J.J. Redick Poetry Theatre

The former Duke star takes time out of his busy day riding the pine for the Orlando Magic to provide us with a small sampling of his poetry ahead of the game on Wednesday.

Well said.

Countdown to Dook

it is now only 6 days until one of the biggest games of the year: when Carolina plays their first of two games against hated rival Duke on February 6th. And Tar Heel Mania has decided to celebrate the impending game with a small countdown, in which we poke fun at the Blue Devils with at least 1 post per day until the game. So join us, won’t you?

The Countdown begins…now.

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Why You Should Watch the Women’s Basketball Team

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Tonight, Carolina plays one of the two toughest games they will play this year, on the road against Connecticut before hosting the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday (you know, the Maryland team that isn’t supposed to suck). Here’s why you should pay attention to the lady Tar Heels, if only for this week:

  • Consistency. Most Carolina fans have been somewhat disappointed in the inconsistent play displayed by the men’s team, culminating in a bad home loss to the Terps. You will get no such play from the women’s squad. They average a 30-point margin of victory in their 17-1 campaign, and that include their only loss, a 83-79 thriller against Tennessee in Knoxville.
  • Ivory Who? You may think this statement is blasphemy, and for good reason: Ivory Latta may have been the best female player to don a UNC uniform, and easily one of the best point guards in women’s ACC history. But Sylvia Hatchell has managed to fill the shoes of the graduated Latta with three freshman guards: Cetera DeGraffenrie, Italee Lucas, and Rebecca Gray. They have combined to average 24.8 points and 8.5 assists per game.
  • Experienced Frontcourt. The two starting seniors, Erlana Larkins and Latoya Pringle, are the core of the frontcourt and the hear tof this both on offense and defense.
  • If I told you she was Rashad in drag, you might believe me. I kid, of course, but Junior Rashanda McCants has really come into her own this year. By far the most versatile player on the team, she is #1 on the team in points and steals per game, second in three pointers, third in assists and fourth in rebounds.

Enjoy this week’s games, which have huge Final Four implications.

hype it up!

The Good News About the Maryland Game: Will Graves Hit a Shot When It Mattered

The bad news:

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I’ll be posting two articles about the game on Monday: the first is a analysis of the Heels’ play, and the second is a retelling of my experience in the Dean Dome risers (with pictures). Even though we lost, it was one of the best experiences of my life as a fan.

The #1 Team in the Nation is Playing the Only Sub-.500 Team in the ACC. I’m Not Going to Pay Much Attention to This GamHOOOOOO LEEEEEEEE CRAAAAAAAAAAP

That may have been the same attitude that Carolina had for the first 20 minutes of the game. No one expected the 7-8 Yellow Jackets to play as well as they did last night. A few notes:

  • Georgia Tech is definitely not the worst team in the ACC. They have good athletes, especially in the paint, who can keep the team in most games if no one gets into foul trouble. They have the ability to make crisp passes and create wide open shots possession after possession. Their post players, for most of this game, outhustled the Tar Heels to the ball consistently. It is possible, even probable, that Georgia Tech has been underachieving up to this point, and it has taken the ACC season to give them the impetus to put it all together.
  • This game has one main theme in common with Carolina’s other near-loss at Clemson. Both the Yellow Jackets and the Tigers chose to run a fast paced game alongside us, and managed to keep up for the entire game. This could be a big problem looming for the Tar Heels in the tournament. Carolina would almost certainly have to play a very good fast-paced team to get to the championship and as great a coach as Roy Williams is, one of his weaknesses is making mid-game adjustments.
  • When all else was equal for the first 39 and a half minutes of the game, Danny Green almost single-handedly won the final 30 seconds. First, after Carolina played some good defense, Green grabbed the rebound of a Georgia Tech shot and drew a foul with 22 seconds left. Then, after making one of two free throws, Georgia Tech had the ball with a chance to win. They had a shot from 6 feet to win, but Green and Hansbrough were there to make the block. After the Jackets throw up another shot, who’s there to make the final rebound? Danny Green. A Yellow Jackets swats the ball out of bounds, Carolina has the ball with 0.5 second left, and Carolina survives.
  • Like in the Clemson game, Hansbrough was turned into a non-factor for most of the second half outside of the free throw line. Unlike the Clemson game, so was Wayne Ellington (7 points for the game).
  • Ty Lawson: 5 assists and 4 turnovers in 33 minutes. Quentin Thomas: 2 assists and 0 turnovers in 7 minutes. Just sayin’.

The most important lesson in this game, as always: no one can take the result of an ACC game for granted. Not that I’m overly concerned about Saturday’s game against Maryland.

All-Time Winningest Tar Heel: Quentin Thomas?

You read that right. The UNC basketball class of 2008 has enjoyed a level of success at Carolina not seen in a long time with 104 victories in the past 3+ season. Of the two scholarship players who began playing for Roy Williams in the 2004-2005 season, only Quentin Thomas remains on the team as a senior. The current record for most games won by a Tar Heel player over a four year career is 117; the record is held by three players, including Matt Doherty. What this means is that if the Heels manage to win 14 of their remaining games in the regular season, ACC Tournament, and ACC Tournament, Quentin Thomas will stand alone as the winningest Tar Heel of all time. Not a bad honor for a career 8.3 minutes per game player.

As you may or may not be aware, I’ve been a huge fan of Q over the last couple of seasons, so I’m rooting for him to get the record.

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A Chance to Make Fun of Sidney Lowe’s Red Blazer From 100 Feet Above The Court

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There will be no live blog of today’s UNC-NC State game (noon, ESPN) on Tar Heel Mania. The reason? I will be at the Dean Dome. I managed to snag a ticket late this week, and upon reception of said ticket, this was my reaction:

I’ll give a full report of the live experience after the game.

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