Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tape Delay Blog: Duke-BC and UNC-Clemson

You know the drill, my friends. Everything is as written last night, with a minor style edit or two here and there. No post tomorrow, as I'm off work. Have a good day.



I just finished a nice run, and I’m a bit late to the game. As you can see, I’ll be time stamping this entry by the time that’s left in the game. Right now we’re about 4 minutes into the first half. The first thing happened when I turned on the tv is that Jon Scheyer missed a foul shot. Bad omen?

15:18: So far, no! He followed it up with a runner, and then Plumdog Billionaire, Mason Plumlee, dunked to give us a 9-6 lead.

15:00: Zou-Wreck takes us into the first timeout with his specialty: a dumb foul. If there’s an opposing player with an easy bucket to be made, you can count on Zou to be seconds behind with an unnecessary hack.

15:00: Okay, time to catch up! I’m here typing with my computer atop the official cardboard box of live blogging. My girlfriend is conspicuously absent, so I’m alone. I asked what time she’d be home earlier, and she said “it might be pretty late.” Live blogging nights are not her favorite.

I’ll be going straight through til 11 tonight. At least that’s the plan. After Duke-Boston College, UNC will be playing. Wait, who? UNC? Ohhhh yeahhhh...That’s the team that SUCKS.*

*Nominee #1 for insult of the night.

15:00: “He has a good heart. He has a feel for the game. He wants to win. Only. Only. Only!” That’s Coach K on Scheyer. I think we’re equally obsessed.

14:50: We’re back. Bob Knight is the color man for this game, and he was the one interviewing Coach K. I hate that this following clause is true, but I actually enjoy “The General” as an announcer. Even though he’s obviously a complete dick in real life. Rece Davis is play-by-play. Steady, reliable, attractive. Or so says…ROY WILLIAMS (smirk).*

*Nominee #2.

14:38: Plumdog Millionaire, Miles, gets an and-1 on a great offensive board. That followed a Singler miss, which brings me to a point I wanted to make at some point: Singler is highly overrated. His start to the year has been pretty bad. He can’t hit from 3, he seems too slow to drive, and he’s not big enough to play in the post. What happened to the slashing strong forward I remember from last year? Does he have Paulus Disease, where you get slower and worse as the year goes on?

13:53: Another offensive board by Plumdog Mill. Good also to see Andre Dawkins in the game early. Quiet as he’s been, this is a player we’ll need come February and March.

13:37: Massive subbing by Coach K as four newbies enter the game. Are we really 9 deep? Maybe, but you have to make an argument for Kelly, Dawkins, and Zoubek. Which isn’t the world’s easiest argument.

13:06: Reggie Jackson hits a long three for BC. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I believe it is the same person as the former Yankee slugger.

12:57: Jackson has that cool look going where he wears his headband way on the back of his head. Like in yarmulke position.

12:17: Damn, BC has the lead. It’s somehow harder to pay attention when you’re live blogging. Nolan Smith ties it up with a great drive. More penetration please, Nolan. (I hope that’s the only context I ever have for saying that sentence.)

11:38: Scheyer for 3!!! Fast break points, baby. The Crazies are getting throaty.

11:22: TV timeout. These ‘too heavy/too light’ commercials from Bud Light are friggin’ awful. They’re incredibly predictable, and it’s a stupid concept anyway. If I have to watch that redhead staple a corsage onto her asshole boyfriend one more time, I’ll probably staple myself. In the balls. On the other hand, always a pleasure to see the Sonic commercials with the improvisers…TJ Jagadowski, I think, and another guy from Chicago who’s pretty awesome.

11:22: Singler is so friggin’ pale. I think he sleeps in a coffin. Next to him on the bench, Ryan Kelly looks like someone you could easily trick into eating paint. Over and over.

11:22: Dallas Elmore shots two. What a cool name for an athlete.

10:56: Every time Dawk misses a three, I get more disappointed than I should. Great D by Nolan Smith, and Schey misses a three from the corner.

10:18: Proof that advertising doesn’t work: I’ve never visited Shouldn’t I have done that by now? It’s supposed to have women having sex with each other, and one of them is Danica Patrick. Shouldn’t that ad, of all ads, work?

9:35: Dallas Elmore also sounds like a good porn star name. I wonder if he’s on GoDaddy.

9:08: As Elmore draws a foul on Dawk, I’m making the decision to dislike the Gothic chapel representation on the back of the Duke jerseys.

8:14: As Dawkins draws a foul on a 3, my girlfriend calls with something heavy two blocks away that I have to help her carry. FUCK. SHIT. LIFE IS UNFAIR. BULLSHIT. COME ON! (Back in a while.)

5:58: Duke down 1, and I’m back. The girlfriend is just TALKING TALKING TALKING. (Reading over my shoulder, I’m not a total asshole.)

