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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants haven't led the NFL in much recently, but they had a big lead in one category through the end of October. No team played rookies more often than they did. And they led in that category by about 500 total snaps.

That only counted rookies, like quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Oshane Ximines and corners Corey Ballentine and DeAndre Baker. It didn't count all their second-year pros like guard Will Hernandez, running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and cornerbacks Grant Haley and now Sam Beal.

The point is, the Giants are young. Very, very young. And that might be the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future, and to believe that GM Dave Gettleman could have them on the right path.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets are a combined 3-14, one year after going a combined 9-23, one year after going a combined 8-24. That's a 20-61 record over the last 2 ½ seasons, for a "winning" percentage of .246.

So no, the Giants and Jets don't match up particularly well with the rest of the professional football world right now. But how do they match up with each other?

In advance of their big showdown on Sunday at the Meadowlands, let's take a look:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets are a combined 3-14, one year after going a combined 9-23, one year after going a combined 8-24. That's a 20-61 record over the last 2 ½ seasons, for a "winning" percentage of .246.

So no, the Giants and Jets don't match up particularly well with the rest of the professional football world right now. But how do they match up with each other?

In advance of their big showdown on Sunday at the Meadowlands, let's take a look:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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The Giants have officially announced the trade with the Jets to acquire DL Leonard Williams, with the NFL trade deadline passing. 

The terms of the deal were Williams in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-rounder that could become a fourth-round selection if the Giants sign him to an extension. 

"I'm just ready to bring some toughness, some pass rush, some run stop, everything," Williams told Giants.com's Michael Eisen. "Being a good teammate to the guys, being a good guy in the building on and off the field, just know that I am going to give it my all every day."

Tags: B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants are 2-6, don't have much salary cap space remaining, and clearly are still in the midst of a rebuilding phase. So how does it make any sense that they'd trade two valuable draft picks to the Jets for an eight-game rental of the disappointing Leonard Williams?

The answer: It only makes sense if he's not really a rental.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Taking their quarterback in Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall, all signs were pointing to the Giants going after a defensive asset. Though an edge rusher was an obvious need and players like Montez Sweat were still on the draft board, the Giants decided to go with a big defensive force in Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence at No. 17. 

To call Lawrence a force up the middle is an understatement. At 6-foot-4, 342 pounds, Lawrence was one of the top performers on the Tigers' dangerous defensive front that also featured players like Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, and Austin Bryant. 

So how will Lawrence fit in with the Giants? Just picture Damon "Snacks" Harrison 2.0...

Tags: B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson
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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman was absolutely right when he lamented the fact we're living in an "instant gratification world" during his conference call on Monday. There's a rush to judge everything, a demand for an immediate payoff. Everyone wants to be first with a knee-jerk reaction or a juvenile social media take.

And so it was with the Giants' trade of Odell Beckham Jr. and, really, their entire offseason. Gettleman didn't get nearly enough for his star, some screamed. He has no plan, yelled others. Tweet by tweet, it was clear the world of keyboard warriors believed he didn't have a clue.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Cleveland Browns, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Apple, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Giants GM Dave Gettleman (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first time the Giants organization seemed to really begin thinking about what comes next at quarterback after Eli Manning was about three years ago. They still had plenty of time back then, but seemed to understand it would run out fast.

Still, they have declined to address that need ever since -- at least not in the first round of the draft -- and suddenly they are standing at the end of Manning's road. He's 38 and his contract is up at the end of the season, but the Giants have no replacement ready because they have continually kicked this hugely important decision farther and farther down the road.

And yes, even now, they might do it again.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Lorenzo Carter, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants rookie DT B.J. Hill has impressed early on at training camp. But the real first test comes on Thursday night when the Browns come to to town.

Hill couldn't be more excited to put his Giants helmet on officially for the first time. 

"Oh yeah," he said after practice Monday when asked if he looked at this preseason bout as his NFL debut. "It's going to be my first game in the NFL and I'm just excited to get out there and compete with the best."

Tags: B.J. Hill
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 (Jonathan Dyer)
(Jonathan Dyer)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Bullpen use is evolving in the Major Leagues and if there is a team that has a chance to utilize one of the "new" nuances, it is the New York Yankees.

I'm not speaking of the best relievers coming into games in the fifth or sixth inning as we saw often during the 2016 postseason. While the Indians' deployment of Andrew Miller demonstrated how effective teams can be when they employ relievers that are not only dominant, but can also last more than one inning in the process, such use throughout the regular season is seen as unrealistic.

