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Friday, May 29, 2009

Official GoPack.com Story On Hill's Title


GoPack.com link

As per usual, Tim Peeler does a great job fleshing out the details of the story. Some of the best quotes during Matt's remarkable run have come from Richard Sykes, golf coach at State who's seen quite a few tremendous golfers come through his doors over the years. To hear him speak about what Hill's done since March helps amplify just what an amazing accomplishment is:
“He played the way he has played all year long,” Sykes said. “Very consistent. He did not try shots he could not make. He did not get himself into trouble. When he had to make big shots, he made them.

“The only word I can think of to describe it all is ‘magical.’”

Hill becomes the second golfer in NCAA history to win his conference title, the NCAA regional title and the NCAA national title, all in one year. Tiger Woods did it first in 1996 while at Stanford*

For some further reading, Peeler (I guess he was bored?) compiled a rundown of all 29 individual national champions in State's history. It's an interesting read.

*Edited to correct Hill as second, not first, golfer to accomplish this feat.

View the complete entry of "Official GoPack.com Story On Hill's Title"

Calipari Leaving Yet Another Team In Shambles As He Walks Out The Door


Remember this entry from last year, where I spent way too many words wondering if hiring John Calipari at State would've been worth the risk or not?

I should'a just said "hell no" and been done with it.

View the complete entry of "Calipari Leaving Yet Another Team In Shambles As He Walks Out The Door"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ESPN.com, Golfweek.com Writeups On Hill's Title


ESPN.com article
"I didn't really want to know where I stood until I was coming down the stretch," he said. "It was a little bit nerve-racking on a few of the holes but as soon as I found out I had a two-shot lead it was maybe a little bit more comfortable. The bogey kind of made it a little tougher, and then I guess that birdie definitely helped on 8 when that putt snuck in there."

No one else was making a move. Stanley parred the last five holes. One group ahead, Hoge's lead had melted with bogeys at holes 5, 6 and 7. The last man standing was Hill.

He locked up the win with a two-putt par on his final hole, pumping his fist as the 3-footer fell into the cup.

"This whole season's been amazing," Hill said. "To win this is really icing on the cake and it's really special to me. I really worked really hard to get here."

Matt Hill smiled and enjoyed all the attention, the congratulations, and the interviews that go along with being the NCAA champion.

What the North Carolina State sophomore didn’t enjoy Thursday after his third round at the NCAA Championship was the feeling of receiving the trophy.

He’ll have to wait until Friday around noon for that. The reason being a 4 1/2-hour weather delay during Wednesday’s second round that didn’t allow Thursday’s third round to be completed.


With his home being about a three-hour drive to Toledo, Hill had a solid group of family and friends on hand to watch, including his parents, Bob and Barb, as well as aunts and uncles.

“I’m just ecstatic,” said his father, Bob. “He’s played great golf all spring, and then to finish it off in this grand finale is pretty special. He really toughed it out all week, and right now all of us are just going to enjoy it.”

View the complete entry of "ESPN.com, Golfweek.com Writeups On Hill's Title"

GolfWeek.com Chat With Hill Following Final Round


Continuing the all-out Matt Hill-athon, here's a link to Golfweek.com's NCAA page with a moderated chat Hill partook in just minutes following his final round. Just scroll down to the bottom half of the page for the replay of the CoverItLive chat.

(If you have a hard time finding it or getting it to load, here's a link to the RSS feed from the chat)

On a side note, doesn't Matt look like he's having a blast talking about his national title? Dude's grinning from here to Ontario.

Wouldn't you?

View the complete entry of "GolfWeek.com Chat With Hill Following Final Round"

It's Almost Official...


But for one lone golfer yet to tee off at even par (Steve Ziegler of Stanford), Matt Hill is your 2009 NCAA Golf Individual Champion!

First Darrion Caldwell, then Kristin Davies. Now you can (almost) add Matt Hill to the incredible list of THREE individual NCAA champions for the Wolfpack in the 2008-2009 calendar year!

