* Former Tar Heel star Dante Calabria helped Cantu to a 72-69 win over Benetton (9-5) in an Italian League game yesterday. Cantu improved to 7-7, tied for 7th among 18 teams, as Calabria knocked down 3-of-6 from beyond the arc on his way to 15 points.
Calabria is averaging 11.6 points and 28.7 minutes through 14 games. He has connected on 33-of-85 three-point attempts (38.8%).
DOHERTY GETS A GOOD REVIEW
* Matt Doherty worked as the game analyst for College Sports Television (CSTV) during last week's Saint Joseph's - California game that was part of the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland. St. Joe's won the game 59-57 on an 18-footer by Jameer Nelson with 4.3 seconds to play.
Here's what Philadelphia Daily News college basketball writer Dick Jerardi had to say about Doherty's CSTV commentary: "Best analysis -- color man Matt Doherty. He was terrific. He was on top of almost everything and every situation. Doherty said Nelson's winning shot reminded him of Michael Jordan's final shot for the Bulls. High praise."
CSTV sideline reporter Brandi Chastain did not fare so well with Jerardi. "Learn something about basketball," Jerardi suggested after listing Chastain as "most clueless."
CSTV is available via satellite and cable outlets to about 15 million homes, according to information at their website.
EARLY '04 RETURN FOR FOX?
* Rick Fox could be just two weeks away from returning to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Daily News. Fox, out since May '03, was told by doctors to be patient about his return since no pro basketball player has ever had the type of surgery needed to repair the torn tendon in his left foot.
"I could play if I had to right now," Fox told the Daily News last week. Fox is looking at January 9, a home game against Atlanta, as the date for his season debut. The final call though belongs to Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Fox is up to running 30 miles over a 5-day period. The goal is to run 50 miles in a week and to play 20-30 minutes without losing strength. "I'll definitely get better. But I'm capable right now, I think, of plugging in and helping," said Fox.
LYNCH MISSES FIRST GAME
* George Lynch had started all 29 games for the New Orleans Hornets (19-11). That streak ended last Friday when Stacey Augmon started at small forward for the Hornets after Lynch had to go to Dallas due to the illness of his 7-year-old son, Jalen, according to AP and other news reports.
In the 29 games Lynch has played this season, he is averaging 29.2 minutes, 6.7 points and 6.0 rebounds.
CURRY ENDS 2ND NFL SEASON
* San Diego thumped Oakland yesterday 21-14 to put the Raiders at 4-12 and out of the playoffs and a long way from the trip to the Super Bowl of a season ago. For Oakland's Ronald Curry the game marked the conclusion of his first season as a wide receiver.
Formerly a back-up quarterback and special teams player as a rookie, the 6-2, 220 pound Curry was switched from #1 and QB to #89 and WR in 2003 on the suggestion and advice of Raider coach Bill Callahan. Curry ended up with five receptions for 31 yards and one rushing attempt for no gain.
CALLING ALL FORMER TAR HEELS ...
As noted by the UNC official website, a reunion of the North Carolina men's basketball program is scheduled for February 21 and all former players -- from Barlow (Jeb) to Zwikker (Serge) -- are invited to attend.
The Tar Heels host Florida State at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21. The former players attending the reunion will be honored at the game and at a banquet that evening.
Former lettermen needing information about the reunion should contact the men's basketball office. Ask for administrative assistant C.B. McGrath at 919-962-1154.