Just heard a little bit ago that Chas's father has had complications due to surgery on a broken arm. The arm is no longer the problem, but there is a problem with his lungs and his breathing is being assisted by a machine. I know he and his family can use your prayers. They certainly have mine.
I'll keep things updated as I hear more - probably from the thread Chas's mom started on the boards.
Just heard a little bit ago that Chas's father has had complications due to surgery on a broken arm. The arm is no longer the problem, but there is a problem with his lungs and his breathing is being assisted by a machine. I know he and his family can use your prayers. They certainly have mine.
That was definitely one of the worst games I’ve seen in recent memory. I can’t recall seeing a Wake team so entirely incompetent on the offensive end of the floor. Even though we played pretty good defense for the majority of the game, the offensive performance was abysmal all the way through and totally disgusted me for the entire 2nd half.
Quickly though, something somewhat non-basketball related. Time Warner Cable is currently my least favorite corporation in the world. That was probably the worst job I’ve ever seen of running a broadcast. It started with
Combine terrible basketball and terrible TV and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a miserable evening. LD played great defense, and the Deacs’ D was actually pretty solid all around, but the positives pretty much end there. Chas played well enough for me to feel confident that he will at least be serviceable in the post this season, even though he clearly won’t always play like he did on Monday. Ish annoyed the crap out of me tonight, taking terrible shot after terrible shot and proving he can’t shoot a free throw if his life depended on it. In fact, no one was taking particularly good shots, including Jamie Skeen, Harvey Hale, and James Johnson. After the dominance James Johnson provided in the first couple of games, his play tonight was less than stellar, generally looking confused and failing to use his athletic ability to force his will on the defense. Our half court offense looked confused and incapable of actually running whatever was planned. Basically I can’t imagine them playing any worse than they did tonight.
I can’t think of much else to say. If you saw it, you understand exactly how awful it was. If you didn’t see it, I probably can’t say enough to express it. Was this likely to happen to us at some point? Yes, it probably was. We weren’t going to go undefeated this season, and although it would have been great to get through this early season stretch without a loss, or at least get to Vandy without one, the fact that it didn’t happen isn’t that surprising. I’m confident that Dino will whip the guys into shape tomorrow and we’ll see a considerably different performance on Saturday afternoon.
Honeymoon’s over, time to bear down and grind it out.
Final - Wake loses 59-63. I need to cool off before I write a post game report. Just awful. Absolutely terrible.
1:00 - OH MY GOODNESS. We are awful, and we get a great steal from JJ and a clutch shot from JJ. One minute left down by 3. I can't believe how awful this is. We MUST get this done!
3:49 - Still down 1 50-51. I can't stand to see Ish shoot the ball one more time, it's getting ridiculous. We've made a couple, but its time for the defense to buckle down and for someone to really get it going on offense. This is where we need LD or JJ to really step up.
6:00 - I haven't been this frustrated since 2 hours ago when TW wouldn't put the game on. At least JJ just made a good move. Slam it home though.
8:08 - We don't deserve to win this game. Turnovers like that are hard to forgive. Deacs now down 49-42.
9:36 - Bad call on that charge in my opinion. One good shot from Harvey, but that last one was bad. Deacs are now down 5 again, 45-40. Chas back in the game, we need something from him. I'm really tired of Time Warner showing us replays instead of the live coverage.
11:32 - LD has picked up his 4th foul, but at least someone gave us something good to cheer about with Skeen's three. Gary Clark just came in, we need him to start lighting it up.
12:32 - Good timeout from Gaudio, we really need it. All of a sudden we're down 5 and we don't look like we can score any points at all, and the defense has all of a sudden gotten much worse. Deacs are down 34-39.
13:47 - By far the worst offensive performance I've seen in my two years here at school. This is miserable, and the defense isn't doing much better. I'm currently disgusted. That was a terrible defensive effort on that drive to the basket. Please don't ruin my night, Deacs.
15:57 - Technical foul for Chas, and a very very physical game continues. He did follow up the T with a very good looking block, though. I don't feel like the refs really have control of this game, but we don't seem to be doing a good job keeping our cool. Something has to change quickly.
16:53 - The Deacs sloppiness has continued to start the second half. Terrible shot selection, turnovers, and stupid frustration fouls aren’t giving me a good feel about this right now. We need to get it together in a hurry.Halftime - Offense has been absolutely awful in the first half, so it's a good thing we really do seem to have learned how to play good defense or else we could definitely lose tonight.
With the TV fiasco Time Warner put us through, I don’t really feel like I was able to get in to the first half and get a good feel for the game. All I know is I was less than impressed. Hopefully a better 2nd half will follow.
Well just as I actually get that post done, the game comes on. We may be over half way through the game already, but something is better than nothing, and although I'm still very angry at Time Warner, I'm not going to get mad about it right now. The Deacs are up by 6 with 7 and a half left, let's get the job done. Now that I've (hopefully) got comments working, feel free to leave them here.
The idea of Time-Warner picking up this game and showing it throughout
I’m not sure this is actually better than having it on ACC select, because I’d be more than happy to pay to see this game then not see it all. Add to that the fact that no one can get through to TWC to find out the problemand you’ve got a very very bad situation. All I can say is this fishing show better not last very long (hopefully only a half hour) and then we’ll get the game. I’m not counting on it at this point.
the American Football Coaches Association released their All-American team today, including Steve Justice on the offensive line.
What a great honor for Steve, who has worked hard and clearly deserved it.
Ed Hardin at the Greensboro News and Record is reporting that Wake will play UConn in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in
I can’t say I’m surprised, and although the thought of heading somewhere else was certainly fun to entertain, we have nothing to be ashamed of in going to
All of this to say, congrats to the team on a great season and a good luck to them in
Yesterday was a pretty good day for Wake athletics, as the basketball Lady Deacs won their Big 10/ACC Challenge game at Northwestern pretty handily, 60-45. As I wrote extensively about last night, men’s soccer beat Furman 1-0 in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.
I’ve been quite impressed by the women so far, and am now thinking I may need to start heading over to some of those game. Does that make me a bit of a fair weather women’s basketball fan? Maybe, but I think I’m okay with that. If they keep winning like this we may be ranked here in the next couple of weeks.
Men’s basketball travels to
Site Update: You know how I regularly ask you to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section? Well I found out that I’m the big idiot who made it impossible for you to do so. I don’t know if any of you have tried and been unable to, but I believe I have fixed it now so that as long as you have a google account you can leave a comment. That may still be a hassle for some, but if I leave them totally open I’m positive I’ll end up with a lot of comment spam which is annoying to everyone. So comment away, but if you have a problem email me and let me know.
Having only seen a handful of soccer games this season, I was excited, if not somewhat uninformed, as I headed over to Spry stadium to watch the Deacs take on the Furman Paladins in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. Although I wouldn’t claim the Deacs dominated the game, they played more than well enough to win, and the 1-0 victory we came out with is plenty satisfying.
Jules Valentin scored the only goal for
Things got a bit chippy in the 2nd half, with three yellow card issues, one of them to Wake’s Lyle Adams, but generally speaking I felt like Wake did a good job controlling the game even though Furman made a concerted effort to push a bit more aggressively.
Got some post game quotes as well:
Coach Jay Vidovich: “2nd half they threw everything forward at as and certainly tested us a lot and so I think what feels good is that we beat a fantastic team.”
