McCants, Felton shine in Junior Olympics

MARYVILLE, TN – Incoming UNC freshmen Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants have received just about every accolade given to prep hoopsters, so they certainly had nothing to prove by playing in the Junior Olympics.

Nonetheless, their competitive drives landed them at the Junior Olympics this weekend, playing for the North Carolina Gaters alongside Wake Forest recruit Todd Hendley and Durham big man Anthony King.

Clearly, though, this was the Felton-McCants show, and neither disappointed in their first appearance at the event.

Against the Iowa-based Westendorf Bucketmakers, featuring Iowa State freshman Adam Haluska, Felton and McCants were nothing short of spectacular.

Felton hit for 31 points, five assists, and six rebounds, but Rashad McCants really stole the show, nailing seven 3-pointers en route to 43(!) points before a pair of unwarranted technical fouls disqualified him with two minutes remaining. McCants was just being McCants, but evidently the referees didn't appreciate his humor, and nailed him with the second tech when he asked, "You guys gonna let us play defense today?"

Felton collapsed the Bucketmaker defense with effortless dribble penetration, dishing to an open teammate for an easy bucket or finishing spectacularly, including a 360-degree reverse lay up and some unreal baseline drives.

McCants was simply on fire from all over the floor, even out beyond NBA range. He was vocal on the court, guiding his teammates on both ends: barking out assignments, calling for picks, and setting up plays.

Despite the amazing performance from the two UNC signees, Haluska kept the Bucketmakers close, scoring 37 points of his own. The Gaters were only up six points with just under six minutes left before they were able to pull away for a 115-106 victory.

For more from Jeff Markman, go to to see his coverage of University of Tennessee basketball.

Inside Carolina Top Stories