

It also shows how large of an enterprise that college basketball has become. Appalachian State’s compensation package for Peterson with all aspects included totaled about $225,000 a year, far and away above what most Americans earn, but the salary that ASU is able to pay is considered minor in context. Peterson was well qualified and experienced, and ASU couldn’t keep him for the money they were able to pay.

UNC at Duke Basketball Brawl – Round One

February 6, 2009

True college basketball fans should experience this game at least once in their lives.

One of the biggest games in all of sports – not just college basketball – is the annual home-and-home series between the UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils. If you’re a fan of the ACC, you already know so much about what goes into this rivalry, such as the fact that Duke University and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill are only a few miles apart.

If you don’t think this game is in incredibly high demand, take a second to look at the latest UNC Duke ticket prices.

ESPN’s entire concept of ‘Rivalry Week’ was spawned from the Duke-UNC game, and few rivalries are this heated. The matchup between the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels is in the ranks of the greatest rivialries ever, including Yankees-Red Sox and Ohio State-Michigan.

While analysts, writers and pundits will tick off all the reasons why the rivalry is so big, there’s really only one reason why it’s gotten to be one of the highlights of the entire college basketball season.

It’s because Duke and UNC are heavyweights. Having Duke and UNC in the same conference is like putting, literally, UCLA and Kansas in the same conference, or maybe more accurately, having the ’85 Chicago Bears play the ’72 Dolphins twice every season. It’s always a clash of Titans, and sometimes, literally, blood is spilled.

This year is probably going to be one of the better games even in this storied rivalry; the Tar Heels have slipped from the vaunted perch of ‘team of destiny’, and with three roster losses (Marcus Ginyard, Tyler Zeller and William Graves) since the beginning of the season, they are strong but vulnerable. Their offense is high octane, but sometimes their defense lags. Duke, on the other hand, has played better defense than the Heels up until now, but their offense sometimes gets sporadic.

Here’s some more bullets about this game:

– UNC can score very quickly and has the best transition game in the country. Everyone talks about Ty Lawson, but a key factor is that UNC can kill you in a lot of ways, not just Lawson and Hansbrough. On the break, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington can load up on teams and Ellington is out of his shooting slump.

– Duke’s ability to handle pressure. Until the Clemson game, I would have said Duke would not be rattled, but the type of pressure Clemson used so effectively against Duke is the exact type that UNC is so good at. In fact, UNC is far better at it than Clemson. However, we must remember that Clemson at Littlejohn against Duke and UNC is a completely different team than when they hit the road, and that has to be taken into account, just as UNC’s loss to Boston College.

– Can UNC effectively guard Paulus, Smith, Henderson, Scheyer and Singler? Forget the battle in the paint – Hansbrough has always pounded Duke, and nobody on the current Duke squad is going to change that. Add in Ed Davis and Deon Thompson and Duke is going to have to see if they can work an advantage from the wings and guards, where UNC’s defense often overcommits and sometimes completely misses assignments. Smith hasn’t proven that he’s adapted to college game well enough yet to best Lawson as the starting PG, but Paulus coming in off the bench will be matched up against Larry Drew II. Drew is a good point guard, but in this game, this year, you have to give a decided advantage to Paulus. I expect Duke to try and free Paulus for open threes when Drew is guarding him. Long story short: Duke will probably win or lose this game based on their offensive execution from the perimeter and their ability to prevent UNC from getting easy baskets in transition.

– The key matchup: who’s got Singler? Danny Green surprisingly gave Wake Forest’s James Johnson fits when matched up, and the reason is that Green’s athletic ability allows him to play against taller players, even those like Johnson and Singler who are deep threats. Singler may have good success if he can get a matchup on Thompson or Davis and pull them out of the paint, where he can shoot or put the ball on the floor.

This game should be a blast. With the first game at Duke, I have to give them an edge, but if UNC can play defense consistently for the entire game, it will be tough for Duke. Again, if you want to see the game in person, use this free tool to find the ticket service with the cheapest UNC vs. Duke tickets.

Maryland Basketball Tickets

December 3, 2008

Maryland Basketball Tickets

Maryland fans are vocal and passionate, and they want to see their beloved Terrapins get back into the NCAA tournament this season. The schedule actually favors Maryland and the Maryland fans all the way into ACC play, with a ton of home games to polish their fundamentals with enough big match ups mixed in to keep working towards the tough ACC schedule.

Get Maryland Basketball Tickets Here

Some interesting games in the upcoming schedule include Charlotte, and of course, Duke, UNC and Georgia Tech. Maryland’s long home stretch from December 12 through January 10 seems like it was designed by Gary Williams to get the team ready for the Georgia Tech game in College Park.