Jules Valentin: “We train hard during the week on set pieces and it’s nice to get they payoff in match time. We have some weapons on set pieces and hopefully we’ll continue to be dangerous throughout the tournament”
“We’re excited about the challenge this year. It’s a tournament of champions and hopefully we’ll be the champion at the end of it.”
I’m excited to see where the Deacs can go in this tournament, and with
Final – It’s a win for the Deacs in the 2nd round, 1-0. Pretty good game for the Deacs who will play the winner of West Virginia/Virginia on Sunday at 1:00
17:00 – Another Furman yellow card just let to a great shot from the Deacs that almost got through the hands of the goalie. Still 1-0, but the Deacs are starting to look a bit more settled in.
25:00 - Still no goals, Furman has gotten one Yellow and probably should have gotten another one for running into the goalie. Furman has 2 shots on the half, Wake has challenged but still hasn't really come up with a good shot. Lyle Adams just got a yellow card after a pretty good collision.
32:00 - Furman just missed a great opportunity in the box when the Deacon defense seemed to misplay it a little bit. A good save and clear ended the threat. Furman keeps attacking pretty strongly though, they definitely look capable of breaking through.
2nd Half - 38:00 - Furman has definitely come out looking a bit more aggressive hear to start the half, pushing the ball up and getting a couple decent passes inside the box, but no shots to show for it. Wake very nearly just scored with a header on a ball put back in off of a corner but it was saved (plus we were offsides - doesn't help).
Halftime – At the half the Deacs still lead 1-0. The Deacs had a couple of good opportunities here since the first goal, including a breakaway but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was. It resulted in a great save. Recently Furman had a pretty good cross but missed the header in front of the goal. Generally I’d say Wake has done a good job holding possession and controlling the game. Austin Deluse just had a good opportunity in the last minute but was blocked by a defender. The following Croning corner was blocked, and the half ended. Although it would have been great to have a 2-0 lead going into the half, we’ve played well and I feel confident in our ability to hold on and probably put at least one more goal up in the 2nd half.
21:00 - GOAL!!!! Julian Valnetin on a header just in front of the goal with the assist from Sam Cronin on a free kick. Beautiful goal to put the Deacs up 1-0.30:00 - Still 0-0. In my not so expert opinion the Deacs have looked pretty good so far, including a great shot by Jamie Franks from just inside the 18 but Furman goalie Bran Amos ( I think...gotta check that name) made a great save. Furman has challenged a couple time but Edwards made a pretty solid save.
I'm here at Spry Stadium for the Deacs' second round NCAA Soccer tournament matchup at Furman. I'll try to keep things updated through the game, and if you have any comments or questions about the game please feel free to leave them in the comments section. We're about 10 minutes from kickoff right now. Go Deacs!
No big news to report today that I didn't mention yesterday. Josh Adams won ACC Rookie of the Year, and other than that not much else has been going on.
The possibility of Grobe being interested in the Nebraska job has been a major source of concern, or if not concern at least interest, these last few days for Deac fans, as all of Nebraska waits to see What Tom Osbourne will do. Yesterday the Star-Herald of Scottsbluff/Gering, Nebraska reported that Osborne was looking primarily at LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and Buffalo head coach Turner Gill, and stated that they were of particular interest because of their connections to the university. Suprisingly, that article made no mention of Grobe, although it did mention about 5 other coaches.
Today, however, the Star-Hearld is reporting that Grobe is being considered, making it sound like he's number three in the running behind Pelini and Gill, and mentioned that he met informally with Osborne earlier this week. More and more it's looking like there isn't even too much reason to be paying attention to this because most sources make it clear the other two are the primary candidates. Nonetheless, we'll wait and see what happens. I, for one, am confident we'll see Grobe on our sidelines again next fall.
Also saw today that the Lady Deacs are receiving votes in this week's AP basketball poll. Congrats and keep it up!
One last thing on an entirely different note, tonight is the beginning of Jimmy V Week on ESPN, which you almost definitely know if you pay any attention at all to ESPN (just try to go to their homepage right now). Nonetheless, the Jim Valvano speech from the 1993 ESPYs is one of my favorites. Being from Houston I've seen enough video footage of Valvano running across the court going crazy having won a national championship to make me sick to my stomach, but this speech makes me feel entirely different. Although you'll be able to see it on any of the ESPN networks tonight at 7, I enjoy it enough to put it up here. If you've got 10 minutes to spend on it, I think it's worth it.
When I look at the big picture of Wake football’s 2007 regular season, I cannot find any reason to complain. Can I look at individual games and think we definitely could have or should have won? Of course I can, but in the grand scheme of things an 8-4 season is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it is one to be very proud of. Should we have lost to
Certainly this season hasn’t been as magical as 2006, and in fact we may not ever experience something quite like that ever again. Two years from now we could go win the ACC championship and the Orange Bowl and it still wouldn’t be quite the same, because as long as Jim Grobe is here at
This is the perfect time to recognize our All-ACC selections, including:
Offense, 2nd Team: running back Josh Adams.
Defense, 1st Team: cornerback Alphonso Smith
Defense, 2nd Team: linebacker Aaron Curry .
Certainly deserving selections and I love to see Josh making an impact on the voters already. Hopefully we’ll see him take ACC-ROY honors as well, although I don’t other teams’ rosters well enough to know whether there are other freshman on that list. UPDATE: Adams has just been named ACC-ROY by overwhelming vote - AP story here. I think Aaron Curry may have deserved 1st team honors, and I don’t see how
Thinking back over the season I have several favorite memories. Even though the game turned out so poorly, the anticipation and excitement of playing a ranked opponent from a major non-ACC conference was still quite memorable. Although it doesn’t mean quite as much to me as many Wake fans, dominating both UNC and State is a beautiful feeling. Of course, the most exciting memory from this season is the amazing 4th quarter comeback and overtime win against
So now we sit and wait for a bowl bid. Although
Overall a solid performance from the Deacs tonight at Iowa. Getting a win like this early in the season should do great things for our confidence, and I look forward to seeing this win streak continue. I realize that Iowa is clearly not that good, but nonetheless it’s a major conference opponent that certainly has potential. At this point in the season it’s a great win for us.
Can’t say it enough, but Chas was great tonight. I would love to see this kind of performance from him on a regular basis, but I’m not overly confident in that at this point. If he can keep this up Thursday at Charlotte and Saturday at home I will feel much better about our team as a whole later in the season. He’s providing a post presence that so far has been sorely missed. I see now what Dino was talking about after the WSS game.
Another thing I love about this game is that we played well even without anyone really taking over. 15 points (I think) from Chas, but otherwise I don’t feel like anyone really took over for us. We rebounded well, passed well, controlled the ball and got the job done. If we can play like this on a regular basis this could end up being a great season for the Deacs.
The run we allowed at the end of the game is a little bit frustrating because we definitely need to be able to close out games, particularly ones that are a little bit closer than this one, but other than that I have almost no complaints.
Teauge - the game wasn't over yet. Walking still isn't allowed.
Great first half for the Deacs! Of course Chas McFarland is showing us something I wasn’t sure we’d ever see. I hope this kind if performance is the type we can expect to see regularly from him this year. Great job forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets, all in all very good. Also happy to see us making some freethrows!
Also happy to see us making some freethrows!
I still think we settle for outside shots too quickly, but other than that I have few complaints. Keep up the good work in the 2nd half!Here's the ESPN halftime video about Dino:
Steve Edwards did another great job this week. I need to say nothing else...my own thoughts should come in the next 24 hours.
