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hudlow
07-05-2010, 02:36 PM
As many times as I cursed him, his players, teams and his arrogant style in the heat of the moment, I have come realize it was only a game of young men and a coach who wanted to see them win.

He made sure we always played against some of the best the game had to offer at least a couple of times a year for decades.

Whatever he is going through and whatever the outcome may be, I hope it is peaceful and the memories that still remain with him are pleasant.

hud

DukieBoy
07-05-2010, 03:16 PM
I wasn't around for the Dean Smith days at UNC, but as a Duke fan, I want to thank him for making the UNC-Duke rivalry what it is today. He's one of the greatest coaches the game has seen. I wish him nothing but the best in his struggles with his health

Indoor66
07-05-2010, 03:31 PM
I, too, wish the best for Dean.

Dukie ^^^, the Duke - Carolina rivalry long predates Dean.

hq2
07-05-2010, 04:52 PM
For those of us who had to endure the way that infuriating 4 corner stall of his desecrated basketball in the 60s and 70s, (why do we have a shot clock? See Carolina- Virginia, 1982), coming up with accolades for Deano is indeed a difficult task. Suffice it to say, loathe as we are to admit it, but if Carolina weren't Carolina, Duke probably wouldn't be Duke. It was having to find a way to beat his teams all those years that made Duke basketball a great program too. Whatever we may think of his coaching tactics, he did indeed run a great program, one that in every other regard was always above reproach. For that, at least, we have to give him credit,
and must extend our condolences as he approaches life's inevitable outcome.

cspan37421
07-05-2010, 04:54 PM
Coach K is famously distant with those against whom he regularly competes, esp. in-conference. His closest coaching friends (Izzo, Boeheim, etc) are out of conference.

Yet when Jim Valvano got sick, after he had been replaced, Coach K became very close to him. I wonder if some similar measures of support might be going on behind the scenes. It is a different type of situation, though, so who knows. But I'll bet he's at least privately registered his appreciation for the rivalry. As many have said, Coach K is in a Dean Smith-like position now - he is the experienced, decorated veteran coach that everyone is shooting for, that his rivals want to see put to pasture. I'd bet this has crossed his mind as he considers Dean's condition now.

I agree with other posters - had Dean not been so great, the rivalry would not have been what it was, and is. It takes 2 to tango - and we were lucky to see Dean and Coach K overlap some of their careers.

4decadedukie
07-05-2010, 07:09 PM
Although I have loathed Coach Smith, the Tarheels, and their insufferable fan base for many decades, there is a time for objectivity and reason -- as opposed to rivalry -- to prevail. Coach Smith -- in his own way -- is a GREAT collegiate basketball coach, leading exceptional teams and student-athletes, doing it in the right ways (strong academics and honorable comportment), and adding immeasurably to the game. In these critical arenas, his achievements are much like Coach K's (notwithstanding, "if I'm ever like Smith, shoot me"). In addition, Coach Smith was a true champion of social justice in athletics and in North Carolina, for which he must also be lauded.

I wish him well and I appreciate his contributions, without which intercollegiate hoops would be decidedly diminished.

moonpie23
07-05-2010, 08:23 PM
i am sorry...i may have missed something....is there something going on with Coach Smith?

Vincetaylor
07-05-2010, 08:38 PM
http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2010/07/04/1010490?sac=Home

dukemsu
07-05-2010, 08:52 PM
The symptoms described are absolutely heartbreaking, as I know from family experience. Truly heartbreaking on a daily basis, especially given the decades of memories and accomplishments Coach Smith contributed to.

Best to all the UNC family. This sort of thing transcends any rivalry.

dukemsu

Cameron
07-05-2010, 10:33 PM
Duke-Carolina would not be Duke-Carolina without Dean Smith. I wish him well.

Edouble
07-05-2010, 10:53 PM
Yet when Jim Valvano got sick, after he had been replaced, Coach K became very close to him. I wonder if some similar measures of support might be going on behind the scenes. It is a different type of situation, though, so who knows. But I'll bet he's at least privately registered his appreciation for the rivalry. As many have said, Coach K is in a Dean Smith-like position now - he is the experienced, decorated veteran coach that everyone is shooting for, that his rivals want to see put to pasture. I'd bet this has crossed his mind as he considers Dean's condition now.

I sort of doubt it. Coach K and V were close because they had a lot in common as young coaches from immigrant families.

Dean was the only ACC coach not to call/send a card/make contact when Coach K was out for the season with his back injury.

I don't think that Coach K sees himself as "the new Dean Smith", considering his famous "if I ever start to act like that guy, please shoot me."

DevilHorns
07-05-2010, 11:24 PM
I sort of doubt it. Coach K and V were close because they had a lot in common as young coaches from immigrant families.

Dean was the only ACC coach not to call/send a card/make contact when Coach K was out for the season with his back injury.

I don't think that Coach K sees himself as "the new Dean Smith", considering his famous "if I ever start to act like that guy, please shoot me."

That line may be true, but so is this:

"I love Dean Smith," Krzyzewski, 61, said recently, sitting in a meeting room inside Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. "I'm not saying that (love) was there all the time," Krzyzewski said. "I probably understand him better than anyone in the history of the conference. There have been a lot of great coaches and (Smith) is one of them. For him to be there that long and go through that cycle, the changes of only one team making (the NCAA tournament), the integration of our league, he kinda touched the whole thing."

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/43295-coach-k-i-love-dean-smith

Clearly there's a lot of respect there. Didn't Dean Smith also say that Coach K is the only one who could take team USA back to the top (even after AwShucks had just one his first championship at UNC)? There are a lot of inflamed comments on both sides (the infamous F bomb during the 1989 ACC championship comes to mind) that we as fans like to bring up, but on a day to day basis, I think (speculating here) that Dean and K likely have a respectful collegial relationship.

Kimist
07-06-2010, 01:30 AM
I shall forever loathe the Four Corners "offense" (I was there when the halftime score in Cameron was 7-0) and would have loved to see what Phil Ford would have accomplished having to play with a shot clock. As others have noted, the UNC-UVa NCAA game was the final nail in the coffin to that cowardly way of playing the game of basketball.

Aside from that, Smith is a legend and from everything I have observed he was one of the best college coaches of all time. I will just leave a lot of his arrogant actions while coaching in the category of "heat of the moment" and wish him the best as he and his family are dealing with what appears to be an Alzheimers-type situation.

k

oldnavy
07-06-2010, 06:34 AM
I will be keeping Dean Smith in my prayers, praying that he and his family are blessed with comfort and peace during a really difficult time.

cspan37421
07-06-2010, 08:00 AM
I shall forever loathe the Four Corners "offense" ... that cowardly way of playing the game of basketball.


I barely have memories of the 4 corners, but I'm sure it was awful to watch. But: you play to win the game. That the rules permitted it at the time is not Smith's fault.

I'm not saying it's not cowardly or bad basketball - perhaps it's even the worst "within the rules" abuse of the spirit of the game there ever was. But your duty as a coach is to try to win the game.

I guess I'm poised to be "schooled" on this - I'm guessing someone will probably say that no one else in college BB milked the clock with a lead that way, even though it might have helped them win the game. If so, yeah, I guess I can appreciate that he was reviled, and not merely because he was a down the road rival. But was Dean opposed to a shot clock, or could he have even been in favor of it and thus, through exploiting the loophole in the rules, actually helped bring it into existence sooner? Something more subtle?

One could say that on a team with a lot of big men (hmmm!), "they have 15-20 fouls to give in the post alone. That's a cowardly way to play." (again, not as bad as 4 corners, but similar principle applies). Same with hack-a-Shaq - widely considered cowardly, but for many years, effective.

OldPhiKap
07-06-2010, 08:36 AM
Dean wins a NC using the four corners.

The NCAA changes the rules.

Dean wins a NC after having to revamp his approach.




