USA Basketball picks roster for World Cup qualifiers
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — USA Basketball has picked the 12 players who will compete in the next two-game round of qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Most of the picks are coming from the G League — Joel Berry II, Reggie Hearn, Scotty Hopson, John Jenkins, DeAndre Liggins, Chasson Randle, Cameron Reynolds, Richard Solomon and Travis Trice. NBA free agents Eric Moreland, Jarnell Stokes and Tyler Zeller were also chosen for the roster.
North Carolina preview capsule
Last season: 26-11, reached second round of NCAA Tournament.
Nickname: Tar Heels.
Coach: Roy Williams.
Conference: Atlantic Coast.
Who's gone: The program has lost mainstays from its 2017 national championship winner in point guard Joel Berry II — a former Final Four most outstanding player — and swingman Theo Pinson.
WILSON, N.C. (AP) — No one questions whether Coby White is good enough to help North Carolina immediately as a freshman.
Rather, the pressing question as White heads to campus this week is this: can the instate McDonald's All-American who scored more points than any high school player in state history help the Tar Heels replace departed point guard Joel Berry II?
Tar Heels look to future without mainstays Berry, Pinson
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson led the way as North Carolina won Atlantic Coast Conference titles, reached two Final Fours and claimed a national championship.
Now they've played their final games, and the Tar Heels have massive holes to fill: Berry's competitiveness at the point, Pinson's knack for playmaking and the duo's role as UNC's seen-it-all leaders.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Joel Berry II is ready to take any big shot North Carolina needs in his final NCAA Tournament.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's Joel Berry II — last year's Final Four most outstanding player for the reigning national champions — is one of several seniors set to play pivotal roles for some of the NCAA Tournament favorites.
There are veterans in pivotal roles sprinkled amid all the one-and-done talent that grabs the headlines.
Here's a look at some of those seniors on high-seeded teams:
The unranked Miami Hurricanes coughed up a 16-point, second-half lead last night before ending North Carolina's six-game winning streak. Ja'Quan Newton drained a running 30-footer at the horn to give the Hurricanes a 91-88 victory over the ninth-ranked Tar Heels. Newton's game-winner came 4.1 seconds after Joel Berry II nailed a game-tying three-pointer, but Miami pushed the ball upcourt for Newton's shot over Berry. Chris Lykes scored a team-high 18 points for Miami, while Berry matched his career high with 31 points.
Newton’s buzzer beater helps Miami stun No. 9 UNC 91-88
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Miami had just seen the last of its 16-point lead vanish with only a few seconds left when Ja'Quan Newton took an inbounds pass and sprinted upcourt.
Time for one more shot, he thought.
And what a remarkable shot it was.
Newton hit a running 3-pointer from a few steps across midcourt at the horn, lifting Miami to a 91-88 upset of No. 9 North Carolina in a wild finish Tuesday night.
Pinson scores career-high 23, UNC holds off Syracuse 78-74
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — When Syracuse threatened one final time, Joel Berry II had an answer for North Carolina.
Theo Pinson scored a career-high 23 points, Berry added 18, including the tiebreaking layup with 1:36 left, and the No. 10 Tar Heels held off the Orange 78-74 on Wednesday night.
Syracuse had trailed almost the entire game until a late eight-point run knotted the score. Tyus Battle scored six of the points, his jumper with 3:05 to go tying it at 74.
No. 21 North Carolina beats No. 9 Duke 82-78 in rivalry game
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina went from looking a step slow and struggling to keep Duke's touted freshmen off the boards to roaring out of halftime with an aggressive edge on the way to a rousing win.
Maybe the 21st-ranked Tar Heels just needed their fiercest rival to bring out something that had been missing for weeks.
This is no time for North Carolina to be making too much of a four-game winning streak that appears to have the No. 15 Tar Heels back on track.
They've got another game Monday night (7 p.m., ESPN), with a quick turnaround taking them to meet Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
"It's tough, but it's part of ACC play," North Carolina guard Joel Berry II said, referring to the Saturday-to-Monday stretch.
UNC’s Berry: Valentine hugs, apology for back-turning show
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina guard Joel Berry II says official Ted Valentine has apologized for turning his back on the Tar Heels star earlier this month.
Valentine on Saturday worked his first North Carolina game since his display at Florida State on Jan. 3.
During that game, Berry protested a no-call against the Seminoles and Valentine responded by turning his back on him.
Maye, Pinson help No. 15 UNC beat Georgia Tech 80-66
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina kept hitting the glass hard — then pulled away after one of its most important players hit the floor hard.
Luke Maye had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and the 15th-ranked Tar Heels beat Georgia Tech 80-66 on Saturday.
Theo Pinson added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Joel Berry II and Cameron Johnson finished with 16 points apiece to help the Tar Heels (16-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Maye’s huge night helps No. 20 UNC top Boston College 96-66
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams has repeatedly offered his 20th-ranked Tar Heels a simple deal if they want to play long stretches in a small lineup.
Rebound. Defend. And he'll stick with it.
