Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wes Miller Has the Spartans Rolling

Sara Davis/AP
In the middle of December the UNC-Greensboro Spartans were 2-8 and their head coach had just been replaced by a 28 year old assistant coach.  Former Tar Heel guard Wes Miller was named interim head coach for the Southern Conference's UNC-G Spartans.
  The next few games were a little rocky for Miller, who is the youngest active head coach in Division 1.  After a loss to Davidson on January 5th the Spartans record fell to 2-14 and 0-4 in conference.  That appeared to be a turning point in the season because Miller's Spartans just won their sixth straight game and pulled into a half game behind SoCon's North division leader Elon.

Go Big (Carolina) Blue! Cheer For Hakeem Nicks in the Super Bowl

AP/Dave Einsel

  Originally I found myself with no rooting interest in the Super Bowl.  I still don't care for Eli Manning's draft day antics in 2004 when he basically refused to play for the San Diego Chargers.  However, I do like coach Tom Coughlin's "no non-sense" approach to coaching.  He is a guy whose record is well above .500 and has one Super Bowl ring, but always seems to be on the NFL coaching hot seat due to the extreme pressure of coaching in New York.  The Giants have a lot to play for. This would be another Super Bowl win for Eli, giving him one more than his All-Pro Quarterback brother Peyton Manning, and it would also give Coughlin the same number of championships as his mentor and former New York Giant legendary coach Bill Parcels.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Draft: Senior Bowl Preview

The 2012 Senior Bowl will be held on January 28 in Mobile, Alabama.  The Tar Heels wiill be well represented.  Here are the four players that will look to impress NFL scouts:
Zach Brown (Outside Linebacker):  Brown's success his senior season has helped his draft stock tremendously.  Going in to the NFL Brown has been ranked as high as the number one outside linebacker available in the draft and is a projected first round pick.
Tydreke Powell (Defensive Tackle):  Powell's senior season was a little disappointing considering the talented Defensive Ends that were on the line with him.   This run stopper should still be drafted in the later rounds.  Powell could help his draft stock a lot before draft day arrives.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Quinton Coples (Defensive End):  Coples ended his senior season with 7.5 sacks, 55 tackles and 15 of those for a loss.  Coples' 6'6" 285 pound frame is expected to be the first defensive end and Tar Heel to be selected in April.  
Dwight Jones (Wide Receiver):  The 6'4" Wide Receiver ended the season with 85 receptions, almost 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Jones is expected to at least be a second round pick.  Jones is a big playmaking receiving threat that should have scouts, coaches and general mangers salivating.

*Pulled Mock Draft info from 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Raymond Felton Looks to Improve Slow Start

AP Photo
Former Carolina Panthers and current Denver Broncos coach John Fox once said "We picked a bad day to have a bad day."  Well Portland Trailblazer point guard Raymond Felton is picking a bad season to have a bad season.
  Felton is in a contract year this season.  He is averaging career lows in points per game (10.4), rebounds (2.9), steals (1.2), field goal % (34.7) and 3 point % (14).  On the bright side he is averaging 7.3 assist per game which is higher than his career average.
  This has not deterred rumors that his former team, the New York Knicks, have interest in signing him to a mid level exception in the off season.  Felton would like to improve on his slow start to increase the possible suitors this off season.
  Felton who is on his fourth team in three years would like to find stability with one team.  He has said in recent interviews that he really likes being in Portland and the direction the team is taking. Hopefully he will turn the season around and find a team he can lead for many years.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hakeem Nicks Leading the Giants Into NFC Title Game

It appears the regular season was just a warm up for New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks.  During the regular season Nicks went over 100 yards a respectable three times in 15 games.  It appeared that second year receiver, Victor Cruz was Eli Manning's favorite target.  Nicks has stepped up this post season to answer the competition for the number one receiver role in New York.  In the Giants two post season games this year Nicks has combined for 13 catches and 280 yards with 4 touchdown receptions.  Nicks is the third receiver in NFL history to have multiple 100 yard and 2 TD games, the other two players are Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald.  Last week Nicks tied the longest Giants TD reception in their playoff history with a 72 yard catch.  This week he caught the third longest in Giants playoff history with a 66 yard catch.  Nicks ended the first half with a hail mary catch in the endzone to put the Giants ahead 20-10.  Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said, after that play you could see the Packers going to the locker room with their heads down, they had been broken.  After the game Nicks said  "I got down there, I didn't really see who was around me.  All I saw was the ball." 

Next up is the NFC Championship game when Nicks and the Giants travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers Sunday at 6:30pm on FOX.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ty Lawson: "The All Star"

Lawson has taken advantage of the opportunity given to him this year.  A draft day trade that sent, fellow Tar Heel, Raymond Felton to Portland opened the door for Lawson to start the season as Denver's starting point guard.  Lawson's start to the season is garnering talks of him being an All Star this year.  He is averaging 17 points and over 6 assist per game.  On Friday night he made his case as he led the Denver Nuggets to a 117-104 win over the "Dream Team" Miami Heat.  Lawson came up with big play after big play scoring 24 points and nine assist.  And once Dwayne Wade left the game (ankle) Lawson's speed proved to be too much for Lebron James and the rest of the Heat.  Though Lawson's hot start is better than some of the NBA "brand names" it will be difficult for him to make the team over names like Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook.  But if Lawson continues to play well, at the worse case scenario we can talk about All Star snub.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Danny Green Ready to Jump Around in San Antonio

(Harry How/Getty Images North America)
Bad news hit the San Antonio Spurs this week when the team learned that starting shooting guard and leading scorer Manu Ginobili would miss up to 6 weeks with a fractured bone in his left hand.  This could be a great opportunity for Danny Green.  Green seen a slight increase in playing time in the first game without Ginobili (against Golden State), playing 16 minutes and scoring 8 points and making clutch plays in the final minutes of the game.  He was rewarded with 24 minutes of playing time in San Antonio's next game against defending champs and Western Conference rival Dallas Mavericks.  Green had a solid game with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.  Green's role should feel very familiar to Tar Heel fans as his role at Chapel Hill was the same as it appears to be in San Antonio currently.  He will win fans and playing time with his intensity, hustle and defensive play.