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CDC84
03-23-2009, 11:06 AM
I am really looking forward to seeing Demetri Goodson guard Ty Lawson. I just want to see what would happen. Lawson is argubly the best point guard in college basketball. Ty and Meech are the exact same height. Both having blazing speed. Meech was defending at an extremely high level in Portland, and his confidence is sky high right now. It'll be interesting to watch.

former1dog
03-23-2009, 11:16 AM
I am really looking forward to seeing Demetri Goodson guard Ty Lawson. I just want to see what would happen. Lawson is argubly the best point guard in college basketball. Ty and Meech are the exact same height. Both having blazing speed. Meech was defending at an extremely high level in Portland, and his confidence is sky high right now. It'll be interesting to watch.

I'm also looking forward to the potential match up. That said, the experienced offensive player in this situation does have the advantage moving forward against the relatively inexperienced defensive player. I don't think we can count our chickens on this one. In other words, Lawson is going to be tough guy to guard.

Another thought, like I said in another thread, I'm really looking forward to whether or not Pargo attempts to post up against Lawson. I think that play could bear a lot of fruit.

DADoZAG
03-23-2009, 11:41 AM
Lawson is argubly the best point guard in college basketball.

There's no arguing the fact that a healthy Lawson IS the best point in the game.

Perhaps a barrage of full court attention to Mr. Lawson, encouraging him to cut as much as possible, might focus his attention a bit more on what's in his shoe then who might be his next assist.

hockeyzag
03-23-2009, 11:44 AM
...guess this is as good as any

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2595/93/65/28202042/n28202042_32351846_7393582.jpg

I'm so happy:D

ZagNative
03-23-2009, 11:57 AM
The last time around, November 22, 2006, Jeremy did pretty well against Lawson ...

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff232/ZagNative/Zags/Pargo/2006-11-23Jeremy-UNC-guardedbyTy-1.jpg

Box Score from that game here (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/2006-2007/gonmb05.html). (Wow. Raivio's rebounding numbers were impressive that game.)

CDC84
03-23-2009, 12:00 PM
There's no arguing the fact that a healthy Lawson IS the best point in the game.

I'm not so certain about that. There are some folks who feel that Syracuse's Jonny Flynn is better than Lawson. He certainly has to do more with less. Flynn has some awfully impressive numbers for a PG, and he's a better on ball defender than Ty is.

Lawson is going to get the best of just about everyone who guards him in this tournament. I am just curious to see how Meech will respond to the challenge. It's a great opportunity for him.

billyberu
03-23-2009, 12:08 PM
I'm all for exploring the limits of Ty's turf toe. If that means pressuring and hounding him all game long with a healthy mix of Meech in there than let it be so.

GonzagaDynasty
03-23-2009, 01:42 PM
Patty Mills is up on that list of the best PG's in the nation.

zaggernaut
03-23-2009, 02:20 PM
One thing I liked about Goodson when he was in the game to guard OMV was the fact that he did not pick up any fouls. He played about 14 minutes of hard nose defense on a guy who was on fire throughout the game and managed to shut him down without picking up a foul.

Lawson will definitely be tougher to guard but I thought that it was a positive sign because throughout the season, he's had a tendency to pick up cheap little fouls on hand checks.

Larrylegend
03-23-2009, 05:22 PM
Few's said Goodson is the "toughest" Zag on this year's team. We'll need every bit of it against UNC.

Therunner
03-23-2009, 05:32 PM
I am really looking forward to seeing Demetri Goodson guard Ty Lawson. I just want to see what would happen. Lawson is argubly the best point guard in college basketball. Ty and Meech are the exact same height. Both having blazing speed. Meech was defending at an extremely high level in Portland, and his confidence is sky high right now. It'll be interesting to watch.

