Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

WILL JOHNSON MAKES OVERSEAS PRO DEBUT

* Will Johnson played in his first game in Spain on Saturday as a starter for Baloncesto Pozuelo of the LEB-2 professional league. The former Tar Heel showed a nice shooting touch -- 4-for-6 on threes and 5-for-8 overall from the field -- as he collected 16 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.

Aguas de Calpe (1-0) won the LEB 2 season-opener 92-71 over Pozuelo (0-1). Murray State's Duane Virgil scored 18 points (9-12 FG) and pulled down eight boards for the winners.

The city of Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain, population 48,328, is located just west of Madrid, the capital of Spain, and is a long way from Hickory, North Carolina (about 4,000 miles).

McINNIS READY TO GET STARTED

* Jeff McInnis considers last season as a back-up point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers as a disappointment. "I didn't get a chance to show what I can really, really do," McInnis told The Oregonian last week during his participation at an informal workout in Portland well ahead of the official start of training camp (Oct. 3).

McInnis has put most of his offseason attention on his long-range shooting. "Teams give me the three sometimes and I don't take it. So I worked on my three a lot," McInnis said.

The Portland backcourt has been diminished by the departures of Antonio Daniels (Seattle) and Scottie Pippen (Chicago). With last year's starter Damon Stoudamire having a legal matter pending, McInnis is no longer on the trading block, as he was last year as part of a deal to Milwaukee for Gary Payton, and he has his sights set on a starting role. "The job is open. I think our training camp is going to decide who is the starting point guard," McInnis told The Oregonian.

The New York Post reported last week that New Jersey was willing to take McInnis in a package instead of Ruben Patterson to get the Kenyon Martin-for-Rasheed Wallace deal done. The Post noted Portland's rejection of that trade offer appears to end talks between the Nets and the Blazers.

TEASLEY, SPARKS SHOCKED

An 83-78 victory by the Detroit Shock over the Los Angeles Sparks brought Nikki Teasley's second WNBA season to a disappointing conclusion last week. Teasley averaged 37 minutes, 6.3 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds over the three game series as the Sparks fell short of defending the WNBA championship that they had celebrated the past two years.

During the Sparks' regular season (24-10), Teasley started all 34 games, averaged 35 minutes (3rd), 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists (3rd). Teasley was also the MVP in the 2003 WNBA All-Star Game and was an All-WNBA second team selection.

Teasley will be on the U.S. team in the Women's World Cup in Russia from October 14-19. The U.S. team of young WNBA stars will compete against club teams from Korea, Australia, Russia, Brazil, France and Mozambique, according to AP.


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