Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

No. 13 UNC shoots nearly 66 percent, routs Tulane 97-73

Leave a comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Two of No. 13 North Carolina’s best shooting performances have come in a five-day span. For the Tar Heels, it all starts at the other end of the court.

Luke Maye had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and North Carolina routed Tulane 97-73 on Sunday.

Kenny Williams and Joel Berry II finished with 13 points apiece to help the Tar Heels (8-1) win their third straight.

The defending national champions shot a season-best 65.5 percent and hit nearly 68 percent during their best-shooting half of the season, helping them put this one away by halftime.

Coach Roy Williams called it “maybe our best defensive half of the year,” but his team was pretty strong on offense, too, building a permanent double-figure lead before missing a shot from anywhere — either the field or the free-throw line.

Tulane shot 37.7 percent — a fraction of a percentage point better than Arkansas had in UNC’s best defensive performance of the season, on Nov. 24 in Portland, Oregon, in the PK80 Invitational.

“That was the key that (Williams) put on the board: Let this be our best defensive game all year,” forward Theo Pinson said. “We knew we had to be locked in defensively, and once we got after them, we had control.”

Melvin Frazier scored 27 points and Cameron Reynolds finished with 18 for Tulane (6-2). The Green Wave, who hadn’t allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent before this, had no defensive answers in losing twice in three games after starting 5-0.

North Carolina dominated virtually every line on the final box score. The Tar Heels never trailed, built a 45-26 rebounding advantage, scored 62 points in the paint and blocked nine shots to Tulane’s one.


Tulane: Coach Mike Dunleavy’s team has made progress, already matching its victory total from 2016-17 against what to this point has been a navigable schedule. But the Tar Heels — their first top-100 opponent in the Ken Pomeroy efficiency ratings — gave them a reality check and easily dropped them to 0-2 in true road games.

“Obviously, they’re NCAA champions and today they played like a team that has that pedigree,” Dunleavy said. “I was really disappointed … (and) thought we were further along, that we made more progress.”

North Carolina: The Tar Heels certainly looked like themselves again, putting together a third victory in five days after No. 3 Michigan State embarrassed them in the PK80 a week earlier. North Carolina has scored at least 85 points in every game but one — that cold-shooting loss to the Spartans — and had no trouble hitting that mark against the outmanned Green Wave. Since the Tar Heels shot a program-record-low 24.5 percent against the Spartans, they shot a then-season-best 54.8 percent against Michigan and 47 percent against Davidson. Now this.


At the very least, the Green Wave came up with the play of the day. Frazier blew by Brandon Robinson with a behind-the-back dribble, then took off down the lane and posterized Maye with a vicious tomahawk slam. Though it was pretty, it only pulled Tulane to 23-8 with 12 minutes before halftime.


Maye finished with a career-high four blocked shots. It’s the junior’s third straight game in which he set a career best in at least one stat category. “It’s not coaching. It’s sweat,” coach Roy Williams said. “Luke Maye’s been willing to put in an amount of sweat that very few players have ever done.”


“Looks good now, doesn’t it?” — Roy Williams, on North Carolina’s 2015 recruiting class that included Maye and Kenny Williams. The class was ranked 10th in the 15-team Atlantic Coast Conference.


Tulane: Plays host to Southern on Wednesday.

North Carolina: Plays host to Western Carolina on Wednesday night.

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.

Kansas State’s injured star hoping to play Thursday

David Becker/Getty Images
Leave a comment

One of the most surprising parts about Kansas State’s run to the Sweet 16 is that they have done it without the services of their leading scorer, Dean Wade.

Wade injured his foot prior to the Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas. He did not play in that game or in either of Kansas State’s first two tournament games, but it is looking more and more like he’ll be on the floor on Thursday night when they play Kentucky.

“I don’t play percentages very well, but I’m feeling good,” Wade said, via SEC Country. “I’m very positive about it. It’s getting better every day and today I felt great out there, doing a little more than usual. It felt good.”

Wade averaged 16.5 points per game, but the big question is going to be whether or not he is actually healthy when he takes the court. Just because he’s on the floor doesn’t mean he’s at 100 percent.

“Really just trying to get it out of my mind that it’s not hurt,” Wade said. “Just more of a mental thing, just getting out there and running around. I think I got moved past that and it’s feeling better.”

Arizona’s Sean Miller: ‘I am not a candidate’ at Pitt

Chris Coduto/Getty Images

With speculation mounting about who Pitt will hire to replace Kevin Stallings as their new head coach, current Arizona head coach Sean Miller released a statement saying that he is not in the running to fill the opening.

“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach,” the statement read.

Miller is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumni of the school — he’s the guy that had the assist on Jerome Lane’s famous dunk — and with the issues that are currently swirling around him and the Arizona program, there was speculation that he was looking for an escape plan.

Maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe he was and the Pitt administration decided they couldn’t risk hiring someone who had an assistant coach arrested in the FBI’s sweep of college basketball and who himself may be on wiretaps talking about who knows what. Releasing this statement would then be a way for him to save face and say he was never interested.

And then maybe there’s option No. 3: Pitt has won the Dan Hurley sweepstakes.

As it stands, both the Panthers and UConn are in the process of chasing after the Rhode Island head coach, and it’s not uncommon in coaching searches for a coach to announce that he is not a candidate for the job after the job decides they want someone else. Call it a professional courtesy.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What we do know now is that Sean Miller will not be the next head coach at Pitt.

Report: Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson suffers another fracture in foot

Abbie Parr/Getty Images
1 Comment

Bonzie Colson rushed back from a broken foot to try and help his Notre Dame team get into the NCAA tournament this season.

They were bumped out of the field when Davidson upset Rhode Island and earned the Atlantic 10’s third bid to the league tournament. The Fighting Irish were NIT bound, and in their second round loss to Penn State late last week, Colson reinjured the left foot that held him out of action for eight weeks.

On Wednesday, Yahoo reported that Colson suffered another fracture in the foot.

“I’m sitting there and he’s limping off and I’m going, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’” coach Mike Brey said after the game. “Everything we’ve been through? I thought we were out of the woods with him.”

There was a poignant moment at the end of the game.

Colson’s injury came during the third quarter. He returned to the bench at Purcell Pavilion with ice on his foot after going into the locker room. With 30 seconds left and a loss imminent, Colson walked right past Mike Brey, said “I’m going in”, and finished his college career on the court.

Colson is a potential second round pick. He was an all-american last year and a preseason selection this year. He was averaging 19.7 points, 10.2 boards and 2.2 blocks when he was injured.