Kicking Off a New Year (kind of)

August may not mark the beginning of a new calendar year, but for whatever reason August has always felt like the start of a new time for me. This summer, I had the opportunity to be part of the APPLES service-learning internship program and spend time as a communications intern at the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Public School Foundation. It has been a great summer.  My internship is coming to a close and a new semester will begin soon.

Lately, I have also been reminded of something else new August brings each year… sports.

Tennis

While tennis may not be what comes to many people’s minds when they think of sports in August, it’s what will probably always come first in my mind. In high school, the tennis team’s season started at the beginning of August. There was always something new and exciting about tennis at this time of year in high school, and even these past few years after high school there is still something about this month that makes me want to get on a tennis court.

Part of my interest in tennis may be because of the US Open, which starts at the end of August. Although it is the last Grand Slam of the year, I have always enjoyed watching the U.S. Open. It also does not hurt that the US Open is a little easier to watch because it is the only Grand Slam that takes place in my time zone.

This year’s tournament is going to be particularly exciting the men’s draw looks like it could be about as competitive as it has been in a long time.  Djokovic, Nadal and Murray have all won a Grand Slam this year, and it is hard to guess who will win the U.S. Open title with Federer, del Potro and Tsonga also very much in the mix. The women’s draw is similar with three different Grand Slam champions this year coming into the tournament, and there are quite a few up-and-coming players that may have a huge impact on how the tournament plays out.

Football

Football teams also kick off their seasons this time of year.  The NFL teams started their preseason games this weekend, and college and high school games will begin at the end of the month.

This year, it has felt to me like football has been in the news (not necessarily for the right reasons) since the Super Bowl concluded in February.  Trade rumors, trades, player safety concerns, (possible) NCAA violations and players’ actions off the field have kept football in the news.

Yesterday, I found it refreshing to watch the Carolina Panthers play their first preseason game. I even enjoyed the hype around Tim Tebow playing the second half for the Patriots.

There is a lot of excitement with a new season. I am looking forward to being able to watch a few football games (particularly Tar Heels and Panthers) on the weekends for the next couple months as my “new year” begins.

Until next time,

Hannah

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Madness before March

Overview

March is here.  For me, the beginning of March is a reminder of March Madness, the most exciting weeks of college basketball.  As the regular season winds down, it is a great time to look at  some statistical madness from this season that may impact the upcoming conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

UNC has put up some impressive numbers in team offense and assists

Davidson is shooting free throws almost like they’re layups (I’m not joking)

Jordan Hulls has proved himself to be an excellent three point shooter

If you haven’t heard of Mike Muscala, you should read about the season he is having.

Summary and Analysis

Teams

1.

I admit it, I am a bit biased, but the UNC basketball team has produced some impressive stats this season.  UNC’s offense is currently ranked 14th in the nation (77.7 ppg).  UNC is averaging 17.8 assists per game, which puts the team at 2nd in the nation in assists per game.   Reggie Bullock is 13th in the nation in three point field goal percentage (44.4%).  Also, Dexter Strickland has the 5th best assist-to-turnover  ratio in the nation (3.22).

2.

As of February 28, the Davidson College basketball teams free throw percentage is 81.2%… the team has made 492 of its 606 free throw attempts.  To put that in perspective, only 42 players in the NBA are shooting a higher free throw percentage than Davidson’s entire teamNik Cochran leads the Wildcats (and the country) shooting an astonishing 95.4% from the line (103 for 108)Davidson,  23-7 (17-1), is first place in the Southern Conference.  That is not a team that you want to be forced to intentionally foul at the end of a game.

Individuals

1.

Jordan Hulls, a junior guard at Indiana, currently leads the country in 3 point field goal percentage shooting 48.6% (71 of 146) from behind the arc. This season, Kyle Kover and Stephen Curry lead the NBA in three point percentage. Although they have both shot more three pointers, they have shot 46.2% and 45.2% respectively from behind the arc.

Indiana is ranked number 2 in the nation in this week’s polls, and Hulls is someone to look out for in Big Ten conference tournament and NCAA tournament.

2.

Bucknell, 25-5 (12-2), are currently in first place in the Patriot League.  They are 12th in the nation for win-loss percentage.

Bucknell Forward Mike Muscala has lead the team to their success.   Muscala is ranked 3rd in the nation in double-doubles (he has had 19 double-doubles in 30 games).  In addition he is 4th in the nation in rebounds per game (11 rpg), 24th in the nation in blocked shots per game (2.5 per game), 25th in the nation in points per game (19.1 ppg), and 63rd in the nation in field goal percentage (52.3%).

Muscala has been dominant this season.  Look out for him the rest of this season.

Sources

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/basketball-men/d1

http://www.nba.com/statistics