NC College Basketball Review: Week 2

NC College Basketball Review: Week 2

Week 2 is through. As always, we have some great D1 NC College Basketball programs. See how they faired this week.

Appalachian State

Against Iowa State, the Mountaineers put up a valiant effort but ultimately lost 104-98 to the Cyclones. It was another big game for Ronshad Shabazz who led the way with 32 points along with Justin Forrest, who added another 32 off the bench. Later in the week, ASU played Western Michigan and lost 86-67. This was a rather disappointing display based on Appalachian State’s other performances thus far. The only Mountaineer production in this one came from Shabazz. App State was able to get back to their winning ways against UTEP in the opening game of the Puerto Rico Tip-off and beat the Miners 76-72. The Mountaineers had a much more balanced attack in this one with bench player O’Showen Williams leading the way with 19 points.


Campbell

A late rally wasn’t enough for the Fighting Camels to top UNCW in Wilmington. They fell to the Seahawks 88-84. Campbell received a surprising 33 points from Marcus Burk during a rare off night for Chris Clemmons. The star Camel only mustered up 17 points on 5-16 shooting from the field. With a little more efficiency, the Camels could have gotten a win. Campbell may have taken some frustration out in the next game. They rolled to an easy victory against Johnson and Wales 98-53. Marcus Burk had a good game again tallying 31 in this one.


Davidson

Bob McKillop’s squad came up short Tuesday, falling 81-68 to Nevada. The Martin twins formerly of NC State shined for Nevada while Davidson could not get much going offensively in the contest. A dismal 41% shooting was the downfall for the previously unbeaten Wildcats.


Duke

The Blue Devils had no issues with Southern. Duke won easily 78-61. Wendell Carter Jr led Duke with 20 points to go with Marvin Bagley’s 19. Both posted 11 rebounds as well. Duke also rolled to an easy win against Furman 92-63 later in the week. Bagley led the way with 24 points.

“It was just a time in the game when I was hitting, my teammates kept finding me,” Bagley said after the win against Furman. “They kept coming back to me, they believed in me enough to keep going and keep pushing, and I just executed on the plays we were running. It was one of those moments in the game when I was hot.”


East Carolina

Early in the weak, the Pirates fell to Radford 73-66. B.J. Tyson led the way with 16 in the loss. In another disappointing loss, ECU fell to Central Connecticut 79-68.  As has been the theme early this season, the only two contributors were Kentrell Barkley and B.J. Tyson both scored 19 points apiece. Later in the week, Jeff Lebo’s squad got back into the win column by squeaking past Cleveland State 72-69. B.J. Tyson led the way again scoring 25 points for the Pirates.


Elon

Elon came back to beat FIU 95-87 in a high scoring affair. Dainan Swoope led the way with 26 points. Also, count double-doubles from Brian Dawkins and Tyler Seibring. The following night the Phoenix took the court again Concordia. This was an easy win for Elon, 84-62. Elon again featured a balanced attack led by Dainan Swoope who put in 25 points in this one. For the final game of the week, Elon lost a heartbreaker to Milwaukee. After a 46-29 halftime lead, Milwaukee came back with a vengeance, winning with a put-back late to win 72-71. Swoope led the way again with 20 points.


Gardner Webb

DJ Laster scored 21 points with 9 rebounds in a 68-65 loss on the road to UCF. David Efianayi chipped in with 18. The Bulldogs seemed to take some frustration out in their next game against a lesser Warren Wilson squad winning 119-81. There was scoring from everywhere in this one. We’ll give a shoutout to David Efianayi and Liam O’Reilly who both scored 24.


NC A&T

The Aggies rolled past Citadel with a 13/15 FG performance by Femi Olujobi. He finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds. A&T also got a boost from Devonte Boykins double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) in the 92-73 win. The final game of the week was a massive overtime win against Jacksonville on the road 90-82. The Aggies were again led by Olujobi with 37 and 15. 


UNC Asheville

Asheville put up a good fight against Vanderbilt but ultimately fell 79-76. The Bulldogs had a balanced attack with four starters in double figures. Next, UNCA responded with an overtime win versus Austin Peay 82-79. Macio Teague had a standout game scoring 26 points in the contest.