I hope we see Goodson on Lawson. In the game vs WKU, the moment Goodson began guarding him, he nearly shut him down the rest of the way. The commentators both pointed this out after OMV scorched us for 17 pts in 15 minutes. They were amazed at how well Goodson contained OMV the rest of the way. After replaying the game today via CBS online, Goodson did a remarkable job chasing Mendez-Valdez all over the court and refused to let him shoot. It was a sight to see and I plan to see more Goodson vs. UNC.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 05:33 PM
First of all, congrats on the tremendous season, Zags nation. I, and the rest of Tar Heel nation (and the rest of hte nation, I would assume) continue to marvel at the product your school puts on the court each and every year. As you all are well aware, Gonzaga is not just some "cinderella," "mid-major" that could upset some teams. Rather, it's become a real power basketball program with which to be reckoned... and we're going to be reckoning (hopefully wrecking!) with it on Friday.

--

That said...

Zagnative, keep in mind that our last game against Gonzaga was in late 2006 when Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Deon Thompson were all freshmen and are now juniors; and Hansbrough, Green, and Frasor are now seniors. Much has changed since then.

Since that loss to Gonzaga (where you all really put it to us!), this UNC team, which has remained essentially the same since that point, has won 94 games and lost only 13. In the same time, they won three ACC championships (two out-right) and reached the Elite Eight and Final Four. This is an experienced, battle-tested squad, which it was definitely not in late 2006.

Certainly not saying UNC is going to blow the doors off of Gonzaga -- and am not even saying it's a given that UNC will win. Only saying that a lot has changed since '06... and that there's a reason UNC is a 9-point favorite for Friday night. Anything can happen, though... that's why we all love the NCAA Tournament so much!

Therunner
03-23-2009, 05:42 PM
Zagnative, keep in mind that our last game against Gonzaga was in late 2006 when Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Deon Thompson were all freshmen and are now juniors; and Hansbrough, Green, and Frasor are now seniors. Much has changed since then.

I see your point; however, if we use the same logic, much has changed for the Zags as well. Heytvelt, Pargo, and Downs were all sophomores and now Seniors. We didn't have Daye, Gray, or Goodson in '06. Each of them provide a dynamic that makes us significantly better. Plus, Bouldin is also a matured as a tremendously versatile player than he was his Freshman year('06). I believe we've won 80% of our games as well since then. My point is, both teams are better and have matured since our previous meeting. You're right, anything can happen and I firmly believe we have as good a chance as 2006 to beat the 'Heels, maybe better. This is why we play these games.

Reborn
03-23-2009, 05:44 PM
The point guard for Western Kentucky, OVM, is pretty darn good. He really impressed me. There are so many good pg's this year, and Jeremy Pargo is one of them. This is the time of year where I really am feeling Jeremy is going to step up his game. You could see it on Saturday night. Pargo played awesome. I felt Meech did a very good job on Valdez-Mendez, and I think it earned him more playing time. We may need Meech more and More from here on out. I can see us playing Syracuse down the road and it'll take someone with Meech's speed to guard Johnny Flynn. Meech is pumped.

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 05:47 PM
Zagnative, keep in mind that our last game against Gonzaga was in late 2006 when Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Deon Thompson were all freshmen and are now juniors; and Hansbrough, Green, and Frasor are now seniors. Much has changed since then.

Since that loss to Gonzaga (where you all really put it to us!), this UNC team, which has remained essentially the same since that point, has won 94 games and lost only 13. In the same time, they won three ACC championships (two out-right) and reached the Elite Eight and Final Four. This is an experienced, battle-tested squad.

Certainly not saying UNC is going to blow the doors off of Gonzaga -- and am not even saying it's a given that UNC will win. Only saying that a lot has changed since '06... and that there's a reason UNC is a 9-point favorite for Friday night. Anything can happen, though... that's why we all love the NCAA Tournament so much!

All good points. But I think a lot of the country is sick of the same old teams year in and year out----UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kansas, etc. I know I am. Time for a change--at least for one year. Variety made the NFL a lot better IMO---no reason it can't be the same for College B-Ball. Glad to get that off my chest.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 05:49 PM
Ha, are you advocating for a little college basketball welfare? It might be "good" for college basketball... but it won't be good for me!!

Good luck Friday night... and GO HEELS.

