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  • shwineka 2:53 pm on December 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baxter Holmes, Larry Drew, Los Angeles Times, rant   

    Larry Drew II, the Pinnacle of Douchebaggery 


    Ah, Larry Drew. That mediocre point guard of UNC’s past who left the program abruptly, leaving the position thin for the next two seasons as North Carolina thought it had shored up its backup when it had two scholarship players on the roster. That kind of behavior is likely to get a few people to downright dislike you, even if those people had stood up for, nay, DEFENDED you when you lost your starting spot to a freshman.

    Dislike turns to hate when you suddenly reveal that beyond a doubt, you truly are the worst person in the world — or more specifically that you are the duke of douches, the king of cowardice, the sultan of sulking, the prince of pouting, the champ of chumps, the apex of assholes, or my personal favorite, the wizard of woefulness.

    I’m not sure what possessed Baxter Holmes to write this piece on Drew. Maybe he just pulled off the great troll of all time? But one thing is for sure, Drew loved the attention. And it got me riled up. The best way to get my frustration out is going Tudor Style on this piece.  Quotes from the story appear in bold.

    First up, the headline, and subsequent dek headline:

    Coach says he’s to blame for Larry Drew II’s short UCLA career

    Ben Howland says he made a mistake years ago in pushing for a commitment from then-high schooler Drew. The unselfish point guard went to North Carolina but is finally realizing his dream in Westwood.

    So you’re telling me the main point of the entire story is that Ben Howland blames himself for whiffing on Larry Drew II? You know you were ranked in the top 15 to start the season and are now not even receiving votes, right? Then, the fact that the dek says “unselfish” ……….OK, I’m going to collect myself, first. I’ll get to that below.

    Larry Drew II’s UCLA basketball career will end when the Bruins‘ season does — and Ben Howland regrets this.


    The UCLA coach regrets this not just because he will lose a veteran leader and an unselfish, steady point guard who is averaging 8.3 assists a game, third-highest in the nation.

    No, Howland regrets this also because he knows the fifth-year senior would have played for him much longer than one season if not for a mistake Howland said he made years ago.

    This is basically what my entire rant about this piece is based on. Unselfish can refer to LD’s play on the court, sure, but it’s also a term that makes a statement about a person – particularly when it’s in the headline and at the very beginning of a story. It’s a term of character. Would a selfish person have the ability to play unselfishly? Surely not. So surely Larry Drew is an unselfish person, right? After all, “if not for a mistake Howland said he made years ago,” Drew would have been a Bruin from the start.

    This is absolutely ridiculous. In 2007, Howland signed the NO. 1 RECRUIT IN THE NATION in Kevin Love and No. 52, Chace Stanback. In the class of 2008, Drew’s year, he signed No.4 Jrue Holiday, No. 24 Drew Gordon, No.26 J’mison Morgan, No.31 Malcolm Lee and No.49 Jerime Anderson. In the midst of his stretch of three Final Fours, Howland was not exactly having a tough time recruiting. Lee was only rated two spots lower than Drew, who was No. 29, and Anderson was also a PG. You might also have heard about that Jrue Holiday fellow, now playing PG for the 76ers. The story goes on, quoting Howland, who suggests he wasn’t patient enough to recruit Drew. This is absurd. It’s mind boggling that Howland could somehow think he should have been more patient when he was enjoying the recruiting successes he was at that time. Nine out of 10 college coaches at a big-time program like UCLA would have done the same thing for a recruit in that range.

    But when Howland offered a scholarship while Drew was starring at Woodland Hills Taft, the coach added he wanted a commitment in roughly one week.

    “But I didn’t really want to do that,” Drew said.

    “I just wanted to keep my options open and weigh everything out, even though UCLA was my favorite.”

    Drew also wanted to “experience the whole recruiting process,” according to his father, Larry Drew Sr.

