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Eric Williams Returneth and Other Items

Good news for Wake Forest: Big E is back. Considering that there could possibly be a work stoppage in the NBA, I'm a little surpised that we haven't seen more underclassmen withdrawing from the draft. But whether there is a season in '05-'06 or not, Eric Williams is right to return to college.

Williams was a big part of Wake's success last season (the link includes his numbers). Impressively, Williams improved his offensive rating from 107 to 120 (no small improvement) between his sophomore and junior seasons despite taking on a higher workload. He made shots at a higher percentage while also cutting down on his turnovers. With Justin Gray and Williams returning, the Deacs have two of the better players in the ACC at their respective positions.

And speaking of the NBA, I'm wondering what the ratings for the NBA Finals have looked like. I have tried to watch the first two games, but haven't been able to stomach more than one quarter of action in each game. I knew the series would be boring, what with both teams preferring a slow pace, but I thought it would at least be competitive. The Spurs haven't had much trouble in the fourth quarter in this series.

This last month or so, I've really been missing the NHL playoffs (the NBA Finals have added to this). I hope they get everything hammered out before next season.

What is Barry Melrose doing these days, anyway? Does he have enough money for hair gel? And what aboot Panger? Is he attempting to resurrect his career in Gordie Howe-esque fashion? Is he forced to subsist in Dave Strader's Camry? Someone really should start a Save the Hockey Analyst fund.

What of Canada in general? Is national image at an all-time low? Have Calgarians found an alternative way in which to quantify their self-worth? Have people found another reason to go to Ottawa?

Chad Orvella has struggled during his last few appearances, though he did get his first save last night. Chad has struck out five guys and walked four in seven innings. The walks are uncharacteristic--in his minor league career (86 IP), Orvella has 131 strikeouts and 11 walks. That's not a typo.

When I was looking for Chad's minor league stats just now, I mis-typed "google" and ended up across the pond.