Dean was the master of time and space -- he could make the last minute of a game last for-ev-er, and spread the court like nobody's business. He aboslutely drove me bonkers and I cussed him more than most. But there was no doubting his abilities and his impact on college athletics.

I hope he and his family find comfort during these times.

roywhite
07-06-2010, 08:50 AM
It's so sad to see people you know lose their mental faculties. My parents are 87 and 86 and both have (varying degrees of) dementia.

In Dean Smith's case, he was an amazingly sharp individual, a math major in college despite playing sports. He had a tremendous ability to remember names and faces and to greet people personally after being apart many years.

I recall a story told by one of the UNC assistants; Dean recruited Steve Previs from the Pittsburgh area; when he visited his home, it was in a large development that required six turns from the nearby highway. Years later, Smith was able to recall and make the six turns to the Previs home, despite having been there only once.

Sorry to see the Dean go downhill and wish him and his family the best.

CameronBlue
07-06-2010, 08:55 AM
To brand Smith as cowardly for developing the Four Corners is asinine and shows no historical appreciation for the state of the game in the late sixties-early 70s. Smith refined a strategy that many teams would employ on occasion to equalize a disparity in talent on the floor. Duke had its own version for a time, the Mongoose, run (IIRC) effectively by Gary Melchionni used more frequently at the end of games to salt away a victory (a favorite K strategy), but still "stallball". Smith and UNC just did it better than other coaches. The Four Corners offense was legitimately that, an offense, not a defense played with the ball in hand. It was opportunistic particularly when run by Ford and provided easy scoring opportunities when the defense overplayed the passing lanes. Although Smith may have abused the purpose of his own creation during the 79 game in Cameron, all versions of stallball are maddening to watch from a fan's pespective and the most infuriating of all (Duke-NC State 68 ACC Tourney) didn't involve UNC.

By the 82 season college basketball's marketing potential was becoming more apparent and I suspect money more than basketball purity is the reason the shot clock was introduced.

gumbomoop
07-06-2010, 09:13 AM
Late-life memory loss problem is tough, tough to deal with, for the person affected, and for family and friends. My best wishes to Coach Smith and his many, many admirers as they cope with this. It's part of too many lives, and it's agonizing.

As to Coach Smith's - Dean's - coaching contributions, I've always thought them on balance way more positive than negative. Sure, the 4-corners was both maddening and an affront to the spirit of the game - but, unfortunately, not to the spirit of winning the game.

And, because the following might be disputed, I'll hope to phrase carefully what I see as his creative contributions. IMO, Dean was an unusually inventive/creative coach. While he may not have been literally the first coach to employ the stuff I see as so creative, he seems to have been the coach who brought so many creative tactics together. So, even if he didn't "invent" most, or even any, of this stuff, he adopted and adapted brilliantly.

This stuff: huddle, back-tap on free throws, run-jump double-team, save time-outs [yes, Roy has shown how this creative tactic can backfire....], pointing to teammate who deserves credit for assist, using both sideline and timeline as extra defender on traps, 2 for 1 in last minute by getting off quick shot with 6-8 seconds left on shot clock, saving for last shot when you have ball and shot clock off, baseline throw to halfcourt and quick timeout to get better shot at end-game [presumably this one also involved alerting ref of intent to do this, thus gaining yet another crucial fraction of a second].

So, while Dean may be most known for 4 corners, it's this other stuff that has lasted, and has been adopted by other sensible coaches, possibly even occasionally by K. Dean invented/adopted/adapted game-tactics to find little "edges" that resulted in extra possessions and points in game after game after game. And by "edges" I definitely do not imply illegal edges. Most of what he did, tactics-wise, fit quite logically, sometimes elegantly, with the letter of the game's rules and with the spirit of the game's vibes. And all of it [I'm confident I'll be corrected on something here] was really smart.

Dean figured stuff out. He came up with [or adopted] solutions to a myriad of little X/O problems. One of the ways K is like Dean is that, more than any other coach over the last 2 decades, K figures stuff out. He thinks about the psychological [and maybe spiritual, sociological, and ecological] aspects of the game the way Dean figured out time-frame, court-dimensions, X/O issues.

Coach Smith was brilliant.

K>Roy
07-06-2010, 09:18 AM
First of all, I wish Deano and his family the best. Alzheimer's, dementia, and the like are terrible, terrible conditions that I've seen plenty of family members develop and suffer from over the past few years. I feel worse for his next of kin than I do for him, to be honest. It's not a pretty way to see someone go. Regardless of the shade of blue he wears and all the expletives I've hurled his way in the past, I feel for the guy.

Secondly, I want to clarify that Dean didn't invent the Four Corners; John McLendon did. You won't see Dean deflecting praise, though, which has always bothered me. He has a similar attitude re: "integrating the ACC"--he didn't do it, but he's never had any problem taking credit for it. Makes me think of him as a selfish, egotistical dude, and I think a lot of other non-unc fans feel that way, too.

That said, I would love to see him go the Jimmy V route and use his money, influence, and image to raise money to help others in his position. I would do a 180 on the way I feel about him. Not that any of this should be about image repair for Dean, but surely thousands of North Carolinians--regardless of their ACC affiliations--would whip out their check books in an instant if Dean did a PSA for Alzheimer's. He has the chance to do a whole, whole lot of good.

rasputin
07-06-2010, 09:42 AM
To brand Smith as cowardly for developing the Four Corners is asinine and shows no historical appreciation for the state of the game in the late sixties-early 70s. Smith refined a strategy that many teams would employ on occasion to equalize a disparity in talent on the floor. Duke had its own version for a time, the Mongoose, run (IIRC) effectively by Gary Melchionni used more frequently at the end of games to salt away a victory (a favorite K strategy), but still "stallball". Smith and UNC just did it better than other coaches. The Four Corners offense was legitimately that, an offense, not a defense played with the ball in hand. It was opportunistic particularly when run by Ford and provided easy scoring opportunities when the defense overplayed the passing lanes. Although Smith may have abused the purpose of his own creation during the 79 game in Cameron, all versions of stallball are maddening to watch from a fan's pespective and the most infuriating of all (Duke-NC State 68 ACC Tourney) didn't involve UNC.

By the 82 season college basketball's marketing potential was becoming more apparent and I suspect money more than basketball purity is the reason the shot clock was introduced.

When the halftime score is 7-0 and you haven't taken a shot that hit the rim, it's not an offense (unless you want to accent the second syllable).

oldnavy
07-06-2010, 02:24 PM
When the halftime score is 7-0 and you haven't taken a shot that hit the rim, it's not an offense (unless you want to accent the second syllable).

Loved that game. I can still hear the chant "airball" when I think of Chicky Yoniker missing in the first half. History was made and I was there!! :D

CameronBlue
07-06-2010, 07:36 PM
When the halftime score is 7-0 and you haven't taken a shot that hit the rim, it's not an offense (unless you want to accent the second syllable).

No it's discretion. If you haven't yet hit the rim, hey, maybe it's just not going to be your night! :)

The gist of my post is simply that Dean's (adaptation and further refinement of the) Four Corners was borne of an innovative mind and not of one lacking in courage. I don't distinguish between the spirits of the game and of winning the game as gumbo did (you forgot blue team substitution) in his superb post provided an honest interpretation of the rulebook is served. To play cowardly is tantamount to cheating in my opinion--e.g Ronald Curry faking an injury to avoid shooting free throws--when the rules are clearly circumnavigated. Playing within the rules IS serving the spirit of the game IMO. The adage "that's why they play the game" applies here. You don't owe it to a higher purpose to play to the other team's strengths and serve your team up for a 30 point beatdown. You use the rules to neutralize that advantage and create one for yourself. I hated the Four Corners and hated Dean for it as well, still do. But that hatred doesn't blind me to the offerings of a fetile basketball mind. It's sad to hear that that mind is slipping. All the best to the Smith family.

sagegrouse
07-06-2010, 07:49 PM
The gist of my post is simply that Dean's (adaptation and further refinement of the) Four Corners was borne of an innovative mind and not of one lacking in courage. I don't distinguish between the spirits of the game and of winning the game as gumbo did (you forgot blue team substitution) in his superb post provided an honest interpretation of the rulebook is served. .