    So to recap, this “unselfish” point guard gets an offer from his FAVORITE SCHOOL, but turns it down “keep his options open” and to “experience the whole recruiting process.” The recruiting process is also known as taking visits to other schools you may or may not be interested in to have coaches flatter you and tell you how much they want you to play for them, maybe even introduce you to some of the lovely ladies of their university. IRONY, much?

    In the end, Howland’s scholarship offer came off the table and Drew ended up in North Carolina, a place he said he “never really liked” and one he left after 21/2 seasons.

    Howland was apparently the first person to call Drew after he left UNC and apologized for how he recruited him.

    “He let me know he wanted me to come back,” Drew said.

    Howland also spoke with Drew Sr., who coaches the Atlanta Hawks.

    “To me, it takes a special man to admit he handled the situation the wrong way,” Drew Sr. said in an interview.

    You mean, like, say if a man abandoned the team he committed to mid-season, well after all the PG prospects for the next year are signed to other schools, leaving their cupboard bare and didn’t even have the balls to tell his own roommate he was leaving without warning and then he didn’t even nut up enough to tell his own coach, but instead had HIS FREAKING DAD call the coach to tell him his son wouldn’t return? You mean like that?

     “I definitely would’ve come here out of [high school], maybe if he would’ve given me a couple of days or so after that week,” Drew said. “But I don’t really regret much. I just try to learn from my experience.”

    Except you didn’t. You had an offer, and you didn’t take it. What could have possibly changed your mind about your DREAM SCHOOL in the next few days. If it’s your dream school, you go. You don’t wait on other offers. It’s the very definition of dream school. Of course you don’t regret anything, you little shit.

    Drew said he and Howland are on good terms about what happened, but that neither has talked about it much publicly.

    “I’m glad he finally said something,” Drew said, when informed of Howland’s comments during an interview.

    Oh, you’re glad he said something? Thank GOD he finally owned up to wronging Larry Drew the fucking Second.

    “It’s not like I was waiting on it …” Drew said, his voice trailing off.

    “OK, well, maybe I was waiting on it,” he said, laughing.

    When people asked why he chose to play for the Tar Heels, he answered he did so for the tradition or the coach or the great teammates he would have, but none of that that was true.

    “I never really wanted to go there,” Drew said.

    But he kept the truth inside — until now.

    “I’ve always wondered when I could tell people,” he said.

    Tell people what? That you didn’t like winning the national title as a freshman?

    At North Carolina, Drew started 53 games but lost his starting job to a freshman after a 20-point loss. He came off the bench for four games and then left without saying a word.


    But at UCLA, Drew is home and happy, and his assist/turnover ratio (4.9) is the seventh-best in Division I, a stark difference for a player who committed 120 turnovers as a sophomore at North Carolina, earning him the nickname “Turnover Jesus.”

    No one ever called him this — ever. But it is pretty funny and appropriate.

    “He’s confident in every move he makes, every pass he makes, every shot he takes. It shows,” said forward Travis Wear, who also transferred from North Carolina to UCLA.

    Let’s quote one of the other guys who left UNC and didn’t experience the title-contender level basketball that occurred after Drew departed Chapel Hill.

    [Benn note: Did Travis Wear just reinterpret Puff Daddy and Faith Evans?]

    And Howland is glad to finally have Drew, but he wishes that he hadn’t asked for a commitment so early, because maybe he could have had Drew for four seasons instead of one.

    “It’s all on me,” Howland said. “I regret it to this moment.”

    Judging by the decidedly pro-Drew tone of the piece and the way it glosses over the situation with him leaving UNC, I’m guessing LD had to approve this before Holmes could publish. Why else might I think that?

    Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 11.09.17 AM

    It was no secret you were a cancer on UNC, Droover. What somehow remains to be a secret is how you can weasel your way into a starting PG spot at TWO top five programs and bring both of them down to mediocrity. But hey, you don’t really regret much, so why should you care?

  • shwineka 4:56 pm on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Larry Drew, , , the streak, ,   

    Wrap-Up: UNC Remains Undefeated in Chapel Hill 

    UNC 75, Clemson 65

    Box Score


    Apologies for the lateness on this post, but really, if you’re a regular reader you have to have noticed the irregularity in how quickly we get these up, so on with the show.

