Saturday, April 30, 2011

Duke's Irving signs with agent

Former Duke point guard Kyrie Irving has signed with agent Jeff Wechsler of 24/7 Sports, Duke spokesman Matt Plizga said Saturday in a text message.

Irving announced April 6 that he was going to enter the NBA draft and hire an agent, ending his college eligibility. He is projected as a top-three pick overall in the draft despite missing 26 of Duke’s 37 games last season with a toe injury.

A 6-foot-2 native of West Orange, N.J., Irving averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game last season as a freshman.

Ken Tysiac

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dunlap joining Pack basketball staff

RALEIGH - Tonight's Wolfpack Club caravan event gave incoming N.C. State director of basketball operations Jeff Dunlap a chance to meet fans at his new school.

Senior associate athletics director Chris Kingston said Dunlap is joining new coach Mark Gottfried's staff in a hire that will be announced after final approval by the university.

Dunlap was an assistant coach at Western Michigan. He also coached two seasons under Gottfried at Alabama.

Ken Tysiac

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Davidson Adds Guard Kalinoski To Roster

Davidson has added guard Tyler Kalinoski from Olathe, Kan., to its 2011-12 roster, signing the 6-foot, 3-inch high school senior to a national letter of intent.

Kalinoski averaged 17.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.2 steals last season at Olathe East High School while leading his team to a school-record 21 victories and a third-place finish in the 6A state playoffs.

“Tyler is the kind of young man that we want representing Davidson College
and Davidson Basketball,” coach Bob McKillop said in a statement.

“His accountability in the
classroom has been consistently-evident in his academic performance. His
basketball talent, work ethic and team-oriented approach to the game are the
kind of characteristics that make him a perfect fit for our program. He is a
welcome addition to our roster.”

Kalinoski was awarded the DiRenna Award given annually to the top senior in the Kansas City Metro area by the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association. He will join a Davidson roster than returns 11 lettermen and four starters from an 18-15 season.

Poll: Wolfpack fans apathetic about Gottfried

The hire of Mark Gottfried as N.C. State’s basketball coach has created little reaction among Wolfpack fans, according to poll results released this afternoon.

Public Policy polling reports that 63 percent of self-identified N.C. State fans have no opinion of Gottfried, the former Alabama coach who most recently was an ESPN analyst and was hired April 5 at N.C. State.

Of fans who did take a position, 27 percent said Gottfried was a good hire and just 10 percent said hiring him was a bad decision.

Gottfried’s hire did generate more reaction from N.C. State fans than that of Brian Gregory at Dayton. A Public Policy poll late last month found 79 percent of Georgia Tech fans had no opinion of the Gregory hire; 14 percent were happy, and seven percent were unhappy.

The poll also showed that, N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow has outstanding support. Fifty-three percent of N.C. State fans approved of the job Yow is doing, and just six percent disapproved.

Fans remained divided on whether firing former coach Sidney Lowe was the right decision. Thirty-three percent agree now that Lowe needed to go, while 26 percent thought he should have been retained.

In February, 27 percent of Wolfpack fans wanted Lowe fired, while 29 percent wanted him to stay on as coach.

Ken Tysiac

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leslie staying at N.C. State

N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie has told the Wolfpack's coaches that he did not petition the NBA for inclusion in this summer's draft as an early-entry candidate, team spokeswoman Annabelle Myers said this afternoon.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft was 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

Leslie, who's from Holly Springs and played for Word of God Academy in high school, was named to the ACC all-freshman team last season. He led the Wolfpack in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and was second in scoring (11.0 ppg) only to senior Tracy Smith as N.C. State finished 15-16 in coach Sidney Lowe's final season.

After the April 5 news conference to announce the hiring of coach Mark Gottfried, Leslie said he wanted to get to know Gottfried better before deciding whether to enter the draft. A 6-foot-8 forward, Leslie joins Lorenzo Brown and Scott Wood to give N.C. State three returning starters in Gottfried's first season.

