Thursday, March 23, 2006

Duke in the ATL

It's been an interesting trip to Atlanta. I got the word on Monday that I would be going to Atlanta to cover Duke. I was on the way home from Dayton, OH where UNC had just lost in the second round. Jim Connors asked if I wanted the Duke beat for the rest of the way. I jumped at the chance. The biggest problem? I had to get ready to leave by Tuesday. Just enough time to run some various errands and of course wash clothes. Did I mention I left Dayton at 4am? Sleep is not a necessity during March Madness.

Tuesday my photograper, Gavin MacRoberts, and myself drove from North Carolina to the ATL. The drive was simple enough. Nothing worth noting except Gavin has over 3,000 songs on his MP3 player. I wonder how long of a road trip you'd have to take to go thorough 3,000 songs? Anyway we arrived safe and sound.

Wednesday we pick up our credientals at the Georgia Dome and our satellite truck operator arrived from Charlotte. Mark Smith is a laid back guy. We also have a crew from our Time Warner station in Austin, Texas working out of our truck but it has not gotten too hairy as of yet.

Now on to Duke and the Blue Devils first practice. J.J. Redick did not miss a free throw out of 20 attempts that I watched, saved one that was knocked off course by someone else shooting. Shelden Williams seems to be looking forward to his matchup with LSU's Glen 'Big Baby' Davis. Although Shelden downplayed it when addressing us media types. No shyness with Big Baby however. This kid is a sound bite waiting to happen. I don't think he's met a mic that he didn't like. Needless to say, an outspoken athlete, I love the kid. Davis and Williams will bang each other all night, the key is how will the refs call it. If it's a tightly called game I think that favors Davis because he can put the ball on the floor and draw contact. If they let them play physical that clearly favors Shelden because he can go after blocks without having to worry about a whistle.

Coach K on the sidelines during practice is very similar to his game approach. He rarely smiles and has a look of seriousness almost the entire time. Let's just focus will not be a problem when Duke and LSU tip off.

Stay tuned to News14 Carolina for more blogs, my live chat Thursday noon to 1, and all the highlites from LSU and Duke's Sweet 16 game on Sportsnight at 10. It's a halfhour of sports the right way!

I'm out


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