* Last Wednesday, Kris Lang compiled a season-high 29 points to help Asheville to a 116-113 win over Roanoke in NBDL action.
Lang took over the game in the fourth quarter with 18 points. "I might have to ice my shoulder and elbow," he joked, after hitting 11-of-14 shots from the field along with 7-of-9 free throws, according to The Roanoke Times game report. "I haven't taken 14 shots in a while. It was a great game for me. They just kept feeding it to me and we capitalized off that."
"I think Kris is underrated," said Asheville coach Joey Meyer. "Now, he won't do this every night because he's so unselfish. But he was on fire tonight. When things got rocky, our guys went to the right man"
Lang now has a field goal percentage of .605 (159-263) and continues to lead the NBDL in that category. He is now at 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 27.9 minutes per game in 34 games played. Asheville has won 14 of their last 19 games to improve to 20-16 and move to a half-game behind first-place Charleston (21-16).
STACKHOUSE RETURNS AFTER REST, REHAB
* Two weeks ago, former Tar Heel star Jerry Stackhouse of the Washington Wizards said he was shutting it down for the season because of problems with his knees.
A medical exam by team physicians determined that Stackhouse's surgically repaired right knee was structurally sound, but added tendinitis in both ankles to his list of injuries. After getting some rest and physical therapy, Stackhouse was feeling better and was back on the court over the weekend -- against the Hawks on Friday and Saturday versus Boston.
It was another dose of frustration for Stack though, as Washington went scoreless in the final 3:46 and blew a five-point lead in a 111-102 loss to Boston. "It's not easy. I come back and jump on the seventh-leading scorer [Paul Pierce], a guy that's getting the ball every time, then having to make plays on the offensive end. I personally had the chance to make plays and it didn't happen," Stackhouse told the Baltimore Sun.
HOLMES SIDELINED WITH ANKLE INJURY
* The X-rays did not show any broken bones, but Jonathan Holmes did sustain a severely sprained ankle while playing for the Leicester Riders in England last week. Holmes was carried from the court near the end of the first quarter of a 91-76 loss to London.
"It was a pretty rough ankle sprain, and after nearly a week there is still quite a bit of swelling. We have eight games remaining, so I'm hoping it heals quickly," Holmes reported to Inside Carolina via e-mail. "It was basically a freak accident. I drove down the lane for a lay-up, came down and landed awkwardly, pretty painful to say the least, but very fortunate that it isn't broken."
TAR HEEL PRO PROSPECTS
* The Los Angeles Times NBA draft preview on Sunday included notes on some current Tar Heels.
With the aid of a combination of six NBA GMs, personnel directors and scouts, Mark Heisler came up with his top 29 NBA prospects along with another 18 notables that included the following comments:
"Rashad McCants (ranked at 29) is not quite in the line of Jordan, Stackhouse and Carter, but he's shooting 42% on three-pointers. He had a head-case rep but has blossomed under Roy Williams."
"Raymond Felton (listed among those 'In the Mix' at 45) is an athletic point guard but a marginal shooter."
"The draft will be heavy on size and potential. Thus, such fine players as Ike Diogu (Arizona State) and Sean May, who play inside and look as if they're really 6-7, don't even get a call."
Seven of the top 14 prospects in Heisler's draft preview are from overseas and 6-11 or taller. The Times' report also noted that one NBA GM expects college players to be in the minority for the first time in the first round of the 2004 draft compared to high school and international players. That figures to something like 12 internationals, nine high schoolers and eight collegiates.
MCINNIS, CAVS A GOOD MATCH
* The addition of Jeff McInnis has worked out pretty well for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have won 16-of-24 since McInnis arrived from Portland to allow LeBron James to be moved from the point guard spot to become more of a scorer.
McInnis, fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.56, is under contract for 2004-05 at $3.6 million, but Cleveland can buy out the deal for $300,000 if they waive the seven-year vet before July 1. According to a recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland GM Jim Paxson has indicated McInnis will back with the Cavs next season.
Cleveland is currently on a six-game winning streak after beating Indiana 110-107 yesterday as McInnis scored 16 points and handed out 10 assists.
PETERSON, CHERRY NIT-BOUND
Former Tar Heel Buzz Peterson will take his Tennessee Volunteers into postseason play in the 40-team field of the 2004 National Invitational Tournament.
Tennessee (15-13) will visit George Mason (21-9) for an NIT opening round game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Former Tar Heel Scott Cherry is a George Mason assistant coach.
* Former Tar Heels that are involved in postseason play in the NCAA Tournament include Rick Duckett ('79) as an assistant with South Carolina, Brad Frederick ('99) as an assistant with Vanderbilt and Virginia Commonwealth's Director of Recruiting and Special Projects Mike Ellis ('88).