Sunday, May 29, 2005

T of C Sunday Afternoon

Here's a few pics and sights from the Smith Center on Sunday afternoon...Man, these new-bucks are adding more power in their game every year....

So, here are a few thoughts on what I saw today.

Wayne Ellington - You know the feeling when you're checking out the new sneaks at Champs...You can tell the difference between the top shelf high-priced shoe model and the mid-level range model for posers. Well, Ellington and his Episcopal teammate are the high-priced models. When you watch him play, you can definitely can see the difference between an elite level of game and the mid-level window-washers.

With Ellington, the difference is how he comes off of screens and how he pops out to the wing. He explodes, and he has unbelievable hops, which utilizes to constantly leap to the rim for rebounds and caroms. What a great feature for a shooting guard, huh? Believe me, there's no camping out on the wing for this guy, he loves to stick his nose in the lane.

Despite a tough loss, and a tough performance against Tyrone Shelley, who looks like a right-handed Stacey Augmon and who is looking at Minnesota, Ellington has the tools to be a major ACC performer.

What should interest most Tar Heel fans is that he plays a selfless game, which is almost to a fault...Yet, isn't that the rap for all Carolina players?...So, that argument should stop right there. With his soft touch and with the NBA 20 year-old age limit coming into effect, it's highly likely that you'll get a nice plate of Ellington for three years.

Gerald Henderson Jr. - Damn, why can't these two stay together. The two of them in a backcourt are simply lethal. The funny thing after watching Henderson Jr play with Ellington in a loss against a scrap-iron tough Hoops Squad team from Los Angeles is that I can't see how the so-called recruiting gurus can decipher who's better Ellington or Henderson Jr.

Both of these guys are straight up ballers, and Henderson Jr. plays a very similar game. However, I would say that Ellington may have a better touch with the mid-range floater that he launched late in the game, but you could say that also with the one-dribble jumper from the wing from Henderson Jr with two minutes left. If you're looking for overall athleticism, you may take Henderson Jr because of his leaps, but Ellington blocked some incredible shots on the defensive end....See what I'm saying.

Regardless, Henderson Jr. did get matched up against a smaller point guard from Hoops Squad, and he showed me great footwork. I like this kid a lot, and he presents himself very well off-the-court.

Duke has a major poster boy with this guy. Watch out for the upcoming battles between these two best friends in '06.

O.J. Mayo Part II (Nice Photo) -



(Photo)Overtin "O.J." Mayo with his boy from Cincy...I like the hardness that comes from my man, O.J. #32...Young gunna' keep rippin' it. I like the use of the headband for sending messages to your crew back home.

Yet, after watching the Playaz, I'm really struggling with whether or not I would take Ellington or Henderson Jr. for the long run...Just my two cents.

D.J. Augustin - I love top flight point guards, and I want to love this guy's game. Yet, there's something that made me tail off of him. Maybe it's his J, or maybe it's his speed...But to me, he reminded me of a less speedier version of Andre Barrett at Seton Hall two seasons ago. Nice game and tough, but I don't know about leading a running team to the promised land. Now, to be fair to Augustin, he did have an injury that hobbled him...

Yet, if you Tar Heel fans are wondering if the staff made the right choice between Tywan Lawson, Augustin, and Mike Conley Jr., they should be pleased because the staff made the right choice with Lawson. Lawson is speedier, stronger, and he has a nice touch on a floating jumper within 10-12 feet that has shades of Rod Strickland on it. Plus, Lawson is an Oak Hill gunner...The level of comp that he works against says a lot.

Supposedly, Augustin is down to LSU, Texas, and Wake Forest. Here's to hoping that he stays local, and he gets a chance to play with "Big Baby" Glen Davis.

Hoops Squad, Los Angeles, CA - If more AAU teams played this hard and well together, then you could say AAU ball is more fun to watch than high school teams. These guys were a blast to watch, and because of the lack of superstars, everyone counted them out.

You know I'm a big fan of city kids, and these kids were classic scrap-iron tough city kids from the Los Angeles and San Diego public schools leagues that were totally unimpressed by the resumes of the elite programs such as Spiece, Indiana led by Mike Conley Jr and Greg Oden or The Playaz with Ellington and Henderson Jr.

Talk about a reality show in the mix for ESPN 2...Screw that And 1 crap....

Schools like Fairfax, Dominguez, Taft from LA and Crawford from SD were represented well. Corn rows, jheri curls, and shaven heads went with the jerseys numbers that didn't match with the program...Hell, Coach Richard Isaacs with his Buddy Holly glasses and warm-up pants are even more of a trip.

