Saturday, December 15, 2012

Giovani Bernard Declares for the NFL Draft

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

On Friday, the redshirted Tar Heel sophomore  Giovani Bernard, declared for the NFL draft. Bernard leaves after an amazing season in which he rushed for 1228 yards and 12 touchdowns, both a mark that is down from last season, but he put up those numbers on fewer carries, he also had 47 receptions for 490 yards and five touchdowns. He might be best remembered by Tar Heel fans for his punt return ability as he returned 16 punts for 263 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner against rival NC State to break a five game losing streak to the Wolfpack.

Early projections have Bernard as the number one ranked running back and an early second round pick by CBS Sports. Once draft day arrives in late April there is a very good chance that Bernard will be firmly planted as a first round pick as his quickness and versatility as a valuable commodity in today's NFL. He will have to prove in his predraft workouts that his 2010 ACL injury is a distant past and that his athletic ability and talent is worthy of a first round pick.

Follow Us On Twitter @UNCPros and "Like" us on Facebook for more updates about your UNCPros.

Raymond Felton, New York Knicks, Point Guard 2.0

  In the 2010-11 NBA Season Raymond Felton left Charlotte, via free agency to join the Knicks, for the bright lights of Broadway and Madison Square Garden. For the first time in his life he made his home somewhere other than the Carolinas. Felton, who grew up in South Carolina and played high school ball for a small high school in Latta, he played his college ball in Chapel Hill and was drafted in 2005 by the Charlotte Bobcats.

  In his first season with the Knicks Felton was averaging a career high in points and assists at 17.1 and 9.0 respectively. He looked very comfortable in New York and looked like the same floor general he was in Chapel Hill.

  After 54 games in New York, the Knicks made a blockbuster trade with the Denver Nuggets landing perrinial All-Star, Carmelo Anthony. It was a chance for the Knicks to build their own big three with Carmelo, Amare Stoudamire and another free agent in the next two off seasons. The trade shipped Felton to Denver to backup former Tar Heel, Ty Lawson. Felton said of the trade, "I was sick. I never wanted to leave New York. At the same time, I had to do my job." Felton, was a team player and finished the season with decent play coming off the bench in Denver.

  On the night of the 2011 draft Felton was traded again, this time to the Portland Trailblazers. This seemed like a great opportunity as Felton was a starter again and Portland had decent talent around him. As New York was experiencing Lin-Sanity, Felton was experiencing the worst season of his basketball career. He finished the season with a career low, 11.4 points per game.

  Felton entered another off season, but this time his NBA future was in question. But then the Houston Rockets made an offer to the Knicks point guard, Jeremy Lin, who was restricted free agent, that the Knicks front office felt they could not match and had to let their point guard of the future walk. The Knicks needed to find a new starting point guard and worked out a sign and trade with the Portland Trailblazers to bring Felton back to New York.

This season Felton looks like he never left New York. He is averaging almost 16 points and 7 assist per game. He is back to being a leader and has helped the Knicks to an Eastern Conference best 17-5 record.

Follow Us On Twitter @UNCPros and "Like" us on Facebook for more updates about your UNCPros.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tar Heels Euroleague Season Preview

Marcus Ginyard: This year Ginyard plans to play for the Anwil Wloclawk, a Polish PLK Club instead of Israel, a Ironi Nahariya who he played for the previous year. Hopefully this season he will continue to put up competitive numbers. Ginyard averaged 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season. He seems hopeful and energetic as he tweets for his last chance for a preseason tune up and opportunity to learn Polish. While this former Tar Heel is in the USA he has been involved with his own training camp, Marcus Ginyard Basketball Camp, for children aged 8-15 in Jacksonville, NC. Ginyard and Anwil Wloclawk begin there season on September 29 against Kotwica.

Sean May: This July, May signed with Paris-Levallois making this season his second in Europe. During the off season May stayed in a basketball state of mind by helping former UNC assistant and new UAB Head Coach Jerod Haase with his youth basketball camp in Alabama in June and then held the sixth installment of his basketball camp in Charlotte. This preseason Paris-Levallois defeated the University of Washington Huskies by twelve points. May had 14 points and 10 rebounds. After the game Washington head coach, Lorenzo Romar, said “Sean May and Jawad Williams – they are former national champs – plus they had some other guys that were really good."
Jawad Williams battling for position
(UW Courtesy Photo)

Jawad Williams: Williams returns for his second season in France. Last year he was an all star for Paris-Levallois. Williams has had offers to return to the NBA, but nothing that he felt was right for him.  In the preseason game against the Huskies Williams led the team with 17 points, nine of those coming in the 4th quarter. Williams, May and the rest of their team will begin regular season play on October 6th against Orleans.

Deon Thompson: After playing in the NBA summer league this off season for the Memphis Grizzlies, Thompson has chosen to play for Alba Berlin in Germany. Thompson spent last season playing for Union Olimpija in Slovenia. Union Olimpija won the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tournament and Thompson earned the honor of Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Thompson and Alba Berlin begin their regular season October 3 against the Artland Dragons.

Rashad McCants: In July McCants was signed by Strasbourg IG in France of the Pro-A league, but failed a physical and was released in late August.