I’ll start with the final score and go from there. Wake won 31-17, but the final margin was closer than the majority of the game as the Deacs led 31-3 towards the end of the 3rd quarter. A big win for the Deacs. Here’s a little more in-depth and detailed recap….
As anticipation of kickoff approached, I was ready to see the Deacs go to work, and also excited about the chance to see two of the nation’s top wide receiver playmakers in the nation go head to head. Vanderbilt’s Earl Bennett is the SEC’s all time leading receiver as a JUNIOR and has had 3 straight seasons with 75+ grabs. The Deacs’ very own Kenny Moore is having a very special season as well. Kenny set the WFU single season record for receptions last week against the Wolfpuppies, and after 9 catches today, he is 3 short of being the all-time ACC single season receptions leader. Congratulations Kenny.
It was obvious from the start that Vandy intended to attack our secondary that has been at times picked apart this year. The very first play of the game was a deep ball thrown towards none other than the dynamic Earl Bennett himself that was plucked out of the dreary
The Demon Deacon defense as a whole was STIFLING, especially against the run allowing only 16 yards. Though 333 passing yards were allowed and 2 touchdowns through the air, the vast majority of the damage caused by Vandy was done in the fourth quarter when the game was not in doubt and Wake had even begun to substitute i’s second team defensive unit. The most impressive thing to me so far this season is how physical and aggressive Wake has become. Though at times it allows open receivers and causes blown coverages, the likes of Aaron Curry, Chip Vaughn, and Brandon Ghee deliver some bone-crushing hits. All in all, the defense did a great job stopping the ball carrier and hitting the QB and wide receivers hard and with a purpose.
Ill be the first to admit that I was surprisingly shocked by our play-calling today. It was nothing like the
In the first quarter, Wake struggled with penalties, and questionable fumble calls against Kenny and Chip Brinkman that killed drives. Once Wake put it all together, Riley had another workmanlike day going 21-31 with two great red-zone scoring throws to De’Angelo Bryant and Ben Wooster. De’Angelo has become an AWESOME out of the backfield receiver and a real asset to our 3rd/4th down conversions and red zone scoring. Josh Adams had another impressive day with 24 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Hard to believe my buddy Josh is only a red-shirt freshman. I am sure his hard work the past year and a half will be rewarded come the ACC awards banquet. Kevin Marion had another great return of 81 yards to start the second half and really get things going for the Deacons as we rolled from there on out. Kenny had a tough day, but as always played hard. He had a difficult time busting his catches for big gains and finished with 9 catches for 39 yards, 7 rushes for 55 yards, and 4 returns for 29 yards. It shows you how amazing of a player Kenny is when a 123 all purpose yard day seemed like a struggle for the senior. My best wishes to Kenny in his final collegiate game wherever it may be, and what I hope turns out to be a long and well deserved NFL career.
Speaking of that last game of the year…
In my personal opinion (which I am continually reminded means next to nothing) I feel the Deacs are very deserving of the Music City Bowl or the Champs Sports Bowl. As a lifelong Deacon, I am just proud that the Deacs are going to a bowl for the second straight year for the first time in our history. The chance to finish the year with 9 wins, and 20 wins in the past 2 years is something that Jim Grobe, his staff, and the players that work tirelessly on the practice field and in the weight room should be mighty proud of. I feel like today’s win showed how the Deacs could fare against an SEC opponent in the Music City Bowl considering the Commodores have played almost every SEC team tough. The Deacon faithful turnout especially over a holiday should show the bowl committees a lot. It would be a shame for them to choose a 7-5 GT or FSU team which finished behind the Deacs in the ACC, based on hypothetical monetary gains alone.
Great Work, Stev-O!
Great win for the Deacs. Got to hear some of the second half on Sirius radio, and was more than happy to hear the Deacs playing well. 8-4 is a great season and I look forward to seeing where we end up next weekend. I also look forward to seeing Steve's 1st hand report later this evening.
(if you can't wait for Steve - ESPN)
Well I clearly didn't get an interview done (no one seemed to interested with the holiday) and so gameday is here without much fanfare (and without a way to watch the game).
Hopefully we take care of business and make it 8 wins - a very respectable season. I've got my correspondent Steve Edwards at the game so we should have a solid report when it's all over.
Also - Basketball beat Winston-Salem State last night 73-53. I didn't even get to listen to it, but from what I've heard it sounds like we started off very sloppy and recovered to play better later. Rebounding improved and defensive intensity is still good, scoring struggled to do inaccuracy from the outside and a continuing lack of inside presence. You can get a full report here from the Journal.
Also need to give some credit to the Women, who upset no. 10 Texas A&M 53-46 in the Virgin Islands to go to 2-0 in the tournament. Congrats, ladies.
That's about all I got right now. I'm about to hit the golf course and am hoping to find some Sirius radio to catch some of that broadcast later this afternoon. Have a great holiday Saturday!
I hope everyone is enjoying time off for Thanksgiving, and although I'm not totally neglecting it I'm certainly not being quite as fastidious here on the blog as usual.
Since I'm out in California I will of course not be at the Basketball game Friday night or the Football game on Saturday. I've already got someone who's going to do a write up for the football game, but if there's someone who will be attending the basketball game who'd like to write a little something for the blog, let me know.
Working on a Q&A for Vandy, but with everything people have going on this week don't be be surprised if it doesn't come together.
Thats all for now. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. I also want to thank all of you for showing interest in this blog through the fall. It's been a joy to write, and it's always great to see that there are people interested in it. Thanks for your support so far, and I look forward to continuing to write for you going forward.
So we won 75-58 but I don’t know much past that. Previously arranged Thanksgiving travel plans prohibited me from attending the game, and although I hope to watch the game on ACC select in the next 24 hours (assuming the camera angles are watchable) I’d rather give you a first hand report. So, without further ado I present to you newly anointed Old Gold & Blog correspondent, Stephen Edwards:
After a 9 day layoff, it was great to see the Speed Demons back on the hardwood. Pretty sparse crowd with a little over half capacity and a low student turnout but that was expected. You can’t realistically expect the W-S community to come out for NC Central with a little pre Thanksgiving hangover. It’s just funny because the box office had SOLD OUT running across their screen.
I love pregame at the “Joel”. Not much gets me as fired up as seeing L.D. Williams smile at the student section and clap like he’s in his own driveway. I can’t wait for ACC games.
The starters are the same as the
game. Ish at PG, Fairfield at the 2, L.D. slashing, leaping, and jamming from the shooting G spot, freshman phenom J.J. at shooting forward, and Jamie at center. Props to Jamie on committing to what the team needed this season and filling a role that may not be his best position for success on the hardwood. He has done a very efficient job of filling the middle for the Deacs so far this year. Harvey
The Deacs started off the first half with a
LOTof defensive intensity and pressure, especially on the perimeter which lead to easy fast break buckets and two monstrous two hand dunks by the leapers L.D. and J.J. I love the way that Gaudio has the Deacs playing so far in two games. They really get after it on the defensive side of the floor.
First timeout at 15:42 Deacs 11 Eagles 6---J.J. leads the Deacs with 5 points.
Simply put, great ball movement and offensive rebounding have lead to easy buckets.
11:20 Deacs 23 Eagles 8---J.J. leads the Deacs with 8 points.
