* With the European pro leagues closed for two-weeks for 2003 European Championship qualifying, Ed Cota was able to travel from Lithuania to be in Chapel Hill last Wednesday for the Heels' exciting come-from-behind 71-67 win over Rutgers.
Cota, now with Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania, recently told Euroleague.net about his plans for his time off. "I prefer to rest when I have an opportunity," Cota said. "Now that my girlfriend has joined me in Kaunas, we enjoy staying at home and watching TV. During the break we will travel to the States for a week to visit our families."
Cota resumes play in Lithuania on November 30.
GOOD START FOR CAPEL
* Atlanta Hawks scout Harold Ellis was asked by NBA.com for his thoughts on NBDL players he considers to be the best NBA prospects.
Ellis, a former NBA player and NBDL assistant coach, included former Tar Heel Jason Capel, now with the Fayetteville Patriots, on his list of players with NBA potential.
"I think Capel needs a year in the NBDL. He has to learn a position, but he definitely has the talent," Ellis said in his breakdown of Capel. "Playing four years at UNC against major talent is a huge plus, but he needs to move away from the four (power forward) to the three (small forward). His father is a coach, and he grew up knowing the game, so he has the background to make it."
Capel scored a season high 18 points on Saturday night. After five games with Fayetteville (2-3) here are his NBDL numbers ...
31.0 MPG | 10.6 PPG | 4.0 RPG | 4.2 APG | .442 FG Pct. | .429 3-pt. FG Pct. | .900 FT Pct.
STACKHOUSE IN 2004?
* The way Jerry Stackhouse sees it, the downfall of USA Basketball's entry in the 2002 World Championship in Indianapolis (3 losses, 6th-place finish) is easy to figure out. "Wrong guys, plain and simple," Stackhouse told the Washington Post last week.
Stackhouse is letting USA Basketball officials know he is ready to be included on the team being put together for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. "I'd love to go, no question about it," stated Stackhouse. "I never put a lot of stock into whether I was selected or not, but if I had an opportunity to do it I would."
* Rasheed Wallace must appear in court on December 6 after being ticketed for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in Washington state last Thursday. Wallace was a passenger, along with Portland teammate Damon Stoudamire, in a vehicle that was stopped for speeding after leaving Seattle.
During a brief news conference on Friday Wallace said, "I'd like to apologize to my wife and kids, to my coach and teammates. All I can say about it is the truth will come to light."
Under Washington state law, misdemeanor marijuana possession is punishable with a fine up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
VINCE READY TO FLY AGAIN?
Reports say that Vince Carter could be back from a strained quadriceps tendon injury as early as Wednesday against the New York Knicks.
Here are the Top 3 indications Carter might be recovered from his nagging left leg injury and ready to play ...
#3. Vince practiced twice last week.
#2. His doctor has cleared him to play.
And, the #1 indication Carter might be ready to play --- Vince was dancing on stage at a rap concert in Toronto last week.