<![CDATA[The Daily Tar Heel: Sports]]> Thu, 20 Jun 2019 10:19:33 -0400 Thu, 20 Jun 2019 10:19:33 -0400 SNworks CEO 2019 The Daily Tar Heel <![CDATA[PREVIEW: Here's where a few former Tar Heels could end up in the NBA draft]]> Thursday's NBA Draft will be a busy one for North Carolina men's basketball, as up to four former Tar Heels could end up hearing their names called. Here's where members of our sports desk think they could end up, and on what team they'd be best suited.

Coby White, guard

Jerome Simpson, staff writer: In November, most NBA draft boards didn't have Coby White ranked as a first-round talent; now, he's primed to be a lottery pick. After taking North Carolina by storm, White is ready for the next level.

White's breakaway speed in the open court has been discussed ad nauseam, but other aspects of his game have come a long way, enough to make him the favorite to be the first Tar Heel drafted.

Of course, the Goldsboro, N.C. native has room to grow. At the next level, he'll need to limit his live ball turnovers and continue to develop into a floor general in the half-court. NBA teams will want him to bump up his 4.1 assists per game.

But White has effectively molded himself into a well-balanced scorer. Yes, he's got the open court speed of John Wall or De'Aaron Fox, but he's also flashed the split dribble of Kyrie Irving and shades of James Harden step-backs. He has the potential to be an elite shot creator.

White is projected as high as No. 5 overall to Cleveland, but most draft boards have him going No. 7 overall to Chicago. The Bulls haven't hidden their desires to upgrade at the point guard position; after three years in the league, Kris Dunn has left organizations with more questions than answers.

Pairing the 6-foot-5 White with Zach LaVine in the backcourt, along with the developing Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. in the frontcourt, could push the Bulls into contention in a few years.

Nassir Little, forward

Matthew Audilet, staff writer: If you were making predictions about Nassir Little's draft position at the beginning of this past season and you said he wouldn't be a lottery pick, you would get some funny looks. Now it looks as though the Tar Heel forward may barely even crack the top 10.

Coming out of high school, Little was ranked third in his class by 247Sports, and many outlets had him going somewhere in the top five of the 2019 draft.

While Little did provide valuable contributions to this year's team, he averaged just under 10 points per game coming off the bench for head coach Roy Williams, leading many to believe his draft stock has slipped.

Still, Little has attributes that are enticing to any NBA team. His high motor and incredible athleticism make him an excellent slasher and finisher. And at 6-foot-6, 224 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he is more than ready physically for the NBA game. Little's handle and ability to create his own shot are where he can improve.

Little's build and style of play is similar to that of Hawks forward Taurean Prince. Both are excellent defenders who can guard any position. Prince is also a recently improved shooter, something Little also needs to work on if he wants to have a long NBA career.

If Little falls, expect the Washington Wizards to take him with the ninth pick. For years, the Wizards have been looking for someone to push them to Eastern Conference contention;now primed for a rebuild or retool around Bradley Beal, Little's high upside could be the infusion of talent they need.

Cameron Johnson, forward

Audilet: If Cam Johnson proved anything in his college career, it's this: he can handle a transition. The graduate transfer arrived at UNC and had an immediate impact in his two years in Chapel Hill. With his style of play, it would be no surprise if Johnson seamlessly made the jump to the next level.

Averaging 47.5 percent from 3-point range last year and standing at nearly 6-foot-9, Johnson is an attractive pick for any team looking for a knock-down shooter with the ability to shoot over smaller defenders. His skillset makes him a perfect piece to pair with players who can draw more than one defender, freeing him out on the wing for open shots.

The most immediate concern teams may have with Johnson is his age; at 23 years old, he's older than some young NBA stars. On the other hand, Johnson is a lower risk than others, as teams don't have to wonder whether he'll reach his potential: he's seemingly already there.

Johnson's upside is similar to that of Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton. Neither will dazzle you with athletic ability, but both have a smooth jumper and the option to pull up over smaller defenders from beyond the arc.

With the 21st pick and a desperate need for three-point shooting, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be an ideal landing spot for Johnson. Opposing defenses would have to focus most of their energy on Russell Westbrook and Paul George, making Johnson a great scoring option on the wing.

Luke Maye, forward

Andrew Reynolds, staff writer: Though he's not expected to be drafted, Maye has worked out with multiple NBA teams, the most interesting of which is the Charlotte Hornets, Maye's hometown team that has the 52nd pick in the draft.

As far as NBA comparisons, Kris Humphries comes to mind, a player that didn't receive significant minutes but contributed in multiple categories. Humphries posted a career 46.3 percent shooting from the field while averaging 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game at the power forward spot.

Maye's smaller build for his position and lack of athleticism have been well documented, but his aggressiveness crashing the boards, which lead to him posting double digits rebounds in the ACC, will help any NBA team. Maye's leadership and high basketball IQ will also help his NBA chances moving forward.

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Anson Dorrance Q&A, part two: On coaching the national team and World Cup predictions]]> The Daily Tar Heel's sports editor Ryan Wilcox recently sat down with Anson Dorrance, the legendary head coach of the North Carolina women's soccer team. In part two of the Q&A (click here for part one), Dorrance talks about his experience coaching the U.S. women's national team, his predictions for former Tar Heels in the World Cup, and more. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity:

You talked about your eight years coaching the national team. How did that experience change how you coach at North Carolina?

It was eye-opening, because obviously the world arena is a higher level than the collegiate arena. I used to get into the world arena with my national team and watch us against these foreign countries, see where we were having problems and take those problems into the incubation center, which is my culture here at North Carolina, and try and solve the problems. If I did solve it, I'd take it back into the world arena and say, "Let's see if this works." And so it was almost like this was my laboratory of the human spirit.

So basically, I had eight years of this cycle, of taking it into the world arena, looking at the problems and bringing it back into this arena to try and solve the problems.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I compare basketball to soccer because they're both pretty dependent on team chemistry, meshing personalities, things like that. What is your personal philosophy, while you're recruiting and building your roster and also while you're actually coaching the team, for managing those personalities?

I think what's critical is to establish what your core values are, and try to (create) a culture that lives the core values. The only way that's going to happen is for you to have good leadership and guide it in the right way. Fortunately, over time, we've had good leadership. Now some years the leadership is absolutely extraordinary and some years it's not as good. But I think it's all based on this foundation of following a set of core values.



We have all of our girls memorize quotes attached to each core value, and we expect them to live them. Then we have each girl evaluate each girl against them. They not only have to understand what our core values are; we want them to live by our core values.

In the book, one of the things you talk about is how excellence is actually mundane. Can you explain that idea?

