CATCHING UP WITH BRAD FREDERICK
* In his seventh season as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, former Tar Heel Brad Frederick ('99) was part of Vandy's 57-52 victory over Kentucky last Tuesday, the school's first-ever win at Rupp Arena after 28 consecutive losses. It also marked their first road win over Kentucky since January 8, 1974 at Memorial Coliseum.
"It was a great win for our kids and our program. Having never won at Rupp Arena, it was nice to get the monkey off our back. Now we won't have to hear the same questions every time we go visit Rupp. We won't be on the same graphic as Clemson never winning in Chapel Hill either, that one can stand on its own," Frederick told Inside Carolina following the win by the Commodores at Kentucky
Frederick was most impressed that his team won despite shooting just 34 percent from the field and with only 15 field goals. "We graded out really well on the defensive end and made 21 of 25 free throws. Nice to have us and Carolina win at Rupp in the same year," Frederick added.
"Our fans will be excited, but we don't want this to be the high point for our season. My favorite win [here] is still our 11-point comeback with three mnutes to go vs. NC State to make the Sweet 16 in 2004. Vanderbilt had not been to the Sweet 16 since Coach Fogler in 1993," Frederick said, putting the win in historical perspective.
Frederick also informed IC that he married Jocelyn Isenburg (they met at Carolina) at the Carolina Inn last June. Former Tar Heel teammate Scott Williams was his best man at the wedding. They now live in Brentwood, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, where Jocelyn works as a third-grade teacher.
He noted that he watches the Heels every chance he gets. "I have been extremely impressed with how quickly Coach Williams has gotten his young guys to play so hard and well defensively. Their freshmen class has been outstanding and David Noel has embraced his role as a senior," said the former Tar Heel who appeared in 70 games as a 6-5, 190-pound walk-on from 1996 to 1999 and scored 46 points.
Frederick last visited Chapel Hill in August when he attended the annual "basketball talks" and loves to get back whenever his busy schedule permits.
Frederick's older brother, Brian, got his master's at Carolina in Journalism and is now finishing his Doctorate at Colorado. His brother Mark is a fifth-year senior walk-on at Kansas State. His youngest brother, Chris, is a sophomore at Kansas.
On Saturday, Mark Frederick's K-State team did some streak snapping of their own with a 59-55 win over Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. That put an end to 31 consecutive losses by KSU to the Jayhawks and had chants of "K-S-U, Wildcats" replacing the more familiar cry of "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, K-U."
For Brad Frederick and Vanderbilt (11-3, 2-1) it was time to get a new winning streak going after an SEC loss at Arkansas (12-4, 1-2), 78-66, on Saturday.
PHELPS HITS GAME-WINNER, AGAIN!
* In Germany, they refer to Derrick Phelps as 'The General' for the commanding way he directs his team on the court. After the last couple of weeks with GHP Bamberg (Germany) in Euroleague play, they may need to find a new name for him.
Last Wednesday, Bamberg was tied with Strasbourg (France) at 68 with six seconds to go, Phelps hit a three with two seconds remaining that gave Bamberg (6-4) a 71-68 win and put them well on the way to a Euroleague Top 16 spot.
The shot also meant that Phelps was once again the hero in the end, because the week before at Union Olimpija (Slovenia) on the Euroleague Basketball circuit a fastbreak basket by Olimpija tied the game 57-57 with 15 seconds to go. In the final sequence of the game Phelps found his way to an uncontested layup with two seconds left. Bamberg held on for a big win, 59-57.
"Derrick Phelps is an amazing player. He's incredible, a perfect go-to guy," Bamberg coach Dirk Bauermann said about Phelps after his third game-winning buzzer-beater of the season.
In 10 Euroleague games, Phelps is averaging 27 minutes, 7.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists while making 9 of 21 three-point shots (.428).
COTA LET GO BY LITHUANIAN CLUB
* Former Tar Heel and pro basketball veteran Ed Cota has been released by Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania, according to a statement issued by the club on Saturday.
Eurobasket.com reports that the 29-year-old point guard was reprimanded after a recent game.
The Zalgiris Kaunas basketball club cited "behavior reasons" for releasing Cota from the team, according to euroleague.net. Cota averaged 4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists (11th) in 30 minutes per game for Zalgiris (7-3) in 10 Euroleague games.
It had been reported recently by the websites that cover Lithuanian basketball that the coach of Zalgiris, Antanas Sireika, had been disappointed in Cota's performance this season compared to when he last played in Lithuania. Sireika thought Cota needed to improve his timing and conditioning in order to return to his former level of play.
Cota previously played two full seasons with Zalgiris, from 2002 to 2004, once coming within one three-point field goal of making a Final Four appearance. Cota played last season in Russia for Dynamo Saint Petersburg and rejoined Zalgiris in September.