David Noel:  Noel played for Paris-Levallois last season with Jawad Williams. Noel signed with the BCM Gravelines Dunkerque of the France Pro-A League and will have a chance to play against May, Williams and the rest of the Paris-Levallois team. Noel and BCM made the announcement on Twitter this week. Noel  has limited time to get his contract signed, pass a physical, a drug test and find time to practice with his new teammates as BCM starts regular season play October 6 against Strasbourg.

Follow us on Twitter to receive updates on former Tar Heels: @UNCPros

Monday, September 17, 2012

NFL Week 2 Recap

Week 2 of the NFL season had a lot of former Tar Heel receivers find the endzone. On Sunday afternoon Houston Texans backup quarterback tweeted, "S/O to Hakeem, Btate and Greg Little. Three of my UNC receivers all catching TDs today!". We also seen linebackers with a lot of tackles, defensive ends putting pressure on the quarterback and a backup running back out performing the starter.

Julius Peppers (DE- Chicago Bears): Peppers had two of Chicago's five sacks. He was able to put pressure on Rodgers and led a defense that kept Green Bay's offense in check. Unfortunately for the Bears their offense was very stagnate and only put up 10 points.
Packers: 23 Bears: 10

Hakeem Nicks (WR- New York Giants):  Nicks had a huge game with 10 receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown. He hauled in a 50 yard pass from Eli Manning, late in the 4th quarter to help set up the Giants game winning touchdown. Nicks, who has only been practicing once a week will have a very short week as Nicks returns home to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.
Giants: 41 Bucs: 34

Greg Little (WR- Cleveland Browns): Little, like the rest of the Cleveland offense, struggled last week as he did not have a catch. This week he was targeted a team high seven times and had five receptions for 57 yards and a 24 yard touchdown catch from rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Brandon Tate (WR- Cincinnati Bengals): Tate was targeted three times by Andy Dalton and made the most of them by catching all three for 71 yards and a touchdown. Tate was regulated to just kickoff returns this week since Adam "Pacman" Jones is healthy. Tate had three returns for 72 yards. Tate was not able to seperate himself as the clear number two receiver as Armon Binns and Andrew Hawkins both had decent games.
Bengals: 34 Browns: 27

Zach Brown (OLB- Tennessee Titans): Brown made his first NFL start for the Titans this week due to Colin McCarthy being out due to an injury. Brown was able to record 10 tackles and a sack for a Titans' defense that spent a lot of time on the field because of another lackluster performance by the Titans' offense.
Chargers: 38 Titans: 10

Robert Quinn (DE- St. Louis Rams): Quinn had three tackles and one sack Sunday against the Redskins. He now has a sack in each of the Rams first two games.
Rams: 31 Redskins: 28

Bruce Carter (OLB- Dallas Cowboys): Carter and the Cowboys defense struggled getting off the field Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Carter was able to rack up ten tackles, which was tied for second most on the team Sunday. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 122 yards to help Seattle control the time of possession.
Seahawks: 27 Cowboys: 7

Shaun Draughn (RB- Kansas City Chiefs): For the second straight week Draughn appears to be a part of the Kansas City running game. He had five carries for 56 yards and one catch for 23 yards. He out performed Jamaal Charles who struggled Sunday against Buffalo and only had 10 less yards than Peyton Hillis on six less carries. For now it looks like the backfield in Kansas City is very crowded, but Draughn has performed when given the opportunity.
Bills: 35 Chiefs: 17

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NFL Week 1 Quick Hits

Week one of the NFL season is in the books and there was several Tar Heels that had a nice impact for their respective team in the opening week. 
  • Gerald Sensabaugh and Bruce Carter both started for Dallas' defense that played well and kept Eli Manning and the Giants offense in check.
  • Sensabaugh had 3 tackles, helped contain Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and put pressure on Manning on a couple blitzes.
  • Carter had 5 tackles.
  • Shaun Draughns looked good for Kansas City and scored a touchdown. The Chiefs ran the ball 33 times in a blowout so I expect there will be plenty of opportunity for Draughns.
  • Quinton Coples had just one tackle but the Jets defense looked really good against Buffalo
  • Hakeem Nicks looked to be healthy and unlike Victor Cruz he did not drop any passes
  • Robert Quinn had a good day for the Rams defense recording a sack and three tackles, one of those for a loss.
  • Julius Peppers put a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck but failed to record a sack. He did have three tackles
  • Greg Little was targeted four times with no catches as rookie QB Brandon Weeden and the Browns offense still looks like they are in preseason form.
  • Brandon Tate was target two times and had one catch for the Bengals. It appears that Andre Hawkins emerged as a possible number two receiver for Cincinnati, but Tate will still see playing time especially in the return game.
  • With Fred Jackson getting injured the Bills resigned Johnny White, who they cut at the end of preseason, to add running back depth.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Friday, September 7, 2012

Julius Peppers NFL Season Preview

(Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images)

Julius Peppers enters the 11th season of his NFL career and his third year with the Chicago Bears. Peppers is coming off an eleven and half sack season and his seventh season with double digit sacks. Talent has never been the issue with Peppers, who is a seven time Pro Bowler, but critics have questioned his effort at times.

The Bears limited Peppers play this preseason as a precautionary measure. He is one of the most durable defensive lineman in the NFL. In ten full seasons Peppers has only missed six games, four of which came from a drug suspension in his rookie year. He is expected to be the same dominant defensive end he has been his entire career and has shown no signs of slowing down.