We have forced 12 turnovers and are shooting over 50 percent so far.
(On a side note, I got a chance to see some highlights of Kyle Singler, freshman sensation for Dook last night from the Maui Invitational and he is everything he’s been advertised as. As much as I’d love to see J.J. prove the critics and publications wrong and make a run at ACC Freshman of the year, he really has his work cut out for him.)
The biggest thing I have liked so far about the 2007-2008 Deacs is the protection of the basketball. That was something that really hurt us last year, and Ish and Co. have been doing a really impressive job so far of holding onto the rock and using ball fakes and movement to a real advantage, instead of forcing Ish to do everything by dribbling, or us hoisting up 3 pointer after 3 pointer. We are still a very streaky three point shooting squad and hopefully will realize early on in the season how dangerous it can be to fall in love with the trey. Early on in the season is the perfect time to work on our weaknesses especially against lesser players, which in this case means HELP Chas and David become more polished back to the basket players, because they have both struggled.
The defensive rebounding has looked much better than the
game which I know is something Coach G stressed a lot in practice leading up to game number 2. As Coach G and his staff are aware of I am sure, a lot of bloody noses in practice are paying off. Fairfield
L.D. Williams really loves to play the game and it shows every night. He could become one of the best perimeter defenders in the ACC, and a real bigtime ACC player of the year candidate if anyone ever sits him down and tells him how good he really could be. He feeds off of emotion and adrenaline and I love it, but he can’t let it control his game.
He also shoots a very high percentage which is rare for a guard. Why you ask? Well that would be because he dunks about every time he touches the ball.
In my humble opinion I feel like the first half was well played and that they accomplished and have addressed the issues that were most glaring after the
game. We did a much better job hitting the defensive glass even though it was obvious that NCCU is not on the same level as Fairfield , as it is their first year as a Division 1 program. Our perimeter play outside of the 3 point shooting has really improved since last year. I really enjoy watching multiple pump fakes around the perimeter until we make a great interior pass, but our bigs have GOT to finish. David Weaver has got to get something figured out with his back to the basket, especially considering this is his third year in an ACC program. We forced 17 turnovers in the first half and had a 9-5 turnover to assist ratio ourselves. Fairfield
At the Half: 46-23 DEACS
I’m not going to lie, the second half was pretty hard to watch. The Deacs lead by 27 at the 19 minute mark but it was all down hill from there. The play of the game was really sloppy and NCCU actually OUTSCORED(35-29) and outplayed us in the second half. I would say the biggest bright spot of this game was watching Ish run the show tonight. He seems like a different player this year when it comes to decision making. He is still as fast as ever and can make some really amazing passes. 5 assists to 1 turnover for the evening.
Our sloppy play in the second half is kinda disappointing. Youd love to see the Deacs be able to play at a high level of play even when it is a lousy NCCU team and you are up by more than 20 at the half. Worries me that a young team that loves too shoot, might fall in love with the 3 a little too much at times. We shot just 4-21 from behind the arc.
Our free throw shooting just like last year still leaves very much to be desired, especially from the guards. I love the pace that Teague and Ish can play at though.
This has always been a personal preference of mine, especially being a proud Deacon since before the Tim Duncan era… I feel as though Wake should press… and press… and press. Especially this year. We have sooo much depth and no true superstars that we have to have in the game at all times. And our starting lineups so far this year have consisted of personnel that can all play guard and get up and down the floor. Its how Odom won ACC championships in the nineties sometimes with no All ACC players.
Really poor second half by the Deacs but not something that
fans should get too terribly upset for. I did not think we were going to play well after the long layoff and the difficulty to get up for a lesser opponent. Coach G and the staff will address all of these issues in practice. I think he is a REAL winner. Wake Forest
Final Score: 75-58 DEACS
L.D. led the way with 14 points and Jamie and James added 13 and 12 respectively. We forced 27 turnovers which is the real bright spot. The fluidity of the team will come with time. Pretty scary for the ACC that we have no seniors with AT&T coming to town in 08.
Quite the thorough report from Steve and his services are greatly appreciated. I know he enjoyed doing it and I'll definitely look to him in the future if I can't make a game.
Also, I'm on vacation with the family in California this week for Thanksgiving, so while I'll try to post a few times through the week, I don't expect the volume of posts to be quite as great this week. More unfortunate is the lack of TV for the Vandy game, so I'm basically going to be relying on text messages from my Vandy friends at the game. Needless to say I won't have much of a report from that. If there's anyone who will be at the game who'd like to write a post game report, get in touch with me ASAP.
I've been watching this game, but hadn't posted yet since I had some other work to get done (the games on channel 46 if you're on campus, and various other affiliates elsewhere...check listings).
Wake was down 1-0 at the half and is now down 2-0 with an early goal by BC here in the second half. There's about 35 minutes left in the half and it's not looking great for us, but we're hanging in there.
Looks like we've been dominating possession, but haven't been able to string anything together around the goal. We just had a great opportunity from Franks but a great save by BC's goalie.
I watched my Dynamo pull out 2 goals in the 2nd half earlier today, so lets hope the Deacs can make it happen too. I'll post again later about what I've been seeing.
UPDATE: There's the first one we need! Beautiful header off of the corner kick. Deacons are still alive in this one, and considering everything they've done this year it's not time to be counting them out. Deacs down 2-1 with about 25 minutes left.
Final: Not quite enough for the Deacs. They played hard throughout the second half, but with about 15 minutes BC went into a shell the Deacs couldn't quite crack. Came close on a one touch pass and sliding shot in the box, but came up a couple feet short. The Deacs played hard, and the NCAA tourney is still to come. Maybe we can beat BC for once then. Congrats on a great ACC run Deacs, keep up the good work!
The Deacs played good football all over the field for four quarters. Was it absolutely flawless? Of course not, but I can’t really think of any plays during this game where I was appalled by our effort.
Riley Skinner? 20-29 for 208 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Josh Adams? 84 yards and a TD (although his long was only 19, so much for that prediction). Kenny Moore? 8 catches for 83 yards and 5 runs for 28 yards. Jordan Williams? 1 catch, 62 yards for a TD.
After a difficult couple of weeks, I felt like the defensive secondary came out and played much much better. They gave up a couple of big plays, but they were the type of plays that are going to happen every once in awhile no matter what (and may not have happened had the refs made some better calls – I didn’t get to see all the replays since I was in the stands, but there looked like 1 or two no-calls on offensive pass interference). Alphonso got back on the interception train with 2, and generally defended the pass excellently. Aaron Curry made a heck of a play (and a heck of a dive into the endzone) for an interception returned for a TD. The D-line and linebackers continued the excellent play, holding the Pack to 57 yards on the ground.
Put it all together and you’ve got a beautiful 38-18 win. I knew we were capable of a big win, and I’m glad we put everything together to get it. Winning like this will give us the confidence we need to take care of business against a pretty good Vanderbilt team next week, and set us up for a likely appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte (although Music city in Nashville, Champs sports in Orlando, or if we lose possibly the Emerald Bowl in San Fran are all still in the running.
Congrats on a great win guys, and on winning the state championship for the second straight year. Keep up the good work this week and let’s finish strong next weekend.
So much has been going on this week that my football coverage has been noticeably more limited than it is most weeks. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the considerable damper that’s been put on the football season these last two weeks. Basketball and recruiting excitement are definitely culprits as well, and an accounting exam didn’t give me as much time to focus on the blog in general.