Ken Tysiac

Friday, April 22, 2011

Challenging incentives in Gottfried's contract

RALEIGH – New N.C. State basketball coach Mark Gottfried’s contract, which was approved by the school’s Board of Trustees on Friday, is loaded with incentives, many of which will be difficult to reach.

Athletics director Debbie Yow explained the basics of the contract on April 5, when Gottfried was hired. It’s a five-year deal with an automatic, two-year rollover if N.C. State reaches the NCAA tournament in 2012 or 2013.

Gottfried has an annual salary of $750,000 a year and will earn an additional $450,000 a year in quarterly installments as long as he remains the team’s coach.

"We're extraordinarily pleased that Coach Gottfried is our basketball coach, and look forward to returning to the NCAA tournament and continuing to graduate our student-athletes," Yow said while leaving the Trustees’ meeting Friday morning.

The contract calls for Gottfried to be paid his salary multiplied by the number of years remaining on the contract if he is fired. Should he leave for another coaching job, Gottfried will have to pay the school a buyout equal to his salary times the number of years remaining on the contract.

Gottfried, who coached Alabama for 11 seasons and most recently served as an ESPN analyst, also can earn up to $1 million in incentives - $750,000 for on-court performance and the rest for academic accomplishments of his players.

For on-court achievements, Gottfried can earn:

- Two months’ salary ($125,000) if the team wins the ACC regular season, or one month’s salary ($62,500) as ACC runner up.

- Two months’ salary if the team wins the ACC tournament, or one month’s salary as tournament runner up.

- One month’s salary for reaching the NCAA regional semifinals, with an additional one month’s salary for reaching the regional final, and another month’s salary for getting to the Final Four.

- An additional two months’ salary for reaching the NCAA championship game, and another three months’ extra salary ($187,500) for winning the NCAA title.

Gottfried has eight academic incentives, each worth a half-month’s salary ($31,250). He would be paid that amount each time N.C. State exceeds the national average for men’s basketball in academic progress rate, federal graduation rate or graduation success rate.

He also would receive that amount for an academic progress rate in the top 50 percent of public schools in the ACC; a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher for scholarship players; a team cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for scholarship players; a player who is selected Academic All-American; or an ACC scholar athlete of the year selection.

Some of the academic incentives appear to be as difficult to achieve as the challenging on-court incentives. The only Academic All-America selections in N.C. State history were Terry Gannon in 1984 and 1985, and Todd Fuller in 1995 and 1996.

Gottfried also will receive two courtesy vehicles with paid liability insurance on each, a membership at the University Club or the State Club, and one free meal a day at Case Dining Hall. He will receive 20 tickets for N.C. State basketball games, 10 ACC tournament tickets, payment for six Final Four tickets, and six N.C. State football tickets.

Ken Tysiac

Duke's Scheyer looking for another title

Former Duke guard Jon Scheyer has a shot at his second championship in two years, although his current team's playoff run isn't getting as much national publicity as the Blue Devils' NCAA title last season.

Scheyer is a starter for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who face the Iowa Energy in a best-of-3 series in the NBA Development League finals beginning Sunday. Versus will carry Game 1 beginning at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Last summer, Scheyer suffered a serious eye injury while playing for the Miami Heat's summer league team, tearing his retina and damaging his optic nerve. He has recovered, though, and has averaged 12 points, four rebounds and four assists over five playoff games for the Vipers, who are based in McAllen, Texas.

-- Ken Tysiac

Scheyer has shot at another championship

Former Duke guard Jon Scheyer has a shot at his second championship in two years, although his current team's playoff run isn't getting as much national publicity as the Blue Devils' NCAA title last season.

Scheyer is a starter for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who face the Iowa Energy in a best-of-3 series in the NBA Development League finals beginning Sunday. Versus will carry Game 1 beginning at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Last summer, Scheyer suffered a serious eye injury while playing for the Miami Heat's summer league team, tearing his retina and damaging his optic nerve. He has recovered, though, and has averaged 12 points, four rebounds and four assists over five playoff games for the Vipers, who are based in McAllen, Texas.

