* 76ers assistant coach Randy Ayers ended up being the one chosen to replace Larry Brown in Philadelphia. But former Tar Heel and Miami Heat assistant Bob McAdoo did get a chance to interview for the job last week. Pat Riley of the Heat put in a good word about MAdoo to Sixer GM Billy King to get the interview process started.
"Bob McAdoo is as ready as any ex-player being considered for a head-coaching position, or anyone else being considered," Riley told the Philadelphia Daily News about McAdoo. "He's an absolute competitor. He has the respect of the players. He's very open, very honest and forthright. He doesn't mince words, doesn't waste time walking on eggshells. He's been taking notes, writing things down, for eight years."
In other NBA coaching moves, the New York Post reported last week that Eddie Jordan, the new Wizards coach, "would love to have compadre Mike O'Koren" on his staff in Washington, but the Nets would need to be compensated. And former Tar Heels John Kuester and Dave Hanners already have left the 76ers' staff and are now with the Pistons, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
BROWN COMES UP BIG
* Indiana Fever rookie Coretta Brown came off the bench Friday to score 22 points, the most by a WNBA rookie so far this season, to lead her team to an 84-74 win over Connecticut. Brown only needed 24 minutes to get a new career-high of 22 points while going 7-9 from the field, 4-5 from the 3-point line and 4-4 on free throws.
Brown remained hot on Saturday. The former Tar Heel played 31 minutes in a reserve role and scored 20 points (7-12 FG, 2-4 3-pt. FG) as Indiana lost 66-58 to Minnesota. With the 42-point barrage, Brown improved her scoring average from 6.7 to 9.9 ppg over the weekend.
In other WNBA Tar Heel news, Sylvia Crawley of the San Antonio Silver Stars was back in action on Friday (3 minutes) and Sunday (17 minutes) following a strained neck injury last week that required an overnight hospital stay. And Charlotte Smith-Taylor of the Charlotte Sting has been sidelined with a leg injury.
JOHNSON HELPS HICKORY STAY CLOSE
* The Wilmington Wave Rockers finally gave the Hickory Nutz (5-0) some competition. After winning their first four games by margins of 53, 68, 35 and 30, Hickory had to settle for a 10-point edge, 104-94, over visiting Wilmington last Thursday at Hickory High in a Carolinas Basketball League game.
Some clutch shooting during the contest by former Tar Heel Will Johnson was duly noted by the game report in the Hickory Daily Record:
"Wilmington closed the gap to one point six times in the second quarter. Hickory High graduate Will Johnson responded with baskets each of the first three times the Wave Rockers got within one point and the Nutz clung to a 43-42 lead at halftime."
Hickory will meet the Wave Rockers again on Tuesday in Wilmington.