The worst was the UNC-UVa ACC final in 1982. UNC had a one-point lead and UVa was in a zone. Dean had his team hold the ball for what seemed like two weeks. So, here you have it: national TV audience, meaningful game, and great players (Sampson, Jordan, Worthy, Perkins). Dean decides to cancel the game because he had a one-point lead and didn't want to play against a zone.

Of course, it worked: UVa eventually came out of the zone; UNC won the ACC; then the NCAA tournament. And then the ACC and the NCAA soon after CHANGED THE FRICKING RULE SO HE COULD NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.

What price glory, one asks? We learned.

sagegrouse

sagegrouse
07-06-2010, 08:05 PM
What price glory, one asks? We learned.

sagegrouse

What I should have added or said was, "All the best to the Smith family." We have coped with dementia in ours, beginning at about that age. It requires the family to pull together and, especially where there are resources to tap, to get Dean and the family all the help he and they can possibly use.

sagegrouse

hq2
07-06-2010, 09:16 PM
The worst was the UNC-UVa ACC final in 1982. UNC had a one-point lead and UVa was in a zone. Dean had his team hold the ball for what seemed like two weeks. So, here you have it: national TV audience, meaningful game, and great players (Sampson, Jordan, Worthy, Perkins). Dean decides to cancel the game because he had a one-point lead and didn't want to play against a zone.

Yes, even thirty or so years later, it's still hard for those of us who were around back then to deal with the Dean legacy. For you younger readers, you really just had to have seen some of the games back then to understand the kind of feelings that Dean still arouses in us (how about the 21-20 game back in the 60s?) today. All of us respect his program's legacy and accept that he was a great coach, but kids, we ask that you watch some film of some of them to understand how we feel. I'd say the 47-40 (7-0 Duke at halftime, Chick Yonakor airballs) game pretty much sums up our view of ol' Deano. We extend condolences to him and his family, but even now it's hard to forget it all. You just had to have been there.

Kimist
07-06-2010, 09:32 PM
When the halftime score is 7-0 and you haven't taken a shot that hit the rim, it's not an offense (unless you want to accent the second syllable).

My original comments did get a bit hijacked, but this was my main bone of contention, along with the NCAA game against UVa, against the infamous Four Corners.

End-of-game situations are different scenarios, especially when a guard like Ford was available. (And there was always that psychological dread that IF you ever relinquished the lead, you "knew what was coming.") All current teams practice various end of game scenarios, whether such involves milking the shot clock, selective fouling, time outs management, and the like.

But I don't care how much brilliant "strategy" some choose to assign to it, a coaching decision to essentially bounce the ball from the opening tip-off throughout virtually an entire half of a game is patently absurd. (And the NCAA rules committee obviously soon agreed!) Was Smith hoping for a 2-0 final score?!? Aside from that, the fans/viewers rightfully expected to see a basketball game and not a mere dribbling exhibition at half-court.

I respect all of the positive things that Smith did for college basketball, but the Four Corners is just not included in my personal list of his accomplishments.

k

cspan37421
07-06-2010, 10:53 PM
I liked how he started his seniors on Senior Day ... whether they were end-of-the-bench guys or not.

That's one instance in which you can justly question whether he did everything he could to win games. Sure, it's just a little time, but he'd start guys who would get zero PT almost any other scheduled game.

Indoor66
07-07-2010, 07:15 AM
Yes, even thirty or so years later, it's still hard for those of us who were around back then to deal with the Dean legacy. For you younger readers, you really just had to have seen some of the games back then to understand the kind of feelings that Dean still arouses in us (how about the 21-20 game back in the 60s?) today. All of us respect his program's legacy and accept that he was a great coach, but kids, we ask that you watch some film of some of them to understand how we feel. I'd say the 47-40 (7-0 Duke at halftime, Chick Yonakor airballs) game pretty much sums up our view of ol' Deano. We extend condolences to him and his family, but even now it's hard to forget it all. You just had to have been there.

I was in attendance for both the 21-20 and 47-40 games and each was the worst and best experiences. They were agonizing - but we won. The worst was the 12-10 game with State in 1968 - we lost.

hq2
07-07-2010, 08:08 AM
Not to get off the subject, but the 12-10 game will indeed live in infamy. I never forgave Norm Sloan for that. He was always back then, for me, public enemy #1, even over Deano. It was a truly incredible spectacle, and the fact that it came in the ACC tournament and knocked a deserving Duke team out of the NCAAs made it all the more unforgiveable. It will probably stand forever as the lowest moment in the history of the ACC.

rasputin
07-07-2010, 09:27 AM
No it's discretion. If you haven't yet hit the rim, hey, maybe it's just not going to be your night! :)

The gist of my post is simply that Dean's (adaptation and further refinement of the) Four Corners was borne of an innovative mind and not of one lacking in courage. I don't distinguish between the spirits of the game and of winning the game as gumbo did (you forgot blue team substitution) in his superb post provided an honest interpretation of the rulebook is served. To play cowardly is tantamount to cheating in my opinion--e.g Ronald Curry faking an injury to avoid shooting free throws--when the rules are clearly circumnavigated. Playing within the rules IS serving the spirit of the game IMO. The adage "that's why they play the game" applies here. You don't owe it to a higher purpose to play to the other team's strengths and serve your team up for a 30 point beatdown. You use the rules to neutralize that advantage and create one for yourself. I hated the Four Corners and hated Dean for it as well, still do. But that hatred doesn't blind me to the offerings of a fetile basketball mind. It's sad to hear that that mind is slipping. All the best to the Smith family.

I didn't say it was cowardly. I didn't say it was cheating. I didn't say it wasn't within the rules. I said it isn't an "offense" when the halftime score is 7-0. And it isn't.

hurleyfor3
07-07-2010, 06:19 PM
Of course, it worked: UVa eventually came out of the zone; UNC won the ACC; then the NCAA tournament. And then the ACC and the NCAA soon after CHANGED THE FRICKING RULE SO HE COULD NEVER DO THAT AGAIN

I do believe college basketball should honor Dean by naming something after him. Now it dawns on me what it should be. We should stop calling it the shot clock, and start calling it the Smith Clock.

Kimist
07-08-2010, 08:32 AM
I do believe college basketball should honor Dean by naming something after him. Now it dawns on me what it should be. We should stop calling it the shot clock, and start calling it the Smith Clock.

....would fit in nicely with the "Hansbrough Flop" ?? :rolleyes:

k

sandinmyshoes
07-08-2010, 09:46 AM
I never enjoyed watching the four corners offense, but it would be wrong to give younger fans the impression that Smith played a slow down tempo. UNC had a lethal fast break game in his day, and he worked some of the most amazing comebacks I've ever seen.

His 47-40 game was his poorest coaching decision. He may as well have just told his team, "We can't beat these guys." It's no way to prep a team, in my opinion. I'm inclined to give him a pass on the UVA game. UVA was packed back in a zone, with Sampson in the middle no less, and it was obvious all Smith wanted was to draw them out into a man-to-man game. UVA refused to leave the zone despite trailing. That slow down was just as much the fault of Terry Holland as it was Smith.

His teams irritated and scarred me over the years, but as I grew up, I softened a bit on Smith. I remember things like the call he made to get Billy King a try-out for the USA basketball team. Or the vote he cast for coach K.

On balance, he did a lot of good for college basketball. And beyond that, what is happening to him now is just plain sad, and I hope the best for him and his family.