5:00: Balls going off feet, shoulders, hands, and BC is up 3. This sucks. I also don’t have a feel for the game. Singler is at the line. How did he get there? What’s happening? How many are these worth?

4:29: I’m listening to my girlfriend try to tell her credit card number to the (probably) Hispanic person at the pizza place. This is always a disaster. It’d be easier to try to explain the US Civil War to them, I’m convinced. Numbers translate so poorly.

3:15: Tie game as Singler hits one of two.

2:33: Long argument about memory vs. external hard drive. I’m the worst live blogger ever. Plumdog Millionaire gets another offensive board, and he’s back at the line. Duke by one.

2:21: Damn, BC is scoring at an impressive clip. I don’t like that, especially at our place. Defense is supposed to be this team’s specialty. At the same time, I like the looks of BC. Not sure how old or young their guys are, but I can see a team like this coming together in a year. I still think we’ll win this game by double digits, though.

1:54: Plumlee (Miles) looks awkward and bad trying to score in the post. For all his hustle and energy and whatever, this is the essential problem. He’s not smooth. Which is why his younger brother gets the Plumdog Billionaire title.

1:24: NOLAN STUFFS IT. Great pass from Mason.

1:01: Duke by 3. Smith at the top. DRIVE. Instead they try interior passing and Scheyer loses it out of bounds.

0:46: Timeout Devils. I’m going to look up the rebounding totals for this one. It seems like BC has the edge.

0:30: Nolan Smith is awesome. He hits a beautiful floating runner in the lane. BC holding for the last shot. Then he commits a dumb foul on the other end.

0:06: ESPN has Duke leading 23-18 on the boards. Mr. October hits two for BC, and Duke calls timeout, up 3 and with the ball. Time for some Nostradamus action: Scheyer dribbles left, fakes a pass, passes back to a big man on the right, who then hits Singler coming off a pick on the baseline. Singler attempts a three from the corner as time expires.

HALFTIME: Nope. They had to go the full length, and Nolan misses a three. I’m going to buy some GUS (Grown Up Soda). Have you guys had this? It’s amazing. Back for half #2.

19:10: Nolan Smith just had a filthy drive. I love it. I actually stood up and yelled ‘YOU NASTY, KID!’ in a voice and dialect that can only be described as very embarrassing. The girlfriend was not impressed.

18:13: Scheyer to Nolan. I don’t care how many times I say that, it will never be enough. Timeout BC. 44-35.

17:30: Alley-oop from Smith to Singler, and the DUKIES ARE RUNNING!!!!

17:25: If BC could hit anything from 3, they’d be dangerous. Their offense seems to keep producing open looks, but nothing falls.

17:08: Actually, just checked ESPN and both teams are 1-7 from downtown. Singler just got a technical…not sure what happened there, and the announcers aren’t either. Bob Knight hasn’t done anything but mumble in about three minutes. Lucky for him, he’s got that savvy old man mumble going on.

16:46: Beautiful pull up by Scheyer, and then Smith to Singler on a fast break. And then Singler COAST TO COAST! Sweet up and under lay-up, and Al Singer is forced to take a TO…Cameron is rabid. Hopefully this is the game that springs him loose.

15:44: Intentional on BC as an Eagle absolutely destroys Smith on an alley-oop attempt. This fast-break offense needs to stay permanently. The discipline, poise, and speed of the guards is a perfect fit for a running game, especially at home. I love what I’m seeing. This is JOYOUS, my friends!

I’m also eating some really awesome pizza. Sausage, green peppers, mushrooms. Unbelievable. It probably has something to do with the fact that Duke is leading by 15. I guarantee no BC fans are eating pizza this good.

15:44: Smith has 16 already. Singler with 13, Scheyer 8.

15:30: Threes just aren’t falling for us today. Or against Georgia Tech. I hate when this happens, because it’s so dependent on momentum, and against a better team it just makes things really, really hard. If we’d even hit 30% against Tech, that’s our game.

15:01: Plumdog Billionaire looks like his brother in the post, getting stuffed twice. Then he did that thing where you get really pissed off about getting stuffed and start playing over-zealous defense, and make things worse by drawing a foul. The ultimate shitty sequence for a basketball player.

13:45: He’s been great all year, otherwise I’d call this a coming out performance for Nolan. The amount of body control he has in the lane is just astounding. He deserves comparison to Henderson; his athleticism isn’t quite there, but his basketball skill has surpassed him at this point.

13:15: Reggie Jackson’s headband makes a baseline jumper.


12:24: Nolan is just unconscious. Bob Knight actually clapped on air for his shot fake. And what’s best about this is he looks like a friggin’ warrior out there.

11:00: This is the basketball equivalent of ‘seeing dead red.’ Smith just drove baseline and prepared for an out of control shot, but he’s been so damn good that the defender came over and fouled the shit out of him in a spot that was basically behind the basket. Both foul shots down. Duke by 20.

