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Readers On Wagner

We got a number of responses to our comments on DaJuan Wagner's 100 point
game, including this one. Our pal Jeremy responded, and we would have a hard
time adding much to his comments...

Here is a link that I would fully expect you to comment on in a negative
manner. This kid scored more points and his team won by significantly
larger amount than Wagner's team. So this would be worse, right??

Doug English

Jeremy's comments...

Since you say you are receiving nasty e-mails about your stance on
Wagner's 100, let me balance it out.

Wagner, and the kid in Texas were two of
the more despicable items in sports I have read about in some time. The
NYTimes article was right on the money, and there is a subtle pun in
that. I love the comments from the Texas coach saying how it wasn't
about anyone out to get "theirs", it was a real team effort for their
comrade who was going in for surgery. Beating someone by 150 points, and
talking of teammates sacrificing so this guy could accomplish something
"successful"! Arrgh! What is success, standing on a scorer's table and
thumping your chest, or maybe digging in the knife to the heart, after
beating someone by ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POINTS!

The high school game is played in four 8 minute quarters, if I remember
correctly. That's 32 minutes of game time. It's hard to score 150, let
alone beat someone by that margin. The concept that anyone was proud of
what happened there is ridiculous. Why not let the kid run up and down
an empty court making layups for as long as he can move, and then tell
him how great he is. Or perhaps it's important to have "opposition", so
hire nine random people to stand around and rebound for him, and pretend
to play defense. Maybe he can talk some trash then, too, if he has any
breath left.

What rubbish. This falls into the broad category of the cheapening of
moral values in America. It's sickening to see.

A UNC reader writes in to compare Wagner's 100 point game to Duke's big
wins this season. But there are a few points he overlooks: 1) Duke can't
simultaneously be damned for no depth and damned for playing the players
they do have for lengthy minutes; 2) Duke generally calls off the press after
the game is decided; 3) in most of the blowouts, the second half score has been
roughly even, making it hard to say Duke is piling on, and 4) quite often, Duke
has worked on things like the delay game in the second halves of these games.
It's not as if they are trying to go up by another 30 points. The rest of his
comments mostly speak for themselves, fortunately or unfortunately. depending on
your point of view. Also, since he asks DBR readers for your opinions, you can
drop him a line here to
give him yours.

First I would like to say that I am a UNC fan, so I may be a little biased. However, I would like to ask your staff and all the readers of the DBR a couple of questions.

Everyone is slamming Dajuan Wagner and his coach (mostly his coach) for scoring 100 points. Well, if you had 40 some points at halftime, wouldn't you want to score 100?? What is so bad about crushing a team so bad? Maybe the other teams coach should be coaching. Maybe he should try to foul Wagner out. What about slowing the game down and holding the ball??? There is no shot clock in high school. So what if they pressed the whole game. Is there a rule in basketball that says you shouldn't play the whole game as hard as you can?? NO. The kid went nuts and scored 100 points. I played high school basketball and we were beaten by 50 points once, and no one got upset. We lost. We weren't as good as the other team. I have a problem with the losing coach complaining. Have your team prepared. Have some kind of game plan. If you get killed, you get killed. Maybe his team should be playing JV ball.

Anyway, this leads to my main point. Everyone in the country seems to be getting on this coach and on Wagner, however, I see some of the same practices happening right here in the ACC. The writers here at DBR must not realize what is going on here. You guy’s talk about how unsportsmanlike it is for this high school coach and Wagner, but what is Coach K doing?

You are probably wondering what I am talking about. Well, let's take a look at the BC Box score. Here are the minutes played by the first 7 guys: James 30, Battier 40, Boozer 30, Williams 38, Dunleavy 32, Duhon 21, Christensen 9.

Hmmmmmm. What was the final score of the game? 97-75. Wow. Something seems a little strange to me. I see that you guys won by 22 points, but no one played off the bench. Maybe I read the boxscore wrong. Could you guys please help me read it. Explain this to me. I am wondering why Shane Battier, an ALL AMERICAN, and player of the year candidate, played, let's see, oh yeah, 40 minutes????!!?? That's the WHOLE GAME!!!! Why did Jason Williams, who scored 34 points, his career high if I am not mistaken, play all but 2 minutes in the game. Let's look at this. Jason Williams, after the BC game is scoring 20.6 ppg. Wagner, after the explosion, is scoring 47.5 points a game. Williams' increase in the BC is about 40% from his season average. Wagners increase is a little over 50%. The numbers are not that far off when you consider the scale of their competition. I am not saying that Williams' performance came anywhere close to Wagners, however, some questions must be asked when you win by 22 and no one from you bench gets to play.

As for running up the score, let's look at some of Duke's margins of victory this year: 37 vs. Princeton, 36 vs. Texas, 43 vs. Army, 42 vs. Davidson, 43 vs. Michigan, 33 vs. Portland, 41 vs. Clemson, and 42 vs. Virginia. Don't you think winning a high school game by 90 points, when you have a player that is averaging almost 50 points, and is considered one of the best players in the nation, is comparable to Duke smashing Army, Davidson, and Portland??? by more than 40 points? I certainly think so.

Before you start coming down on others for what they do to embarrass teams, take a look at what is happening with your own team, and your own coach, and report on that.

And I know you are thinking, "Well the BC game was closer than it looked on the final scoreboard, and Coach K had to leave his starters in......" That is a bunch of bull.

I am not sure this will even be read, but if it is I would not only like a response from you guys, I would also like this put on your website.