Hill completed a very steady, very measured three-round journey by shooting 69-69-69 for a total of six-under 207. Other golfers had more spectacular rounds, but Hill carded only six bogeys to go along with an eagle, 10 birdies and a buttload of pars to (pretty much) take home the title.

Unbelievable. I'll have more tomorrow once Ziegler finishes his round, but he'd have to shoot a 6-under 65 just to tie Hill and force (I assume) a playoff.


View the complete entry of "It's Almost Official..."

NCAA.com Streaming Live Video Of Golf Championships



They will probably spend more time on team coverage than individuals, but there's a chance Hill--still within striking distance of the lead--may get some camera time.

View the complete entry of "NCAA.com Streaming Live Video Of Golf Championships"

Hill Rallies From Shaky Start To Maintain Share Of Lead At The NCAA Championships


Matt Hill: Doin' Work.

Sure, Hill's Canadian whitebread heritage probably won't earn him any documentary looks from Spike Lee, but Hill is grinding with the best of them these days.

After finishing in a tie for first after the first round of the NCAA Championships, Hill started the day yesterday well with three pars and a birdie on the 13th (his round began on hole #10).

But a bogey on 14 and another on the first hole put him at one-over for the day heading down the home stretch and in danger of slipping further down the leader board.

Hill rallied, though, with a birdie on the third and an eagle on the 8th to put him at two-under for the day again and shoot him right back up the board in back into a tie for first place after two rounds.

Hill currently shares the lead with Georgia's Russell Henley and San Diego's Alex Ching, who was leading the event prior to a rain delay that forced him into the clubhouse after 10 holes. When Ching retook the course, he quickly gave back three strokes on holes 12, 13 and 15 before birdieing his final hole to rejoin the leaders.

You can continue to follow Hill here on the live leaderboard of www.golfstat.com.

View the complete entry of "Hill Rallies From Shaky Start To Maintain Share Of Lead At The NCAA Championships"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Red Hot Hill Continues His Strong Play At NCAA Championships


State's Matt Hill shares a three-way lead over the field with a two-under opening round of the NCAA Championships.

He and only seven other golfers from the field finished below par.

Hill has been on a tear of late.
Of the last eight events Hill has competed in, he's won an unbelievable seven...a staggering 87.5% winning clip. Imagine taking the field against Hill in eight events and only winning once!

His seven wins set a new ACC record for wins in a season. The previous record was five.

Let's hope the Hurricanes loss doesn't screw with his mojo, though...after all, Hill--a native of Ontario and avid hockey fan--has said previously that one of the primary reasons he chose the Wolfpack is that they share a metropolis with a professional hockey club. In some ways, his hot streak coincides with that of the Canes in the second half of the year to make the playoffs as a six seed and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Let's hope the party continues on for Hill despite the Canes' elimination last night.

Even if Hill can't record an unbelievable seventh-straight victory to win the NCAA title, he can still finish as the highest finisher at the championships in State history. Tim Clark finished fifth in 1998, the last time State sent a golfer to the championships.

Golf coach Richard Sykes says it best:

"I don’t know how to talk about [Hill's hot streak], really, other than to sit back and enjoy it," Sykes said. "It really is kind of enjoyable, to be honest with you."

You can follow Hill's progress live tomorrow at www.golfstat.com He's scheduled to tee off at 8:55 this morning.

View the complete entry of "Red Hot Hill Continues His Strong Play At NCAA Championships"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NCSU Students Developing Moon Blankets; Moon Snuggies Up Next


In some cool non-sports, non-scandal N.C. State news, a group of State students have developed a power-generating, radiation-shielding, outpost-covering blanket that will hopefully protect future astronauts during extended stays on the moon.
"We had many factors to consider in developing this outpost cover — not just being able to protect against radiation," said NCSU engineering student Michael Sieber in a statement. "The product needed to be as lightweight as possible to feasibly fit on the transportation module, and have the ability to be easily erected by a minimum number of astronauts for immediate use once landing on the moon."