Actually, I got it from a UNC professor, Howard Aldrich. He uses Chambliss' description of how people become extraordinary in swimming. What he talks about - and it's an analogy not just for swimming, but for anything - is to be excellent in anything is actually mundane. It's basically about grinding. It's about putting more quality time into that exercise, or that discipline, than anyone else is putting in.

And that's the way you become extraordinary. So it's a question of commitment, time, intensity and focus. It's not, like, a trick. It's not like these people are extraordinarily talented, they're just incredibly hardworking and disciplined, and committed to whatever their craft is. There's nothing complex about excellence.

Absolutely. So September will be 41 years coaching UNC women's soccer for you. I know you've said before that you'd like to die on the field. Is that still how you feel?

Well yeah, but for me, obviously, that's humor. I'd rather die in the arms of my loving family. But it's more fun to die on the field right after you've beaten Duke to death, just because of the humor. But yeah, I love coaching, and one day, obviously, it's going to end. I probably would not die on the field, but I have no issue with doing it that way, because that would certainly be a glorious way to go. There are a lot of worse ways to go.

But you're still passionate about it?

I love it. That is the indirect point, is that I absolutely love it.

Forty years of women's soccer, and UNC men's soccer before that - how do you think you've changed personally as a coach during that time?

As anyone in the coaching profession will tell you, you're always going to be evolving in the game. So I'm continuing to learn, and the game continues to evolve, so you have to continue to change to stay caught up.

Which is another reason why I'm looking forward to this World Cup. A lot of people are asking me, "Anson, are you going to France?" No. I can't imagine a worse way to study the World Cup than by going. Then I spend half my time trying to figure out where the stadium is, trying to find a place to park, walking to the stadium, getting lost trying to find my seat, then missing four or five games. I'm gonna sit on my couch and watch every friggin' game.

I'm not just a fan of the game. I'm a student of the game, so to be an effective student I have to watch every game. For me, I've got all these different curiosities, and the best way to study this is not to go, but to stay here and watch every game.

When you're studying the game, are you watching it one time, or are you going back and breaking down the film - rewinding, that kind of thing?

I am rewinding - I'm probably not breaking down the film. I am developing opinions on every match, then obviously reading the opinions of other experts. I'm also listening to the color commentators to see if they reflect my views, and if they don't I want to see why they're saying that and I'm thinking something else. There will be books written about this event, especially if we win or if a dark horse wins.

But I'm also not naive; some games can turn on good luck and bad luck. There are a lot of things that can happen in a game where the inferior team can win, or the superior team can have some bad luck with an injury or something else and lose a game. There are a lot of different things we can look at in this event to study where our game is, where the rest of the world is, and come out of this thing being a better educated coach.

You have five former players on this year's World Cup team. Generally speaking, when that kind of talent comes to your program, do you always know it immediately, or does it take a while for those people to develop?

Here's what you know: you know what their talent level is. But as I mentioned earlier, talent is overrated, which is why excellence is mundane. The excuse that a lot of people would love to give for why that person is such an incredible performer on the piano (for example): "Oh gosh, the talent of this person is extraordinary."

When you start using statements like that and attributing it to talent, it's a narrative to protect you from the fact that you haven't done anything. For anyone that's achieved anything, work has gotten them there. We try to recruit incredible talent, but they don't always make it. So there are other factors involved.

What do you expect from (former Tar Heel) Tobin Heath in this World Cup?

She can be a game changer. She has this incredible capacity to beat people off the dribble, and she's wonderfully creative. She's immensely entertaining, and her skill set is extraordinary. She could be the margin of victory for the United States. She has the ability to score goals, but also create goals. She'll also fight like hell, she will compete the whole time and she could end up having an extraordinary World Cup.

What about Crystal Dunn?

Crystal Dunn, like Tobin, will start for the United States. Her best quality is her ability to beat people off the dribble. She could be a devastating attacking outside back. She also needs to have a good World Cup defensively because right now, if there's any criticism of the United States, it's the defense.

Last question: your prediction for the World Cup? I'm sure you expect the U.S. to go back-to-back.

Yeah, I think the U.S. will win, but I think Germany's got a shot, I think England has a shot. I think the best chance of an upset might be France in the second round after group play. We will have no issue with our group - I think we'll walk through it, it's a relatively easy group. The only challenge in that group is Sweden. If we get through France (after group play), I think the betting odds in Vegas would change, and it would skyrocket for the United States.

It's going to be an eye-opening World Cup. I can't wait.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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UNC women's soccer head coach Anson Dorrance looks on during his team's 2-0 win over Ohio State on Aug. 19 at Finley Fields South. The victory was his 1,000th in a decorated career.

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<![CDATA[Tar Heels in the pros: Danny Green joins rare company, captures second NBA title]]> The Toronto Raptors' historic victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals gave the country of Canada and Raptors fans what they've been searching for since the beginning of the organization: an NBA title. While this accomplishment marks a series of firsts for the Raptors organization, North Carolina basketball alum Danny Green is no stranger to the championship podium.

Green joined the list of former Tar Heels to earn an NBA ring when he won his first championship with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014. He averaged 9.2 points per game on 53 percent shooting and shot 45 percent behind the arc in the Finals.

That title didn't just add Green's name to a list of Tar Heel champions, though. The victory also cemented his name on a much shorter list with some pretty elite company.

Green became one of the few players who've won both an NCAA and an NBA championship, joining NBA legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. The only other Tar Heels to accomplish this feat are legendary themselves; James Worthy and Michael Jordan won it all at UNC together back in 1982, and then both went on to become champions in the pros.

With Thursday's Finals victory, Green joins Worthy and Jordan in this right, as well: Tar Heels with multiple NBA championships.

Green was acquired by the Raptors last offseason in a trade that was headlined by Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan. Toronto's general manager, Masai Ujiri, correctly guessed that the addition of Leonard, paired with Green's skills as a spot-up shooter and defender, could help propel the Raptors to a Finals run.

Green's efforts as a role player were invaluable to the Raptors success. He averaged 10.3 points per game during the regular season on an extremely efficient 45 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. Green was an integral part of Toronto's balanced scoring attack, as he was one of six Raptors who averaged double figures in scoring throughout the season.

During this year's Finals, Green was largely a non-factor except for a breakout 18-point performance that helped push the Raptors to an important Game 3 road victory. Green helped counter Stephen Curry's six 3-pointers and massive 47 point scoring night with six 3-pointers of his own. After the Warriors lost a pair of stars in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Raptors needed their role players to step up, and Green did just that.

Green will always be a Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred, but winning a second NBA title in Toronto will give him some fond memories of the Raptor red.

