Tuesday, October 09, 2001

The CourtMaster Debuts at DBR

Originally posted on DukeBasketballReport

We're pleased to welcome the Courtmaster to DBR. You may have seen his columns before, either here or on the now-defunct ACCNews.com. He's a good guy, and we hope he'll put up with us for a while.

Who is the courtmaster? And what is he doing at the DBR?

Hear ye, hear ye! Court is now in session at the Duke Basketball Report!

Yes, ACC basketball fans, The CourtMaster column, now in it's third season, has moved to the DBR. Hopefully you have sampled my work from the past two seasons at ACC News. Unfortunately, that site went down with the ship when the Rivals network shut down. I am delighted that the DBR has taken me in off the street and given The CourtMaster a brand new home.

Many of you may not be familiar with my work. Others are probably wondering what havoc I plan on causing with my column. Let me begin by first telling you what NOT to expect.

I am not a reporter; I am a columnist. You will probably not find much if any breaking news in my columns.

I am not an X's and O's analyst. I won't talk much about match-up zone defenses or the flex offense.

I am not a novice in following college basketball. I have closely tracked the game for over 30 years, during which time I have developed an inkling of what is going on.

OK, now what's in it for you, the reader? Hopefully, you will find that my writing contains a combination of insight and entertainment. If you don't, I promise to refund 110% of your purchase price; that's The CourtMaster guarantee!

When I first started writing for ACC News, my main goal was to make readers think about issues and people, perhaps from a different viewpoint than before they read my work. In other words, I write because I have something to say. If I didn't have some insight to share, what would be the point? (Believe me, I've had to answer that question quite a few times over the last two seasons).

I try to approach college basketball as an activity that is very important to many people. I'm sure that applies in particular to DBR readers. Even before the events of September 11, I balanced that with the realization that however important the competition is, it is not life and death. No, not even the Duke-North Carolina contests. Therefore, along with some thoughtful insight, I will mix in some (hopefully) entertaining irreverence. If I occasionally offend some folks, the only thing I can say is-lighten up!

You may be thinking how wonderful that all sounds, but still wanting to know more about what makes me tick. OK, here goes.

I am a proud alumnus of (GASP!) the University of Maryland. I am also a native of Maryland, and grew up watching Lefty Driesell's Terps win a lot of games except the most important ones. I survived the dark days of the Bob Wade era, and I am now enjoying the recent success of Maryland's program under Gary Williams.

While I am admittedly a Maryland fan, I am also an ACC basketball fan (there's something we can all agree on). I think the ACC is the best basketball conference in the nation, and has been for a long, long time.

I have spent many, many hours studying the history of the ACC. I have read about Ronnie Shavlik, Len Rosenbluth, Len Chappell, and Buzzy Wilkinson. I watched Phil Ford run the four-corner offense, David Thompson perform acrobatic feats, Ralph Sampson and Tim Duncan dominate, Lethal Weapon 3 shoot the lights out, and seven teams win national championships.

As much as I appreciate the history of the ACC, the present and future hold much promise. Duke and Maryland are in everyone's pre-season top ten, Virginia is not far behind, and North Carolina is lurking toward the bottom of the top 25. Wake Forest should be energized by their new coach, Skip Prosser, and Georgia Tech continues to rebuild in coach Paul Hewitt's second year. NC State, Florida State, and Clemson all have some good young talent coming this year in what could be make-or-break seasons for their head coaches.

Looking ahead, Duke has put together one of the all-time great recruiting classes for next season. North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest have also obtained commitments from some highly rated recruits. The talent level in the ACC, already very strong, stands to improve in the seasons to come.

The only thing I will ask from the readers of this column (besides any donations you see fit to make) is to not accept or disregard what I write because of what school I come from. Take it on it's own merits. I look forward to not only writing this column, but also participating in lively debate on this site and others around the ACC community. If you are the shy type, you can e-mail your comments by to thecourtmaster@aol.com.

Now more than ever, let's have some fun and enjoy what should be an exciting season of ACC basketball.

Coming up in the next few weeks, I will give you my views of each of the ACC head coaches, my season's predictions, and a report from the ACC media day in Greensboro.

Until then, court is adjourned!


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