Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Coach K's Tactics - Part 2

Today's Birmingham News article delves further into Coach K's "curious" tactics in this weekend's Duke-Wake game (see the post below).

Notable quotes:

" Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski - one of the most revered college basketball coaches in the country - needs a reprimand."

"Of course, basketball's a physical game. But it's physical enough without this kind of thuggery. What makes it even worse, in my mind, is that this was a premeditated act, a game plan."

"Something's wrong when perhaps the college game's best coach, with a roster full of studs, has to stoop to that garbage as a game plan."

Our point exactly...

Monday, February 21, 2005

Coach K Embarasses Duke, ACC

In what will surely be an embarassment for years to both the Duke basketball program and the ACC as a whole, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stooped to a new low last night in Duke's 102-92 victory over the Deacs at Cameron.

Rather than using the usual starting lineup, Coach K replaced Daniel Ewing, DeMarcus Nelson, and Shavlik Randolph with Reggie Love and walk-ons Patrick Johnson and Patrick Davidson. According to the AP write-up of the game, "He [Davidson] manhandled Wake Forest guard Chris Paul on the opening possession, bumping him wildly before a foul was called." Coach K promptly used the foul (5 seconds into the game) as an opportunity to berate the referees, a practice which would continue until the final buzzer. In total, Johnson and Davidson each played 2 minutes and each picked up 2 fouls, before heading to the bench for the rest of the game.

Having assumedly told his players to go into the game and foul Wake's starters into submission, Coach K stooped to a new low. Knowing that he was undermanned, K placed his walk-ons in to pick up fouls, thereby allowing him to attack the referees and convince them that the calls should be "evened out". Wake coach Skip Prosser was surprisingly restrained, remarking only that "you guys [the media] saw what happened out there." Chris Paul also saw through Coach K, noting that "
That's the oldest trick in the book, to put somebody in the game who really is not going to influence the game, but try to get a double foul or something like that."

Despite Duke's victory, the "curious" tactics of Coach K are a sad low for a once-proud program, now having to resort to thug-like tactics just to pick up a home win.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

AP: Bench Key To Wake's Success

Yesterday's AP article (by way of SI.com) gives 4 keys to Wake Forest's impressive record this year: Downey, Strickland, Ellis, and Visser.

Noteable quotes:

"I don't look at it like I'm not starting," Downey said. "We all want the same thing, and that's wins."

"I don't really try to come in and go for a dunk or anything," Strickland said. "I just want to come in and do what I can to raise the energy level."

"It just makes me harder to guard," Ellis said of his range. "I can be a threat inside or outside, so teams have to make a choice."

"We all can play defense and offense," Strickland said. "If anybody has a bad game or anything, somebody else can step in and help out. That's what makes us so tough."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Game Summary - Wake Forest vs. Miami

It wasn't pretty or particularly well-played, but when all was said and done Tuesday night, Wake Forest emerged from the Convocation Center in Coral Gables with a crucial 68-63 victory over Miami to move to 22-3 overall and 10-2 in the ACC.

The first half was a classic back-and-forth matchup, with Miami responding to every Wake Forest run. Wake Forest won the tip and continued its streak of turning the ball over on the first possession of almost every road game this year. Eric Williams had 8 points in the half, Chris Paul had 6, and Taron Downey hit a dagger 3-pointer, but Guillermo Diaz's 10, including several dazzling drives, kept the game deadlocked at the half, 33-33.

Vytas Danelius knocked down a 3-pointer and Wake extended its lead to 5 just after halftime (the biggest lead to that point by either team), but Miami came storming back thanks to the tough guard play of Diaz and Anthony Harris. The game again moved back-and-forth, with the Deacs going up by 3 on a stunning alley-oop from Paul to Trent Strickland. The Deacs then extended their lead to 8, the biggest of the game, at 63-55 with 4 minutes remaining. But Miami wouldn't go away, closing the gap to 63-61 with 1:09 left. Chris Paul's runner as the shot clock wound down put Wake back up by 4, but Diaz came right back down the court to make it a 2-point game again with 50.5 seconds left. Jamaal Levy missed a layup for the Deacs, but Williams grabbed the critical offensive rebound and was fouled. He sank one of two free throws, Miami's Harris airballed a 3-point attempt with 4.8 seconds to go, and Justin Gray hit both his foul shots to put the game away.

And, as Skip Prosser so often reminds the team, the Deacs managed to "get in, get a win, and get out."

WAKE FOREST LEADERS:
Points - Paul 13, Williams 13
Rebounds - Levy 10, Paul 6, Williams 6
Assists - Paul 8, Levy 4

OPPOSING PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Guillermo Diaz - 20 pts., 2 rebs.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Game Summary - Wake Forest vs. Florida State

Wake Forest was 17-0 coming into Saturday's game when outrebounding opponents. Against Florida State, Wake added another win to that category in convincing (to put it mildly) fashion as the Deacs outrebounded the Seminoles 49-27 to win 87-48. The rebounding margin was Wake's biggest in over 2 years. Consider the following facts from the game: (1) Wake Forest's backup center Kyle Visser, who only played 13 minutes, outrebounded every player on Florida State; (2) Eric Williams almost had a double-double at halftime, collecting 9 rebounds in the first 20 minutes; and (3) even freshman walk-on Graeme Keith got into the action, collecting 2 rebounds in his 2 minutes of play.

The game started out close, but Wake Forest went on a 14-0 run midway through the half to stretch their lead to 39-20 before expanding that lead even further to 20 at halftime. Wake refused to back down after halftime, going on an 8-0 run early in the second half capped by a Vytas Danelius 3-point play. Florida State later went almost 5 minutes without scoring a point before Skip Prosser emptied his bench to end the game.