@Matthew_Audilet

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Danny Green hoists the 2009 NCAA championship trophy with his team. Green has since gone on to win the NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs. (DTH File Photo)

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<![CDATA[Anson Dorrance Q&A: UNC legend talks team-building and the new edition of his book]]> The Daily Tar Heel's sports editor Ryan Wilcox recently sat down with Anson Dorrance, the legendary head coach of the North Carolina women's soccer team. In part one of the Q&A, Dorrance discusses the new edition of his 2002 book, "Vision of a Champion: Advice And Inspiration From The World's Most Successful Women's Soccer Coach", co-written with Gloria Averbuch, and how to build a culture of competitiveness in women's sports. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity:

How did you and Gloria meet and decide on the process of writing the book?

You know, I don't even remember anymore. She had a daughter that played that we ended up recruiting, so my guess is because of her daughter's involvement in soccer, she probably approached us about writing the book. She would certainly know better than I, but I think she approached us and I liked her idea.

I had one book out there already, a book I wrote with Tim Nash, and that was a book we wrote for coaches. I think what she pitched me was to write a book for players, and of course part of her motivation was her daughter (Yael Averbuch). What was wonderful about her kid's evolution - and also in a way as a selling point for the book - was her kid ended up coming to play for us. She started for us her freshman year, which is obviously very rare.

In her sophomore year, which is even more rare, she had such an incredible season, she was the national player of the year… a lot of the principles we talk about in the book are to have a player like Yael go from where she was, and then from hard work, she could get to her potential.

What are the two or three biggest things that you want people to take away from the book?

I think for anyone to reach their potential, they have to set up their own training and development platforms. When we originally started developing the U.S. women's national team, much of what we had to rely on was this idea of self-coaching. We needed to recruit kids that were intrinsically motivated, but also would do the right things in training on their own to get to their potential.

I think the design of this book was along the lines of the way we won that first national championship. Because back in those days, we didn't have that many chances to get together. We didn't have that many matches in preparation. So for us, what we had to do was to find these extraordinary people that not only were very talented players, but had the self discipline to choose the right things to do on their own.

The name of the book is appropriately taken from...I was driving to work one day in the second semester of Mia Hamm's senior year, and it was kind of cold out, and it was relatively early in the morning. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see this figure going five (yards) and back, ten and back, fifteen and back. It's a grueling exercise we call "cones," and I was so impressed because obviously it was one of my kids. Without her even realizing, I pulled in the parking lot and I'm watching this kid.

Between these sprints you can see, Mia hunched over from the exhaustion, the effort that she was putting in. I drove in to work, I scribbled a note to her, I dropped it in the mail and I forgot about it. Ten years later, after she had become world famous, she sent me a copy of her book called "Go for the Goal." There on the breastplate of the book was the note I had written her: "The vision of a champion is someone bent over drenched in sweat at the point of exhaustion when no one is watching."

That's a great story. In Sports Illustrated 20 years ago, Mia Hamm said "I grew up always good at sports, but being a girl I was never allowed to feel as good about it as the guys were. My toughness wasn't celebrated, but when I came here (to Chapel Hill) it was OK to want to be the best." How do you foster that sort of competitive environment, especially back then - and still now - when it's not as common for women to be that way?

Our women are sort of culturally pushed in the direction of being "pleasers." We as males are lauded for being competitive. In the culture of girls and young women, they're not. If they're competing, they're considered b------ and they're excoriated by their own culture.

We wanted to have a culture that embraced competitive women and supported them. The way we do that is through this tool we call the competitive cauldron. It's basically an exercise where every element of practice is a competition, and it's evaluated and recorded to demonstrate where everyone is in 28 different categories.



If you lose it, you're gonna see your name at the bottom of a list. What that did is it gave the girls permission to compete. Here's what all of us know: you don't develop in a recreational environment. You develop when someone's pushing you. You develop psychological strength when you compete, and you develop a standard for your own excellence if someone else is trying to compete against you. That's the environment we wanted to structure, and I think that's what separates our culture.

How difficult was that to institute, especially in the early years, when that wasn't -

It wasn't difficult. We just started recording everything - and we don't beat them over the head with it - we just record it and post it, and they get to do with it whatever they want. But what I want them to do with it is to look at it and say, "You know what, I'm sick and tired of genuflecting to my teammates. I'm gonna start ripping heads off." And so it wasn't difficult.

These are competitive athletes, and so for a lot of them, like what Mia's quote is all about, it's like a duck to water. "At last, someone is encouraging me to compete!" So now, when these athletes finally get here, it's like, "Oh my gosh, this place exists? Where you're patting me on the back for beating everyone to death?" Yeah, it does exist, it's right here in Chapel Hill. I think that's what separated us.

So that's how you think most girls would respond, with a sigh of relief, basically?

Not all girls. But these girls that I recruit, yes.

Stay tuned for part two of the Q&A, where Dorrance talks about his experience coaching the U.S. women's national team and his predictions for former Tar Heels in the World Cup.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Series recap: UNC baseball has its season ended in Super Regional versus Auburn]]> A trip to the College World Series. That's what was on the line forthe North Carolina baseball team as it competed in the Chapel Hill Super Regional against Auburn.

But in the drama-packed three games, it was the Tigers who reigned victorious, benefiting from three high-scoring innings over the weekend to punch their ticket to Omaha, Neb., and to end the Tar Heels' season.

In Game 1, North Carolina's offense started off fast, carrying over the energy from the ACC Tournament and regional round, where the Tar Heels scored a combined 61 runs in seven games.

First-year Aaron Sabato hit an RBI double down the right field line to score junior Michael Busch, then a single from junior Ashton McGee scored two more runs for a 3-0 lead in the first inning. That helped the Tar Heels to a 5-2 advantage heading into the eighth inning, needing just six outs to secure the Game 1 victory.

Then it happened - the UNC bullpen faltered. In the last two innings, Auburn exploded to score nine runs on six hits, handing North Carolina its first Game 1 loss in a Super Regional since 2003 against South Carolina.

Still, the Tar Heels had been in 1-0 deficits before. In the regular season, North Carolina lost the opening game in three ACC series this season - against Miami, Virginia Tech and Virginia - and won the next two games in all three to secure series wins.

In Game 2, the UNC offense again found its groove early. With two men on base in the first inning, third baseman Ike Freeman hit a single to left field, driving in a pair of runs to grab a 2-0 lead.

Those runs were all the Tar Heels needed to secure the victory.

On the mound, a pair of Austins -Austin Bergner and Austin Love - pitched for UNC and combined to shut out the Tigers. A mixture of dominance on the mound in Game 2 and the ability to secure an early lead allowed the Tar Heels to force a winner-take-all Game 3 on Monday.

Unlike the previous two games, though, it was the Tiger offense that started off strong in the rubber match.

The top of the first inning lasted nearly an hour, and was filled with Auburn offense. The team scored 13 runs, the second most in an inning in NCAA tournament history. In addition, head coach Mike Fox was forced to make three pitching changes before getting out of the inning.

