You're a sweaty troll-dude sad sack who forgot how to recruit.
You know where you belong?
You belong in a David Mamet play. You should be screaming and throwing your coat and yelling about insurance. You should be trying to sell a shitty screenplay to a Hollywood mogul who despises you. You should have a college-age ungrateful gypsy-dress wearing daughter with a poet boyfriend named Duncan who doesn't respect you. You should be finishing 4th in a sales contest because nobody trusts you enough to buy a car. Alec Baldwin should send you packing with some heartless words.
You know what you do on an off day?
You go to the airport, read the newspaper, and pretend you're waiting for a group of friends so you don't feel so lonely. Then you go home and sob over a stale bagel.
Sorry, that last one was personal.
But God, Maryland stinks. How do you field an entire team without one guy who can hit a three? How does Jordan Williams devolve over a season until he can't even get a shot up with out John Henson swatting him into the 8th row? Seriously, Henson had 7 blocks. 15 of them were on Williams. -8 were on Tyler Zeller, El Floppo, who scored 25 points.
As you can probably tell, I skipped the Oscars, and James Franco's inability to speak in anything but a stilted, fluidless monotone*, to see Maryland blow their shot at a tourney berth. Or, more accurately, to hope and pray for a Carolina loss that never had a chance of happening. If you want to read about the Duke loss, check out Sunday's post.
*And I'll tell you what: I think he was doing it on purpose. It's a weird actor cliche to be the guy who sort of stares into a camera and can't perform live. I think it started with Robert Duvall, who legitimately stutters and stumbles when he's interviewed off script, and it became kind of a cool thing. Like, "oh look, he's a brilliant actor but he can't even complete a sentence...his talent must be so intuitive. It comes right from the soul!" And with Duvall, it's probably true. Now other actors pull this shit; opening their eyes real wide, speaking loudly and without inflection, and seeming dazed. Believe me, they're being total phonies. They've been trained since they were little children to sound and look incredibly natural on camera. I really wish I could think of another example right now to bolster my point. That would be reallll convenient. God, I know so little about show business.
And hey, what's with Jesse Eisenberg? Is he too cool to smile? Does he think he's become Mark Zuckerberg, who actually has never smiled in his life? Come on, Jesse, you're famous because you're an awkward looking relatable Jewish kid who reminds us all of being young and not cool. Fucking give us a grin, man.
I did hear his red carpet interview was pretty sweet, though. But enough about the Oscars. I really only watched like a half hour when I got back from the game, so it's possible I'm totally off on Franco. Please correct me if he was actually funny and was missing the deer-in-the-headlights look at the beginning.
Back to Carolina: what a hard team to peg. It looked for a while like they were fading, but yesterday they seemed all but unbeatable. Sure, Maryland made a couple small runs in the second half, but the closest they came was 8 points. Zeller, much as I hate him, was in domination mode. He was automatic inside, finishing 10-16. And Henson is nothing more than a force of nature. The dude redefines how the game is played in the paint, and that influences an opponent's entire style. I have never seen a team shoot more jump shots from about two steps inside the three-point arc than Maryland last night, and that has everything to do with Henson and his absurd wingspan.
Marshall looked great as usual, with 10 assists and 3 steals. You know how people don't talk about Nolan Smith leading the ACC in scoring and assists anymore? It's because Marshall just needed Larry Drew gone to utterly dominate that category. It's not out of reach yet; Kendall has 5.3 and Nolan has 5.2. But when you look at their assists per 40 minutes, Marshall owns- 10.0 to 6.2. In fact, among the top 100 assist-leaders in the country, Marshall is first in assists per 40 minutes. Nobody else quite got to double digits.
All of which is to say: they can be scary. But we can't forget that Maryland stinks and looked totally lost for the majority of that game. When Jordan Williams is your only real inside player (Padgett and Palsson are softer than the rabbit's tail Harrison Barnes pets for good luck during timeouts), and you don't have anyone who can shoot the 3, that's what happens. Why can't Gary Williams recruit? The man won a national title! He coaches an elite program in a major conference! Why can't he field the top talent? I'm totally stumped. My only guess is that he completely lacks the charm to entice good players, but I have no idea if that's actually true.
So where does that leave the ACC? After big wins this weekend, FSU and Virginia Tech join Duke and UNC as locks. Maryland is 7-7 now, and they have an okay shot to finish 9-7. Clemson is 8-6, but they'll lose to Duke on Wednesday and need a win at Tech next weekend to finish above .500. If the Terps and Tigers each wind up at 9-7, the 5th berth goes to the one that makes it farther in the ACC tourney. I think that's pretty cut and dry, right? Neither one has any good out of conference wins. Maryland won their only head-to-head meeting in College Park, but Clemson has the better RPI. Both will have 20 wins overall. I think it's basically dead even right now.
Which means one of them has to win a quarterfinal game in the ACC. Whoever finishes sixth will face FSU in that round, and whoever finishes fifth will face Virginia Tech. Personally, I'd rather get the Noles without Singleton.
