Monday, December 20, 2004

Welcome to the ACC

Well, the Tarheels introduced the Hokies to ACC basketball yesterday by administering an 85-51 drubbing in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech tried its best to stick to the Pete Carril-Princeton slow-paced offensive gameplan, but they ran into a couple of problems: they couldn't score, and they kept turning the ball over. Other than that, everything went off without a hitch -- well, except they continued to try and slow the game down deep into the second half when they were routinely trailing by 20 points. For what must be the millionth time, I'll remind you that I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but it seems kind of silly to try and run time off the clock when you're down by a truckload of points with ten minutes left in the game. I liken it to an NFL team running the ball late in the 4th quarter when they're down by 3 TDs just so they can say they "stuck to the gameplan." Of course Tech could've been trying to work on some things offensively (and given up hope of mounting a comeback), so like I said, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Interestingly, Rashad "Robots" McCants got into foul trouble early and really didn't make his presence felt until the last few minutes when the game was out of hand (he finished with 3 points). Still, he made the most of his opportunity by rejecting two shots. And when I say "rejecting," I mean it in the most embarrassing possible way for the two saps who got thrown. If it had taken place during a pickup game, someone would have called the cops to rope off the crime scene (OK, you get my drift).

Anyway, the more I see of Marvin Williams, the better he gets. When you watch him play you get the impression that all he wants to do is get offensive rebounds solely for the purpose of dunking on people. Which in a roundabout ways leads me to Deron Washington, the freshman for Tech. This guy was trying so hard to have a big game that he seemed to lose sight of the fact that he had four other teammates. At one point in the second half, announcer Mike Gminski commented that a lot Washington's shots had trouble drawing iron. Ouch. You usually hear those types of comments when you're forced to go your younger sister's JV middle school basketball game (which inevitably ends in an 8-6 nail-biter -- every time).

What's funny (at least if you're a Heels fan) is that Jackie Manual finally seems to be growing into his body. Kind of like the goofy kid in 8th grade who leaves for summer break and comes back a lot more coordinated. This season he can actually dribble and run at the same time; and a lot of the balls that would amazingly go off his fingertips out of bounds last season are now being converted into points. And speaking of butter fingers, David Noel is another guy who's contributing off the bench. Last year he dropped more balls thrown his way than the illegitimate offspring of Kevin Millar and Renaldo Nehemiah -- and Noel was originally recruited as a WR for the UNC football team. Of course his wrist was bothering him all last season, so that had almost everything to do with it (which reminds me, Millar might want to start telling people his wrist has been bothering him too).

Obscured by the fact that the Heels won by 34 points, was the play of the game, perpetrated by Ray Felton. With just under a minute to go in the first half, Ray stole the ball at midcourt and went in for an uncontested tomahawk dunk. Doing his best McCants-against-Maryland-in-2003 impression, Felton got jacked by the rim. Luckily May was there clean up, but either way, it was funny stuff, and Ray was even able to laugh coming back down the court (I don't think it's an official statistic, but UNC seems to lead the country in getting rim-checked).

It's also noteworthy that some guys who don't see a lot of minutes, got in during mop-up time and put some points on the board. Leading all 3rd-teamers was Reyshawn Terry with 5 points, followed by Wes Miller and C.J. Hooker, who both had a bucket. But more impressive than the fact that a guy like Hooker scored, is that he's majoring in Mathematics. Take that J.J. Redick (I'm mentioning Redick here for no clear reason other than the fact that he goes to Duke -- and he drinks his own pee).

OK, I have no proof that Redick drinks his own pee, and in fact I didn't even make it up -- some enterprising student thought enough of Redick to put in on a sign during a game last season. Either way, it's still funny -- unless of course he really does drink his own pee, and then it's just gross.