Posted on: May 11, 2009 9:52 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2009 1:44 am
White House headlines wrote that "Obama Welcomes Tar Heels to the White House" today. Just to add to the phenomenal accomplishments this team has earned, they gained this invite and warm welcome from Obama and the rest of the White House.
About a year ago the Heels and Obama played a scrimmage game where it was a loose, easy and to some extent tiring game. Wooten has stole the ball, fouled the later inaugurated president and lastly blocked his shot. That eventually led to his campaign and ultimately his victory. Maybe it rubbed off on the Heels as well as they went on to win the championship of NCAA Basketball.
Posted on: May 7, 2009 7:10 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2009 10:24 am
People won't shut up about John Wall. I won't shut up about John Wall. This guy seems like he's taking up every headline in the college basketball world. Perhaps the fact that 4-6 schools are continuing their pursuit of this point guard is the reason for the hoop-la. I've seen mixtapes and clips of the player on YouTube, and yes he is astonishing and yes he'd make any college program a potential champion. North Carolina threw themselves into this mix and honestly it was a big mistake. Sure I said that when Roy made a call from the Final Four that he was being heroic and was making a valiant attempt at landing this recruit, however what has transpired in the last few days and weeks is not something North Carolina wants to associate with.
I'm going to list a several reasons I don't want this point guard to be at North Carolina. Firstly I want to acknowleded that prior to the latest news I indeed desired him to be in a North Carolina uniform.
John Wall, the country's top unsigned high school recruit in basketball, has been charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering after police found him walking out of a vacant house in North Carolina. (Source )That's a given. I don't care if he is doing well in high school, scoring A+'s or even failing classes and not even showing up. I don't care if he's at the gym at 6AM shooting hoops or if he's at the gym until 9PM being late for dinner. Wall committed a crime and that's the biggest turn off to me. Some will differ, but in my opinion that's not what I call a prodigy or a good impression. O.K., Ty Lawson ran into a bit of trouble. Many players do in their college and professional careers. Aside from that though, this guy has the whole college basketball world zoning in upon him. Why in hell would he do that? Maybe it is some strategy or ploy but please, give me a break. Roy do not recruit this player.
Media attention. Google John Wall and hits will be all over the place. I cannot stand the fact that this player is getting more attention than Ed Davis' decision in regards to returning to UNC. Sure it was a one and done thing at a press conference, but this player is not even ready or has not even trimmed his list down to a few schools. According to some sources he has, according to the judge who is charging him with a crime probably doesn't care. And nor do I. North Carolina has produced some limelight type of players who have not been camera shy or negligent toward the media. But this guy doesn't seem humble one bit. Of course I don't know him and can't judge, but I'm just stating what I feel and how I am reacting to what's happened in recent times.
One and done is my biggest turn off. John Wall will 99.9% be a one and done deal type of recruit. He'll come in, take his team to the Elite 8, Final Four or the Championship game and then leave. I have no problem with players doing that, but when it comes to North Carolina players doing that, I do. Blake Griffin - respect to him. Rose - not so much, but I understand and don't truly care because Memphis is not who we are talking about. Whatever Calipari did was truly great, he raised an amazing guard and look at him soaring in the NBA. Rose did great things and continues to do them, but I believe that a player should experience a minimum of 2 years in college before going. Don't get me started on Brandon Jennings. With that said, I don't want Wall to come to North Carolina and expect it to be "John Wall Tar Heels". Roy won't put up with that and nor will the team. If Drew II picks it up and Wall sits - so be it. If Strickland does the same - so be it. Wall will have to deal with it and that my friends is the reason I don't think we want him wearing Carolina Blue.
There is my rant and for all other fans who disagree, that's O.K. Everybody seeks somebody in the NCAA and that's what recruting is all about. A lot of fun is also involved in this game and I enjoy it to the max. I believe that Wall has about 12 to 13 days before he'll declare his verdict. It will be interesting if he ends up in an ACC team or in the SEC. Don't count out the Big 12 either because Kansas is eyeing him.
For now, let the games roll on.
Posted on: May 5, 2009 9:37 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2009 9:37 pm
In three seasons, Wayne Ellington has played in 14 games in which the Tar heels have lost. In addition, the Tar Heels have lost only 14 games in their last three seasons. It's safe to say that with the arrival of Ellington and Lawson, the back-court duo has been one of the most lethal; perhaps the deadliest. However, the college game is much more different then the NBA and many assume that the hardwood is the same in both leagues. Aside from the rules, certain game regulations and roster rules, the entire style and tempo is polar opposite. At times the men and women broadcasting the game can refer to a player as 'NBA-ready'. How often does that happen? Nearly never and essentially close to rare. So what is the verdict for Wayne Ellington? Is he completely 'NBA-ready' or are only a few aspect of his game prepared for the pros?
The 'graduated' junior is mostly recognized for his work from long range. His mid-range game is just as efficient when looking at stats. In the light of the college game, he's been one of those cool-headed players who does not show extreme amounts of emotion or anger in his game. Sure he's got game, and a gorgeous stroke, but poise and composure are all over this guy.
Looking at Ellington and his stat sheet, an improving 3% is almost rare in the NCAA. On top of that, the 2008-2009 season had the 3-point line extended slightly. Superb. His minutes increased and have stayed steady after his freshmen year, his points shot up as well and remained horizontal. Crashing the boards, making smart passes and generally shooting the ball with more precision are the trends of Ellington. What makes him so good? I could make a good debate that it is the 'North Carolina' atmosphere he's been in for 3 years. Maybe it's him though. Wayne may be developing to be a serious threat in the NBA from the field.
In the 2009 NCAA Tournament the Ellington stock rose significantly. Thank goodness he stayed another year. Not only did I enjoy his junior game and his dedication to a phenomenal program, but he was needed in this tournament. Looking at only the last 2 games, Final Four and Championship game, he was all over the court. He splashed 3's off pick and roles and back door passes; it was mind boggling. Another part of his game which probably drew the attention of several NBA scouts was his drive. He drove the net so many times against Villanova and Michigan State it didn't feel like we were watching Wayne. Maybe he had just been hiding this fierce rim attacking attitude? Doesn't matter anymore. He came in and helped the Heels win a Championship, now he's on his way to the pros where he'll continue to do what he does best - hit shots.
So is he NBA-ready? For a 6-foot-4 200-pound guard I think he could shape up a little more. As an athlete he is a great competitor and we've seen him shoot deep shots late in a game. He is conditioned but is he ready for a physical NBA? Not sure yet. Nevertheless, he may not even need it. I highly doubt that is game plan assignment will be based on driving it to the post and big men. It will remain on the outside and in the mid-range court.
A pretty decorated college career of a great shooter has come to an end - but in the pros it has yet to begin as many of us Tar Heel fans are hoping for a 1st round selection... but I don't think it matters that much because our recruits have relative done well in the NBA in comparison to Duke. When I think of sharp-shooters who have played in the NCAA, Ellington is right away in my mind.
I just hope that I won't be saying J.J. Redick when he finishes his rookie season.