Monday, July 29, 2013
3-point shot: Hairston can learn from recruit
By Andy Katz
1. North Carolina landed a polite, respectful and highly talented player in Joel Berry -- for the class of 2014. That's the impression I had after watching and interviewing Berry during the AAU tournament in Orlando last week. The problem for the Tar Heels is that Berry, a point guard who can team up with Marcus Paige in 2014-15, won't be on campus for a year. The Tar Heels could use Berry now instead of P.J. Hairston, regardless that they don't play the same position. Berry was mature and confident in himself in why he wanted to attend North Carolina. He talked about his respect for the program and admiration for the staff. Clearly, Hairston doesn't have the same feelings after following up a dropped misdemeanor marijuana charge by getting pulled over for reckless driving. That stop came nine days after the marijuana charge was dismissed. Seriously? North Carolina hadn't made up its mind about whether to suspend Hairston prior to Sunday's situation. The Tar Heels have now. The Carolina image is sacred to those in Chapel Hill and the alumni living elsewhere. Hairston abused his privileges and continued to disrespect the program he was supposed to serve. He should listen to the sage words of someone younger like Berry. Who knows when or if Hairston will return to the team this coming season. But the Tar Heels can survive without his scoring or the chaos that is now constantly surrounding him. He is not the program. The program is and will be much bigger than characters like him.
2. New Celtics coach Brad Stevens made a terrific staff hire in adding Ronald Nored to the development team. Nored had just been hired in the spring at South Alabama by former Butler assistant Matthew Graves after Nored had coached high school for a year. Over the course of 23 years you'll meet countless players. Nored was one of those people who impressed from the first interview. He was destined to be a coach and commanded respect by his work ethic and attention to detail. He will earn the Celtics players' respect by working with them and not attempting to talk down to them. He may not have played in the NBA, but he'll sponge up as much knowledge on the professional game as quickly and professionally as possible. Stevens doesn't choose people lightly. Nored will fit in perfectly into the Celtics' culture and adhere to their values under Stevens.
3. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said the Shockers picked up two home-and-home series following the Final Four: against Alabama and Saint Louis, with both of them starting on the road. The Shockers will also continue a series with Tulsa, play Western Kentucky on the ESPN Marathon and are the featured team in the CBE Classic in Kansas City with BYU, Texas and DePaul. As you can see, the Final Four didn't produce home games for the Shockers. The Tennessee home game -- a quality affair for Wichita State -- is a return game from last season and prior to the Final Four. The Shockers, who return the core of the Final Four team, will be the pick to win the Missouri Valley and are a Top 25-type team to start the season. Marshall said he's had to get the players to dial it back a bit in practice lately, saying that they're working too hard. He said they believe they will be good and they should. They will. But once again a Final Four hardly guarantees a great home schedule the ensuing year -- especially if you're not in a power conference.