Chances are that most of you won’t read this until after the game, if at all, but I figured I owed it to the blog to at least say something prior to this very important game.
As a fan I’m struggling to maintain optimism and excitement right now. I’m sure many of you can relate to that, and the reasons for it are obvious and understandable. Thankfully I don’t think the players struggle with the same type of problems. I can’t speak definitively for our players, but when I played in high school I know that it didn’t matter what we’d been doing recently, when it came time to put on the pads and go hit someone I was pumped up. I’m confident our players feel that way, too, and because it’s senior day you know they’ll be pumped up.
At this point I’m not sure what’s left to say about our team. We’re clearly struggling in plenty of areas right now, but that doesn’t mean the talent on the team all of a sudden disappeared. There is every reason for the Deacs to come out and once again play good football to get a very important win.
I may be struggling to maintain my optimism, but I haven’t actually lost it. Here’s what I see happening tomorrow: Josh Adams will have another big game along the lines of the
I can’t imagine our secondary will continue to flounder the way it has the last two weeks. The last two weeks have looked comparable to the first two weeks of the season and right after those two losses the secondary really got it together and played great defense. It’s going to happen again.
I know NC State is on a roll and has shown a lot of great things on their current run. Their time is over though. The Deacs aren’t going to sit around and let them dominate the game. I think we come out and play our best game of the season.
Deacs 31, Pack 10
Don’t make me eat crow tomorrow, boys.
I got to work a bit quicker this week and actually have the interview done on Thursday, which is definitely a better time for it. Big thanks to Steven at Section Six for letting me pester him with my questions. I've also answered some questions for him, which can be found here. Enjoy!
1. What's gotten into the Wolfpack? After losing 5 of your first 6 (most of them not close, and with the only win against a D1AA team) you've run off 5 straight wins. What changed?
Section Six: The biggest thing is we've stopped being our own worst enemy. We averaged nearly four turnovers per game over those first six, and to make matters worse, we weren't forcing any turnovers either. That's changed drastically over the last month; we're +4 over the course of the winning streak versus -17 through the first six games. The last week excepted, we have avoided the game-crippling mistakes that killed us early on.
The defense, especially the defensive line, has played much better after being routinely dominated early in the season.
Special teams have been reliable as well--the kick coverage has been good and place kicker Steven Hauschka has been nothing short of fantastic.
2. I don't see an offensive player on the roster with dominant statistics, so who's carrying the load? On defense?
SS: Jamelle Eugene has done a great job stepping in for the injured Andre Brown and Toney Baker; in addition to carrying the ball 20+ times every week, he's catching plenty of passes as well. He's much more of a dual threat than either Brown or Baker, which has
been a plus. The concern regarding
coming into the season was fumbles, but that hasn't been a problem at all. We're also asking Daniel Evans to do a lot; he has thrown 40+ passes in each game during the winning streak. Eugene
DaJuan Morgan (safety) leads the defense in tackles and interceptions.
3. I believe injuries have made this season more difficult than expected. Who's been hurt and how has it affected the team?
SS:Where to begin? The injuries have hit everywhere. Toney Baker injured his knee in the first game of the year and Andre Brown went down against FSU. Tight end Anthony Hill suffered a season-ender before the season started and he was going to be a major contributor. Defensive tackle DeMario Pressley was hurt during the first part of the season and missed a few games,though he seems fine now.
A few offensive linemen have been in and out of the lineup. Safety Javon Walker, one of the Pack's most promising young players, went down against
. Quarterback Harrison Beck missed several games and lost his job to Evans as a result. Receiver John Miami
Dunlap missed a game with an ankle injury. It goes on and on. Oh, and the long snapper, can't forget the long snapper. He's out for the year.
4. What area of this game do you feel most confident about (I'm guessing you expect to throw all over us, but I'll let you say it)? Where do you expect to struggle against Wake?
SS:I always assume that we'll struggle to run the ball regardless of the opponent. We'll throw the ball effectively if Evans gets good protection, but am I confident about that? No.
5. Are you bold enough to predict the score? If you are let's hear it. Otherwise, how much fun was it to beat
last weekend? (You're welcome to answer both) Carolina
SS: I'll say NC State wins 28-24.
was all kinds of satisfying, but you're plenty familiar with beating the Heels these days, so I don't have to tell you that. Carolina
Although I'm pretty confident his prediction will be wrong, compliments are deserved for being the first to actually answer the question in several weeks. Thanks again, Steven! Make sure to stop by Section Six to check out his NC State blog.
You may have notice that my coverage of soccer is mostly nonexistent. I actually enjoy watching soccer, however my knowledge of the game is pretty much zilch, which is why I rarely talk about it. I just have absolutely nothing to say that wouldn't make me sound like an idiot. Maybe I'll learn, maybe someone will want to teach me (or if you're interested in writing about it we could talk about making that happen here).
Nonetheless, its ACC Tourney time and I can't ignore that.
Wake beat Clemson 3-1 tonight in the first round, and advances to play North Carolina in the Semis.
With L.D. Williams back in the lineup after a three week absence from an injury to his right hand, Wake Forest rolled to their first ACC road victory of the season, beating Florida State 78-70. With the win Wake moves back to 5-5 in conference play and is once again in the thick of the ACC battle.
For the second straight game Wake scored the first basket and never lost the lead, but that doesn't mean they didn't try. After leading by as much as 21 in the first half and holding a 42-26 lead at halftime Wake went into one of its patented 2nd half stumbles and FSU hit some shots to cut the lead all the way down to four. Thankfully Wake held on and got themselves back together, briefly taking the lead back to double digits before eventually winning by eight.
First of all, it was great to see LD Williams back in the lineup tonight. He contributed 10 points and 4 rebounds, but LD is and always has been more than just numbers. Although he probably isn't quite 100% yet, just having him on the floor seemed like a confidence boost for the rest of the team.
Chas McFarland turned in his first career double double with 17 points and 10 boards as well as 3 blocks. He also played great defense and even got FSU's Ryan Reid ejected in the first half by annoying him enough to get punched in the chest. Wake would not have had the kind of night they did without Chas's presence in the middle of the floor.
Jeff Teague scored a team high 18 points and also had 6 assists to lead Wake's back court. Ishmael Smith was surprisingly quiet, and after playing well against Virginia James Johnson managed to disappear again tonight.
Last but certainly not least is Gary Clark. What an asset he has turned into these last three games. He has taken full advantage of the playing time he's had in LD's absence and tonight scored a career high 13 points on 5-7 shooting and 3-5 beyond the arc. I'm glad he's stuck with it and is now contributing very valuable minutes off the bench. Raycom even named him Wake's most valuable player for the game on the broadcast, so congrats to Gary.
For the first time I can remember in 2007-2008 ACC play Wake actually shot well on the road. They shot 56% overall and an incredible 62% from beyond the arc. That's more than we could ever hope for but certainly something no one will be complaining about. If Wake will keep shooting anywhere close to those numbers and cut down on the 20 turnovers they committed tonight they may actually be able to threaten Duke or Carolina in these next two games.
The other thing I noticed tonight was the effectiveness of Wake's zone defense. By my estimation they were in a zone for about half the game and it really seemed to cause FSU problems. When FSU went on their run in the 2nd half they did it on the back of Jason Rich who was having a lot of success penetrating and getting to the basket. When Wake switched from man to the 2-3 zone Rich was no longer able to get to the basket and the Deacs ended the run and shortly regained a significant lead. It was a great move by Gaudio and I'll be curious to see if he begins to utilize the zone more in future games, as this is already the second or third game in a row where it has seen considerable use.