If the Bears can stay healthy and get consistent play on the offensive side of the ball, they should compete with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North title and Peppers should have yet another Pro Bowl season.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Brandon Tate NFL Preview

(Troy Taormina/ US Presswire)

Brandon Tate looks to convert from a special teamer to a starting NFL wide receiver. Tate had less than stellar stats this preseason but it was enough to win the starting wide receiver job opposite A.J. Green. Tate joined Cincinnati last year and was mainly a return man in his first season with the Bengals. A job he was used to since his days with the New England Patriots.

Gone from the Bengals offense is Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Jerome Simpson or any other player that was thought to be the answer at the receiver position for Cincinnati. Tate had a decent season last year as a return man for the Bengals and improved as the year went on. This year he has been given the opportunity to be a starter.

Tate will rely on Andy Dalton to not suffer a sophomore slump. If Dalton can improve upon a Pro Bowl rookie campaign then I think Tate could have a decent year. Tate will be the number three receiving option behind Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham. Tate will remain a very important part of the return game on special teams this year.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Updated List: Tar Heels In the NFL

At the start of the NFL season there is currently 23 former Tar Heels in the NFL. This is the list I have comprised from

Baltimore Ravens: 
Michael McAdoo (OLB)

Buffalo Bills:
Da'Norris Searcy (SS)
Johnny White (RB)

Cincinnati Bengals: 
Brandon Tate (WR)
Richard Quinn (TE)

Cleveland Browns:
Greg Little (WR)

Houston Texans:
T.J. Yates (QB)

Kansas City Chiefs:
Shaun Draughn (RB)

New England Patriots: 
Jesse Holley (WR)

New York Jets:
Quinton Coples (DE)

Pittsburgh Steelers:
Greg Warren (LS)

San Diego Chargers: 
Cam Thomas (DT)

Tennessee Titans: 
Zach Brown (OLB

Arizona Cardinals:
Vonnie Holliday (DE)

Atlanta Falcons:
Garrett Reynolds (OG)

Chicago Bears:
Julius Peppers (DE)

Dallas Cowboys:
Bruce Carter (ILB)
Gerald Sensabaugh (FS)

Green Bay Packers:
Jeff Saturday (C)

New York Giants:
Marvin Austin (DT)
Hakeem Nicks (WR)

St. Louis Rams:
Robert Quinn (DE)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Conner Barth (K)

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quinton Coples NFL Season Preview

Quinton Coples has a lot to prove to his critics about his work ethic. Athletically he is a freak of nature and would have been a top five pick if the NFL draft, if teams only focused on a players ability. Coples looked really good in the preseason, recording four and half sacks and he put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Since drafting Coples and during the preseason Jets head coach, Rex Ryan has raved about the defensive ends play. After the Jets preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, Ryan had some less than glowing words about Coples, who was winded and ready to come out the the game with the starters. Ryan said. "He kind of had a woe-with-me when we took out the starters. Hey look, you're still a rookie, you have to play the whole game and then some". Coples said of the situation, "Maybe that's what it came off as, intensity-wise or whatever. I never expected to come out."

I look for Coples to be in contention for Defensive Rookie of the Year. He will also contribute and make a really good defense even better.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hakeem Nicks NFL Season Preview

(Kathy Willens/AP)

Hakeem Nicks suffered a broken foot in May and was hoping to be ready by Week 1 of the regular season. He returned the last week of the preseason ahead of schedule. Nicks intentionally went across the middle against three New England defenders in the final preseason game. After the game he said, "I kind of wanted to absorb the hit a little bit and get my body back into it".

Nicks is one of the most talented playmakers in the NFL when he is healthy. While Nicks battled injuries last season, Victor Cruz emerged as a favorite target of Giants quarterback, Eli Manning. Just when it looked like Cruz was the number one receiver in New York, Nicks came on strong in the playoffs with 28 receptions, 444 yards and four touchdowns. If he remains healthy and on the field Nicks will be one of the three best wide receivers in the NFL this year.

Nicks and the Giants begin the season Wednesday at home against their division rival Dallas Cowboys on NBC at 8:30 PM EST.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Jawad Williams and Sean May Are Reunited

Paris-Levallois of the Eurobasket ProA League starts their regular season in a little over a month on October 6th. They return former Tar Heel, Jawad Williams, who averaged 16.5 points per game last year and was selected to the All Star game. One of Williams' teammate last year in Paris was another former Tar Heel, David Noel. Noel's contract was up in the off season and was not resigned.

Levallois did make a big splash in their off season signing former NBA lottery pick, Tar Heel and Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Sean May. After being waived by the New Jersey Nets in 2010 after suffering an ankle injury, May played overseas in Turkey, Croatia and Italy. In May's last season in Italy he averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds per game.

May and Williams are reunited, as they were teammates on the 2005 North Carolina team that won the National Championship. They recently arrived in Paris to begin working out with the team. They will be part of a really nice front court for Levallois this year.

Follow us on Twitter: @UNCPros

Monday, August 20, 2012

Darian Durant Looking to Turn Roughriders' Play Around

(Nathan Denette/ The Canadian Press)

Former North Carolina quarterback Darian Durant hopes to lead the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the Grey Cup of the Canadian Football League this season. 