The blanket devised by the State engineering students will compete against other life-saving designs from other colleges in June for top design honors (not to mention all the trappings that come with such an award, like women, cash, fame, etc.).

Good luck to you, lunar engineering nerds students. Make us proud.

(But seriously...get to work on the Moon Snuggies...)

View the complete entry of "NCSU Students Developing Moon Blankets; Moon Snuggies Up Next"

Carter-Finley Renovation Update Over At GoPack.com


For those curious about the state of Carter-Finley's field removal/replacement, Tim Peeler has some photos up, along with a recap of the proceedings.

Here's Peeler's breakdown of the timetable for the coming months:
Currently, new irrigation pipes are being buried underneath the playing surface, a two-week process that was slightly delayed because of rain. Once all irrigation and drainage pipes are installed and approved – which should happen by the end of the month – the field will get a layer of gravel for drainage.

Once that is completed and approved, the time-consuming process of testing the sand-peat mixture will begin, Brincefield said. Everything will go through a particle-size analysis for organic content, infiltration rates and other important data that will help determine how well the flat field will drain water.

Throughout May and June, the synthetic sidelines, which will be different than the playing surface, will be installed. It will include a layer of gravel, a rug and a sand/rubber surface mixture.


From July 1 through Aug. 1, the growth of the sod will be carefully monitored to make sure the root depth reaches between six to eight inches.

There is some built-in wiggle room to allow for inclement weather, Brincefield said, but if all goes as planned the entire project should be completed by the time football coach Tom O’Brien and his team holds their first scrimmage on the field in mid-August.

Photos after the jump:


Enjoy (click on the image to see full size):

View the complete entry of "Carter-Finley Renovation Update Over At GoPack.com"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Excellent Read On Cullen Jones's Efforts To Combat Childhood Drowning


The Houston Chronicle

You gotta love Cullen Jones.

While Michael Phelps spent the nine months since the 2008 Olympics hitting the media circuit (and a bong with Gamecock coeds), Jones -- the former N.C. State All American and gold-medal winning swimmer from Beijing -- has been doing his best to help kids in the Houston area learn how to swim.

If you're not familiar with Jones's story, it's a pretty fascinating. He nearly drowned as a small child at a waterpark, fueling his desire to prevent kids -- particularly minorities, who stand a greater statistical chance of drowning -- from losing their lives in the water.
Jones was 5 when he went cascading down a slide at a water park, clinging for dear life to an inner tube. The next thing he knew, he was asking his parents which ride he could go on next.

He doesn’t remember the mouth-to-mouth, CPR part of the story.

It would have been a senseless death. Jones was fortunate to survive. Many others don’t make it.

Already this year, 11 children have drowned in Houston. All were under the age of 12. More than 30 children died in drownings in the Houston area last year, up from 22 in 2007.

This has to stop.

“This is something that is preventable,” Jones said. “The economy? We’re working on it. Pollution? We’re working on it. Those are problems that are much (more complicated). The drowning rate? This is something we can change. Go get swim lessons.”

The problem is more significant in minority communities. USA Swimming’s research shows that 60 percent of African-American children and 56 percent of Latino children do not know how to swim, compared to 31 percent of white children.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate for black children ages 5 to 14 is three times higher than for white children of the same age.

To address the issue, Jones has partnered with USA Swimming and ConocoPhillips to provide free swimming lessons to kids across America. He'll be traveling to six cities in the U.S. to spread the word, and kickstarted the tour this week in Houston, Tx.
“I learned how to swim and have fun in the water,” said third-grader Jacob Garza, one of five Johnson students who spent nearly an hour in the pool with Jones. “I think it’s awesome to learn from Cullen Jones.”

We think it's awesome to have Jones as a Pack alum.

View the complete entry of "Excellent Read On Cullen Jones's Efforts To Combat Childhood Drowning"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baseball Dies A Fitting Death: Swept By Clemson


(Friday) Clemson Take Early Lead, Holds On To Defeat Baseball 13-8


(Saturday) Clemson Uses First-Inning Uprising To Defeat NC State, 11-5

Ugh. Seriously?

