Roy Williams discusses Rashad McCants’ allegations in an interview with Jay Bilas


On Friday, Rashad McCants, a key piece to North Carolina’s 2005 national championship team, dropped heavy allegations that he took bogus, no-show classes to remain eligible.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams released a statement later that day, denying McCants’ accusations. The following day, he sat down with ESPN analyst Jay Bilas for a 35-minute interview for Outside the Lines where Williams specifically addressed McCants’ claims.

McCants failed half of his classes in the Fall 2004 semester, but received straight A’s and earned Dean’s List honors the following semester. The Tar Heels won the NCAA tournament during his academic turnaround.

That spring, McCants took four African Americans Studies (AFAM) courses, which known as “paper class” system, which required no attendance and just one paper handed in at the end of the term. McCants’ claimed Williams knew about these no-show classes.

“I thought that meant that a class was on paper but it didn’t really exist, and then come to find out people are using that terminology ‘paper classes’ to signify independent study courses that you do papers,” Williams said. “… I’ve been told by people that some of those are really, really good. It shows a lot of discipline because you’re self-directed. If my players took independent study courses that were offered by this university for a reason that the university thought they were valuable, my players, if they took those courses, did the work, and I’m proud of that part of it.”

Another one of McCants’ allegations against his former coach was that Williams helped steer him into these courses after learning McCants’ was close to becoming academically ineligible. Williams refuted that accusation.

“I don’t have any idea what swapping out would be,” Williams told Bilas, referring to the phrase McCants’ claimed Williams used. “That’s not in my vocabulary. You can’t take a course and get another one thrown out at the college level. All of your courses count. So I know I would not have that kind of conversation. I don’t know what swapping out means, and I have never suggested that anybody take any course.”

Williams has been the head coach of his alma mater since 2003. McCants played three seasons for the Tar Heels. He went on to play four seasons in the NBA before bouncing around in leagues overseas.

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.