* A couple of UNC grads from '02 got together for some hoops on Saturday night in Fayetteville, N.C., when Jason Capel's Patriots hosted Kris Lang's Asheville Altitude.
Capel was on the court for 41 minutes as he racked up 17 points (6-13), six rebounds and three assists. Lang countered by scoring six points (3-4 FG), hitting the boards for nine rebounds and rejecting six Fayetteville shots in 35 minutes.
Lang ended up on the winning side as Asheville (5-8) held on for a 105-97 win over Fayetteville (8-9). The former Tar Heel teammates will meet again on Friday (1/16) and Saturday (1/17) in Asheville.
FOX STILL WAITING AMID LAKER TURMOIL
* Rick Fox thought last Friday would be his first game with the Lakers since the playoffs last May when he ruptured a tendon in his left foot. That didn't happen and Fox is still working to get back on the active roster.
"I have rehabbed my foot for life purposes," Fox said on Friday, according to a report in the Sunday Boston Globe. "Now I need to get back to where I can play in a game and compete. And once I get to that point, I have to impress the coaches that I am one of the 12 guys they'd want on the team."
The Lakers have slumped lately, losing eight of their last 12 games, with injuries to Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal. "Our health is going to be the most important thing, but we also have to have guys who know the syetem. We have guys playing 35 minutes a game who don't know the system. And for some guys who do [know the system], ego, agendas, fatigue, all those factors enter into it," Fox analyzed about the current Lakers situation as someone that travels with the team and has observed them through many years.
"I think we have a bigger mountain to climb than we're willing to admit. We are a talented team, but from an attitude adjustment, we need to improve. And you can't improve if you don't think you need to."
COTA LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK
* Ed Cota was in no mood to give himself any slack after his team from Lithuania, Zalgiris Kaunas (4-4), lost a Euroleague game in Greece to Panathinaikos (4-4) last week, 91-80.
"It was the worst game in my career. I hit my personal rock bottom. No reason to try for excuses. It just happened. Panathinaikos is a great defensive team and they didn't let us play our game. But, there is a long way ahead of us and we have to work and to make things better," Cota explained after recording seven turnovers, nine assists and eight points (3-10 FG).
Zalgiris head coach Antanas Sireika also noted Cota was not up to his usual standard. "Obviously we had some positive points in our game, but our point guards didn't play at the level they normally do," the Zalgiris coach said in his postgame comments to euroleague.net.