Duke Archive

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Calling Bullsh*t on why Christian Laettner was hated

laettner3030ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary Sunday night addressed the issue of why people hate former Duke basketball player Christian Laettner. While touching on and sometimes dancing around some of the real reasons, for the most part, they tried to conclude that it was mainly because Duke won all the time and he was the face of Duke. I call bullsh*t on that.

Fans in the ACC, who saw him the most, didn’t hate him because Duke beat them. In fact, during his four years, North Carolina went 6-5 against Duke including a 22-point victory in an ACC Tournament final. Tar Heel fans were more likely to hate him because he lacked class – what they thought was in great contrast to their team. Simply put, he was an ass.

Christian Laettner.

Christian Laettner.

He treated people poorly – even his own fans – ignoring them, refusing autographs and generally coming across as if he were better than you and everyone. On the court, he talked trash and used foul language. He intentionally stomped on people and picked fights. He was beyond conceited, beyond arrogant.

These are all legitimate reasons to hate someone, or to put it softer, dislike someone.

Unfortunately, especially nationally, there is another disturbing reason Laettner is hated. He’s white and played basketball better than most black players. He wasn’t rich and entitled. He wasn’t white collar. He was just white.

Many white people, especially, think of basketball as a black man’s game. And they are jealous that they can’t play basketball that way. It’s racist in so many ways – from the attitude that black people are there to entertain on the basketball court to the fact that a white guy shouldn’t be able to play that way.

There is a white guilt issue. White = privilege. Black = struggle. As one high school coach says, “Suburban kids tend to play for the fun of it but inner city kids look at basketball as a matter of life and death.”

Think I’m all wet? How else can one explain that in a national bracket on the most hated players, in the final eight there was only one person – Mateen Cleaves – who has a black mother and a black father? In a sport where the vast majority of starters are black, only one black player made the final eight. Are only white players taunting opponents or pounding their chest after buckets? Or is it that our society likes that kind of out-of-control emotion? The Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman certainly gets endorsements largely for his antics.

More than half of the nominees put up for the most hated player of the last 30 years are white. Of the Final Four, three of the players most hated played at Duke’s rival UNC – Eric Montross, Tyler Hansbrough and Rick Fox, whose mother is white. So all four of the most hated players of the last 30 years of college basketball were born to white mothers. How can that be explained?

Did Montross, Hansbrough and Fox treat fans poorly? No. Did they use foul language and pick fights on the court? No. Did they act arrogant? No. Did they get caught for smoking dope? No. Did they play for Duke? No. Perhaps they were hated for being goody two shoes, and whites are more likely to be perceived as goody two shoes. I don’t know. I suppose the argument can be made that Carolina traditionally wins, like Duke, but then why wouldn’t Scott Williams or J.R. Reid or Jerry Stackhouse or Rasheed Wallace be on the list instead?

It’s disturbing. Montross “won” his bracket by beating out such players as Allen Iverson, a guy who had alcohol and gambling problems and who went broke buying jewelry to match his wild array of tattoos. That’s not to mention his not paying child support for five kids, who he once illegally abducted from his wife. As a player, he skipped practices and threw his teammates and coaches under the bus. He was selfish and always hogged the ball.

He wasn’t good with fans. In fact, he was known for canceling appearances at the last second. After failing to attend one meet-and-greet, one fan put it this way: “It’s disappointing, but it’s not shocking, though. It’s kind of expected of him, it seems like.”

How can anyone explain hating Montross, a gentleman who takes time to speak with everyone and treats people with respect, more than Iverson? Is it what has become known as the “soft bigotry of low expectations” for blacks when it comes to how one presents himself and maybe the bigotry of high expectations for how blacks play basketball.

Laettner was a great basketball player, especially in college. If you’re going to hate Laettner, do so because he is, or at least was, a jerk.

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My official All-ACC ballot differed very slightly from writer’s or coaches’ polls

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll. My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same […]

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll.

My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same as the writer’s poll but the opposite of the coaches’ poll.

Trevor Lacey.

Trevor Lacey.

Probably the biggest difference I had with the two polls was my exclusion of Virginia’s Justin Anderson, who was picked on the second team of both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. I struggled with excluding Anderson, who midway through the season looked like a player of the year candidate. But he was injured for a month and I put a great emphasis on how players did during the conference season, of which he missed a lot.

My other general bias is for upperclassmen over freshmen, which could help explain why I chose Notre Dame Senior Jerian Grant as the ACC player of the year rather than Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor.

Also, I did not have Duke freshman Tyus Jones on my team, although I had him on the All-Freshman team. He was third team on both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. Instead, I had Pitt sophomore Jamel Artis on my third team. Artis leads Pitt in scoring – 13.8 overall and 16.1 in ACC games. He gets six rebounds a game, has an 80 percent conversion rate from the line, 48 percent from the floor and the forward has hit 40 percent of his threes. He is ending the season strong by scoring in double figures each of the last 16 games, averaging 18.5 points per game during that stretch.

The only other discrepancy I had with the writer’s poll (and the coaches’ poll for that matter) is that I had Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije on my third team. Gbinije is 11th in the ACC in scoring at 15.1 points per game, is 9th in field goal percentage at 45.4, is first in steals at 2.1 a game, is second in three-point percentage at 43.4, is 10th in the number of threes made plus he hauls in 5.6 rebounds a game and dishes out 3.9 assists per game.