Ken Tysiac

N.C. State trustees approve Gottfried's contract

RALEIGH - In closed session this morning, N.C. State's Board of Trustees approved the contract of new basketball coach Mark Gottfried.

The contract terms were revealed by athletic director Debbie Yow on the day Gottfried was hired on April 5. Gottfried received a five-year deal worth $1.2 million a year, with an automatic two-year rollover if N.C. State makes the NCAA tournament in 2012 or 2013.

"We're extraordinarily pleased that Coach Gottfried is our basketball coach, and look forward to returning to the NCAA tournament and continuing to graduate our student-athletes," Yow said this morning.

Gottfried also can earn up to $1 million in incentives - $750,000 for on-court performance and the rest for academic performance of his players.

N.C. State hired Gottfried, who coached Alabama for 11 seasons and most recently was an ESPN analyst, to replace Sidney Lowe.

Ken Tysiac

Monday, April 18, 2011

Harrison Barnes says he's returning to UNC

Harrison Barnes will return to North Carolina for his sophomore season, the university announced Monday on its official website.

Barnes, a 6-8 forward who was the ACC's top rookie, becomes the third Tar Heel who considered the NBA draft to announce his return to school for next season, joining 6-10 John Henson and 7-0 Tyler Zeller.

The return of those three players from a 29-8 team that reached the Elite Eight in 2010-11 makes North Carolina one of the favorites in the national championship chase next season.

"As an 18-year old, I'm in the early stages of my life journey," Barnes says in the release. "I'm honored and blessed for the chance to play in the NBA. And because of my family, teachers, passion, and work, I have the ultimate dream of one day playing and experiencing a fulfilling career in the NBA.

"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision. But I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina. I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports.

"As a team, we're preparing for a special season. My off-season plans are to diligently work on honing my basketball skills in all areas with one team-goal in mind -- to bring the 2012 national championship home to UNC."

Barnes, a second-team all-ACC selection as a freshman, would have been among the top five picks in the draft according to many experts.

He averaged 15.7 points and led the Tar Heels in three-pointers made with 67.

“I am of course excited to have Harrison back on our team next year," UNC coach Roy Williams said in a prepared statement. “It has been a true pleasure to coach him and I look forward to coaching him again next season. He had a difficult decision to make. He really had no wrong decision to choose, but I believe he is coming back to school because he enjoys college basketball, he enjoys the University of North Carolina and he enjoys his teammates. If he had decided to leave for the NBA, that would have been OK, too, because he will always be a Tar Heel. But it will certainly be a lot of fun to coach him again.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Celebrating Bill Brill

They're going to celebrate the life of Bill Brill Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium and that feels right because Bill celebrated so much of his life there.

Brill was a long-time sports writer in Roanoke, Va., who retired to Durham 20 years ago and immersed himself in Duke basketball, something he loved. Brill died a week ago at age 79 after a difficult battle with cancer.

He was a classic, never short of an opinion and never afraid to share it. He believed strongly in the good that can come from college athletics and he cared deeply about finding a proper balance with academics.

If you met Brill you didn't forget him. He was part of a fading legacy of colorful sports writers who made the time we spend in press rooms almost as much fun as the games we cover. He was a great one.

One worth celebrating.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moxley joins N.C. State staff

RALEIGH -- N.C. State announced Friday that Rob Moxley will join Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack basketball staff as an assistant coach.

Moxley rejoins N.C. State assistant coach Bobby Lutz, who he has previously worked with at three different schools.

"I've known Rob for a long time and I've always had great respect for him," said Gottfried. "He is a phenomenal recruiter with great ties along the Atlantic coast and he will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff."