The lopsided victory was Wake's largest ever against Florida State and the Deacs sixth-largest victory ever in an ACC game.

WAKE FOREST LEADERS:
Points - Gray 20, Williams 15
Rebounds - Williams 14, Visser 6, Levy 6
Assists - Paul 7, Gray 3, Downey 3

OPPOSING PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Von Wafer - 16 points, 2 steals

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Game Summary - Wake Forest vs. NC State

Julius Hodge did his part to make his prediction of a State victory over Wake Forest come true, but the Deacs would have none of it as Wake Forest beat NC State 86-75 in Winston-Salem. Hodge had 27 points after being benched to start the game for missing Herb Sendek's free throw practice. The Deacs opened up a 21-9 lead after some clutch three-point shooting from Taron Downey. Wake forced 10 turnovers in the first half, and capitalized on many of them to take a 16 point halftime lead (despite allowing State to shoot 59% in the half).

In the second half, however, Hodge helped State close the margin to 5 as Wake's defense began to falter. But a Jamaal Levy jumper to beat the shot clock buzzer with 1:09 remaining increased the Deacs' lead to 9 and effectively put the game away for good. Wake will practice tomorrow to prepare for the season's second meeting against Florida St. on Saturday (1:30 PM, ABC).

WAKE FOREST LEADERS:
Points - Gray 18, Williams 15
Rebounds - Williams 7, Gray 5
Assists - Paul 8, 4 tied with 1

OPPOSING PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Julius Hodge - 27 pts., 2 asts.

ESPN: Wake Has "Cleverest" Fans in ACC

In an article on ESPN.com's Page 2 today, Mike Ogle calls out the Cameron Crazies as "posers".

The interesting quote from this story, however, comes on the second page of the story: "Duke's student fans aren't even the cleverest in the ACC anymore. Wake Forest has snatched that title."

Got that right.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Levy Headlines All-Glue Team

Getting some long-overdue recognition, Jamaal Levy was the leading vote-getter on SI.com's All-Glue Team. Well deserved recognition for one of the most underrated and overlooked players in the nation.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Game Summary - Wake Forest vs. Virginia Tech

Wake Forest pulled away from Virginia Tech early in the first half to go up 23-11 and never looked back en route to a convincing 83-63 victory over the Hokies. Although Chris Paul only scored 3 points, he proved once again to be the offensive catalyst, as he dished out 9 assists, many of which came on alleyoops and kickouts to Taron Downey and Justin Gray for 3-pointers.

The opening minutes were close, as Tech went up 6-3, but Wake Forest used an 8-0 run followed by a 20-10 run to jump out to a 15-point halftime lead. Virginia Tech closed the lead to 7 at 50-43, but Wake then took off on another run, this time 14-0, to put the game away for good. With the game well in hand, the decent amount of Wake fans who traveled up to Blacksburg made themselves heard with a WAKE-FOREST chant during Carlos Dixon's free throws.

The win took the Deacs to 19-3 (7-2 ACC) and dropped the Hokies to 12-8 (5-4).

WAKE FOREST LEADERS:
Points - Downey 18, Gray 16
Rebounds - Williams 12, Gray 6
Assists - Paul 9, Downey 5

OPPOSING PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Jamon Gordon - 22 pts., 5 rebs.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Game Summary - Wake Forest vs. Duke

There had been chatter for weeks about Duke being overrated and how they hadn't truly challenged themselves yet. By the middle of the second half Wednesday in Winston-Salem, the talk seemed to be true. Duke found themselves down by 14, and it could have been even worse if not for several missed layups and putbacks by Wake. However, in the final minutes Duke showed why they are always dangerous, even if they are overrated. JJ Redick hit a flurry of threes and it took two Taron Downey free throws ( he was on the line to end a game for the third time in 4 games) to seal the 92-89 victory.

The game started off back and forth. The Williamses, Eric (WF) and Shelden (Duke) attempted to establish themselves in the paint, and the game was tied 12-12 and 18-18 at the first two television timeouts. Tied at 30, the game got a bit chippy. Chris Paul and Daniel Ewing got tied up for a jump ball, and both players violently pulled away from each other. Vytas Danelius and Lee Melchionni then exchanged words, and JJ Redick went after Chris Paul before both sides were sent to the benches. The final result, after a lengthy trip to the television monitor by the referees, was a double technical on Paul and Ewing. The game continued to stay close, but the Deacs opened up a 45-39 halftime lead.

The second half opened the same way, but the Deacs began to pull away, going on a 10-0 run to make it 60-49. Wake then led by 14 twice before Redick's string of 3's. When JJ's final shot attempt, an off-balance three-pointer from 30 feet, missed off the rim, the sellout Joel crowd could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The celebration spilled onto the Wake Quad, where revelers "rolled the quad" in traditional fashion, and Skip Prosser, Taron Downey, Eric Williams, Justin Gray, Chris Paul, Jamaal Levy, and Trent Strickland, among others, came out to greet the fans.

Thanks for the comments yesterday, keep coming back often!

WAKE FOREST LEADERS:
Points - Paul 23, Williams 19
Rebounds - Williams 13, Ellis 6, Strickland 6
Assists - Paul 6, Gray 2

OPPOSING PLAYER OF THE GAME:
J.J. Redick - 33 points, 5 assists

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Eric Williams On A Roll... Part 2

Big E was named ACC Player of the Week for last week after averaging 25.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the loss to GT and the win over Miami.

Feel free to post a comment below... any thoughts about the Duke game tomorrow?