Three North Carolina Players Declare For NBA Draft: Their Reaction

John Henson (Left), Harrison Barnes (Middle), and Kendall Marshall (Right) have all decided to go to the NBA.

North Carolina players, Forward Harrison Barnes (Sophomore), Forward John Henson (Junior), and Guard Kendall Marshall (Sophomore) announced today that they plan to leave school early and join the NBA.

The Tar Heels season ended Sunday when they lost to the number two seeded Kansas Jayhawks, 80-67.

The three players were all in the top five in scoring on the Tar Heels this season. Barnes averaged 17.1 ppg, 5.2 reb, and 1.1 ast. As for Henson he averaged 13.7 ppg, 9.9 reb, and 1.3 ast. As for Marshall he averaged 8.1 ppg, 2.6 reb, and 9.8 ast.

According to NBADraft.net, Barnes is projected to be selected 5th overall. As for Marshall, he’s projected to be selected 13th overall. And as for Henson, he is projected to be selected 16th overall.

As for other former North Carolina player, Tyler Zeller who was a senior this year is projected to be selected 17th.

Head Coach, Roy Williams’ reaction: “It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” says head coach Roy Williams. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.”

Henson’s reaction: “I’ve loved my three years at Carolina, and now I’m ready to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA,” says Henson. “It’s tough to leave because I love my teammates, coaches and UNC. I wish we’d been able to bring our fans a national championship, but it wasn’t meant to be. I am proud of what we accomplished, especially the last two years.”

Henson would continue…

“I plan to finish working toward my degree. That’s important to my parents, CoachWilliams and me. I can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed my experience in Chapel Hill. This was a big decision and it will be a big change, but I’m ready,” said Henson.

And lastly…

“I’d like to thank my parents, Coach Williams and his staff and all of my teammates for everything they’ve done to get me ready for this moment. I’d also like to thank all the Carolina fans who have given us so much support over the lastthree years,” said Henson

Barnes’ reaction:

“I’m honored and blessed to have the opportunity to compete in the NBA,” says Barnes. “The love and respect I have for basketball fuel the drive toward my ultimate goal – to experience an illustrious career in the NBA. I have consulted with Coach Williams and my family, and although it was a difficult decision, I have decided to enter this year’s NBA draft.”

Barnes would continue saying…

“Chapel Hill is a special place. Over the past two years I’ve enjoyed every single moment of my Tar Heel experience. The road we took to reach the Elite 8 in 2011 and again in 2012 were great team accomplishments. I am thankful to UNC fans, my teammates, and to have played for Hall of Fame Coach Roy Williams and the entire coaching staff. Now it’s time for the next course of my journey. Although I may be giving up my eligibility, I will continue to pursue my degree. I love this university and will always be a Tar Heel,” said Barnes.

Marshall’s reaction: “I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates and the Tar Heel Nation for all their support,” says Marshall. “It’s been the greatest two years of my life. I have always put the team before myself and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. My life long dream has been to play basketball at the highestlevel possible and I feel now is my greatest opportunity to fulfill this goal. I will always be a Tar Heel at heart and I will carry the experiences that I’ve had here both on and off the court with me for the rest of my life.”

Quotes from North Carolina’s athletic page.

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North Carolina’s John Henson’s Status Still Up In The Air For Sunday’s Game Aganist Creighton

John Henson, according to head coach Roy Williams has about a 50/50 percent chance of playing on Sunday.

With just little over a week after North Carolina’s forward, John Henson sprained his wrist during a game against Maryland in the ACC Tournament on March 9th, Henson has still yet to play. Just eight days after spraining it, Henson has missed three games and possibly soon to be four.

After missing the rest of the ACC Tournament in games against N.C. State which North Carolina won 69-67 and against Florida State which North Carolina lost, 85-82, Henson was very questionable coming into the second round of the NCAA Tournament against 16th seed Vermont as head coach Roy Williams told reports a day before the game that he wasn’t very convinced.

“I’m not convinced,” Williams told reporters Thursday.

As for Henson on Thursday…

“We’re going to see how it feels tomorrow, and decide from there.” said Henson on Thursday.

Though, despite trying to stay optimistic that he was going to play, Henson would miss his third straight game on Friday as he watched his team defeat the Catamounts of Vermont 77-58.

Some reports came out as Henson’s absence was just a precautionary reason, however one day after advancing to the third round, head coach, Roy Williams is saying otherwise.