(Sunday) Another Big First Inning For Clemson Dooms Baseball, 5-4


So there you have it, folks. Your Wolfpack baseball team, so close to advancing to the College World Series a year before, fails to make it into the top eight slots of the conference standings and will not compete in this year's ACC tournament. The Pack officially finishes the season fifth in the Atlantic and 11th overall in the league with a 10-20 conference mark and 25-31 overall record. Boston College was the last team in with a 13-15 conference record.

The Atlantic was the weakest division of the two, with only two teams posting winning conference records. Florida State, however, enters the ACC tournament as the top-seed overall.

A minor consolation:

Baseball’s Jimmy Gillheeney Named Second-Team All-ACC

Hopefully the Pack will rebound next season, but it will be a long summer, fall and winter as they prep for 2010.

View the complete entry of "Baseball Dies A Fitting Death: Swept By Clemson"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Twitter Stuff: KingLaserface


From time to time I plan on sharing some interesting folks I've found on Twitter. Last month I pointed you toward the one and only Shaq Daddy Diesel, and seriously, if you haven't started following Shaq, you really should.

This month, something a bit different. This Twitter user combines three things I'm a fan of: Humor, extreme use of profanity and Philip Rivers.

Enter KingLaserface, perhaps the most profane, absurd and hilarious parody of an athlete anywhere on Twitter. The "guys-behind-the-guy" are the folks at KissingSuzyColber (another thing I'm a fan of), one of the best sports-based humor blogs out there.

The athlete being parodied here, of course, is Philip. The user name KingLaserface is derived from the classic graphic the folks at ABC put together years ago during Philip's college years:

Here's an example of some Tweets you can expect from KingLaserface:
  • (In regards to this screenshot of Philip from Madden 10) "What's with the g**damn noodle arms?"
  • "F**king Nice. 1,000 followers, one for each of my b*lls."
  • "@jay_cutler Hey Cutlerf**ker. Has Chicago shunned you yet because you only have two chins?"

The joke, of course, is that in no way, shape or form would Philip ever speak to anyone -- even Jay Cutler -- in the fashion that KingLaserface does.

It's akin to the appearances "Bill Clinton" would make on Late Night with Conan O'Brien where the ex-president would utter all sorts of crass slams on Hillary, fat chicks, etc. KingLaserface is nothing more than that, modernized for the Twitter crowd, with the crassness cranked to 11.

So if you're in the mood for some crass humor while keeping up with Philip's quest for total Cutlerf**ker domination, give him a follow.

View the complete entry of "Twitter Stuff: KingLaserface"

Heads Are Starting To Roll In The NC State Admin


And justly so.

Anyone and everyone associated with the hiring of Mary Easley should be run out of town on a stick, and it looks like that's just the way things are unfolding.

First to go was provost Larry Nielsen, who resigned yesterday. It was Nielsen that hired Easley in the first place to her chushy, high-paying job that has folks up in arms. Last year, in the midst of a significant recession, Easley received an 88% pay raise up to $170,000 a year for her role as an an executive-in-residence and senior lecturer.

Today, McQueen Campbell hit the bricks, so to speak. He resigned as chairman of the N.C. State board of trustees in an attempt to protect State's reputation.
"I am not resigning because I have acted inappropriately," Campbell said in his resignation letter. "Both the chancellor and the provost have communicated publicly and independently that the hiring process of Mary Easley was free from any improper influence. At all times, I have acted in a manner that reflects the university's high standards of integrity while doing so to the very best of my ability."

Now before you think Campbell totally fell on the sword, bear in mind that his term was up in six weeks anyway. This just simply expedited the process by a month and a half.

