Big Time: Wed. News & Notes

LAS VEGAS -- North Carolina commitment Marvin Williams [pictured] made a healthy return at the adidas Big Time Tournament.

Williams has helped the Seattle-based Rotary Select I to a 2-1 start. Williams hurt his ankle during the USA Youth Festival in Colorado Springs, causing him to miss the majority of the adidas ABCD Camp.

"I think his ankle is 85 percent," Rotary coach Adam Sedlik said. "There are certain cuts and he has trouble when people push off. He had to stay off the ankle for three weeks, so he's trying to get back in shape.

"This is his last Vegas trip, and he wants a good showing and wants to help his teammates."

On Tuesday, Rotary defeated the New York Ravens (the defending champions), 65-63. Williams scored 18 points on five field goals and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.

In Wednesday's games, Rotary lost to the Arkansas Hawks, 65-59, as Williams scored 10 points before fouling out. North Carolina coach Roy Williams and assistant coach Steve Robinson were in attendance as was new Boston Celtics head honcho Danny Ainge.

Williams rebounded in the nightcap with an 19 point effort (eight FGs, 3-for-4 FTs) against the Southern California All-Stars. Rotary won the game 76-61.

"I just want to win, that's all," Williams said. "It's my last go-around at the Big Time.

"Now that I'm committed to North Carolina, I'm loving every second of the newfound peace."

Williams said he's physically fine and is working on his perimeter skills. When Rotary plays Josh Heytvelt, Chester Giles and Williams together, the lineup forces the 6-foot-8 Williams to play on the perimeter.

"It's hard playing on the perimeter," Williams said. "Chester and Josh get all the rebounds and blocked shots. I can handle guarding guys 6-6, 6-7. Today, I even guarded a point guard."

Sedlik said Williams is more of a power forward now, but will need to branch out to the perimeter in college.

"He has three skills, but he needs to work on his footwork, dribbling and learn how to take angles against smaller players," Sedlik said.

Will they or won't they: The drama surrounding whether North Carolina will offer New Jersey's J.R. Smith is building. The mercurial Smith went off for 29 points and four 3-pointer's on Monday vs. Pump N Run Colorado. Coach Williams and Robinson were in attendance.

Smith was his usual exciting self, but also committed silly turnovers and celebrated a little too much at times. Such antics and whether he qualifies have some saying UNC will back off. North Carolina State, Pittsburgh and Connecticut are also in the mix.

Maestro draws a crowd: The first player Coach Williams watched on Tuesday was Peoria, Ill., star Shaun Livingston at Green Valley High School at 9 a.m.

Livingston, who favors Illinois, Arizona, Duke and UNC, scored 19 points for Ft. Sooy No Limit. He went to the basket hard and continued to show amazing ability to ballhandle in traffic and get where he wants to go.

Possible return: Greg Paulus was supposed to return to action this week after injuring his ankle at the Nike Camp. However, after missing Tuesday's action, Paulus also didn't play on Wednesday, even though rumors were he was going to fly in.

We'll see what happens in the next few days.

Crossing over: The North Carolina women's basketball coach wasn't in attendance, but a handful of coaches were for Shea Houston of San Diego.

Houston, who is reportedly one of the top 5 girls basketball players in the country, is playing for EBO/EA Sports this week with the boys. She came in with 1:05 remaining in Tuesday's victory over the Texas Blue Chips and scored two points and had a turnover.

Texas and Kentucky women's coaches were tracking her.

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