Great watch, and more importantly, they played as hard as if they were playing for the Pro-Am title at Venice Beach. Who says West Coast ballers can't roll? Keep a watch out for Tyrone Shelley...He's my sleeper...Supposedly, he's headed for Minnesota, but if a West Coast powerhouse like UCLA, Zona, or a high-mid program like UNLV or USC doesn't take a shot on him, they're crazy....Believe me, give the guy three years, and he'll be an incredible athlete. He really did well on Ellington by locking him down.



Photo: Tyrone Shelley enjoying a Tropicana after a W over Ellington and Henderson Jr...Hoops Squad...Those my boys.

On the air at 9PM,
IronDog

Saturday, May 28, 2005

T of C Saturday Report

Memorial Day in the Triangle...Cookouts, Blue Cups at He's Not Here, Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream at Ben & Jerry's...right? Wrong? C'mon, it's the weekend for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions...Live it up!

Here's my first impressions of a few players.

O.J. Mayo - I can't remind you enough...Remember this guy's name. Why?...Because he's one of the few players in the junior ranks that I've seen with a 15 ft. jumper. He's also a very good passer with great court vision and hops. Better yet, he likes to run the point, and he likes to give up the ball.

The Cincinnati Kid has a lot of game, and hopefully, it gets through this afternoon game in order for us to watch him go up against Wayne Ellington or Mike Conley Jr. of the Spiece All-Stars from Indianapolis.

Danny Green - I love this kid already. Everyone seems to be sleeping on this kid because of his quiet demeanor on the court. Off it, he rolled thug style into the Smith Center with headphones that made him look like Dumbo, a bandana, unstrapped vintage black Reeboks, and a hat turned backwards...But who cares about that mess, right?

Because this kid can stroke it. He already has the smoothest stroke at Carolina in the last five years...Period. This guy can shoot.

Greg Oden - Big man, who is very agile. Yet, I when I watched him, I couldn't believe that he's actually worth $40M right now. He brings the ball to his waist often, which makes him 6'4". Yet, he does have a soft touch, and more importantly, he comes to play every minute.

Let's see what this kid can do. I have a feeling we'll be able to see more of him on Sunday afternoon.

Eric Wallace - This guy had a terrible shooting game....2/12 for 6 Points...Yet, this is UNC's version of David Noel Part II...With touch. He's a lot more agile than Noel, and in the words of my man 'GachMan'....He's "fluid."

I love the kid's build. His upper body is a little stiff, but with a couple of solid years of coaching, he'll be incredible because of his athleticism. I would love to see this guy wearing Carolina Blue. Another Public School kid done good...

Back with more later on.

Sleuthin',
IronDog

Friday, May 27, 2005

They had to do it...

There is a 'gentleman's code' out there right?...You know like a hand-shake deal, or you don't screw your boy's girl. That type of thing...right?

Well, that code should stretch over to movies, and unfortunately Hollywood and Adam Sandler have created the greatest sacrilege with their re-make of "The Longest Yard." This is atrocious, and is just a plain, flat-out travesty. This is a movie that you shouldn't even give a glance at on a late re-run on the USA Network. What a shame...How dare you screw with the legacy of Paul Krewe!

I'm right on by saying that the "The Longest Yard" in 1969 is the greatest football movie made...Period. Bill Simmons from ESPN Page 2 agrees....Check out his review from Page2 here...What's good to see is that I share the same passions for the originial movie as much as he does.

How can you top the original. So, why the hell would you try to re-make it?...Hell, re-release the movie, but don't make it a slapstick hoax. Hell, Burt Reynolds was in top shape, and he was an ex-Florida State football player, and you try to replace him with the baby-talking, Sandler, who is still trying to burn off his late-night stoner meals from five years ago.

C'mon Adam, I expect better from you...Burt will do any thing for attention and loot, but christ, you really think you take on a classic role like that...Geez, you spent way too much time playing Nerf ball in the basement...You're not even close, and you want me to buy a ticket for this crap.

Straight from the get-go, they open the movie with a twelve car pile-up that tries to replace the Paul Krewe, slap-down hangover tirade that combines a roadie cocktail-to-go, a Southern backwoods car chase with Skynard's "Saturday Night Special" in the background. Hell, every time I here that song, I still want a smoke.

