TAR HEELS IN THE COACHING RANKS
* ... With the basketball season in full swing, here's a look at where to find some Tar Heel grads now working as college coaches ...
NCAA Men's Basketball
Auburn (SEC): Jeff Lebo ('89) is in his third season as head coach of the Tigers. Gave No. 2 ranked Pittsburgh a battle yesterday before falling 74-66 to drop to 6-3.
Coastal Carolina (Southern Conference): Buzz Peterson ('85) has started 3-2 in his second season at head coach with the Chanticleers. Next game is at Jacksonville on Sunday.
Francis Marion (S.C.) (Peach Belt Conference - Div. II): Jonathan Holmes ('03) is a first-year assistant with Francis Marion after being an assistant coach with Montreat College last season.
George Mason (Colonial Athletic Association): Scott Cherry ('93) is in his seventh year as an assistant coach with GM. Mason is 3-3 with games coming up at Radford (Wednesday) and at Duke (Saturday, 12 noon ET).
Miami (Fla.) (ACC): Butch Estes ('71) is a new assistant with the Hurricanes after being the head coach at Miami-Dade CC. Miami knocked off Georgia Tech 90-82 yesterday to go to 1-0 in the ACC and 5-3 overall. Estes and the 'canes will be in Chapel Hill on Jan. 31.
South Carolina (SEC): With Rick Duckett ('79) in his sixth year as an assistant to Dave Odom, SC is 4-2 after recent loss to Clemson (74-53).
SMU (Conference USA): Matt Doherty ('84) has taken over this season as the head coach of the Mustangs. Off to a 5-1 start with Prairie View A&M next on Dec. 13. His old club, Florida Atlantic, rolls into Chapel Hill December 19 (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET).
UNC Asheville (Big South Conference): Trip Cogburn ('02) is an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. A win over Furman (75-67) on Saturday has them at 3-4 with a game at Charlotte tonight and a trip to Chapel Hill on December 16 (2 p.m. ET).
Vanderbilt (SEC): For the seventh year Brad Frederick ('99) is on the Vandy bench as an assistant. This season he is joined by King Rice ('91). The Commodores won 98-93 over Toledo on Saturday to stand at 2-3.
Virginia Commonwealth (Colonial Athletic Association): Former VCU assistant coach Mike Ellis ('88) is the Assistant Athletic Director and is in his 19th year there.
William & Mary (Colonial Athletic Association): Tony Shaver ('76) is 3-3 in his fourth season at the helm. The Tribe knocked off Cornel in overtime (73-68) on Saturday. Towson is next on Tuesday as conference play begins.
NCAA Women's Basketball
Ohio U. (Mid-American Conference): Sylvia Crawley ('94) is in her first year as head coach of the Bobcats. Off to a 4-0 start. At Western Illinois tonight and at Missouri on Saturday.
Wofford College (Southern Conference): Edgar Farmer Jr. ('94) is in his third year as head coach at Wofford. Ed Geth ('96) is in his third year as an assistant. The Lady Terriers are 5-2 after a recent 77-51 thumping of Winthrop and will visit Chapel Hill on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET).
UNC grads at the High School level include Michael Brooker ('01) at Brentwood High School (girl's basketball team) in Sandersville, Ga., L.J. Hepp ('01) with the Panther Creek Catamounts in Cary, N.C. and Brian Reese ('94) at Porter Ridge H.S. (Indian Trail, N.C.) as an assistant coach and the JV team head coach.
LATTA, LITTLE ON WNBA RADAR
* ... With the 2007 WNBA Draft in mind, the league's player personnel department has already identified the top college seniors on the NCAA women's circuit.
Point guard Ivory Latta and 6-2 Camille Little of North Carolina are among the players being watched by WNBA talent scouts for future employment.
The "lightning quick" 5-6 Latta is considered the top point guard in the nation by the WNBA Player Personnel Department.
Little is regarded as steady, consistent and a presence in the lane. North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell recently described Little as a tremendous defensive player with an incredible understanding of the game, according to Inside Carolina Magazine.
Other ACC seniors profiled as future draft picks include 6-7 Allison Bales (Duke), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Shay Doron (Maryland), Alicia Gladden (Florida State), Stephenie Higgs (Georgia Tech) and Ashley Key (N.C. State).
For more on Latta ("Leaving Her Mark") and Little ("Tar Heel Spotlight") be sure to read the December 2006 issue of Inside Carolina Magazine that is on sale now.
The December issue also includes articles on former Tar Heel football star Greg Ellis ("Hard-Hitting Heel") and former hoops star Pete Chilcutt ("From Student To Teacher").
Ellis ('98) is currently with the Dallas Cowboys, but was recently sidelined for the season, his ninth in the NFL, with a torn Achilles tendon. Chilcutt ('92), out of the NBA since 2001, recently began working as an elementary school teacher in a suburb of Sacramento, California.
NEWS & NOTES EXTRAS
* Atlanta forward Marvin Williams, out with a broken finger since the end of the preseason, is expected to return for contact drills on December 12. "That's the earliest I can get out there, so I'm going to be ready to go," Williams said in a recent report on his availability by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
* Rashad McCants practiced with the Timberwolves last week. McCants, recovering from surgery to his right knee on June 19, was however limited to noncontact drills, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The team physical therapist says McCants' lean body mass is amazing, he's at his playing weight, he works out hard, but isn't playing basketball yet. Minnesota is being cautious with McCants and will likely wait another four-to-six weeks before a more extensive program is advised.
* Julius Peppers is on the ESPN Monday Night Football stage tonight (8:30 p.m. ET) as his Carolina Panthers (6-5) travel to Philadelphia (5-6) to battle for an NFC playoff spot. Peppers will be looking to pressure the quarterback and add to his league-leading total of 11 sacks.