So far this season Durant, who just turned 30, has put up solid numbers, he has thrown for 1,935 yards, eight touchdowns and completing 64% of his passes. He has thrown seven interceptions but three of those came Sunday in the Riders' 24-5 loss. Also just like at Chapel Hill, Durant is a dual threat option at the quarterback position and has rushed for 159 yards in seven games this season.

After a hot start to the season the Roughriders have dropped their last four games and they sit last in the CFL's West Division but, only two games out of first.
Sunday after the loss Durant said, "We just couldn't get anything going from the get-go. It's a tough one to swallow." He added, "Losing four in a row is not good any time. We defintely have to watch the film and see what we need to do."

Durant and the Roughriders look to start their turnaround Saturday at home against the Calgary Stampeders at 3pm EST.

Follow us on Twitter @UNCPros

Friday, August 17, 2012

How the Dwight Howard Deal Can Impact Two Former Tar Heels

In the next month NBA teams will begin training camps and preseason games.  In June we watched the NBA Finals that matched the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder and it seemed like a finals matchup that we would see again this season and many to come.  Then the Los Angeles Lakers landed the best center in the game, Dwight Howard.  My question is: how does this trade impact Antwan Jamison and Mitch Kupchak?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tar Heels NFL Preseason Week 1 Recap

Kendric Burney, Matt Merletti, Robert Quinn
(Via Kendric Burney's Twitter Page)

Buffalo Bills:

  • Johnny White (RB)- Had five carries carries for 25 yards including a nice 17 yard run in the third quarter that helped setup a Buffalo field goal.

Washington Redskins:

  • Kentwan Balmer (DE)- After leaving Redskins camp about two weeks ago without telling anyone, Washington was finally able to reach the defensive lineman this weekend.  This is the second time in his short NFL career that he has went AWOL from his teams training camp (2010 with San Francisco). I am not sure how much longer he will remain a Redskin and could be released before I publish this article.

Redskins- 7 Bills- 6

Chicago Bears:

  • Julius Peppers (DE): Peppers, along with Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall set out the first preseason game to rest.  The absence of these players including Peppers were just precautionary.

Broncos-31 Bears- 3

Green Bay Packers:

  • Jeff Saturday (C): Saturday is still protecting an All Pro Quarterback but it is the first time his name is not Peyton Manning.  Saturday decided to move on from the Colts and their rebuilding phase and signed with NFC powerhouse the Green Bay Packers. Saturday is still learning the offense and the Packers "language".

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seeking Writers For UNCPros

UNCPros is looking to add writers who are interested in getting published online to add to their writing portfolios. As we approach the fall and, more importantly, the start of football and basketball season, we are looking to add a writer to cover former Tar Heels in the professional sports world.  

As we are looking to rapidly expand in the near future you will have an opportunity to grow with us.
Writing for us consists of generating page views, creating quality content, building a Twitter following while learning other Digital Media Solutions and getting as much exposure for yourself & your articles while building an online portfolio.
UNCPros writers will have the unique opportunity to own their school’s sports coverage for a growing online magazine.
To apply, send a short writing sample of any recent UNC headlines, along with your contact information (name, phone, email, Twitter) to 

Follow Us on Twitter:  @uncpros

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kirk Urso Dies at 22 Years Old

(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Former Tar Heel Midfielder for the 2011 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship team, Kirk Urso, was pronounced dead at 1:50 am Sunday morning at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch posted the 911 call that led police to the bar Urso was found. The caller said, "Its a very drunk person who fell down and now is unconscious." Police were on the scene immediately. An autopsy performed Monday did not determine the cause of death.  The corner said she would need to wait for the toxicology reports before the cause of death is known. During the autopsy the corner did find a "non-specific cardiac change" that could have resulted in his death. As of right now the corner believes the death is of natural causes.

Sunday morning twitter was filled with many condolences from the Tar Heel family including Mia Hamm, John Henson and Kendall Marshall. After winning the NCAA championship last fall Urso said "My whole college career has been awesome, but there was something extra about this team. To cap it off with this is something I am going to remember the rest of my life." He also played for the United States under-17 team in 2007. 

Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham issued this statement:

"In the very brief time I spent with Kirk it became evident that he was a natural leader. His enthusiasm was contagious to all who knew him. He had a positive and inspirational impact on his team, and many other student-athletes at Carolina. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Kirk's family and friends. His teammates and fellow students are devastated by the news and we will do all we can to support them and his family in this incredibly tragic and sorrowful time."

It seems for now as we mourn the loss of this tragedy we will have to wait a few weeks before we get answers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Matt Harvey Rolls In To San Francisco

(Matt York/AP)

Matt Harvey's big league debut last Thursday did not disappoint.  He helped the New York Mets get only their second win since the All Star break by going 5.1 innings, striking out 11 batters and only surrendering three hits. He also provided the Mets with offense by chipping in with two hits becoming the only pitcher to strikeout at least eleven betters and get two hits in his Major League debut.
After the game Mets manager Terry Collins said "I want him to enjoy it and I want people to get excited about it. But I am also careful enough to know that my experience has been the first time you see a guy, the first time he pitches in the league,he can see a lot of success, and the next time he might not be as good".
Tuesday, Harvey will get the chance to build off his impressive debut as he will take the mound against the San Francisco Giants and Tim Lincecum. Harvey showed really good stuff on Thursday and has gave Mets fans a glimpse of hope for the future, which is much needed this summer.