Image original courtesy

10 Basketball Recruiting Faces of the Future

November 30, 2008

Slam Online has a list of 10 Faces of the Future, and it’s probably a familiar list to anyone who follows college basketball recruiting, especially ACC basketball recruiting.

Topping the list is one the prizes of the 2010 class is Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), a player who is being recruited by Duke and UNC, along with hometown Iowa State, Kansas, UCLA and Florida. Barnes is obviously one of the top players of the class.

Barnes has a very polished offensive game, smooth and always under control. He can handle the ball, shoot outside and slash to the rim. He’s not a burner or speedster, he’s definitely a very gifted small forward.

Report: Battle of the Blue Ridge

October 16, 2008

Special report today again from James Blackburn, who attended the Battle of the Blue Ridge in Lenoir, NC, which pits Oak Hill against Patterson School in a scrimmage…with many college coaches in attendance.

Game Notes: The game was the 4th annual “Battle of the Blue Ridge” scrimmage. The teams played two 20-minute halves with regular rules and stopped clock. The third 20-minute half was played with a running clock. The first half was won by Patterson 53-38, but Oak Hill bounced back and won the second game 50-46, with a game winning 3 by Bryon Allen #23 of Oak Hill. The coaches played mostly the backups in the last half. Patterson rebounds the ball really well, particularly on the offensive end.

Players to watch
Oak Hill

• Doron Lamb (JR. 6’4”, 185 lbs.) Doron is a solid player who does what he is asked and does everything well. He started off the game cold from the floor, but is a great shooter nonetheless, finding his rhythm in the second half. He has been offered by a number of schools including: Wake Forest, Memphis, Syracuse, St. Johns, and Pittsburgh. Duke is looking at him as well but has not offered yet.

• Keith “Tiny” Gallon (Sr. 6’9”. 320 lbs.) Tiny is a beast to put it mildly. He controls the paint by rebounding on both ends of the floor and contesting shots. He is very strong and uses his size and strength well. He has a limited offensive game, but rattles the rim on every dunk. He has a decent shot with a 15 foot shooting range. He passes and dribbles well for a big man. What I question most about Tiny is his attitude. He is very vocal which gets him into trouble sometimes. On a couple of plays he didn’t get a foul called and quit on the play. His conditioning is also a question mark. He plays well when is rested, but tires after about 5 minutes of up and down action. Despite these question marks, Tiny looks like a very intriguing prospect with limitless potential. Oklahoma, Miss. St., and Cal have expressed interest. Note from Marcus: Alex recently found out that Oklahoma is the leader for Gallon.

• Lamont Jones (Sr. 6’, 180 lbs.) Lamont was the best player on the floor for either team tonight. He is an explosive scorer, getting to the rim at will and possessing the ability to finish over taller players. He is extremely quick and can handle the ball with pressure on him. He also sees the floor well and had a nice behind the back pass for a lay-up in the second half. Lamont is a great shooter with good arc and elevation. Virginia Tech, UNCC, and Cincinnati are interested in this PG from NY.


• Vincent Council (GR. 6’1”, 160 lbs.) Vincent is very smart player and has great court sense. He is an excellent passer. He is a lockdown defender. Even though he did hit a 3-pointer, he needs to improve his shot and extend his range, showing hesitancy in shooting. He is being looked at by App State and UNC-G.

• Clarence Trent (GR. 6’8”, 225 lbs.) Clarence is a deadly shooter that creates match up problems with his size. He plays hard at all times and has a good attitude. He has committed to Washington.

• Hassan Whiteside (Sr. 6’11”, 187 lbs.) Hassan is very long and extremely athletic. He is a good rebounder, but has trouble finishing because of his size. He needs to get stronger and gain weight. He is a raw player and needs to improve in many areas, including his jump shot. Charlotte and Marshall are interested.

• Hunter McClintock (GR. 6’1”, 175 lbs.) Hunter is a player who could make a lot of noise down the road. He was the fastest player on the floor with the ball and can handle the ball great. He is a good passer and plays good defense. He is also a great athlete throwing the ball off the backboard and wind milling it in warm-ups. His size might scare some people away, but he plays hard. A number of schools are looking at the PG including: Wake Forest, Boston College, and App. State.

• David Nyarsuk (Jr. 7’1”, 220 lbs.) David is very long and athletic like his counterpart Hassan Whiteside. He is a good rebounder and tries to dunk everything, playing above the rim. He plays hard but looks a little clumsy at times. He is only a junior and has a couple years to improve. Wake Forest, Tenn., and Ohio State have noticed the center.

Derrick Favors to visit NC State

October 12, 2008

Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009), many scouts’ top player in the class of 2009, has long included NC State as a possible destination, even including them in his final list. Now Favors will take an official visit to the Wolfpack’s campus.