    One advantage of writing this late post is that I can get little tid-bits like the one below and also not feeling I have to recount the game perfectly, as numerous news stories probably already have. Haven’t you ever sat down and wondered just how in the world UNC hasn’t lost to Clemson at home — EVER? Every coach and every player always says something like “the streak doesn’t have anything to do with our team, this year.” It’s always played down by everyone involved in the game. Well, except for John Henson.

    “You don’t want to be that one team that breaks the streak,” Henson said , “and fortunately we’re not the team.”

    Neither was the 8-20 team lead by Jason Capel and two freshmen you might remember named Jackie Manuel and Jawad Williams. Neither was any team for that matter.

    Yes, no matter how good or bad UNC and Clemson are in a given year, there’s always a certain anxiousness surrounding a game at the Smith Center. Will this be the year? Well, 2011 wasn’t, and here’s one Tar Heel that will be happy for it to stay that way forever. While I’ve never considered Clemson a true “rival” of Carolina’s, there’s a level of comfort the Streak provides that might just make the world feel different if it were to break. I promise I’m not superstitious, but in the words of Michael Scott, maybe just a little ‘stitious.


    • The most obvious thing to take from this game is the change to the starting line-up. Kendall Marshall started in place of Larry Drew II, in a move that made a large percentage of the Carolina faithful happy. Adam Lucas (@TarHeelMonthly) tweeted that the Smith Center was as loud as it had been all season when Marshall was announced before the game. The move was good because the starters seem to function better offensively when Marshall’s in the game, perhaps evidenced by the 46-point first half. The move may have also had an effect on the bench.
    • That bench effect was the inspired play of Larry Drew coming in as a reserve. Drew shot 50 percent from the field in putting up 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Drew definitely found a higher gear than his normal pace of play. He did, however, only have 1 assist to 2 turnovers, so I think Marshall keeps starting. Marshall tallied only 5 points, but also 5 assists and 3 turnovers. The position will likely continue to be handled by both players fairly evenly, as Drew plays much better defense.
    • Another potential move in the works could work to help the Heels improve on offense. If he hadn’t been sidelined with a lung injury, Leslie McDonald would have started over Dexter Strickland Tuesday night. McDonald (7.7) and Strickland (8.4) average a very similar number of points, but McDonald is more of an outside threat and gives the offense a different element for opposing defenses to worry about. I like the move, but also like Strickland’s defensive pressure and speed in the open court. It’s a tough decision, but it looks like Roy will give Leslie a go when he’s healthy.
    • Reggie Bullock had a coming out party. Bullock already had a career high in the first half and finished with 18 points in 18 minutes of play. He also had 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals. You know he’s gonna get some love in the superlatives.
    • Harrison Barnes would have had another solid game (13 pts, 6 rebs), if it hadn’t been for his turnovers. Barnes coughed it up six times and during stretches looked lackadaisical. Buck up, Harrison, and get your head in it.
    • John Henson and Tyler Zeller brought the block party. They continually stymied Clemson’s Jerai Grant (its best big man), who finished with only 2 points. Henson tallied five and Zeller added three of his own.


    Player of the Game: Reggie Bullock (18 pts, 5 rebs, 2 ast, 2stl) Considering two of his five boards were offensive, the kid was everywhere in his 18 minutes of PT. If Bullock had played starters’ minutes (say 30), Reggie would have tallied 30 pts, 9 rebs, 3 ast, 3 stl)

    Stat Stuffer (a.k.a. The Danny Green Award): John Henson (14 pts, 8 rebs, 2 ast, 5 blk, 1 stl) Henson is a regular for the big DG award but what was most impressive is he did all of his damage without committing a single turnover.

    Block Party: As mentioned above, Henson and Zeller combined for a lethal defensive force against Clemson’s Jerai Grant. Sit down, and come back when you’re ready to play with the big boys.