I suspected he might not make many others’ ballot but I had hoped he would get the most improved player award but that went to Rakeem Christmas, who was also honored with first-team All-ACC and the Defensive Player of the Year. While I also voted for Christmas for first team and for defense, I thought the fact that Gbinije was coming off the bench last year gave him a slight edge for most improved player. Christmas was certainly improved offensively but he was just as excellent defensively last year.

The coaches chose Virginia’s Mike Tobey as the winner of the Sixth Man Award and that makes sense as he played for the best team in regular season and scored 7.2 points with 5.2 rebounds in 18 minutes a game. I don’t like to see players penalized for not being on the best team in the regular season so I went with Charles Mitchell of Georgia Tech, who had better numbers. Mitchell scored 9.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game in 22 minutes per game.

The only vote I regret is leaving Virginia’s Malcolm Brogden off the All-Defensive team. He is a lock-down defender and I should have rewarded him for that rather than simply going by numbers. I had Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton on the team instead – I weighted very heavily that he was second in the league in defensive rebounds. While Connaughton was deserving of being mentioned, Brogden should have been on my team. But, he didn’t need my vote anyway and, again, Connaughton got mentioned.

MY ACSMA ACC AWARDS BALLOT
First Team All-ACC
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
Olivier Hanlan – Guard – Boston College
Malcolm Brogdon – Guard – Virginia

Second Team All-ACC
Quinn Cook – Guard – Duke
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Terry Rozier – Guard – Louisville
Brice Johnson – Forward – North Carolina
Trevor Lacey – Guard – NC State

Third Team All-ACC
Jamel Artis – Forward – Pittsburgh
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame
Marcus Paige – Guard – North Carolina
Anthony Gill – Forward – Virginia
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC All-Defensive team
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
BeeJay Anya – Forward/Center – NC State
Tonye Jekiri – Forward – Miami
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame

ACC All-Freshman team
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Xavier Rathan-Mayes – Guard – Florida State
Tyus Jones – Guard – Duke
Justise Winslow – Forward – Duke
Justin Jackson – Guard – North Carolina

ACC Player of the Year
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame

ACC Rookie of the Year
Jahlil Okafor – Center

ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett – Coach – Virginia

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse

ACC Most Improved Player
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Charles Mitchell – Forward – Georgia Tech

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Coaches’ All-ACC first team mirrors writer’s poll while Paige, Lacey switch spots

Marcus Paige.

Marcus Paige.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the 2015 All-ACC Team, as voted upon by the league’s 15 head coaches, Monday and the first team is exactly the same as the ACC basketball writer’s poll that came out Saturday. However, UNC’s Marcus Paige moves up to the second team on the coaches’ poll while NC State’s Trevor Lacey falls to the third team.

Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor, Notre Dame senior Jerian Grant, Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas, Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan comprise the first team.

Duke’s Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center from Chicago, ranks second among ACC scorers at 17.6 points per game and third in rebounding at 9.2 per contest. Okafor has scored 10 or more points in 29 of his 30 games coming into this week’s New York Life ACC Tournament, and his 11 “double doubles” in points/rebounds rank fourth in the conference.

Notre Dame’s Grant leads the ACC in assists at 6.7 per game, in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.23:1) and in fifth in scoring at 16.8 points per game. The 6-foot-5 guard from Bowie, Maryland, closed the season with a 19-point, eight-assist, five-rebound effort in an 81-67 victory over Clemson Saturday and has scored in double-figures in all but three games this season.

Syracuse’s Christmas led the Orange and ranks third among ACC scorers at 17.5 points per game and is fourth in rebounding at 9.1 boards per contest. In addition, the 6-foot-9 senior from Philadelphia, is second in the ACC with 2.5 blocked shots per game and fifth in field goal percentage (.552).

Virginia’s Brogdon, a second-team selection a year ago, leads the second-ranked Cavaliers in scoring at 13.7 points per game and is second in assists at 2.6 per game. The 6-foot-5 Atlanta, Georgia, junior is averaging 4.0 rebounds per game and is second in the ACC in free throw percentage at .860.

Boston College’s Hanlan leads the ACC in scoring at 19.4 points per game and is ninth in assists at 4.2 per game. The Aylmer, Quebec, junior closed out the regular season having scored in double figures 24 straight games and has scored 10-or-more points in all but one game this season.

Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell (15.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and Terry Rozier (17.0 ppg, 2.0 steals), Duke’s Quinn Cook (16.0 ppg, .885 FT percentage), North Carolina’s Marcus Paige (13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Virginia’s Justin Anderson (13.4 ppg, .484 3-point field goal percentage) were voted to the second team.

NC State’s Trevor Lacey (16.1 ppg) was voted to the third team, along with Duke’s Tyus Jones (11.8 ppg, 5.7 apg), Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton (12.6 ppg), Pitt’s Jamel Artis (13.8) ppg) and North Carolina’s Brice Johnson (12.6 ppg).