Despite stating many times that he would wait for his official decision until the spring, Favors is still removing teams from consideration:

The tentative timetable is for Favors to eliminate one school by the end of this week and another by the end of the following week

This still could come down to Georgia versus Georgia Tech in the spring, but the Pack has a good chance to convince Favors to continue to list them.

Dominic Cheek Eliminates the ACC

October 9, 2008

Bad news for Deacon fans, who had been in the mix for Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009), a serious sharpshooter who hails from New Jersey. According to Adam Zagoria, Cheek has eliminated Wake Forest, UConn and Tennessee from his list, keeping Kansas, Memphis, Indiana, Villanova and Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

More on Trae Golden

Adam has followed up our update on Trae Golden with one of his own, where he confirms offers from Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. Interestingly, he is not listing Georgia Tech or Clemson.

Wax On, Wax Off

October 3, 2008
Fear the turtle...sculpture...

Fear the turtle...sculpture...

I am pleased to point my readers (especially my Maryland fan readers) to the Turtle Wax blog, which I’m adding to the Blog Roll. Turtle Wax is all Terps, all the time, not just basketball.

Head on over there and read up: Turtle Wax Blog.

The nifty Terrapin sculpture is from the equally nifty Fear the Turtle website, which is sponsored by the University of Maryland and whose sole purpose, it seems, is to spread incredible terror of the mighty Terrapin across the land. As I understand it, chelonaphobia, a.k.a ‘fear of turtles’, is up 19% across the U.S., Mexico and Canada since it’s inception.

The New Basketball Recruiting Blog

October 1, 2008

We come across so much basketball recruiting information that it’s sometimes hard not to talk about players and events not related the ACC. Rather than try to create a blog for each conference, we have launched the Basketball Recruiting blog, which is plain-jane in name and hopefully stuffed with basketball recruiting content. Today we discuss top point guard John Wall’s basketball recruiting status, and share a little video to boot.

What’s that, you say? John Wall info belongs on the ACC recruiting blog, since he lives in NC and list the Wolfpack? Sure, but we’ve written about Wall a lot already, and readers of the new blog are also interested in Mr. Wall. However, we still have some ACC basketball recruiting news to pass out, so here we go:

Talib Zanna goes to the Big East

Talib Zanna (C, 6’9″, 2009) seemed like a Pitt lean for a while, but a few people hoped Virginia or Virginia Tech might convince him otherwise. Alas, it was not to be and he’ll be playing for the Panthers in the Fall of 2009.

Wake Forest visiting Cheek

With the on-campus visits getting most of the press these days, we kind of forget the old standby of the in-home visit. Lest we forget that Wake Forest is in the mix for sharpshooter Dominic Cheek’s services, Adam Zagoria mentions that Wake will be visiting Cheek on Wednesday.

Harrison Barnes

The next great recruiting battle is answering to the name Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), who holds a ton of offers, including Duke, UCLA and Kansas and UNC’s Coach Roy Williams has watched Barnes play.

Derrick Favors

So Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009) has cut his list to six, and now he’s just returned from a visit to Georgia Tech, and it sounds good for the Yellow Jackets:

“Georgia Tech, of course, is right here in the city, and that’s always a great thing. It would allow people around here, such as his family and his friends, the opportunity to see him play in person. And Georgia Tech has a great tradition of putting players in the NBA on a regular basis …”

Tech has been thought to be a leader for Favors, despite claims to the contrary, and Tech would love to have the big time power forward.

Michael Snaer

Finally, Michael Snaer talks basketball recruiting in this interview, in which he discusses his visits:

You took official visits to Missouri and Florida State prior to coming to MU. How would you compare and contrast the three visits, and what you saw on each? The whole recruiting process, it’s like they’re all saying the same things, so it’s the little things that you’ve got to bring out. And one of the real good things that attracted me to Marquette is that they just play hard. How tough they are and how hard they work.

Florida State and Missouri are bigger schools and have football teams. Basketball at Marquette, meanwhile, is the biggest show on campus. How much does the thought of being ‘the’ show at MU appeal to you? It feels good, but it really doesn’t matter to me because at the end of the day you’ve still got to win games. Either way, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m still going to play as hard as I can, no matter what.

I really have appreciated how Snaer has handled his recruitment. He has pretty much taken his visits as planned, and seems to be doing his best to really evaluate each school. It’s only one of the biggest decisions of his life, after all.

Melvin Tabb

Even though we dropped Talib Zanna as an ACC target when he committed to Pitt, we’re adding Melvin Tabb (PF, 6’8″, 2009) to the tracking list, with an offer from Clemson and a recent visit to NC State. He’s actually been contacted by a few other ACC schools as well.