Sunday, December 26, 2010

UNC hoops rejiggering travel plans

North Carolina's basketball team -- which plays Rutgers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night -- had planned to reconvene in New York City for practice tonight.

But because of the snowy weather, the team is going to practice in Chapel Hill tonight and hopefully travel to New York on Monday, spokesman Steve Kirschner said in an e-mail.

Eight of the players were in Chapel Hill as of 11 a.m. this morning, and the team was working to re-route the rest of the players who were still out of town. The Tar Heels have been off since Tuesday night.

-- Robbi Pickeral

Monday, December 20, 2010

Krzyzewski shares USA hoops coach of year honors

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma were both named the 2010 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year on Monday, the Blue Devils announced.

It marked the fourth time in the past five years Krzyzewski has received the award. He led the U.S. to the 2010 FIBA World Championship, marking the first goal medal in the world championships for Team USA since 1994.

"Any time a coach is recognized for representing his or her country, it is a tremendous honor," Krzyzewski said in a prepared statement. "USA Basketball enjoyed a terrific summer, and we were proud to do our part at the World Championship. In all of my years in coaching, there's nothing I've enjoyed more than being a part of the USA Basketball program. So, receiving this award for a fourth time is very special to me."

Tuesday's UNC game shifted to ESPNU

UNC's Tuesday game against William & Mary, originally scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 at 7 p.m., will instead be broadcast on ESPNU, the school announced.

ESPN2 will be broadcasting the UConn women’s game against Florida State, as the Huskies attempt to win their 89th consecutive game.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Duke's Irving now in hard cast

Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving had his right foot placed in a hard cast today, coach Mike Krzyzewski announced in a prepared statement. Irving, who injured his right big toe last Saturday against Butler, remains out indefinitely; there is no timetable for his return.

The Duke medical staff elected to immobilize the foot during this stage of the player's recovery process to completely rest the area and allow for optimal healing, according to the news release.

Irving ranks among the nation's freshman at 17.4 points per game. He was named most valuable player of the CBE Classic after a win over No. 4 Kansas State, and scored 31 points in a victory over sixth-ranked Michigan State last week.

The top-ranked Blue Devils play Saint Louis on Saturday.

-- Robbi Pickeral

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Duke's Irving sidelined indefinitely with toe injury

Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving is out indefinitely because of a toe injury on his right foot suffered during Saturday’s win over Butler, coach Mike Krzyzewski announced this afternoon.

No timetable has been set for Irving’s return for an injury that will require rest and rehabilitation.

“Kyrie is going to miss an undetermined amount of time with the toe injury,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Our medical staff will continue to monitor the recovery process and he will return to action once it has sufficiently healed. Kyrie is an outstanding player and we are confident that he will bounce back from this setback.”

Irvingwas injured while trying to make a move on the baseline during the win over Butler. He said he “stumped” his toe, but said it felt OK after the game.

He has been wearing a protective boot to protect the toe.

Irvingis the third-leading freshman scorer in the nation at 17.4 points per game. He was named most valuable player of the CBE Classic after a win over No. 4 Kansas State and scored 31 points in a win over No. 6 Michigan State, tying for the second-highest point total in a game for a Duke freshman.

Ken Tysiac

Duke agrees to high-profile November games

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has long been a proponent of the creation of early-season events that will generate excitement about college basketball in November.

For the next three seasons, the Blue Devils will participate in such events. Duke senior associate athletic director Mike Cragg, who handles the team's scheduling, confirmed this afternoon that the Blue Devils will compete in an event called the Champions Classic in November of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Michigan State, Kentucky and Kansas are the other teams that will participate in the event, which has each of the four teams playing one game in a doubleheader each season, according to

•On Nov. 11, 2011, Duke will play Michigan State and Kansas will meet Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in New York.

•On Nov. 13, 2012, Duke meets Kentucky and Michigan State plays Kansas at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

•On Nov. 12, 2013, Duke plays Kansas and Kentucky meets Michigan State at the United Center in Chicago.

"Basically we've bantered about this idea for four or five years, for how we can create a signature event at the start of the basketball season," Cragg said. ". . .It should be, obviously, four great programs."

The games will be televised by ESPN.

Ken Tysiac

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

UNC's Drew II looking for a better shot

CHAPEL HILL - What's point guard Larry Drew II's solution to finally getting his shot to fall?

Take better ones, said the North Carolina junior, who is 8-for-34 (25.5 percent) this season.

"I know why my shots haven't been falling - even my dad brought it to my attention,'' he said, referring to his father, Larry Drew, who is head coach of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

"All of my first shots have been 3-pointers, and it's kind of like where I've been getting the ball through the offense, early on in the game. If my first shot is a 3 all the time, and it doesn't go in, the basket might shrink a little bit. He tells me just to get easier [shots] or a better shot. Instead of getting a 3 for my first shot, get to the foul line, or shoot a floater or a pull-up. Work my way out."

Although he was only 2-for-7 during Saturday's win over No. 10 Kentucky, Drew played his best game, by far of the season, picking up his defensive intensity while playing with poise down the stretch. Now, he just wants to add better offense to the mix, although he knows it will come.

"My confidence is right where it needs to be at this point in the season," he said.

The Tar Heels (5-3) play at Evansville (3-3) on Wednesday.

-- Robbi Pickeral

Irving likely out for Bradley with toe injury

A toe injury suffered Saturday is likely to keep Duke freshman point guard Kyrie Irving out of the top-ranked Blue Devils' 9 p.m. game Wednesday against Bradley.

Team spokesman Matt Plizga said this morning that Irving is wearing a protective boot and undergoing further evaluation, and is unlikely to play against Bradley. Plizga hopes to be able to provide more information about Irving's injury today.

Irving injured a toe on his right foot while making a move on the baseline opposite Duke's bench in an 82-70 defeate of Butler on Saturday in East Rutherford, N.J. He appeared to be in a great deal of pain on the bench, but returned to the game and afterward said he "stumped" his toe and felt better.

Irving leads Duke in assists at 5.1 per game and ranks second on the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game. One of the most productive freshmen in the nation, he was named the CBE Classic MVP after Duke's win over No. 4 Kansas State and scored 31 points in Duke's defeat of No. 6 Michigan State.

Ken Tysiac

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

N.C. State trailing Wisconsin at half

MADISON, Wis. – N.C. State senior Tracy Smith is sitting on the visitor’s bench in street clothes, arms crossed, as his knee continues to heal after arthroscopic surgery. The Pack can’t get him back fast enough.

Without their leading scorer and rebounder -- who is missing his fifth straight game -- State trails Wisconsin 44-21 at halftime at Kohl Center in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It has been ugly. State is shooting worse than 31 percent, has been outscored from the free throw line 13-3, and has committed 11 turnovers.

Leading 12-11, Wisconsin started to pull away early with a 7-0 run. Then the methodical Badgers ended the first half with a 15-0 breakaway that included six points from Jon Leuer. State’s final basket of the first half came around with 6:36 left in the first half, when Lorenzo Brown made a layup.

Leuer has 13 points for the Badgers and Jordan Taylor has 14.

Richard Howell leads State with 7.

-- Robbi Pickeral