UNC Final Four

North Carolina won the National Championship this past season and they did it without one of their spot up shooters in Kenny Williams. He was injured in practice in February and missed the rest of the season after undergoing surgery. However, he has been cleared to resume basketball activities according to FanRag Sports. Williams will join… Continue reading “Final Four contender UNC gets back key contributor Kenny Williams ahead of season opener”

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs North Carolina

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In a Final Four overrun by fresh faces, North Carolina is the one old hand that maneuvered through all the minefields to make it to Glendale, Ariz. Luke Maye’s 18-footer from the left wing with 0.3 seconds left lifted the top-seeded Tar Heels to a 75-73 win over second-seeded Kentucky for the South. Continue reading “Heels head to Final Four on Maye’s last-second hoop”

UNC basketball elite eight

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Top-seeded North Carolina certainly looked the part Friday night in the South Regional semifinals at FedEx Forum. Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Justin Jackson’s 24 points, five rebounds and five assists led the Tar Heels to a 92-80 elimination of fourth-seeded Butler, advancing them to Sunday’s regional final against the UCLA-Kentucky… Continue reading “North Carolina handles Butler to reach Elite Eight”

Dexter Strickland UNC

Catching up on some NBL action recently, I noticed a couple of familiar names from the ACC on some rosters. here’s some quick notes on former ACC players that are getting pro court time in the Canadian league this season:

Alex Johnson (NC State) Halifax Hurricanes – Johnson played his senior collegiate season for the Wolfpack after transferring from Cal State Bakersfield, suiting up for the 2011-12 ACC season. He played his first pro season in Romania before moving to the Canadian league.

Dexter Strickland (North Carolina) Moncton Miracles – Strickland was a highly touted recruit coming in to UNC, and saw heavy minutes in the rotation even as a freshman. Strickland started for much of his career for the Tar Heels before finishing his collegiate career as a senior in 2013. After stints playing in France and the D-League, he moved to the NBL this season.

Malcolm Grant (Miami) Island Storm – Grant played his freshman college season at Villanova before transferring to Miami, where he started his junior and senior seasons, averaging double figures in scoring. After finishing up his college career in 2012, he played pro ball in Cyprus and Australia before moving to the Canadian league.

Sammy Zeglinski (Virginia) Niagara River Lions – Known as a three point threat during his college days, Zeglinksi ranks fifth in career three-pointers completed. After finishing up in the ACC in 2012, he played in Iceland and Austria prior to the NBL.

UNC Wake Forest

By: James Blackburn

Game Notes


North Carolina was able to get a key conference road win over Wake Forest 87-71 to move to 5-1 in league play. Wake Forest dropped to 9-10 overall and 1-5 in league play. The game notes and scouting reports of the top players are below.


Box Score

1st Half

  • Game started off sloppy for both teams with neither team able to establish any real momentum. Both teams struggled with TO’s in first 10 minutes or so.
  • Wake shot several quick and contested shots early on, which was uncharacteristic of them and this lead to some easy transition points for UNC.
  • Wake was able to stay in the game by really battling on the offensive glass and showing good energy.
  • Devin Thomas had a couple of scores near the middle of the 1st half that tied the game up a few times.
  • Wake was staying in it by winning the battle on the boards and forcing turnovers on defense.
  • Both of these teams are really struggling to shoot from the perimeter but because the pace is so fast, they are still able to score. Most of the points are coming from the FT line, offensive rebounds, and transition.
  • The half ends with a lay-up for UNC to put them up 40-34


2nd Half

  • Wake started off the 2nd half shooting perimeter jumpers and UNC started in by pounding the ball inside and getting easy points from Kennedy Meeks.
  • UNC played some 2-3 zone in both halves because of Wake shooting woes but had trouble rebounding from it, so reverted back to man.
  • Andre Washington is providing some good energy off the bench rebounding and blocking shots.
  • With 10:00 minutes left in the game, Wake is still struggling to make any shots from the perimeter. The crowd has grown quiet but Devin Thomas has shown a lot of energy on the boards.
  • Wake has been able to get some of UNC’s bigs into foul trouble and is trying to capitalize by making their FT’s (have made about 50% up to this point).
  • Every time Wake scores, UNC seems to answer- with around 6 minutes to go and UNC leading by 16 pts, some of the fans start to empty out.
  • Wake made a run with about 3 minutes to go and closed the deficit to 12 pts after a Madison Jones lay-up.
  • UNC gets the win over Wake, which is solid considering that Wake is dangerous at home. They had Duke and Louisville beat and has proven they can compete with anyone in the ACC at home.


Scouting Reports


Wake Forest


Devin Thomas, JR, 6’9″, 255 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 4-7 FT, 12 reb, 12 pts, 31 minutes

Having trouble finishing and scoring over Kennedy Meeks early on and didnt show the willingness or ability to score with the right hand.

To give him credit he was still able to get points from his energy. Had a big dunk of an alley-oop and had an offensive board too.

Had trouble scoring with back to basket over Meeks, but was able to get points other ways. UNC couldnt keep him off the boards.