I have tried my damndest to avoid it until now, but it's time to get the speculatin' goggles on: are we going to see Kyrie Irving take the floor in Chapel Hill?
The question has been asked, my friends. In this "notes" column, which is 100% innuendo, they say it could happen. But again, they have as much information as the squirrel chewing on pine bark out my window. Still: IT'S A REAL NEWSPAPER, AND THEY SAY HE'S GOING TO PLAY!!!!
Here's my theory: if he wasn't going to play, that would have been announced by now. It's one thing for Coach K to issue his 'probably' warnings ad nauseam, but that's not the same as saying he's done. Not by a long shot. In fact, if he was actually not going to play, there's no way Duke's PR machine would let us hold on to that sliver of hope. I've believed it for the past two months, and I believe it now: they keep the possibility alive because they expect that he will play.
And if he does, my pals, then woe to the fucking nation. I'll be at the game Saturday, and if Kyrie Irving steps foot on that floor in uniform, I will literally start throwing punches. I think that's what he would want. Myself and the 300 other Moody Blues in attendance will start a riot and clear the powder blue vermin from the building. It will be like a weird pagan religious ritual, violent and cleansing all at once. Then Kyrie will get the rare 50/50/30 (50 points, 50 assists, 30 rebounds) and Duke will win by 200. We'll all charge the floor, and then Chapel Hill will burn to the ground.
Or something like that. Anyway, here's an amazing photo of Kyrie doing the Dougie after Mason's jam against Temple. Extra large version here.
Because seriously, we need him. Not for Carolina; I have confidence that Nolan and Singler can win an ACC championship game against their younger rivals on the road. No problem. But for a title run, Kyrie is a must. Like many Duke teams past, we're a little too dependent on three-point shooting, and I'd have to encounter a situation where we had to shoot lights out for four straight games to have a shot.
Now, just for fun, here's a twitter exchange I had with a Carolina fan. It started with this, on February 6th:
I may live to regret this tweet, but I don't see how UNC can beat us, even at home. They're fading while we're peaking.
Picking them is fine. "Dont see how" is ignorant. RT @SCurrySavesDuke: may regret this tweet, but I don't see how UNC can beat us
@SCurrySavesDuke this from a guy so steeped in Duke/rivalry tradition he named his blog after a transfer from a year ago.
@DHPIV RAWRRRRRRRR!!!!!! REBABARAWWRRRR MASON PLUMLEE RARAWRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! CAW CAW!
@SCurrySavesDuke "I got no idea what you just said, little man. But you touched a brother's heart..."
I think that's well done all around. And as you can see, I have no maturity issues. I'm totally fit to use the internet.
I had one other notable twitter adventure this weekend, and that came Saturday afternoon when I started my #PeopleWhoVoteAgainstNolanForPOTYAreRacist campaign. This basically consisted of me saying things like:
-Would Jimmer Fredette have all this attention if he wasn't....A WHITE MAN?
-What does Jimmer Fredette have in common with at least 8 former Players of the Year? HE'S WHITE.
-Look, I don't want to play the race card, but I'm watching BYU and Jimmer is clearly....WHITE!
-@JHolt915 denies the racism inherent in the POTY race. Maybe because he's...WHITE?
Now, I thought this was clearly tongue-in-cheek. Most others did as well, but there was a gigantic backlash of angry white people who thought I was insinuating that they were actually racist. One lovely lady even called me a racist and stopped following me. I will be ruing that loss for a long time.
Clearly, this blog should not be about about my twitter adventures, but since there were a few offended folks, I thought I should maybe spend some words here.
1) It was a joke.
2) I was being an absurd conspiracy theory character.
3) It should have been obvious from the tone and caps lock.
4) Seriously, though, I kinda do believe it helps to be white for these kind of awards in an unconscious, hidden bias kind of way. See Tyler Hansbrough (Naismith) and Adam Morrison (Oscar Robertson POTY Award).
5) However, it was a joke.
6) If I started pulling punches for fear of offending people, this blog wouldn't be as fun, believe me. If you already don't think it's fun, then imagine it even less fun.
7) If that's not cool with you, sorry and adios.
I will now conclude with a story an optometrist friend of a friend told me last night at the game. One of her main tasks every day is to put contacts in her patients' eyes. To do this, she stretches their eyelids. No big deal. Being me, I asked her about the grossest eye-related thing she'd ever seen. Turns out, she was applying a contact lens to a female patient, opened the lids, and the woman's eyeball came out of the socket! Not knowing what else to do, she applied the contact and put the eyeball back in. Then she asked the patient how she felt. "It was weird at first," she said, "but it feels fine now." The optometrist, shaken, had only one option- do the other eye. AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN! Eyeball right out of the socket! She did the same thing; contact on, eyeball back in. After that, she was forced to tell the woman what had happened, and the woman didn't even think it was that big a deal.
I'm never opening my eyes all the way again. See you tomorrow. Oh, and prepare yourselves: pretty soon we will be organizing a tourney pool competition with either a) other Duke blog communities or b) a Carolina blog! I will need 25 of the hardiest souls available to carry the SCSD! banner into battle. More on this later.