ZagMania
03-23-2009, 06:03 PM
OVM was probably frustrated by Goodson's quickness. I doubt Meech will have the same success on Lawson. I know Meech is lightning quick but so is Lawson and Meech has a tendency to pick up fouls unless he is a great deal quicker like he was against OVM and he literally starts beating his man to spots on the court. With Lawson that same defensive aggressiveness is going to result in whistles IMO.

I would say we need to turn Lawson into a jump shooter, but he's been a damn good one this year. We probably need to hope that he and Ellington aren't on from outside. Lets run with them and hope they start to settle for too many outside shots that aren't falling.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 06:06 PM
OVM was probably frustrated by Goodson's quickness. I doubt Meech will have the same success on Lawson. I know Meech is lightning quick but so is Lawson and Meech has a tendency to pick up fouls unless he is a great deal quicker like he was against OVM and he literally starts beating his man to spots on the court. With Lawson that same defensive aggressiveness is going to result in whistles IMO.

I would say we need to turn Lawson into a jump shooter, but he's been a damn good one this year. We probably need to hope that he and Ellington aren't on from outside. Lets run with them and hope they start to settle for too many outside shots that aren't falling.
Honest question: considering UNC's blazing speed and 90+ ppg average, do you think it's wise to try to "run" with UNC? The conventional wisdom (that's admittedly gotten teams beaten 30 times this season) is that you want to slow down UNC and that trying to "run" with them is a death sentence.

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 06:11 PM
Honest question: considering UNC's blazing speed and 90+ ppg average, do you think it's wise to try to "run" with UNC? The conventional wisdom (that's admittedly gotten teams beaten 30 times this season) is that you want to slow down UNC and that trying to "run" with them is a death sentence.


Zags love to run. I see no advantage to the powder blues in the running game.

Therunner
03-23-2009, 06:13 PM
Zags love to run. I see no advantage to the powder blues in the running game.

"Runs, Zags, Run!"

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 06:13 PM
Fair enough. Good luck.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 06:17 PM
Oh, and for those interested (or just curious), reports out of practice today are that Ty Lawson is quickly returning to form coming off that severe toe jam and subsequent swelling which led to his missing 3 games.

CDC84
03-23-2009, 06:19 PM
You can still be a transition team and at the same time "slow down" the other team's transition game. If the Zags get the chance to run, they will do so with zeal. They did it at MSG a couple of years ago with a team that was less talented than this one. You are not going to see the Zags drain 30 seconds off the shot clock each time down the floor. They have too many athletes and too many offensive weapons for that.

What they don't want to do is take quick shots, cough up turnovers and do other stupid things that can fuel the UNC transition game. No team in the nation wants to do that, because UNC's transition game is the best around.

bigblahla
03-23-2009, 06:19 PM
Honest question: considering UNC's blazing speed and 90+ ppg average, do you think it's wise to try to "run" with UNC? The conventional wisdom (that's admittedly gotten teams beaten 30 times this season) is that you want to slow down UNC and that trying to "run" with them is a death sentence.

If either Steven or Micah are hitting from the outside I say let's run there's nothing scary about the Tarheels, damn good team but every team left earned their way and we have a high powered offense too! It would be great for the tournament, great for the fans and one heck of a game.

Zags by 1+

Go!! Zags!!!

kitzbuel
03-23-2009, 06:20 PM
Honest question: considering UNC's blazing speed and 90+ ppg average, do you think it's wise to try to "run" with UNC? The conventional wisdom (that's admittedly gotten teams beaten 30 times this season) is that you want to slow down UNC and that trying to "run" with them is a death sentence.

This interesting bit of info that directly addressed this was posted earlier today:

The old saying has always been that the only way to beat Roy's running Heels is to "slow the game down" and "try to ugly it up".

The results do not bear this out.

In the last three years, North Carolina has lost 14 times. The mean score for the winner is 85.9 ppg. The median score for the winner is 84.5 ppg. That means that half of all the teams that have beaten UNC in the last three years have scored 85 points or better.