CEF1959
07-08-2010, 10:02 AM
Loved that game. I can still hear the chant "airball" when I think of Chicky Yoniker missing in the first half. History was made and I was there!! :D

Me too! Most memorable game I attended at Cameron as an undergrad. 47-40 final. I think that game, perhaps more than any other single event, brought on the shot clock. IIRC, UNC took two shots in the first half, both airballs. Maybe both by Chicky Yonaker.

rasputin
07-08-2010, 10:38 AM
Me too! Most memorable game I attended at Cameron as an undergrad. 47-40 final. I think that game, perhaps more than any other single event, brought on the shot clock. IIRC, UNC took two shots in the first half, both airballs. Maybe both by Chicky Yonaker.

I think that if there's one game more than any other, it's the Virginia game. Fans were relishing the opportunity of this game, and it disappointed.

Kimist
07-08-2010, 10:46 AM
I think that if there's one game more than any other, it's the Virginia game. Fans were relishing the opportunity of this game, and it disappointed.

I tend to agree. As much as "we" envision the importance of the Duke/unc rivalry, a lot of national sports fans were disappointed to see an NCAA tourney game where a three-time Player of the Year (Ralph S) was essentially relegated to standing around watching a unc guy bounce the ball at mid-court.

Call it "great coaching" if you wish - but not in my book!

k

hq2
07-08-2010, 03:05 PM
It's hard to say if that was the worst. There were so many others, that it's hard to remember them all. That was the one that finally made people insist on a shot clock. It's hard to forget the sight of 15,000 people booing, yelling, and cursing, while a national T.V. audience fumed. And that, along with all the others, will remain forever a part of the Deano legacy. It will not be forgotten.

jimsumner
07-08-2010, 03:30 PM
"As much as "we" envision the importance of the Duke/unc rivalry, a lot of national sports fans were disappointed to see an NCAA tourney game where a three-time Player of the Year (Ralph S) was essentially relegated to standing around watching a unc guy bounce the ball at mid-court."

UNC and Virginia have only played once in the NCAA Tournament. UNC won that game 78-65.

Dean Smith didn't call for the four corners to ruin anyone's game experience. He did so because he thought doing so maximized his chances of winning a basketball game. Bill Foster had the option of telling Duke to come out of its zone and chase Carolina in 1979. He elected not to because he thought that staying back maximized his chances of winning the game. Same with Terry Holland and Vic Bubas.

A case can be made that the 4C was a questionable strategy in 1979. The teams played a week later in the ACC Tournament title game and UNC won 71-63. So, maybe Smith shot himself in the foot.

Anyone remember 1982? Duke was overmatched and outgunned at every stop and Mike Krzyzewski knew it. With no shot clock and a significant talent differential, Duke held the ball quite a lot. Duke scores from that season include 36-40, 48-58, 49-48, 50-44 and 47-46. Maryland's 40-36 win over Duke that season may have been the worst basketball game ever played at Cameron. Truly putrid. But the Duke coach thought that slowing down the tempo gave his team its best chance of winning.

I'm glad the NCAA put in the shot clock. But utilizing the absence of a shot clock for the benefit of one's team was a legal and sound strategy and its use hardly qualifies one as morally bereft.

Devil in the Blue Dress
07-08-2010, 04:34 PM
"As much as "we" envision the importance of the Duke/unc rivalry, a lot of national sports fans were disappointed to see an NCAA tourney game where a three-time Player of the Year (Ralph S) was essentially relegated to standing around watching a unc guy bounce the ball at mid-court."

UNC and Virginia have only played once in the NCAA Tournament. UNC won that game 78-65.

Dean Smith didn't call for the four corners to ruin anyone's game experience. He did so because he thought doing so maximized his chances of winning a basketball game. Bill Foster had the option of telling Duke to come out of its zone and chase Carolina in 1979. He elected not to because he thought that staying back maximized his chances of winning the game. Same with Terry Holland and Vic Bubas.

A case can be made that the 4C was a questionable strategy in 1979. The teams played a week later in the ACC Tournament title game and UNC won 71-63. So, maybe Smith shot himself in the foot.

Anyone remember 1982? Duke was overmatched and outgunned at every stop and Mike Krzyzewski knew it. With no shot clock and a significant talent differential, Duke held the ball quite a lot. Duke scores from that season include 36-40, 48-58, 49-48, 50-44 and 47-46. Maryland's 40-36 win over Duke that season may have been the worst basketball game ever played at Cameron. Truly putrid. But the Duke coach thought that slowing down the tempo gave his team its best chance of winning.

I'm glad the NCAA put in the shot clock. But utilizing the absence of a shot clock for the benefit of one's team was a legal and sound strategy and its use hardly qualifies one as morally bereft.

Thank you, Jim. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the context in which various events occur.

hq2
07-08-2010, 05:55 PM
Yes, lets examine that context. Agreed, Duke played a slow game for a couple of years when they didn't have much talent. But Dean did it all the time, even when he did. That was the difference. In fact, ironically enough, he probably cost himself the national championship in '77 by playing stall ball in the 2nd half of the title game. With Phil Ford, Walter Davis, Tommy Lagarde and Mike O' Koren, Carolina had the better talent, but lost the game anyway when Dean called a slowdown in the 2nd half and Carolina lost their lead.

At Carolina, stall ball was a way of life for nearly 20 years. It was so ubiquitous, they even named a restaurant in Chapel Hill for it; "The Four Corners". It was used repeatedly as a coaching tactic against nearly every team that Carolina had a second half lead on. And, it's why we have a shot clock today.

jimsumner
07-08-2010, 07:00 PM
Carolina usually had a talent edge. Other teams attempted to dilute that talent edge by playing zone. Carolina attempted to pull opposing teams out of zones by pulling the ball out and playing keep away. The end goal was to get lay-ups not burn clock. Except at the end of games, when Smith did the same thing every basketball coach in the history of the game has done, i.e. milk the clock with a lead.

Other teams had similar offenses. Smith's team just did it better. Dean Smith employed a legal strategem that he thought enhanced his team's ability to win games. it wasn't always pretty and it wasn't designed to win fans. Just games.

But check UNC's ppg totals over Smith's tenure before you come to the conclusion that the 4Corners was UNC's primary offense. His teams could run with anybody and usually did.

sandinmyshoes
07-08-2010, 07:55 PM
Yes, lets examine that context. Agreed, Duke played a slow game for a couple of years when they didn't have much talent. But Dean did it all the time, even when he did. That was the difference. In fact, ironically enough, he probably cost himself the national championship in '77 by playing stall ball in the 2nd half of the title game. With Phil Ford, Walter Davis, Tommy Lagarde and Mike O' Koren, Carolina had the better talent, but lost the game anyway when Dean called a slowdown in the 2nd half and Carolina lost their lead.

At Carolina, stall ball was a way of life for nearly 20 years. It was so ubiquitous, they even named a restaurant in Chapel Hill for it; "The Four Corners". It was used repeatedly as a coaching tactic against nearly every team that Carolina had a second half lead on. And, it's why we have a shot clock today.

Don't forget that Phil Ford and Walter Davis were playing with injuries, OKoren was just a freshman, though a good one. And LaGarde had been injured, I think from about mid season, so he did not play in that game. As I recall they played three freshman at the center after he was hurt, Yonaker and Jeff Wolf (Joe Wolfs' older brother), and some other freshman whose name escapes me. I believe he may have transferred.

It was one time I actually felt sorry for UNC fans, well mostly just my wife who was my girlfriend at the time. That team was probably one of the grittiest UNC teams I can recall in their run through the NCAAs. On the other hand, had they won they'd have probably been glorified ad nauseum, so it was probably for the best that Al pulled off the win.

CameronBlue
07-08-2010, 07:58 PM
The availability of talent is not a relevant argument against Smith's adaptation of the Four Corners particularly in the case of Ford, whose abilities were uniquely suited to the offense. At the time he was arguably the hardest player in college basketball to guard off the dribble and possessed the passing, dribbling and shooting talent to take advantage of the opportunities the 4C provided. To fail to employ the offense with Ford on-hand would be like limiting JJ to only 2-pt FG attempts and would be a legitimate criticism against Smith.

