NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- News, notes, stats, opinions, and rumors from the first day at the Peach Jam. [Pictured: Josh McRoberts]
Brian Johnson's first-day numbers (6 pts, 7 rebs; 6 pts, 10 rebs) weren't exactly eye-popping, but he fit in nicely to a team attack. He could have been more assertive, but it's hard to argue when the team is victorious. The anticipated match-up with D.J. White of the Alabama Lasers didn't happen, since White is recovering from a hand injury.
UNC's Coach Holladay was present for Johnson's morning game, while both he and Roy Williams were present for his evening game. Interest from the Heels appears to be healthy.
LaMarcus Aldridge might be the "perfect" college post player. He's not quite skilled enough or strong enough to dominate close to the basket in the NBA next year, but he's good enough in both to be a terror in college for a few years.
Last year's freshman sensation Derrick Caracter returned with a little slimmer form and a nice post move here and there, but he could use another year or two of maturity and understanding of the game; if he does, look out! This year, he brought with him (in the same graduating class) 7-0 Greg Oden of Indiana Red. This youngster is more coordinated than most at his age, is wirey strong, and has a bit of an Amare' Stoudemire mean streak. No way he ever plays a second in college.
Al Jefferson has done nothing to diminish the reputation that he established at the same event last year. He put up 26 points and 13 rebounds, unofficially, against the aforementioned Aldridge.
A slimmed-down version of Ra'Sean Dickey had impressive showings in both games today, but no UNC coaches could be spotted watching. Dickey says that his feelings about North Carolina have not changed—the Tar Heels are on his final list—but they are in contact with him the least of all. They do continue to send mail.
Marcus Ginyard says he wants to play point guard in college, but it's not a necessity. He lists UNC but seems to get that sparkle in his eye when talking about Duke, which he mentioned first when the topic of his list of schools came up.
Josh McRoberts might be the second coming of Shavlik Randolph. He could be Randolph's younger brother. Biggest distinction: Randolph is currently a little more skilled further away from the basket, but McRoberts is a little more aggressive in close to the basket. McRoberts ('05) says it's still early, but UNC is on his list, along with Duke, Arizona, Indiana, among others. After attending a basketball camp at Duke, which he was invited to attend by the coaching staff, he made an unofficial visit to UNC's campus where he was able to meet Coach Williams on an unofficial visit.
Sit at an AAU event long enough and you'll see and hear some interesting things:
--an unnamed assistant claims that Drew Williamson was all set to walk on at Carolina (and was turning down scholarship offers) until he made his visit to campus because he "didn't feel the love."
--an unnamed assistant believes the beginning stages of a push from Billy Donovan for Brian Johnson are just underway.
--an unnamed assistant made a non-verbal, non-denial denial that Uva. REALLY didn't want VT as part of the ACC.
--Jim Calhoun jokingly called a VT assistant "a traitor."
--Mike Krzyzewski cornered former Ga. Tech coach Bobby Cremins and gave him what, from a distance, looked like a "goose," with what I thought might be followed by "noogies."