Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Henson 1st casualty of UNC's social networking policy?

A day after North Carolina revealed revised policies for social networking in its Student Athlete Handbook, it appears as if one of its most prolific tweeters might be leaving Twitter.

Basketball sophomore John Henson, who has more than 7,100 followers on the site, wrote on his account at about 5 p.m. Tuesday: “bye bye twitter. im off this after pickup today. At least until I leave unc. love yall.”

But after posting more the 2,900 updates, is Henson really done? Or might he be pulling a fast one -- say, tweeting again once he leaves unc['s campus for a burger]?

Henson, a projected starter last season, has had trouble editing himself on the social network before. After UNC was upset by College of Charleston last season, Henson tweeted that the Tar Heels had just made a guy's college career; the post was later erased.

Earlier this summer, he, as well as teammates Dexter Strickland and Larry Drew II, posted variations of the same message on their individual Twitter accounts: "well coach just talked to us about twitter and told us we offend some people n what not so this is a farewell to bein' myself..lata tweeps."

(They continued to tweet, with their posts toned down a tad.)

UNC has updated its 2010-11 Student Athlete Handbook to stipulate that “each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitor the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings.” The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts; and if any of an athlete’s online content violates the law or NCAA, University or athletic department policies, sanctions could range from removal of the posting to dismissal from the team.

Last year’s Student Athlete Handbook reminded players that what they post on social networks is public information; that they are a representative of the University and always in the public eye; that information is accessible after they remove it; that they should exercise caution about posting their whereabouts or plans; and that future employers might use their sites as a background check.

The updated handbook expands on those, stating that the athletic department “will not tolerate disrespectful comments and behavior online.” That includes derogatory language; comments that constitute a credible emotional or physical threat; and photos that depict unlawful abuse, hazing, harassment, discrimination, drug possession or use, and any other illegal conduct.

-- Robbi Pickeral

(Photo: UNC's John Henson watches as the Tar Heels fall behind by 20 points to Virginia in the second half on Sunday January 31, 2009 in the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. ROBERT WILLETT robert.willett@newsobserver.com)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ACC-Big Ten pairings announced

ESPN has announced the pairings for the 2010 ACC-Big Ten Challenge, according to the Big Ten's official web site.

Defending NCAA champion Duke will visit 2010 NCAA semifinalist Michigan State on Dec. 1 in one of the marquee games of the Challenge. That same day, N.C. State will travel to Wisconsin.

North Carolina will visit Illinois on Nov. 30. The only home game in North Carolina during the Challenge will be Iowa's Nov. 30 visit to Wake Forest in new Deacons coach Jeff Bzdelik's Challenge debut.

The Big Ten won last year's Challenge 6-5 after the ACC won the first 10 challenges in a row.

The 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule is listed below.

Monday, November 29
Virginia at Minnesota - 7pm ET on ESPN2

Tuesday, November 30
Iowa at Wake Forest – 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Georgia Tech at Northwestern – 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Ohio State at Florida State - 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Michigan at Clemson – 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
North Carolina at Illinois - 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Wednesday, December 1
Indiana at Boston College - 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPNU
NC State at Wisconsin - 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Purdue at Virginia Tech - 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Maryland at Penn State - 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Michigan State at Duke - 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Ken Tysiac

Saturday, August 7, 2010

UNC's Knox graduates, but won't play in Bahamas

Soon-to-be North Carolina forward Justin Knox graduated from Alabama Saturday morning, his uncle said in a text message: “Congrats 2 Justin Knox as he graduates from Alabama this morning at 9 a.m,’’ Darien Knox said in the message. “The final step to being [in] UNC grad school and to become a member of the UNC hoops family. Go Tar Heels #25”

Under the NCAA's graduate student waiver program, the 6-feet-9 Knox is eligible to play for UNC this season. However, he will not travel with the Tar Heels in their exhibition trip to the Bahamas next week, his uncle confirmed.

Although the NCAA now allows new incoming players to play on such trips, the athletes must have completed at least one summer school class at their new school. Although incoming Tar Heel freshmen Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall did so, Knox needed to take summer school classes at Alabama to complete his undergraduate degree in business management.

His uncle, however, said Knox is eager to move to Chapel Hill and join the team later this month, in time for fall classes.

Knox averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes a game last season for Alabama but decided to transfer in part because he didn't feel like he was fitting into the system after coach Anthony Grant's first season.