Throughout the game UNC was forced to play catch up. The Tar Heels scored seven runs in the contest, but the massive deficit they faced was too much for them to overcome. North Carolina lost Game 3 of the Super Regional, 14-7, to end its season.

With the loss, the 2019 North Carolina baseball season came to a bitter end, one game away from reaching a second straight College World Series. Bullpen struggles from UNC and three huge offensive innings by Auburn - which allowed them to rally late in Game 1 and take a commanding lead in Game 3 - secured the trip to Omaha for the Tigers, and ended the Tar Heels' impressive 2019 season.

@TorreNetkovick

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[UNC not to renew contract of track and field head coach, Harlis Meaders]]> Next season, North Carolina's track and field and cross country teams will have a new head coach.

The University has elected not to renew the contract of Harlis Meaders, which expires at the end of June, the athletic department announced in a statement Tuesday. Meaders, the head coach and director of both the track and field and cross country programs, has held the position since 2012 after 18 total years of working in athletics at Florida State University. He ended his FSU career as an associate head coach of 8 years.

"Harlis is a great and caring Tar Heel, and I have even more respect for him today than when I hired him in 2012,'' director of athletics Bubba Cunningham said in the statement. "He has been an outstanding role model to our students, a caring teammate to our staff and a great example for our alumni. We always will be proud to have him as a member of our Carolina family. However, we have not achieved the level of competitive success in our track and field program that we expect, and it is time to take the program in a new direction."

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

"I would like to thank director Cunningham for providing me the opportunity to lead the track and field and cross country programs over the last seven years," Meaders said in the statement. "It has truly been a labor of love to serve my alma mater."

Last season, UNC men's track and field placed 12th at the ACC Indoor Championships and seventh at the ACC Outdoor Championships, while the women's team finished 10th at outdoors and tied for 10th at indoors.

"Over the last several years, our program has faced a number of non-traditional variables that have hindered our program's ability to reach both director Cunningham's and my personal goals for UNC to be a top 10 program in the country and a top 3 program in the ACC," Meaders said. "So, while I am disappointed with the decision not renew my contract, I do agree that I have not reached our common goal.

"Thank you to everyone that has assisted me in this labor of love," Meaders continued. "It has been amazing and I could not have accomplished any of this without your help."

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Harlis Meaders, UNC's track and field head coach, addresses the team after a January meet.

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<![CDATA[UNC's Julius Peppers named to College Football Hall of Fame ballot]]> A North Carolina football great may soon be honored for his achievements, now that his storied career has wound to a close.

In 2020, Julius Peppers, arguably the best defensive end to ever suit up for UNC, will appear for the first time on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

College Football Hall of Fame rules specify that players become eligible to appear on the ballot once their college career has been over for ten or more years and they are no longer playing at the professional level. Peppers left UNC in 2002 and announced his retirement from the NFL in February after a 17-year career, so 2020 marks his first year of eligibility.

Peppers amassed spectacular numbers at UNC between 1998 and 2001, accumulating 30.5 sacks (the second-most in school history), 167 tackles, five interceptions, five forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns. In 2000, he also came one sack shy of tying Lawrence Taylor's single season school record of 16.0.

In 2001, Peppers won the Lombardi Award for the best lineman in college football, the Chuck Bednarik Award for the best defensive player and was a first-team all-American selection.

If selected for induction, Peppers would join six other Tar Heels in the College Football Hall of Fame, including head coach Mack Brown, who was inducted in 2018.

"Julius Peppers is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football at both the professional and collegiate level," Brown said in a statement. "When he's eventually inducted, and I believe he will be, he'll be an extremely deserving addition to this prestigious list of all-time great college football players."

Following his success at UNC, Peppers was selected second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He had an immediate impact and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year after posting 12 sacks, five forced fumbles and a pick.

"I'm honored to have been able to have coached him," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told WCNC Charlotte in February, shortly after Peppers' retirement. Rivera coached the Panthers during Peppers' last two years with the franchise.

"He really will be one of the more iconic guys to have played for us, and we're very fortunate to have had him on this football team," Rivera said.

Peppers' NFL career included a few seasons with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but he spent the bulk of his career in Carolina, playing ten years with the Panthers. By the time he retired, Peppers had played 17 years in the NFL and had accumulated 159.5 sacks, the fourth most in league history.

"He was a high pick and so few guys actually live up to that, and he did in every way," New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "What an amazing player over the course of a long period of time."

The 2020 class of inductees to the College Football Hall of Fame will include 13 players and two coaches. The class will be unveiled in January before next year's College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans.

@JakeRichardDTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA['Like your family': One bad inning creates emotional end to UNC baseball season]]> "The last day," head coach Mike Fox said, "is always sad."

Michael Busch and Aaron Sabato, stalwarts all year long for the North Carolina baseball team, will attest: the last day is always sad. After the Tar Heels' season-ending 14-7 loss to Auburn in the Chapel Hill Super Regional, both players were, understandably, visibly upset.

"That series, it was tough," Busch said. That was as far as he got before trailing off, overcome by emotion. Busch, a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in last week's MLB Draft, likely played his last game in a Tar Heel jersey on Monday.

The team had forced a Game 3 the day prior, shutting out the Tigers in a complete 2-0 win. But much like the Game 1 loss on Saturday, in which Auburn scored nine runs in the last two innings, one bad stretch of baseball cost the Tar Heels in Monday's rubber match.

This time, it came in the first inning, a 13-run frame that lasted nearly an hour by itself. Nine of those Auburn scores came with two outs, and Fox burned through three pitchers, starting with sophomore Joey Lancellotti, before first-year Will Sandy got UNC out of the nightmare inning.

"Joey Lancellotti's done it for us all year," Busch said. "That's a guy that we want on the mound, and he just didn't have it today."

The Tar Heels managed seven runs of their own throughout - a pair of Sabato home runs helped - but never quite matched that first-inning explosion from the Tigers.

That's frustrating. And season finales are emotional regardless. But at year's end, what was felt by UNC baseball seemed to go beyond the typical season-ending woe, beyond the ups and downs of 60-plus games together and a deflating blowout to top it off.

This team, to Fox, was "like your children. They're like your family."

"That's the hard part of coaching," the veteran skipper said. "Any coach will tell you, in any sport, the hard part is when you have a team you really love and you really enjoy, they're fun to be around and they keep you young and really make you still believe in coaching and why you do it."

And then, one day, whether your season ends in a Super Regional loss or a championship win, it has to come to a close.

"This team is why I do it," Fox said, continuing, "I want to keep being able to answer that question - why do I keep doing it? It's never been for the wins and losses. It's a big part of it obviously, but it's been because of (Busch and Sabato) and others."

