Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ray Ray's Going Bye Bye (and other stuff)

Well, WBTW TV-13 is reporting that Ray Felton's as good as gone and he'll make it official sometime next week. I can't say that I'm really surprised (or that I blame him) -- especially given that Carolina won the NCAAs, but now I'm forced to deal with the fact that Quentin Thomas is the future. And while there's been some mention that recruit G Bobby Frasor could also handle the point (comments here and here), he's more of a shooting guard than a point guard -- kind of like what Melvin Scott was when he came to Chapel Hill four years ago.

Now the only question is whether Sean May's still coming back. He's indicated on several occasions since the win over Illinois that he has every intention of staying in town for his senior season, but I'd be hard-pressed to believe that he'd want to hang around if Marvin Williams ends up leaving too. But look, I'm guessing I won't get much in the way of sympathy -- UNC did win the tournament, and they have four big-time recruits (three All-Americans) coming in next season.

Now, about that McCants character ...

Seriously, regarding McCants, I should address a comment from last week questioning my remarks about "Robots." Here's part of the comment:
"...your commentary on McCants, while sort of funny, is ludicrously far off. McCants doesn't have a run-of-the-mill sports personality, and thank goodness (110%) for that. But basically everything else you imply about him is wrong. He's smart, a good person, a good team player, and a good listener. (He's also not a thug, and who cares about an X or a diamond sign? What did an X or a diamond sign ever do to YOU?) He's always been smart, and as luck would have it human beings can improve on other measures; but Rashad has always been more misunderstood (mizundastood) than bad, or even weird. And now that he's a keystone of a championship team, maybe it's time to ditch your McCants shtick that probably got stale a year ago. Not to mention that if you're a fan you can avoid that pesky, nagging guilt that comes from throwing salt in the wounds of YOUR OWN TEAM'S PLAYER while his mom is battling cancer. Word is that one of the reasons he's probably going league this year after saying he wanted to stay four is that he wants his mom to have the best treatment possible without having to go to work as well. If THAT's a robot, it's a robot with a better-designed emotion chip than the one that always makes Data go haywire in the mediocre Star Trek subplots."
This is at best curious, since I've long been a Robots, er, Rashad supporter (if you don't believe me, just take a look). In fact, these comments were from this post and this is all I said about McCants:

"Personally, I don't know if McCants is mature enough to be on his own. In fact, I'm not sure if he's mature enough to be in college, but that's where we're at. The thing is, McCants probably would've gone higher in the draft if he'd come out last year. Now, he's only the second-best freak athlete on this team behind Marvin Williams, who by all accounts is the nicest kid in the world. There's still no word yet on whether McCants will hold his press conference shirtless."

Furthermore, I don't think I've ever written a disparaging word about Rashad -- unless you consider "... There's still no word yet on whether McCants will hold his press conference shirtless ... " disparaging. Honestly, I stuck up for Robots when he got cut from the Under-20 National Team last summer; as well as when some over-zealous reporter quoted McCants as saying college is like prison.

And I'm pretty sure that I never said that I thought McCants was thug for flashing the diamond sign. In fact, I thought it was kind of funny and wrote a post about the brief history of hand signs in sports. And while I wasn't crazy about McCants giving the 'ol throat slash and then saying he was doing it to one of his friends, I never condemned him for it.

Look, Rashad is weird. And to say otherwise is to be untruthful. But just because he's weird doesn't mean he's not a good kid, or a smart guy. It just means he's weird. That's it. There are certainly worse things than being weird (like being hated -- just ask J.J. Redick when he's not playing in Cameron). Seriously, I wish McCants the best of luck (like I do for all former UNC guys), but he's going to have to mature a lot over the next few months or he's going to have a rough go in the NBA. That's not me being mean, that's me being realistic (I'm almost said, " ... that's me keepin' it real," but I just couldn't bring myself to do it).

I mentioned that my buddy Des is the lone survivor in the Mark Bellhorn Fan Club, and therefore is the de facto president, but his loyalty to the "Scruffy Mullet" stretches the limits of credulity. Still, there's something to be said for loyalty, and Des -- if nothing else -- is loyal to Bellhorn. So knowing that, I'm going to recognize Bellhorn's achievements (or failures) by updating them weekly to the left of this post (it'll show up under "Reviews" even though it's not technically a review, but hey, you get what you pay for here). Anyway, here's the first installment, seven games into the 2005 season (and if we're lucky, maybe Des will be kind enough to offer us a glimpse inside the mind of a diehard Bellhorn fan at various points during the season):
           G     H     HR     RBI     BB     SO     BAVG    KAVGO
Bellhorn 7 7 0 0 2 13 .269 .500
One word: Solid. The good news is that even if the Red Sox are 40 games under .500 by the All-Star break, at least we'll still have the Bellhorn Watch to get us through October. Yep, this should be fun.