First Team All-ACC
Olivier Hanlan, Jr., Boston College
Jahlil Okafor, Fr., Duke
Jerian Grant, Sr., Notre Dame
Rakeem Christmas, Sr. Syracuse
Malcolm Brogdon, Jr., Virginia

Second Team All-ACC
Quinn Cook, Sr., Duke
Montrezl Harrell, Jr., Louisville
Terry Rozier, So., Louisville
Marcus Paige, Jr., North Carolina
Justin Anderson, Jr., Virginia

Third Team All-ACC
Tyus Jones, Fr., Duke
Brice Johnson, Jr., North Carolina
Trevor Lacey, Jr., NC State
Pat Connaughton, Sr., Notre Dame
Jamel Artis, So., Pitt

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Two Tar Heels, one Blue Devil make women’s All-ACC team

Elizabeth Williams.

Elizabeth Williams.

The 2014-15 All-ACC Women’s Basketball Team, selected by the league’s 15 head coaches, was announced Monday and there are two Tar Heels and one Blue Devil on the first team.

Notre Dame, which repeated as both ACC Women’s Tournament and ACC regular season champion, placed junior guard Jewell Loyd and freshman forward Brianna Turner on the first team. North Carolina also had two first-team selections in sophomore guard Allisha Gray and sophomore forward Stephanie Mavunga. Also earning a spot is Duke senior post player Elizabeth Williams.

Florida State junior center Adut Bulgak, Georgia Tech sophomore guard Kaela Davis, Miami sophomore guard Adrienne Motley, Pitt senior guard Brianna Kiesel and Wake Forest senior forward Dearica Hamby round out the 10-member first team.

The All-ACC Second Team featured Florida State sophomore guard Leticia Romero, Louisville freshman guard Mariya Moore and senior center Sara Hammond, Syracuse sophomore guard Alexis Peterson and Virginia junior guard Faith Randolph.

Notre Dame’s Turner, Dukes’ Azurá Stevens, Louisville’s Moore and and Myisha Hines-Allen were also voted to the five-member All-ACC Freshman Team, along with Florida State forward Shakayla Thomas.

Notre Dame’s Loyd, Duke’s Williams and Wake Forest’s Hamby are all repeat first-team selections from last season. Georgia Tech’s Davis was named to the second team in 2014 and was also a member of last years’ All-ACC Freshman Team, along with UNC’s Gray and Miami’s Motley.

Loyd has averaged an ACC-leading 20.5 points per game and handed out 3.1 assists per contest while leading the Fighting Irish to a 31-2 season that included a 15-1 mark in ACC regular-season play and a second straight ACC title. Turner has averaged 13.8 points in her first collegiate season while shooting an ACC-best .667 from the floor and pulling down 7.8 rebounds per game.

Georgia Tech’s Davis ranks second among ACC scorers at 19.4 points per game while knocking down 65 shots from 3-point range and shooting .743 from the foul line. Wake Forest’s Hamby has averaged a double-double, ranking third in the ACC in both scoring (20.3 ppg) and rebounding (10.7 rpg).

Pitt’s Kiesel has stepped up to average 18.2 points per game for the Panthers while ranking second among conference players in assists at 4.6 per game. Miami’s Motley ranks sixth among ACC scorers at 16.4 points per game while shooting nearly 49 percent from the floor.

Duke’s Williams has again proven to be a multi-dimensional force, averaging 14.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.9 rebounds per contest. Florida State’s Bulgak has been a major player in the Seminoles’ stellar 29-4 season, ranking fourth among ACC rebounders at 9.8 per game while scoring at a 12.5 ppg clip, shooting .493 from the floor and blocking nearly two shots per game.

UNC’s Gray ranks among the ACC’s top 10 in both scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rp). Mavunga averages 14.2 points per game for the Tar Heels and also ranks among ACC rebounders at 9.4 per contest.

The All-ACC second team features the ACC’s leader in free-throw percentage in Virginia’s Randolph (.907) and the leader in steals in Syracuse’s Peterson (2.4 per game). Louisville’s Moore ranks sixth among ACC assist leaders (3.7) while scoring close to 14 points per game, while Hammond is scoring 10.8 points per game whole pulling down 6.5 rebounds per contest. Romero, a Kansas State transfer who became eligible to play for Florida State in late December, ranks second on the Seminoles in assists with 103 despite missing the first 13 game of the season. She averages 10.3 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Florida State’s Thomas has been an immediate impact freshman, shooting nearly 53 percent from the floor while averaging 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds. Louisville’s Hines-Allen ranks second on her team in scoring a 11.5 ppg while pulling down 4.8 rebounds per contest. Duke’s Stevens averages 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

The ACC coaches also selected an All-ACC Defensive Team, and all five of this year’s selections were also named first- or second-team All-ACC – Duke’s Williams, Notre Dame’s Loyd and Turner, Pitt’s Kiesel and Syracuse’s Peterson. Williams is the ACC’s second four-time All-Defensive Team joining former Duke great and ACC Legend Alana Beard.

