By David Glenn
March 9, 2007
EVENING UPDATETAMPA, Fla. -- Boston College is a good basketball team, and its toughness is beyond question, but coach Al Skinner's habit this season of playing his regulars for 35-40 minutes may be a poor fit for the ACC Tournament environment. The Eagles have only four men playing good basketball right now: senior forward Jared Dudley (all 45 minutes against Miami), sophomore point guard Tyrese Rice (45), senior wing guard Sean Marshall (37) and junior center John Oates (34). Junior center Tyrelle Blair (27) is an excellent shotblocker and an OK role player otherwise. Then it's down to freshman wing forward Tyler Roche (20), freshman power forward Shamari Spears (9) and sophomore wing guard Marquez Haynes (7). It's one thing to average 36 or more minutes per game during the regular season (as Dudley and Rice did), when teams typically play twice a week. It's another thing to pull it off in a three-games-in-three-days scenario. It's been done in the past, often with a seven-man rotation, but it's not easy, especially when you don't have the huge talent advantage of some ACC champions past. ...
SINGING A FAMILIAR TUNE
The basketball world can seem like one big community sometimes. The coaches, officials, players and other personnel know each other so well, and have seen each other so many times over such a prolonged period, that they're typically on a first-name -- or even a nickname -- basis with one another. Just before a long, clock-related delay in the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest game, alternate official Mike Eades (seated at the scorer's table) saw something on his TV monitor that made him suspect a clock malfunction. At the next stoppage, Eades repeatedly yelled at the three officials on the floor, but nobody saw him. He started waving his arms. Still, no response. Finally, when the noise of the crowd died down, he stood and screamed. "Hey, G-Max," Eades yelled, calling to official Gary Maxwell. "G-Max!" Maxwell raced to the scorer's table, and the officials began the lengthy process of figuring out the clock problem. During the delay, Tech forward Thaddeus Young wanted to check into the game. The freshman stood at the scorer's table, trying to get the attention of the officials, when Maxwell saw him. "Hey, T-Young," Maxwell said. "You're good, T-Young. You're in. We got you." ...
TICKETS: A BUYERS' MARKET
This tournament is a scalper's nightmare. According to buyers and
sellers outside St. Pete Times Forum, tickets for Thursday's games were going for one-third to two-thirds of their face value. As often happens, because so many fans of Thursday's losing teams sell the rest of their booklets when their teams lose, tickets for Friday's games went for similar rates. Several scalpers said only the very best seats were getting their face value in return. ...
The ACC issued 715 media credentials to this year?s tournament, down from 813 last year. The credentials went to only 93 media outlets, and some of those received just one or two each. ...
Regardless of the outcome of this year's event, the ACC Tournament will not return to Florida any time soon. The tournament will be in Charlotte in 2008, Atlanta in 2009 and 2012, and Greensboro in 2010-11 and 2013-15. The ACC does have the option (with lots of advance notice) of pulling the event out of Greensboro at any time during the 2013-15 stretch. If that option is exercised, then the 2016 tournament will be in Greensboro, too. ...
Members of the Tampa community stepped forward to serve as hosts for
each of the 12 teams, making themselves available for advice on traffic, restaurants and other items that can benefit from some local knowledge.
Mike Madagan, a former assistant to Seth Greenberg at South Florida, is the designated host for Virginia Tech. John Godsey, the father of former Georgia Tech quarterback Gary Godsey, is helping the Yellow Jackets. The younger Godsey played at nearby Jesuit High in Tampa. ...
TAMPA, Fla. -- Live from press row, here are some notes from Thursday night/Friday afternoon, including some things they didn't show you on television:
Coming later today: What it was like to sit in front of the always-feisty <b>Mike Krzyzewski</b> family (seated in the first row, which is directly behind press row) for most of Duke's 85-80 overtime loss to N.C. State on Thursday night. This may have been my 10th time in that unique vantage point during my 20 years of covering the ACC Tournament, and it never gets old. North Carolina forward <b>Tyler Hansbrough</b> obviously is uncomfortable with the facemask he's wearing against Florida State. After nearly every whistle, he either tugs at the front of the mask, near his nose, or readjusts the two headband-like white straps on the back of his head that are holding it in place. Whenever he is removed from the game, he reaches to take off the apparatus even before he takes his first step toward the bench.