Moxley comes to State after serving as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee last season. Prior to his one-year stint at MTSU, he served as Lutz's associate head coach at Charlotte for five seasons and was with the program 12 years overall. He served as an assistant coach for seven years (1999-2005) before accepting an assistant coaching position at Maryland in 2005-06. He returned to Charlotte after one season to take over as associate head coach.

In 2008, ranked Moxley among the nation's top 100 assistant coaches. In 2007, ranked him as one of the Top 25 recruiters in the country, and Basketball Times placed him 10th in its top 16 "Friends of Junior Colleges".

During his time at Charlotte, Moxley helped land four Top 20 recruiting classes for the 49ers and was instrumental in signing 2001 National Freshman of the Year Rodney White and 2003 All-Conference USA choice Demon Brown. Moxley helped attract Maryland's 18th-ranked 2006 recruiting class ( and recruited 2010 ACC Player of the Year and 2010 NBA first round pick Greivis Vasquez.

He began as an assistant under Lutz at Pfeiffer University in 1993. They worked together for two years before moving together to Gardner-Webb in 1995. When Lutz was offered an assistant position with the 49ers for 1995-96, Moxley remained at Gardner-Webb. He returned to Pfeiffer for two years, 1996-98, as an assistant to head coach Dave Davis.

A 1994 graduate of Pfeiffer, Moxley and his wife, Jennifer have four children: Joey, Emily, Allison and Jack. He was a Junior College Division III All-America guard in 1991 at Montgomery (Md.) C.C. He played two seasons at Newberry (S.C.) College under coach Tom Quinn.

-- Chip Alexander

UNC's Houston has shoulder surgery, out for four months

North Carolina announced that tailback Ryan Houston underwent surgery on Thursday to repair his injured right shoulder blade.

Houston, a redshirt senior, injured his scapula during last Saturday's spring game. He is expected to return in four months, according to a UNC news release.

His surgery was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Spang and Dr. Alex Creighton at UNC Hospitals.

Houston entered the spring as the Tar Heels' top rusher. He returned to the field after sitting out a redshirt season last year.

As a junior in 2009, he rushed for a career-best 713 yards.

-- Edward G. Robinson III

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Davidson freshman De'Mon Brooks honored

Davidson's De'Mon Brooks, a Hopewell High graduate, is one of 21 players named to the mid-major freshman all-America team by

Brooks averaged nine points and 5.1 rebounds and shot 52.8 percent from the floor. He had 15 double-figures scoring games and led Davidson in rebounding 13 times.

Western Carolina's Trey Sumler, a 6-2 guard, was the only other Southern Conference player on the list. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wolfpack close to hiring Lutz

New N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried is close to hiring former Charlotte 49ers head coach Bobby Lutz as an assistant, a source close to the situation says.

Lutz's presence would put a decidedly 49ers stamp on the Wolfpacks staff. Former Lutz assistant Orlando Early was also hired by Gottfried earlier this week.

Lutz spent last season as an assistant at Iowa State after he was fired by Charlotte following the 2009-10 season. He is Charlotte's all-time winningest coach and had a 12-year record of 218-158. -- David Scott

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Irving says leaving Duke wasn't easy

Departing Duke point guard Kyrie Irving said it was difficult to make the decision to leave the Blue Devils because he believed he could learn a lot playing a full season under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

But Irving, whose freshman season was limited to 11 games because of a toe injury that kept him out 3 ½ months, said in a telephone conference with reporters this afternoon that he couldn’t turn down this opportunity to enter the NBA draft.

“To go to the NBA is my ultimate dream,” Irving said. “I’ve dreamed about it for a while. Having the opportunity to be such a high pick at such a young age is an opportunity that a lot of people won’t pass up.”

Irving is projected to be one of the top five picks overall in the draft, according to analyst Chris Monter. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game and shot 52.9 percent from the field.

He said he called Krzyzewski on Wednesday afternoon and informed him of the decision. They talked for about 25 minutes after that.

“He said he’s happy for me and my family,” Irving said, “and he’s going to offer as much help as he can as this process continues.”