The Yankees have two dominant relievers in Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, but each of them should be relegated to one-inning performances for the most part this season. If the club reaches the postseason, they could extend their appearances, but I don't expect it to happen often in the regular season.

Tags: Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Bryan Mitchell, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Tyler Clippard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Oak Hill Academy point guard Matt Coleman has officially cut his list to five schools -- the same five to which he will take official visits.

Coleman, who won a gold medal with the USA U18 team this summer, is down to Duke (Sept. 16), Stanford (Sept. 30), Kansas (Oct. 15), Syracuse (Oct. 22) and Texas (Oct. 29).


North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and his staff are familar with 6-foot-10 big man Brandon Huffman because they recruited his former teammate Rawle Alkins last year at Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy.

"They came over and they saw [Huffman] a little bit then [when they were recruiting Alkins] and that's where the relationship started," Word of God coach Brian Clifton told SNY.tv by phone.

Alkins ultimately chose Arizona, but the Tar Heels jumped into the mix for Huffman -- a native of Alaska whose parents are in the military -- on Thursday by offering him a scholarship during a visit to campus.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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May 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports (Kenny Karst)
May 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill (18) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports (Kenny Karst)

The Yankees were amongst the teams scouting Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill last week, according to the San Francisco Courier.

Amongst the other teams with scouts who are taking a look at Hill are the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hill is currently posting a 2.31 ERA, a career-best for seasons where he has had five or more starts. In 70 innings pitched he has given up 18 runs, thrown 80 strikeouts and has a WHIP of 1.114. His opponent batting average of .206 would be the best amongst all Yankee starters.

What the Yankees would have to give up to acquire Hill is unclear, but the fact they are interested at all indicates a possibility of them being "buyers" rather than "sellers" at the trade deadline despite being under .500. Yankees management says they have not made a decision about their roster strategy moving forward and will evaluate later in the season.

Tags: Oakland Athletics, Rich Hill
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Daniel Giddens (4) is transferring from Ohio State to Alabama. (Mike Granse)
Daniel Giddens (4) is transferring from Ohio State to Alabama. (Mike Granse)

Former Ohio State center Daniel Giddens will be transferring to Alabama. The move was announced on Twitter Sunday.

"Daniel is a big strong high-energy frontcourt player," said Steve Smith, Giddens' high school coach at Oak Hill (Va.). "He's a great rebounder who can guard 4 and 5 men. He scores inside with either hand and can step out to 15 feet."

Tags: Alabama, College Transfers, Oak Hill Academy
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Lindell Wigginton is one of the top point guards in the Class of 2017. The 6-foot-2 Wigginton will be contributing periodically to ZAGSBLOG going forward. Here is his second Player Blog.

 

What's good, everybody? It's your boy LW back doing my second player blog with ZAGSBLOG.

Coming off a 17-day break before the Dick's National Tournament we started off a bit sluggish in the first half of our first game against Wasatch Academy (UT). We picked it up in the second half by stepping up our defense as a team and sprinted to a win. The second game we played a tough Miller Grove team that played hard. We had to grind it out and ended up winning by 1 off of Braxton Key's blocked shot. Going into the championship game against La Lumiere (IN), we were up 18 and then came out in the second half thinking we had already won the championship. We were wrong, they came back on us, and we went into overtime and won at the last second tip-in. I made the all-tournament team averaging 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in the tournament. We all were glad to get Coach Steve Smith his first Dick's tournament win.

Tags: Oak Hill Academy, Player Blogs, Recruiting
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Brandon Randolph continues to pile up high-major offers after a strong start on the Nike EYBL circuit.

The 6-foot-6, 175-pound Class of 2017 shooting guard from the PSA Cardinals picked up offers from North Carolina and Oregon on Tuesday.

That came after he added offers last week from Arizona, Villanova, Syracuse, Kansas, Notre Dame and DePaul.

Tags: Brandon Randolph, Cam Reddish, Duke University, recruiting, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- When Tony Bradley committed to the University of North Carolina on Sept. 2, he did so knowing senior big man Brice Johnson was on the way out. 

Johnson's Tar Heels career came to a close via last-second loss to Villanova in the national championship game earlier this month, so now the countdown to Bradley's arrival in Chapel Hill is on.