Like me, I doubt anyone was surprised when FSU went on their run in the second half. Wake's had a way of allowing things like that all season, but the good thing about tonight was that there was enough of a lead to weather the storm a bit before Dino made the tactical adjustment on defense necessary to stop the bleeding. FSU's run also coincided with a streak of turnovers for the Deacs which have also been consistently problematic this season. Wake won't be able to get away with 20 turnovers, and particularly 12 in the second half, against Duke on Sunday.
Hopefully getting this first road win will provide some momentum for Sunday's game. The team is shooting very well, seems to be learning how to make necessary adjustments, and will definitely be very excited to face Duke in the Joel. There should be plenty of fan support and I think it will be a fun game. I'm definitely not bold enough to predict a win, but I think Wake has shown enough recently that I anticipate a respectable performance.
I hope all of you that are able are going to try to make it out to the Joel on Sunday. I know there are still Wake Forest tickets available for every remaining game and with a couple more wins maybe we can even start thinking March Madness. Don't you love how optimistic a good win can make you feel?
Big big win. If Wake can figure out how to keep up this kind of performance on the road they could go a long way.
Plenty of news articles coming out for Tuesday. I'll try to keep a running list here. Needless to say, things are looking pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
WS Journal - Dan Collins
Rome Tribune - Tony Woods
USA Today - Prosser Gets Credit
WWAY Wilmington - Ty Walker
Atlanta J-C - Top Class
I'm sure I'm missing several more, but that's a good start. Let me know if I missed something.
By the way, I recognize I've been mostly just pointing you to places to read things elsewhere these last couple days. I hope to write something opinion-wise about the recruiting class hopefully sometime tomorrow, but its just been one of those weeks when it comes to school. The NC State interview should be coming tomorrow, and I'll of course be covering the game Saturday.
But AOL Fanhoues worries we might not. Or at least worries we won't make a bowl.
Reasonable concerns, but I really feel like we're gonna get our act together this weekend.
Anyway, I guess bad press is better than no press, so enjoy.
I have yet to hear official word that anyone has signed their letter of intent, but Ty Walker, Tony Woods, and Al-Farouq Aminu are all expected to sign national letters of intent this afternoon to play basketball at Wake Forest starting with 2008-2009 season.
I'm very excited and anxious to get the official news that they have signed.
I've got some other stuff to take care of this afternoon, so I can't promise to be able to update this as soon as anything happens, but I'll be posting links to official news of the signings as soon as I possibly can.
Let's hear it for AT&T!
NEW UPDATE: It's all official! Dino announced at a press conference tonight that all three have signed. Go Deacs!
Video of Ty Walker Signing
What better way to do just what I promised than to provide a mid-week preview of what's shaping up to be a pretty big game this Saturday? Don't answer that, it was rhetorical. Just read the article.
Wake Forest refocuses on N.C. State, state supremacy
Big props to Justin Young of Rivals.com for a very very good article about next year's big three - Al-Farouq Aminu, Tony Woods, and Ty Walker (who, by the way, are expected to sign their letters of intent tomorrow).
Rivals.com - AT&T
We've heard all about the Prosser story from the angle of the current team, but this is the best I've seen looking at it from the perspective of our recruits. Definitely worth reading.
It appears this move was expected to happen eventually, as
It's worth mentioning that the Associated Press has finally gotten their act together and now correctly identifies the Wake student section as the Screamin' Demons, rather than their previously incorrect "Screamin Deacons"
You can see the corrected article from the Fairfield game here.
Apparently the AP Style Guide incorrectly states that the student section is called the Screamin' Deacons, however it looks like we may have finally gotten this straightened out.
The question now becomes - will the next AP writer who writes about the Deacs get it right?
My money's on no.
Big article on the front page of ESPN's college basketball page right now.
Andy Katz - ESPN
I've got to run to class and haven't read it in its entirety yet, but check it out and let me know.
Matt Robinson will be back for a 6th year.
Edit: I threw this up in a hurry before a class, so that's why it was so bare bones. My brief 2 cents: I think this is a good thing for our D. With Matt coming back we'll keep almost every single defensive starter for next year. Not only that, but I know DE depth has been a concern this season so having him around again next year should be a good thing. He played well on Saturday, so hopefully he can stay healthy and keep that up. Glad to have him on board for another one.
Dynomitedeac16 from the message boards was so excited about this basketball season that he just had to make a video about it. Personally, I'm glad he did.
I’ve been procrastinating quite a bit on writing this, mostly because I just can’t figure out what I want to say.
I could blame the loss on players being flat, coaches not coaching well, lacking talent, facing a better opponent, being in a tough environment, dwelling on last week’s loss…
The problem is, I have no idea what they truth really is.
Here are the things I know for sure:
- Wake did not play good football.
- Clemson did play good football.
- Clemson’s overall athleticism/talent surpasses Wake’s
With those facts, it’s pretty simple to break the game down. When your opponent has more talent and plays better football than you, you’re going to lose. When those things are the case and you play terrible football while your opponent plays very good football, you lose 44-10.
I have no idea what caused Wake to play so poorly. It could be any number of things: dwelling on a previous loss, poor execution, poor coaching, even a bad breakfast. No matter the case, I have no way of knowing and my speculation is worth just as little as anyone else’s speculation who isn’t a member of the team. To beat Clemson, Wake was going to have to execute to near-perfection in every area of the game and out work and out hustle the opponent. On Saturday, none of that happened. Instead the Deacs were beat soundly by a talented opponent playing good football. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the story.
It’s time to move on. Two very important games remain on the schedule starting this coming Saturday at home against NC State. A win basically guarantees Wake a bowl bid, and a second win against Vandy would improve the chances of that bid being somewhere east of the
Not a fun day to be a Deac. I’ll post my full thoughts later, but for now I think NazT Deac hit the nail on the head:
“we didn't quit. we were just flat. completely. clemson played a heckuva game and deserves to be in the title game this year. they are playing the best ball of anyone right now. the stomped us. they just beat us.
now our backs are against the wall. if we want a guaranteed bowl game, we HAVE to beat state. if we want an east coast bowl game we HAVE to beat state AND vandy. simple as that.
we play best when we are being overlooked or are in a tough situation. we'll bounce back this week and win. i don't envy state. i think we bring it pretty hard.”
I'm struggling with my emotions about this game. I know we can win, but with all the down feeling following last weeks game it's been difficult for me be confident about this one. The thing that worries me is Clemson's ability to make big plays through the air. We'll hold them on the ground like we have most other teams, but they're going to score points through the air. If we don't move the ball and put points on the board, we could be out of it in a hurry.
I look forward to seeing the team bounce back from the tough week. Time to take care of business.
The night may have started on a somewhat somber note, but we won one for Skip and that is something to be proud of.
The Deacs played a nearly flawless first half of basketball, making the shots they’re supposed to make, completing good crisp passes, and playing hard on the defensive end. The good play continued into the second half, even if some of the intensity seemed to be lacking. I suppose when you’re up by 25 on
James Johnson started off his Wake Forest career the way we all hoped he would, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds for what promises to be the first of many double doubles. Jeff Teauge showed flashes of brilliance with 5 steals and four assists. Watching him walk around it appears his ankle is just fine - just re-rolled it from a previous injury. I was able to see Gary Clark shoot the ball for the first time, and I was very impressed. With he and Harvey shooting the ball well, the Deacs should have a good season from behind the arc.
