Rashad McCants celebrates

Former UNC guard Rashad McCants refuses to back down from academic fraud claims


Friday an ESPN Outside the Lines report focused on former North Carolina guard Rashad McCants and his assertion that he took phony classes during his time in Chapel Hill. According to McCants not only did those courses help him avoid academic ineligibility during the 20024-05 season, but the courses also resulted in his making the Dean’s List with straight-A’s.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who was McCants’ coach at the time of the alleged academic issues, vehemently denied McCants’ claims and has seen many former players rush to his defense. Wednesday, McCants was once again discussing his time at North Carolina on the ESPN show, and he stood by his statements last week regarding not only the phony classes but the statement that Williams knew what was going on.

On Wednesday, McCants also stood behind an allegation he made directly about Williams: That, when he was possibly headed toward ineligibility during the 2004-05 national championship season due to grades, Williams told him in a meeting that a summer session could be swapped out with a failed class to improve his GPA.

Williams adamantly denied Saturday that he ever discussed swapping any classes with McCants; further, he said he did not recall such a meeting “at all.”

But on Wednesday, McCants said: “Maybe he’s getting a little old. You know, that’s something that I can’t … I don’t have any control over what he remembers. All I know is the truth. And I’m not up here to lie about anything.”

At this point the situation is a matter of “he said/he said,” with many pointing out McCants’ flaws both during and after his time in Chapel Hill as a reason why he shouldn’t be deemed to be credible. However during his appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Wednesday McCants also issued a challenge of sorts to his former teammates who have denied his claims.

That challenge: for them to make their own transcripts public, noting that “the truth is there in the transcripts.” The question now is whether or not his former teammates will take McCants up on his request.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.