Replacing Johnson will be no easy task, seeing as how he averaged 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, but can Bradley at least make a significant impact?

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Josh Newman
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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

HOUSTON -- Whether or not Roy Williams cuts down the nets here late Monday night, he may already have won this Final Four.

The feisty North Carolina coach, who is seeking to become just the sixth coach to win three NCAA Tournament titles, has been on an absolute roll on the podium when speaking to the media.

Here are a few examples from the last few days.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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North Carolina beat Syracuse 83-66 and will face Villanova in the NCAA championship game on Monday night. (Robert Deutsch)
North Carolina beat Syracuse 83-66 and will face Villanova in the NCAA championship game on Monday night. (Robert Deutsch)

HOUSTON -- North Carolina was the No. 1 team in the nation when the season started -- and they could be No. 1 when it ends.

The Tar Heels advanced to the NCAA championship game on Monday night against Villanova by ending Syracuse's surprise run to the Final Four, 83-66, before 75,505 at NRG Stadium. The title game will tip at 9:19 EST on TBS.

North Carolina (33-6) improved to 3-0 against ACC rival Syracuse on the season.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK --- Jubilation.

That's the only word No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (VA) coach Steve Smith could think of when asked to describe Saturday's 62-60 overtime victory against No. 5 La Lumiere (IN) in the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals final at Madison Square Garden.

After its 18-point third quarter lead slowly evaporated at the hands of 2017 star forward Brian Bowen and the Lakers, Oak Hill rallied after trailing by three with 40 seconds left to win on a Khadim Sy tip-in at the buzzer, sending the Warriors bench streaming onto the court to pile on senior center.

Tags: Chris Barca, Oak Hill Academy
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Roy Williams says he's heading into the Final Four with a touch of laryngitis along with a sinus infection, a head cold and a cut hand from his scissors incident on Sunday night.

Along with all of that, the North Carolina coach knows he will be asked in Houston about the NCAA's investigation into the academic scandal that occurred in the North Carolina athletics program.

The Syracuse-North Carolina national semifinal is already being called the "Academic Fraud semifinal" because of the situations at the two ACC schools.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today Sports)
(Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- Leave it to an old ball coach like John Thompson to point out the obvious.

Yes, the ACC has two representatives in the Final Four in North Carolina and Syracuse, but the Orange will always and forever be linked to the original Big East Conference.

So it's more than fair to argue that the Big East -- with original members Syracuse and Villanova heading to Houston -- is the true winner of this Final Four.

Tags: Syracuse University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Eight teams have been selected for the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals beginning later this month.

The field was first announced earlier Wednedsay by SNY.tv.

The teams include Montverde (FL) Academy, Findlay Prep (NV), Oak Hill Academy (VA), St. Benedict's Prep (N.J.), La Lumiere (IN), Miller Grove (GA), Providence Day (N.C.) and Wasatch Academy (UT).

Tags: Findlay Prep, Montverde Academy, Oak Hill Academy, St. Benedict's Prep, Adam Zagoria
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Lindell Wigginton is one of the top point guards in the Class of 2017. The 6-foot-2 Wigginton will be contributing periodically to ZAGSBLOG going forward. Here is his first Player Blog.

What's up, everybody? It's your boy LW about to do the first entry of my Player Blog with ZAGSBLOG.

This is my second year at Oak Hill and the season is going great. Right now our record is 33-1. We took a tough loss in our 4th game of the season but bounced back strong, winning 29 games straight. The special thing about this team is that we all buy into playing defense and playing as a team. My coaches pushed us real hard in the preseason which is leading to our team's success. It's never fun waking up at 5:30 in the morning to go run the mile on "the hill," which is not our normal mile lol.

Tags: Lindell Wigginton, Oak Hill Academy, Player Blogs
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Jairus Hamilton, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from the Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, became the latest sophomore to pick up a scholarship offer from North Carolina.

The offer was reported by Scout.com.

"This offer is testament to how hard Jairus has worked, to the kind of person he is and to his obvious long-term potential," Che Roth, Head Coach at Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, told Scout. "I've said it before, he's a check-all-the-boxes kid and they don't recruit any kids that aren't. It's a testament to Coach [Roy] Williams and his staff, doing their homework and building the relationship early. Certainly Assistant Coach (Steve) Robinson has a done one hell of a job leading the efforts to recruit him. They've put a premium in the class of 2018 and keeping the best talent in the state, which is going to be the best talent in the nation, here in North Carolina."

