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Wednesday Items

-- Rest easy, people. Lee Fowler is working the phones:

The athletic department has put together DVDs to send each bowl showing the Pack's strong finish and featuring and All-ACC quarterback in Russell Wilson.

The Wolfpack ended the season on a four-game winning streak and Fowler has talked about the excitement level and the prospects of a bowl bid.

"There are 6-6 teams not excited about going to a bowl, we are a 6-6 team that is extremely excited about the opportunity to go bowling." He added that a lot of where State lands will depend on who wins and loses between now and Saturday.

-- Baseball recruiting seems to be going well.

-- Peter Laviolette will be replaced by Paul Maurice. WTF. Sounds like it may just be an interim solution. Still makes little sense to me.

-- Dewey Corn has attended every NC State football game over the last 33 years; as Spencer Hall eloquently puts it, that's "33 years of the football equivalent of being gently punched in the crotch promptly at noon each Saturday." True.

-- Crappy musician aims sarcasm at pep band.

-- It's possible this was a Newcastle-fueled hallucination, but I'm pretty sure I saw a graphic on Sportscenter last night that listed Carolina's possessions per 40 minutes, points scored per possession, and turnover rate. Hopefully we'll start seeing this stuff during games, though I would settle for analysts never talking about rebounding margin ever again.

It is now November 2008. Basketball Prospectus has been around for, what, 13 months? We’ve been called "indispensable" by the New York Times. (Albeit by a part of the Times that yesterday announced it has ceased to exist–no cause and effect, I swear!) So surely there is no longer any earthly reason for a national write-up on the Carolina-Kentucky game to fret in Roy Williams‘ direction that, sans Hansbrough, the Wildcats "outrebounded the Tar Heels (34-31)." In fact it was North Carolina that dominated the boards last night, getting to 36 percent of their own misses and 70 percent of the Wildcats’. The fact that UK coughed up the ball on an astonishing 38 percent of their possessions, however, meant there were simply way fewer Wildcat misses to rebound. Meanwhile the Heels were combining low-turnover ball with surprisingly meh shooting, resulting in plenty of chances for Kentucky to record defensive boards.

Pretty straightforward, yes? Now, picture me choking on a half-eaten radish in war-ravaged Georgia circa 1865, backlit in dramatic silhouette: As God is my witness, I will kill this "rebounding margin" cognitive fungus as dead as Marley’s ghost. It is worse than meaningless. In certain cases, such as this one, it is in fact the precise belligerent opposite of long-neglected hoops reality.