-- With the season just a month away (I prefer to think of it as a couple of fortnights away. Sounds closer.), the football team is practicing for the first time today. Hopefully they're being very, very careful, because the last thing we need is a repeat of last year's disastrous August. NC State announced today that Jamelle Eugene, Willie Young, and Jeraill McCuller have been elected team captains.
-- JP Giglio says Willie Young should get his own TV show:
If VH1 has room on its reality buffet for Terrell Owens, cable's guiltiest pleasure needs to find airtime for Willie Young.
The voluble N.C. State senior didn't just win the news conference at the ACC Kickoff, he crushed it. When Young wasn't tantalizing TV reporters with tall tales of Nate Irving chasing a bus on campus, the 6-foot-4 defensive end was putting print reporters in their place.
When I told him he was old -- he turns 24 in September -- and then added a 'really old,' he shot back, without missing a beat: "What does that make you?"
I agree, and there's no way it could be worse than T.O.'s show, which I watched for some reason the other day. I'd really like that hour back. It's just embarrassing for all parties involved.
-- Robert Crisp is transferring from Chapel Hill High to Hillsborough Cedar Ridge; according to Chapel Hill's coach, Crisp hopes to graduate in December and enroll at NC State in January. Doesn't much sound like a guy that's looking at other college options, does it?
-- This is how the ACC's bloggers see the 2009 football season playing out. Two others picked Clemson to win the Atlantic, but I'm the only one who took a flier on them as conference champs.
-- Over at the APBRmetrics forum, there is a good discussion about scorekeeper bias in the NBA. An anecdote from a guy who used to be a scorer for the Grizzlies:
The intentional errors are organizationally sanctioned/encouraged - they increase national media coverage/interest and increase your franchise's and player's visibility. There is also league pressure to protect/enhance the stats of the elite players. For example, I would guess that Stockton got between 1 and 2 assists per game for free. Partly because I disagreed with the blatant stat manipulation (that I did) and partly because I'm a Laker fan, I gave Nick Van Exel like 23 assists one game. If he was vaguely close to a guy making a shot, I found a way to give him an assist. Afterwards, I fully expected someone to talk to me about it. Indeed they did. A senior management guy - "great job Alex, that'll get this game on Sportscenter tomorrow morning!" We (VAN) lost badly, of course.
(Here's the box from that game.) I wonder how pervasive is bias at the college level? I doubt there's any pressure from the NCAA to make certain players look good, and even if there were, it's just a totally different dynamic. I can't imagine that, say, Duke's scorer would be inclined to be generous towards, say, Tyler Hansbrough or Ty Lawson.
A couple of years ago, Ken Pomeroy looked a home/road assist numbers and found some excessively kind home scorers. The most egregious example of bias was Texas A&M, which had a home assist percentage approaching 80%, against a road assist percentage of 45.2. Pomeroy called their home Ast% "ridiculous to the point of being unbelievable." But that's an exception, and I think college stats in general are reliable. Then again, I kinda have to think that.
-- It's been an encouraging summer for the baseball program, what with guys like Harold Riggins, Jake Buchanan, and Andrew Ciencin playing well in their respective summer leagues. There's a nice feature on Ciencin in the Cranford Chronicle. Ciencin hit .314/.363/.419 in the Coastal Plains League, which is impressive when you consider that the league average line was .248/.336/.344. Wolfpack catcher Pratt Maynard, who played with Ciencin in the CPL, hit .308/.417/.462. That he managed that kind of power with a wood bat says very good things about his college baseball future.
-- This is the best picture of Kurt Warner on a segway you'll see all day.