Carolina lost in 77 because it was outplayed. No scheme is successful 100% of the time and even without looking at a record book it's a safe assertion that the 4C contributed to many more victories than losses.

roywhite
07-08-2010, 08:00 PM
Don't forget that Phil Ford and Walter Davis were playing with injuries, OKoren was just a freshman, though a good one. And LaGarde had been injured, I think from about mid season, so he did not play in that game. As I recall they played three freshman at the center after he was hurt, Yonaker and Jeff Wolf (Joe Wolfs' older brother), and some other freshman whose name escapes me. I believe he may have transferred.

It was one time I actually felt sorry for UNC fans, well mostly just my wife who was my girlfriend at the time. That team was probably one of the grittiest UNC teams I can recall in their run through the NCAAs. On the other hand, had they won they'd have probably been glorified ad nauseum, so it was probably for the best that Al pulled off the win.

Okay---the Phil Ford playing hurt comment actually made me laugh. I honestly don't know if he was hurt for that game, but I wonder if any player in NCAA history was so often deemed by his coach to be injured prior to a big game, but would play (usually quite well) nonetheless.

El-Deano always talked about Phil Ford's injuries.

sandinmyshoes
07-08-2010, 08:08 PM
Okay---the Phil Ford playing hurt comment actually made me laugh. I honestly don't know if he was hurt for that game, but I wonder if any player in NCAA history was so often deemed by his coach to be injured prior to a big game, but would play (usually quite well) nonetheless.

El-Deano always talked about Phil Ford's injuries.

Oddly enough, this is one time they didn't talk about his injury before the game. They didn't want Marquette to know about it. It was a hyper extended elbow. Nothing super drastic, but it limited his ball handling a little, and his shooting more.

Heck, I didn't even know about the injury until several years later reading some article or the other. Then I've heard it mentioned since.

In Ford's defense, he probably was injured a lot. That kid used to throw himself around the court like a madman. He was a hard player to dislike, even if he did play for the pasty blue.

blueduke59
07-08-2010, 09:57 PM
Carolina usually had a talent edge. Other teams attempted to dilute that talent edge by playing zone. Carolina attempted to pull opposing teams out of zones by pulling the ball out and playing keep away. The end goal was to get lay-ups not burn clock. Except at the end of games, when Smith did the same thing every basketball coach in the history of the game has done, i.e. milk the clock with a lead.

Other teams had similar offenses. Smith's team just did it better. Dean Smith employed a legal strategem that he thought enhanced his team's ability to win games. it wasn't always pretty and it wasn't designed to win fans. Just games.

But check UNC's ppg totals over Smith's tenure before you come to the conclusion that the 4Corners was UNC's primary offense. His teams could run with anybody and usually did.

Agree. UNC used that offense to score in one on one opportunities. You as the opposition got to pick your poison. Either come out of a zone and play man to man against a spread out offense or stay in your zone and watch the clock tick down to your loss. I hate UNC and I really hated seeing Steve Previs, Dick Grubar, George Karl, or Phil Ford raise those 4 fingers but I would have done the same thing


Okay---the Phil Ford playing hurt comment actually made me laugh. I honestly don't know if he was hurt for that game, but I wonder if any player in NCAA history was so often deemed by his coach to be injured prior to a big game, but would play (usually quite well) nonetheless.

Ford hyper extended his elbow in the NCAA Tourney game v Notre Dame on St Patrick's Day. He played injured the rest of the NCAA's that year. Matter of fact I think he missed the Kentucky game which was the regional finals if my memory is correct. John Kuester ran the show that day

K>Roy
07-08-2010, 11:43 PM
The love for Don Deano in this threat is absolutely nauseating. I feel for the guy and his family, too, but do we really need to sit here and defend the dude's tactics? Can't we all just go back to loathing him?

hudlow
07-09-2010, 06:12 AM
The love for Don Deano in this threat is absolutely nauseating. I feel for the guy and his family, too, but do we really need to sit here and defend the dude's tactics? Can't we all just go back to loathing him?

Kinda hard to loathe the guy when he probably doesn't realize who he is.

hud

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 07:52 AM
Admit the love for Deano is over the top. Does any rational Duke person beleive Hole Nation would treat Coach K the same way the Duke contingent has treated Dean? They're still mocking K's health issues from a few years back. No way K gets the same treatment from UNC fans, "journalists" or anyone else

cspan37421
07-09-2010, 08:01 AM
Admit the love for Deano is over the top. Does any rational Duke person beleive Hole Nation would treat Coach K the same way the Duke contingent has treated Dean? They're still mocking K's health issues from a few years back. No way K gets the same treatment from UNC fans, "journalists" or anyone else

No, but that's irrelevant. We set our own standard for behavior.

BlueDevilBaby
07-09-2010, 08:04 AM
Admit the love for Deano is over the top. Does any rational Duke person beleive Hole Nation would treat Coach K the same way the Duke contingent has treated Dean? They're still mocking K's health issues from a few years back. No way K gets the same treatment from UNC fans, "journalists" or anyone else

It's been said before - let's rise above rather than stoop to their level. I loathed the man while he coached UNC but respect him nonetheless and now empathize with his family and friends. My grandmother's memory failed over about a 15 year period before she died. It is difficult for anyone to experience, and probably moreso when the person is so well-known. I hope his basketball family continues to support and visit him. My grandmother loved the company even though she had no idea who we were.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 09:10 AM
No one is making light of his health condition or what his family is going thru. But some of you guys are talking like Dean Smith invented basketball.

gumbomoop
07-09-2010, 10:03 AM
To those many of you who are offended by posters such as me who praise Dean, I do not blame you at all, for Carolina Sucks in Hell. I found Dean's public "protection" of his players cloying in the extreme; and I have no earthly idea what led K to remark, I gather fairly early on in his career, that if he ever acted like Dean, someone should shoot him [K]. Pretty harsh, so something was going on there. But I'm guessing that long before Dean's illness, K came to rue that remark and wouldn't be pleased to be reminded of it. [Wait, it just struck me: what K really meant was that if he, K, ever acted like Dean, he, K, wanted someone to shoot Dean, for somehow making him, K, act like him, Dean. That K, pretty devious guy.]

Anyhow, who wants to visit I[diot]C to attempt a serious discussion of Dean-as-coach? Indeed, one cannot use the word "serious" and Idiot C in same sentence. Much better conversation - not even the same cosmos - here on DBR board.

Further, with apologies for quoting my own earlier post......


As to Coach Smith's - Dean's - coaching contributions, I've always thought them on balance way more positive than negative. Sure, the 4-corners was both maddening and an affront to the spirit of the game - but, unfortunately, not to the spirit of winning the game.

And, because the following might be disputed, I'll hope to phrase carefully what I see as his creative contributions. IMO, Dean was an unusually inventive/creative coach. While he may not have been literally the first coach to employ the stuff I see as so creative, he seems to have been the coach who brought so many creative tactics together. So, even if he didn't "invent" most, or even any, of this stuff, he adopted and adapted brilliantly.

This stuff: huddle, back-tap on free throws, run-jump double-team, save time-outs [yes, Roy has shown how this creative tactic can backfire....], pointing to teammate who deserves credit for assist, using both sideline and timeline as extra defender on traps, 2 for 1 in last minute by getting off quick shot with 6-8 seconds left on shot clock, saving for last shot when you have ball and shot clock off, baseline throw to halfcourt and quick timeout to get better shot at end-game [presumably this one also involved alerting ref of intent to do this, thus gaining yet another crucial fraction of a second].

So, while Dean may be most known for 4 corners, it's this other stuff that has lasted, and has been adopted by other sensible coaches, possibly even occasionally by K. Dean invented/adopted/adapted game-tactics to find little "edges" that resulted in extra possessions and points in game after game after game. And by "edges" I definitely do not imply illegal edges. Most of what he did, tactics-wise, fit quite logically, sometimes elegantly, with the letter of the game's rules and with the spirit of the game's vibes. And all of it [I'm confident I'll be corrected on something here] was really smart.