A second straight appearance in the College World Series wasn't in the cards. But for Fox, the end of the season represented more than just a missed trip to Omaha, Neb..

"You always hate to see your family broken up," he said. "That's kind of what happens at the end of the year."

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[At Antawn Jamison's basketball camp, kids learn more than just the game]]> Jordan Dominie was in the middle of explaining how the basketball camp he was attending was teaching him more than just how to play the game, when he was grabbed and put into a scrimmage.

"I'll be back in a minute," he shouted over his shoulder as his teammates hustled him into position.

It's Dominie's third year in a row attending Antawn Jamison's All-Star Camp in Chapel Hill. For him and about 125 other campers like him, the camp teaches skills beyond what is needed to play on the court.

Jamison has made it a point not just to run layup lines and show 10-year-olds how to execute a split cut after a pass. For his camp, he's brought in lessons about nutrition and yoga in an effort to improve his campers' overall health and wellness.

"The days and ages have changed," Jamison said. "When I came up, I'd eat Krispy Kreme donuts, pizza and all this other stuff and go about your merry way."

Before, nutrition wasn't something amateur players even considered. Now, it's being taught to children as young as six, giving them the same tips and tricks the former Tar Heel used throughout his NBA career - like practicing yoga.

Jamison said he started incorporating yoga about eight years into his career, and he credits it for extending his playing time "another eight years." The Charlotte native was a two-time All-Star during his 16 years in the NBA, a career that included over 20,000 total points and a Sixth Man of the Year award in 2004.

"I just want them to know the importance of what this stuff means," Jamison said. "Even though you're young, you're at a young age, you can start now. You can start having that vision of, 'These are the things I have to do in order to be successful, (to) be able to get ahead of the game and take advantage of it.' We've always incorporated things like that."

In addition to helping the kids work on their personal fitness, Jamison has brought in outside speakers in the past. Last year, a police officer came to speak to the campers in an attempt to build a better relationship with kids, given the heightened atmosphere involving policing in America.

The camp is in its 14th year of operation, and its sixth in Chapel Hill. When the opportunity for Jamison to move his camp to the same court he played on in college, he jumped at it.

Now, campers not only get to play beneath North Carolina's six NCAA championship banners, but they also get to interact with UNC players who volunteer at the camp.

"It's kind of fun that they know your name and know who you are," senior guard Brandon Robinson said. "They just love to joke around. It kinda just brings me back to my childhood when I was in their shoes, when I was going to camp and growing up. It's good to see a smile on their face."

It's Robinson's third year in a row working at the camp. When he was growing up, his father worked at Georgia Tech, and he regularly attended their summer basketball camp. Now, he says he feels wants to give these kids the same feeling he had working with older players.

Jamison is right there with him. Only, the former All-Star isn't just giving back with his time. About 90 of the campers are attending free of charge on scholarships provided by different charities, including Camp Corral, a free summer camp for children of military service members.

"You can tell that these kids who might not normally get the opportunity, they really enjoy it; they go out there and compete and have a good time," Jamison said. "They're exposed to something they probably wouldn't get exposed to, and I think they really get the most out of it."

The Tar Heel legend, one of just eight players to have his number retired at UNC, played in his backyard, and the local playgrounds in Charlotte. For Jamison, it's an opportunity to give kids an experience he never had.

"I think if I did have an opportunity to go to a former professional basketball player's camp, if my mom and dad had an opportunity to pay for it or even get me there," Jamison said, "(it) would have made a world of difference."

@bg_keyes

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Campers at Antawn Jamison playing in a scrimmage in the Dean Smith Center.

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<![CDATA[Nightmarish first inning ends UNC's season in Super Regional against Auburn]]> A disastrous start against Auburn (38-26, 14-16 SEC) in Game 3 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional led to a season-ending 14-7 loss for the North Carolina baseball team (46-19, 17-13 ACC) on Monday.

The Tar Heels gave up 13 runs in the top of the first, making for the second-highest scoring inning in NCAA tournament history.

What happened?

UNC's nightmare first inning began with sophomore pitcher Joey Lancellotti walking the first four batters he saw, giving the Tigers the easiest run of the weekend before the game's first out was recorded.

Lancellotti quickly came off the mound for first-year Connor Ollio, who wasn't able to make things much better. Ollio allowed four runs thanks to a pair of singles and a bunt, giving Auburn a 5-0 lead.

Ollio was in turn pulled for redshirt senior Hansen Butler, who gave up a three-run shot to right field to the first batter he faced. A pair of singles and a fielding error by second baseman Ashton McGee meant another three runs with Butler on the mound. Butler was replaced by first-year Will Sandy, who came on with two outs facing an 11-0 deficit.

Before the third out was delivered, bringing the hour-long half-inning to an end, the Tigers found two more runs with a single from Matt Scheffler. By the time an Auburn baserunner was tagged for the third out, the Tar Heels had dug themselves a 13-0 hole.

In the fourth inning, McGee cut into Auburn's lead with a three-run shot to right field, but it proved not to be enough for a full-fledged comeback.

After another RBI single from Auburn, UNC managed four more runs - a pair of homers from Aaron Sabato and an RBI groundout from Jackson Hesterlee - but it was too little, too late. UNC's season came to an end with a 14-7 drubbing.

Who stood out?

After delivering the third out of the first inning, Sandy remained on the mound for the Tar Heels until the seventh. He finished with seven hits, but no earned runs in 5.2 innings.

McGee finished with three RBIs on 2-3 at the plate, while Sabato's two home runs earned him three RBIs as well.

When was it decided?

The early explosion from Auburn ensured one of two possibilities: a historic comeback from North Carolina, or an embarrassing Game 3 loss. On Monday, it was the latter.

Though McGee's home run in the fourth put some wind back in the sails of Tar Heel fans, the sizable Auburn lead proved too much to overcome.

Why does it matter?

After UNC's Sunday shutout win forced a decisive Game 3, Monday's loss eliminated the Tar Heels from postseason play, denying them a second straight bid to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

UNC's inability to come up with a final out in the first inning proved critical. Nine of Auburn's runs to start the game came with two outs.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Members of UNC track and field earn All-America honors at NCAA Championships]]> Members of the North Carolina track and field team competed in the NCAA Championships from Wednesday through Saturday in Austin, Texas. Redshirt first-year Madison Wiltrout and redshirt junior Nicole Greene won first team All-America honors, while the men's 4x400 relay earned second team All-America honors.

What happened?

The men's 4x400 relay team kicked off the event for the Tar Heels on Wednesday, composed of sophomore Isaiah Palmer, junior Ari Cogdell, sophomore Jadon Johnson and sophomore Ryan Saint-Germain. The team placed 10th out of 22 teams with a time of 3:05.11, a season best, to earn second team All-America honors for the season.