The wide-bodied banger is a key late addition for UNC, which lost last year’s starting forwards, Deon Thompson and Ed Davis, to the NBA; plus two key reserves, David and Travis Wear, who opted to transfer to UCLA. Junior Tyler Zeller and sophomore John Henson are expected to start, but Knox is only the third scholarship player 6-feet-8 or taller on the roster.

Knox said earlier this summer that he opted for UNC because he wanted to play for Hall-of-Fame coach Roy Williams.

“At the end of the day, it came down to what the better opportunity was for me in the future,’’ he said. “And you can't really go against a Hall of Fame coach in Roy Williams. So I really want to learn under him, and hopefully he can teach me a couple of things, and get me over that hump and into the league [NBA]."

-- Robbi Pickeral

Triangle hoops coaches earn top scores

The NCAA this week released its first Academic Progress Rates tied to coaches, and in men’s basketball, the Triangle led the ACC, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (which calculated the SEC and ACC averages for today's editions).

UNC’s Roy Williams topped the league with an average score of 992.8 (out of 1000) over the past six years, followed by N.C. State’s Sidney Lowe (990.8), and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (983.2).

The NCAA has released APR scores by team for the past six years, but unlike those team scores schools won't be penalized if their coaches' number falls below 925.

For scoring purposes, an athlete re­ceives one point per semester for remaining academically eligible and another point each semester for staying at that school or grad­uating.

Here are the averages, as calculated by the Journal-Constitution, for the ACC’s current basketball coaches since 2003-04. (Note that the tallies for some coaches also include numbers from their previous schools.)

Roy Williams, North Carolina 992.8

Sidney Lowe, N.C. State 990.8

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 983.2

Steve Donahoe, Boston College 981.3

Brad Brownell, Clemson 976.7

Frank Haith, Miami 956.8

Tony Bennett, Virginia 954.3

Seth Greenberg, Va. Tech 950.2

Leonard Hamilton, Florida State 943.3

Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest 941.7

Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech 926.8

Gary Williams, Maryland 923

Thursday, August 5, 2010

UNC, Davidson get Puerto Rico schedule

North Carolina will meet Hofstra at 5 p.m. and Davidson will play West Virginia at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 18 in the Puerto Rico Tipoff in San Juan according to a tournament schedule released today.

Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and Western Kentucky also will participate in the tournament as each team will play three games. The tournament will continue Nov. 19 and Nov. 21, when the championship game will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ken Tysiac

Duke to meet Marquette in tourney semis

Marquette will be defending NCAA champion Duke's opponent in the semifinals of the CBE Classic on Nov. 22 in Kansas City, according to a tournament schedule released today.

Duke will meet Marquette at 7:30 p.m., with a Kansas State-Gonzaga semifinal to follow. The championship game will be held Nov. 23 following a consolation game that will start at 7:45 p.m.

In regional round games in the tournament to be held at Duke, the Blue Devils will meet to Princeton at a time to be announced on Nov. 14 and will play Miami of Ohio at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Regardless of the regional round results, Duke, Marquette, Kansas State and Gonzaga will advance to the semifinals.

Ken Tysiac

Monday, August 2, 2010

Duke's Smith, Singler named to USA Select Team

Duke seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith – as well as FSU junior Chris Singleton – will be part of the USA Men’s Select Team that will train against the 2010 USA Men’s World Championship team in New York later this month, Duke announced. All three ACC players were on the Select Team that trained against the World Team in Las Vegas last month.

Joining the trio on the Select Team: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue); Jon Leuer (Wisconsin); Shelvin Mack (Butler);; Howard Thompkins (Georgia); Mike Tisdale (Illinois); Kemba Walker (Connecticut); and Chris Wright (Dayton). Villanova head coach Jay Wright will also return to direct the 2010 USA Select Team in New York.

The 10 returning players will gather in New York on Aug. 9, and train against the USA World Championship Team finalists on Aug. 10 (1-3 p.m. EDT at John Jay College); Aug. 11 (1-3 p.m. EDT at John Jay College); Aug. 12 (time and site TBD); and Aug. 13 (11 a.m-12:30 p.m. EDT at the New York Knicks practice facility, Tarrytown, N.Y.).

North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller, who played on the Select Team in Las Vegas, is scheduled to be playing with the Tar Heels for two exhibition games in the Bahamas on August 11 and 12.

"One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team which consisted of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that we brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team,’’ USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a prepared statement. “ Lorenzo Romar and Jay Wright did a terrific job of coaching the select players in Las Vegas. It worked so well we've decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us and it's a great experience for them.”

-- Robbi Pickeral