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Looking Back: Paulus On Football In His Own Words

(04/24/09 6:23pm)

As reports continue to circulate on Greg Paulus' future post-Duke, I thought back to a July day two summers ago when I talked with the point guard for a feature I was working on for The Chronicle's 2007 send-home issue. We talked for a half hour and touched on the topic of football. I went back and listened to that interview this morning, and while Paulus was adamant in his commitment to Duke and basketball, there seemed to be an ever-so-slight undercurrent of missing football in the tone of his answers to me.

Chicago Bulls Sign DeMarcus Nelson, Sit Luol Deng

(04/11/09 8:53pm)

Friday was an interesting day for Blue Devils Basketball alumni in Chicago. The Bulls announced they would put swingman Luol Deng out of commission for the remainder of the regular season and at least the first round of the NBA Playoffs, to which the Bulls clinched a spot yesterday. The medical staff is hoping Deng, who has been sidelined since Feb. 28 with a stress fracture in his right tibia, will avoid surgery by not playing.

LIVE BLOG: North Carolina 79, Duke 71 (FINAL)

(03/08/09 11:54pm)

POSTGAME: Waiting for K right now, as members of the UNC sports info department announced he would speak to the press first regardless of result. Lots of people still in the stands as the Tar Heel seniors are being honored as I type. All-in-all, Duke didn't play a terrible game, but right now, I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone to claim that North Carolina isn't the superior team. The Tar Heels' inside game is sick-nasty, and I think Deon Thompson is probably the best pro-prospect on the roster. As has become the status quo this season, Hansbrough led the Tar Heels in scoring (with 17 points)—but he seems to be doing it a lot more quietly than he used to, as Ty Lawson has been getting much of the ACC Player of the Year hype as of late. For the Blue Devils, I feel as if the storyline is getting a bit repetitive: not enough inside game, hard to defend explosive/athletic teams. Also, something I mentioned in my column Friday was Duke's opponent's field goal average, which is in the bottom three in the league. Guess what? The Tar Heels shot a blistering 52.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc. Hard to beat a team that (you let) shoot at a 50+ clip for a game. That's all I've got for now. Log onto in the next few hours to read stories from yours truly and Gabe Starosta.

First Cut: North Carolina Fans and The Internet Being a Creepy Place

(03/07/09 1:05am)

So in case you didn't notice, the Internet can be bizarre—particularly when you've been elevated to C-list campus celebrity status and have become increasingly Googleable. As I learned this past October, though, when I wrote the column, "Soulja Roy's Night Shames Duke's Blue-White", the Internet is also a place for "Tar Heels Fans for Meredith Shiner" to find each other and discuss the finer points of my... writing style? Ever since I discovered this little buried treasure last fall (it's amazing what friends, their boredom and search engines can do for the process of discovery!), I had intended to write an open letter to my adoring fans letting them know I'd be in their midst at the Dean Dome Sunday. Then I realized that in my last column, I basically wrote a love letter to Scott Van Pelt, so maybe a column with a bit more gravity and substance was in order this week. Plus, I was worried the article would only be funny to me, the kids on staff and my friends... and not you Joe Reader, or my father for that matter. That being said, and by the grace of this here Sports Blog, I can still share with you the PDFs from the members-only Inside Carolina 50-post thread on yours truly. Enjoy!

First Cut: My Ode To Scott Van Pelt and Previewing Maryland

(02/25/09 5:30pm)

Dearest readers, in the latest installment of "First Cut," I thought I would provide you all with some background material to aid you in your appreciation of my column in this morning's Chronicle, for however more deeply it can be appreciated—which at this point is about as up in the air as the outcome of tonight's game. That being said, here goes:

LIVE BLOG: Duke 76, St. John's 69 (FINAL)

(02/20/09 4:43am)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Oh man, I feel so Jerry Springer with this whole "final thoughts" thing, but I promised I'd be back and so now I am (although currently situated in a very adorable apartment in Union Square). So here's the thing. Tonight's game wasn't a great win. In fact, I thought Duke needed something a bit more emphatic to gain real momentum headed into Sunday's super-important contest with Wake Forest in Cameron. But as the old saying goes, a win is a win is a win. Some high points: Elliot Williams playing and really playing an integral role in making Duke go; Kyle Singler finding his touch again from outside (although, like I said in my column yesterday, I think Duke needs Kyle to be more of a force inside to be competitive with big teams like Wake); G being G. Some low points: Greg Paulus, where are you? It seems like just last week K was riding high on you and starting you against UNC... tonight, not even six minutes on your favorite court away from Cameron (Dear Greg, I'm sorry if I jinxed you with that whole pregame predictions thing... never again, I swear); little-to-no production from the big men—not a new story, but one that is going to become THE story if the Blue Devils can't be Wake, UNC or whatever team the tourney might throw them come March. Anyway, that's all for now. Time for me to turn off the computer and enjoy NYC. Be sure to check out The Chronicle's coverage in tomorrow's paper, and as always, you know where to find me if you have any questions/concerns/shoutouts.

First Cut: The Curse Of Wally Wade's Urinal Troughs

(02/19/09 3:25am)

OK, so I can't believe I'm writing this 1) because it's ridiculous and 2) because it's further proof that I don't know everything (or anything, for that matter)—which is something I'm always ashamed to admit. But I brought this up in the office the other night, and the idea was pitched that I throw this up on our humble blog. I need outside input (yours!) because I have a handicap inhibiting me from making a fully accurate assertion on the following topic. This handicap, as you  soon will  learn, is that I am, in fact, female (insert joke here).

First Cut: Breaking The K-ville Contract

(02/04/09 5:30pm)

Four years ago, I visited the John Hay Library at Brown University and got to see a selection from its rare books collection. Of the many incredible works I saw that day, the item that fascinated me most was a page from the original manuscript of George Orwell's classic, 1984. And of the original words Orwell wrote on the page (double-spaced), I think a grand total of seven were not crossed out in red ink.  It was at that moment when I realized how brutal and torturous the writing process can be.

Duke Has 2nd Strongest Strength of Schedule

(11/26/08 4:50am)

...And no, I'm not talking about basketball. In a discovery I think might surprise you as much as it did me, the new Sagarin NCAA football ratings are out for this week and they report the Blue Devils have played the second toughest schedule of all college teams in games to date. Maybe I'm late to this information, but however this happened, it sure snuck up on me. This revelation leads me to two questions: 1) If Duke finishes the season ranked No. 2 in SOS, should that change the way we evaluate the success of this season? and 2) Should Duke take steps to ensure its future non-conference schedules are easier? Although in fairness to Duke's schedulers, the four top teams in terms of SOS this season so far are from the ACC, which I believe speaks to the level playing field in the conference (i.e. none of the teams are amazing, but all were good enough to give any given opponent a run for their money) and not the overall power of the conference.