The toe injury wasn't a major factor in his decision, Irving said. He tore ligaments between the bones in his right big toe and had to wait for them to heal, and has said he will have to wear steel shanks in his shoe for the rest of his life to prevent the toe from hyperextending and getting injured again.

But he said if he had been worried about reinjuring it, he wouldn't have returned for the NCAA tournament, where he played in the Blue Devils' final three games.

Irving said the thing he learned most from his time at Duke is how to prepare. He said there were times in high school when he might have gotten lazy for a quarter or so, but Krzyzewski told him that couldn’t happen with the Blue Devils.

Irving credited Krzyzewski and seniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler with showing him that a player at the Division I level can’t take plays off.

“When you come to an institution like Duke and play at such a high level, you’re going to have to play like a professional and prepare like a professional,” Irving said.

Irving said he does plan to hire an agent and end his eligibility, but he is letting his father handle that duty. He said he thought a lot about the quality of the team that Duke would have had if he returns.

He said the Blue Devils have a strong recruiting class and mentioned 6-foot-8 IMG Academy forward DeAndre Daniels as a potential addition who could make the class even better. Duke is among the schools on Daniels’ list.

Particularly since he only played 11 college basketball games, Irving won’t be able to avoid asking “what if?”

“There are a lot of what ifs in the back of my mind always,” Irving said, “but I can’t look back right now. I’m just thinking ahead for what I can best do.”

Ken Tysiac

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Duke's Irving to enter NBA draft

Kyrie Irving's career at Duke has ended after 11 games in one injury-shortened season.

Irving, a point guard whose freshman season was interrupted for 3 1/2 months because of an injury to his right big toe, will enter the NBA draft and plans to hire an agent, Duke spokesman Matt Plizga confirmed.

A 6-foot-2 native of West Orange, N.J., Irving is expected to be one of the top picks in the draft. A mock draft on projects him as the No. 2 pick overall, behind only Arizona forward Derrick Williams.

Irving averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game and shot 52.9 percent from the field in 11 games. He played the first eight games of the season before injuring his toe, then returned for Duke's three NCAA tournament games.

In a statement, coach Mike Krzyzewski said he is "overjoyed" that Irving attended Duke and now has a chance to chase his dream of playing in the NBA.

“We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision," Krzyzewski said. "We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player. He is a great young man, a terrific student, and a truly amazing representative for our program and for Duke. We love him and are very happy for him and his family.”

Irving issued a statement through the school thanking the staff and coaches and saying that playing for Krzyzewski was a great experience.

"He taught me a lot about the game," Irving said. "Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined.”

Ken Tysiac

Dad: UNC's Henson to announce decision this week

North Carolina sophomore forward John Henson will likely announce his decision about whether to return to school or turn pro by Friday or Saturday, his father, Matt, said this morning.

Matt Henson said his son planned to meet with coach Roy Williams – who has been gathering information from NBA contacts about the draft prospects of Henson, Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller - today or tomorrow.

Matt Henson said there are several factors involved in the decision – including how much his son can improve with another year of experience, and the fact that he doesn’t financially need to go to the NBA now.

What Zeller and Barnes decide won’t be the determining factor, Henson said. Williams said Tuesday all three starters will make their choices by next week.

“The main thing it’s tied to is, are you ready? Are you really ready?” Matt Henson said. “Because if that answer is no, the choice doesn’t depend on what anybody else does. Will coming back put you in a better position? And obviously, all those guys want to win a championship, and they’re close, and would like to do it together. (What the other two do) could be a factor, but not a driving or determining factor.”

- Robbi Pickeral

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yow accuses Maryland coach of sabotage

Circle the next N.C. State-Maryland men's basketball game on the 2011-2012 ACC schedule.

When N.C. State introduced Debbie Yow as its new athletic director last year, the former Maryland AD downplayed rumors of a fractured relationship with Terrapins basketball coach Gary Williams, pointing out that she had nominated Williams for Hall of Fame consideration.

