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Friday Items

-- TechHoops.com (nice looking website, by the way) has a preview of the VT/NCSU game posted.

And in case you were wondering, nc state is the only team in the ACC that averages fewer offensive rebounds per game than VT. Tech won on the offensive glass 12-7 in the game in January. This is not a very athletic team (other than Fells and Grant), but they are tall.

This provides an opportunity for a brief tempo-free stats public service announcement. Why use rebounding percentages? Because percentages give you context! Virginia Tech only "won" on the offensive glass because it had many more opportunities (17 more) than NC State to grab them (this tends to happen when one team shoots 37% and the other shoots 58%). The Wolfpack had the higher offensive rebounding percentage in the game.

-- Mechelle Voepel profiles Kay Yow for ESPN.com:

"Some people said, 'I think you should just rest, and next year … '" Yow said after practice. "But I have Stage 4 cancer. I'm taking major chemo. There is nothing that assures me that next year I could do it any more than I could now. Or it could be less. I have no assurance. If I had a cold or pneumonia, something that rest will cure …

"This is something that I love to do. My doctor agreed that if I felt like it, I could do it. I don't feel it has any negative effect on my cancer. It has a positive effect on my spirit and my emotions and just feeling better. I just love being here on the court. Believe me, it was hard for 16 games not to be here."

-- For more on Duke, see Ken Pomeroy's post today.

-- I learned something new thanks to this article about the Kansas Jayhawks:

The origins of the play can be traced back to the mid-1970s. According to www.NBA.com, North Carolina State was the first team to regularly execute the alley-oop.

The Wolfpack had one of the game’s best leapers on their team: David "Skywalker" Thompson. In order to utilize Thompson’s 48-inch vertical leap, they had to discover a way to get him an easy shot without dunking the ball (dunking was illegal back then). Thus, the alley-oop was born. NC State guards lobbed the ball high in the air to Thompson, who soared over his overmatched opponents and dropped the ball in the hoop, mid-air. Most oops end with dunks rather than layups.

So there's this, and Everett Case started the tradition of cutting down the nets, and...? Any other hoops legacies I'm missing?

In the wikipedia entry for alley-oop, David Thompson is listed as one of several "Notable Alley-Oopers." Do you think he puts that on his business card? Because I would.

-- Here's an article on Cullen Jones from an Australian newspaper. Cullen's competing at next month's world championships in Melbourne.