    BMOC: Kendall Marshall for the ovation he received upon being announced as a starter. We know it’s still a split job, but I bet that had to feel good.

  • The Rafters 11:31 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Larry Drew, , ,   

    Wrap-Up: Heels Come Back At Virginia 

    UNC 62, UVA 56

    Box Score

    At times, it wasn’t pretty, but in the continuing theme of this season, the Heels showed heart in the second half against Virginia, clamped down on defense and pulled out the W.

    As has happened several games this season, UNC went through a cold streak, not hitting a field goal for almost nine minutes spanning from the first half to the second. The deficit had grown to 11 before some increased defensive pressure helped the Heels battle back. A great team effort contributed to the turnaround, a good sign considering the rotation is still around 10 deep.


    • Harrison Barnes is taking better shots. He only took one 3-pointer (a miss) and was 4-8 from inside the arc, with one of those misses rattling in and out. He’s also getting more involved in other aspects of the game. This Adam Lucas story sums it up well. Barnes has improved his play steadily this season and is looking smarter and better going into conference play. Unfortunately – due to the extreme hype surrounding him – Barnes should probably get used to the “overrated” chant that UVA students started on Saturday, but it appears he’s already adept at handling the pressure.
    • With the exception of John Henson, UNC’s free-throw shooting has slowly become a strength.  Over the final five minutes, the Heels went 14-16.
    • The 10-man rotation that Roy is using and UNC’s frontcourt lack of frontcourt depth sometimes creates some small line-ups. At one point the players in the game included: Larry Drew, Justin Watts, Justin Knox, Reggie Bullock and Leslie McDonald. Also, Roy seems to be subbing based on who is in the best rhythm at point guard. Kendall Marshall spent a few stints with the players around him being replaced and Larry Drew II did the same.
    • Carolina’s shooting woes from beyond the arc continued, with the Heels finishing 3-11 for 27 percent. Larry Drew should cut down on his attempts (1-3) but when they’re open Bullock (1-2) and McDonald (1-3) seem to be the most reliable.
    • Much like the past two games (St. Francis & Rutgers) Carolina got its scoring from a balance of eight or nine players. It will lend to some more consistency in scoring, which will be important in conference play, but may cut down on some excitement. At this rate it will be a while before we see someone break out for 20+ points in a game.


    Player of the game: Harrison Barnes (9 pts, 3 rebs, 2 blks) – Another stat-line indicator of Barnes improved decision making: one turnover but zero fouls even while tallying those two blocks. Also, love that step back jumper in the first couple of minutes.

    Stat Stuffer (AKA the Danny Green Award): Larry Drew II (5 pts, 3 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls) Low numbers, but with the balance UNC is getting they indicate how Drew was involved all over the floor.

    Work on that one: Marshall’s lob to Henson that should have been a sick alley-oop.

  • shwineka 5:48 pm on December 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , cory joseph, , , , , Larry Drew, , , , ,   

    Wrap-up: Longhorns hook Heels 

    Photo by N& O

    Texas 78, UNC 76

    Box Score

    Apologies for the lateness of this wrap-up. Funny how it’s always tougher to write them after a loss, huh? I know losing by two on a shot Cory Joseph pulled out of his ass hurts, but it’s over. It’s done. Let’s move on. There were some very bright spots to this game. Teachable moment, anyone?

    UNC came back from a 10-point deficit and eventually to a 7-point lead. That’s a 17-point swing, ladies and gents. Good teams make that kind of swing. And this year’s squad is learning to be a good team. At this point it’s clear that at it’s current level of play, UNC will both amaze and dumbfound us all season. It’ll probably take some lumps in the ACC, but also provide some exciting games, potentially against top teams — like uh, I don’t know, name any top team in the ACC you’d love Carolina to bring the whoopin’ stick out for.

    Now if Carolina were to raise its level of play? The sky is the limit. There’s too much talent and athleticism on this team to overlook. The Heels are getting better and better, hopefully to be playing their best come March. As long as you make the tournament (still not a lock) it doesn’t matter how you start the season, only how you finish.