Tags: Byron Gilliam, Recruiting, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Matt Coleman, a 6-foot-2 Class of 2017 point guard Oak Hill Academy (VA), is being recruited by many of the top programs in the nation but is in no rush to make a decision.

"Oregon just offered [last Thursday] but I'm still open," he said at the Hoophall Classic. "I don't plan on cutting my list [any] time soon. Probably [during] AAU season but I'm still open to anybody willing to recruit me."

Coleman has interest from Cal and Kansas and thinks they might offer soon.

Tags: Matt Coleman, Oak Hill Academy, Recruiting, Adam Zagoria
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After postponing his college announcement from last Sunday, Udoka Azubuike still has no timetable on a decision but hopes to announce sooner rather than later.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound McDonald's All-American big man from Potters House Christian is still working with a list of North Carolina, Florida State and Kansas, with North Carolina working extremely hard.

"They've been coming to me very seriously," Azubuike said of North Carolina on Friday at practice. "Right now they don't have any other big man they are recruiting as much. Roy [Williams] has said I'm the one they are looking for. He emphasizes 'trust' a lot. It's difficult right now deciding a school. Kansas, they have good big man tradition. North Carolina and FSU, the same thing. They are all trying to get a big man who can finish in the paint. So it's difficult choosing between these three. "

Tags: Recruiting, Udoka Azubuike, Zach Smart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)
North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)

North Carolina got a jump on the Class of 2018 on Friday night when they landed a pledge from Rechon "Leaky" Black, a 6-foot-7 point guard from Concord (N.C.).

"I feel like it's the best fit for me and my family," Black told the Charlotte Observer. "(UNC coach) Roy (Williams) said he was going to let me play point guard when I got up there, so I feel like I can do my best up there."

Tags: High School Transfers, Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Brice Johnson went off for 39 points and 23 rebounds in North Carolina's win over Florida State. Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports (Phil Sears)
Brice Johnson went off for 39 points and 23 rebounds in North Carolina's win over Florida State. Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports (Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Brice Johnson had career-highs of 39 points and 23 rebounds to lead No. 6 North Carolina to a 106-90 victory over Florida State on Monday night.

It was the first 20-20 game for a Tar Heel since Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 22 rebounds against Ohio in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and the first 30/20 game since Mitch Kupchak in 1976.

Johnson joined a select group of former Tar Heels to go for 30 and 20 in a game. Billy Cunningham had 48 and 25 against Tulane on Dec. 10, 1964 and 40 and 28 against Maryland on Jan. 13, 1964.

Tags: Brice Johnson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Dec 19, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) reaches for the net during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Barclays Center. North Carolina Tar Heels won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Dec 19, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) reaches for the net during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Barclays Center. North Carolina Tar Heels won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK -- Things weren't looking great for Brice Johnson and North Carolina early on Saturday afternoon.

UCLA jumped to an early 11-point lead and the 6-foot-10 Johnson found himself in coach Roy Williams' dog house on the bench wondering when he might get back on the floor.

"I kinda just said some bad language and coach was pissed off at me and took me out," Johnson said. "Coach put a fire into my butt and when I got back in there, I was ready to go."

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Knox put his name on the radar while playing for the USA U16 team this spring and the high-flying junior forward's stock is still rising after a 27-point, 12-rebound performance in a 66-54 win over Charlotte (Fla) on opening night at the City of Palms Classic.

In the first week of December, North Carolina coach Roy Williams offered the 6-foot-7 junior a scholarship after watching his Tampa Catholic (Fla) team play and then one week later he was offered by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Tags: Recruiting, Sean Moran, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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 (Kelly Kline / Under Armour)
(Kelly Kline / Under Armour)

Some of the biggest names in coaching have passed through the Westtown (Pa.) School in recent days to watch Mohamed Bamba, the 6-foot-11 Class of 2017 big man who also runs with the PSA Cardinals AAU program.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams was in on Tuesday, and UConn coach Kevin Ollie came through on Wednesday. Alabama coach Avery Johnson also called to offer Bamba a scholarship.

Bamba, who now has a 7-foot-8 wingspan according to Scout.com, is also being courted by the likes of Duke, Kentucky and Syracuse. Scout also reported that Georgetown, Harvard, Maryland and Villanova watched Bamba this past weekend in Maryland.