Simmons is definitely a guy that I would love to watch ESPN Classic with for a day. Simmons puts forth that the original was "introspective, dramatic, and realistic." And I'll agree, but what makes this a great movie is the timing of it in American history. Think about when the movie was dropped.

You're telling me that the original wasn't making a statement about racial problems between black and white, VietNam, and the bull-horse police tactics of the day. Hell, it doesn't take P.H.D. to theorize that director Robert Aldrich was making more than just a sports movie. Didn't you have the same feeling that Albert represented LBJ and big government?

So, the producers of today can't think of another storyline, and they desecrate a classic with Nelly, Chris Rock, and an Ultimate Fighting Champ in Ray Nitschke/Joe Kapp role. And to top it off, instead of a Willie Hall, we get Michael Irvin for chrissake.

I'm here with Simmons. Please stop devouring our American pop culture classics. What's next a slapstick comedy of "The Natural." Hey how about Rob Schnieder as Roy Hobbs?



Mean Machine, Mean Machine...
IronDog

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Three pronged Threat

With a tribute to the triple threat master...Yes, Stevie Nash is balling tonight, and I have to get seated. I also can't believe that I'm that excited about the Playoffs again...In the meantime, check out these tidbits that hit all three of our categories...

***Al McGuire is chuckling with this one...Check out this controversy that's brewing in Milwaukee from Robert Andrew Powell of the New York Times...I fully understand the racial implications that stem from naming a team mascot that have American Indian overtones...Righfully so, the days of the Stanford Indians, Dartmouth Indians and the St. John's Redmen have gone away...(Even more so, I understand the logos)...That's why I can listen to the against Chief Wahoo and the Screaming Brave logo of the Atlanta Braves.

Yet, hasn't the moniker "Warrior" developed enough that it is honoring American Indian heritage?

Whether you like it or not, if you're termed a 'Warrior', it generally connotates a solid characteristic or quality that one may have. With that said, how about satisfying both factions by going with the Marquette "Golden Warriors".

P.S. I agree the "Marquette Gold" is lame-oh...

***You know that we've been big fans of skype...Hell, the labratz are Skyping late night hippie folk tunes to each other, but I guess you could say that Yahoo!'s adjustments have hit the mainstream. Check out today's USA Today article by Edward Baig.

Yahoo's IM products are pretty strong now. Not only can you stream video very well, but you now can be able to exchange voice content as well as Skype. I also dig the emoticons...They're actually a lot of fun...Yet, one advantage Skype still has is that you're able to call a regular phone. I'm sure they're working on this as we speak.

Give it up for the gang at Yahoo! They're stepping up to the plate big-time...(Note: AOL, you choked when you blasted out my seven year-old username you chuckleheads...I never would have given YahooMessenger a thought...You suckas.)

***I guess I had to hear it via Dan Frost of 'SFGate, but it's tough to see the world's most expensive piece of real estate go private, but today is the official day for LucasArts to open up in San Francisco's Presidio. No more motorcycle lessons for you in that parking area there!

Of course, was it really that open of an area when it was a base?..So, get off it.

***Carolina fans stop whining that Duke has landed Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson Jr., and the your ranks are depleted for next year....

Line up your backcourt with four out of five McDonald's All-Americans, who will likely be there for three to four years, and any coaching staff would drool over your line-up...Check out the UNC backcourt in 06/07...Bobby Frasor, Tywan Lawson, Marcus Ginyard, Danny Green, and possibly top 2007 shooting guard, Wayne Ellington, who visits Chapel Hill this weekend. Sorry, but if Carolina lands Ellington, there's not a backcourt rotation that will neither be able to go as deep nor be as talented as the Tar Heel backcourt...Period.

And yes...I'm saying it...By 2007/08, this backcourt rotation may be the best to ever play at North Carolina.

Triple Threat + One,
IronDog

Sunday, May 15, 2005

TCOB

Man, where have I been...Well I've been "TCOB" with graduation week on the agenda...My apologies are due for not feeding you those delicacies, but here's a few before we jump on WXYC's 'SportsRap' at 9PM EST tonight....

***Maybe I'm too hyped up from this week's Sports Illustrated cover article featuring Karl Taro Greenfield's "insider" portrayal of the Raid-dahs! new nation member, Randy Moss.

But I dug this article by Andrew Perloff of SI.com...Check it out here...He suggests that Moss could become the greatest wide receiver ever, and Moss does have the stats to prove it. However, even though he has given life to Randall Cunningham, Duante Culpepper, and even Chad Pennington at Marshall, I don't know if a QB corps of Kerry Collins, Marques Tuiasosopo and Andrew Walter is going to be able feed Moss the ball.