Here are the results of the winning teams:

73, 81, 82, 82, 82, 83, 84, 84, 85, 88, 89, 92, 94, 96

Out of fourteen teams that beat UNC, thirteen (93%) scored at least 81 points to do it. In fact the only true outlier was the last game, in which Florida State scored 73 in a win. The top margin is 96 scored by Wake Forest.

All of these losses came as teams that were awarded #1 seeds, so they were not bad teams at all.

What does this mean? It doesn't mean UNC isn't good; the record obviously does not bear that out. What it does mean is that if you want to beat North Carolina, you're going to have to go against "conventional wisdom" and instead of slowing the game down, run with them and attack like crazy, exactly like KU did last year.

My explanation for this? I think when North Carolina plays fast they get lulled into not playing defense and just try to outscore you, because that's what they are used to. When they are forced to play slow, they are forced to play defense, and their obvious athleticism and offensive talent advantage eventually wins out over the course of forty minutes. Think of last year, when UNC pounded a good but painfully slow Washington State team 65-45, or how badly Roy owns Izzo since he's been at North Carolina.

It was something I suspected and a quick look at the results bear it out. I think if UNC loses during the Tournament, it will come once again with a team that runs with them. If UNC loses early, I think it may be to Gonzaga.

http://guboards.com/showthread.php?t=19733

NotoriousZ
03-23-2009, 06:20 PM
While I'm a major stress case right now thinking about the UNC matchup, I think our team will be in top form. They're coming off a magical performance against a very hot Western Kentucky team--the game of the tourney so far--and they're playing the team that most experts have picked to win it all. The pressure should be squarely on the Tarheels in this one. I'm not going to predict a victory, because North Carolina is one of the best teams in the country. But so are we...I predict a well played, hard fought game by both teams (probably going down to the wire and causing me to drink so much that I miss work on Saturday).

Go Zags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

ZagMania
03-23-2009, 06:21 PM
Yeah, the Zags are going to try to run with you for sure. I think its our best option too, get the game going up and down the floor but make sure its not a layup drill. I'm sure UNC will find plenty of open threes in transition, and to be honest the Zags just have to hope that we hit more of those then you.

MDABE80
03-23-2009, 06:22 PM
Here's the rule of thumb: SHUT DOWN LAWSON and the fish dies off. Frasor isn't close. Pargo did it two years ago and Meech will be there this year. Smother the point and we have a chance.... an even chance.

Therunner
03-23-2009, 06:24 PM
Oh, and for those interested (or just curious), reports out of practice today are that Ty Lawson is quickly returning to form coming off that severe toe jam and subsequent swelling which led to his missing 3 games.

Appreciate the update on Ty's toe. I'm happy to hear he's back to form, yet from his play vs LSU, I knew it wouldn't be an issue. I think I can speak for most Zag fans when I say we'd much rather face a UNC team at full-strength, win or lose. Also, I enjoy watching Lawson play and I believe it'll be a great match-up of two premier PG's battling for a spot in the Elite-8.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 06:31 PM
Here's the rule of thumb: SHUT DOWN LAWSON and the fish dies off. Frasor isn't close. Pargo did it two years ago and Meech will be there this year. Smother the point and we have a chance.... an even chance.
First of all, you won't shut down the ACC Player of the Year. You may have shut him down two years ago, but that was Lawson's 4th college basketball game ever... fourth! Second of all, Frasor is no slouch... and he's been playing better and better lately.

Good luck Friday night... just enough luck to lose!

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 06:34 PM
Oh, and for those interested (or just curious), reports out of practice today are that Ty Lawson is quickly returning to form coming off that severe toe jam and subsequent swelling which led to his missing 3 games.

Hope Mr. Lawson can play. But also hope that he ends up with an off night due to Zags's tenacious D. I understand the type of toe injury he has can last weeks or even months, and can be "lit up" with the kind of cutting and stopping that happens in c-ship b-ball. UNC has to be a bit worried about it.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 06:38 PM
Yeah, we're worried about the lingering effects, but those worries were mitigated a good bit in the 2nd half of the LSU game, where he scored 21 of his 23 points. Further, Roy said on the coaches' radio show tonight that he was "much better" and quickly getting back to form.