Amazingly I’ve made it this far without even mentioning L.D. Williams. Although he was somewhat quiet in the 2nd half, he showed flashes of spectacular play in the first, and the combination of he and James Johnson promises to be special.
After the game Coach Gaudio talked about the difficult emotions that went into the preparations for this game. Although he had showed the team the video yesterday, it didn’t totally relieve the painful emotions everyone felt before the game started. He said he felt a lot of pressure to get this win for Skip, and that it was a relief to get the job done. He was also very impressed with the way the players handled everything.
Regarding the game, Coach was very happy to see that the team scored an average of one point per possession, however he thinks they need some work to prevent the opponent from having .7 ppp in the future. Coach was proud of the team’s diligent work on the defensive end, but believes they need to work on closing out on three point shooters. He also noted that the team didn’t work hard enough boxing out on the boards. Thankfully, he said, the team has nine days before the next game, which should allow some time to clean some things up.
Overall I was very satisfied with the way the team performed tonight. As long as they do “clean some things up” I expect the team to keep winning games in the fall and really be able to compete come ACC play in January. I know it’s early, but so far all signs are positive.
Looking back at what I've said here, I feel like I got overly negative towards the end here. We really weren't playing that poorly, but after some of the really good play I saw in this game I just don't like seeing us letting up. Another solid half for the Deacs, and overall a great game.
0:29 - Jeff Teauge's ankle just gave out on him. Not what we needed.
2:24: JJ's got the double double 17 and 10. First of many.
All the foul calls seem to be going their way, and we've started turning the ball over more. Got to be careful with this stuff. I don't like us getting too relaxed just because we're up by more than 20 (barely).
4:15: Our intensity has definitely been lacking a little bit, but we keep putting up points and doing enough to expand the lead a bit. Just got to keep playing with intensity.
I can see why Cam Stanley doesn’t get to play that often. He’s a decent athlete, but mentally I’m not sure its all there. He just missed a great pass from JJ.
12:06: Looks like we’re getting a bit lazy again. We’re settling for less than quality shots and continuing to let them put up three’s (they’re hitting over 70% of them). Intensity level needs to stay up. 60-44.
15:56: Good start to the 2nd half. Gave up a few points, but scored a bunch in the first 4 minutes. Chas has looked much better, scoring 5 already. Ish’s shot looks much improved over last season. Just gotta keep the effort up. 57-31.
By the way, looks like about a third of the students left at the half. Not sure what else they have to do with their time on a Friday night, but I guess its never to early to start partying, right?
Pretty good looking half for the Deacs. Offense looked to be in sync throughout, most often taking good shots and making smart passes. Defense has looked much better than it did on Monday, but we need to work on getting on the boards.
Johnson and LD have been awesome so far, Ish has looked good, and Gary Clark has shown he can shoot. David Weaver probably shouldn’t be taking too many shots on offense, though.
It’s been the Deacs’ night so far, lets make it stays that way.
45-25 Deacs lead at the half.
3:25 - Teauge to James Johnson behind the back on the fast break. Beautiful. 40-19.
4:24 - Hadn’t had a chance to see it until now, but Gary Clark can shoot. I’m still worried about the rebounding. I don’t know how I feel about the Teauge/Ish lineup. Defensively good, but offensively I think it hurts us…we’ll see. James Johnson is definitely very good. 36-19.
11:31 -Two things that will cause big problems if they don’t get fixed in a hurry:
- Box out and get rebounds.
is not big enough or talented enough to be consistently beating us on the boards like this. Fairfield
- Putting the opponent in the bonus with 12 minutes left in the half. Free points we can’t afford to be giving up.
15:13 - That’s how you start a basketball game: lots of energy, defensive intensity, and good smart play on offense. The crowd is into it, and when LD makes alleyoops like that, how can they not be. We just need to keep the energy level up and everything will be good. 13-3 Deacs.
It was a beautiful ceremony for Skip. Nothing over the top or extravagant, but a beautiful job of honoring a special man and the impact he had on a special school. It began with a moment of silence, followed by the introduction of the Prosser family. ACC Officials then presented the ACC distinguished service award to the family, and announced it had been renamed the Skip Prosser Distinguished Service Award (I may not have that name exactly right, but it’s been renamed for him). The presentation was followed by a short video with pictures and video footage of a smiling Prosser, both on and off the court. After the video a banner was unrolled from the rafters next to Josh Howard’s banner. It says Skip Prosser across the top, his picture in the middle, and “2001-2007” across the bottom where the player’s number usually goes. The team then went over and hugged all of the family members. Several ovations and a playing of the fight song followed.
The crowd was great. Students section was very very close to full, the rest of the stadium not quite as full. We’ll go with an estimate of about 11,000. Everyone was on their feet; many were emotional (including me, it was impossible not to at least be choked up). Overall it was a perfect way to honor a very special man.
Skip Prosser, you will certainly be missed.
Now let’s play some basketball. Do it for Skip. One Team. One Fight.
Sitting here getting ready for the game and I'm pretty excited about it. Looks like we're less than ten minutes from the Skip tribute, which I'm pretty excited about.
The student section is nearly full, the top two or three rows aren't particularly full, but the rest of it looks pretty good. The rest of the stadium is still looking a little sparse, but it's getting there. So far looks like the same number of people who were here for the scrimmage on Monday. Hopefully we'll fill it up. The good thing is most people do seem to be wearing tie-dye for Skip.
I'll make another post about the Prosser tribute as soon as It's over.
The guys over at Danny Ford is God were kind enough to answer some questions on short notice today. Even though that doesn't make me like them enough to hope they win Saturday, it gives them at least a little good will.
I also answered some questions for them, which you can find here.
1. I haven't heard his name much, but Cullen Harper has apparently put up some very impressive numbers this season. 23 touchdowns to 4 interceptions is tough to argue with. Is Harper really that good, or is the real star someone else? If so, who is it?Thanks again to the guys for taking the time to answer my questions. Make sure to head over there any time you need some good Clemson analysis, or some fun analysis of their opponents' mascots.
Danny Ford is God: Cullen has really been a godsend and almost a call back to Charlie Whitehurst's non-senior years with his ability to win games. He's a huge step up from last year's field general, Will Proctor, who was simply terrible. Perhaps the main reason for his lofty numbers is the system to which he's attached. We don't try and put the game on his shoulders. Our OC mainly gives him short 6 and 7 yard passes, screens, and dump outs to our speed guys as opposed to long risky tosses downfield. Clearly, he is indeed a pretty good fit for the offense we run however he tends to get pressured (not his fault) and make bad decisions. He also has a brief history of hanging out receivers to dry, resulting in our guys catching the ball getting blasted (Jacoby Ford against VT and
, Tyler Grisham against Duke of all teams). We also have some of the better receivers in the ACC in Rendrick Taylor, Tyler Grisham, and Aaron Kelly. Losing Jacoby Ford is a huge loss but those guys have filled the gap very nicely. Maryland
2. Clemson is in the top 3 in the ACC in almost every stat category and has an impressive margin of victory in almost every win, yet the two losses to GT and VT were both pretty ugly. From what I can see there's a bit of Jekyll and Hyde going on here. What factors contribute to the huge difference between performances in wins and losses?