Adverse weather conditions on Thursday pushed back the women's javelin toss to Friday. Wiltrout, however, still performed at the exceptional level she has all season, as she threw for 181 feet and one inch and placed third in the event. This mark gave Wiltrout a first team All-America honor.

The last event for the Tar Heels was the women's high jump Saturday afternoon. Greene continued to excel in the event as she has done all season for North Carolina. With a jump of 6 feet 1.5 inches, Greene placed a close second and missed first place by half an inch. Greene's jump earned her first team All-American honors, however.

Who stood out?

Every athlete North Carolina sent to the NCAA Championships walked away with All-American honors. The men's relay team was named second team All-American with its 10th place finish Wednesday, while Wiltrout and Greene were named first team All-Americans Friday and Saturday, respectively. Greene's second place in the women's high jump was the best finish in an outdoor event by a Tar Heel since 2006.

When was it decided?

After Greene and her opponent failed to clear the six feet, 2.75 inch mark, a jump off started to crown an NCAA champion. On her second jump, Texas Tech's Zarriea Willis cleared the mark and earned first place, while Greene placed a close second and missed first by half an inch.

Why does it matter?

Head coach Harlis Meaders was pleased with his athletes' performances in their respective events.

"We still haven't accomplished all our goals by any means," Meaders said. "We want to be more consistent with higher finishes in the conference, we want to be more consistent with higher finishes at the NCAA Championships. But I think that we've assembled a fantastic staff, and I think that if you look closely you see that the pieces are starting to come together."

When do they play next?

The North Carolina track and field season concluded Saturday with the NCAA Championships. The team will start the indoor portion of the 2019-2020 season in the winter.

@A_ReynoldsDTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Harlis Meaders, UNC's track and field head coach, addresses the team after a January meet.

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<![CDATA[UNC baseball uses two-run first inning, shutout pitching to tie Super Regional]]> Game 2 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional on Sunday started off much like Game 1 did.

The North Carolina baseball team jumped out again to an early lead against Auburn, bolstered by the 1-2 combo of junior Michael Busch and first-year Aaron Sabato. The Tar Heels again limited the Tigers in the game's early stages, thanks mostly to a stellar performance on the mound from a junior right-handed pitcher.

The ending of Game 2 was different, though. This time, there would be no late collapse, and the early UNC runs would prove enough. This time, with their backs against the wall, the Tar Heels held on for a 2-0 win, doing just enough at the plate and on the mound to even the series and force a decisive Game 3 on Monday.

The only two runs of the day came in the first frame, when the bat of Busch and the eye of Sabato put them both on base. When they advanced to third and second, respectively, on a balk, it was junior Ike Freeman who brought them home with a single to left center.

"Those were huge," Freeman said. "We definitely needed that. But we talk all the time, we don't rely on the offense. Pitching and defense wins game. We put pressure on them - we also left a lot of guys on base - but our pitchers picked us up."

After using six pitchers on Saturday, head coach Mike Fox only needed two on Sunday - starting with Austin Bergner, the aforementioned junior righty, who gave up four hits in 4.1 innings while walking four.

"He was able to make the pitches that he needed to," Fox said. "It probably wasn't quite his best, as sharp as he was his last outing (against Tennessee last weekend), but he did enough."

Bergner split the pitching burden with Austin Love, who personified the difference between Game 1 and Game 2 for UNC. In 4.2 innings, the redshirt first-year allowed just two hits and no walks, shutting out the Tigers while throwing six strikeouts.

"I felt like Austin was going to be good today," Fox said. "I didn't know he was going to be that good."

Compare that to the previous day, when Love gave up two runs in an inning's time against the Tigers before being pulled.

"Everybody was still positive and everything, picking us up," Love said, speaking for the Tar Heel bullpen. "Obviously we struggled more than normal, but they were just saying 'Come back, we know you still have the good stuff in there. We just need to see it tomorrow.'"

The good stuff came on Sunday.

"I think yesterday, I was just falling behind in the count a lot," Love said. "So today I was trying to make sure every first pitch was a strike. It really helped a lot."

Next, the Tar Heels will look to complete the comeback against Auburn on Monday. If they do, it will mean the team's second straight appearance in the College World Series - but it would be the first appearance for Love, who was busy with summer ball after his redshirt season and is now looking to make his mark.

"I was kind of upset that I didn't get to make the trip out," Love said. "Hoping this year will be the year I make it out there."

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[UNC baseball holds off Auburn 2-0, ties up best-of-three Super Regional]]> Thanks to a strong first inning and a pair of stellar performances on the mound, the North Carolina baseball team (46-18, 17-13 ACC) edged Auburn (37-26, 14-16 SEC) 2-0 on Sunday, tying the best-of-three Chapel Hill Super Regional of the NCAA tournament.

What happened?

After scoring three times in the opening frame on Saturday, the Tar Heels got off to another strong start, earning two runs in the first inning thanks to junior Ike Freeman's RBI single that plated junior Michael Busch and first-year Aaron Sabato.

Busch hit a leadoff single and Sabato drew a walk, allowing UNC to punch in its only scores of the day.

Though subsequent pop-ups from Dylan Harris and Dylan Enwiller stranded three Tar Heels on base, North Carolina was able to grab a 2-0 lead, one which proved enough on Sunday.

It looked like the Tigers were going to answer with some runs of their own in the first inning, but Austin Bergner was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam to keep Auburn at bay. Bergner settled down considerably after that, and UNC kept the good times rolling on the mound with redshirt first-year Austin Love coming on during the fifth inning.

Despite stranding eight runners in the first four innings alone, North Carolina got enough out of its bats in the first inning, and from the combination of Bergner and Love, to grab the win and even the series.

Who stood out?

After going for seven innings against Tennessee last weekend, allowing just four hits and two runs to send the Tar Heels to the Super Regional, Bergner gave UNC a scoreless 4.1 innings on the mound Sunday to keep the Tigers at bay in the early stages.

Love was also excellent in relief of Bergner, giving up two hits, no walks and no runs in 4.2 innings.

When was it decided?

Trailing by just a pair of runs, it felt as though Auburn was always within reach, especially in light of the Tigers' nine-run explosion in the last two innings on Saturday.

On Sunday, though, the Tar Heel bullpen was much improved in the form of Love, and the two-man effort on the mound propelled the team to a low-scoring, series-tying win.

Why does it matter?

With the victory, the Tar Heels are now just one win away from a second straight trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

After allowing nine runs to Auburn in the last two frames of Game 1, North Carolina didn't give up single a run to the Tigers over nine innings on Sunday, the team's first shutout since a May 14 win against High Point.

When do they play next?

UNC will look to take the rubber match of the best-of-three series tomorrow at 1 p.m.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA['That's why you play nine innings': UNC collapses late in Super Regional loss]]> "Uncharacteristic."