He was absolutely phenomenal, as he has been all year. I don't doubt Gonzaga plays tenacious defense; however, it won't be the first good defense UNC has faced this year. Duke also plays very good defense... and UNC had little trouble with them this year.

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 06:47 PM
While I'm a major stress case right now thinking about the UNC matchup, I think our team will be in top form. They're coming off a magical performance against a very hot Western Kentucky team--the game of the tourney so far--and they're playing the team that most experts have picked to win it all. The pressure should be squarely on the Tarheels in this one. I'm not going to predict a victory, because North Carolina is one of the best teams in the country. But so are we...I predict a well played, hard fought game by both teams (probably going down to the wire and causing me to drink so much that I miss work on Saturday).

Go Zags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!


Easy NZ, still a few days to go--then stress like @#*% on Friday!

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 07:00 PM
... I don't doubt Gonzaga plays tenacious defense; however, it won't be the first good defense UNC has faced this year. Duke also plays very good defense... and UNC had little trouble with them this year.


Same kind of points we were trying to sell to Davidson last year. Didn't work.

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 07:05 PM
Same kind of points we were trying to sell to Davidson last year. Didn't work.
I don't think that's a very good analogy. The quality of Gonzaga's opponents are not that much better than Davidson's.

Since losing to Memphis 50-68 on February 7th, Gonzaga has beaten:

St.Marys
San Francisco
Loyola Marymount
Pepperdine
Santa Clara
San Diego
USC Upstate
Santa Clara
St. Mary's
Akron
W. Kentucky

Those teams, generally, are not substantially (if any) better than those Davdison plays every year.

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 07:07 PM
I don't think that's a very good analogy. The quality of Gonzaga's opponents are not that much better than Davidson's.

Since losing to Memphis 50-68 on February 7th, Gonzaga has beaten:

St.Marys
San Francisco
Loyola Marymount
Pepperdine
Santa Clara
San Diego
USC Upstate
Santa Clara
St. Mary's
Akron
W. Kentucky

Those teams, generally, are not substantially (if any) better than those Davdison plays every year.


You missed the point --Davidson went to Elite Eight last year

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 07:10 PM
No, I got the point -- that even though Gonzaga had played supposedly superior opponents and had played teams like Davidson before, Davidson still won and advanced to the Elite Eight, like you're hoping Gonzaga will do this year against UNC. I just don't think it's a very good analogy. Reasonable minds can disagree.

drogba11
03-23-2009, 07:10 PM
Sorry CDC4, but its all about Pargo and Lawson! Meech is a lot lighter, I would expect Pargo to play most of this game.

MDABE80
03-23-2009, 07:12 PM
Well, when it's THIS close, a tip here or there matters. I have every confidence Pargo/Meech will contain Lawson. Then what? We'll be fine IF we hit the boards, play defense and make FT's. Few had em all practicing fundamentals. All the TV people, etc are a source of distraction. I hope the kids focus. IF they do, we'll have a close game, We can win.just like 2 years ago.
It just seems so odd that some UNC people come on the board and argue that UNC and the same faces have improved so much that of course they'll win......;ike it's thei birthright or something.... It's not like our old faces haven't improved. We didn't exactly go on vacation since the last time. SO one team worked hard and the other one didn't? Oh ok. How does this work?

It's no even an argument worth any time or protest. It just ain't so. AND nobody can "will" it to be. Gird your loins fellas, it'll be a barnburner.

MDABE80
03-23-2009, 07:16 PM
Sorry CDC4, but its all about Pargo and Lawson! Meech is a lot lighter, I would expect Pargo to play most of this game.



And why is it all about Pargo? Because you say it? Not true..and if Meech is a lot lighter, Lawson is much less than Pargo when it comes to shoving people around or muscling them up.. Meech is at 180 now..12 lbs heavier than when he weighed in last year. I don't get the logic here. I usually do. I always do........ But what's wrong with Meech and Pargo shutting this bird down? Cut the head off and the rest withers. Few's thinking the same thing.

