Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VIDEO: Kyle Singler trick shots video

Everybody has one, so why not Kyle Singler? Here's his trick-shot video from YouTube:

Monday, May 23, 2011

N.C. State boosts backcourt with Bakersfield transfer

Alex Johnson's Twitter handle is "supermanjohnson" but the point guard is looking to help N.C. State's basketball team, not save them.

Johnson, who averaged 13.3 points per game last season for Cal State Bakersfield, said Monday he is going to transfer to N.C. State for his final college season. Johnson said he will graduate in June and pursue a masters degree at State, which means he will be eligible for the upcoming season.

The Wolfpack, which lost point guards Javier Gonzalez and Ryan Harrow, needs guard help for coach Mark Gottfried's first team. Sophomore Lorenzo Brown is the only ball-handler on the roster.

"It's a great opportunity," said Johnson, who's 5-10 and 170 pounds. "I'm excited about it. I think it's a great situation for me."

Johnson, who is from Toronto, averaged 93. points in three seasons for the Roadrunners, a Division I independent. He took a medical redshirt before his junior season at Bakersfield after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He returned in 2010-11 to average 13.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game with 26 starts.

He was prolific from 3-point range with 228 attempts (and made 79), which would have ranked second in the ACC in attempts and was 56 more than State's leader in the category (Scott Wood).

Johnson doesn't anticipate taking that many 3s for the Wolfpack.

"It all depends on what the coaches want me to do," Johnson said. "I'll go with the flow and do what the team needs."

The addition of Johnson and Belgian power forward Thomas de Thaey likely ends Gottfried's recruiting search for the class of '11. The Pack is bringing in four new players with wing Tyler Harris and guard Jaqwan Raymond, who committed under former coach Sidney Lowe.

Neither Harris nor Raymond play the point, though, which makes Johnson's addition important for the Pack, which went 15-16 last season.

Johnson said he thinks he'll fit into Gottfried's style of play.

"He wants to play up tempo," Johnson said. "I think I can help them push the ball and get guys open shots and knock down some shots."

Johnson's the second post-graduate transfer in the Triangle in as many years. North Carolina added forward Justin Knox last summer after he graduated from Alabama.

-- J.P. Giglio

Sampson Joins ASU Staff

Kellen Sampson has joined the Appalachian State men's basketball coaching staff, signing on as an assistant under head coach Jason Capel.

Sampson was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin last year where the Lumberjacks led the nation in scoring defense and three-point percentage defense. Prior to his time at Stephen F. Austin, Sampson spent two years on the coaching staff at Oklahoma, his alma mater.

“I’m very excited about adding Coach Kellen Sampson,” Capel said in a press release. “He brings great energy, love for the game and a passion to help our student-athletes on and off the court.

"I’ve known Kellen for some time now from afar and have had a chance to watch him work and see the relationships he’s been able to build, not just with players and developing their skill sets and helping them mature as individuals, but also on the recruiting circuit with parents. He’ll be a great asset to our program, a great ambassador for Appalachian State and a young man that’s going to help this program continue to grow to a championship level. We are very happy to have Kellen Sampson.”

Sampson replaces Rick Scruggs, who left the staff after the end of the 2010-11 season to pursue head coaching opportunities.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pairings set for expanded ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The ACC will win the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the 11th time.

Or the newly expanded Big Ten will make it three straight, after losing the first 10 years. Or there'll be a tie.

For the first time, the made-for-ESPN basketball series has been scheduled for an even number of games. (The Big Ten actually has 12 teams with the addition of Nebraska.)

North Carolina, which will be the favorite to win both the ACC and national titles, hosts Wisconsin on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Duke, which has won more games in the Challenge than any team, travels to Ohio State on Tuesday, Nov. 29 and N.C. State, with first-year coach Mark Gottfried, hosts Indiana on Nov. 30.

Duke beat Ohio State in '02 in the Challenge for one of its 11 wins in the Challenge. The Blue Devils only loss in the Challenge came at Wisconsin in '09. The Buckeyes, and forward Jared Sullinger, will be a test for Duke's frontcourt.

UNC's just 6-6 in the Challenge but has won six of its past eight games. It's the first time the Heels and Badgers have met in the Challenge and their first meeting since the Syracuse Regional final in the 2005 NCAA tournament. UNC beat the Badgers en route to coach Roy Williams first national title.