That's the word North Carolina head baseball coach Mike Fox used to describe his team's performance in Game 1 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional on Saturday, in which the Tar Heels allowed nine runs to Auburn in the last two innings.

"We obviously felt good with a 5-2 lead with one out in the eighth," Fox said. "That's why you play nine innings."

Up until that point, nearly everything had gone UNC's way. The Tar Heels came out ready, scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI double from first-year Aaron Sabato and an RBI single from junior Ashton McGee.

And aside from allowing a two-run home run in the fifth, junior pitcher Tyler Baum was dominant for the Tar Heels. In 6.1 innings, Baum allowed four hits and two earned runs, registering seven strikeouts on 104 pitches.

"I think I just kinda kept them off balance," Baum said when asked about the key to his success. "I used my curveball pretty well today, so just kinda mixing it up and not letting them really know what's going to come."

Baum, who on Monday was taken 66th overall in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, looked in a league of his own.

"It's been an unbelievable pleasure to coach Tyler Baum, and you can see why," Fox said. "He saved maybe one of his best outings of his career for the biggest stage."

When Baum came off the mound in the seventh, the Tar Heels held a 4-2 lead, needing just eight outs from their bullpen to secure the win. Another run in the bottom of the seventh inning gave North Carolina a 5-2 cushion.

"In college baseball, no lead is too big," Sabato said. "So for us, we always want to put runs on the board."

But then came the Tigers. As Fox said, "We just didn't finish the game."

The wheels came off in the eighth, when Auburn's Conor Davis hit a double down the left field line to bat in a run. He later scored from third on a wild pitch; then, a double from Rankin Woley allowed three Tigers to score.

Four more Auburn runs came in the ninth, thanks to a sacrifice fly and a three-run shot from Edouard Julien that put the nail in the coffin.

All told, five North Carolina pitchers took the mound after Baum, though none were able to replicate his success.

The Tar Heels manufactured two runs with their backs against the wall, but the two-out rally in the ninth fell short. With the final out, the Tigers claimed a 1-0 lead in the Super Regional.

Though Fox admitted that the loss would be "a tough one to swallow," he reiterated the importance of having a short memory.

"It's one game," Fox said. "This group is pretty good at letting things go. That one's gonna be tough, but it is what it is. You've gotta stay positive."

Sabato agreed, and said the best-of-three matchup with Auburn is "just like any other series."

In a lot of ways, it is. And the Tar Heels have been in this position before; Fox pointed to the Virginia series earlier this year, when UNC dropped the first game and won the next two.

"We're not in totally uncharted territory," he said.

Fox continued: "We win as a team, we lose as a team. That's been our bond. So I won't have to say a whole lot.

"Our guys will be ready tomorrow."

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Nine runs in last two innings sink UNC in Game 1 of Super Regional versus Auburn]]> After giving up nine runs in the last two innings, the North Carolina baseball team (45-18, 17-13 ACC) fell to Auburn (37-25, 14-16 SEC) 11-7 in Game 1 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional of the NCAA tournament.

What happened?

The Tar Heels got things started early when a double from first-year Aaron Sabato batted in junior Michael Busch, who earned a walk after leading off for UNC.

After a single and subsequent steal from Danny Serretti, junior Ashton McGee poked a base hit up the middle, allowing Sabato and Serretti to score and giving the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead at the end of the first inning.

In the first four innings, UNC starter Tyler Baum was stellar on the mound, recording six strikeouts and allowing no runs on just one hit. In the fifth, the Tigers broke through, though, answering back with Steven Williams' two-run home run to right field that cut the North Carolina lead to one.

In their next chance at the plate, the Tar Heels stretched the lead back to two when Freeman's single batted in Sabato, giving the team its first run since the game's opening inning.

In the bottom of the seventh Sabato tacked on an RBI single, his third hit of the day, to bring the Tar Heel lead back to three.

A disastrous last two innings sank the Tar Heels, however. The Tigers benefitted from a wild pitch and a pair of RBI doubles to score five runs in the eighth, forcing North Carolina to use three different pitchers in the frame. By the time the third out was secured, Auburn had grabbed momentum and a 7-5 lead.

After tagging up from third on a fly ball in the ninth, the Tigers put the nail in the coffin with a two-out, three-run shot from Edouard Julien over the right field wall, giving them an 11-5 lead.

Down to their last three outs and facing a six-run deficit, the Tar Heels managed a pair of runs, but were unable to complete the comeback, falling into a 1-0 hole in the Super Regional round.

Who stood out?

Baum impressed on the mound for most of the day, fresh off of being selected 66th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the MLB Draft on Monday. In 6.1 innings, Baum allowed four hits and two earned runs, registering seven strikeouts on 104 pitches.

Sabato, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, was a bright spot at the plate, going 3-5 at the plate with a pair of RBIs. McGee added two singles, one of which batted in two Tar Heels, to help give North Carolina separation early.

When was it decided?

The eighth inning rally from Auburn seemed to take the wind out of the Tar Heels' sails, and the four-run ninth inning all but ended North Carolina's hopes. After managing just two runs after the first inning on Saturday, UNC will need to regroup quickly to earn a second straight trip to the College World Series.

Why does it matter?

With the loss, the Tar Heels are now staring down a 1-0 deficit in the best-of-three series against the Tigers, with the winner advancing to Omaha.

Though none aside from Baum stayed for long, North Carolina was forced to put six different pitchers on the mound on Saturday, several of which contributed to the six-run explosion from Auburn in the last two innings.

When do they play next?

Game 2 of the Super Regional will begin Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in Chapel Hill, when the Tar Heels will look to avoid a season-ending loss.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Former UNC guard Seventh Woods to transfer to South Carolina]]> After three years as part of the North Carolina men's basketball, former Tar Heel guard Seventh Woods will spend his final year of eligibility at South Carolina, he announced on Friday.

On April 25, Woods posted on Instagram that he intended to transfer from UNC, days after commitments from incoming first-year guards Cole Anthony and Anthony Harris. Then on Friday, Woods' Instagram story featured his new South Carolina student ID, along with the caption "USC '20."


In 2018-19, the Columbia, S.C. native averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 assists in 10.8 minutes per game as a junior, backing up Coby White at the point guard spot.

Woods also played in all 40 games as a first-year for a Tar Heel team that won the national championship in 2017. A stress fracture in his foot limited Woods' playing time in his sophomore year.

A former 4-star recruit, Woods will join a South Carolina team that went 16-16 last season and failed to make the NCAA tournament.

"My three years here at UNC has been nothing short of amazing," Woods wrote in his original Instagram post on April 25. He continued: "I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and the best is yet to come!"