Campbell is saying that nothing inappropriate occurred with regards to Easley's hiring, but everything about this situation stinks to high heaven, and it wouldn't bother me one bit to see chancellor James Oblinger and essentially the entire board of trustees gutted. From there we can work on eliminating Tom Stafford and Lee Fowler. Dare to dream, folks. Dare to dream. After all, the word on the street is that it was the "good ol' boy network" in place at the time that essentially ran off chancellor Mary Anne Fox for her ball-busting moves that attempted to shake up the status-quo mentality that has prevailed on campus for years.

Some new blood is in dire need; this blood letting of the good ol' boys has been long overdue.

View the complete entry of "Heads Are Starting To Roll In The NC State Admin"

Dwayne Maddox: Champion In The Community


"Champions On The Field, Champions In The Classroom, Champions In The Community"

That mantra has been a fixture with the football team since Tom O'Brien's arrival. It's easy to quantify whether the team's living up to it on the field and in the classroom, but being a champion in the community is a bit tougher. It's easy to pay lip service to the concept without following through.

But it's clear that O'Brien will not let the community involvement aspect of his team fall by the wayside. There was the $30,000+ raised this year for cancer research at the annual spring game, renamed in honor of the late Kay Yow. O'Brien, on the Toys For Tots board of directors, once again took a commanding role in putting together a successful toy/donation drive. And several members of the team traveled to the Gulfport, Mississippi over spring break this year to continue the work done assisting folks impacted by hurricane Katrina.

But the big, flashy projects that get lots of ink don't tell the whole story. There are less flashy, lower profile community involvement projects that individual team members have undertaken that fly well below the radar.

Here's a perfect example: Dwayne Maddox returned to his old elementary school Thursday to speak with a group of fourth and fifth graders on the importance of school work.
By his account, Dwayne Maddox was an average student.

But somewhere around the seventh grade at Crest Middle School, the football standout started taking academics more serious. That eventually translated into being able to graduate a semester early from Crest High in 2008.

From there, he was able to get a head start at N.C. State University - where he has a full scholarship - and eventually earn Dean's List honors in just his first semester at N.C. State. Heading into his second full year in Raleigh, he's on pace to graduate as a communications major in just three years, while also competing at linebacker for Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack.

On Thursday, Maddox had a simple message for three classes of youngsters at Township Three Elementary School:

"Study hard and go to class. It's great to play sports in your free time, but school is why you're here," he said.

It's refreshing to hear that not only is Maddox on pace to graduate early and get that all-important degree, but that he has a grounded perspective on sports and the ultimate role it should play in a kid's life.

The cities and small towns of North Carolina are filled with former athletes who thought they would make it to "the bigs" while neglecting their schoolwork along the way. As a result, scores and scores of bright kids with no real education are left behind as cautionary tales.

Teachers, parents and other students can tell a kid to stay on top of their classwork, but sometimes it takes the voice of an athlete to get actually through to them. That's why I think visits to schools from athletes at the high collegiate or pro level carry such great weight with young kids. Catching them at the higher levels of elementary school -- where the athletically gifted students begin to focus on sports competitively -- is the perfect time to make these kinds of trips.

So kudos to you, Dwayne, for stepping out and making a difference in your hometown, and for being truly being a champion in your community.
"It feels great (to be able to come back). I remember when I was a kid and people would come to talk to us," he said. "As I get older, I understand what it means to be a mentor. I think the most important thing you can give to someone is your time."

View the complete entry of "Dwayne Maddox: Champion In The Community"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ACC Coaches: You Suck


Thanks for nothing, ACC basketball coaches.

Before you was a golden opportunity to strike a major blow to one of the major problems facing ACC basketball post-expansion--imbalanced conference scheduling--and instead of taking a step forward by voting to increase the conference slate from 16 games to 18, you unanimously voted against it.

Hey, thanks for that.

Thanks for ensuring that each and every season we'll have a team like Virginia in 2006 that finishes way above their station by playing a weak conference slate. Thanks for ensuring that the Big Four misses on a great chance of increasing the number of home-and-away series with each Big Four school each year. Thanks for pussing out on the opportunity of more television dollars with the conference television package in favor of ensuring that you can keep two guaranteed wins on the schedule.