The Wolfpack will host an Indiana team that went 12-20 last season and has won just eight Big Ten games in three years under coach Tom Crean. The Pack got waxed by 39 points at Wisconsin last season and has lost three straight games in the Challenge with its last win in '06 at home over Michigan.

Tuesday, Nov. 29
Miami @ Purdue
Northwestern @ Georgia Tech
Illinois @ Maryland
Michigan @ Virginia
Clemson @ Iowa
Duke @ Ohio State

Wednesday, Nov. 30
Indiana @ N.C. State
Penn State @ Boston College
Florida State @ Michigan State
Virginia Tech @ Minnesota
Wake Forest @ Nebraska
Wisconsin @ UNC

-- J.P. Giglio

'Today' allegations put Wake Forest on edge

Wake Forest University is bracing for a national television interview that could cause the issue of violence against women to hit home.

A producer with NBC's "Today" show advised Wake Forest officials that it will air a segment Thursday morning concerning sexual assault on college campuses.

According to Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch, who disclosed the details Tuesday in an email to the university community, the "Today" segment will include an interview with a former Wake Forest student discussing an incident that occurred "several" years ago.

Hatch offered few other details on what the "Today" show would air.

On its Facebook page, an advocacy organization known as the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes wrote that in the morning news show's segment. scheduled to air at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, a woman will talk about a sexual assault that she said involved members of the Wake Forest basketball team.

According to a Miami Police Department incident report, a female Wake Forest student accused a Wake Forest basketball player of sexual assault in an incident that occurred shortly before 5a.m. March 21, 2009, hours after the Deacons were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in an opening-round loss to Cleveland State.

She also reported the incident to Wake Forest campus police, according to Miami police.

Miami police reported that they interviewed the woman in May 2009 when they were informed of the incident. According to the incident report, the woman told Miami police that a Wake player requested that she perform a sex act on him in the bathroom of a hotel room; she said she did so, according to the report, because she was afraid not to.

The player told police that he did not force the woman to perform the sex act, according to the Miami police report.

After Miami police reviewed the case with a state attorney, charges were not filed for reasons that included the "one-on-one" nature of the allegation, the delayed report to police and the absence of physical evidence and corroborating witnesses, according to the report.

In his email to the Wake Forest community, Hatch wrote that the university will take appropriate action to respond to the matter. He also wrote that the university takes such issues seriously, has procedures to enforce its code of conduct and supports students in times of need.

"Fostering a positive and respectful living and learning environment is of paramount importance at Wake Forest University," he wrote. "... As part of our Pro Humanitate mission we strive to treat all of our students with integrity and compassion."

-- Ken Tysiac

Duke, UNC, N.C. State basketball excel in class

Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State had widely varying degrees of success on the court in men's basketball in 2009-10, but all three schools posted stellar performances in the classroom.

All three ACC men's basketball teams received public recognition awards Tuesday for performance in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate calculation for 2009-10. The only other ACC men's basketball team to receive recognition was Virginia Tech's.

The NCAA announced the awards, which are given each year to teams that finished in the top 10 percent nationally in their sport in the APR calculation, which measures classroom performance.

On the court in 2009-10, Duke won the NCAA title, North Carolina was National Invitation Tournament runner-up and N.C. State played in the NIT.

Duke led all ACC schools with 15 sports programs receiving public recognition awards. In men's sports, Duke was recognized in baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, soccer, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, and wrestling. The women's basketball, fencing, lacrosse and volleyball teams also were honored.

North Carolina was honored in seven sports - men's basketball and swimming, and women's fencing, golf, gymnastics, swimming and volleyball.

N.C. State's men's basketball, cross country and mixed rifle teams were honored.

Boston College finished second to Duke in the ACC with 10 public recognition awards. Wake Forest had six sports honored.

The Charlotte 49ers earned public recognition awards in men's cross country, golf, indoor track and outdoor track, and women's tennis.

The NCAA will release the complete APR data on March 24.

-- Ken Tysiac

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tudor's Take: Texas rewards Barnes' loyalty

It became something of a political football involving a basketball coach when Texas gave Rick Barnes a $200,000 raise recently.