2015 All-ACC Team (as selected by the Head Coaches)

First Team

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Adut Bulgak, Jr., C, Florida State
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Adrienne Motley, So., G, Miami
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Stephanie Mavunga, So., F, North Carolina
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brianna Turner, Fr., F, Notre Dame
Brianna Kiesel, Sr., G, Pitt
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Second Team

Leticia Romero, So., G, Florida State
Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville
Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville
Alexis Peterson, So., G, Syracuse
Faith Randolph, Jr., G, Virginia

2015 All-ACC Freshman Team

Azura Stevens, Fr., F/G, Duke
Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State
Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville
Myisha Hines-Allen, Fr., F, Louisville
Brianna Turner, Fr., F, Notre Dame


2015 ACC All-Defensive Team

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brianna Turner, Fr., F, Notre Dame
Brianna Kiesel, Sr., G, Pitt
Alexis Peterson, So., G, Syracuse

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Okafor heads All-ACC Basketball Team; Paige makes 3rd team

Okafor.

Okafor.

Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor and Notre Dame senior Jerian Grant lead the 2014-15 All-ACC Basketball Team, as voted upon by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).

Okafor was also named ACC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

Okafor and Grant, both unanimous selections, are joined on the first team by Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas, Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan.

Duke’s Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center from Chicago, ranks second among ACC scorers at 17.6 points per game and third in rebounding at 9.2 per contest. Okafor has scored 10 or more points in 29 of his 30 games coming into this week’s New York Life ACC Tournament, and his 11 “double doubles” in points/rebounds rank fourth in the conference.

Notre Dame’s Grant leads the ACC in assists at 6.7 per game and in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.23:1) and is fifth in scoring at 16.8 points per game. The 6-foot-5 guard from Bowie, Maryland, closed the season with a 19-point, eight-assist, five-rebound effort in an 81-67 victory over Clemson Saturday and has scored in double-figures in all but three games this season.

Syracuse’s Christmas led the Orange and ranks third among ACC scorers at 17.5 points per game and is fourth in rebounding at 9.1 boards per contest. In addition, the 6-foot-9 senior from Philadelphia, is second in the ACC with 2.5 blocked shots per game and fifth in field goal percentage (.552).

Virginia’s Brogdon, a second-team selection a year ago, leads the second-ranked Cavaliers in scoring at 13.7 points per game and is second in assists at 2.6 per game. The 6-foot-5 Atlanta, Georgia, junior is averaging 4.0 rebounds per game and is second in the ACC in free throw percentage at .860.

Boston College’s Hanlan, a third-team choice last season, leads the ACC in scoring at 19.4 points per game and is ninth in assists at 4.2 per game. The Aylmer, Quebec, junior closed out the regular season having scored in double figures 24 straight games and has scored 10-or-more points in all but one game this season.

Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell (15.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and Terry Rozier (17.0 ppg, 2.0 steals), Duke’s Quinn Cook (16.0 ppg, .885 FT percentage), NC State’s Trevor Lacey (16.1 ppg) and Virginia’s Justin Anderson (13.4 ppg, .484 3-point field goal percentage) were voted to the second team.

North Carolina’s Marcus Paige (13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg) was the leading vote-getter on the third team. Paige is joined by Duke’s Tyus Jones (11.8 ppg, 5.7 apg), Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton (12.6 ppg), Virginia’s Anthony Gill (11.6 ppg) and North Carolina’s Brice Johnson (12.6 ppg).

Duke’s Okafor earns unanimous recognition

USBWA Freshman of the Year finalists Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, all of Duke, headline the five-member 2014-15 All-ACC Freshman Team as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).

The Blue Devil trio is joined by Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes and North Carolina’s Justin Jackson.

Duke’s Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center from Chicago, ranks second among ACC scorers at 17.6 points per game and third in rebounding at 9.2 per contest. Okafor has scored 10 or more points in 29 of his 30 games coming into this week’s ACC Tournament, and his 11 “double doubles” in points/rebounds rank fourth in the conference.

Jones leads the ACC in free throw percentage (.882) and is second in assists (5.7) while Winslow is averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, and along with Jones, has started all 31 games of the year for the third-ranked Blue Devils.

Florida State’s Xavier-Mayes has scored 20 or more points seven times this season, including two 35-point efforts and leads the Seminoles, and ranks second among all ACC freshmen, in both scoring (14.4) and assists (4.4).

North Carolina’s Jackson closed out the regular season averaging 13.0 points and 5.3 rebounds over his last five games. On the year in 31 games, including 30 starts, Jackson is fourth on the team in scoring (10.1) and third in assists (2.5).

Syracuse’s Christmas, Virginia’s Brogdon lead voting by ACC media members

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The conference’s second-leading shot-blocker and two Virginia standouts are among the five players voted to the 2014-15 All-ACC Defensive Team announced by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) on Sunday.

Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas, who leads all active ACC players with 247 career blocked shots, was named on 58 of the 64 ballots, while Virginia junior Malcom Brogdon received 50 votes and Darion Atkins was on 38 ballots.

Also named to the defensive team are Miami Junior Tonye Jekiri (38 votes) and NC State’s BeeJay Anya (29 votes).

Brogdon and Atkins have played major roles in a stifling Virginia defense that leads the nation in scoring defense (50.2) and ranks third in field goal percentage defense (.357).

Miami’s Jekiri, the ACC’s leading rebounder at 10.2 rebounds per game, is fourth in the ACC at 1.5 blocked shots per game.

NC State’s Anya has blocked at least one shot in 28 of his 31 games and leads the ACC and ranks 20th nationally in blocked shots per game, averaging 2.7 per game.