    • For once, UNC outshot its opponent from the charity stripe! Yes, that’s correct. Carolina shot 75 percent to Texas’ 68 percent. It was clear the Heels needed to improve in this category and it appears they’ve put their work in recently. Let’s hope it keeps up.
    • Texas is a Top-10 rebounding team in the country, and Zeller was in foul trouble most of the game. Even though the final tally had Texas only outrebound UNC by 6, the impact was much deeper. Texas had 15 offensive boards to UNC’s 10. That’s too many second chances to give up.
    • We’ve been screaming it at The Rafters all season that Dexter Strickland has improved exponentially. He finally showed it against the Longhorns exploding for 18 points. He creates havoc on defense and gets in the open floor. He actually guarded Cory Joseph very well on that last shot. It turns out you can’t do much about a guy who’s hurling a hail Mary off-balance while fading away.
    • More on Dexter. Adam Lucas gives evidence to Strickland’s improved D. Dex has 10 percent of the team’s steals, twice  as much as anyone else on the team.
    • Also from that Lucas piece above. Kendall Marshall’s assist-to-turnover ratio (1.90) is very, verrrry close to Larry Drew’s (1.87).
    • In a previous wrap-up, I indicated that Drew would definitely be the starter until further notice. Well, consider this notice. Marshall ditched his sorry play from the three previous games and became the driving, dishing phenom he was recruited to be. How about that touch pass back to Henson for the jam? Unconscious.
    • Marshall needs to get significant additional playing time. He actually started the second half against Texas and after his performance it’s going to get harder and harder to justify staring LDII.
    • Reggie Bullock made a great un-freshmanlike decision. Marshall found Bullock under the rim. After Bullock caught it, he took two fakes, realized he was well defended and brought the ball back out and passed back to Marshall.  (My mistake. Earlier this bullet said this play led to the Marshall-Henson dump off, that wasn’t actually the same play)
    • Can’t believe it took me this long to mention this. Harrison Barnes absolutely nailed a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game at 76. Without hesitation – but with much breath-holding in many living rooms I’m sure – Barnes took the shot for which he has a less-than-favorable percentage this season and swished it. Clutch.
    • Interesting sight several times during the game when Marshall was in. Strickland would bring the ball up the court. Not sure if this was mandated by Roy or Strickland was just in the zone and demanding it.


    Player of the Game – Easy. Dexter Strickland. Strickland stepped up in a big way when UNC needed it. Still very curious about him bringing the ball up the court so many times in the game.

    No stat stuffer this game

    Poetry in Motion – the play mentioned above involving Marshall and Henson.

    Changing of the Guard – This goes to Marshall and Strickland. If both can keep up their level of play and potentially increase it the UNC backcourt might have found its identity.

  • shwineka 3:07 pm on September 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Larry Drew, , ,   

    Is it time for basketball yet? 

    Yeah, I know. At this point most of you are probably still stressing more over your fantasy football rosters than you are Larry Drew’s assist-to-turnover ratio, but did you know Late night with Roy is little more than two weeks away? This column on John Henson was getting me excited today so I had to look it up.

    That means in the coming weeks The Rafters will start to kick back into gear. The Tie-Tracker will be back, as well as post-game awards and thoughts, and of course, plenty of Duke-bashing.

    We like to meet the needs of you, the reader. So please, if you have an idea or something you’d like us to focus on or do more of, please comment on this post with your suggestions. The management appreciates all your feedback.

    Things are looking up this year – it would be hard for them not to – so pull your blue out of the closet and let’s get ready for some Tar Heel basketball!

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  • shwineka 4:19 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Alabama, , , , , , , , , Gordon Hayward, , , , , , Larry Drew, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Catching up 

    Is it finally over? By that I mean the sick feeling in your stomach re: the most recent NCAA championship. Mine has finally subsided. So might as well cure the subsequent blogging hangover by getting back at it eh?

