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Pick of the Night

Posted by mvetack on January 26, 2010

North Carolina Tarheels -1 vs North Carolina State Wolfpack


North Carolina is in desperate need of a win as they have lost three in a row in the ACC and are in danger of not making the big dance if they keep playing they way they are. Roy Williams is going to get his guys as prepared as possible against rival NC State and get a much needed win. If UNC could limit turnovers by even 20% their season could be a lot different at this point. But turnovers seem to be part of the Heels identity this year and it doesn’t seem like they are going to change. UNC wins a sloppy one tonight.

Heels over Pack – Scuttlebutt Record – (13-19)
Last pick, Mavericks -3 over 76ers, resulted in a loss with the Sixers winning 92-81.

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Posted in ACC, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pick, Roy Williams | Leave a Comment »

Pick of the Night

Posted by mvetack on January 13, 2010

(13) North Carolina Tarheels +4 at (19) Clemson Tigers


The Defending champions are having a tough time defending their championship. That is probably because they are without all five starters from last season due to graduation and the lure of the NBA and their money. Despite this, Roy Williams has recruited excellently and the young Heels are still in the top 15 in the country. Trevor Booker of Clemson is having a sensational season averaging around 14 and 8 for the year. North Carolina is the higher ranked team but is given 4 points on the road. North Carolina is looking for a signature win to legitimize the #13 rank. The depth at bigs and the run and gun style UNC runs will get them a close win tonight at Clemson.

Heels over Tigers – Scuttlebutt Record – (13-12)
Last night’s pick, Florida -3.5 over Kentucky, resulted in a loss with the Wildcats covering the spread with a 89-77 victory.

Posted in Clemson, Heels, North Carolina, Roy Williams, Trevor Booker | Leave a Comment »

Playoff Preview – Eagles vs Cowboys

Posted by mvetack on January 7, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – Saturday at 8:00

Quarterback

Donavon McNabb has somehow survived as the starting quarterback in Philly since the year 2000. It seems like every year the fans want him out and to bring in someone else. At one time they thought it was a better idea to start someone by the name of Detmer instead of him. But McNabb has survived because he is a great quarterback. The Eagles never have a dominate WR (Terrell Owens for one year was the best he ever had unless you want to count Freddie Mitchell and his Mohawk) and throw the ball more than anyone else. Jay Cutler is in a very similar situation this season. McNabb has been in this situation his whole career. Little to play with out of the WR position and a playbook that apparently had the run plays ripped out long ago. Cutler threw nearly 30 INTs and has people calling him a bust because of this. McNabb is great because he puts up big numbers and still plays the game safe when he has little help. He can save plays with his arm, legs, and his brain.
Tony Romo has alot of talent and is very fun to watch play (maybe not all the time for Cowboys fans but for the rest of us his improv and sometimes foolish decisions are entertaining). Romo’s play seems to coincide with how Dallas is playing. The question is, does he have his good games when the whole team is playing well or does the way he play influence the rest of the team. I think it is a little of both. Rarely is Romo seen taking over a game or do we see him as the only bright spot in a bad game. He has all the skills in the world but has to get over the stigma that he is not clutch to be considered a great quarterback today (The Romo not being clutch argument has always felt a little unfair to me). He is off to a good start this season with a couple of big December wins.

The Eagles and McNabb get the edge as McNabb has played in all situations and done well. Whether fans are on his side or not or if it is the playoffs or preseason he has proven he can get it done.


Running Backs

Marion Barber and Felix Jones are great compliments for each other. Barber is the smash mouth back who gets the tough yards and Jones is the big play threat with speed. Barber has had a little bit of a down year but should be fresh missing some time with injuries.
LeSean McCoy of the Eagles is only a rookie and is filling in nicely for the often injured Brian Westbrook. McCoy gives the Eagles a certain future at running back with a similar guy to Westbrook. He is great in both the running and passing game and has big play ability.

If Brian Westbrook was completely healthy the Eagles would have the edge in the running back battle. Westbrook is hurt though, so the hit and take names later style of barber and the finesse and speed of Jones give the Cowboys the running back edge.


Wide Recievers

Miles Austin and Jason Witten, yes Jason Witten, are two great pass catchers. Roy Williams does get beat out in this situation as one of the top two threats to catch a ball. Roy was good on the Lions because no one cared if he dropped a ball in the fourth quarter when your winless and down by 20. In Dallas, you kinda get noticed. Austin has emerged as one of the better wide receivers in the game, please don’t turn into Braylon Edwards, and it is fun to see a successful wide reciever not demand the ball or money (it is only his first successful season so he still has time to Keyshawn Johnson himself). Witten is one of the most reliable and skilled tight ends in the league and gives defense all kinds of fits in deciding who is going to cover him.

Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two young studs at the wide reciever position and for years to come should make quite the duo. For now Desean is legit and Maclin, to me, is still proving himself. Desean is the greatest big play wide receiver right now and should be the biggest play maker on the field this Saturday. Maclin has shown similar ability in his rookie season and has quietly had some big games.