“I thought our guys showed a little bit of resilience down the stretch. We turned the basketball over a few too many times to put ourselves in that position, but I thought we responded well in a good environment. Austin Peay played well, and we were forced to get some stops down the stretch and fortunately, we came up with some good efforts on the defensive end.” – Head Coach Nick McDevitt


North Carolina Central

The Eagles lost to UT Martin 74-57. In the loss, NCCU got production from Raasean Davis with 16 points. Outside of Davis, the Eagles were nowhere to be found. Later in the week, Central took on Warren Wilson University who was no match 101-76. While everyone scored, Raasean Davis led the Eagles with 19 and 12. Finally, Central had a routine victory against Southern winning 80-67. Davis led the way again with yet another double-double posting 17 and 10.


North Carolina

North Carolina rolled to an easy 12-point win against Bucknell. They got big contributions again from Luke Maye (20 points) and Theo Pinson (19). Next, Carolina made easy work of Stanford 96-72. A big game from senior Joel Berry (29 points) paced the Tar Heels in the victory.

“You go through this, you feel good about being 3-0,” Roy Williams said. “I’ve seen some good things, but the freshmen have got a long way to go. Before the end of the year, they’ll either get better or I won’t have gray hair—because I won’t have any at all.”


UNC Charlotte

Charlotte put up a good effort versus Charleston but fell short 81-72 in the contest. A balanced attack led to a close game but they couldn’t get enough stops to truly make it a good game. The Niners bounced back in the next game defeating Presbyterian 83-74. Jon Davis led the way in this one with 24 points.


UNC Greensboro

The Spartans roll to an easy win versus NC Wesleyan with a balanced attack, Marvin Smith lead the way with 16 points. The Spartans also had no issues demolishing a Ferrum team 95-43. Same story for the Spartans a balanced attack but this time lead by a bench player with 19 from Isaiah Miller. Lastly, the Delaware Blue Hens were no match for the Spartans of Greensboro, the Spartans taking this one 79-66. Francis Alonso had a career day in this one scoring a career-high 32 points. Spartans also made easy work of Longwood. Alonso again was the spark off the bench scoring 16 points.


NC State

The Wolfpack rolled over Presbyterian in an 86-68 affair. They got big production out of Lennard Freeman who scored 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Next up for NC State is the #3 Arizona Wildcats. An early test to see how serious we should take the Kevin Keatts squad this year in a loaded ACC race.

“It gets a little more challenging,” Keatts said. “Certainly we get to play, in my opinion, the No. 1 team in the country on Wednesday, which is Arizona, which is a very good program.” “I’m very pleased with the way we are playing on the defensive end,” Keatts stated later. “Obviously if you are a pressing team you want to be turning teams over.”


UNC Wilmington

C.B McGrath’s Hawks pulled out a tight game at home against Campbell 88-84. UNCW was again led by the tandem of Jordan Talley (18 points, 14 assists) and double-double machine Devontae Cacok (16 points, 17 rebounds).

“I wouldn’t have thought we turned them over 20 times in the game if I didn’t see the box score. Because all I can think about is the lob dunks and the wide-open 3s that occur because Cacok’s like Shaq out there,” Campbell coach Kevin McGeehan said.


Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have been nothing but disappointing this year. This week, they started with a loss to Drake 77-74.  The only person for Wake Forest that came to play in this one was Doral Moore with a 17 point 17 rebound line. Next, they defeated an inferior Quinnipiac team 72-55. Crawford had 17 points in the game and was the leading scorer. Lastly, Wake lost to Houston 78-73. I can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with Wake Forest this year. On paper, they should have a much better record. Yet to start the year, here they sit 1-4. They need Bryant Crawford to play to his potential and become more efficient to lead this team to some wins.


Western Carolina

Against division-irrelevant Hiwassee, Western had a balanced attack featuring Devin Peterson with 15 points. Later in the week, the Catamounts got a taste of a real opponent, #14 Minnesota. Matt Halvorsen played well with 17 points in the loss, but no one else could muster any production in the game. In the final game of the week, WVU fell short to UMass 85-76. I think Western Carolina may have a few new starters this coming week as Matt Halvorsen lead the way with 18 points along with Desmond Johnson having 17 points, both off the bench.