“I wish I could tell you because I’m tired of answering the daggum thing,” said Williams to reporters before their Saturday practice. “I really don’t have any other information at all to add to what I said yesterday.”

“He did continue getting rehab last night but when you’re sitting there eating, there’s not a lot of things that you do when you’re eating your meal that resembles what you’re asked to do with a basketball,” Williams said.

It would be Henson’s fourth straight game missed if absent from the North Carolina line-up come Sunday and it would be a very key absence for a team that’s facing a tough Creighton team.

Williams also added to reporters on Friday, that his percentage of Henson playing come Sunday is about a 50/50 percent chance. However, who knows if those percentages changed or not within the last 24 hours.

Though, North Carolina will take the court with or without, Henson come Sunday against the Creighton Bluejays at 5:15 P.M. Eastern Time on CBS.

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Defending Fab Melo Off The Court: See Why His Bad Grades Aren’t Completely All His Fault

Fab Melo will miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament due to academic issues.

Yesterday afternoon as Syracuse University Men’s basketball team was headed to Pittsburgh for the first round of the NCAA Tournament reports broke that star center, Fab Melo was not aboard. The reasoning, no one knows completely as it’s just all speculation however, a close source told ESPN that it was due to Melo’s academics.

Now this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Melo out of the Syracuse line-up as in late January of this year he missed three games that were against Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and West Virginia.

The Orange went 2-1 in that stretch, the loss coming from Notre Dame (67-58) which happened to be the Orange’s first loss of the season.

They averaged 60.3 points a game during that stretch, which was 14.2 points per game less than their overall average with Melo in the line-up (74.6). Though, that’s not all that decreased during the absence of Melo as both the Orange’s rebounding and blocks a game decreased drastically. Going from 35.3 rebounds a game to 26.7 rebounds a game and going from 7 blocks a game to just 3.3 a game.

Though while the reasoning for Melo’s suspension is realistically his fault, as it’s his grades and his academic problems, but does that really give fans the right to be angered by his poor grades? No it doesn’t. I mean looking at it from his eyes and not from the un-supportive Syracuse fans that they’re, how difficult do you really think it is for him?

I mean coming from another country (Brazil) and switching languages (Portuguese to English) and going to a school whose students’ average GPA is a 3.6 is very hard to do. Now I do understand that Melo went to a private school, Sagemont High School located in Weston, Florida, however he only went their for two years (playing for them just one year due to transfer rules).

So for people to say that he’s “dumb,” “stupid,” “an idiot,” or other degrading comments such as those, is just wrong. I’d like to see those people go to Brazil, or China, or any other country really and try to succeed in one of those College Systems, I bet they would struggle too.

Continuing with that, I bet some of the people that are saying the degrading comments aimed towards Melo probably wouldn’t even be able to handle Syracuse University despite knowing the English language and being a United States citizen. In addition to that keep in mind that Melo wasn’t just a student, but a student athlete as well.

So that person attending the University would have to handle both his grades and a division one sport which can take a toll on any athlete, let alone an athlete from another country.

So like the old saying goes, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

But before you go, can you tell me what this means? “Fab Melo suspenso por tempo indeterminado para o restante do torneio da NCAA.”

Now without using the internet, or your phone, or anything along those lines, being honest, did you have any clue what that meant? Its okay if you didn’t as you’re not alone as I asked five people the same question and they all gave me the same response, “no idea.”

Though, what about the language that the sentence is in, could you at least tell me that? It’s Portuguese.

Though now, in-case you’re still wondering what that sentence meant in English it meant, “Fab Melo suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the NCAA tournament.”

Easy right? Though, not easy if you don’t know the language.

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Peyton Manning To Sign With The Tennessee Titans

Peyton Manning will sign with the Tennessee Titans within the next couple of days.

With all the recent moves that NFL teams have been making from the Miami Dolphins trading wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears. To the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing wide receiver Vincent Jackson, there’s still one name, one player that has yet make his name headlined and that’s Peyton Manning.

Just one week after being released by the only NFL team that he’s ever played on since being drafted by the Colts in 1998, Peyton Manning after holding a joint press conference with owner Jim Irsay had this to say about free agency.

“I have no idea who wants me, what team wants me, how this process works,” Manning told a group of reporters in South Florida. “I don’t know if it’s like college recruiting where you go take visits. I mean, this is all so new to me.”

Well Manning would find out soon enough that the 11 time Pro Bowler was wanted as 12 teams immediately showed interest such as the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks, the Washington Redskins, the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Jets.

