Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on Carolina grads.


* Last year, Ed Cota finished the season in Oostende, Belgium as a Belgian League champion. This season, Cota is in Kaunas, Lithuania trying to capture another title.

Zalgiris Kaunas currently leads Lietuvos rytas Vilnius 2-1 in a best-of-seven Lithuanian League championship series. Game 3, played yesterday, was won by Lietuvos, 75-63.

Cota led Zalgiris in game one with 23 points (10-16, 2-2 FT) five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He also played a big part in the game's incredible ending.

Lietuvos had rallied to overcome a six-point deficit in the final minute by hitting two three-point field goals. After the second three-pointer it was tied at 80 with only 0.3 seconds on the clock. Ed Cota threw a length of the court pass. His teammate, Mindaugas Timinskas, caught it and proceeded to shoot and make a basket at the buzzer to give Zalgiris a dramatic 82-80 road victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Cota was also excellent in game two, an 85-81 Zalgiris' victory, with seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and 13 points (6-11 FG, 1-2 FT). Game four will be played on Wednesday.


* Coretta Brown played 25 minutes and tossed in 11 points for the Indiana Fever last Thursday at the Charlotte Coliseum in the WNBA's preseason opener. The Fever downed the Sting 74-62.

Former Tar Heel player and current assistant coach Charlotte Smith-Taylor started for the Sting and scored four points in 19 minutes.


* Sylvia Crawley contributed five points, three rebounds and three assists for San Antonio last Thursday in an 80-77 preseason defeat against Los Angeles.

LaQuanda Quick (formerly known as LaQuanda Barksdale) chipped in with 10 points in 19 minutes for San Antonio.

Nikki Teasley, starting her second pro season with Los Angeles, had 15 points and eight assists for the WNBA defending champion L.A. Sparks.


* Kris Lang and Anwil Wloclawek have advanced to the semifinals of the Polish League playoffs. Wloclawek swept the quarterfinal series 3-0 as Lang scored 34 points and pulled down 19 rebounds. The best-of-five semifinals against Idea Slask Wroclaw, featuring Acie Earl (Iowa) and Sean Colson (UNC-Charlotte) begins on May 16.

* J.R. Reid also was able to move into the semifinals after Leon Casa Espana won three straight in the LEB's (Spain's 2nd division) postseason and overcome an 0-2 start. Reid is back in action on May 14.

* Henrik Rodl (4 points, 1-1 FG, 1-1 FT) and ALBA Berlin hold a 2-1 lead in best-of-five first round (quarterfinal) play in the German League playoffs following yesterday's 82-76 win over Frankfurt.


* Former Tar Heel Jeff Lebo ('89), now the head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga, was scheduled to be interviewed over the weekend for the vacant head coach position at Iowa State, according to the Des Moines Register and other reports.

Lebo, 36, went 21-9 last season in his first year at Tennessee-Chattanooga following four seasons at Tennessee Tech with a record of 75-43.

The Register reported that a source close to the search committee said a replacement for Larry Eustachy could be named as early as today and the total yearly amount offered would not be more than $800,000.

Other candidates include Wyoming's Steve McClain, current Iowa State assistant Wayne Morgan, and former Iowa State stars Jeff Grayer and Barry Stevens. ESPN.com is reporting that Lebo is the leading candidate.


* After a year as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech, former Tar Heel Scott Cherry ('93) is back as an assistant to Jim Larranaga at George Mason. Cherry was previously at GMU for three seasons (1999-00 to 2001-02).

"I'm really excited about coming back to George Mason," Cherry said, in an AP report. "I didn't want to leave in the first place, but with things the way they were, I had an opportunity to work at Tennessee Tech (with Mike Sutton), so at the time that was the best decision for me."

GMU head coach Jim Larranaga stated, "Scott allows our program to keep its continuity, and it should be a smooth transition for our players since many of them were here when Scott was a member of our staff two years ago."


USA TODAY reported on Friday that Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl is not worried about having just one year left on his NBA-high $7 million contract. The report stated that Karl did not think it would be a problem, that he has not asked for an extension and is not uncomfortable with the situation.

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