Power Rankings

Week 2 Power Rankings
  Team Record This Week’s Schedule +/-
1 Duke 5-0 11/23 Portland State

 

2 UNC 3-0 11/23 Portland

 

3 NC State 4-0 11/22 Arizona

 

4 Davidson 2-1 11/25 App State

11/28 UNC Charlotte

5 Wilmington 2-1 11/24 Loyola-Chicago

11/25 Valparaiso

+2
6 Greensboro 4-1 11/24 Wake Forest

11/28 Presbyterian

+2
7 Asheville 2-2 11/22 Monmouth

11/26 Wofford

-2
8 Elon 3-3 11/22 Radford

 

+2
9 Campbell 2-2 11/24 Abil Christian

11/25 Bowling Green

11/26 SC Upstate

+3
10 ECU 2-2 11/24 Rutgers

11/26 NC A&T

-1
11 Charlotte 2-2 11/24 High Point

11/28 Davidson

12 Wake Forest 1-4 11/24 UNC Greensboro

11/28 Illinois

-6
13 A&T 4-1 11/26 ECU

 

+3
14 App State 3-2 11/22 JMU

11/25 Davidson

11/28 VCU

15 Central 2-3 11/22 Marshall

11/24 Illinois

11/26 SE Missouri State

16 Gardner Webb 1-3 11/21 Brevard

 

-3
17 Western 1-4 11/24 UT Arlington

 


NC College Basketball Review: Week 1

NC College Basketball Review: Week 1

NC College Basketball Review

Week 1 of the NC College Basketball Season is in the books. Here’s a look at how each Division I team across the state faired.

Appalachian State

The Mountaineers are out to a 2-0 start. They have defeated Toccoa Falls 135-34 and Bridgewater 95-57. Star guard Ronshad Shabazz has averaged 24.5 points per game along with five assists per game. ASU next plays Iowa state on the 16th. The Mountaineers are heavy underdogs in this one and will be their first true test. Let’s see how they look against some real competition before deciding on their legitimacy.

Campbell

So far Campbell is 1-1. They beat Columbia International 108-44, but then lost by eleven to Penn State. Chris Clemmons is on fire averaging 33 points per game, good for second in the entire NCAA. He is literally carrying the Camels on his back. The Camels next matchup will be a true test to where the stand early in the season when they play UNCW on the 18th.

Davidson

Bob McKillop’s Wildcats look hungry, starting 2-0 on the season. Even better, both wins came against quality opponents, Charleston Southern (110-62) and UNCW (108-81). The trio of Peyton Aldridge (27.5 points per game), Kellan Grady (23.5 points per game) and Jon Axel Gudmundsson (21.5 points per game) have the team firing on all cylinders. They come into the next game at Nevada as an underdog, look for the Wildcats to pull the upset in this contest.

Duke

To no surprise, Duke has started the season 3-0 beating the likes of Elon and Utah Valley. They had their first true test of the year Tuesday night against Michigan State. They passed. Marvin Bagley; who has been nothing short of spectacular so far, left this affair early in the first half. Regardless, the Blue Devils had no issues getting past the Spartans behind senior Grayson Allen’s career-high 37 points. Next up is Southern on the 17th. Look for the Devils to stay out of the loss column at least until the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

East Carolina

Aside from exhibition games, the Pirates have only played in one contest so far. They defeated Coppin State 76-50. Even in that game, ECU really had no standout performances. Jeff Lebo’s squad plays Radford next on the fifteenth.

Elon

The Phoenix are 1-2, but the only real surprise is the loss to Furman. They need to find some scoring desperately. Their current leading scorer is Tyler Seibring, who averages a meager 13.7 points per game. Look for Elon to get back on track versus Florida International on the seventeenth.

Gardner Webb

A brutal start to the schedule has the Bulldogs at a 0-2 to start the year. Loses to Miami and Florida were inevitable and the Bulldogs didn’t put up much resistance in either game. The small bright spot is near double-double man D.J. Laster at 14.5 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. Gardner-Webb’s next game is no pushover either. They play UCF on 11/15, let’s see if the Bulldogs come out with some energy and pull out a quality win.

NC A&T

To slight surprise, the Aggies are 1-1 and didn’t get embarrassed by Clemson. Femi Olujobi has come out hot, scoring at a 27 per game clip. A&T’s next game is against Citadel on 11/15. If they can string a couple of wins together, the Aggies may be a surprise dark-horse to get earn an automatic bid into the tourney.

UNC Asheville

The Bulldogs have come out to a .500 start with a balanced attack throughout. The next game is against Vanderbilt on 11/17. They are a heavy underdog in this one versus an SEC school, but let’s see if the Bulldogs are able to hang around and have a shot at an upset.

North Carolina Central

Central is off to a disappointing start with losses to UIC and Evansville. The lone bright spot is near double-double man Raasean Davis (14 points per game and 9 rebounds per game). The Eagles need to find some more scoring as they have only averaged 55 points a game to start the year. Look for the Eagles to turn it around in the next contest against UT Martin on 11/15.