However, during Tuesday afternoon's news conference introducing the Wolfpack's new basketball coach, Mark Gottfried, Yow called out Williams for, in her words, sabotaging N.C. State's attempt to hire a new coach.

The subject arose when a reporter asked if she has a reputation of being difficult to work for.

"I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search," Yow said. "... It's Gary Williams out there doing his thing, so whatever."

In response, Maryland associate athletics director for media relations spokesman Doug Dull issued the following statement on Williams' behalf:

"I haven't talked to anyone - coach or athletic director - connected to the N.C. State search," Williams said in the statement. "I don't have any interest in the N.C. State search, since I'm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program. Anyone who says I've had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isn't being truthful."

-- Lorenzo Perez, The News & Observer

N.C. State hires ex-Alabama coach Gottfried

Mark Gottfried will be the next basketball coach at N.C. State.

Gottfried took two different programs — Alabama and Murray State — to the NCAA tournament in his 14-year career as a head coach.

There is a press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Vaughn Towers at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Gottfried, 47, led the Crimson Tide to the NCAA tournament five times in 10 seasons, between 1998 and 2008, coming within a game of the Final Four in 2004.

He resigned in Jan. 2009, 19 games into his 11th season.

J.P. Giglio

Ken Tysiac

NBA decisions for Tar Heels coming soon

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said on the Dan Patrick Show this morning that he plans to meet with underclassmen Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller this week to talk about their futures.

“I don’t think they’re going to drag it out or anything,’’ Williams said. “But I’d say this week or next week, we’ll know what’s going on, but it could be next week. I’m going through the process of getting all my information from the NBA people. I’ve got two more people to talk to today, in fact.

“Gut feeling? The NCAA says you shouldn’t bet, and I’m not betting on this one.”

Barnes, a second-team All-ACC selection who made two game-winners and tied with Zeller as the Tar Heels' leading scorer (15.7 ppg), has been projected as the highest potential NBA choice of the trio. Mock drafts posted online have listed the freshman as a likely top-five pick. But he said early on that he didn't consider himself a one-and-done college player - and the desire for an NCAA championship ring might bring him back.

Henson, the ACC's defensive player of the year, is also considered a likely first-round selection, but his father said in an interview last month that staying in the NBA was just important as getting there. So another college season of bulking up the lanky forward's frame - and his offensive moves - could be a bonus.

Zeller, a first-team Academic All-American, seems the least likely to leave, although his 25.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in four NCAA tournament games helped his stock.

The players have until April 24 to declare for the draft; as long as they don’t hire an agent, they could withdraw by May 8.

“It is tough,’’ Williams told the Dan Patrick Show. “But I basically tell them, ‘Do what you want to do. There’s no question the scenario is a little different this year because of the mood of the NBA and the collective bargaining agreement. But I really do, I want kids to do what they want to do. And I’m one of those old corny guys that thinks that college is fun and it’s OK to be a kid, and the NBA’s not going to go away. But hey – what do you want to do?

“I’ve had Brandan Wright and Marvin Williams leave after one year; I’ve had Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington leave after their junior year, after a national championship. So we’ve had eight guys leave in my first seven years here early, to be [first-round] draft choices, which is more than anybody in college basketball – with some success more than others. Ed Davis left last year after only playing half of his sophomore year because of a broken wrist. But I really do – ‘tell me what you want to do’ – because I’m big on enjoying life. It’s too short, and you have too many things going on. I tell my guys, the 1st and the 15th are the greatest days in your NBA career because it’s payday, and the rest of the time those guys would rather be in college. But that payday is pretty impressive.”

-- Robbi Pickeral

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yow updates Wolfpack Club on coaching search

RALEIGH — With her list of potential candidates reduced by three, N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow reached out to Wolfpack fans on Monday night.

Yow sent an email out to Wolfpack Club members on Monday night which updated her efforts to find a new basketball coach, one that was a "fighter" and up to the challenge of rebuilding a program that is in "poor shape."