Tags: Mohamed Bamba, Recruiting, University of Connecticut, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Dec 12, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix reacts against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat UNC 84-82. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports (Brendan Maloney)
Dec 12, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix reacts against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat UNC 84-82. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports (Brendan Maloney)

Shaka's team has shocked college basketball.

Thanks to this game-winning jumper from Javan Felix as time expired, Texas stunned No. 3 North Carolina, 84-82, on Saturday at Texas.

Tags: Texas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK CITY - August 22, 2015: Under Armour Elite 24 game at Pier 2 in Brooklyn New York. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)
NEW YORK CITY - August 22, 2015: Under Armour Elite 24 game at Pier 2 in Brooklyn New York. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)

While playing for Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy, Rawle Alkins is giving equal time to Tar Heel State schools North Carolina and N.C. State, and hopes to set up some official visits soon.

The 6-foot-5 Brooklyn native is also nursing an injured ankle but is slated to return home to New York for several games next month.

"It's funny down here with college basketball," he wrote in his latest USA Today blog, 'Rawle's Report.' "The fans here are crazy!

Tags: NBA Draft, Rawle Alkins, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Kelly Kline)
(Kelly Kline)

When the organizers of the Marshall County Hoopfest first announced their schedule in October, they promoted the fact that Harry Giles, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, would play twice in three days.

Oak Hill Academy's first game at the Kentucky event on Thursday also held out the appealing possibility of the 6-foot-10 Giles playing against his close friend Jayson Tatum. The two players are the projected top two picks in the 2017 NBA Draft -- with Tatum at No. 1 and Giles at No. 2 -- according to DraftExpress.com.

Now that game will go off Thursday night on ESPN (7:30) with the Duke-bound Tatum but without Giles, his future Duke teammate. Giles tore his ACL in his first game at Oak Hill last month and is no longer at the school.

Tags: Harry Giles, Oak Hill, Duke University, Adam Zagoria
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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Marcus Paige spent the first six games watching from the sideline as his North Carolina teammates had to figure out how to play without their injured floor leader.

His debut Tuesday night made the ninth-ranked Tar Heels look more like the team everyone expected to see.

The senior scored 20 points to help UNC beat No. 2 Maryland 89-81 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, showing no ill effects from the broken bone in his right hand nor rust from the layoff.

Tags: University of Maryland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) looks to the scoreboard near the end of their game against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. (Jeffrey Becker)
North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) looks to the scoreboard near the end of their game against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. (Jeffrey Becker)

North Carolina is getting their point guard back in time for a big-time game.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said Monday that Marcus Paige would start Tuesday night when the No. 9 Heels host No. 2 Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (ESPN, 9:30 p.m).

"I feel good … I don't have any pain," Paige said of his broken right hand.

Paige fractured the third metacarpal on his right (non-shooting) hand in practice on Nov. 3. The Maryland game will be exactly four weeks from that date.

Paige has received a number of first-team preseason All-America honors and was selected the Co-Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

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Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at the United Center. Kentucky won 74-63. (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at the United Center. Kentucky won 74-63. (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Kentucky is back in a very familiar spot - on top of The Associated Press college basketball poll.

It only took a couple of weeks.

The Wildcats, who were No. 1 every week last season, moved up one spot Monday following North Carolina's loss to Northern Iowa. Kentucky (4-0) beat then-No. 5 Duke in the Champions Classic last week and received 59 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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You could fill an entire Division 1 college basketball roster with the players who signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday from St. Thomas More (Conn.) and Oak Hill Academy (Va.).

Seven players from St. Thomas More, led by longtime coach Jere Quinn, signed on Wednesday, while six players signed from Oak Hill, coached by the legendary Steve Smith.

"Party time," Smith Tweeted, along with a picture of a cake featuring logos of all six schools.

Tags: Oak Hill Academy (VA), St. Thomas More (CT), Adam Zagoria
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Seventh Woods will be a Tar Heel.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard from the Columbia (S.C.) Hammond School announced for North Carolina on Wednesday, choosing the Tar Heels over home state South Carolina.

"It was a tough decision," Woods told The Post and Courier. "South Carolina was definitely in the picture. I went with my heart."

Tags: Seventh Woods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Marcus Paige, the starting point guard for preseason No. 1-ranked North Carolina, fractured the third metacarpal on his right (non-shooting) hand in practice on Tuesday and will miss 3-4 weeks.

