Capitals

UNC beats Georgia Tech 79-63 for 3rd straight win

201301232108760988141-p2.jpeg

UNC beats Georgia Tech 79-63 for 3rd straight win

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Reggie Bullock scored 17 points and North Carolina beat Georgia Tech 79-63 on Wednesday night for its third straight win.

P.J. Hairston had 15 points and James Michael McAdoo added 14 for the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).

With former star Rashad McCants watching from behind their bench in a McAdoo jersey, the Tar Heels never trailed and shot nearly 43 percent (30 of 70) to move above .500 in league play for the first time this season.

Kammeon Holsey had 10 of his 18 points in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets (10-7, 0-5) had 19 turnovers and lost their fifth straight to remain the only team winless in ACC play.

Still, they trimmed a 13-point deficit to 36-32 on Solomon Poole's 3-pointer with 2 minutes left in the half.

Bullock - who had a career-high 24 points last time out against Maryland - started and finished the ensuing 15-2 run with buckets from close range. His no-you-take-it layup from Marcus Paige gave the Tar Heels their largest lead to that point, 49-34, with 17 1/2 minutes to go.

Georgia Tech never got closer than 11 the rest of the way, and Hairston punctuated this one with a thunderous dunk over Daniel Miller with about 6 minutes left that made it 70-53.

Chris Bolden finished with 10 points while Robert Carter had 12 rebounds and Marcus Georges-Hunt added 10 boards for Georgia Tech, which lost at each of the points in the North Carolina Triangle - N.C. State, Duke and now UNC - in a stretch of 15 nights.

Dexter Strickland and Paige each finished with six assists for North Carolina, and the only thing its students love as much a Tar Heel victory is a Duke loss. One held a handwritten sign saying only ``didDukewin.com'' while another one nearby held a sign that said simply ``No'' because a few minutes before this one tipped off, No. 25 Miami polished off a 90-63 rout of the top-ranked Blue Devils.

When that score went up on the video board during a timeout, the crowd followed with a loud, sustained ovation and the students chanted ``Go to hell, Duke!''

Then the Tar Heels themselves got clicking, building their first double-figure lead while holding Georgia Tech without a field goal for 4 1/2 minutes. McAdoo's dunk from the baseline with 9 1/2 minutes left put them up 25-15 and brought McCants - who starred on the 2005 national championship team - to his feet.

The lead grew to 13 on Bullock's 3-pointer with 8 minutes left before the Yellow Jackets rallied.

Earlier in the day, the Tar Heels found out they'll be without junior guard Leslie McDonald for three more games. He missed the previous three games with a knee injury, but was suspended for three more after coach Roy Williams said he ``did not do what we expect of our student-athletes.''

Quick Links

What's next for Barry Trotz?

capture_trotz.png
USA TODAY Sports

What's next for Barry Trotz?

Barry Trotz is no longer the head coach of the Washington Capitals and, after resigning, he is officially free to pursue other opportunities. So what's next for the now former Capitals head coach?

For those who believe Trotz will simply retire, that seems unlikely. Trotz is only 55 years old. Plus, general manager Brian MacLellan indicated the main issue in the contract negotiations between him and Trotz was term. If Trotz was, in fact, seeking a five-year contract, that doesn't sound like someone who is ready to walk away from the game.

There is only one head coaching vacancy left in the NHL, that of the New York Islanders. New President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello cleaned house after getting hired and fired both general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight earlier in June. Now, suddenly, there is a Stanley Cup-winning coach on the market.

While it certainly makes sense for the Islanders to pursue Trotz, there's one big reason why Trotz, or anyone, would likely be hesitant to accept the job on Long Island and that is John Tavares.

New York's franchise player is a pending free agent and, until his contract situation is resolved, convincing anyone to take the head coaching job with the Islanders is a tough sell. If the Islanders re-sign Tavares, improve the defense and bring in a dependable starting goalie, then there is no reason to think they cannot be a playoff team.

But those are a lot of "ifs" and Tavares is a big one. If he goes, suddenly the situation on Long Island is much different. Tavares' decision could be the difference between the Islanders being a playoff team or getting a high lottery pick.

For Trotz to walk away from a team that just won the Stanley Cup to go to a New York team that may or may not have its best player back next season does not make a lot of sense.

But just because there may be only one head coaching vacancy open doesn't mean Trotz does not have any options.

The 2017-18 season saw no head coaching changes made during the season for the first time since the league expanded in 1967. Chances are jobs will begin to open up during the season especially if those teams believe they can land a Cup-winning coach as a replacement.

If you're Trotz, you just won a Stanley Cup. There is no reason to rush into another opportunity. Trotz will instantly be near or at the top of every wish list for teams in need of a head coach.

Don't just assume that Trotz will be on Long Island to start the 2018-19 season just because it is the only opportunity currently available. He can wait for the perfect opportunity to come to him.

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:

Quick Links

Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

usatsi_9975642.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers are gunning for Kawhi Leonard, though it's doubtful they have enough to interest Spurs

With word out that Kawhi Leonard wants a trade from the Spurs, teams are lining up with offers to San Antonio and one of the NBA’s best teams has reportedly already made a call.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted the Spurs about a potential Leonard trade, according to Cleveland.com. Terry Pluto wrote on Sunday that multiple teams have done the same. That is to expected, of course, as Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. He's a two-time defensive player of the year and he's only 26.

Let's look at Cleveland as a potential destination. It should first be noted that it's questionable whether they have enough to land a player of Leonard's caliber. They have the eighth overall pick in Thursday's draft, but it may take a lot more than that to get Leonard.

They also have Kevin Love, who is an All-Star still in his prime. But if they gave him up, they would then need to seek more help to surround Leonard and LeBron James, if James decides to stay. Though James and Leonard are both top-five players in the NBA, they still likely wouldn't be able to beat the Warriors unless they had another running mate. Those two plus Love and then you're talking.

Whether the Cavs have the goods to land Leonard or not, it's no wonder why they are trying for him. Getting Leonard, a two-time All-NBA selection, would likely be enough to retain James, the best player in the game. If James were to look around the league for a top-shelf running mate, he would be hard-pressed to find one better than Leonard.

That is assuming Leonard is healthy, of course. He did miss all but nine games this past season with a quadriceps injury. That injury was central in a saga of discord between him and the team. Until he hits the court again, Leonard offers no guarantees. Still, he may be worth the risk for Cleveland, as the alternative is potentially seeing James walk. 

If the Cavs got Leonard, that would probably solidify their standing as the best team in the Eastern Conference, even if they lost Love in the process. Leonard is better than Love and they would arguably have the two best players in the East. They may not have enough to beat the Warriors, but that would likely give them the edge over the young teams like Boston and Philly that have been nipping at their heels.

Sending Leonard to the Cavs would get him out of the Western Conference and that might be enticing to the Spurs. If they send him to the Lakers, his reported preferred destination, that could come back to bite them much more often than it would if he was traded to the East. Though putting him in Cleveland would form another very good team, they wouldn't affect the Spurs directly but for two regular season games, unless they were to meet in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs haven't indicated they will actually trade Leonard, but it does seem to be heading in that direction. It sounds like Cleveland will at the very least give it a shot. 

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!