Archive for the ‘college basketball’ Category

For all their success, mid-majors still face an uphill NCAA climb

If you're from the Colonial, you'd better win the Colonial tournament. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

If you're based in the CAA, you'd better win the CAA tournament. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Many of the conference tournaments that matter will have ended before the ACC tips off its annual convocation next week at Philips Arena, and here’s how we distinguish between league tournaments that do and don’t matter: Almost nobody cries real tears after losing a final in one of the big leagues. That’s because teams in the BCS Six already know their in-or-out NCAA fate.

Yes, there are exceptions, Georgia winning the 2008 SEC tournament and heading to the Big Dance being the most glaring. But conference tournaments in the big leagues are, as a rule, window dressing. For proof, we turn again to Georgia. It was believed that the Bulldogs’ Round 2 game against Alabama at the Dome last March was an in-or-out game. Nope. Georgia lost and made the NCAA field as a No. 9 seed. Alabama won and went to the NIT.

Turning to this year: Festivities in the Colonial Athletic Association — that’s …

Continue reading For all their success, mid-majors still face an uphill NCAA climb »

Lorenzo Charles made more than just one basket, you know

"They won it! On the dunk!" (Sports Illustrated photo by Rich Clarkson)

"They won it! On the dunk!" (Sports Illustrated photo by Rich Clarkson)

Lorenzo Charles made the most famous basket in the history of college basketball. What people forget is that he made a few — more than a few, actually — other baskets. He wasn’t just the guy who got lucky and dunked home an air ball to fell mighty Houston. He was a very good player who was drafted by the wrong NBA team.

That team was the Atlanta Hawks. The year was 1985. He was the Round 2 pick (41st overall) of what would become a famous rookie class. The Round 1 pick was Jon Koncak; the Round 4 pick was John Battle. And there was a rookie free agent by the name of Spud Webb whose claim to fame at that time was that he’d played college ball with Lorenzo Charles.

The Hawks were the wrong team for Charles — known as “Lo” or “Zo,” FYI — because he played forward. These were the forwards ahead of him: Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis, Cliff Levingston and Antoine Carr. Charles played in 36 games as a rookie …

Continue reading Lorenzo Charles made more than just one basket, you know »

Korey McCray: From the AAU Atlanta Celtics to regal UCLA?

Two Atlanta Celtics stage an alumni reunion. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

An Atlanta Celtics alumni chapter. (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

The college basketball world is a-twitter with word, first reported by Jeff Goodman of FoxSports, that the proudest program in the land stands ready to offer an assistant coach’s job to someone known for his work in AAU circles. The program is UCLA. The AAU man is Korey McCray, the 32-year-old CEO of the Atlanta Celtics.

“I’m right there in the running,” said McCray, speaking of the UCLA post. “I’m probably the favorite right now.”

McCray played college basketball at Mercer and served as assistant there under Mark Slonaker. He was a graduate assistant under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State and also worked at Chipola (Fla.) College. Today McCray coaches the sophomore boys’ team for the summer-league Celtics — he once played for them; his father Karl helped found the club in 1990 with the late Wallace Prather and remains its president — and runs a basketball training program called Fundamentals.

You might never have …

Continue reading Korey McCray: From the AAU Atlanta Celtics to regal UCLA? »