Paige has received a number of first-team preseason All-America honors and was selected the Co-Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

The senior from Marion, Iowa, has missed only one game in his first three seasons. He did not play against UAB his freshman season due to a strained left shoulder.

Tags: Marcus Paige, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Ty-Shon Alexander, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound Class of 2017 shooting guard from Oak Hill Academy (VA), verbally committed to Creighton on Saturday.

"It fits my game," he said of Creighton. "The school is fun and I like the staff a lot."

Alexander said he also considered Clemson. Wake Forest and Virginia Tech also offered, while Virginia and N.C. State recruited Alexander but did not offer.

Tags: Oak Hill (Va.), Ty-Shon Alexander, Adam Zagoria
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Schnider Herard, a 6-foot-10 center from Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian, will announce his college choice Nov. 4, according to multiple reports.

The No. 5-ranked center in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sports.com, Herard is considering Kansas, Mississippi State, Purdue and Texas Tech.

"Schnider had, I think, 34 scholarship offers and narrowing that down from 10 to five, he was looking for where he might play right away and which programs are going to use their big guys," Derrick Shelby, Herard's guardian,told goldandblack.com.

Tags: Harry Giles, Oak Hill (Va.), Schnider Herard, Seventh Woods, Adam Zagoria
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 (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

North Carolina was picked to win the ACC regular season title on Wednesday, but head coach Roy Williamssays the fake-class scandal has hurt recruiting.

"We've already lived with it for two years," he said Wednesday on ESPNU as part of ACC media day. "It's hurt us in recruiting, it's hurt us in several different ways. We're mad, we're sad, we're disappointed that it happened but we gotta play basketball. We've gotta try to control the things that we can control and our kids out there on the court, they're going to be playing, they're not going to be thinking about this stuff that we've got going on."

According to NewsObserver.com, North Carolina has paid out more than $10 million in legal and public relations costs to cope with an NCAA investigation "into a system of fake classes taken by thousands of students, roughly half of them athletes, that spanned three decades."

Tags: Brandon Robinson, Harry Giles, Oak Hill (Va.), Rawle Alkins, Roy Williams, Tony Bradley, Udoka Azubuike, Adam Zagoria
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Following a?weekend official visit to Baylor, Mario Kegler?has the Big 12 program near the top of his list.

"I would say Baylor's up there, yeah," Omhar Carter, Kegler's guardian and AAU coach, ?told?SNY.tv Sunday evening. "They cannot not be up there."

Tags: Articles, Baylor, Oak Hill Academy, Adam Zagoria
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Mario Kegler, a 6-foot-7 small forward from?Oak Hill Academy (Va.),?enjoyed his weekend official to Arizona State and won't visit Penn State next weekend.

"The visit was great," Omhar Carter, Kegler's guardian and AAU coach, ?told?SNY.tv. "Coach [Bobby] Hurley is a true visionary. He will be in line to be a future Hall of Fame coach."

Tags: Arizona State, Oak Hill Academy, Adam Zagoria
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Mario Kegler, a 6-foot-7 small forward who recently announced his transfer to Oak Hill Academy (Va.), will likely visit Mississippi State on top of his four other officials.

Kegler will visit Arizona State (Sept. 18-20), Penn State (Sept. 25-27), Maryland (Oct. 15-17) and Indiana (Oct. 23-25),?Omhar Carter, Kegler's guardian and AAU coach, recently told?SNY.tv.

Tags: Articles, Oak Hill Academy, Recruiting, Adam Zagoria
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Harry Giles?will likely shift the date of his North Carolina official visit and remains open in his recruitment, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith told The 4 Quarters Podcast.

"He's supposed to go to Carolina next weekend but he's got a conflict so I think he's going to move that to the weekend of Oct. 2nd or Oct. 24th," Smith said. "He's going to visit Wake Forest this weekend and then have four straight weekends of visits in October."

Tags: Articles, Duke, Oak Hill Academy, Recruiting, Adam Zagoria
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Harry Giles, the No. 1-rated player in the Class of 2016, got a?visit Tuesday from Kentucky coach John Calipari while?UNC coach Roy Williams?and Kansas coach Bill Self are due into Oak Hill (VA) Academy on Wednesday.

Oak Hill?coach Steve Smith?Tweeted this picture of himself and Calipari on Tuesday.

Tags: Articles, Kansas, Kentucky, Oak Hill Academy, Recruiting, Adam Zagoria
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