Here are a few UNC Basketball news and notes to keep you informed.
-UNC has announced that preferred walk-on Jackson Simmons and Gardner-Webb transfer Luke Davis will be on scholarship for the 2012-13 season. Both players are technically walk-ons but can receive a scholarship if UNC has them available. The scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis. Heading into 2012-13, the Heels have 10 scholarship players leaving three slots open. Davis and Simmons will fill two of those. Simmons played sparingly last season as a freshman while Davis, a Ravenscroft product, sat out the mandatory one year transfer period after coming to UNC from Gardner-Webb. Davis was on the All-Freshman team in the Big South during his one season at Gardner-Webb where he averaged 7.2 ppg and 4.2 apg. Given UNC’s PG situation, Davis could see some minutes especially if he is anyway serviceable at the position.
-Former Tar Heel George Lynch has been hired by new SMU coach Larry Brown as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Mustangs. Lynch previously worked at UC-Irvine as the strength coach there.
-Yahoo! Sports Jeff Eisenberg has named UNC’s 56-game winning streak in Chapel Hill over Clemson was college basketballs 10th most untouchable record. Eisenberg revisits the 2008 game in Chapel Hill which, to this day, told me Clemson was never going to win in Chapel Hill. If you recall, UNC trailed by 11 with three minutes left before a furious Tar Heel rally highlighted by two threes from Danny Freaking Green sent the game to overtime. UNC played the game without Ty Lawson which put the burden on Quentin Thomas who seemingly grew into the role as the game went on. UNC won 103-93 in double overtime.
-Interesting story from the Dean Smith era concerning the recruitment of Tim Thomas and his apparent disdain for actual coaching. Thomas was an elite recruit in 1996 who chose Villanova over UNC despite being good friends with Vince Carter. His reasoning? Carter had told Thomas that Dean insisted on the former developing a jump shot to improve his overall game. Thomas was having no part of a coach trying to “change his game.” Thomas went on to a journeyman career in the NBA whereas Carter has been one of the more productive players in the league over the past 14 years. Maybe Dean had little influence on that but it could not possibly have hurt.
-Now that the Heels are out of the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the focus turns to the MLB Draft to see if any Tar Heel juniors get tapped. UNC does has one commit who was drafted in the first round. LHP Matt Smoral was taken 50th by Toronto. It remains to be seen if Smoral will opt for the minor leagues or come to Chapel Hill. Inside Carolina has a draft tracker here. Draftees have until July 13th to sign with their respective teams.