Tar Heel Fan

Thursday, April 06, 2006


****We interrupt the NC State coaching watch to bring you this important annoucement***** Duke Player Transfers Duke freshman center Eric Boateng a former McDonalds All American in high school has announced he will leave Duke for another program. No reason was given but the move was seen as odd since the graduation of Lee Melchionni and Shelden Williams meant there would certainly be more playing time available. Of course 7' 1'' Brian Zoubek is incoming and would have competed with Boateng for the center position. This is becoming a more common occurrence in the Duke program with players who were high school All Americans play 1 or 2 seasons than fly the coop. What is even more intriguing is how much care and attention these players and their surrogates give to selecting the right school. For one to leave as Boateng is doing or never develop as Shavlik Randolph never did makes the casual observer wonder what is going on at Duke. Are promises made on the recruiting trail not being fulfilled when the player arrives? Is Coach K simply stockpiling quality players in case he needs them or worse to keep other schools from having them? Or do guys want to play at Duke so badly they abandon the aforementioned careful attention and sign with Duke when the offer a scholarship? I am compelled to think that the former is more the case. I think that Duke coaches offer assurances and do everything they are permitted to do in order to land the recruit. It was obvious this year Coach K had neither the time or inclination to develop his bench and build up some of the freshman not named Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts. Whereas Roy Williams was forced to put four freshman on the floor and develop them for UNC to have a chance, K seemed unwilling to make that effort. K settled on a strict 7 man rotation which left Duke players tired at the end of games. The lack of a bench was key in the UNC comeback in Chapel Hill and also in the win at Cameron when it was obvious that Duke did not have the energy to keep up with the young Tar Heels who rotated as many as 10 players in and out, some with good chunks of playing time. Whatever reason, all eyes are now on McRoberts who may turn pro and #7 ranked high schooler Lance Thomas who is still undecided as to his college destination. UNC picked preseason #1 by most. For what it's worth. Having watched the tournament this season we were reminded how no one can predict the outcome with any certainity three weeks before the title game so talking about who is #1 and who might win it all and year in advance is outrageous. However, there is truth to the polls and UNC stands to be really strong next season. But now we wait. ***Now we return to our program already in progress*** As the Wolfpack Turn Day 5 begins with no news from Texas. The likely scenario that is probably going to unfold tomorrow is an annoucement from Austin that Barnes is getting a nice raise for himself and his assistant coaches for remaining at Texas. In other words Barnes will take the hopes and dreams of Wolfpack nation and crush them. This is a leverage ploy by Barnes and he is taking NC State for a ride to motivate his own AD to sweeten his deal. NC State is quite plainly being used by Barnes for his own benefit. In fact no has offically contacted Texas about Barnes which means Lee Fowler is conducting this little venture on the QT, most likely using surrogates from the Wolfpack Club to facilitate some kind of discussion. Fowler is trying to avoid what happened to UNC in 2001 when Roy came to Chapel Hill and made a handshake deal to come but upon returning to Kansas changed his mind and stayed put. Before Fowler decided to put his credibility on the line and expose the university to embarassment by asking a simple question he would like to at least be somewhat versed in what kind of answer he will get back. Tommorrow we will know more and I also plan to provide some of musing from Wolfpack nation which will tickle the funny bone.


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