So instead of the Pack facing Duke twice a season every year while adding another home-and-away, for example, State will continue to face the Devils just once a season most years. Further, the league as a whole will continue to suffer come Selection Sunday as selection committee members are forced to parse through the strength of each team's conference slate to determine if one team's 9-7 conference mark is actually WORSE in value than another team's 8-8 finish. Don't try to sell me, coaches, that keeping UM-Baltimore County and William and Mary on your docket improves your chances of making the tournament field. If you're so dangerously close to the selection line that you need those two cupcakes to get in--versus proving yourself in two more conference games--you probably don't deserve to be in the field in the first place.

For an excellent look at how an 18-game conference schedule might've broken down, here's an archived article from the folks at SFN.

So, as Steven Colbert would say, a Wag Of The Finger to you 12 coaches for denying what the vast majority of ACC basketball fans want and what the Big East has already proven: that 18 conference games can, and does, work.

View the complete entry of "ACC Coaches: You Suck"

Painter's Color Of Choice? Wolfpack Red!!!!11omg


ACC Now; PackPride.com; Section Six (complete with anagram goodness); SFN; Wolfpack Hoops and more WPH

Or, "Lowe Plans To 'Paint' The Town 'Red!' With New Commitment!"

Or, "Painter? I hardly knew her!"


Alright, I'll stop.

When a guy named Deshawn Painter agrees to "run with the Pack," (another doozy of a pun that I see used WAY too much) the opportunity it affords makes it tough not to unleash a fury of headline cheesiness.

But let's not let my self-indulgent excuse to go pun crazy get in the way of the good news that State landed just what it needed to shore up a depleted front line: Painter, a 6'9" 200+lb. power forward prospect from Hargrave Military Academy, liked what Sidney Lowe was selling and has decided to join the Wolfpack over Gary Williams and the University of Maryland.


The bad news for any of you folks out there holding out hope that basketball Jesus, aka John Wall, would decide to stay close to home for his one year in the college ranks is that this exhausts State's last remaining open scholarship, effectively ending State's uber-slim hopes of shocking the world in securing his commitment (which should come roughly the first week of August).

Painter had originally committed to the Florida Gators way back when, but when it became clear that immediate playing time would be tough to come by, he opened up his recruitment again. My two cents on his decommittment? Kids naturally believe they are the best thing since sliced bread and want to go where they can immediately showcase their skills. Gone are the days of talented prospects waiting a year or so to get bigger and refine their skillset for the next level. So when Painter saw the writing on the wall, he decided to explore other options.

Juxtapose that situation against CJ Leslie's decommittment from State. Leslie most certainly faced no stiff competition from any of the existing or projected players on State's roster for playing time. His motivation for reopening his recruitment seems borne more out of a desire for some attention on a par that his high school teammate Wall has received (though it's hard to imagine anyone being fawned over more than Wall has in the last year).

Therefore I'm more apt to give a kid like Painter a pass on decommitting than Leslie. At least Painter has a logical reason to point to, versus Leslie's nebulous apparent desire for more attention from local and national media.

(The cynic says that of course I would side with Painter in this scenario, given his commitment to State and that it was State that Leslie spurned; I like to think I'd feel the same way about both players were State not involved with either.)

An excellent pickup for the Pack, and proof that Sidney can get the job done on the recruiting trail. Where Lowe needs to go from here is pretty obvious: converting these wins in the offseason into wins in the regular season, leading to appearances in the (real) postseason.

View the complete entry of "Painter's Color Of Choice? Wolfpack Red!!!!11omg"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tim Peeler: Chest Deep In Pack Memorabilia And Loving It


GoPack.com's Tim Peeler is one of the biggest State fans you'll ever meet. He's as through-and-though "Pack" as it gets.

Which is fortunate for State, because perhaps he is the only person that would have both the desire and the knowledge necessary to tackle his latest project: A complete cataloging and safeguarding of the extensive historical clippings, film reels, mementos and trophies of decades upon decades of Wolfpack athletics stored in the basement of Reynolds Coliseum.