Luke Maye had career highs of 32 points and 18 rebounds while North Carolina's small unit got off to a fast start in a 96-66 win against Boston College on Tuesday night, snapping a two-game skid.
No. 24 Florida State survives against No. 12 North Carolina
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — It ended up being a day and evening for Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton and his team to gut things out.
Hamilton had surgery to remove kidney stones Wednesday morning. Less than 12 hours later he was on the sidelines as his 24th-ranked Seminoles held on for an 81-80 victory over No. 12 North Carolina.
No. 13 UNC holds off Wake Forest 73-69 in ACC opener
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina survived its Atlantic Coast Conference opener, buoyed by the big late-game shot from Joel Berry II and the veteran experience from last year's national title run.
And yet, the 13th-ranked Tar Heels all know they have to play much better if they want to keep winning in league play.
Berry, Pinson lift No. 5 UNC past Ohio State, 86-72
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Theo Pinson and Joel Berry II viewed North Carolina's recent upset loss to Wofford as a test of their leadership.
The seniors provided a convincing response in a neutral-site, made-for-TV matchup against Ohio State.
Berry and Pinson each scored 19 points, and No. 5 North Carolina bounced back with an 86-72 victory over the Buckeyes on Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic.
No. 13 UNC shoots nearly 66 percent, routs Tulane 97-73
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Two of No. 13 North Carolina's best shooting performances have come in a five-day span. For the Tar Heels, it all starts at the other end of the court.
Luke Maye had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and North Carolina routed Tulane 97-73 on Sunday.
Kenny Williams and Joel Berry II finished with 13 points apiece to help the Tar Heels (8-1) win their third straight.
Berry, Maye carry No. 13 UNC past pesky Davidson 85-75
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Davidson coach Bob McKillop insists nobody recruited Luke Maye harder than he did.
In the end, Maye passed up a chance to play for his hometown school and landed at North Carolina, where he is quickly developing into one of the nation's top players.
Joel Berry II had 27 points, Maye had 24 points and a career-high 17 rebounds and No. 13 North Carolina defeated Davidson 85-75 on Friday night.
No. 13 UNC beats Michigan 86-71 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams spent a sleepless night stewing over an ugly weekend loss, then showed his players the film of what happens when they don't play with the toughness or intensity needed to joust with a top-tier opponent.
It's too early to say if his 13th-ranked Tar Heels learned from it just yet, though they at least refound their shooting touch against Michigan.
Ann Arbor — Eli Brooks didn't know what to expect this early in the season.
As a true freshman, Brooks entered a three-man competition for Michigan's starting point guard spot behind sophomore and heir apparent Zavier Simpson and grad transfer Jaaron Simmons.
And due to the intricate workings of Michigan coach John Beilein's system, seeing significant minutes in the first few weeks seemed unlikely for Brooks.
Maye leads No. 9 North Carolina to 102-78 rout of Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When Luke Maye took stock of what North Carolina was losing from last season's championship squad and what was coming back, he made it a focus to become a better scorer in the post.
Maye made scoring around the basket look easy against overmatched Portland.
Maye had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points and No. 9 North Carolina had five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland 102-78 on Thursday to open the PK80 Invitational.
Berry scores 29 points as No. 9 UNC beats Stanford 96-72
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Joel Berry II had no intentions of repeating his poor shooting performance from the last game.
He showed up at Maples Pavilion more than a half-hour before his teammates for Monday's shootaround, putting up some 200 extra shots from all over the floor — and it worked wonderfully.
Williams still not saying who will start at PG for No. 9 UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina knows it will start the season without point guard Joel Berry II due to a hand injury. Coach Roy Williams didn't sound so sure about much else for the ninth-ranked Tar Heels' opener Friday against Northern Iowa.
North Carolina aims for big follow-up to NCAA title run
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The motivation has changed for North Carolina, even if the goal hasn't.
The Tar Heels enter the season as the reigning national champion after spending last year chasing another shot following a crushing loss in the 2016 final. It remains to be seen whether the goal of winning another one offers nearly as powerful of a driving force.
"I love winning, everybody on the team does," senior swingman Theo Pinson said. "We're competitors.
North Carolina preview capsule
Last season: 33-7, won program's sixth NCAA championship.
Nickname: Tar Heels.
Coach: Roy Williams.
Conference: Atlantic Coast.
Who's gone: SF Justin Jackson, F/C Kennedy Meeks, F Isaiah Hicks, F Tony Bradley Jr., G Nate Britt.
UNC: point guard Joel Berry II out 4 weeks with broken hand
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina point guard Joel Berry II will miss about four weeks after suffering a broken bone in his right hand.
The school announced Berry's injury Monday but didn't provide details on how Berry was hurt. The reigning national champion's opener is less than three weeks away, coming Nov. 10 against Northern Iowa.
North Carolina's Joel Berry II is the reigning Most Outstanding Player from the Tar Heels' 2017 NCAA National Championship. Now, Berry has a case for a Most Outstanding Son title, too.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina swingman Theo Pinson will return for his senior season after declaring for the NBA draft.