2014-15 ACSMA All-ACC Teams
(First place votes in parenthesis, followed by total points)

First Team All-ACC
Jahlil Okafor, Fr., Duke (64) 320
Jerian Grant, Sr., Notre Dame (64) 320
Rakeem Christmas, Gr. Syracuse (51) 294
Malcolm Brogdon, Jr., Virginia (53) 293
Olivier Hanlan, Jr., Boston College (29) 246

Second Team All-ACC
Montrezl Harrell, Jr., Louisville (21) 220
Quinn Cook, Sr., Duke (23) 219
Terry Rozier, So., Louisville (2) 154
Trevor Lacey, Jr., NC State (2) 123
Justin Anderson, Jr., Virginia (5) 106

Third Team All-ACC
Marcus Paige, Jr., North Carolina (4) 97
Tyus Jones, Fr., Duke (2) 89
Pat Connaughton, Sr., Notre Dame 45
Anthony Gill, Jr., Virginia 42
Brice Johnson, Jr., North Carolina 40

Honorable Mention
Jamel Artis, So., Pittsburgh 33
Tonye Jekiri, Jr., Miami 32
London Perrantes, So., Virginia 31
Sheldon McClellan, Jr., Miami 31
Justise Winslow, Fr., Duke 29
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Fr., Florida State 24
Michael Young, So., Pittsburgh 14
Angel Rodriguez, Jr., Miami 13
Codi Miller-McIntyre, Jr., Wake Forest 12
Kennedy Meeks, So.,North Carolina 10

2014-15 ACSMA All-ACC Freshman Team

Jahlil Okafor, Duke, *64
Tyus Jones, Duke, 62
Justise Winslow, Duke, 59
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State, 57
Justin Jackson, North Carolina, 22
*denotes unanimous

ACSMA 2014-15 All-ACC Defensive Team
Rakeem Christmas, Gr., Syracuse, 58
Malcolm Brogdon, Jr., Virginia, 50
Darion Atkins, Sr., Virginia, 38
Tonye Jekiri, Jr., Miami, 38
BeeJay Anya, So., NC State, 29

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UNC turns it over, Duke turns it around

Tyus Jones.

Tyus Jones.

North Carolina, leading by two at the half and by seven with fewer than 15 minutes to play, turned the ball over and Duke turned it around with a 14-2 run from which the Tar Heels never recovered. The Blue Devils went on to ruin UNC’s senior night with an 84-77 victory.

With the win, Duke, with 24 points from Tyus Jones and 20 points from Quinn Cook, swept the regular season series.

It didn’t look that way for much of the game. The Smith Center was rocking after Marcus Paige drilled a transition three to give the Tar Heels their biggest lead at 49-42 with 14:35 left.

But after that, the Tar Heels went cold, hitting just one of their next six shots, and turning the ball over, time and time again (10 times in the second half). Meanwhile, Duke, with Justice Winslow in foul trouble and Tyus Jones playing with a back injured during the game, took over.

Bench players Matt Jones and Grayson Allen hit consecutive threes that put the Blue Devils ahead 56-51 midway through the second half.

Three times the Tar Heels pulled within a point but if a turnover didn’t spoil the chance to take a lead, a Blue Devil triple did.

After a Carolina turnover, Tyus Jones hit a three to put Duke up 65-59 and then, after another turnover, Quinn Cook hit a three to put the Devils up 68-59 with 6:18 left.

“We had a tough stretch in there with three straight turnovers and all of a sudden it’s a nine-point game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “They’re really good. But we played pretty doggone well except for a four of five minute stretch there.”

It was a even game statistically, except Duke got to the foul line more (21 made, compared to 13 for Carolina) and turned the ball over less (10 compared to 15 for Carolina).

Paige, who played poorly in the loss at Duke, played better in this game, scoring 23 to lead the Tar Heels. Brice Johnson had 17, Justin Jackson 14 and JP Tokoto scored 10 although he also had four turnovers.

To start the game, the Blue Devils hit their first five shots including threes by Tyus Jones and Cook, the same two that killed the Tar Heels in Durham. Just five minutes in, Duke had a double-digit lead at 18-8.

An 8-0 run, highlighted by a Justin Jackson three and a Brice Johnson old-fashioned three-point play, got the Tar Heels back in it.

Threes by Nate Britt and Paige erased a 24-20 Duke lead and gave Carolina its first lead since the first basket of the game at 26-24.

The Tar Heels got the lead to six before settling for a 33-31 halftime lead. It looked as if it would be another one of those games that came down to the last minute. But this one was really never in doubt over the last six minutes although a Paige three with 45 seconds left drew the Heels to within five and they had a chance to cut it to three or two before once again turning the ball over.

Coach Williams said he had to do a better job of getting his team to focus but he’s running out of time with only the ACC tournament and NCAA tournament left.

The Tar Heels, 21-10 and 11-7 in the league, are the fifth seed in the ACC tournament and will play Wednesday afternoon against the winner of Boston College and Georgia Tech. No. 2 seeded Duke, 28-3 and 15-3 in the ACC, gets a bye until the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Box score

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Tar Heels playing for fourth place Saturday against Duke

Roy Williams.

Roy Williams.

The Tar Heels, after an impressive win at Georgia Tech, still have a chance to make it into the top four of the ACC with a game left at home vs. Duke.