Peeler's enlisted the help of two Wolfpack students -- Blake Scher and Wolfpack receiver Donald Bowens (take care of that knee!) -- to help him dig through the collection.

You can read more about Peeler's endeavor here at GoPack.com.

Here's a brief list of some of the items found so far during his excavations:
  • Three never-claimed ACC championship rings engraved for Lenwood Hamilton, George Saunders and Walter Perin.
  • Several championship trophies from the 1974 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
  • Mr. and Ms. Wuf mascot heads from the 1980s.
The most valuable items are undoubtedly the many, many reels of film from the Case-era basketball teams. Everette Case was the first to film games and practices, and there is film dating all the way back to 1937 when Case was coaching high school ball. These reels of film are also the toughest to preserve, as celluloid deteriorates over time and once it's gone, it's gone. So the goal is to enlist the archivists and preservation experts from the N.C. State libraries to transfer all of the film that can be saved to digital format before it fades away forever.

You can keep tabs on the project by following Tim on Twitter here.

View the complete entry of "Tim Peeler: Chest Deep In Pack Memorabilia And Loving It"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Giglio Picks State As Preseason Favorite For Atlantic Division Winner



It's official. State will be the trendy pick for the Atlantic representative in the ACC title game this year.

(As such, that means the Pack is also your preseason pick to be the disappointment of the year, a la the 2007 Wolfpack basketball squad. But hey, I guess it's better to be highly thought of than forgotten.)

Here's what Joe Giglio had to say regarding the Pack heading into the 2009 season:
The Wolfpack has the best quarterback in the conference, two NFL-level game-changers on defense and a smart coach.

Technically, State finished last in the division in '08 but it was only one game behind the winner (Boston College). All six teams finished either 5-3 or 4-4.

Expect the same competitiveness this season. Which means you pick the team with the best QB (his right knee willing)? And eight home games.
Giglio goes on to provide a breakdown of the remaining Atlantic Division teams and why they'll fall short of besting the Pack.

Expect the rest of the conference media members to fall in line with Giglio's prediction, which should make for some positive press in late summer. The question will be however, can State perform under the weight of expectations. After all, Carolina was the trendy pick last season and, though they finished 8-4, the Heels fell short of where a lot of pundits pegged them finishing.

We shall see...

View the complete entry of "Giglio Picks State As Preseason Favorite For Atlantic Division Winner"

Complete ACC APR Spreadsheet For Baseball, Basketball And Football


I was looking for a one-stop shop that compiled all of the APR numbers for the teams in the ACC and couldn't find it, so I went ahead and built one.

This sheet just shows the APR numbers for baseball, basketball and football since those are the three most popular sports at just about every college. Areas shaded in green highlight where a school exceeded the Division 1 average for that sport. Areas shaded in red show where they fell below it. I also included the average APR for the entire conference in each sport, and as you can see, the ACC excels overall in all three sports.

Some interesting notes to glean from this:
  • Certainly, Duke is Duke. They posted the best ACC APR numbers in both baseball and football.
  • Five schools -- BC, Duke, Miami, UNC and Wake Forest -- posted numbers in all three sports that bested the Division 1 average. Not surprisingly, this list includes the four private schools.
  • The league as a whole fared worst in the sport its most well known for, basketball. Two of the 12 programs -- Georgia Tech and Maryland -- fell below the NCAA minimum number of 925. Depending on your perspective, this news is either surprising or not surprising at all.
  • Only one school -- FSU -- fell below the Division 1 average APR in baseball.
  • Only two schools -- FSU and Maryland -- fell below the average APR for all three sports against the Division 1 average.
If you want APR numbers for other sports from other schools, you can visit the NCAA.org page referenced in the previous post to download the PDF of any school desired.


View the complete entry of "Complete ACC APR Spreadsheet For Baseball, Basketball And Football"

State Leads All ACC Schools In Basketball APR


Hey, it's something, right?
N.C. State led all ACC men's basketball teams with a score of 995 out of a possible 1,000. The rate measures the total progress toward graduation of athletes on each team at each Division I school. A 925 is considered a passing score.