However after showing interest in Manning several of those teams listed above began to become destinations not suitable for him. For instance, the New York Jets. After saying that they wanted Manning and how would they ever be able to pass up on an opportunity of signing Manning they instead went out and gave quarterback Mark Sanchez a new contract.

As for the Redskins sources close to Manning’s camp would say that he wasn’t showing interest and didn’t want to go to the Redskins mainly because he didn’t want to play in the same division as his brother, quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

Sticking with the NFC teams, Manning who was shown interest by the Seattle Seahawks opted not to go to their interview, scratching them off of his list.

After scratching those off the list, Manning who would visit with the Denver Broncos for what everyone speculated to be the “landing spot” for Manning, has fallen apart over the last couple of days due to different reasons.

So with the Arizona Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins, and the new contender, the Tennessee Titans now in the mix, the landing spot for Manning becomes interesting.

However it won’t be Arizona. After several rumors and petitions for Manning to sign made by players and fans, Manning just has no true interest in signing there as the main reason is he doesn’t want to go to an NFC team. His reasoning, both he and his brother have a dream of one day playing in a Super Bowl against each other. So knowing that, obviously any NFC team would be out of the question for Manning.

Now Manning did say that he would consider NFC teams, but two things, he used the word “consider” and he said it before he knew teams were interested in him. It’s kind of like telling the girl that asked you to prom that you’ll “most likely go with her” but you’re only telling her that so she doesn’t go find another prom date. And if no one else wants to go with you then you’ll just settle with her.

Next up was the Miami Dolphins a landing spot that many made the “spot” for Manning to go. From the websites, billboards, and the fans chanting his name, Miami seemed like place for Manning. However, despite LeBron James publicly announcing in an interview for Manning to come to Miami and despite Manning working out with Reggie Wayne in Miami, Miami won’t be the spot for Manning.

Reason: The Dolphins organization never really showed “true” interest in Manning as it was always the fans showing the majority of it. Also too, the Dolphins today traded away wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for draft picks. Now after the trade, it looked like Manning to Miami seemed very likely as the Dolphins were trading away Marshall to fill space for Wayne and obviously Manning. However, later Tuesday night Reggie Wayne would re-sign with the Indianapolis Colts which then ended any chance of Manning going to Miami.

Now while it’s not officially done, Peyton Manning just like he decided when he had to choose a college is going to Tennessee. Heck, he practically foreshadowed it when he told reporters, “I don’t know if it’s like college recruiting where you go take visits. I mean, this is all so new to me.”

Though it only makes sense, he obviously likes Tennessee I mean why else would he have selected them over his fathers alma mater, Ole Miss. Now while his college selection that he made 17 years ago may seem irrelevant, in the end it really doesn’t as he likes Tennessee. Another reasoning why Manning will sign with the Titans is not only are the Titans an AFC team, so Manning still can play his brother in a Super Bowl but, their in the same division as the Colts. Now while Manning isn’t really the type of guy to “seek payback” but who wouldn’t want some type of revenge on someone who he (Manning) devoted 14 hard years too?

So while it’s not official yet, within the next couple of days expect Manning to sign with the Tennessee Titans.

“I want Manning,” Titans owner Bud Adams told The Tennessean Sunday. “I’d love to see him in Titan blue after watching him so many years with the Colts. … I want him. I am ready to do what it takes to get him aboard, and I think he’d be the guy to get us into the playoffs.”

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New Orleans Saints Bounty System: My Reaction

The New Orleans Saints are just playing football though the extra money, I guess that's just the team having fun.

After news broke last week that New Orleans Saints assistant coach Greg Williams was in charge of a Bounty Program which had a Bounty Pool of up to $50,000 in it, people began putting The Saints off as not too “Saintly.” Many began calling them “dirty,” “cheaters,” “embarrassments,” to the game, and other things along those lines.

However, I disagree with all of them. Personally, these bounties that were put out against quarterback’s Brett Favre and Kurt Warner (Which are just rumors) are a good thing. Now people would say do you honestly think that hurting another player or knocking him out of the game for money is a good thing? And my answer would be yes, that’s the NFL.

And I bet you that at least a handful of those people that are outraging against the Saints and saying “how dare they!” are the same people that sat in those stands or sat at home and cheered as Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin laid there on the field helplessly.

Irvin called it a “Bounty Bowl” when they played the Eagles, but did anyone put a stop to that? No, they didn’t and everyone continued on as if nothing happened because it’s football.