...... but here's the deal: would anyone care to debate "the stuff" I've listed as other than really creative coaching? I hope to have indicated clearly enough that Dean may well have "invented" none of the stuff; but to my mind, that's irrelevant, as he adapted/adopted brilliantly.

Much of this thread has focused on the 4 corners, which I have noted does strike me as contrary to the spirit of the game. [Maybe I'll debate myself here a bit, to irk someone out there......] I assume that whereas the goal of the game is to win, the spirit of the game is to win by advancing more or less regularly toward the basket, and to inhibit such advancement by one's opponent. Sometimes the 4 corners was but a temporary tactic that did not contravene this [definition of] spirit of the game. When it became a travesty, well, curses to Dean, and welcome shot clock.

So even if Dean deserves 9F curses for the 4 corners, can we not agree [no, we cannot] that Dean's other tactical-game-stuff was pretty good? Really, really adaptive-creative? Brilliant?

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 11:31 AM
So even if Dean deserves 9F curses for the 4 corners, can we not agree [no, we cannot] that Dean's other tactical-game-stuff was pretty good? Really, really adaptive-creative? Brilliant?

Again, The Schnoz didn't invent the Four Corners nor should he get credit for it's tactical development. He simply had more talented players running it than John McClendon did, so it worked better. Simple as that. He didn't even put his own twist on it. What's so "adaptive-creative" about stealing an offense? Nothing. You'll never hear him deflect any praise, though, nor will he ever give McClendon his due.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 11:44 AM
Dean Smith was a great basketball coach. No argument there. However “inventions” he’s being given credit for are not his. Sure adapted them well. That’s what any coach worth his salt does. Some of those things though are just silly. The “huddle” is one. It’s not like the team doesn’t know what they’re supposed to do after a made or missed free throw. If they’re coached well they sure do.

While we’re patting him on the back let’s also add he was a flawed man (as we all are btw). The way Frank McGuire was treated after he left UNC was shameful. To this day CH won’t even breathe his name. Then there’s the myth Smith integrated the ACC. It was a total lie. Yet Smith stood back and took credit while saying nary a word. He also took more than one cheap shot at Duke students for the way they cheer the Blue Devils. During Reid’s stay at UNC he even pulled the race card out over the infamous “JR Can’t Reid” sign. He made public SAT scores of certain Duke players. Why? B/c a sign hurt his feelings. If my memory is correct during Coach K’s illness every ACC coach sent condolences and get well soon type letters. Everyone but Smith. If anyone out there has direct knowledge of it happening another way please correct me.

Dean was a great coach though and deserves our prayers and best wishes for him and his family who are going through a very tough ordeal. Why can’t it just be left at that?

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 12:09 PM
"You'll never hear him deflect any praise, though, nor will he ever give McClendon his due."

"Ever since that game [1966 ACCT], I have been wrongly credited as the sole creator of the Four Corners. I've heard of a number of coaches who ran something similar. John McClendon, a good friend of mine who coached at North Carolina College and Tennessee State among other places, tells me they ran a delay game that he called Two-in-a-Corner. Chuck Noe, while he was at South Carolina, used three men out by the ten-second line, with his best two players down low near the basket and called it the Mongoose."

Dean Smith, A Coach's Life: My 40 Years on College Basketball, p. 81

I defy you to find any place where Dean Smith claimed he invented the four corners.

McClendon's sysytem and Smith's system did differ in what they did with the fifth player. So, he did tweak the existing system.

Dean Smith is widely regarded as one of the best college basketball coaches of all time, a view-point that I share. I fail to see how acknowledging that does deservice to this website.

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 12:58 PM
Again, Smith NEVER claimed to have invented the four corners.

Trying to reduce Dean Smith's coaching career to the four corners is just a sign of desperation. At the risk of confusing with facts people whose minds are made up, let me run some stats by you.

From 1966 through 1978 every UNC team averaged at least 80.9 ppg, except for the 1975 team, that averaged 78.0 The 1969 team averaged 88.9, the 1970 team exactly the same, the 1972 team 90.1 and the 1974 team 87.0. This was without a shot clock, without a three-point shot. Does this sound like a team that was afraid to run? A team that stalled excessively?

UNC dipped to 76.5 ppg in 1979. NCSU led the ACC at 78.5, so it was a league-wide phenomena. FWIW, the 1979 Duke team, with Gminski, Banks and Spanarkel, averaged 71.9 ppg.

No ACC team averaged over 80.0 ppg in the 1980s until then advent of the shot clock. UNC was in the upper half of the league during that span.

It also should be noted that the advent of the shot clock hardly reduced Smith's effectiveness. He simply adapted and moved on.

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 01:12 PM
Again, Smith NEVER claimed to have invented the four corners.

Trying to reduce Dean Smith's coaching career to the four corners is just a sign of desperation. At the risk of confusing with facts people whose minds are made up, let me run some stats by you.

From 1966 through 1978 every UNC team averaged at least 80.9 ppg, except for the 1975 team, that averaged 78.0 The 1969 team averaged 88.9, the 1970 team exactly the same, the 1972 team 90.1 and the 1974 team 87.0. This was without a shot clock, without a three-point shot. Does this sound like a team that was afraid to run? A team that stalled excessively?

UNC dipped to 76.5 ppg in 1979. NCSU led the ACC at 78.5, so it was a league-wide phenomena. FWIW, the 1979 Duke team, with Gminski, Banks and Spanarkel, averaged 71.9 ppg.

No ACC team averaged over 80.0 ppg in the 1980s until then advent of the shot clock. UNC was in the upper half of the league during that span.

It also should be noted that the advent of the shot clock hardly reduced Smith's effectiveness. He simply adapted and moved on.

Refresh me--how many titles did Don Deano win during the glory years of which you speak? The guy was a master of "less with more".

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 01:32 PM
"Don Deano?" "The Schnoz?"

Seriously?

To answer your question, Dean Smith's teams finished first in the ACC regular season 17 times, won 13 ACC Tournaments, 11 regional titles, 1 NIT and 2 NCAAs.

The later total has been surpassed by all of four people, John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Adolph Rupp and Bob Knight. In other words, the consensus top five college basketball coaches of all time.

aheel4ever
07-09-2010, 01:55 PM
In recent years, Duke has consistently (and effectively) used a tactic late in games in which they have a comfortable lead, whereby they spread the floor and keep the ball in the hands of their best players, typically in the mid-court area, until very late in the shot clock, when they attack and try to create an easy shot or a foul on one of their best FT shooters. In the first 20+ seconds of the shot clock, they make no effort at all to score. The intent is obviously to "milk the clock" and shorten the game, giving the opposition less possessions and opportunities to rally.

So, if there were not a shot clock, is it reasonable to assume that Duke would extend this strategy as long as they could, and never shoot? What if the opposition were in a passive zone defense, and refused to change? Would they pass the ball out near mid-court, or attack the basket, just because it was in the spirit of the game? In most cases, they're a more talented team than the opponent, so why not?

Those who criticize the use of the 4C are kidding themselves. As others have said, it was a strategy used within the rules of the game to give UNC, in their coach's opinion, the best chance to win. It infuriated opponents primarily because UNC was so good at it, especially during the Ford era. UNC was able to use it because so often they were ahead, just as Duke is so often these days.

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 02:04 PM
"Don Deano?" "The Schnoz?"

Seriously?

To answer your question, Dean Smith's teams finished first in the ACC regular season 17 times, won 13 ACC Tournaments, 11 regional titles, 1 NIT and 2 NCAAs.

The later total has been surpassed by all of four people, John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Adolph Rupp and Bob Knight. In other words, the consensus top five college basketball coaches of all time.

