Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters. [Pictured: Ed Cota]

"SUBJECT: COTA WINS THE GAME AGAIN!!!"

* Here's the way Inside Carolina's source in Lithuania, Tomasz, described Ed Cota's performance last Thursday, when Cota and Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) were in Spain to play Unicaja Malaga for Euroleague action:

"Hi Bob, Cota wins against Malaga Unicaja (74-72) again, like he did last season [note - last year Zalgiris beat Malaga 78-77 on a buzzer-beater by Cota]. The game was very nervous and tight. In the last minute of the game Zalgiris missed 3 free throws (one by Sabas [Arvydas Sabonis], and two by Timinskas).

With 12 seconds to play, the score is 72-72, Cota runs with the ball, and he is defended by Moustapha Sonko. Cota shows some awesome dribbling and makes free space for himself to shoot, he makes the shot almost from the three-point line with 2 seconds to go ... Zalgiris wins 74-72!

Do you remember the last shot of MJ, defended by Bryon Russell when the Bulls played the Jazz in the NBA Finals '99? Some people at Eurobasket.lt forum say that Cota's shot was the copy of MJ's shot, from the same point of the court, the same dribbling ... Cota made about three crossovers against Sonko, and the last move by Cota was like MJ's against Russell. If I get video of that shot I will send it to you. Cota is the hero of this game." -- Tom

After the game, Unicaja Malaga coach Sergio Scariolo told the press, "The cool head of Cota on the final play was amazing. I don't think the last play was bad defense by Sonko, but a great genius play by Cota."

Cota, playing the entire 40 minutes against Malaga, came up with 14 points (6-13 FG, 2-2 3-pt. FG), five rebounds, six assists and three steals along with the game-winning shot. Next Thursday in Euroleague, Zalgiris Kaunas, now 3-1 in Group B and 14-0 in Lithuania, will host 4-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel), featuring Sarunas Jasikevicius (Maryland '98), David Bluthenthal (Southern Cal '02) and Maceo Baston (Michigan '98).

LANG, ASHEVILLE 1-1 IN NBDL

* Kris Lang began his season in the NBDL on Friday with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 FT) and five boards that helped Asheville to a 79-69 win over Columbus.

Lang compiled similar stats on Sunday, 11 points (5-9 FG, 1-2 FT) and five rebounds, but Asheville did not fare as well in their home-opener. Huntsville (3-0), led by Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State) with 17, brought the Altitude (1-1) down, 88-69.

DAVIS COMES OFF INJURED LIST

* The Detroit Pistons activated veteran shooting guard Hubert Davis and placed Lindsey Hunter (sprained knee ligament) on the injured list over the weekend.

The move, retroactive to Friday, means Hunter only has to sit out three more games and will be eligible to return Dec. 9 against Philadelphia. Chucky Atkins, out since Nov. 10 following knee surgery, should be back by then, too. Therefore Davis' time on the active roster could be short.

"Hubert hasn't really had a chance since his injury (hamstring injury early in training camp)," Pistons coach Larry Brown said to the Detroit News. "Like most of our guys, he has suffered from a lack of practice time. Playing as many back-to-backs as we have, it's difficult to have full practices. No matter how hard you work on your own, or with two or three other guys, it's not the same. Hubert only played in one exhibition game, and just part of that. For his sake, I am glad he is back. He's a great kid. Hopefully he will have a chance to play, but I don't know when."


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