The school announced Pinson's decision Wednesday. Pinson didn't hire an agent to preserve his college eligibility.
In a statement, Pinson said he was "glad I took the time to explore" the draft process.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina point guard and Final Four most outstanding player Joel Berry II is withdrawing from the NBA draft to return for his senior season.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina juniors Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson will join freshman Tony Bradley in declaring for the NBA draft, though they won't hire agents.
The school announced the moves Monday.
Berry was the Final Four's most outstanding player as the Tar Heels beat Gonzaga for their sixth NCAA championship April 3. The 6-foot point guard averaged 14.7 points.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Zach Collins named to NCAA All-Tournament team
GLENDALE, Ariz.—Redshirt junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss and freshman center Zach Collins, along with North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, were named to the NCAA men’s basketball championship all-Tournament team after the conclusion of the Bulldogs’ 71-65 loss to North Carolina in the national championship game.
Berry II from UNC was named the Most Outstanding Player.
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Nothing made much sense in the second half.
Foul calls stopped the game’s flow in its tracks and left key players on both teams in foul trouble.
Perimeter shooting – excellent by Gonzaga in the first half, poor by North Carolina – went south for both teams. For that matter, shots in the paint were missing the mark.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — For a whole year, the North Carolina Tar Heels wondered if they'd get another chance.
For a whole year, the Tar Heels thought about what might have been.
When Monday night's slugfest with Gonzaga came to a merciful end, the Heels had all their answers: The national title was theirs, the nets were hanging around their necks, the redemption tour was a success.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joel Berry II kept battling, both against the pain of ankle injuries and the frustration brimming from an off-target shot that had plagued him throughout the NCAA Tournament.
Turns out, maybe the junior point guard was just saving it all for one big moment: the chance to give North Carolina the national championship that had slipped so painfully away a year earlier.
Despite 2 bad ankles, Berry named outstanding player
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joel Berry II headed a trio of players for national champion North Carolina named to the all-tournament team for the Final Four.
Berry, hobbled by two bad ankles, played well enough in the championship game Monday night after a clunker in the semifinals to be named the outstanding player of the Final Four.
Berry was joined by teammates Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson.
Runner-up Gonzaga had the other two players on the team — Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — It's OK, Carolina, you can open your eyes.
An unwatchable game turned into a beautiful night for the Tar Heels, who turned a free-throw contest into a championship they've been waiting an entire year to celebrate.
Justin Jackson delivered the go-ahead 3-point play with 1:40 left Monday and North Carolina pulled away for a 71-65 win over Gonzaga that washed away a year's worth of heartache.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on the championship game of the NCAA Tournament between North Carolina and Gonzaga (all times local):
North Carolina coach Roy Williams says his team finally got the redemption it needed after a heartbreaking buzzer-beater in last season's title game.
The Tar Heels scored the final eight points of an ugly, foul-filled second half to beat Gonzaga 71-65. Williams attributed the strong finish to the team's motto all season — "tough enough."
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — So much of the attention leading up to North Carolina's Final Four game against Oregon dealt with how point guard Joel Berry II would handle playing with two sprained ankles.
The good news: He made it through OK and the Tar Heels survived to reach the national championship game for the second straight year.
The bad news: He's hurting — and the injuries are affecting his shot.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The NCAA Tournament is ready to carve out its finalists from among the Final Four.
South Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and North Carolina are the last teams standing in a March Madness field that started with 68 teams.
There are three games left to determine the 2017 champion, starting with two semifinals on Saturday night.
Starters: Theo Pinson – guard, Joel Berry II – guard, Kennedy Meeks – forward, Isaiah Hicks - forward, Justin Jackson - forward
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — North Carolina's Joel Berry II jogged around the court in the middle of a cavernous stadium Friday, casually lofting shots and playfully jousting in the post with teammate Theo Pinson.
There were no obvious signs of distress — neither awkward gait nor grimace of pain after landing on a jumper — from the ankle injuries plaguing him as the Tar Heels prepare to face Oregon in the Final Four.
The Latest: UNC’s Berry says ankles are about 85 percent
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on Friday preparations for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament (all times local):
North Carolina guard Joel Berry II says his injured ankles are at about 85 percent heading into Saturday's game against Oregon.
Berry hurt his left ankle in last weekend's win over Kentucky, adding it to a previous injury to his right ankle.
Berry said he participated fully in North Carolina's closed practice earlier Friday and said everything felt good.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Roy Williams wanted another chance at Kentucky after his North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wildcats in December.
John Calipari is certain someone knew he hoped not to see North Carolina in the same bracket.
Berry scores 26 points and Carolina defeats Butler 92-80
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — North Carolina expects strong offensive performances from junior leaders Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, but Luke Maye provided an unexpected bonus.
Berry scored 26 points, Jackson had 24, but it was the first career double-double from Maye - 16 points and 12 rebounds - that helped set the tone early and send the top-seeded Tar Heels to a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.