Jackson and Maclin win this battle. Even though Maclin is still in the process of proving himself, Roy Williams just hurts the Cowboys too much for them to have the better pass catchers.


Offensive Line

The Cowboys offensive line is in the middle of the road at protecting Romo and at the top at number 3 in yards per rushing attempt. Romo tends to try and make things happen so some of those sacks are on him and not on the O-Line. The running game is definitely on them. The cowboys average 4.8 yards per attempt (best among playoff teams) and can win games simply by running the ball.
The Eagles offensive line rank 14th and 12th in running the ball and protecting the quarterback. They are your average offensive line. Averaging a respectable 4.3 yards per attempt gets the job done and has no one complaining.

The Cowboys win this one pretty easily with the dominance of their run blocking.


Defense

The Cowboys defense ranks second to only the Jets in points against at only 15.6 per game. They are also in the top ten in yards per game against. The Cowboys, who got off to an awful start sacking the quarterback, finished 7th in the league with 42 sacks on the season. They have alot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball and when they are playing together properly, like they have the last two games which have both been shutouts, they are nearly impossible to score on.
The Eagles defense is third in sacks and fourth in interceptions. They have the ability to make big plays in this regard and these plays can win or lose you a ball game. In points per game allowed they rank in the lower half giving up just over 19 a game, not too bad, and rank 12th in yards per game against. The Eagles have a great corner in Asante Samuel and rely on big plays on defense.

The overall play from everyone on the Cowboy’s defense and not needing the big play give them the edge in a single game analysis of defenses.

Posted in Asante Samuel, Cowboys, Desean Jackson, Donavon McNabb, Eagles, Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Jeremy Maclin, Lesean McCoy, Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Tony Romo | Leave a Comment »

Tuesday’s Matchup

Posted by mvetack on November 17, 2009

2005 vs 2009 National Champion North Carolina Main Three


The players at question are 2005’s Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, and Sean May vs 2009’s Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Tyler Hansbrough.

Both squads are very similar. Speedy point guards that could get up and down the court faster than the camera could pan in Felton and Lawson. Swingmen with pure jump shots in McCants and Ellington. And go to big men in May and Hansbrough. Both threes came in as diaper dandies and started right off the bat. To help determine my decision we will compare player to player individually at each position.

Rashad McCants vs Wayne Ellington

Rashad certainly started off as the better player. Rashad became the leader of the pack coming in with May and Felton. His game translated well from high school to college as he was able to both get to the hoop and hit clutch shots from the outside. McCants shouldered the load early in his freshman and sophomore years as Felton and May caught up later.

Ellington came into North Carolina with established star Tyler Hansbrough already in place. This took some of the pressure off of him and Lawson their freshman year. Ellington started his Tar heel career as purely a shooter. A streaky shooter at that. When on, he was unstoppable. Great at working for an open shot and just as great in hitting it. His only problem was he did not add much to the offense when his shot was not falling. As his game developed his shot grew more consistent and he became a more all around player while keeping the silky smooth jumper.

Edge goes to McCants by the slimmest of margin

Lawson vs Felton

This is by far the closest match up of the three. I swear Lawson modeled his game exactly after Mr. Raymond. Both flew with the ball and developed an outside game towards the end of their stays at Carolina. Lawson seemed to be a little more confident in himself in the clutch than Felton. While Felton was more likely to get the game winning assist, Lawson had no problem taking the ball to the hoop or pulling up for the 15 footer. It would be easier to pick Lawson in this battle because of the recent success in both college and the NBA but I am torn so much that this one is a toss up. Were calling this one a push.

May vs Hansbrough

Sean May was the anchor to the title team in 2005. He was the guy that Roy Williams leaned on throughout the tournament and in the Title game. May suffered some injuries like any other hard nosed big man and missed some games. No matter the injury he came back stronger every time. May had the fundamentals and just looked good while taking over a game.

Tyler Hansbrough can be summed up by this. He always found a way. Tyler threw up the most awkward looking shots, usually getting fouled, and seemed to always make them. Hansbrough was the ultimate bulldog on the court and never backed away from any challenge. Blood was just an accessory to the uniform for Tyler. He is the all time ACC scoring leader and the All time free throw attempt and makes leader. These things don’t happen all on hard work. Hansbrough had game. What gives Hansbrough the edge over May is how he carried the team his freshman year after the 2005 team left. Tyler turned a team thought to miss the NCAA tournament into a top seeded team by tourny time. As the new recruits came in Hansbrough was still the go to guy. Whether it was to help his draft stock, help the teams overall weaponry, or both, Tyler developed a nice mid range jumper to top off his skill set. He may go down as the greatest Tar Heel of all time and that makes it very hard for Sean May to put up a good fight in this match up.

Edge goes to Tyler and his accolades over Sean May.

With that we have one edge going to 2005, one edge going in favor of 2009, and a push. Therefore for Scuttlebutt’s first ever match up, we have a tie. These three guys play each other in a game of 3 on 3 and it may never end.

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Posted in Matchup, North Carolina, Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton, Roy Williams, Sean May, Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington | Leave a Comment »