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tar Heels Represented in the 2012 London Olympics

The start of the 2012 London Summer Olympics are finally here.  Here is a list of the athletes that will represent their respective countries and the University of North Carolina.   Thanks to the ACC for providing the list.

Illse DavidsField HockeySouth AfricaAthlete
Rachel DawsonField HockeyUSAAthlete
Katelyn FalgowskiField HockeyUSAAthlete
Jesse GeyField HockeyUSAAthlete
Jaclyn KintzerField HockeyUSAAthlete
Amy SwensenField HockeyUSAAthlete
Vikas GowdaMen's Track & FieldIndiaDiscus
Robyn GayleWomen's SoccerCanadaAthlete
Tobin HeathWomen's SoccerUSAAthlete
Meghan KlingenbergWomen's SoccerUSAAthlete
Heather O’ReillyWomen's SoccerUSAAthlete
Shalane FlanaganWomen's Track & FieldUSAMarathon
Alice SchmidtWomen's Track & FieldUSA800m
Katie BowenWomen's SoccerNew ZealandAthlete

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New York Mets Promote Top Prospect Matt Harvey

The New York Mets have called up former Tar Heel and current top prospect Matt Harvey from Triple-A Buffalo. In Buffalo this year, Harvey is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA and 112 strikeouts.  The Mets brought up their top pitching prospect due to Johan Santana going on the DL and growing frustration with the number 5 starter Miguel Batista.  Harvey was selected seventh in the 2010 draft by the Mets.  Harvey is a power pitcher who has K/9 ratio of 9.8 in his minor league career.  He still needs to work on his walk per 9 innings ratio which has increased after every promotion for Harvey.  Baseball America had Harvery ranked as the 54th best prospect in baseball entering the season.  Harvey will get his first Major League start Thursday night in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.  The Mets hope this move will help end their current skid, as they have lost 9 of the last ten and only have one win since the all star break.

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Marcus Ginyard To Play In Poland

Former Tar Heel Marcus Ginyard has signed with the Polish PLK team Anwil Wloclawek. Ginyard is coming off a season in which he received All-Israeli Team honorable mention, he averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assist and nearly 2 steals a game for Israel's Ironi Nahariya.  In 2010 Ginyard played in Germany with BBC Bayreuth in which he averaged 10.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assist a game.  Ginyard posted a photo on twitter of him signing his contract.  Anwil Wloclawek will start their season in late September or early October.

Follow us on Twitter: @UNCPros

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tar Heels Summer League Recap

(Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images)

The 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas ended Sunday night.  North Carolina had six participants in the 5 game season.  Here is a recap of how the former Tar Heels performed:

Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors):  Barnes helped the Warriors go undefeated with a 5-0 record in summer league.  Barnes struggled shooting the ball as he was just below 40% from the field but shot 57% from beyond the arc.  Barnes did average 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.  I still feel like Barnes is going to be a steal at number seven and a Golden State starting lineup consisting of: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut has a lot of potential.

Ed Davis (Toronto Raptors):  Davis quietly averaged 16.2 points and 9.4 rebounds a game. Davis is another NBA player that was drafted on "potential".  Davis will be entering his third season as he showed promise last season but still needs work on his offensive game.

John Henson (Milwaukee Bucks):  Some NBA draft experts said Henson would be the best pro of the four Tar Heels drafted this year.  Henson missed the Bucks first game due to the flu but nothing would slow him down the rest of summer league.  Henson averaged 18.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.  Henson also received NBA Summer League All Star honors.

Kendall Marshall (Phoenix Suns):  Like Henson, Marshall missed a game in the summer league but that was due to not being under contract when the summer league started.  Marshall struggled shooting the ball in his first three games but his finally Saturday night looked like the "Butter" we grew to love at Chapel Hill as he had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assist.  Marshall did lead all summer league participants with 6.5 assist per game.

Deon Thompson (Memphis Grizzlies):  Last I reported Thompson had just won MVP in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tournament. He has started the first two games for Memphis but was replaced in the starting lineup because Memphis went with a smaller lineup.  Thompson's numbers actually improved when he was replaced in the starting lineup.  He averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds a game. Thompson expressed his gratitude towards the Grizzlies via twitter saying " Thank you to the Grizzlies for a great opportunity to wear their uniform and represent their organization this summer."  It will be interesting to see where Thompson ends up as he has a great work ethic and desire to improve his game.

Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers):   Zeller averaged 11 points, 7 rebounds and one block per game.  Zeller also shot over 90% from the free throw line and 46% from the field.  

**Justin Knox played in the Orlando Summer League for the Utah Jazz but was let go before Las Vegas Leagues started.

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tar Heels Around The NFL

With NFL training camps beginning to open up throughout the league, North Carolina has 35 players currently on an NFL roster.  Here is a list of former Tar Heels to keep an eye on during training camps.