Don't forget Moss is just one of the cast of superheroes now...He's not the lone wacko on this team...Keep a watch on how he settles in with the Raiders? Especially, when they're .500 after Week 10.

***It's got to be the 'Nats...Despite a torrid start, David Ginsburg of the AP reports that attendance is down in Camden Yards this year...Check it out here...The knee-jerk reaction is because of the emergence of the trendy Nationals, who are only 40 Miles away.

Yet, has anyone realized that Peter Angelos has been such a "blah" owner that people may have fallen for the underdog Nationals?

***Great article on Coach Dean Smith from John Railey of the Winston Salem Journal...Check it out here...This time he's golfing for a great cause in Winston on behalf of Crosby Scholar Program that helps 3,000 students prepare for college life. The tournament was put in place by UNC the benevolent power broker, Paul Fulton.

It's good to see that Coach Smith is using his influence to move political agendas for the benefit of the public good...Keep it up.

***Don't sweat Shavlik Randolph going pro...He's not only seeing where his stock lies with NBA front offices, but you also have to keep in mind that if he gets invited to the NBA's Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, he'll have gain a tremendous amount of experience playing against players, who will be playing like 'raw-dogs' to get to the next level.

Not only a bad idea to get some exposure, but also some much needed experience that he's lost due to injuries at Duke.

***With every college basketball player with the slightest nudge of a family member or neighborhood friend telling him to go pro, I thought this was a cool picture from the Raleigh News & Observer today....



As much as everyone in the Triangle and the rest of the surrounding ACC territories hates Julius Hodge, it's very refreshing to see this picture of him in a cap and gown at the RBC Center...It's also good to see the honoring of one of my favorite ACC ball-players in the past two decades....I hope he lands with the right team in the L. I think the Bronx product is a winner.

Walkin',
IronDog

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Five, Five...Five

Last year I missed the chance to pay homage to Moses by yelling out...Fo, fo...fo. Well here's five...five...



Fo, Fo...Fo

***Scoop Jackson from ESPN Page 2 penned an interesting one on Kwame Brown...Check it out here... I don't what fence Scoop is riding on in this article. Is he taking a shot a Mike or not?...Undoubtedly, he's trying to give love to a complete "softie", who may be one of the biggest 'P&$$!&$ ever to play in the league...And no, I won't use the "P-word" in this column. I'll save that for the bedroom and bars...;)

Yet, what I am upset about is how bad everyone gets on Mike's ass for tearing into Brown. How quick do people forget that Brown was the number 1 pick, and he should have been well-aware that he was the future of the franchise. With that said, Kwame did not respond to big-league development like he was paid to do.

What's funny is that basketball pundits support high-schoolers jumping to the "League" because they can develop quicker and better. Yet, when they're pushed by the veterans in the "League", who are the trusted elders, they scream that the development process is too harsh...C'mon.

MJ was pushing to make the playoffs on a guy who never responded to any approach...What would you do with a closing door on a season? The blame should be on Mike for drafting such a "softie."

***Mark Cuban gets hit with spam at BlogMaverick, but he made a comeback with left-right combo against Mike Celizic of MSNBC.

Celizic swears that Cuban's Mavericks and the Lakers were in extensive talks last summer about a Shaq trade. Cuban denies it, and he got into a email throw-down with Celizic that ended with Celizic apologizing on MSNBC's blog for erroneous information. Cuban seems pumped on this post. It must be due to the ref-baiting that he does during a game and in his blog...I wonder how much Cuban really thinks he influences referees' decisions throughout a game....Calm down.

***Now small businesses are embracing the marketing phenomeonon surrounding blog life...Check out this great article... from Ilana DeBare of SFGate. Many small business owners are finding that blogs are affordable yet powerful ways to build online communities around a brand. As you know, the good thing is that people can now be put up-to-date in an instant with a blog...Just remember how many 'ibibloggers' started chuckling when we started this. Believe me, SBOs (restaurants, bars, hardware stores, record shops)...Blogging works.

With that said, be sure to leave your comments on any subject here in order to improve this blog.

***PodcasterCon needs your help...Yes...PodcasterCon.

It's a great idea, people...PodcasterCon's grassroots leadership team is looking for any help with fundraising or with leads for donations. If you can help out with this great idea, please drop a line to this wiki.


Back ON,
IronDog