So let me ask you a question, do you honestly think that Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus didn’t want to hurt anyone? What about Detroit Lions corner-back, Dick “Night Train” Lane? Or four time Super Bowl Champion linebacker, Bill Romanowski? The answer was yes, they didn’t care.

“I felt I could take myself to a place where other guys weren’t willing to go because come Sunday after a game, I already started hating the next opponent. I started hating the guy I was going to go against,” says Romanowski. “I hated the coaches. I hated their fans. I hated their family. You name it. And by the time I got onto that field come Sunday, watch out because there was rage.”

Romanowski was known as the NFL’s “hit man” as every tackle that he made he was going for a knockout.

You heard him he hated his opponent and in a game of hard hitting and a ton of contact can you really blame him? So players are putting out bounties on players, so what. I can guarantee you that if you went in a locker room with Butkus, Lane, Romanowski, or anyone of the great defensive players to play in the NFL that they would be doing the same thing. The only difference is they wouldn’t do it for money; they would do it because they wanted too.

And that’s the only real concern that I have with this bounty system is, is that players should not have to be bribed by money to go out and hurt someone, knock someone out, or tackle them, they should just want to do it.

With that being said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell don’t suspend or fine these players and coaches for wanting to play the game of football. Suspend or fine them for cheating the game of football and what I mean by cheating, is the extra money that they put on the table to hurt or knockout the opposing players also known as football.

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Andrew Bynum Said That He Won’t Be Doing Any Pay Back Today However Two Other Lakers Players Will

Metta World Peace talking with head coach Mike Brown.

With about eight minutes left in the third quarter on Sunday’s annual NBA All-Star Game, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant got a quick step on Miami Heat’s guard Dwyane Wade when Wade then who was trailing behind Bryant wrapped Bryant up and while doing that his arm swiped across the bridge of Bryant’s nose resulting in a broken nose as well as a concussion for Kobe Bryant.

Bryant wasn’t asked about the incident after the game however Wade was.

“I don’t know if anybody wants me to get down on my knees in front of the world and [apologize],” Wade said. “Like I said, I sent my apologies to Kobe, and I move on from it.”

Many players, fans, and spectators saw the foul that Wade inflicted on Bryant as “un-called for,” “outrageous,” “never should’ve happened,” and other things along those lines.

Now after the game Wade also said that the foul on Bryant was completely un-intentional.

“He knows it’s no ill intent on me to do that,” Wade said. “Did I take a foul? Yes, I took a foul. So, talk about me for taking a foul. But I never wanted that kind of outcome.”

Though despite Wade saying that his foul on Bryant was un-intentional or not, many spectators and other people very close to the game have been saying that the Lakers players will respond.

“If they’re gonna let our star players continue to get beat up,” Lakers guard Matt Barnes said, referencing not just the Wade foul but the one delivered by Brendan Haywood to Pau Gasol Feb. 22 in Dallas,” we’re going to have to step up.”

Now what Barnes meant by his comment of “stepping up,” he didn’t make clear though, one could speculate what he meant by pretty much saying that they’re going to respond to Wade’s hard hit, with another hit right back.

Now the Lakers have history of stepping up to teams with hard blows for instance, game four of the NBA playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and themselves when not only center Andrew Bynum delivered a hard elbow to Mavericks guard J.J. Barea who was coming down the lane but, forward Lamar Odom who delivered a hard hit to Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki as well.

So guard Matt Barnes who states Metta World Peace as the enforcer and he as Metta’s side kick, plan to take care of business for their team today against the Miami Heat however, center Andrew Bynum does not.

“I can’t do anything about [it],” Bynum said after the Lakers’ shoot-around on Saturday. “If I do anything, they’re going to definitely hit me [with punishment]. It sucks. It’s not good. It’s just unfortunate and something we got to deal with.”

The “they” that Bynum was referring to was the NBA’s league office who would for sure punish Bynum as this wouldn’t be his first nor second instance as he already suffered a four game suspension that was enforced at the beginning of the season for two incidents with Minnesota Timberwolves Michael Beasley and at the time Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea.

“I got two (targets on me),” Bynum said. “I got Beasley, I got Barea and people blame me for the Gerald Wallace incident, but I didn’t do anything in that particular one.”

Though, that doesn’t mean that Bynum plans on backing down from the Heat today either.

“I still play hard. If I have to foul, I have to foul. That’s part of the game,” Bynum said. “I can’t do anything extra, obviously. No elbows. Nothing that looks crazy.”

Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, 3:30 Eastern Time on ABC: Don’t miss it.

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