Baltimore Ravens: (Owings Mills, MD- July 27)
Michael McAdoo (OLB)

Buffalo Bills: (Pittsford, NY- July 29)
Da'Norris Searcy (SS)
Johnny White (RB)

Cincinnati Bengals: (Georgetown, KY- July 28)
Brandon Tate (WR)

Cleveland Browns: (Berea, OH- July 29)
Greg Little (WR)

Houston Texans: (Houston, TX- July 31)
Dwight Jones (WR)
T.J. Yates (QB)

Indianapolis Colts: (Anderson, IN- July 29)
Matt Merletti (FS)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Top 3 Tar Heel Basketball Moments

Number 3:  No Timeouts!
When the Tar Heels won the championship in 1982 I was not even three yet so I have NO memories of this game.  Everything I seen was on a program that ESPN had in the early 90s that showed the highlights of past Final Fours.  There I lived the glory of 1982 and the disappointment of 1977.  In 1993 the Tar Heels were in the National Title game for the first time since 1982 and it was the first time I had butterflies for a game that I could not  control the outcome.  I watched Donald Williams stamp his legacy in Carolina folk lure as the Sophomore was MOP of the Final Four.  That honor would not come easy as the Tar Heels faced the Fab Five of Michigan, who lost in the title game the year prior.  Carolina held a small lead as Chris Webber grabbed a rebound with under a minute to play.  I watched as the refs let a travel go uncalled but the Tar Heels were resilient in defense and trapped Webber, on the corner, as he crossed mid court.  He then called a timeout Michigan did not have that allowed Carolina to capture its second title under Dean Smith and the first I enjoyed live.

Number 2: Danny's Dunk
Even though this was only a regular season game this is my second favorite moment as a Tar Heel fan.  I was at Wild Wing Cafe in downtown Charleston, SC watching the game with friends, one of whom is a die hard dookie.  I had on my Tar Heels gear including a hat that I have had since high school that my dook friend has told me on numerous occasions he is tired of seeing. He was wearing his new "Carolina Sucks" shirt that I was quickly hating.  Danny Green grabbed a rebound and went down court and posterized the "hated" Greg Paulus.  The most memorable thing for me though was the look disappointment and disbelief on my friends face.

Number 1:  Redemption
2002 was the most disappointing year for me as a sports fan.  For the first time in my lifetime, my beloved North Carolina Tar Heels not only missed the NCAA tournament but finished a horrible 8-20 missing out on any post season tournament.  It was a year that was very tough to watch.  My Tar Heels had always finished in the top 3 of the ACC but that year, dead last!  Freshman Jawad Williams, Jackie Manual and Melvin Scott did not sign up for this.  They came to Carolina because of their winning tradition and legacy.  One bright spot was that Head Coach Matt Doherty was bringing in 3 of the top 10 high school recruits Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton and Sean May.  Fast forward three years later Doherty had been fired and long time Kansas coach and Dean Smith pupil, Roy Williams was brought in to replace him.  Carolina did not go into the tournament as the favorite but would meet the favorite, Illinois Fighting Illini, in the finals.  Illinois went undefeated until the last game of the regular season against Ohio State.  Illinois had battled back from a 13 point first half deficit but the Tar Heels would not roll over.  On the back of Sean May's 26 points and 10 rebounds, Roy Williams got his first title as a head coach.  The 8-20 season was a distant memory and made this championship even sweeter.  I watched this game with no one, I paced back and forth yelling at the TV as if I was the head coach.  When Jim Nantz said "College basketball has a new Dean" I had chills and even let a tear of joy run down my cheek.

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Tar Heel's Summer League Updates

The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is well under way and the Tar Heels are well represented.  The NBA's mini season will run until July 22nd and showcases 13 of the top 14 picks (Anthony Davis is with team USA).  While former Carolina players have returned to Chapel Hill to play in pickup games, there are six former players that are playing in Las Vegas:

(Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images)
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors):  Barnes has helped the Warriors go a perfect 3-0 so far in summer league.  His outside shooting has been key as he is 7-10 from beyond the arc.  Barnes is averaging 17 points 5 rebounds and 2 steals a game.  Barnes however is shooting below 40% from the field as he struggles to finish when he drives to the basket.  I still feel like Barnes is going to be a steal at number seven and a Golden State starting lineup consisting of: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut has a lot of potential.

Ed Davis (Toronto Raptors):  Davis is nearly averaging a double-double with 16.5 points and 9 rebounds in four games. Davis is another NBA player that was drafted on "potential".  Davis will be entering his third season as he showed promise last season but still needs work on his offensive game.

John Henson (Milwaukee Bucks):  Some NBA draft experts said Henson would be the best pro of the four Tar Heels drafted this year.  Henson missed the Bucks first game due to the flu but had a nice debut Wednesday night.  Henson had 20 points, 9 rebounds, a block and was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

Kendall Marshall (Phoenix Suns):  Like Henson, Marshall missed a game in the summer league but that was due to not being under contract when the summer league started.  Marshall has played in two games and has played the role of a facilitator as he has five assist in each game.  Marshall said via twitter that the trainer has him wearing an elbow pad precautionary reasons.  Hopefully this was the reason for his 1-10 shooting night Wednesday.

Deon Thompson (Memphis Grizzlies):  Last I reported Thompson had just won MVP in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague tournament. He has started both games for Memphis and is averaging 24.5 minutes a game.  This is a great opportunity for Thompson to show off his skills for NBA scouts and coaches.

Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers):  Zeller was the last Tar Heel picked in this years draft but is having the best Summer League of the four.  Zeller has started all three games averaging 14 points, 8 rebounds and almost 2 blocks a game.  He is shooting over 50% from the field and 88% from the free throw line.  Cleveland has emerged as a possible destination for center Andrew Bynum to help the Lakers land Dwight Howard.  If Bynum does end up in Cleveland, the Cavs will have a seven footer that runs the floor coming of the bench.

**Justin Knox played in the Orlando Summer League for the Utah Jazz but was let go before Las Vegas Leagues started.

Follow us on Twitter: @uncpros

Friday, June 29, 2012

Will Kendall Marshall Become Phoenix's Favorite Sun?

(Bob Donnan/ US Presswire)

The NBA Draft green room was filled with Tar Heels Thursday night.  Coach Roy Williams was there to support Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson, as all were expected to go early in the 2012 NBA Draft.  The lone Tar Heel that did not receive an invite to the green room was Kendall Marshall.  The NBA could have been worried about a Jameer Nelson, Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn situation where ESPN cameras are there to capture a heart break slide on draft day.  The NBA would not have had to worry about that because Marshall was selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns, and the second Tar Heel selected.  The Suns starting point guard and former MVP, Steve Nash, is expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent.  Unless the Suns are very active in the free agency market they appear to be in a rebuilding phase and could have just landed their floor general of the future.  Marshall and Sebastian Telfair are the only point guards that are currently on the Suns' roster, as Aaron Brooks is a restricted free agent. Marshall is an unselfish player that makes his teammates better.  Suns General Manager Lance Blanks said Marshall "was the guy we were targeting all along." Marshall was actually number eight on the Suns draft board.
Marshall will be able to talk about Tar Heel basketball with Suns TV analyst Scott Williams who played in Chapel Hill in the late 80's and was an undrafted free agent who had a  15 year career in the NBA.

To keep up with your former Tar Heels Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Former Tar Heel, Adam Warren, Makes His Debut In New York

Adam Warren is scheduled to make his first Major League start for the New York Yankees on Friday against the Chicago White Sox.  Warren will fill in for Yankee ace C.C. Sabathia, who was placed on the 15 day disabled list earlier this week.  Warren becomes the 16th Tar Heel to make a start in the MLB since Mike Fox has took over as manager in Chapel Hill.  Warren was a fourth round draft pick of the Yankees in 2009 and he has a record of 5-5 with an ERA of 3.86 and 59 strikeouts with the Triple A team Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  If Warren performs well this could turn into more than a temporary call up as the Yankees also lost Andy Pettitte this week for six weeks due to an ankle injury.  Warren's first game will not be easy as the White Sox rank in the top 8 in runs scored and home runs.  The game will be shown on the Yes Network Friday at 7:05 EST.

To keep up with your former Tar Heels Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NBA Scouts Weigh In On Four Tar Heels

Seth Davis, of CNNSI, spoke with six NBA scouts, coaches and executives over the last two weeks leading up to the NBA draft.  This is what they had to say about the four Tar Heels that will be drafted in the first round Thursday night:

Harrison Barnes, 6-8 forward, North Carolina: "I can't figure him out. I want him to be better than he is, yet what he is is pretty good. His biggest problem is he doesn't have enough toughness. This is a man's league and I don't know for sure if he's the type of guy who will step on you when you're down."

John Henson, 6-10 forward, North Carolina: "His body has gotten better, although he still needs to work on it. He's a solid rotation player. His shot is greatly improved from his freshman year. He's not Ray Allen or anything, but he's not Reggie Evans anymore, either. I worry about kids who have high centers of gravity, because that usually means they have poor balance."

Kendall Marshall, 6-4 guard, North Carolina: "I don't think he's going to make a poor team a lot better, but if you put him on a team like Oklahoma City or Philadelphia, where he's surrounded by a bunch of athletes, then he can really make them better. He's not a bad shooter. If someone leaves him open, he can knock down a few jumpers. My concern about him is the other side of the ball. Will he be capable of defending quick point guards? He doesn't have great speed, but he knows how to play fast."
Tyler Zeller, 7-foot center, North Carolina: "Beast. I personally have him in the top seven. He's a 13- to 14-year NBA center. He can shoot, he's strong, he runs. Everybody complains they can never find a center. Well, here he is. There's absolutely no scenario where he's not going to succeed."

There are really no surprises with the scout's evaluations of the four players. There is not a census opinion any of the Tar Heel players.  Roy Williams said on the Dan Patrick Show that he thought Marshall could be the best pro.  Jay Bilas has said he thinks Zeller will be the best pro.  Marc James, sports radio personality in Charlotte, believes John Henson is best former Tar Heel to pick in this draft.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harrison Barnes Impressive In Workout With Bobcats