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[COLUMN: Breaking down potential landing spots for Anthony Davis]]>


According to NBA insider Shams Charania, the New Orleans Pelicans are now listening to trade offers for Anthony Davis, their disgruntled superstar who demanded out before February's trade deadline. Here are a few potential landing spots for Davis, including what teams would have to give up to land the All-NBA center.

Los Angeles Lakers

When Anthony Davis gave a list of preferred landing spots in February, the Lakers were at the top, but trade talks fell through before the deadline. Now armed with the No. 4 pick in this year's draft, the Lakers can offer a hefty package for Davis before he becomes a free agent in 2021.

The price will be hefty, but this could benefit both teams greatly. A trade package for Davis would look something like this: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, the No. 4 pick, and a first round pick in 2021.

This benefits the Pelicans because they'd be getting a young core of guys to put around Zion Williamson and a pick to get another good player in the draft, and they'd still have veteran point guard Jrue Holiday.

For the Lakers and LeBron James, landing Davis would be a clear win - you're getting one of the best big men in the game, if not the best. This may allow them to sign Davis to a long-term contract and land another top star, like Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.

Even if the Lakers don't sign Irving, there are other stars they could target - like the Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler, a free agent this summer, or Kawhi Leonard, whose camp made it clear he preferred to go to LA before being traded to Toronto.

New York Knicks

Despite missing out on the No. 1 pick in last month's NBA Draft lottery, the Knicks could still be on the verge of a monumental summer if a few things would go their way.

They will have cap space to offer two max contracts, and rumors suggest that Kevin Durant, another forward who rules the NBA, is interested in a move to New York. A Durant-Irving team-up has been the most persistent rumor, one that Knicks fans would love.

If that pairing comes to fruition, the Knicks' next move should be to get Davis. A potential Knicks package for Davis includes the No. 3 pick, Kevin Knox, one or two of their young guards - Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, or Emmanuel Mudiay - and a hefty number of future picks. The Knicks' trade assets are not amazing, but it is still possible for them to land Davis.

For the Pelicans, a trade with the Knicks leaves them with a nice sum of draft picks and a young prospect in Knox to pair with Williamson. If New Orleans decides to ship Davis before the season, it would give them more control over their return as opposed to waiting until the trade deadline. A whole season with Anthony Davis is better than a half-season.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics' situation with Irving is their biggest concern for the summer. Irving wants out, and one way to keep him happy would be to trade for Davis, which would provide more touches for Irving while keeping Boston in the title hunt.

The Pelicans are going to want Jayson Tatum, one of the best up-and-coming small forwards in the game. The Celtics could also throw in a number of first-round picks, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford, if he re-signs. With this trade, Tatum would be able to pair up with Williamson, who are both, coincidentally, from Duke, and continue playing with a promising guard in Brown and a veteran center in Horford.

Although Davis didn't have Boston on his list of preferred destinations, a chance to compete for a title with Irving may convince him to stay. After a disappointing season where locker room turmoil, injuries and lack of team chemistry plagued the Celtics, Davis may be the piece that can help improve the team's standing and push them higher in the East.

No matter where Davis ends up, his potential departure will be an earthshaking storyline. David Griffin, Pelicans vice president, still seems to prefer to keep Davis and try and make things work, but should a trade come to pass, the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics have the best chance. In the NBA, though, one thing is certain: nothing is guaranteed.

@A_ReynoldsDTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Start times announced for UNC baseball's Super Regional versus Auburn]]> The North Carolina baseball team's quest for a second straight College World Series appearance will continue Saturday at noon, the NCAA announced Tuesday morning.

After going undefeated in the regional round, the Tar Heels will host Auburn in the Chapel Hill Super Regional this weekend, with games being held Saturday at noon, Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and a decisive third game being held Monday at 1 p.m. if necessary. The winner of the best-of-three series will earn a trip to Omaha, Neb. for the College World Series.

The Tar Heels went 38-17 in the regular season, including a 17-13 mark in conference play and captured their seventh ACC Tournament Championship in Durham, with junior Michael Busch being named tournament MVP.

All-time, North Carolina is 14-4 in Super Regionals and has the best winning percentage (.778) of any program in the country.

As for Auburn, the Tigers knocked off top seed Georgia Tech in the Atlanta Regional, allowing UNC to host a Super Regional at Boshamer Stadium for the second straight year. The Tigers defeated Coastal Carolina 16-7, then beat the Yellow Jackets 6-5 and 4-1 to advance.

The Tar Heels are 1-7-1 all-time against Auburn, with the lone win coming in the 1978 South Regional. The two schools have not played since 2003.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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<![CDATA[Michael Busch and Tyler Baum taken in first day of MLB Draft ahead of Super Regionals]]> Two juniors on the North Carolina baseball team, Michael Busch and Tyler Baum, were drafted on the first day of the MLB Draft on Monday. Busch was selected 31st overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Baum was taken 66th overall by the Oakland Athletics.

Busch, an Inver Grove Heights, Minn., native, became the 23rd Tar Heel in team history taken in the first or supplemental round of the MLB Draft. This season, he is tied with first-year Aaron Sabato for the team lead in home runs with 16, and earned first team All-ACC honors for the second straight year while batting .281 in the regular season.

He was also named the 2019 ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player after helping the Tar Heels capture their seventh ACC Tournament title.

Hailing from Ocoee, Fla., Baum began his UNC career by going undefeated in his first seven starts as a Tar Heel first-year and has posted an 18-4 career mark at North Carolina. As a junior, Baum has posted a 7-3 record with a 3.95 ERA, and was named third team All-ACC.

After helping the Tar Heels go 3-0 in the Chapel Hill Regional of the NCAA Tournament, both Busch and Baum will look to earn a second straight College World Series appearance by defeating Auburn in the Super Regional at home, Boshamer Stadium, this weekend.

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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Sophomore Tyler Baum (23) pitches against Wake Forest on March 30 at Boshamer Stadium.

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<![CDATA[Mack Brown undergoes successful knee replacement surgery by former player]]> North Carolina head football coach Mack Brown underwent a successful knee replacement surgery on Monday, the athletics department announced in a statement.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Michael Bolognesi, who played football at UNC for Brown from 1989-93, at Duke University Hospital.

"The surgery went really well with no issues or complications and he'll begin a standard rehabilitation program in Chapel Hill immediately," Bolognesi said in the statement. "We don't expect there to be any need to alter his summer schedule as it relates to team and football operations."

The procedure was conducted in the morning and Brown was walking later in the day, according to the statement. Brown was sent home on Monday afternoon. Brown is expected to be back at work today.

"We had been planning to have this procedure done in February, but after accepting the job here at Carolina that obviously wasn't going to be possible," Brown said in the statement. "We did want to get it taken care of and this window on the calendar made the most sense. I don't expect this to slow me down at all."

@ryantwilcox

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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