Friday, December 6 2013 3:51 PM EST2013-12-06 20:51:27 GMT
(RNN) - A relatively quiet few days ahead have a pair of scheduling anomalies: Two games in conference play. Normally reserved for after the New Year, fans get their first chance to see ACC teams go headMore >>
Normally reserved for after the New Year, fans get their first chance to see ACC teams go head to head this week. More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 5:27 PM EST2013-12-05 22:27:52 GMT
(RNN) - No one tells you the "challenge" in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is the cramping your remote hand gets from flipping through two sets of three simultaneous games in back-to-back nights. Now, we'reMore >>
It's been an exciting, confusing couple of weeks in ACC basketball. Player Power Poll has got it covered with some simple truths to straighten things out.More >>
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North Carolina flashed its potential again, earning another impressive victory after a second shaky setback.More >>
(RNN) – It's like a wise man once said: "I mean it's not just the uniform. It's the stories that you tell. So much fun and imagination."
First one to guess where that line came from wins a free ACC PPP T-shirt.
Editor's note: There is no PPP T-shirt.
Sports folk love to add a little narrative. There is at least one "interesting" yarn per team, per year. And the better a team or player performs, the more it gets brought up.
For instance, you may have heard (and re-heard and heard yet again) that Michael Jordan didn't make the high school varsity team his first try.
Or that Tim Duncan really liked swimming, but his pool got destroyed. And a young J.J. Redick shot jumpers all day on his dirt driveway. Nobody said they had to be good stories.
These types of factoids get injected into any pause in the game during the regular season. Once tournament time rolls around, they are stretched out to make segments for the pregame shows.
They usually break down into one of five categories:
Related to/grew up with someone famous
You know this guy you know? Well, he knows another guy you know too!
These are always prime candidates for a montage.
Used to play another sport
Believe it or not, he wasn't born with a basketball in his hands.
From a different place
Have you heard that people grow up somewhere other than where you did? I know, right??!?
A catch-all for the "the small forward is the son of a sword swallower and bearded lady" kind of things.
The PPPollsters decided to gather some of the anecdotes getting bandied about on the airwaves this season and combine them with the weekly list. Go ahead and start telling them to everyone you know now, that way when someone else repeats it later you can be the condescending one.
ACC Player Power Poll: Feb. 15 to 21
1. Shane Larkin, Miami Hurricanes
Last game:11 points, six assists, three rebounds vs. Virginia (W 54-50).
Larkin's saga has a heavy dose of Nos. 1 and 3 with a little 5 sprinkled on top. What had happened was …
The son of Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, Shane spent time hanging around with the Cincinnati Reds as a kid. So, MLB greats Pete Rose and Tony Perez helped the youngster out with a batting stance and swing as he got ready for Little League that year.
Then, his really smart baseball coach decided to change it, even going so far to tell his mom, "I don't know who taught him that, but they had no idea what they were doing."
Consider this the favorite for Story That Gets Told Waaaaaay Too Much of the Year. It's funny, involves multiple famous people and Larkin is the best player on the best team in the country.
2. Alex Len, Maryland Terrapins
Last game: Four points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals at Boston College (L 69-58).
The 7'1" center for the Terps is from the Ukraine, and had to struggle through the language barrier. He also used to be a gymnast.
This got the PPPollsters thinking about how incredible it would be to see a 7'1" gymnast. These are some of the problems a 7'1" gymnast might have:
A. His toes touch the floor while he hangs from the rings.
B. His knees hit the other uneven bar, resulting in a wicked charley horse.
C. People in the stands get kicked while he does the twirly-thing on the twirly-thing bar with the handles.
Editor's note: The PPPollsters are not experts in gymnastics terminology.
3. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels
Last game: 22 points, 11 rebounds, four steals at Georgia Tech (W 70-58).
McAdoo's mom and dad were college standouts at Old Dominion, and both played professionally overseas. If you're keeping score at home, that's two ODU players equal one from UNC (ACC rules!).
JMM also has a Basketball Hall of Famer on the family tree, former Tar Heel and third cousin Bob McAdoo.
4. Seth Curry, Duke Blue Devils
Last game: 25 points, three assists, three 3-pointers, two steals at Maryland (L 83-81).
His dad, Dell Curry, played for Virginia Tech and had a 16-year NBA career. Seth and his brother, Stephen, became the most prolific-scoring set of brothers in NCAA history this year, surpassing Ben and UNC alum Tyler Hansbrough.
They could soon be passed by Duke teammate Mason Plumlee, his other teammate Marshall Plumlee, his former teammate Miles Plumlee and any other Matthew, Michael, Mitchell, Mickey, Morgan or Maxwell Plumlee that may come along in the future.
5. Rion Brown, Miami Hurricanes
Last game:10 points, four rebounds vs. Virginia (W 54-50).
Brown is another legacy; his dad is former Georgia Tech player Tico Brown.
This father and son narrative gets extra points for creativity thanks to the announcer during Tuesday's game against Virginia. She referred to Tico Brown as "the Crash Davis of basketball" for being the all-time scoring leader of the defunct Continental Basketball Association.
In related news, Brown believes you gotta play 'em one day at a time, is just happy to be here, hopes he can help the ball club, just wants to give it his best shot and, the good Lord willing, things will work out.
6. Jim Larranaga, Miami Hurricanes
Last game: W 54-50 vs. Virginia.
Larranaga becomes the first coach to make the rankings. Take that, Krzyzewski.
Gentleman Jim is the only coach to have Final Four experience outside of the guys at UNC and Duke. He took George Mason on its "magical run" (it's always a "magical run") to the national semis in 2006.
Plus, he's old! He went to Miami, where other old people retire!! Hardy har har.
Editor's note: The PPPollsters wish they were kidding about that "old" thing becoming an oft-repeated comment. They're not.
7. Tony Bennett, Virginia Cavaliers
Last game: L 54-50 at Miami.
Another coach? Oh, yeah – Coach K's hair just turned a slightly darker shade of black.
No Not That Tony Bennett has been making other coaches sing the blues this season, thanks to his team's success running a defense coined the packline. The strategy originated with his dear old dad, former Washington State coach Dick Bennett.
8. Michael Ojo, Florida State Seminoles
Last game: One rebound, one assist at NC State (L 84-66).
"He's so physically gifted, and he only started playing basketball a few years ago! He's going to be so good with a little more experience!"
You can rinse that off and reuse it for about 10 or 15 players every season.
9. Every other player related to somebody (tie)
The Plumlees, Florida State's Kiel Turpin (son of former All-SEC Kentucky player Mel Turpin), Wake Forest's Devin Thomas (brother of Maryland women's player Alyssa Thomas) and anyone else PPP might have missed.
10. Olivier Hanlan, Boston College Eagles
Last game:26 points, seven rebounds, three 3-pointers, two steals vs. Maryland (W 69-58).
So is this year's No. 1 high school recruit (Andrew Wiggins), for that matter. It's a pretty polite full-scale invasion.
Apparently, north of the border they play a variation where the court is longer, wider, teams have an extra man and the goal posts are in front of the free throw line. A free pair of matching sweatpants for anyone who gets that reference.
Editor's note: Only if PPPPays for them.
No sweatpants either.
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