School athletics officials said N.C. State's strong showing in the classroom is partly due to coach Sidney Lowe's efforts to keep players in school after he took over for Herb Sendek in 2006. Coaching changes often are followed by an exodus of players who transfer to other schools, but that didn't happen at N.C. State.

"I think academically when Herb left they were in pretty good shape, and Sidney has done a good job of trying to maintain kids in school," said N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Georgia Tech loses two scholarships for its low APR score. Hewitt's propensity to land future pro prospects that bolt after one or two seasons, coupled with Tech's reputation as one of the toughest academic institutions in the league, makes this news not-so-shocking.

The sad thing is, if Derrick Favors isn't enough of a basketball god to turn Georgia Tech into a conference title player next season and if Paul Hewitt is fired (which may or may not happen given the details of his contract), then the next Joe they hire would stand to inherit a pretty tough situation. Further, Favors is certainly another one-and-doner, so regardless of who is piloting the ship in Atlanta in 2010-2011, their APR stands to take another blow.

You can find a pdf of the complete 2008 APR data for any school here at NCAA.org

View the complete entry of "State Leads All ACC Schools In Basketball APR"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mike Archer Pleased With The Progress, Goals Of The Defense


Dinich's latest @ ESPN

Here're some encouraging comments from Mike Archer regarding the Wolfpack's defense:

Regarding the defensive line:
"Our first four guys ... it will be the best defensive line they've had here since Mario Williams and [John] McCargo. Those guys were No. 1 picks. I'm not saying they're as good as them, but they're comparable in the sense they've got talent and they really have gotten better and developed."
Regarding expectations for the upcoming season:
This spring, Archer said he's heard the players talking about something they haven't before -- playing in the ACC championship game.

"We feel like we have as good a chance as anybody," Archer said. "If you don't believe it and you don't dream it, it's never going to happen."
Regarding the workmanlike attitude of the defense:
"The last half of the season, during practice, I very seldom had to raise my voice, I very seldom got upset because they learned how to practice, they went about their business, they got their work done and they got off the field," Archer said. "... To me, that was the biggest thing they learned, how to prepare in practice and how to go out and play on Saturday."
Finally, perhaps the most encouraging quote in the piece:
"I don't want to be overboard with the confidence," Archer said, "but I feel much better going into this season than I did the previous two."

View the complete entry of "Mike Archer Pleased With The Progress, Goals Of The Defense"

The Curious Case of John Wall; Or, WHATADUMBASS



Hey, when you're a sure-fire lottery pick for the 2010 NBA draft and the most coveted high school basketball prospect in America, what's the first thing that runs through your mind as a great idea?

Breaking and entering, of course!
Authorities said Wall, 18, was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 break-in at a home 3924 Laurel Glen Drive in Raleigh.

An officer saw Wall leaving from the rear of the residence and was able to detain him, police said.

Two other people were also charged. Bria Renea Draughn, 16, was detained while walking along a nearby street. Reginald Leonard Jackson II, 17, was detained when he returned to the residence, police said.
John Wall, I don't know you from Adam, but here's a word of advice. When you're sitting on a golden ticket that will pay for the well being of you and yours for the rest of your days, STAY THE **** OUT OF TROUBLE.

Seriously, don't go within 1,000 yards of ANYTHING that could be construed or even misconstrued as illegal behavior. If you know people that have shaky pasts, like presumably Bria and Reginald do, don't hang out with them.

Now, everything is alleged at this point. He's been charged but not convicted, so he's not guilty of anything yet. And the details of the crime seem pretty tame:
Police said there was no forced entry at the residence and no indication that anything was taken from it.
Still, his reputation will take a severe hit in the court of public opinion.

I guess I never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of kids in Wall's position.

View the complete entry of "The Curious Case of John Wall; Or, WHATADUMBASS"