North Carolina

Carolina has only played once so far this season, an easy win over Northern Iowa. Luke Maye came out to a solid 26-10 line to start the year. Next up for the Heels, a  game against Bucknell Wednesday Night. We won’t learn much about the Heels until they play the PK80 Tournament next week.

UNC Charlotte

At 1-1 the 49ers have come out playing well. Their only loss was to no slouch in Oklahoma State, a fifteen point loss. The 49ers have a balanced attack led by Jon Davis at 15 points per game along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game. Next up they have Charleston on 11/18. They will be the underdogs in that game but will be a good indicator test of where the 49ers sit as a team this year.

UNC Greensboro

Greensboro lost their first game of the year to Virginia. It was a close contest at 48-60, but the Spartans couldn’t score enough points to make it really interesting. Marvin Smith led the team with a 12 and 9 performance. Wesleyan is next on the schedule, let’s see if the Spartans can get a little more offense going against a lesser opponent.

NC State

New coach Kevin Keatts has the Wolfpack playing well and beating the teams that they should be beating. They have a very balanced attack and seem to want to play hard for Keatts. Also, the Pack received the good news that guard Braxton Beverly is cleared to play and add more depth to the lineup. The first true test to see how good State will be this year is against #3 Arizona on 11/22.

UNC Wilmington

To my best estimation, the Seahawks are right where they should be at 1-1. They lost to a talented Davidson team and beat up on Wesleyan. The Seahawks have ridden Devontae Cacock’s 21.5 points per game and astonishing 16.5 rebounds per game. Jordan Talley has chipped in nicely adding 18.5 points per game. Outside of those two, not many contributions are noticeable. Let’s see if someone can step up as a third option and help propel the Seahawks to new heights. Their next game is against Campbell on 11/18, look forward to this one as two of the topmost unknown players in the state go at it in Chris Clemmons and Devontae Cacok.

Wake Forest

My biggest disappointment so far has been the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest started out the season with losses to Georgia Southern and Liberty. The Deacons are lead by Bryant Crawford at 20 points per game and Keyshawn Woods at 19.5 points per game. In all honesty, it’s the same story as last season. They need to find their defense because they have given up a ton of points to lesser teams. Look for the Deacons to take out some frustration against Drake on 11/17.

Western Carolina

A grueling early-season schedule has already seen the Catamounts play Clemson and Cincinnati. As expected, they’re 0-2. Not much can be determined regarding this team yet as they’ve played far superior opponents. They have no real production to speak of from an individual and simply need to score more. Let’s see if they can get something going against a lesser opponent in Hiwassee College Wednesday Night.


Power Rankings

Week 1 Power Rankings
1 Duke 3-0
2 UNC 1-0
3 NC State 3-0 +1
4 Davidson 2-0 +1
5 UNC-Asheville 1-1 +1
6 Wake Forest 0-2 -3
7 UNC-Wilmington 1-1 +1
8 UNC-Greensboro 0-1 +1
9 East Carolina 1-0 +4
10 Elon 1-2 -3
11 UNC-Charlotte 1-1 -1
12 Campbell 1-1 -1
13 Gardner-Webb 0-2 -1
14 Appalachian State 2-0
15 NC Central 0-2
16 NC A&T 1-1 +1
17 Western Carolina 0-2 -1

 

Check out our Preseason Preview Here:

NC College Basketball Preview

NC College Basketball Preview

NC College Basketball Preseason Preview

College Basketball is back. How does your team look heading into the season?

Appalachian State

The Mountaineers look to turn things around after a dismal performance last season. They return leading scorer Ronshad Shabazz who looks to build on his clear number one option status. Last season he averaged 17 points a game. He’ll look to help develop a young core trying to right the ship after finishing 9-21 and 11th in the Sun Belt conference a season ago. The Mountaineers are young, they probably won’t be in the mix for a conference title, but look for improvement throughout the season.


Campbell

The Fighting Camels look to build a solid 2017-18 campaign with momentum carrying over from last seasons late success. Though they had a mediocre regular-season, Campbell made a Cinderella-esque run through the Big South Tournament. Ultimately they fell to Winthrop in the tourney title game. With Chris Clemons bringing back his 25 points per game leading the way, the Fighting Camels have a legitimate contender for Big South Conference Player of the Year.


Davidson

The Wildcats could be a surprise team. Returning for Davidson is potential A-10 Player of the Year Peyton Aldridge. Aldridge is coming off a solid 20 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. They also bring in talented freshman Kellan Grady. Ironically for Steph Curry’s alma mater, the three ball has been a weakness for the Wildcats over the past few seasons. If the Wildcats get more help from the perimeter, look for this team to have a turnaround. Don’t be surprised if they make some noise in the A-10. We’re looking forward to their early season matchup with UNC-Wilmington. That game will tell us a lot about both teams.