Harrison Barnes returned to North Carolina on Thursday as he was in Charlotte to work out for the Bobcats.  The Bobcats have the second pick of the NBA draft and are in the early stages of a rebuilding process.  Many in Charlotte believe Barnes is the best pick for the Bobcats.  He is a good shooter and extremely athletic and would instantly be the best scorer on the team.  Barnes worked out in front of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, General Manager Richard Cho and new head coach Mike Dunlap.  It seems that Barnes made a good impression as Dunlap said, "He played to his strengths. He shoots the ball well. He is a very good athlete and he has a good attitude."  Former NC State player CJ Williams also worked out for the Bobcats and had nothing but positive things to say about Barnes.  He said, "Barnes just isn't a jump shooter but an overall scorer."
The Bobcats were the fourth team to work out Barnes, along with Cleveland, Toronto and Washington.  According to an NBA source Barnes cancelled his workout Friday with Sacramento.  So that makes me think that Barnes will not make it past the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pick 4th.  The Bobcats work out Kansas' junior standout Thomas Robinson on Friday but it seems Barnes is the front runner to be the second pick right now.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Vote Kyle Seager Into the All Star Game

(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America)

Former North Carolina Tar Heel baseball player Kyle Seager is having a quiet but productive year.  Seager and his stats may get overlooked playing on the West Coast but he has proven himself time and time again for the Seattle Mariners.  Seager is batting .272 with 7 home runs and 37 RBIs.  He ranks second among third baseman in the American League with those 37 RBIs only trailing the Tigers Miguel Cabrera.  Seager was drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft and joined college teammate, Dustin Ackley, who was the Mariners first pick.  So far in their young careers Seager has been the one playing like

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Harrison Barnes' NBA Draft Preview

Photo: Wilmington Star-News Online

Now that the NBA lottery has been decided Harrison Barnes and other Tar Heels can get a better idea of where they could end up.  Barnes has great size for a small forward in the NBA.  He also has a high basketball IQ and is fluid athletically which will help him adapt to a more physical game at the next level.  Barnes will need to work on improving his outside shot which was inconsistent last season.  He also will need to find a way to penetrate and create his own shot. 

Barnes is considered to be in a group with Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist,  Andre

Rashad McCants Released

In two games with the Powerade Tigers of the Philippines Basketball Association, Rashad McCants averaged 25.5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and one steal a game.  He was rewarded with these solid numbers by getting released.  The Tigers started the Governor's Cup losing their first two games.  The team seemed to panic by releasing a player that was producing very solid numbers.  McCants had a short stint in

John Henson's NBA Draft Profile

During John Henson's three years at Carolina he improved his offensive game every year and grew into a low post threat.  He is a superb defender and has incredible length.  During three years he went from a 180 pound kid to a 6'11" 220 pound NBA player.  Henson still has a lot of room to develop his offensive game, but deciding to stay in school for three years instead of one has improved the likely hood he will be able make it to a second contract in the NBA.
Henson was in New Orleans earlier this week, with former teammate Tyler Zeller among others, to work out for the Hornets.  Although many draft experts believe he will never make it to their tenth pick because the Detroit Pistons (Pick 9)  have shown a lot of interest in Henson.  If the Pistons make Henson their first round pick who will team with rising star center Greg Monroe in the front court.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Kendall Marshall's NBA Draft Preview

Kendall Marshall''s college career ended disappointingly at the hands of a hard foul from a Creighton player.  A healthy Marshall could have ended the college basketball season a little differently.  Marshall is considered by many as the best available "true" point guard.  No other player in recent Carolina history improved their draft stock as much as Marshall.  He came to Chapel Hill as a four star recruit by most recruiting publications, and now appears to be a late lottery pick.

Marshall has great court vision and is a leader on the court.  He plays very unselfish and possess a high basketball IQ.  He will need to work on becoming a stronger scoring threat. He showed glimpses last season that he could become a good scorer.  He also will need to work on his quickness which will also help him improve his defense.

To prepare for the draft Marshall has been working out in Florida and he is expected to attend the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.  After the combine Marshall plans to work out with up to six unnamed NBA teams they will potentially all be in the lottery.  Marshall is uncertain at how much he will be able to participate in predraft workouts due to his wrist and elbow injuries.

A few teams that have expressed interest in Marshall are the New Orleans Hornets (Pick 10), Portland Trailblazers (11), Houston Rockets (14 and 16) and the Phoenix Suns (13).  I would think these are four teams would include Marshall in for a workout.

Follow us on Twitter:  @UNCPros

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wes Miller Hires Jackie Manuel as an Assistant

In early March UNC Greensboro made it official and named Wes Miller the head coach.  Miller had taken over for the Spartans in December and after a rocky start the Spartans won the Southern Conference's North division.  Now that it's time for him to assemble his coaching staff, he chose to hire former North Carolina Tar Heel team mate, Jackie Manuel, as an assistant coach.  Manuel has spent the last year as an assistant strength coordinator for the Tar Heels.  This is a great opportunity for Manuel to gain

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tyler Zeller's NBA Draft Profile

In his four years at Chapel Hill Tyler Zeller fell just a little short on his quest for two NCAA championships.Zeller chose to skip last years NBA draft and return for his Senior year in an attempt to gain another championship. Zeller was one of two Seniors on this years Tar Heel team and he leaves Chapel Hill

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Notes From UNC's Pro Day

(AP Photo)
The University of North Carolina hosted NFL scouts, NFL coaches and many members of the media on Tuesday at their annual Pro Day. Two players, Dwight Jones and Ebele Okakpu, were not allowed to participate by the University. Quinton Coples and Zach Brown were the headliners but scouts were able to watch other players that could be taken in late rounds of the draft or signed as undrafted free agents.  Here are a some notes that I was able to gather from several members of the media that was attendance: