Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What's Buzzin'

Some quick hits.....................

Will Bynum was released by the Boston Celtics. Booooooooo Danny Ainge............... If you read all the articles about Thaddeus Young's recruitment, you would realize what a 3-ring circuis it was. However, on announcement day, evidently lots of people knew what was going to happen. While hyping up the crowd in the high school gym prior to Thad's arrival (with cheerleaders and marching band), the emcee asked the crowd where they thought he was going. They asked Arkansas and a few people raised their hands. They asked Kentucky and one person raised his hand. They asked Georgia Tech and the entire cheerleading team raised their pom-poms along with almost all the students. There were other clues, like when a video board shoed the logo's of all 3 schools, but instead of Arkansas, they put up the Arkansas State logo. Whoops................................ In the end, Thad said the difference was as follows:

1. GT was clearly a "5-star" academic school, best of the group by far
2. GT had a "bunch of big men", so he won't have to bang inside and can play the wing
3. He liked Paul Hewitt and his total approach to recruiting. He worked not only Thad but his entire family (father, brother, mom, etc). Coach Hewitt evidently saw the most games and attended the most events with Thad there.
4. He likes the city of Atlanta.

By the way, John Calipari said he's willing to play a home-and-away if Tech wants next season:

"I wouldn't normally do it, but if Georgia Tech wants to give him a chance to
come back home and play, I'll do it," Calipari said. "I'll do it because he's a
good kid. So if Georgia Tech wants to schedule a home-and-home where he can play
at home next year, tell them to call me."

Now, I did find a quote that was a little disturbing that sounds like a slightly dominating father:

"Memphis has five guys in that spot, and they're young. I said, 'I've got to find where you can go and play,'" Felton said. "I wanted him to be at a school where it would be about Thaddeus. I don't want to pick up the paper and read two lines or a paragraph about him because you've got all these people here. I want to pick up the paper and read about Thaddeus. It's got to be about Thaddeus."

Thad's father should hook up with Buck's dad for a BBQ............. By the way, Thad denied that he had silently committed to UNC. Thad's father denied they ever met with Wal-mart reps in Ark. He denied having a black head coach was a factor. He denied having a deal with a shoe company and said he will remain a teacher until he retires. He said both Paul Hewitt and S.Heat (Ark) did everything by the book.

One last note - per Rivals - guess who spent a bunch of time with Thad in ATL? Former Memphis football standout David Brandon, who showed him around the city. Brandon is a former neighbor of Thad's high school AD and the time they spent together actually helped convince Thad ATL was the right place for him. How about that?

In football, you know by now the GT/Clemson game was rescheduled to 3:30, swapping the noon timeslot with UM/UNC since they can't get the lighting system to work in the Orange bowl.

Well, this article is premium, but Clemson's defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has thrown down the gauntlet. He says Calvin Johnson uses illegal tactices to get open. Check out these quotes:

"They're not going to let you touch him," Koenning said. "You can't touch him, but he can push you and be all over your back. It's been a complete one-way street on the film we've seen."

"It's like if you're playing against Shaquille O'Neal and you get in front of him and he pushes off and gets open," Koenning said. "So, if you front him, he pushes off. If you get behind him and push him (then it's a penalty). I wish I could sit there and go into a game and say if he pushes they’re going to throw the foul. But I don't think that happens. That's just the nature of the way games are done. It's harder for the defensive player.

"It seems like on the film that we've seen that there is a lot of pushing and shoving. He is a big guy, and if you front him you don't have much of a chance because he's going to put his hands in your back and push in and get away. He just does it and has gotten away with it in every game we’ve seen. Not being critical, it's just that he's gotten away with it. I haven't seen, that I can recall, one time that he's been called and I can probably find five times on film where he's pushed off and got open."

Well, want to know my response to that? I'll tell you my response - he's right. Calvin does push off at times and he does get away with it. But Vic, guess what? All the GREAT ones do. All the great ones do it and they get away with it. We cannot help that. CJ takes what he is given. I'm not saying the ref's should or shouldn't call it at times, but if they don't, why shouldn't he keep using those techniques?

Vic, however, you have accomplished your mission - to get exposure to this topic so that league officials might become aware of it and maybe - just maybe - tighten down. I have to give you props for that. After all, our own Paul Hewitt has used these techniques to give some officiating help to guys like Luke Schensher when he was getting pushed around unfairly. Of course, there is a difference. Coach Hewitt didn't go singling out a kid on another team for using illegal tactics. He just stuck up for his own guy. I think you're reaching just a bit into gray area, but do what you have to do................

Ok, the AJC reported some good stats for the anti-Reggie Ball crowd. Even though his completion % is still only 47.3% (about career avg), he has cut down INT's from 1-in-18 throws to 1-in-31 and he's only been sacked 3 times all season instead an average of about 2 per game last year. All good stuff, but it takes a lot of out-of-bounds throws, rollouts and bootlegs to achieve that with a weak O-Line.............. Also interesting is the development of Darrel Robertson. He's developed into quite a pass-rusher with 4 pass break-ups, a QB hurry and an INT for TD. However, he's not big and strong enough yet against the run, so with Eric Henderson coming back, it will be challenging to figure out how to get these guys all on the field.

INJURY REPORT - Joe Anaoi and Djay Jones are doubtful for Saturday. Clemson RB James Davis (from ATL) is doubtful..........