Codi Miller-McIntyre, JR, 6’3″, 205 lbs

Stats: 6-14 FG, 1-3 3 pt, 7-11 FT, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 20 pts, 31 minutes

Up and down play in the first half. Dangerous in transition with the basketball where he can finish with contact. Needs to improve 3 pt shooting. Makes some head scratching decisions and needs to improve PG decision making in general. Has been really aggressive lately which I like.



Justin Jackson, FR, 6’8″, 193 lbs

Stats: 6-8 FG, 1-2 3 pt, 4-6 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 17 pts, 34 minutes

Doing a great job of attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Needs to improve his ability to finish w/ contact and needs to add weight. I like his energy though on both ends. Has a lot of potential. Great length and athleticism- makes him  a solid defensive player.  Terrific in transition. Needs to improve shooting consistency and footwork to a degree.


Marcus Paige, JR, 6’1″, 175 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 2-4 FT, 2-2 FT, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 3 steals, 12 points, 35 minutes

Can score in creative ways inside.

Made some poor decisions in transition early on and had slow start. Terrific ball handler who can break down his man off the dribble.

Super quick player who is smooth. Can turn the corner on P/R. Can hit the 3 coming off of staggered screens. Had several plays late that were impressive.

Was playing off the ball at times when Nate Britt was in the game.


JP Tokoto, JR, 6’6″, 200 lbs

Stats: 4-8 FG, 0-2 3 pt, 0-4 FT, 6 rebounds, 8 pts, 3 assists, 2 steals, 28 minutes

3 pt shot has hitch in it and needs to improve shooting in general. Showed some ability to create own shot this game with a nice change of direction dribble and spin move. Great motor.

Strong and athletic. Dangerous in transition where he is able to finish above the rim.

Makes plays defensively off the ball. Underrated passer who had several on target up-court passes. Good rebounder on both ends.


Kennedy Meeks, SO, 6’9″, 270 lbs

Stats: 8-11 FG, 8 rebounds, 1 blk, 16 pts, 22 minutes

Excellent hands- can catch anything. Showing better bounce in his step and energy. Tremendous rebounder on both ends. Showed some nice touch from 15′ and in. Runs the floor well. Foul prone.

By Marcus Shockley

There are few truly “transcendent” rivalries in sports. There are rivalries at every level of sports, from JV volleyball to the NFL. But most rivalries are local. Only a few rivalries break out and become so known that media coverage pays attention.

To me, the two biggest rivalries in college sports are Ohio State-Michigan (football) and UNC-Duke (basketball). A couple of summers back we were chatting with Gerald Henderson. a former Duke player, about the rivalry. At the time, several of Henderson’s coaching staff were UNC alums.

What makes a great rivalry? In a word: balance. At one time in the not-too-distant past, UNC and Duke were not the Greatest of Rivals. NC State was UNC’s biggest threat, also being just a few minutes down the road from Chapel Hill. Consider that in 1982, Micheal Jordan, James Worthy and Jimmy Black brought a national championship home to Tobacco Road, and one year later, in 1983, NC State’s Thurl Bailey, Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg did the same. However, over the years, Coach K’s rise to prominence and NC State’s slump led to a changing of the guard. In 2009 UNC brought home another title, and one year later in 2010, Duke won another. The fact that UNC and Duke are always legitimate title contenders is part of what makes the rivalry strong. You simply can’t have a rivalry where only one team is a powerhouse. Both UNC and Duke boast a bevy of NBA alums, and both have HOF coaches.

The UNC-Duke rivalry has also two other components; the two campuses are physically closer than most high school rivals and they have longevity. The 2009-2010 back-to-back wasn’t the first. In 1991 & 1992, Duke won a pair of titles, then in 1993, UNC won Dean Smith’s second title. But that’s just the titles. Since 1981, either UNC or Duke has made the Final Four a whopping 21 times.

In order for a rivalry to exist, there must be balance, and the longer that balance is there, the bigger and more storied the rivalry becomes.

So today is UNC vs. Duke, round 1 of the 2012 edition of this rivalry.

Jackson Simmons came onto the radar of most UNC basketball fans when he accepted an offer from Roy Williams, making him an overnight household name among the Tar Heel fan base. After Jackson played in the regional Jordan Brand Classic game, we caught up with the power forward and got his thoughts about his newfound fame and what he expects about coming in to play for Coach Williams.

Jackson is a mobile big, who rebounds well, has good hands and works hard on both ends of the floor. He does look like a player who will provide valuable minutes in the post after the graduation on Justin Knox.

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By James Blackburn

Roy Williams UNC

(Reports from Wake @ UNC game on February 15, 2011)

Harrison Barnes, 6’8”, F, UNC
Good shooter who follows his shot. He never misses right to left and rarely leaves the ball short- good misses when he does miss a shot. Strong upper body. Had several nice passes to post players against the Wake Forest zone. Showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to rim where he can finish with either hand. Good defender when he wants to be. Although he is not known to be a superb athlete- he did have several athletic above the rim finishes late in the second half, including a drop step dunk in traffic.