ZagLawGrad
03-23-2009, 07:19 PM
No, I got the point -- that even though Gonzaga had played supposedly superior opponents and had played teams like Davidson before, Davidson still won and advanced to the Elite Eight, like you're hoping Gonzaga will do this year against UNC. I just don't think it's a very good analogy. Reasonable minds can disagree.



Let's leave reasonable out of it---that's no fun. :mad:


Don't worry UNCbiz, Zags are well aware of all of your points---all excellent points that are hard to refute based on the fact UNC is a top tier program. But if there is a team to beat UNC outside of the Mega East Coast Conferences, the Zags have as good a shot as anybody. Best thing going for the Zags IMO? Underdog---it's where this program got its roots. I would worry about that if I were a Heels fan--nothing for the Zags to lose and everything to gain. Sweet 16 loss = failure for UNC. Not the case for GU.

NotoriousZ
03-23-2009, 07:28 PM
You make some very good points, UNCbiz, and best of luck to you guys by the way. It's great to have knowledgable debate from our opponents (unlike the occasional trolls we get around here). As for the Lawson issue, I'll bet he has some success, but he will be blanketed much of the game by Pargo, Meech, and Gray (mostly Pargo and Meech). I just know this game is going to go back and forth, with both teams playing well down to the very end. Is it Friday yet?

UNCbiz
03-23-2009, 08:02 PM
We can all agree that Friday can't come soon enough!

CDC84
03-23-2009, 08:29 PM
Sorry CDC4, but its all about Pargo and Lawson! Meech is a lot lighter, I would expect Pargo to play most of this game.

Where did I ever say that Meech was going to be assigned Lawson for most of the game?

All I said was that I was interested in seeing how Meech would respond to the challenge of guarding him...even if it was for only
1 minute and 16 seconds.

UberZagFan
03-24-2009, 08:52 AM
Yeah, Uber wants to see Meech match up with Lawson as well. It will be a tough challenge.

As for top PGs, yes Lawson, Flynn and Mills are on the list and so are some others. But after last night, Uber thinks Mills stock just keeps rising. It helps that ESPN can't quit talking about him being the only college player to play in the Olympics last year, but if he's getting 20 and 10 assists then put him in the lottery.

Uber likes Lawson's game more though at the college level and at least more for the players around him at UNC. Stopping him will be key, but it won't win the game alone (obviously).

Sometimes the best way to stop a good PG is make him play D. Uber would have Pargo (or Bouldin if Lawson switches) on the blocks all game long--make Lawson work hard on D, get bodied, and pick up some fouls. Lawson should have a difficult time guarding Pargo/Bouldin in the post--and with those two posting any weakside help will expose an open Daye/JH and Pargo/Bouldin can handle dishing the interior pass (hopefully).

webspinnre
03-24-2009, 09:26 AM
Sometimes the best way to stop a good PG is make him play D. Uber would have Pargo (or Bouldin if Lawson switches) on the blocks all game long--make Lawson work hard on D, get bodied, and pick up some fouls. Lawson should have a difficult time guarding Pargo/Bouldin in the post--and with those two posting any weakside help will expose an open Daye/JH and Pargo/Bouldin can handle dishing the interior pass (hopefully).

This is exactly what I want to see some of - I love when we play some inside out with Pargo or Bouldin posting up smaller guards. Hopefully hang a couple fouls on Lawson early, and make him play physical to test out how healthy that toe really is.

DoMieD
03-24-2009, 09:44 AM
Sorry I wasn't able to read this whole thread, so If its already been mentioned, then my fault..

but I was thinking, it would be a good idea to put Goodson on Lawson, but who would Pargo cover? Wouldn't it be a mis-match for UNC?

I mean, IMO for Goodson to play on Lawson, that would mean that Pargo would be on the bench, and I'd rather have Pargo running the point more so than Meech playing on Lawson..

Pargo can get the job done, I mean he goes RIGHT every time he drives..

zagzilla
03-24-2009, 03:02 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/basketball/ncaa/mens-tournament/03/24/lawson.ap/index.html

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Ty Lawson is starting to feel better, just in time for North Carolina.