According to the Associated Press, a few Texas state legislators objected strongly last week when the University of Texas increased a scheduled $75,000 raise to $200,000 for the veteran Longhorns coach.

The news report put Barnes' total annual income at $2.4 million, which didn't set well with some of the lawmakers. Like most school systems, Texas is facing big budget cuts.

Texas' athletic director DeLoss Dodds said a $200,000 raise, rather than the $75,000 hike in Barnes' contract, was appropriate in view of the basketball program's improvement and the school's desire to keep him.

It also may be another reason why Barnes during the past two or three seasons has shunned approaches from schools closer to his Hickory, N.C., roots.

N.C. State, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Virginia had some degree of interest in Barnes during the past three years, but Barnes displayed no desire to leave.

In 13 seasons at Texas, Barnes hasn't failed to land an NCAA Tournament bid and has a 322-123 record at the school. But his 2010-11 team, which finished 28-8, lost its second game in the tourney to Arizona.

Texas last reached a regional semifinal in 2008, but Barnes' 2003 team got to the Final Four.

-- Caulton Tudor

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vitale, coaches team up to fight kids' cancer

Less than two months ago, North Carolina's Roy Williams and Kentucky's John Calipari were battling to advance to the NCAA Final Four. May 20, they - as well as scores of other NCAA basketball coaches, pro athletes and celebrities - will come together to help kids who are battling cancer.

Williams and Calipari, whose teams will likely be ranked 1-2 in the polls come next fall, will be two of the guests of honor at the sixth annual Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota, Fla. The goal, again, will be to raise more than $1 million for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The event - which includes 800 tickets at $1,000 apiece - has sold out; but people can donate by logging on to or calling 1800-4JIMMYV.

" We compete against each other all season, we recruit against each other, but now we also come together to do something special,'' Williams said last week. " ... And I hope this will raise a lot more money for an important cause."

Williams, who lost both his parents to cancer, has helped raise more than $1.3 million over the years for UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center with his season-opening Fast Break for Cancer Breakfast. This will also mark his third trip Vitale's gala.

"I've been there twice," Williams said, "and I'm not ashamed to say, I cried twice."

Vitale, a long-time ESPN commentator, gets choked up, as well, when he talks about his event. A board member of the V foundation, he said his passion to raise money for pediatric cancer research was ignited when his neighbors, Patrick and Holly Wright, lost their daughter Payton to cancer in 2007.

"You see these sick little kids, 5, 6, 4 [years old] and it crushes you - these kids all have brain tumors, leukemia, tumors on the spine, and it just crushes you,'' Vitale said. "You think about coaches worried about winning games, and these kids are fighting for their lives."

Tennis legend Nick Bollettieri will join Williams and Calipari as a guest of honor. (Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, has been honored at the Gala in the past.) Other attendees this year include Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, Florida's Billy Donavan, Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg, recently-retired Maryland coach Gary Williams, and the three other coaches who joined Calipari in the Final Four: Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, Butler's Brad Stevens, and VCU's Shaka Smart.

The celebrity guests all pay their own expenses, and some make a personal donation.

Since 2006, Vitale's Gala has raised more than $3.65 million for The V Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by the late N.C. State coach Jim Valvano and ESPN. Another way fans can chip in to Vitale's million-dollar-plus goal is by purchasing his children's book, "Dickie Vs ABCs and 1-2-3s: A Great Start for Young Superstars," for $14.95. Vitale is donating all of his proceeds from the book to pediatric cancer research.

Williams and Vitale expect May 20 to be a memorable night.

"Both Roy and John Calipari have been good to us over the years ... and with Carolina and Kentucky being the two winningest programs, we just thought that would make the event exciting, and draw a lot of interest,'' Vitale said. "The most important thing about this is raising money, and we really appreciate the fans' support in trying to fight cancer in children."

-- Robbi Pickeral

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pack assistants get two-year appointments

Three new members of N.C. State's basketball staff each received two-year appointments, according to information provided by the school today in response to a public records request.

Bobby Lutz, the former Charlotte 49ers head coach, received the top salary among assistants on the staff at $225,000 a year. Orlando Early, who came to N.C. State from South Carolina, will make $215,000 a year. Rob Moxley, who spent last season at Middle Tennessee, will make $205,000 a year

Early and Moxley both served under Lutz at Charlotte.