The Blue Devils have been playing better than the Tar Heels since that 92-90 Carolina loss at Duke a couple of weeks ago. But this game should give the Heels some confidence going into the regular season finale.

Carolina has lacked an outside shooting alternative to Marcus Paige. But freshman Joel Berry, who was injured part of the season, hit three triples and scored a season-high 15 points.

If he can build on that, the Tar Heels will be a tough out in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. If, however, his shooting falters and Brice Johnson can’t be consistent (he was one of nine in this game after scoring 22 the game before), then the Tar Heels will have early exits.

UNC is chasing Louisville for the fourth spot in the league. If Carolina beats Duke and Louisville loses its final two games to Virginia and Notre Dame, ranked first and third in the league, the Heels will get the fourth spot. Even if Louisville beats Notre Dame but loses to Virginia, the Tar Heels will win the tie-breaker for fourth going into the ACC tourney. The big “if” is if Carolina beats Duke.

Williams said his Tar Heels, now 21-9 and 11-6 in the ACC, are playing hard. “If we get beat it won’t be because of a letdown,” he said. “We won a basketball game tonight and we’ve got a big one coming up.”

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Tar Heels unravel to lose in OT at Duke

uncdukeNorth Carolina rallied from 13 down to lead rival Duke by 10 with just over three minutes to play but the Tar Heels unraveled at the end as the homestanding Devils won 92-90 in overtime Wednesday night.

It was an emotional back-and-forth game and what is already considered a classic.

The Blue Devils hit seven first-half threes, five from Quinn Cook, to take a commanding 49-36 lead.

Carolina made a mini-run that cut the lead to 49-42 at the half following a JP Tokoto dunk at the buzzer.

The Tar Heels turned the game around with a 15-4 run highlighted by an over-the-head dunk by Tokoto that gave Carolina its first lead of the game.

With another Cook three and a Jahlil Okafor inside, Duke took the lead at 62-61 with less than 10 minutes to play.

That’s when Carolina seemed to take control of the game. The Tar Heels went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes that was highlighted by a quick Marcus Paige to Joel Berry to Justin Jackson layup.

Nate Britt drove the lane for a basket with 3:47 left to give the Tar Heels their biggest lead at 77-67.

Carolina still led 79-74 with 1:23 left but after Duke’s final timeout, UNC’s Kennedy Meeks threw a long inbounds pass out of bounds. On Duke’s inbounds, Tokoto tipped it to Britt who was fouled.

After a long delay because the clock didn’t start, Britt missed the one-and-one. Tyus Jones was fouled going to the hoop and hit two free throws to draw the Devils to within two at 79-76.

Brice Johnson, who would foul out in overtime, hit a pair of free throws to put Carolina back up by five at 81-76 with 47 seconds left.

Jones again attacked the basket, scored and was fouled to an old-fashioned three.

Johnson was fouled but, after another delay because the clock kept running, he missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Again, Jones drove to the hoop to tie it at 81-81. Carolina had a chance with the last shot but Paige, who was only two of 11 on the night, missed a long two, sending the game into overtime.

The Tar Heels got up 87-84 on a Tokoto short bank shot with less than three minutes left. But after a Paige turnover, Cook scored inside to give Duke an 88-87 lead.

A pair of free throws by Isaiah Hicks put Carolina back up 89-88 with two minutes to go.

Okafor backed in for a bucket to put Duke up for good 90-89 at 1:41 left. After that, Britt missed a contested layup, Duke’s Matt Jones got a key offensive rebound and a discombobulated UNC offense managed only an outside shot by Tokoto with six seconds left that was missed.

Cook hit only one of two free throws to make it 92-89 so Carolina had a chance to tie it at the end but Britt was fouled.

He hit the first shot and, after a timeout, intentionally missed the second shot. Paige got a hand on the rebound and appeared to have been fouled by Winslow but it wasn’t called.

Just like that, it was over.

“Everybody’s going to talk about missed free throws at the end,” UNC coach Roy Williams said, “but we made mistakes in the first two minutes of the game as well.”

Williams said some weird things happened down the stretch but that he was proud of his team, especially the way the Heels played at the beginning of the second half.

“There were two good basketball teams and the best team won tonight,” he said.

Meeks and Johnson led North Carolina with 18 points each while Cook and Jones led Duke with 22 points each.

Carolina falls to 18-8 overall and 8-5 in the ACC while No. 5 Duke improves to 23-3 and 10-3 in the league.

Boxscore

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Devils, Heels combine for 16 lacrosse appearances on ESPN

espnulaxESPN has announced its broadcast schedule for the 2015 college lacrosse season, and the ACC will be prominently featured throughout on ESPNU and ESPN3.

Thirty-one (31) of the 47 regular-season broadcasts on ESPNU or ESPN3 will feature at least one ACC team, while 10 ACC games will be showcased on ESPNU. All three games of the 2015 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship at PPL Park will air on ESPNU for a total of 34 broadcasts throughout the 2015 season. All five ACC teams will make at least five appearances on an ESPN platform this season.

All five ACC men’s lacrosse teams are ranked in the Top 9 of the Preseason Inside Lacrosse and USILA polls led by No. 2/2 Notre Dame. Two-time defending NCAA Champion Duke is No. 3/3, followed by No. 4/4 Syracuse, No. 5/6 North Carolina and No. 9/9 Virginia.