Duke

Not much can be said about Duke that is not already known. It’s the typical formula for the Blue Devils. They bring in 4 of the top 8 freshmen in the country to pair alongside Grayson Allen. The best out of the group, Marvin Bagley III, is one of the most talented freshmen to come into the NCAA in recent memory. If Bagley isn’t the number one pick in next seasons NBA draft, I’ll be shocked. The key for an ACC title run will be Grayson Allen. The senior is the only player with experience on the roster. He will have to guide the young guns into form if Duke looks to take their preseason number 1 ranking to a national title.

Forget the 2019 Class, Dude Reclassified and his at Duke this year


East Carolina

The Pirates are one of the teams I am not sure what to expect. Potentially, the season could go in any direction. They return multiple starters, but that group finished 15-18 with a 6-12 conference record. They have no defined star. The highest average points per game returning to the Pirates is Kentrell Barkley, but he only averaged 13 a game. Will he take the next step to make ECU a contender? My preseason opinion is no. Cincinnati and SMU are far more talented and outclass the Pirates by miles.


Elon

After a fourth-place finish in the CAA, I believe Elon will be able to take another step forward and potentially challenge for the conference title. When you look at their returning players, Elon loses almost no production and they return their top 5 players in terms of points per game. This nucleus has played together for a year now and has obtained moderate success. There are question marks for the teams that have recently dominated the CAA. UNC Wilmington is going through a coaching change, so we will have to see how the transition works for the back-to-back conference winners. The only other team posing a threat is Charleston. The Cougars also return all of their starters from a season ago. Look for Elon to try to make a rise to the top this season.


Gardner Webb

Gardner-Webb will have a different look this season. They lost their top two scores from the previous season and begin the year at #13 Miami followed by #8 Florida. Both are extremely difficult tests for the Bulldogs and will be a good indicator of how tough this team will be this year. After finishing fourth in the Big South last season, let’s see how the Bulldogs show up against a couple of powerhouse programs.


NC A&T

Not much has changed in terms of our take on the Aggies compared to how they performed last year. If we have to start somewhere, start with the Aggies losing their leading scorer of the past two years, Sam Hunt, to NC State as a graduate transfer. Coming off a last-place finish in the MEAC and a 3-win total for the year, I find it difficult to believe the Aggies will have much of a turnaround this season. They didn’t bring in any noticeable names to change their fortune either.


UNC Asheville

UNC-Ashville looks to build on a great 2016-17 season that saw the Bulldogs tie for first atop the Big South regular season standings. They return nearly all of their production from a year ago including Ahmad Thomas, the leader in PPG and rebounds. He like, Chris Clemons, could be a sneaky pick for Big South player of the year, especially if he progressed his game this off-season. Look for UNC Asheville to stay atop the standings this year in the Big South.


North Carolina Central

Last year, the Eagles flew high last year all the way into the NCAA tournament after finishing first in the MEAC and winning the conference tournament. The Eagles return star guard Patrick Cole who went for a nearly 20 points and seven rebounds per game a season ago. On top of the star guard, Central also returns all of their starters. The Eagles look to fly high once again. Watch out for another deep MEAC tournament run.


North Carolina

Though they cut down the nets this past March, the Tar Heels face many questions heading into the season. So many departures from the title team leave the Tar Heels relying heavily upon Joel Berry. Berry, if you haven’t heard, broke his hand in a video game dispute. Until he returns, the Tar Heels will look to Theo Pinson and Luke Maye to carry the Heels through the early parts of the season. Don’t forget Carolina has a strong freshman class, as always, to make up for the production lost. With their rival down tobacco road coming in at number one for the preseason, let’s see how the Tar Heels respond on their title tour.

Never Forget. This was the de facto National Championship Game


UNC Charlotte

The 49ers return their top three scoring threats led by Jon Davis. Davis is coming off a stellar season where he averaged 19 points per game. The big key for the 49ers to turn around a mediocre 16-17 is to produce on the glass. They need a big man to emerge who’s able to hit the glass. With an incoming class of six-freshman, look to see if the 49ers can gain any momentum into making a run in the conference tournament.


UNC Greensboro

After a strong finish in the Southern Conference to go with an NIT tournament appearance, Wes Miller’s Spartans lost a couple of solid players. However, top point man, Francis Alonso, is back along with top rebounder, James Dickey. You should expect the Spartans to be competitive again but look they need new faces to step up.


