Monday, February 25, 2008

What North Carolina, Duke have that Tennessee, Memphis don't

Observations after a weekend of basketball that brought a new No. 1 in the polls and a new No. 11 in the ACC standings:

-- Tennessee and Memphis are more athletic overall and better defensively than North Carolina or Duke. But the Tar Heels and Blue Devils are more polished and disciplined on offense. The Vols and Tigers took a lot of ill-advised shots before Tennessee emerged with a road win.

-- Memphis point guard Derrick Rose was the best player on the floor in the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, and he’s better than any freshman in the ACC.

-- If John Calipari was going to bring players like Joey Dorsey to N.C. State, it’s a good thing Calipari stayed at Memphis. Dorsey argued with the referees and apparently talked trash to J.P. Prince before some late free throws. Calipari shouldn’t let him get away with that kind of poor sportsmanship.

-- With a Big 12-record 44 points against Baylor, Kansas State’s Michael Beasley might have gained momentum in the national player of the year race with North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough. Hopefully voters won’t discount Beasley because he’s a freshman and Hansbrough’s a junior. The winner should be decided on merit, not the amount of time a player has been in school.

-- This might be remembered as one of the most disappointing seasons in N.C. State history. The Wolfpack was picked third in the ACC preseason media poll but is 11th in the standings after five straight losses. N.C. State had almost as many turnovers (17) as points (18) at halftime in a 78-60 loss Saturday at last-place Virginia. If J.J. Hickson leaves early for the NBA, things will get uglier next season for a team that already will be missing current senior Gavin Grant.

-- North Carolina’s ACC record without injured point guard Ty Lawson (5-1) is nearly as good as its record in the conference with Lawson (6-1).

-- Wake Forest freshman forward James Johnson, who scored 22 against North Carolina on Sunday night, is superb. He possesses a rare blend of quickness, power and 3-point shooting ability that make him difficult for any power forward to guard.

-- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Could you be any more biased against Carolina in your blogs and articles? Not particularly in this one but the rest are pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

Tysiac just wishes his degree was from UNC...That's why he's a hater.

MeckDeck said...


Horrible shooting does not equate to great defense. In fact, no team that gives up 17 o-boards -- as Memphis did -- plays even good defense.

Here's what I saw, in Memphis esp.: A couple teams that go for the steal and the quick dunk, then tries to block every shot, gets the ball, jacks the first open 3. Repeat.

Neither one of these teams is very good and I guarantee neither will make the Elite 8. Don't let yourself get caught up in the S-PIN hype machine next time.