You're really taking this Dean criticism a bit personally, jim. I don't think anyone's tried to say he's a bad coach. The argument is that he's overrated and gets credit for being a basketball revolutionary when in fact he was only an above-average coach who struggled under the bright lights. Deano is to college basketball what Bobby Cox is to Major League Baseball. Let's be real: without Fred Brown and Chris Webber, he could be looking a big ol' goose egg for his career. He won a pair of titles in large part due to crunch time brain farts from opposing players. Can't say that about the other guys you mentioned, or so-called lesser coaches who have won two like Billy Donovan.

Duvall
07-09-2010, 02:17 PM
he was only an above-average coach who struggled under the bright lights.

Get serious. Winning an NCAA championship is hard, winning two NCAA championships is even harder. You don't accomplish what Smith accomplished without being damned good.

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 02:21 PM
"You're really taking this Dean criticism a bit personally, jim"


Hey, whatever floats your boat.

NSDukeFan
07-09-2010, 02:35 PM
What I said is accurate. If Freddie Brown and Chris Webber don't screw up in horrible, gut-wrenching ways that their respective fan bases still can't process, Dean sits at 0 or 1. Case closed. With all the talent he had, 2 for 11 with asterisks on the each of the 2 qualifies as "struggling under the bright lights."

If Gordon Hayward hits either of his two shots, if Christian Laettner doesn't hit a shot off a 3/4 length pass, if Shane doesn't score a hoop with his knuckle, if, if, if... Case open?

Every championship team can play the what if game to find situations where they would not have won. Championships are not easily won, that goes for NCAA and, almost all of the time, ACC tournaments.

You are having a tough time convincing me (and some others) that Dean Smith was not an outstanding coach and I don't think calling him names and discrediting his many accomplishments is helping your case. This may be a Duke board, but I don't think that makes everyone here blind to the success of UNC and its most legendary coach.

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 02:38 PM
If Gordon Hayward hits either of his two shots, if Christian Laettner doesn't hit a shot off a 3/4 length pass, if Shane doesn't score a hoop with his knuckle, if, if, if... Case open?

Every championship team can play the what if game to find situations where they would not have won. Championships are not easily won, that goes for NCAA and, almost all of the time, ACC tournaments.

You are having a tough time convincing me (and some others) that Dean Smith was not an outstanding coach and I don't think calling him names and discrediting his many accomplishments is helping your case. This may be a Duke board, but I don't think that makes everyone here blind to the success of UNC and its most legendary coach.

There's a huge different between skillful achievements (Laettner), missed prayers (Hayward), and screw-ups (Brown, Webber).

Duke wasn't lucky a player of Laettner's caliber hit a turnaround from the foul line, nor was it lucky that Hayward missed a Hail Mary that no one should have expected to drop. chapel hill was, however, lucky to have had the ball gift-wrapped to it on one occasion and a two free throws and the ball sent its way on another.

hq2
07-09-2010, 02:42 PM
Well, we don't know what would have happened if Brown and Webber hadn't screwed up. Those were late in the game worn out mistakes. It meant that Carolina had played harder, worn them down, and forced them into mental errors. Ask John Lucas about the pass that lost the State-Maryland '74 game, and he'll say the same thing.

Now. That being said, it should also be pointed out that Carolina did not win the championship 3 times when they clearly had superior talent, and Deano had something to do with it each time. In '77, as I stated earlier, Carolina had beaten a superior Vegas team to make the finals against Marquette, (behind 31 points from freshman Mike O' Koren), but still lost the finals due to Deano stall ball. In '84, Carolina had Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, and Kenny Smith on the same team and didn't even make the final four, mostly because Deano wanted to over-coach and wouldn't let his players play good street ball, even when they could have easily. In '94, Carolina had all the players back from a returning national championship team + Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse, and lost in the second round due to horrible chemistry (once again, Deano not able to get his talent to work together). By the way, this last team is particularly instructive for next year's Duke team. The point is, Deano failed to get the most mileage out of his superior talent on multiple occasions when they could have won it all. The same can also almost never be said about K.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 02:45 PM
There's a huge different between skillful achievements (Laettner), missed prayers (Hayward), and screw-ups (Brown, Webber).

Duke wasn't lucky a player of Laettner's caliber hit a turnaround from the foul line, nor was it lucky that Hayward missed a Hail Mary that no one should have expected to drop. chapel hill was, however, lucky to have had the ball gift-wrapped to it on one occasion and a two free throws and the ball sent its way on another.

Agreed. Laettner made the play. Brown and Webber had brain farts. I see a bit of a difference there. Yet Dean gets glory and K gets called The Rat in CH. Let's all jump on the Dean bandwagon while there's still room

Duvall
07-09-2010, 02:55 PM
Agreed. Laettner made the play. Brown and Webber had brain farts. I see a bit of a difference there. Yet Dean gets glory and K gets called The Rat in CH. Let's all jump on the Dean bandwagon while there's still room

Who cares what they do? Why not be better than them, and show some class?

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 02:56 PM
"What I said is accurate. If Freddie Brown and Chris Webber don't screw up in horrible, gut-wrenching ways that their respective fan bases still can't process, Dean sits at 0 or 1. Case closed"

Case closed? Rhetorical excess, perchance?

Freddie Brown did indeed screw up. After UNC most emphatically did not screw up. You seem to assume that Georgetown would have scored, had Brown not turned it over. We'll never know.

Let's look at Webber. At the last time out, Smith instructed his team to keep the ball out of Rose's hands. Carolina did that so well that Webber actually traveled in the backcourt, although the officials missed the call. Unable to get the ball to the closely guarded Rose, Webber was double-teamed, near the sideline.

Let's suppose he doesn't call the non-existent time-out. What do you think would have happened? A poor ball-handler had used up his dribble and was trapped, with no place to go. Nothing good was going to happen for Michigan.

UNC executed its defensive game plan and induced an All-American to panic. I think they deserve some credit for that.

Did Butler screw up by not being able to run a simple out-of-bounds play late in the Duke game? Wouldn't that last time out have helped in those last few, frantic seconds? Does Butler's screw-up take away from Duke's win? Or does Duke deserve some credit for inducing the screw-up by playing exceptional defense?

Did Rick Pitino screw up by not putting someone on Grant Hill in 1992? Did Jerry Tarkanian screw up by not taking out Greg Anthony when he had four fouls in 1991?

No doubt, Smith could have won more NCAAs. The same can be said for Krzyzewski, Knight, lots of others. Even Wooden's 1974 team blew big leads twice down the stretch against NC State.

Luck plays a big role in winning most titles, at most levels, in most sports.

sandinmyshoes
07-09-2010, 03:02 PM
Sadly, UNC had the lead in both the games brought up as mistakes giving them the game. There is no way of knowing if the other team would have scored, or even if they might have scored and then UNC came back to score again. And in Webber's case, I can't even imagine the uproar if Michigan had won that game despite the blatant travel the kid commited upon taking down the rebound. I can still hear Billy Packer screaming "He walked! He walked!" and feeling a sense of relief that it wasn't called (because it looked blatant to me) and then only to get gut punched by the stupid timeout. Since that time, I've learned to just avoid UNC games of importance because there's not point in me investing emotiona energy if Duke isn't playing them.

But the sad thing is, that this thread was really just an expression of sympathy for a guy who gave a lot to the game, ran a clean program, and appears to have been a decent enough human being.

It's sad that the sort of pettiness that all too often marks a rivalry has to creep in. It reminds me to be thankful that DBR, getting worse as it may be, still isn't as bad as IC or TDD.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 03:08 PM
Who cares what they do? Why not be better than them, and show some class?

I give Smith credit for being a great basketball coach. Send my prayers to him and his family for the painful ordeal they're going through. Should have been left at that. Shouldn't the "Dean invented this, that, and the other" stuff be served at UNC sites? You can be classy without gushing all over someone that doesn't like Duke (and has proven it over the years) nor Duke's student support

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 03:11 PM
Sadly, UNC had the lead in both the games brought up as mistakes giving them the game. There is no way of knowing if the other team would have scored, or even if they might have scored and then UNC came back to score again.