The ACC also combines for 23 honorees on Inside Lacrosse’s Preseason All-America Team, including a national-best six on the first team, five on the second and third teams, and seven honorable mention selections. Fourteen of the ACC’s 23 Preseason All-Americans were named to the USILA All-America Team last season, include all six Preseason First Team honorees: Duke junior midfielders Deemer Class and Myles Jones, Notre Dame junior attackman Matt Kavanagh, Syracuse senior attackman Kevin Rice and junior defenseman Brandon Mullins, and Virginia junior defenseman Tanner Scales.

ACC Men’s Lacrosse Television Schedule

Feb. 7 Siena at Syracuse 4 p.m. (ESPN3)
Feb. 8 Air Force at Duke Noon (ESPN3)
Feb. 10 High Point at North Carolina 4 p.m. (ESPN3)
Feb. 14 Georgetown at Notre Dame Noon (ESPN3)
Feb. 15 Cornell at Syracuse 4 p.m. (ESPN3)
Feb. 21 Army at Syracuse 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Feb. 27 Denver at North Carolina 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Feb. 28 Harvard at Duke Noon (ESPN3)
March 1 Virginia at Syracuse 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Providence at Duke 5 p.m. (ESPN3)
March 7 Loyola at Duke 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
March 10 Bryant at North Carolina 4 p.m. (ESPN3)
March 14 Notre Dame at Virginia Noon (ESPNU)
Johns Hopkins at Syracuse 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
March 17 Harvard at North Carolina 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
March 21 Ohio State at Notre Dame 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Virginia at Johns Hopkins 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
March 22 Duke at Syracuse 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
March 28 Syracuse at Notre Dame Noon (ESPNU)
March 29 Duke at North Carolina 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
April 3 North Carolina at Virginia 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Albany at Syracuse 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
April 4 Notre Dame at Duke 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
April 7 Marquette at Notre Dame 4 p.m. (ESPN3)
April 11 Syracuse at North Carolina 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
April 12 Virginia at Duke Noon (ESPNU)
April 14 Hobart at Syracuse 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
April 18 North Carolina at Notre Dame 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
April 24 ACC Championship Semifinal 1 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
ACC Championship Semifinal 2 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
April 25 ACC vs Penn 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
April 26 ACC Championship 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
May 3 Boston University at Duke Noon (ESPN3)

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Carolina swimming/diving rout Duke on Sr. Night

Parents of UNC senior swimmers were invited down to be honored and to honor their children.

Parents of UNC senior swimmers were invited down to be honored and to honor their children.

The University of North Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams ended the home portion of their 2014-15 dual meets seasons on a high note by sweeping the Duke Blue Devils Friday on Senior Night at Maurice J. Koury Natatorium.

The Tar Heel women prevailed by a score of 175-133 while Carolina’s men triumphed by a score of 176-90.

While is was definitely the night for seniors, it was a sophomore – Liliana Casso – who provided some early fireworks in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

UNC’s Casso led comfortably for much of the race but on the 35th lap Duke freshman Verity Able passed her. On the 40th and final lap however, Casso chased her down at the end to win by eight one hundreds of a second – 10:07.25 to 10:07.33.

UNC senior Danielle Siverling won the women's 200-yard freestyle event.

UNC senior Danielle Siverling won the women's 200-yard freestyle event.

It was the final home dual meet for a cadre of UNC seniors – Kelly Corish, Danielle Siverling, Hannah Runyon-Hass, Patrick Myers, Tyler Hill, David Speese, Brian Bollerman, Dom Glavich, Ryan Fox, Clifton Gordon, Graham Williams and Nick Lowe.

The victories Friday lifted the UNC men to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC while the Tar Heel women are now 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the ACC. The Duke women lost for only the second time this year and are 8-2 overall, 2-2 in the ACC. The Duke men are now 4-5 overall and 0-3 in the ACC.

“This is a great group of seniors,” said UNC head coach Rich DeSelm. “These women were unbelievable for UNC. They are first class people. We’ve got a bigger group on the men’s side. They’ve helped me grow as a leader and helped solidify this team. They are all tough and they are all good. We hate to see seniors go. But that’s the whole idea. They are supposed to come and compete and graduate and go on with the rest of their lives.”

Both the Carolina men and women raced out to an early lead by sweeping first, second and third in several competitions including, but not limited to, the men and women’s 200-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke.

DUAL MEET NOTES (UNC MEN)

• The Tar Heels swept the top three places in the 200-yard freestyle as Ben Colley at 1:37.63 and Philip Perdue at 1:37.97 set career best times. Logan Heck finished third in a season best 1:39.38. Colley’s previous career best was 1:38.26 at 2014 Nike Cup and Perdue’s best was a high school clocking of 1:38.54.

• Clifton Gordon and Patrick Riess took second and third place in the 100-yard backstroke with season best times of 49.52 and 50.27, respectively.

• Dom Glavich was the runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke with a season best 55.49 (56.83 at Nike Cup).

• Matt Conway was the runner-up in the 200 fly and had a season best 1:48.75 (previous best 1:49.05).

