The College Hoops Gazette

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February 06, 2008 - GAME DAY: IN QT WE TRUST


There is reason to feel queasy about tonight's game. Ty Lawson's ankle may keep him out of the game, and if so, the Tar Heels simply cannot expect to run their offense as they'd like to. In fact, the expected quickness advantage goes to Duke, at least in terms of running the break off of defensive pressure. Suddenly finding ourselves the underdogs, we here at CHG will abstain from making predictions, especially just a few days removed from the recent unexpectedness of the Super Bowl.

Should you be worried and need firing up, or worry about the Heels' own level of fire, try this article from the Fayetteville Observer, in which Ty Hansbrough appears to be nursing a grudge with Duke and Coach K, typically, shows his ass.

Speaking of which, in this piece from IC, Coach K expresses doubt about the extend of Lawson's injury (he has a habit of doubting our players can actually be hurt, doesn't he?).

And lastly, here's what Roy has to say about the state of Lawson's ankle. May it improve mightily during the course of the afternoon... we'll finish by quoting Hansbrough and we'll keep our fingers crossed:

ďYou know how fast [Lawson] is and what he brings to the court. But also, I think that ĎQí is going to step up big for us.Ē

February 06, 2008 - Doyle On Duke

Something may appear seriously awry in Chapel Hill tonight. As out-of-place as the smooth orangutan-like outer labia that rests awkwardly above Tom Selleckís shaved upper lip, the UNC Tar Heels just ainít gonna look right when they take the floor against the #2 Duke Blue Devils on this most hallowed of basketball evenings. And these razor-burned Heels donít have a prayer. Not if Ty Lawson sits placidly on the sideline in his bright blue ďDennis the MenaceĒ jammies.

Iíve got three pet peeves: the first being ladies like my cousin Jenni, leaving shoes in the middle of the gawddamn floor!!! Second is an otherwise-talented, well coached basketball team not locking up or rotating out on great wide-open three point shooters. (Not normal, not good, not a freakiní afterthought-to-their offensive-philosophy shooters, but great, and potent 3 point marksmen). Third, and mostly, I cannot abide said team not playing solid, consistent, brick-wall team defense! Not when it is my frickiní team! These Heels donít stop ďno drive, twelve feet in!!!Ē Sorry Roy.

Do not doubt for a minute that Coach K has tweaked his entire program to compete with the juggernaut that Roy Williams has awakened just down the block from his ESPN-sponsored Ďcornerí of the college basketball precinct.
The spank-down that Roy has put on him over the past few years, usually without the same level of experience, or overall talent, or his kidsí acumen for his Ďsystem,í has changed the way K recruits and coaches. Tonight, it will be enough. Down the line, who is to say? Well, me: UNC and Williams will own Duke for the foreseeable future.

Overall UNC has the advantage in individual talent, except for Gerald Henderson, obviously. As a team, however, they are woefully behind the Devils. They do not play team defense. They do not stop the dribble. They do not help out in the paint. They do not see man-you-ball. They do not aggressively close-out on shooters. Most of all, they donít run a half-court set. Ever. That is a recipe for shit stew against the Blue Devils.

Sadly, inevitably, the Devils win by 12, 88-76.

February 04, 2008 - I Like Duke's Chances, Baby!

Have you ever noticed how beautiful the Duke campus is? If youíve never visited there, let me tell you that during my six weeks of throat convalescence here in Durham, I have looked out my window from up on the third floor of the Duke Basketball HQ Tower, and I have been privileged to take it all in, day in and day out!

If you want proof of how beautiful and peaceful it is here on campus, donít take my word for it! You should go visit Princeton University, an authentic Ivy League school that copied Dukeís architecture almost building for building! Copying from someone elseís ideas is the highest form of flattery! Shakespeare said that so it must be right! The Princeton Tigers, baby! The Princeton Offense! Iíll bet Shakespeare wouldíve seen the poetry involved in that, especially when young John Thompson the Third was running it. What a special father-son relationship there is between Thompson the Elder and his incredible 1984 National Championship team and his son now running the Georgetown program who got them back to the Final Four last season! Symmetry, baby! Climbing up the family tree, baby!

Makes you wish Coach K and his lovely wife Mickie had had sons so they could carry on the family coaching lineage! Of course, they have three outstanding daughters who are wonderful people if not much to look at! Not that I donít sometimes look anyhow! If I werenít so old and bald, and if only my plastic surgery had gone better, whoís to say I wouldnít have made a move on one of them and married into Basketballís First Family! Iím serious! But hey, like I tell Mickie, the day Coach K finally has that aneurism on the court and goes to that great Fixed Game with Terrified Refs in the Sky, Iíll be right there should she want companionship! Like I told her, Iíd even change my name to hers, so that Iíd be Dickie Krzyzewski, baby! Mickie and Dickie! And all those daughters! Iíd be surrounded in Krzyzewski! Ensconced! Iím starting to tingle here and Mike Patrick isnít within 10 miles of me!

So yes, recuperating here at Duke has really been something special! But Coach K finally told me it was time to move forward with life! He said itís time to get back in the game! He said the world missed me! He said ratings were suffering!

Actually, what he said was that itís inappropriate for me to be waiting for the team in the sauna after they practice and that he didnít like the looks Iíve been giving Mickie after dinner while Iím doing the dishes at his place! But thatís his way! Tough love! Just ask J.J. Redick about the time Coach K smashed a picture of him off the wall and told him he deserved to lose because he didnít have the heart of a champion! Nothing says to a young, impressionable kid ďI love you, sonĒ like the combination of violent actions and words! And think about how beautifully Redick played under tournament pressure after such treatment!

Are you kidding me!? Coach K leads with his heart! And thatís led me out the door and back to courtside, where I have to tell you, I like Dukeís chances! With Ty Lawson hurt and Gerald Henderson looking to settle the score after unfairly being run over by Tyler Hansbrough in last yearís regular-season finale, I donít see that Carolina has much chance!

Thereís no shame in being abused by the boys in Dark Blue, though! Trust me on this, Tar Heels!

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