DFIG: That is a result of having an offensive coordinator and head coach like we do. Rob Spence tries to force schemes to work and doesn't make correct adjustments until after everyone in attendance has picked up on the fact that "Hey, that play isn't working." Bubble screens, swing passes, screen passes, etc just don't work against teams that do their homework and play more physically and with more intensity than us. This also helps buttress the old Clemson adage that "It depends on which Clemson team shows up." Some games we just come out and fall flat on our face. Other games we woodshed teams. We can't find a happy medium.
3. What aspects of the game do you expect Clemson to dominate this week, and where do you expect to struggle?
DFIG: We think our defense, kick off return team, and passing game will be great against the Deacs. Our disadvantage is still special teams.
Death Valleyis known for the home field advantage it provides. For a noon game in the cold, how much home field advantage do you really have?
DFIG: Well, a noon game is terrible for us. Nobody likes to wake up early and rush to the stadium because the traffic situation is simple awful. People flood the gates just minutes before kickoff. We do expect your team to have trouble with noise and communication because our stadium is pretty loud. Our fans realize that this game is a must-win if we want to have a shot at the division next week versus
, and have been talking a lot this week about how loud the stadium needs to be, so we don't think this game will so much resemble the normal nooner. Probably won't be that loud at the beginning of the game. We really wish this was a later game, but of course we sold out to the man and Boston College
put our game on early on ESPN 2, thus the noon kickoff.
5. I try to make everyone do it, but some shy away: predict the final score. If you won't do that, tell me how you think Clemson will finish out and where you expect to be going in the post season.
DFIG: We can't give you a final score quite yet as we haven't put our heads together and posted our weekly preview, feel free to link to it when we post it tomorrow. One thing is for sure; Clemson's destiny is solely in their own hands. If we beat Wake and BC, we're a lock for
. If we flounder, I could really see us lose all three of our next games (Wake, BC, Jacksonville ) and going to another crappy bowl game that nobody watches. If we get to the ACCCG and lose, I see the Chik-Fil-A bowl being a good possibility. South Carolina
Many many articles have been published this fall about the death of Skip Prosser. Many more have been published about the effect he's had on this school and this team, and the affect he'll have going forward. Very few have taken a close look at Dino Gaudio and the affect Skip's death has had on his personal life. I'm glad Dan Wiederer of the Fayetteville Observer took the time to do so. It's probably the best article I've read about this tragedy since August.
Enjoy it here.
A discussion on the boards yesterday got me seriously thinking about the “issue” (if you could call it that) of Screamin’ Demons (referred to as “SD” from here out) and basketball. The conversation started when a student started a thread saying that in one of her classes someone attempted to explain SD by saying “you can just check in and leave,” which is basically true, even if it’s not in the spirit of what SD is about.
The interesting thing was the outrage from many of the posters on the board. Here are a few examples:
”I would forward their name to the folks running SD's. Hopefully the leadership cares enough to try and take steps to prevent such actions.”
“Seriously, if you're going to leave so early why are you even going to the games. It seems like if you are even half interested you stay to see what happens. Otherwise why show up. Just watch it on TV and give someone that wants to go your pass.”
These posters seem to be pretty out of touch with reality. Although the SD contract stipulates that SD leadership has the right to check attendance at any point during the game, the fact is that it never happens, and for good reason. The logistics and time necessary to either go through the stands checking to make sure everyone who signed in was still there or to make every SD scan out to leave makes checking attendance during or after a game nearly impossible.
The contract also states that if you miss more than one game before Christmas break or more than one game in the spring, your membership from SD can be revoked. While this encourages attendance, it does not really take care of the problem of people leaving early. Moreover, in seasons like 2006-2007 when the team isn’t very good, revoking membership from those who don’t show up doesn’t have the desired effect because they just want as many people in the seats as possible. Last season in particular it seemed like people made an effort to come to at least part of the games up until the UNC game to ensure they would be able to get in for that one. After that, they didn’t really care and they knew SD leadership wouldn’t kick them out if they tried to come to other games.
The goal of the school and of SD is pretty simple: put as many students in the seats as possible. If the team is playing well and looking like they might make a post-season run, everyone is going to come anyway. If the team stinks, only dedicated fans are going to show up, and if other students show up it would be foolish to turn them away for not coming to previous games. At that point you just want people in the stadium so that it doesn’t look empty.
Some have suggested making SD smaller and re-allocating the newly available seats to be sold to the public. The problem is, for games when the SDs aren’t showing up, the general public usually isn’t showing up either. The problem does not lie solely with the students. Although the student section might show more concentrated emptiness, the overall emptiness of the Joel will almost always be in pretty close proportion to that the student section.
Others have argued that allowing members to get away with breaking the contract they signed is unfair to the “diehard” fans who do come and stay for every game. This argument makes almost no sense, as what one SD member does has almost no affect on another. The diehards are still guaranteed seats just like always, and if they truly are diehards they’ll probably show up early and get the good seats they want before more casual fans show up right before the game anyway. The only real downside is that the atmosphere at the games isn’t what it could be. Is this disappointing the diehard fan? Yes, but I think most of them understand that with the small student body we have it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to be interested in a mediocre basketball team playing a lesser opponent.
So we’re left with the question: what can be done to have more students in the stands? Under the current system, not a whole lot. Although many people hate the idea of rewarding students for doing what they agreed to do in the first place, I do not see any other option under the current system. At football games in previous seasons, SD leadership has raffled off prizes immediately following the game to those who are still there to claim them. This strategy would probably lead to a noticeably larger amount of students who stay until the end of the game; however it might not have much effect on the number of students who show up in the first place.
There is one way I can think of to overhaul the system and possibly increase the number of people at the games. You don’t get rid of SD, but you only make it appealing to the dedicated fans. You require members to be in the Joel a certain amount of time before the game and to scan out at the conclusion of the game, with membership revoked for missing a certain number of games and 2 tardies/incomplete games counting as one absence. As long as members were in good standing, they would be guaranteed seats for every single home game and could just show up and enter the stadium on the day of the game. If they do break the contract they are removed from SD, no questions asked. For the more casual fans, you take the remaining student section seats and make that number of tickets available a week before the game, first come first serve at the Benson ticket office (or any other easily accessible location). Any tickets not given out either 48 or 24 hours prior to the game are released for sale to the general public. This system would allow students to easily get tickets to the “less important” games they want to attend, while requiring them to go to extra effort (possibly even camping out) to make sure they would have tickets for bigger games like Duke and UNC. It also makes it possible for non-students to fill the seats if the students do not claim all the tickets.
I believe this system would discourage non-dedicated students from joining SD, while still making tickets easily accessible to them if they choose to attend a game. It also allows for these seats to be filled by members of the public if students don’t get the job done. People who do join SD are held accountable for following through on the contract and have the advantage of not having to go to any extra effort to obtain tickets to any individual game.
Every team will always have its diehard fans, just as every team will always have fair weather fans. Under the current system, you can offer all the incentives you want, but in a down year or for an unimportant game, nothing can really be done to make people come. And because it always looks better to have people in the stands than to have empty seats, it is foolish to turn away those who show up, even those who are in breach of their contract. That’s just the way it is.
I would love to hear your comments regarding my thoughts on the current system and my proposal for a different system. Please feel free to post them!