• Philip Perdue captured the men’s 50 free in a season best 20.59. Chris Gondek and J.T. Casey finished second and third in career best times of 20.61 and 20.63. Their previous bests were 20.72 and 21.19, respectively.

• Philip Perdue won the 100-yard freestyle in a career best 44.98 (previous best was 45.07 in high school). The Tar Heels finished 1-2-3-4 in the event. Junior Chris Gondek also had a career best time of 45.42 in finishing fourth (45.47 was his previous best).

• Kurt Wohlrab won the 200-yard breaststroke in a season best 1:59.78, the first Tar Heel to go under two minutes this year.

• Matt Conway won the 500 freestyle in a season best time of 4:33.30. Graham Williams and Bailey Burt also had season bests in the race.

• Clifton Gordon won the 100 fly in a career best 48.35, breaking his previous top time of 49.08. Nick Lowe, Christian Caveness and Will Close all had season best times.

DUAL MEET NOTES (UNC WOMEN)

•Caroline Baldwin took second place in the 100-yard backstroke at 55.66, lowering her time of 55.88 at Nike Cup.

• Junior Annie Goessling won the 100-yard breaststroke in a career best time of 1:03.44. She shaved more than a second over her previous career best of 1:04.83.

• Three Tar Heels established career best times in the 200-yard butterfly led by event winner Kendall Surhoff in 1:59.95 (previous best 2:00.79). Alli Haufler went 2:00.29 (previous best 2:00.54) and Kacy Rhyne went 2:03.45 (previous best 2:05.80).

• Katie McKay of UNC won the 50-yard freestyle in a career best 23.18 (previous best 23.75). Katie Ford was third in a season best 23.31.

• Katie McKay finished second in the 100 free in a career best time of 50.81 (previous best) was 51.45.

• Alli Haufler had a career best time in 55.28 Her previous top was were 55.42.

• Kendall Surhoff won the 200-yard individual medley in a career best time of 2:02.35. Her previous career best time was 2:02.59.

NEXT UP: The Tar Heels turn right around and travel to Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday to meet the NC State Wolfpack. The meet starts at 1 p.m. at Carmichael Natatorium. All four teams are ranked in the Top 20 of this week’s CSCAA polls.

MEN’S TEAM SCORE

#18 North Carolina 176, Duke 90

WOMEN’S TEAM SCORE

#5 North Carolina 175, Duke 113

INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS–MEN

200-Yd. Medley Relay: North Carolina (Nic Graesser, Kurt Wohlrab, Sam Lewis, Logan Heck), 1:28.11

1000-Yd. Freestyle: Eugene Tee (UNC), 9:27.52

200-Yd. Freestyle: Ben Colley (UNC), 1:37.63

100-Yd. Backstroke: Sam Lewis (UNC), 48.05

100-Yd. Breaststroke: Peter Kropp (Duke), 54.80

200-Yd. Butterfly: Mitch DeForest (UNC), 1:47.93

50-Yd. Freestyle: Philip Perdue (UNC), 20.59

1-Meter Diving: Jack Nyquist (UNC), 341.93

100-Yd. Freestyle: Philip Perdue (UNC), 44.98

200-Yd. Backstroke: Patrick Myers (UNC), 1:47.78

200-Yd. Breaststroke: Kurt Wohlrab (UNC), 1:59.78

500-Yd. Freestyle: Matt Conway (UNC), 4:33.30

100-Yd. Butterfly: Clifton Gordon (UNC), 48.35

3-Meter Diving: Jack Nyquist (UNC), 426.53

200-Yd. Individual Medley: Dalton Shaw (UNC), 1:51.16

200-Yd. Freestyle Relay: North Carolina (Logan Heck, Sam Lewis, Nic Graesser, Chris Gondek), 1:20.06

Records: North Carolina 5-2, ACC 3-1; Duke 4-5, ACC 0-3

INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS–WOMEN

200-Yd. Medley Relay: North Carolina (Hellen Moffitt, Katie Munch, Hannah Lincoln, Caroline Baldwin), 1:41.09

1000-Yd. Freestyle: Lilianna Casso (UNC), 10:07.25

200-Yd. Freestyle: Danielle Siverling (UNC), 1:49.18

100-Yd. Backstroke: Megan Bestor (UNC), 55.21

100-Yd. Breaststroke: Annie Goessling (UNC), 1:03.44

200-Yd. Butterfly: Isa Paez (Duke), 1:59.47

50-Yd. Freestyle: Katie McKay (UNC), 23.18

3-Meter Diving: Elissa Dawson (UNC), 365.03

100-Yd. Freestyle: Ally Hardesty (UNC), 50.69

200-Yd. Backstroke: Caroline Baldwin (UNC), 2:01.00

200-Yd. Breaststroke: Katie Munch (UNC), 2:18.02

500-Yd. Freestyle: Annie Harrison (UNC), 4:59.80

100-Yd. Butterfly: Hellen Moffitt (UNC), 54.28

3-Meter Diving: Michole Timm (UNC), 319.20

200-Yd. Individual Medley: Kendall Surhoff (UNC), 2:02.35

200-Yd. Freestyle Relay: North Carolina (Sarah Hitchens, Caroline Baldwin, Ally Hardesty, Hannah Lincoln), 1:33.02

Full results