NC State

State comes in with a lot of questions. To begin with, they lose lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr, along with their top 3 point shooter in Rowen. On top of that, the Pack fired head coach Mark Gottfried halfway through the season. The Pack finished second to last in the ACC last season to cap off the dismal year of letdowns. That aside, let’s get to the good news. First, they hired Kevin Keatts from UNC Wilmington. Keatts was one of the most sought-after hires after the way he turned around UNC Wilmington’s program.

One big thing NC State lacked last year was defense, Keatts brings a defensive mind to the table. Over the last three seasons, UNCW has been notorious for their full court press. It almost pulled off NCAA Tournament wins against Duke and Virginia. Can a change in philosophy change the outcome for the Pack? This year, maybe not, but look for State to compete in games. They’ll probably finish middle of the ACC until Keatts is able to get some of his own recruits in.


UNC Wilmington

Let’s face it UNC Wilmington will probably fall a bit from the top of the CAA. Under Kevin Keatts, the Seahawks established themselves as the perennial power in the CAA. They simply lost too much production to think they will repeat their success from a season ago. On the other side, they brought in Coach C.B. McGrath from the reigning NCAA Champion Tar Heels. However, they lost CJ Bryce, Chris Flemmings and Denzel Ingram. All were key pieces to the Seahawks success last season. One thing the Hawks can rely on is double-double machine Devontae Cacok. It will be interesting to watch how the coaching switch and the player turnover works for the Seahawks. Still, look for the Seahawks to finish in the top 4 of the conference this season.

Kevin Connors’ has a Point


Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons are an interesting team and should be fun to watch this season. Looking at the stats from a year ago: they ranked 15th in points per game and 307th in points allowed. This formula equated to a .500 conference record. So what about this year? To start, they lost double-double man and the 19th pick in last year’s draft John Collins. Aside from Collins, the Deacons return all other production to the team. The player to watch is Bryant Crawford. Bryant has the skills to develop into a star for the Demon Deacons. If the Demon Deacons can find some production from a big man and cut into their bottom tier defense from last year, they have a chance to contend in the ACC. With that being said, look for the Demon Deacons to finish in the middle of a crowded ACC.


Western Carolina

To be honest the Catamounts need somebody to score the ball. They only put up 60 points a game a year ago. Altogether, this led to a dismal record and a last-place finish in the Southern Conference. The good news is they essentially return every contributor from a year ago. Can they take a step forward with another season under their belt? It is tough to say the Catamounts have any chance of making a run to the top of the conference. It would not surprise me if they ended up towards the middle of the pack this season in the conference.


Pre-Season NC Power Rankings

  1. Duke
  2. UNC
  3. Wake Forest
  4. NC State
  5. Davidson
  6. UNC-Ashville
  7. Elon
  8. UNC-Wilmington
  9. UNC-Greensboro
  10. UNC-Charlotte
  11. Campbell
  12. Gardner Webb
  13. East Carolina
  14. Appalachian State
  15. NC Central
  16. Western Carolina
  17. NC A&T

Tiger Woods Return

Tiger Woods Set To Return

Guess whose back?

For many golf fans, the news of Tiger Woods return has seemingly become routine about this time of the year. The comeback begins for Woods at the Hero World Challenge on November 30th. His return (no matter how many times now) always comes with at least a little bit of excitement. The one true difference this time around has to be expectations. I don’t believe any golf fan is expecting Tiger to come out and be the polarizing superstar he once was.

Can He Win Again?

So let’s get to the question every Tiger fan cares about, can he win again? In all honesty, the answer is that it’s probably going to be a long shot for him to win an event of any significance. Yes, everyone hopes and dreams that the Tiger that dominated the circuit in the early 2000s is going to show up one day. However, it’s far-fetched to think that the Woods of that era will ever make an appearance on the tour again. Is it possible for him to win something again? Sure. Anybody that plays golf knows it one of the most peculiar games you can play. It’s so easy to go from a pin seeker to being unable to hit a green in a regulation.

Current Record Status

Every fan knows Woods has 14 Major wins in his illustrious career. Can he get another major win? It’s very challenging to see Woods as a legitimate contender come major time. All the young guns currently in the PGA make it difficult to see Woods getting any more majors. Even if he’s able to somehow pull off the biggest turnaround story in golf history and win another major you’re fooling yourself if you think he’s going to catch Nicklaus at 18.