Oh, sure--agreed. I'm not chalking up L's in '82 and '93 by any means. I'm just saying that there's a distinct possibility chapel hill would have lost one or both contests. That, too me, is tantamount to blind luck at the extreme end and good fortune at the least.

Again, I don't at all think Dean was a bad coach. I just think he gets more credit than he deserves from many unc fans and college basketball fans in general.

sandinmyshoes
07-09-2010, 03:26 PM
I just think he gets more credit than he deserves from many unc fans and college basketball fans in general.

I agree with that, but have to admit it's probably true of any elite coach, fans of his program, and the national media.

I should imagine a lot of hard work goes into being a Dean Smith, or John Wooden, or Bob Knight or Coach K, but they'd probably be among the first to admit that there is some luck involved in it. Lucky breaks in job opportunities. Lucky breaks in recruting. Lucky breaks in some key games during their careers.

The point being not that they don't deserve kudos, but that there are probably, almost certainly, coaches with as much talent who didn't get quite the same breaks.

MChambers
07-09-2010, 03:31 PM
On balance, he did a lot of good for college basketball. And beyond that, what is happening to him now is just plain sad, and I hope the best for him and his family.
This pretty well summed it up for me. Dean Smith is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. He had his flaws, but who doesn't? I wish him the best and am sorry to hear about his health problems.

K>Roy
07-09-2010, 03:39 PM
This pretty well summed it up for me. Dean Smith is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. He had his flaws, but who doesn't? I wish him the best and am sorry to hear about his health problems.

I think we all are. As I said in my first post in this thread, I've had family members stricken by dementia and Alzheimer's and it ain't pretty.

hq2
07-09-2010, 04:30 PM
SAnd in Webber's case, I can't even imagine the uproar if Michigan had won that game despite the blatant travel the kid commited upon taking down the rebound. I can still hear Billy Packer screaming "He walked! He walked!" and feeling a sense of relief that it wasn't called (because it looked blatant to me) and then only to get gut punched by the stupid timeout.

Actually, what happened was that Webber had signaled for a time out at the beginning of the possession, and the ref deliberately looked away to pretend he didn't see it because he didn't want the national championship decided on a technicality. That's why he didn't see the travel. Finally, when Webber signaled again, the ref had no choice but to call it. That means Webber didn't actually blow it once, but three times on one play. That's not a brain freeze, that's a total choke. Michigan blew the game, fair and square.

cspan37421
07-09-2010, 05:55 PM
I'd like to thank Jimsumner for his well-reasoned and informative contributions to this thread. I think it's natural for us, as Duke fans, to have tended to dislike the guy in the heat of rivalry. But looking back, if he was a Big 10 coach with that kind of record, we'd be less bothered/tweaked by how he amassed it - because it wouldn't have been at our expense. JMO.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 06:29 PM
Again, Smith NEVER claimed to have invented the four corners.

Trying to reduce Dean Smith's coaching career to the four corners is just a sign of desperation. At the risk of confusing with facts people whose minds are made up, let me run some stats by you.

From 1966 through 1978 every UNC team averaged at least 80.9 ppg, except for the 1975 team, that averaged 78.0 The 1969 team averaged 88.9, the 1970 team exactly the same, the 1972 team 90.1 and the 1974 team 87.0. This was without a shot clock, without a three-point shot. Does this sound like a team that was afraid to run? A team that stalled excessively?

UNC dipped to 76.5 ppg in 1979. NCSU led the ACC at 78.5, so it was a league-wide phenomena. FWIW, the 1979 Duke team, with Gminski, Banks and Spanarkel, averaged 71.9 ppg.

No ACC team averaged over 80.0 ppg in the 1980s until then advent of the shot clock. UNC was in the upper half of the league during that span.

It also should be noted that the advent of the shot clock hardly reduced Smith's effectiveness. He simply adapted and moved on.

Smith admitted he didn't invent the 4 Corners 40 years after the fact but whatever. I think he took a bum rap re: 4 corners though as he has been wrongly characterized as using it as a stall tactic. UNC tried to score in that offense. It's not his fault the opposition chose to sit back instead of going out and guarding someone. Terry Holland deserves just as much if not more blame for the ACC Tourney debacle. Hated seeing UNC go into that offense but to me it was good basketball.

jimsumner
07-09-2010, 07:38 PM
"Smith admitted he didn't invent the 4 Corners 40 years after the fact but whatever"

"admitted." Interesting choice of words.

How about "Dean Smith acknowledged he didn't invent the four corners every time the subject came up and never claimed otherwise? He tried to put the issue to rest in his memoirs but in vain, it seems."

And, for the record, he never claimed to have desegregated the ACC either. You've got to be paranoid or delusional to believe some of the nonsense I've seen on this thread.

I find this whole thing dispiriting and disheartening. A thread was started in good will expressing sympathy for a decent man in the throes of an awful medical crisis for which he will not recover. Before the methaphorical ink was dry on the OP, the thread by high-jacked by a small minority of posters who seem compelled to prove their Dukeness by showing how much they hate Dean Smith.

Just sad. IMO.

Devil in the Blue Dress
07-09-2010, 07:49 PM
"Smith admitted he didn't invent the 4 Corners 40 years after the fact but whatever"

"admitted." Interesting choice of words.

How about "Dean Smith acknowledged he didn't invent the four corners every time the subject came up and never claimed otherwise? He tried to put the issue to rest in his memoirs but in vain, it seems."

And, for the record, he never claimed to have desegregated the ACC either. You've got to be paranoid or delusional to believe some of the nonsense I've seen on this thread.

I find this whole thing dispiriting and disheartening. A thread was started in good will expressing sympathy for a decent man in the throes of an awful medical crisis for which he will not recover. Before the methaphorical ink was dry on the OP, the thread by high-jacked by a small minority of posters who seem compelled to prove their Dukeness by showing how much they hate Dean Smith.

Just sad. IMO.

Thank you, Jim. If there's a word for the day, it should be compassion.

blueduke59
07-09-2010, 07:58 PM
"Smith admitted he didn't invent the 4 Corners 40 years after the fact but whatever"

"admitted." Interesting choice of words.

How about "Dean Smith acknowledged he didn't invent the four corners every time the subject came up and never claimed otherwise? He tried to put the issue to rest in his memoirs but in vain, it seems."

And, for the record, he never claimed to have desegregated the ACC either. You've got to be paranoid or delusional to believe some of the nonsense I've seen on this thread.

I find this whole thing dispiriting and disheartening. A thread was started in good will expressing sympathy for a decent man in the throes of an awful medical crisis for which he will not recover. Before the methaphorical ink was dry on the OP, the thread by high-jacked by a small minority of posters who seem compelled to prove their Dukeness by showing how much they hate Dean Smith.

Just sad. IMO.

1. He could have put the 4 corners issue to rest decades ago

2. Same on the intergration issue. He knew what was being said. He did exactly what to correct that gross inaccuracy? I know he wasn't shy about publicly revealing SAT scores of Duke players to prove that JR could "Reid" just as well as any Dukie

3. This thread went off the rails when some gave him credit for things he didn't do. God forbid someone correct the record regarding Dean Smith.

-jk
07-09-2010, 08:47 PM
"Smith admitted he didn't invent the 4 Corners 40 years after the fact but whatever"

"admitted." Interesting choice of words.

How about "Dean Smith acknowledged he didn't invent the four corners every time the subject came up and never claimed otherwise? He tried to put the issue to rest in his memoirs but in vain, it seems."

And, for the record, he never claimed to have desegregated the ACC either. You've got to be paranoid or delusional to believe some of the nonsense I've seen on this thread.

I find this whole thing dispiriting and disheartening. A thread was started in good will expressing sympathy for a decent man in the throes of an awful medical crisis for which he will not recover. Before the methaphorical ink was dry on the OP, the thread by high-jacked by a small minority of posters who seem compelled to prove their Dukeness by showing how much they hate Dean Smith.

Just sad. IMO.

Thanks for the post, Jim. This thread has wandered far enough, I think.

-jk