- Scout – Inside Carolina: This is a terrific article on Michael Jordan‘s recruitment to North Carolina from Al Featherston. Everyone has heard about how Jordan was cut from his high school team duing his sophomore year before later etching his place in basketball history in Chapel Hill and the NBA. Jordan wasn’t actually a national prospect until Roy Williams let the cat out of the bag (first to a media friend) against Dean Smith’s wishes. It also probably helped that fellow North Carolina powers, Duke and NC State, were between coaches at that point. The story also gives an interesting look at national recruiting three decades ago, long before the Internet, when coaches basically relied on two summer camps to see the top prospects.
- Washington Post: It’s easy to wonder if Seth Greenberg is on the hot seat based on Virginia Tech’s recent love of the NIT-side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. But don’t forget that the year before Greenberg arrived in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech was 3-9 in the Big East, good enough for last place. He’s made the Hokies into a perennial 20-win team on the brink of its first NCAA Tournament in years. Also with the construction of a new state-of-the-art practice facility, I think Greenberg will continue to see recruiting success in southwest Virginia.
- USA Today: The Carrier Classic is back in the news, but this time with more philosophical questions. The game is on Veteran’s Day (this Friday), and will be played on the deck of the aircraft carrier which carried Osama Bin Laden’s body to its burial. Speaking with Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed, Marlen Garcia cleared up any questions about insensitivity with regards to Islam. Luckily she doesn’t believe that there are any — which should allow fans to enjoy the game for what it is instead of worrying about its setting and any indirect political fallout. However, fans should worry about the weather… yes, even in San Diego.
- Orlando Sentinel: Florida State‘s record may be a perfect 2-0 after exhibition season, but Leonard Hamilton still has a lot of things he’d like to work on. Most notably, the turnover bug (nine in the second half of a dominating win over Georgia Southwestern) is still troubling the Seminoles, who finished ranked #311 out of 345 teams by Ken Pomeroy last season. The good news is that both Bernard James and Michael Snaer played very well, and the team’s smothering defense only allowed Georgia SW to make eleven shots from the field on four assists. There’s still definitely room for improvement, but I’m bullish (which is definitely the word of choice) on FSU coming into this year.
- Burlington Times News: If you can get past the terrible title pun, this article is actually informative. While initial reports had NC State’s lone senior CJ Williams out for a few weeks with a hairline fracture in his thumb, he was cleared by the doctors and suited up for the Wolfpack’s exhibition against Flagler. Williams went 2-3 from beyond the arc and dished out five dimes in an inconsistent NC State effort. The real offensive star of the game was sharp-shooter Scott Wood, who caught fire going 6-8 from downtown. NC State’s first game is at home against UNC Asheville.
And finally, in memory of one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever, check out Mark Kram’s 1975 piece on “The Thrilla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and the recently-departed Joe Frazier (you can also watch the fight below). Frazier was by all accounts one of the toughest fighters who ever lived. He was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, and spent his formative years working on a farm. His professional career was headlined by three fights against Muhammad Ali. Frazier died on Monday after battling liver cancer for the last few months of his life.