Hansbrough is playing with his typical effort but is not generating the usual results (e.g., two points, 1-5 FG, three rebounds in first half). This is Hansbrough's first game since Duke forward Gerald Henderson hammered him in the final minute of the March 4 regular-season finale for both schools.
RETURN OF THE CARDIAC PACK?
Just an opinion: The best pick for an upset on Friday -- by far -- is N.C. State over Virginia. The Wolfpack is playing well. Meanwhile, for reasons nobody entirely understands, the Cavaliers have melted like butter (see Puerto Rico, at Miami) almost every time they've neared the equator this season. Seriously, the Cavs are a different team away from John Paul Jones Arena. Official <b>Mike Wood</b> to the Florida State bench on Friday, when it erupted with a series of dramatic gyrations from various players and coaches after a close call: "Just stop it. That's enough. If you have something to say, say it. Otherwise, just stop it." He had the tone of a very unhappy school teacher. The bench quickly quieted down. A major disappointment, especially for someone trying to "paint the picture" here inside St. Pete Times Forum: Compared to other years, and all other ACC Tournament venues in memory, there is a severe paucity of hand-held signs, much less creative ones. There are a few, so apparently there is no rule against them, but they are few and far between. The only head coach from the top four seeds (which had byes into the quarterfinals) who made an extended appearance in the St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday was <b>Seth Greenberg</b> of Virginia Tech. Looking relaxed in an orange polo shirt and slacks, he sat in the Georgia Tech cheering section for part of the Tech-Wake game, which didn't end until almost 1 a.m.
The former head coach at South Florida, which is located in Tampa, Greenberg is considered an unofficial master of ceremonies for this year's tournament. The coach has recommended various golf courses, restaurants and other places of local note to anyone who will listen this week. His advice also appeared in a detailed St. Petersburg Times article on Wednesday.
REFS PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS
As he typically does, ACC director of basketball officials <b>John Clougherty </b> sprinkled one fresh face into most of his three-man crews during the opening day of the tournament. Under Clougherty and his predecessor, ACC associate commissioner <b>Fred Barakat</b>, the officials who receive the highest grades on the first day generally also appear on the second day, and those who receive the best grades on the second day also appear on the third day, etc. Here were the lineups, with the two veterans on each crew listed first: <br>Florida State-Clemson: Mike Wood, Les Jones, Sean Hull. <br>Miami-Maryland: Karl Hess, Ray Natili, Mike Eades (also a veteran). <br>N.C. State-Duke: Bryan Kersey, Bernard Clinton, Tim Nestor. <br>Wake Forest-Georgia Tech: Jamie Luckie, Gary Maxwell, Brian Dorsey. With four more games on Friday in the post-expansion format, it's possible that all four crews (or parts of them) will make repeat performances, but don't expect to see the fresh faces much longer than that.
The funniest sight (at least inside the event) through a day and a half of the ACC Tournament: Very, very late in the Thursday session, a -- let's just say plus-sized -- female Forum employee was seated in the fourth or fifth row from the court in the corner behind one of the baskets, her duties obviously done for the day. With only 3,000 or so fans left in the building after midnight, but an exciting Wake-Tech game continuing on the court, many fans moved down from higher seats to get a better look at the action, and nobody seemed to complain. Then two taller gentlemen had the misfortune of sitting in front of the woman -- two full rows in front of her, but perhaps still blocking her sight lines, as she sat crouched in her chair. Without getting up -- without even moving, actually -- the woman scolded the startled men until they chose other seats, from the literally hundreds available on all sides. Apparently, it was either that or she would have had to move up or over a single seat herself. Whew!
NOTE: You can e-mail ACC Sports Journal editor David Glenn, on press row at the ACC Tournament, at email@example.com.
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