Although he is a good shooter, he doesn’t have the quickest release. Potential to be a great defender (he showed this towards the end of the game), but seems to take some defensive possessions off. Has a bad habit of putting the ball over his head and holding it against the zone- needs to bring the ball down and protect it in triple threat position, so he can be a threat at all times.

Solid game from Barnes, who finished with 17 points and 4 assist. He seems to be getting better and better each game and is looking more comfortable. Did not force the issue and took much better shots than the last time I saw him play earlier in the year vs. Kentucky. Will definitely be a top 5 pick.

Tyler Zeller, 7’0”, F/C, UNC
Gets great post up position-very deep. Has good post moves- very effective hook shot. Runs the floor well. Good strong rebounder. Ty Walker’s (Wake Forest, 6’11”) shot blocking ability had no effect on Zeller today (6-9 FG). He was getting whatever he wanted on the offensive end.

Needs to improve passing ability out of post.

Zeller continues to impress. Zeller does not really make you say “Wow” with anything he does, but he is a solid player, who does many things- rebounds, scores, and defends. Not the most athletic player, but he will play in the NBA.

John Henson, 6’10”, F, UNC
Active player on both ends of the floor. Great rebounder, especially on the offensive end. Does a good job of keeping the ball alive and tipping the ball the ball in basket, even when he does not have great position. Good shot blocker, who either blocks or alters most shots in his vicinity. Does a good job of keeping space between himself and offensive player so he can block the shot. Athletic player. Showed off an improved low post/all-around offensive game with some nifty moves around the basket. Good footwork. Right handed player who loves to go left. Very long- length causes havoc on defensive end. He guards the inbound pass under the goal- had several deflections and caused some steals b/c of active hands and length- makes it difficult for opponents to get ball in bounds, let alone getting a score.

Must get stronger. Needs to improve FT shooting- 4-10 FT for the game. His shooting form is not bad, but the consistency is not there- the shot might miss short, long, left, or right. He needs to develop a mid range jumper.

Good game today from Henson, who finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Has a never ending motor. Henson has made major strides in his offensive game, but there is still room for improvement. Will be a good fit for most NBA teams.

Kendall Marshall, 6’3”, PG, UNC
Great passer. Does a lot of little things well. Directs the offense- very poised and savvy player, especially for a freshman PG. Good in transition- makes good decisions, high basketball IQ. Ability to create own shot. Uses creativity to get into the pain.

High dribble. His jump shot needs improvement. His shot is flat, but his mechanics look OK. Needs to improve his overall offense.

Marshall is now going to be leaned upon even more at PG since the departure of Drew. Very good assist to turnover ratio. Finished with 8 assist, 3 rebounds, and 3 points. A player to keep an eye on.

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Gerald Henderson knows all about the Duke vs. UNC rivalry, and even though he’s focused on his own pro career now, he’s still well aware of the implications of the game. James talked with Gerald last summer, and here’s his thoughts on the biggest rivalry in basketball:

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By Marcus Shockley

The basketball season has moved into conference play in the ACC, with Duke winning it’s conference opener against Miami at home in Durham. No surprise, really. Sorry, Hurricanes, but you’ve got three potential All-ACC players on your roster and you play like you’ve never seen a man-to-man defense. But, let’s put that aside for the moment and take a moment to discuss the landscape of the ACC. My Big East pals hate the smack talk over the ACC, and they keep telling me how the ACC is down this year, except Duke. Now, I have a crazy amount of respect for the Big East, but I also know ACC ball, and the last two years, the ‘ACC is down’ story resulted in two national champions. Kyle Singler
I also know that ACC ball is tough, and the season forges out teams that are stronger at the end of the season than the start.

So, is anyone besides Duke really a threat in the ACC this season?

The ACC has some good coaches and stellar recruits. Despite everyone declaring them dead, UNC is playing like an NCAA tournament team, quickly leaving the awful season of last year behind. No, right now, they don’t look as good as Duke, but they are talented, albeit young. Duke versus UNC is a brawl, and there is a good chance that UNC will split the games with Duke this season. No, I’m not crazy. Not only is Roy good against K, UNC is getting better by the week and both teams play all out against each other. But UNC isn’t Duke’s only threat.

Maryland has managed to take it to both Duke and Maryland even in years when it looked like Gary Williams was trying to win with a team that he rounded up from the rec the night before. He’s got a legit star and is a good coach. He’s going to be a problem for the ACC this year.

Sid Lowe is my pick for a coach who’d better get it done this season. The good news for Lowe is that NC State has more talent on this year’s team than they’ve had since the 80’s. The bad news is that they are all young. Lowe finally has a team that could compete with Duke and UNC, but he still hasn’t proven that he can stand toe-to-toe with the heavyweights. He needs to get into the NCAA tournament this season, and he needs to give UNC and Duke the same fits that Gary Williams does.

Virginia Tech was supposed to be the team that could compete with Duke this season, but so far they’ve lost their way. Wake Forest tanked when they lost their point guard, and Georgia Tech lost too much talent to the NBA. Only Florida State seems like a team with promise to compete with the upper part of the conference.

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