On the other hand, he sits at 79 career tournament wins. That leaves him just three behind the all-time leader Sam Snead. Can Woods find a hot streak at a few tournaments and make a run for the record. This is the more realistic record rather than the majors record. The downside is that the last time Woods won a tournament was in 2013. The last time he won a major 2008. Also, all of these victories occurred before all the back surgeries. Seeing Tiger hold up a trophy one more time would be a dream for many but only time will tell how he’s recovered this time around.

Vegas Odds

As you may know, we like to do a little betting here at QuarterMaster. Anyone interested in the odds for Woods in his first tournament back needs to look no further. Odds he wins the Hero World Challenge start at 50-1. For those that aren’t aware of how that sits in comparison, favorites Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas sit at 7-1. For even fancier wagers, odds Woods hits an eagle are at 6-4. Hardcore Woods fans may want to go for the 11-4 odds he finishes in the top 10. For the doubter, you can take the 7-2 odds that he withdraws. If you’re a real bold gambler, go for the 300-1 wire to wire finish for Woods.

For the Nostalgic Tiger Fan…

Time to Press the Panic Button in Cleveland?

Time to Panic in Cleveland?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have come out to a surprising 3-5 record to start the year. They also are currently mired in a four-game losing streak to the likes of the Nets, Pelicans, Knicks, and Pacers. Is this cause for concern? The answer is simply no. It’s way too early in the young season to panic on a team with LeBron. Listen up Cavs fans. You still have the best player on the planet surrounded by a cast of supporting vets. You’re going to be fine.

One thing everyone points to instantly is the absence of Kyrie Irving. There really does not seem to be anyone else on the active roster that has the ability to take over a game outside of LeBron. Until the Cavs get Isiah Thomas back, they may have some struggles at times on offense. LeBron will always have the attention of every defense. That means the rest of the team just has to hit their shots. It’s not that they are not getting shots or taking bad shots, they simply are missing wide-open shots.

When you replace Kyrie Irving with Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade on the perimeter; neither of which has ever held anything sustainable behind the arc, you should expect some growing pains. You have to look at the Cavs defense outside of LeBron is there really anyone on the roster that is a lockdown defender? No, the cast LeBron has this year is essentially all scoring vets. The Cavs need to find some fire while creating some continuity.

Dwayne Wade Elaborates

Business As Usual at Practice

Another piece of the equation: do the Cavs really care about games in October and November? The answer: probably not much. Cleveland can go into the playoffs as a six seed and will still be favored out of the east. The main thing for the Cavs this season is their health. They are already without Isiah Thomas and there are multiple people on the roster with a history of injuries. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past few seasons is that LeBron will make it to the Finals. The King always finds a way to seemingly pick apart the Eastern Conference come playoff time. The only time you should ever hit the panic button if you are a Cleveland fan is if LeBron James sustains an injury, as long as he is in the lineup you always will have a chance.

Cavs Got Down on Halloween

The Demise of The Chicago Bulls

The rebuilding Chicago Bulls made a splash in the headlines for a fight during practice, in which Nikola Mirotic received a broken jaw from teammate, Bobby Portis. Instances like this make you wonder, what happened to the once recent top contender?

Let’s start at the very top. The Owner and GM have turned what was once a top-3 powerhouse in the East, to what is now a more than likely top-5 lottery team. This front office is the most indecisive decision-making group I have witnessed in a long time. I’m going to take you back to when the Bulls decided to let go of Tom Thibodeau. During the coach’s tenure with the Bulls, he boasted a 255-139 record. In his time in Chicago, the Bulls were a force in the east, but due to tensions and the directional differences between Thibodeau and the front office, the coach was let go. Now enter, Fred Hoiberg. Who, to put it as nicely as possible has turned the once prominent Bulls into a class of mediocrity, in which he has boasted an 83-81 record since being hired in 2015. Hoiberg has been accused multiple times of not being able to control the locker room. There have also been multiple outlandish claims by players about the new coach, that suggests he may have been a better fit in college than in the NBA.