The speedy point guard said his troublesome toe is still achy after returning to the lineup over the weekend, but he plans to play in the Tar Heels' game against Gonzaga on Friday. And coach Roy Williams also sounds optimistic, too, that the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year will be ready for the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

"It's getting better," Lawson said Tuesday. "I'm walking on it better. Hopefully in a couple of days, it'll be back to 100 percent."

Lawson had missed three straight games with a jammed right big toe before helping the top-seeded Tar Heels (30-4) rally past LSU in Saturday's second-round game in the South Regional. He experienced some minor swelling in the toe afterward, but nothing like what followed the regular-season finale against Duke that forced him to the sideline.

He participated in the team's shootaround Monday and expected to go through some drills during practice this week. But the team has been cautious, keeping him out of practice for almost two weeks, in addition to missing both of the Tar Heels' ACC tournament games and their NCAA opener against Radford.

Williams said the injury will linger.

"It's here," he said. "It's going to be here. It's not going to go away. It's going to hurt the whole rest of the season until he can take that time off."

Lawson injured the toe in practice two days before the Duke game and needed a painkilling shot beforehand. He nearly had a triple-double in 36 minutes in the win, but the toe swelled unexpectedly afterward. It turned out Lawson -- on advice from his father -- might have exacerbated the problem when he soaked his foot that night in hot water and Epsom salt.

These days, Lawson is sticking to a steady regimen of icing his foot in the morning, before practice and after practice. Then, when he's at home, he fills a trash can with ice and water and soaks his foot a few more times in the evening. He's also worn a compression wrap to limit swelling and exercised in a swimming pool.

The injury has been the topic of conversation around Chapel Hill for weeks, creating a hubbub that has grown tiresome for his teammates.

"I get a lot of questions about how does Ty's toe feel?" senior Tyler Hansbrough said. "I'm like, 'It's not my toe. I don't know.' I don't ask him how his toe's doing because I'm sure 100 other people have. I understand other people's curiosity. They want to know if he'll be able to go because of his impact on this team and what he's done this year. Either way, I thought we were a solid team with or without him."

Still, Lawson makes the Tar Heels' fast-paced offense go -- and that was apparent during his return against LSU.

After fans greeted him with a loud roar that drowned out his name during starting lineups, the junior looked rusty and hesitant early on. At one point in the first half, he came out of the game after feeling a pop in his toe, took off his shoe and was in obvious discomfort while a trainer looked at him on the bench.

But he got better as the game wore on, helping the Tar Heels rally from a five-point deficit midway through the second half. He finished with 21 of his 23 points after the break, including a pair of driving baskets during the decisive 11-0 second-half run that looked like the same ol' Lawson.

"I don't think he's going to be 100 percent," Williams said. "But we'll take whatever we can get, especially if it's like that performance Saturday. That's about as good as I've had a point guard play in 21 years as a head coach. I even told him that I was thinking of calling him 'Rambo' instead of 'Dennis the Menace."'

Lawson said the performance gave him confidence, joking that it proved the toe "wouldn't fall off" as he tried to play at his normal fleet-footed pace. He's also hoping it will answer all the questions about the injury.

"It's just one toe," he said. "I don't think it's that big of a deal. But to everybody else, I guess it is. I'm just trying to get it better. I'm ready for it to be over."

JohnOGU
03-24-2009, 05:42 PM
I don't think that's a very good analogy. The quality of Gonzaga's opponents are not that much better than Davidson's.

Since losing to Memphis 50-68 on February 7th, Gonzaga has beaten:

St.Marys
San Francisco
Loyola Marymount
Pepperdine
Santa Clara
San Diego
USC Upstate
Santa Clara
St. Mary's
Akron
W. Kentucky

Those teams, generally, are not substantially (if any) better than those Davdison plays every year.


Don't go by the quality of our opponents in conference. Go by the eye test. It fails very rarely. Point being, I'm not saying we're gonna win, because i have absolutely no idea who will win this game. BUT, the eye test rarely fails.