The College Hoops Gazette

Doyle Hargraves

""One Hop & 'Tween the Legs""

February 14, 2008 - In Praise of Q

If God isn’t a Tar Heel, then why did he give us Quentin Marguerite Thomas?! He’s recently been seen dicing d’s like a mohel on the eighth day, baby! The kid from O-town with a penchant for donning airbrushed self-portraiture has begun creating his own, fresh masterpiece over the past four games and I’m here to tell you that it’s a work of art.

In this his senior season, when we’ve needed him most, Q has come through. It’s reminiscent of past Heels who were considered works-in-progress or “never-lived-up-to-their-billing” disappointments in the eyes of (shit)Heel basketball fans, but who came through during their final seasons to stiffen the backbone and vastly improve the lot of their teams. Guys like Madden, Hunter, Phelps, Colescott, and Noel.

Who wouldn’t gush over Q’s heart and effort at this point? Or his poise and his handle? Bambi’s brother has cut down on the frantic episodes that had too often marred his play. Over the last four starts (FSU essentially a start for him) Q has an assist-to-turnover ratio that would make Chris Corchianni pissy with envy. He’s brushing against 2:1, which ain’t too shabby. But more than that, it’s his leadership that has made the biggest difference. Outside of Tyler Hansbrough, Q has been the biggest reason for these last two gutsy wins.

Hansbrough made it clear how he felt about Q’s onions after the Clemson comeback victory when he said: “I think there was a period where some people were down, but I think some guys picked some people up, especially Quentin. He came in there, and he really got after us, and I think he picked up the whole team.”

More gushing for Q from the hardest-working-Heel, “He said to us ‘We can't be playing like this,’ especially the way we did in the first half. And I think he lifted us all.”

Amen, uplifting indeed.

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 Selleck’s shaved upper lip, the UNC Tar Heels just ain’t 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 don’t have a prayer. Not if Ty Lawson sits placidly on the sideline in his bright blue “Dennis the Menace” jammies.

I’ve 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 freakin’ 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 frickin’ team! These Heels don’t stop “no drive, twelve feet in!!!” 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 ‘corner’ 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 kids’ acumen for his ‘system,’ 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 don’t 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.

January 23, 2008 - Doyle Returns: On the Terps, Relationships, and Defensive Communication

Continue reading "Doyle Returns: On the Terps, Relationships, and Defensive Communication" »

January 07, 2008 - Doyle Classic: Meeting Journey's Steve Perry

The story of my encounter with Perry. Place: Jakarta, Indonesia. Time: March, 1989. Feel: Muggy, jagged, wired, exhausted.

I am working for a group that shall remain unnamed. I'm sleeping in a finer hotel on the beach just outside the city center. My companion is a sweet little thing who is deaf, I think, but I am not sure. We lounge. At the time I am partial to a red thong swimsuit and am wearing it one morning by the pool with my little friend drinking sweet liquor and eating hard-boiled eggs off of her back. From the very corner of my vision I see a flash of movement above the water and turn my egg-encrusted face just in time to see a lithe figure disappearing into the water. You know how it is that we become experts at judging Olympic divers every four years - breaking down their form, their entries? Well, this aquatic creature would've received a 7 or 8 from me on my ballot. No splash, pointed toes, the whole nine.

I resolve to continue my meal, and I swish my mai tai around my mouth to clear out some of the yoke stuck between my pearlies. While swishing, I notice the figure that I'd seen disappearing into the water so effortlessly is a man. The guy is wearing the same red thong suit that I am and I get a little miffed that he'll spoil my standing with little baby doll, who I am now calling, affectionately, Little Bun. When I notice the "roll of quarters" he's shining, I relax a little and go back to my meal. Just as I’m starting my balancing act, I pause. I say to myself, "It cannot be!" I am frozen prostrate over the precarious orb, unable to move. I shoot another glance at our aquatic interlocutor with the long dark hair of silk and the chipped front chomper and the pleading brow and I am dumbstruck. I am speechless. It is Perry, Perry the Very. There are no words that can touch upon my devotion, my absolute desire to BE Steve Perry at this point in my life. The sun feels like it's hovering feet above my head...I go prickly and start to sweat.

Little Bun turns to me and gestures quizzically with her eyes...

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