Thursday, June 23, 2005
Williams no fan of new NBA rule
Doug Doughty's College Notebook
North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams, still reeling from the loss of five starters from his national championship team, does not see the NBA's new age limit as the salvation of college basketball.
The new age limit, 19, was viewed as a compromise after the NBA and its players' association agreed to a new, six-year collective-bargaining agreement.
"It's not pie in the sky," Williams said in a teleconference Wednesday. "They didn't really solve anything, but [with] the NBA, it's not their job to try to solve things for college basketball.
"Sometimes, it sounds like they're trying to do good things, but that's just publicity. They're trying to do what's best for their game and, if it happens to help college basketball, that's fine. If it doesn't, that's fine, too."
The NBA had proposed a 20-year-old age limit, which, had it been in effect this year, would have enabled the Tar Heels to keep ACC freshman of the year Marvin Williams.
As it was, Williams joined a trio of junior teammates -- Sean May, Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants -- in making himself available for the NBA draft.
"Personally, I think you either have nothing or have a rule that's a little bit more than what we have," Williams said. "I mean, it's just window dressing. The NBA's not going to do anything to help college basketball. We're a competitor.
"What baseball has is what makes the most sense -- go straight to the pros or go to college for three years and be closer to getting your degree.
"Commissioner [David] Stern says it will get the general managers out of high-school gyms. That's a joke. There's a bunch that will still be there, and the rest will be invited."
The National Basketball Development League will become one avenue for 18-year-olds who can't play in the NBA but can't or won't play in college.
But Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg isn't sure the new rule will be a boon to the NBDL, which has a franchise in Roanoke.
"No, I don't think so," Greenberg said. "Know what? Prep schools are going to be good now. Kids can lose value in the NBDL. Go to the NBDL and don't tear it up ... if I'm an agent, I'm telling the kid to go to prep school. Play 19 or 20 games against [inferior] competition and there's less risk."
Viva Las Vegas
Greenberg said that the Hokies have agreed to play Dec. 17 in Las Vegas against an unnamed opponent as part of a televised doubleheader that will include Nevada-Las Vegas and Texas A&M.
"It's not about money; it's about exposure," Greenberg said. "We're not at the place yet where we can turn a television game. Just think about this: Two years ago ... the only ESPN games we had were the ones we played in the Big East tournament.
"This year, I think we're going to have five or six on ESPN or ESPN2 and maybe one on ABC and three on Sunday night hoops [on Fox Sports Net]. That's a long way from where we were."
Tech's Williams the best
Jimmy Williams, who already has taken part in a photo shoot for the preseason Playboy All-America team, is rated the No. 1 cornerback in the country by The Sporting News in its preseason annual.
Other Tech players rated among the top players at their positions are No. 6 defensive end Darryl Tapp, No. 9 offensive guard Will Montgomery, No. 13 place-kicker Brandon Pace, No. 15 quarterback Marcus Vick, No. 17 tight end Jeff King, No. 17 offensive tackle Jimmy Martin.
UVa players rated among the best at their positions by The Sporting News are No. 2 inside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, No. 4 D'Brickashaw Ferguson, No. 10 fullback Jason Snelling, No. 18 tailback Wali Lundy and No. 18 place-kicker Connor Hughes.
Ferguson and Brooks also will be featured as preseason All-Americans in Playboy's college football edition.
Brock Newton, the 2004 Timesland boys' tennis player of the year as a senior at Patrick Henry, is transferring to Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University after a successful freshman year at NAIA member Indiana Wesleyan.
Newton had a 21-6 record in singles, playing mostly No. 2, and was 24-3 in doubles, mostly on the No. 1 team. A first-team All-American in the National Christian College Athletic Association, he got a scholarship to Palm Beach Atlantic.
Newton, participating in the Roanoke Valley Invitational Tennis Tournament this week, left Indiana Wesleyan for the opportunity to get better competition "and, hey, the weather is not too bad," he said.