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December 27, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 28, 2002

by Brian Strong

The depleted No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Iona Gaels last night at Madison Square Garden, marking the first time since February 21, 1980 that Iona defeated a nationally-ranked squad. That hurts in Chapel Hill. But this hurts more: Freshman starter Sean May, who leads the team in rebounding (8.6 per game) and is ranked second on the squad in scoring (13.3 ppg), broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot and will undergo surgery on Monday. He’s expected return to the court in late February.

So, a team that thought it had problems when it had to bus from Chapel Hill to New York City (snow storm) and play without starter Jawad Williams and
sixth-man Melvin Scott, will now see what long-term problems are all about. May is the lone Tar Heel bringing any traditional post-up presence and is also Jawad Williams’ equal as the tallest big-time contributor on the team at 6’8.”
Before the season began everyone said that the Tar Heels’ Achilles heels would be youth and lack of size. Youth has been served. Will the undersized?

“Maybe we’ll go short and open the floor a little bit,” said UNC coach Matt Doherty. “Everybody’s got issues and you have to navigate through it the best you can.”

Sounds good and all. But the Chapel Hill faithful who had seemed to have so much faith, now have to wonder: Will hopes for redemption this year be lost amongst the big bodies in the paint?

Side Dishes

Surprise Final at Festival: In addition, to Carolina’s shock loss in the first round of the ECAC Holiday Festival, Manhattan also upset St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. That means that the expected final between UNC and the Johnnies has been replaced by Iona-Manhattan. Luis Flores led the way for the Jaspers against St. John’s with 20 points while Red Storm star Marcus Hatten struggled, shooting 5 for 19 from the floor for 11 points.

Awaiting decision on Davis: The University of Indiana has submitted a report, regarding their head coach Mike Davis during his outburst vs. Kentucky last week. Davis’ decision to storm on to the court after what he felt was a missed foul call in the end of the game is seen as a potential violation of the code of conduct in the Big Ten. The preliminary suggestion from Big Ten officials is a six-game suspension. So, by filing a report, Indiana has basically thrown itself on the mercy of the court in hopes of getting their coach a tamer suspension. Davis has already apologized for his actions. The punishment should come down over the next day or so.

Today’s Menu:

• Georgetown at Virginia, CBS at 2:00 P.M. ET.

• No. 18 Kentucky at Louisville, ESPN at Noon ET. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino faces his former team. Not to mention there are in-state bragging rights at stake.

That’s it for this Saturday. Enjoy!

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