COTA, WILLIAMS ADVANCE OVERSEAS
* Ed Cota and Dynamo St. Petersburg (Russia) will try to extend their undefeated run through the FIBA Europe League this week. Dynamo SPb has reached the league's quarterfinals with a record of 16-0 and hosts Mariupol (10-6), one of the top teams from Ukraine, on Tuesday in the start of a best-of-three series. Former Cincinnati star Art Long is Mariupol's best player.
Shammond Williams' team, UNICS Kazan (Russia), also has reached the FIBA EL quarterfinals. Kazan (9-5) will play at BC Khimki (11-3) (Russia) for the first game of a best-of three on Tuesday. Khimki is led by Melvin Booker (Missouri '94).
The FIBA Europe League currently is accepting votes for All-Stars. The All-Star game will be played in Cyprus on April 14 under the format of Europe vs. Rest of the World. You can go to www.fibaeurope.com (look for the All-Star Day icon on the left side, limit is one vote per day) to vote for Cota and Williams as guards for Team Rest of the World.
THE DREAM LIVES
* Former Tar Heel J.R. Reid has again advanced to another week in his attempt to become an NBA analyst for ESPN. Reid is competing with other former NBA players on the ESPN show Dream Job (Sunday, 10 p.m.) to be the network's next NBA analyst.
Gerald Wilkins was dismissed a week ago by the show's panel of evaluators -- Woody Paige (Cold Pizza and Around the Horn), Kit Hoover (ESPN general reporter), Stephen A. Smith (ESPN NBA analyst) and Al Jaffe (ESPN V.P. of Talent). Last night, Darryl Dawkins was cut from the show. Dawkins and Dennis Scott each had two votes to be removed, but the viewers' vote is the tiebreaker and that went to Dawkins. Reid gets to be on TV with host and UNC grad Stuart Scott for at least one more show. Dee Brown, Matt Bullard and Dennis Scott also remain.
Reid talked to another former Tar Heel player, now a basketball analyst for TNT, Kenny Smith, before going on Dream Job. "He said that this will give me (TV) face time. It keeps you in the loop so if you don't win, you'll get something somewhere," Reid told USA TODAY recently.
STILL HAS THE TOUCH
* Donald Williams and the Idaho Stampede came up short of making the CBA's playoffs this season, but Williams continued to show, as he did in Sweden last season and in his days as a Tar Heel, that he still doesn't miss a beat when shooting threes. Through 46 games, Williams has launched 171 shots from beyond the arc and connected on 76 of them for a league-leading 44.4 percent. David Graves (Notre Dame) of the Gary Steelheads ranks second at 42.3 percent (94-222).
Williams' CBA-best three-point accuracy mark of .444 would put him tied for fourth in the NBA with Jon Barry. Mike Miller (.441) and Ben Gordon (.440) follow Barry at fifth and sixth. Williams averages 32 minutes, 16.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 46 games played.
Ex-Tar Heel Joe Wolf has a mark of 22-24 with Idaho in his first year as a head coach.
- 1: Donnie Walsh ... 64
- 4: Henrik Rödl ... 36
- 8: Kenny Smith ... 40
- 17: Steve Bucknall ... 39
- 19: Dudley Bradley ... 48
- 20: Bobby Lewis ... 60
- 21: Scott Williams ... 37
- 22: La'Tangela Atkinson ... 21
- 22: Nikki Teasley ... 26
- 23: Joseph Forte ... 24
- 29: Jackie Manuel ... 22
- 29: Dennis Wuycik ... 54
- 31: J.R. Reid ... 37
- 31: Jonathan Holmes ... 25