The coaches join the staff of Mark Gottfried, who was hired last month to replace Sidney Lowe. After the introductory news conference for Gottfried, athletics director Debbie Yow vowed to put the money on the table to allow Gottfried to hire a "phenomenal staff" that she said would lead the Wolfpack to a national championship.

"I know as a former coach how important that really is," Yow said on April 5. "It truly is. You see somebody that’s terrific, but then you realize, I don’t have the money to hire them? So it won’t be that way. He’ll be able to hire whoever he wants in all three of the assistant coach positions."

The salaries of the new assistants do represent a boost over those of the previous staff. According to the UNC general administration salary database for 2010-11, former associate head coach Monte Towe's pay of $176,748 led Lowe's staff. His salary combined with those of lead assistants Larry Harris and Pete Strickland totaled $477,723.

The combined salaries of the three new lead assistants will be $645,000 a year.

According to the same database, North Carolina pays $277,000 to top assistant Steve Robinson, $143,500 each to assistants C.B. McGrath and Jerod Haase, and $303,00 to basketball operations director Joe Holladay.

Ken Tysiac

Maryland to name court after Williams

Maryland will name its basketball court after coach Gary Williams, school president Wallace Loh said today at a news conference to announce Williams' retirement.

Loh said Williams represents the heart and soul of the university and is a teacher who has maintained ethical standards and plays by the rules. Loh called Williams an "incredibly loyal alumnus" who displayed fierce competitiveness in 22 seasons as coach.

"You are a champion on the court and you are a champion in the community," Loh said. "Your legacy will live on forever."

Williams, 66, posted 668 career wins and a 461-252 record at Maryland with two Final Four trips and an NCAA title in 2002. He said he feels like he could still coach, but realizes there are other opportunities out there for him.

He will remain at Maryland as a special assistant to athletics director Kevin Anderson.

"Whatever he wants me to do to help, I'll help," Williams said. "I'm very confident that we can have a program we'll all be proud of in the future."

Williams had glassy eyes and a quivering lip through much of the news conference, which lasted about an hour. He said he briefly considered retiring in 2002 after Maryland won the NCAA title.

He thought about retiring again in 2010, after a team he thought was capable of making the Final Four lost a heartbreaker in the second round of the NCAA tournament to eventual national semifinalist Michigan State. But he stayed around one more season to coach a younger team last season partly because it gave him the opportunity to do something he loves to do - teach.

Now, he said, he has good people around him and good health, and he is ready to do something different.

"I've seen coaches where they just stayed too long," Williams said. "And if you leave a little early, it's better than staying too late."

One day before Williams' retirement was made public, forward Jordan Williams announced that he would stay in the NBA draft rather than return to Maryland for his junior season. Gary Williams said Jordan's departure had no impact on Gary's decision to step down as coach.

There was no mention of Williams' feud with his former boss, Debbie Yow, during the portion of the news conference televised on Maryland's official web site. Last month, Yow accused Williams of sabotaging the coaching search that Yow was leading as N.C. State's athletics director and resulted in the hiring of Mark Gottfried.

In 1989, Williams took over for Bob Wade with a team that had been crippled by scandal in a program haunted by the tragic death of Len Bias. Williams said the only thing he knew to do in that circumstance is work extremely hard.

He leaves his job proud that he took that team to the top of the college basketball world and confident that he will find something else worthwhile to do.

"Why now?" Williams asked. "It's just a gut feeling, more than anything else."

Ken Tysiac

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Davidson Buzzkill Raises More Than $47,000

The Davidson Buzzkill 3-on-3 tournament, auction and dinner raised more tthan $47,000 last week to purchase approximately 4,700 pesticide-covered nets to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.

The initiative was started by former Davidson player Bryant Barr and involves the men's and women's basketball teams.

“The way the Davidson community embraces this effort is extraordinary,” Barr said in a release. “With over 350 people involved in the BUZZKILL weekend, we will be
able to make a difference in the lives of nearly 20,000 African people.”

Former Wildcats All-American Stephen Curry participated in the event along with other former players. The tournament featured 75 players.