    What better way to get over a case of the “I-can’t-believe-Gordon-Hayward-missed-that-shot”s than by looking forward to next year. Now that the NBA draft deadline has passed, we know that Easy Ed will be leaving us for bigger and better things. Can’t really blame him. He’s a projected lottery pick depending on how the draft day moves go, and he stands to lose a lot of money by staying in college for another year with all that lockout business.

    So then there’s Harrison Barnes. The No. 1 recruit in the country is coming in with some highly touted classmates to add some more youth to what is already going to be a young team. But wait! Why not make it even younger?

    Over the past few days it’s come to light that James McAdoo, nephew of former Tar Heel and NBA Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, and a Top 5 recruit in the class of 2011, might just pull an Andre Dawkins and come to UNC next year with Barnes and Co. Read this piece on SI.com and it will make you feel all warm and giddy inside. Here’s a throwback of ol’ Bob, sorry about the watermark. Only image I could find in a Heels uni.

    Well if you read that article, it’s made clear by James McAdoo’s father that James came up with the idea once the Wear twins transferred. That gave me some piece of mind. I was afraid that Roy might have been pulling a Coach K. As in last year when Dawkins came to Duke as a 17-year-old. I never read any stories on him – why woud I? – but after Elliot Williams transferred I was sure it was K figuring out some way to bolster his roster. Unfortunately whoever initiated the Dawkins early graduation talks, it worked out for them, but that’s beside the point.

    The other move I’m not sure we’ve covered here on the Rafters is the transfer of Justin Knox from Alabama. This should be a valuable pick-up. If he can put up his numbers from the SEC a year ago (6.3 pts., 3.7 rebs) that will be gravy. It’d be about equal to what two Wears were giving us, so even trade.

    I don’t think the McAdoo Move would alter the potential starting lineup for next season, nor will the Knox pickup.  At the beginning, I’m guessing Drew, Strickland, Graves, Henson, Zeller, with the expectation that Barnes will be starting by the ACC season.

    The transfers and early graduations would give us a very solid bench, however, with McAdoo and Knox spelling Henson and Zeller. Graves and Barnes wouldn’t be forced to play much post, and Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall will provide the guards with respite.

    Come to think of it, that would give the Heels exactly 10 players who would likely see minutes — one sub for each starter.

    And if they start playing anything like last year, that would come in handy when Roy needs to make one of his full line-up substitutions.

  • shwineka 3:51 pm on January 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Larry Drew, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Postgame: UNC – College of Charleston 

    (photo by N&O’s Robert Willet)

    I could sit here and rant about hustle and turnovers and defense. I could complain that UNC didn’t have two of its starters — and upperclassman starters at that. I could even blame it on Roy, saying he should have had them better prepared for the game.

    But that would be silly because he basically did that for me.

    Maybe it’s because it’s already the next day and I’ve had time to calm down, but I think this loss will help the Heels down the road. My advice to the Heels:

    Kill, baby, kill!

    How did I arrive at this conclusion?

    First an aside: Larry Drew’s comments after the game:

    “Yeah, we talked. We always talk. There’s something with this team – we’ve got to stop talking at a point, and start playing. We’ve got to start walking the talk. … I feel like I’ve heard everything — from the players, from the coaches. It’s getting to a point where we’ve just got to start doing what we say we’re going to do.”

    Coach Williams said this team was about as low as it could get right now. Do you agree with that?

    “Wouldn’t you? Yeah. I don’t think right now… We’ve just got to play better.”

    Is there something different going on during these road games?

    “We’ve just got to play better. That’s all it comes down to. I mean, I missed a ton of shots out there. We’ve just got to make shots and make stops. [We’ve] got to manage the game better – that’s on me.”

    It sounds to me like the team is feeling what the Tar Heel faithful have been feeling throughout these last few games. And frankly it’s just what LD said — they’ve got to play better.

    More than that, the team needs to mature into a full-blown killing machine.