10:00: Scheyer, on the other hand, is ice cold.

9:45: With BC on the line, the Dukies are doing the intense humping motion, which was always my favorite distraction. Combined with weird moaning, it has to faze the shooter. Has to.

8:55: Admission: Plumdog Billionaire is a step slow. I’m starting to doubt whether he’s a legitimate future ‘star.’

8:13: It’s always sort of embarrassing to me when Zoubek takes a charge. It’d be like a tennis player with a killer serve dinking one underhanded. It’s just not cool. Play some defense. Maybe I need to start accepting this.

6:58: Texas is losing to Iowa State. I hope that holds. We need to end this “Texas is #1 in the country” nonsense.

6:17: Singler looks like crap on the perimeter. Until proven otherwise, he’s only an offense weapon on the break. His jump shot is just awful. No rhythm, barely any arc. Just flat and ugly.

5:00: Up and under for one final treat from Nolan. He’s got 24, which is tied for his career high. Duke by a lot.

4:35: Knight advocating for more PT for Dawkins, and I completely agree. If Coach K keeps him riding the pine like this, he’ll regret it big time when we don’t have that extra reliable guard off the bench later. Foresight, please.

3:44: This is the part of the game where BC, easily the dirtiest team in the ACC, generally gets chippy. We’ve already seen some hard fouls, and Singler just took a wild slap on the shoulder. Time to pull the starters, Mike.

3:44: This UNC-Clemson game should be very interesting, as should the UNC-Georgia Tech game on Saturday. Duke handled the former easily, and struggled on the road to the Yellow Jackets. Obviously, you can’t use the transitive property in college basketball, but it will give us an idea of the relative strength of the top ACC teams.

3:39: All starters still in, and Singler takes another wack.

2:50: Wow, Georgia Tech is about to go down to UVA on the road. Is there going to be a lot of parity in the ACC all year? Will every road game be hard?

2:29: Scrubs are in, so I’m going to give some final thoughts and then take a quick break before UNC-Clemson.

*Nolan Smith is awesome. A deserving player of the game with 24 points on 9-14 from the field, and 3 steals.

*Scheyer had a quiet game, but he was there when we needed a big basket. He has to regain his form from 3.

*Singler ran the floor well, but it seems like he’s got nothing for us out of the halfcourt set. This is highly disappointing.

*The big man story isn’t any more encouraging. We controlled the boards, a nice change from the Tech game, but there’s not even a glimmer of offensive production from the post. Mason Plumlee isn’t an option at this point, and it would be a miracle if he developed into a threat this year. Miles is a grinder, but not big or athletic enough to matter. Zou-Wreck is awkward on O, and solid on D, and Lance Thomas is our best inside defender, but without an ounce of offense. Singler is the key here, and his failure to bridge the gap between inside and outside with steady scoring is hurting us.

*On the bench, Scheyer is laughing it up with his teammates. Great to see. A selfish player would be sulking about his play. Schey seems happy for the team success.

*Another great night for team defense. As the buzzer sounds, BC could only muster 24 points in the second half.

*Overall, a great rebound from the road loss in Atlanta. We’ve got unranked Wake on Sunday night at home before traveling to State on Wednesday.



How do you like my new catch phrase? Clemson has an early 14-6 lead, and the crowd at Littlejohn is incredibly energized. It’s actually kinda fun to watch UNC deal with the ACC road phenomenon. Nothing is easy. And Clemson is still ranked. I’m a little skewed on how good they might be by the beat-down Duke dealt out last week. But judging by one game is foolish, and I am no man’s fool.

15:32: Who is Littlejohn? How do I not know this yet? Wikipedia says there are many Littlejohns, most of them British. But Google says the man in question is James Littlejohn, the school’s first business manager, who had a hand in a lot of the construction on campus. So there ya go.

Jesus, 22-8 Clemson. Make that 24-8 as Booker the Elder slams one down on the fast break. UNC is looking a lot like they looked when they got owned by Syracuse at MSG earlier this year. But Stitt has two fouls, which is the only bright spot for the Heels.

27-10. This is scaring the shit out of me for next Saturday’s game here. This is not the same Clemson team we saw at Cameron.

10:52: One thing I’ll say for Duke- they wouldn’t allow the pressure to get to them like this. UNC has 10 turnovers already. But I guess that’s what happens when you have a young team. Anyway, I like our chances for getting a win at Cameron this year.

9:49: Okay, it’s 35-12 Clemson, they can’t miss, UNC’s running scared, and it might already be past the point of no return. Meanwhile, I’m getting tired, the girlfriend is having trouble seeing the point in liveblogging a blowout that doesn’t even involve my team, and now UNC is missing wide open lay-ups. That’s my cue:


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