In a whirlwind day after a quiet week on the search, Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart, Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin and Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall were all eliminated from the mix on Monday.

Yow had not made any public comments since Sidney Lowe resigned on March 15 but after the flurry of candidates exited the search, she sent out the email with an update on her progress after 8 p.m.

A school spokeswoman confirmed Yow sent out the letter Monday night. The full transcript of the email:

Dear Wolfpack Family,

I am writing to share with you the status of the search for our new head coach for men's basketball. There have been telephone conversations with successful coaches that did not develop into meetings -- sometimes because we did not wish to pursue those coaches further and sometimes because the coach involved is happy where he is.

The conversations have been candid. We have not tried to sugarcoat the challenge of rebuilding our basketball program. Our absence for 5 consecutive years from the NCAA Tournament was noted by each coach as evidence that the program is in poor shape and will require a special effort to rebuild.

Finding a coach with the fight and fire to do this job has been a challenge. That said, we will find an excellent college coach who shares the vision of what State Basketball can become and is up for the challenge.

I realize there are multiple rumors surfacing about the nature of the search on websites and in newspapers. Once our new coach is hired, I will be in a position to bring perspective to a number of those rumors. But, right now, we need to remain focused on finding a talented collegiate coach who is a fighter, full of confidence and appreciation for the opportunity to lead our basketball program back to national prominence.

That will happen in spite of those who believe this cannot occur.

Wolfpack Basketball is destined for a revival. We will accept no less. Please keep the faith while we continue the search. Your emails and text messages of support have meant everything to me. I am blessed to be your AD.

In the Spirit of the Pack,


-- J.P. Giglio

Wichita State's Marshall to make 'special announcement

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall will make a "special announcement" about his future with the Shockers basketball program on his coach's show tonight, a Wichita area TV station reporting.

Marshall, who coached Wichita State to this season's NIT title and who took Winthrop to seven NCAA tournaments in nine seasons, appeared to be one of the coaches N.C. State was considering for its vacancy. According to KWCH-TV, however, Marshall is expected to announce tonight that he will remain at Wichita State.

Marshall was not scheduled to broadcast his show this evening, according to the programming director of KFH, the radio station broadcasting it. But KWCH reported that Wichita State contacted KFH today to request a "last minute" show tonight to allow Marshall to make an announcement.

Earlier today, Virginia Commonwealth athletic director Norwood Teague confirmed that VCU coach Shaka Smart had declined an offer from N.C. State and will stay with the Rams program.

-- Lorenzo Perez, The News & Observer

UNC's Williams competes at Final Four -- in a food fight

North Carolina coach Roy Williams' team lost in the NCAA regional finals. But that didn't keep him from competing at the Final Four over the weekend - in the kitchen.

This story in the Houston Chronicle details how Williams went head-to-head with Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg in a cookoff in Bracket Town. Both coaches made steaks, mashed potatoes and grilled artichokes - and apparently, Williams' potatoes put him over the top. He won a $5,000 donation to Coaches vs. Cancer.

When Williams was handed the check to give to Coaches vs. Cancer, according to the Chronicle, he had some good-natured parting words for Greenberg.

"This summer when I see you at places, I won't talk about anything from the basketball court," Williams said. "But I will talk about how I beat you in the kitchen."

-- Robbi Pickeral

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wojciechowski removes name from Dayton search

Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski had discussions with Dayton officials about the Flyers’ head coaching position but removed his name from consideration for the job, Duke spokesman Matt Plizga said Saturday afternoon.

A guard for the Blue Devils from 1994 to 1998, Wojciechowski, 34, shares Duke’s associate head coach duties with Chris Collins and has been on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff since 1999-2000.

Wojciechowski coaches the big men for the Blue Devils. He also has served as a court coach and scout for Krzyzewski with the United States Senior National team, which won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Dayton is looking for a replacement for Brian Gregory, who left to coach Georgia Tech.

Ken Tysiac

Ken Tysiac