    Young teams always have this problem. They manage to build a lead, then watch it slip away as they try to hold on until time expires. What Easy Ed, LD, Deon, Dex, Big Z, Will, JWatts, T. Wear, D. Wear, Marcus, Henson and Leslie McDonald need to do is go for the freaking throat. Don’t let up intensity just because you’ve got a lead. Hell, even the Dukies are beating people by 40.

    Rutgers closed it down to four near the end. In the team’s best wins this season (Ohio State and Michigan State) UNC has squandered double digit leads, even being up 17 in the second half to MSU before they brought it to single digits. We’re not going to talk about that OSU game, though Larry Drew that’s when I started to love you.

    So back to this loss being a good thing. All of those wins-that-could-have-easily-turned-to-losses have had us Heels fans on edge over the past several weeks. Before College of Charleston, it was easy to chalk up the “L”s to playing Top 5 talent. Now there’s no excuses. UNC needs to amp up for the conference schedule, and this loss might just be the kick in the ass they need. The potential that many saw at the beginning of the season is still there.

    They’ve just simply got to play meaner.

  • shwineka 11:54 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Buffalo Billiards, , , , , Dean Smith Center, , , , , Larry Drew, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Deja Vu: UNC Handles Michigan State 

    UNC 89, MSU 82

    Box Score

    It’s becoming a common thing. UNC plays Michigan State. UNC wins.

    The Heels have taken their last five meetings with the Spartans, and these aren’t just in the Big 10-ACC Challenge games. I recall an April day in 2005. A hot Spartan team was in the Final Four making some noise and ready to take down the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels. Or wait was that 2009?

    Anyway, for all the things that Tom Izzo does well, he can’t seem to figure out his Carolina conundrum. And honestly, who didn’t think Tuesday was going to be his night?

    A completely different UNC team showed up in the Smith Center than I’ve seen this year. The froshs and sophs played like upperclassmen right from the tip-off, with UNC jumping out to an early lead. It had to feel sickening for MSU fans, a horrible case of deja vu. Us DC-based Rafters bloggers sat with a decent contingent of UNC fans at Buffalo Billiards. A great idea emerged. Anyone not privileged enough to live in Chapel Hill, like our esteemed colleague Benn, should tweet us to meet up in the DC area for game viewings. We like to go out. If we go out anyway, we’ll make sure to say where we’re going.

    Hey, we might even put your picture on the internets.

    Before I get all hot and bothered thinking about tweet ups:


    • The recruiting class of 2008 came out of its shell. LD and Easy Ed both notched career highs in points (18 and 22 respectively). LD hit some clutch shots and had a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio in 27 minutes. Davis was his normal smooth self. You must watch this guy on Ustream sometime. Just follow him on twitter and he’ll notify when he’s getting on. If you want to know why we love him so much that will tell you everything.
    • If there’s only 5 seconds left in a half, who gets the rock? Answer: Dexter Strickland. Strickland hit his second buzzer beater of the year at the end of the first half, sinking a trey.
    • Will Graves is a starter, but he logs bench minutes. He’s getting about the same run time as Strickland, John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Gut tells me that once Roy is more comfortable with Henson or Strickland they’ll get the start. (And after last night I gotta be leaning towards Strickland)
    • Back to Dex. Strickland had zero turnovers while logging some significant minutes at point. And as Luke Winn reminds us, he is a converted shooting guard. Got to be happy with that.
    • Are the Wears twins? …………or clones? Travis – 2 pts, 3 rebs in 6 minutes; David – 2 pts, 2 rebs in 7 minutes


    • Players of the Game: Larry Drew and Ed Davis –  see above
    • Lookin’ Fierce Award: Roy Williams
    • John Henson, if there was an award for throwing the ball between your legs to save it from going out, we’d give it to you. I don’t think even the Rafters has an award for that.
    • Zach Evans 12:46 pm on December 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

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      With all due respect to Henson, maybe the award should be the “Don’t Save the Ball Underneath the Other Basket” Award. As impressive as it looked, it did lead to an easy MSU basket.

      I guess I’m just never satisfied.

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