Next, let’s talk about the players. With Derrick Rose in MVP form, the Bulls were always a tough out in the playoffs. But when Rose suffered his first of several knee injuries, it seemed that the franchise’s hopes of obtaining a title would always come back to if D-Rose could stay healthy. To say the least, Rose has not been the same since he first became the injury meme sensation that he is today. With the downfall of D-Rose came the entrance of the new face of the franchise, Jimmy Butler. Immediately, Butler clashed with the new coaching style and was in every NBA trade rumor special from 2015 until Draft Night this year when the Bulls finally pulled the trigger. The front office decided to let the perennial All-Star go in exchange for scraps to the Timberwolves to reunite with none other than former coach, Tom Thibodeau. Before the Butler trade, many thought that the Bulls would take a page from the Sixer’s book and hit “The Process” mode in 2016, but that wasn’t the case. They surprisingly lured Dwyane Wade away from Miami and added veteran point guard, Rajon Rondo to the mix. The Bulls struggled for most of the season behind incompetent coach, Hoiberg, but they limped into the playoffs at 41-41 to play the number 1-seeded Celtics. The Bulls came out in a flurry shocking the whole basketball world by taking a 2-0 lead versus the number-1 team in the East. Unfortunately, the Bulls never looked the same after a Rajon Rondo injury and quickly fizzled out of the playoffs.

So, what now? Instead of trying to build upon the somewhat of a success the Bulls had at full strength in the playoffs, the front office decides “eh, fuck it, we are just going to blow it up now.” They either neglected or sold their All-Star pieces for less than what water cost you at a restaurant. The Bulls neglected to re-sign Rondo, traded Jimmy Butler for pennies and misled Dwyane Wade into opting into his contract only to have to buy this same large contract, so he could go play with his old buddy, LeBron in Cleveland. The Bulls finally…FINALLY, after mulling the idea of going into the tanking mode so many teams are doing to try to rebuild their franchises, pulled the trigger in what seems to have been the most prolonged downfall in recent memory. Let’s be serious, anybody with any basketball knowledge knew at the end of 2015 the Bulls decline was inevitable, but management couldn’t get out of their own way. With the Bulls in full rebuild mode, it will be interesting to see how low they fall with their fresh look of youngsters. One thing is for certain, the demise of the Bulls has been a long, slow, and painful spiral into the bottom tier of the league.

Why NBA Ratings Are Outdoing NFL Ratings

Today marks the swing back into the official 2017-2018 NBA regular season. The first two games on the agenda are simply spectacular. The first two games of the season are the matchups everyone in the NBA world wants to see.

First off, the rivalry match of Boston and Cleveland includes one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory. Everyone should expect nothing less than a spectacle between the Celtics newly acquired Kyrie Irving and the revamped Cleveland Cavaliers behind LeBron James. This has been one of the most anticipated matchups of the season and the NBA is bringing it to us opening day.

Next, we have the new high-powered tandem of James Harden and Chris Paul going up against none other than the defending Champs; The Golden State Warriors. Following the trend of crazy off-season moves which saw all-stars shifting to different contending teams, everyone is waiting to see how the new Rockets tandem is going to pan out now having two ball dominant all-star guards.  Fans are keeping an eye on how the challenging Rockets will fare on opening day against arguably the greatest team in NBA history, which are looking to cement their dynasty this year.

If you have ever wondered, why you hear about the NBA’s ratings skyrocketing and the NFL’s ratings plummeting in recent memory, then this opening day lineup is all that you need to see. The NBA has delivered two top-five matches that any NBA fan has interest in watching. They give us an Eastern Conference Finals rematch following the trade of all-star guards between the teams, and they put two of the top-3 teams in the West going head to head for an opening day blockbuster.

All of this is well and good but now think back to the two primetime matchups of the NFL this past week. The Sunday night game featured the Broncos and the Giants. While Denver came out to a sizzling start on the year they have all but cooled off, scrummaging together less than 17 points for the past 3 weeks. The Broncos lost in their primetime matchup with the previously winless Giants, which to be frank needs a separate article of its own to describe how terrible they have been this year. This set up for a dud of a game many NFL fans did not even think to turn on the TV for.

Next, we have the Monday night matchup between the Titans and the Colts. Prior to Mariota deciding to give it a go at game time the QB matchup for the night was set to display Jacoby Brissett vs Matt Cassel. What fan in their right mind wants to turn on the TV and see a primetime matchup of Brissett vs Cassel? Let me answer that for anyone wondering…the answer is nobody that has the ability to see out of their eyes. Nothing excites a fan more than to hear the 2-3 Indianapolis Colts travel to the 2-3 Tennessee Titans. When the NFL sees games like this setup for primetime they need to reevaluate who in the fuck is going to flip on a Titans vs Colts matchup with two no-name nobodies and give you some ratings.

With the NBA season starting to come into full swing today, I have a feeling the already declining NFL ratings are going to take a more severe hit, especially when the NBA gives us matchups of conference powerhouses in their prime time slots vs back up sallies and the mediocrity of a primetime game the NFL is trying to feed us with.

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