ACC Sports Roundup.... (2016-11-15 17:39:39)

Tar Heels Sign Four For 2017-18....CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina men’s basketball team signed four players to National Letters of Intent to attend Carolina and play for the Tar Heels, head coach Roy Williamsannounced on Monday.


The quartet includes Jalek Felton, a 6-4 guard from West Columbia, S.C.; Brandon Huffman, a 6-9 forward from Anchorage, Alaska; Sterling Manley, a 6-10 forward from Reynoldsburg, Ohio; and Andrew Platek, a 6-4 guard from Schenectady, N.Y.

Felton attends Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia, S.C. He attended Mullins High School for three years.

“Jalek is a young man we have known forever it seems like,” says Williams. “He is Raymond Felton’s nephew. He has good genes to say the least. He’s an offensive player who can do just about everything – he can pass, he can shoot, he can penetrate. He’ll help us as a point guard. He’s a great young man, comes from a great family. He’s the kind of young man who can come in and really help us do some things because he’s a complete offensive player. We think he’s going to be a big-time addition to our program.”

Huffman moved from Alaska to Raleigh where he attends Word of God Christian Academy.

“Brandon is a youngster who goes to school in Raleigh and his folks live in Anchorage (Alaska),” says Williams. “He’s a big kid, he’s got the body. (Strength and conditioning coordinator) Jonas (Sahratian) always says, ‘You can’t sculpt a pebble.’ Well, he’s not getting a pebble in Brandon. His future is really bright. His potential is really high. He’s not a smooth player yet, but he has a wonderful attitude, will work extremely hard and every time I see him play he’s better than what I saw the previous time.”

Manley attends Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School. 

“Sterling had two broken legs in about a six-month time period and played only 11 or 12 games his junior year,” says Williams. “He has the body, passes the look test. (Assistant Coach) Steve Robinsonwent to see him play and really liked him and I went up there and saw the same thing. He’s another guy who has a tremendous upside. Sterling is a real gregarious young man. He’s accepted the challenge to come here and play at the highest level, and he’s going to be a player that is going to get better and better and his upside is awfully big as well.”

Platek attends Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon School. 

“Andrew is a young man who I saw after his sophomore year in high school in Augusta, Ga,” says Williams. “I thought I was looking at a really tough kid who can really shoot. He reminded me a little of (former Kansas guard and UNC assistant coach) Jerod Haase and if he works out as well as Jerod that would be great. A very bright kid, who has the toughness I really like. I think he’ll be the kind of kid who can make shots but he is also a gym rat and will do everything we ask him to do.”

“There’s not a top 10, top 15 type player (in this class), but we think Jalek can get to that level as a player,” says Williams. “You need big guys, and in Brandon and Sterling we’ve got two guys who are going to get better and better, with Andrew you have the toughness and shooting ability, and with Jalek you have a big-time athlete with a lot of offensive capabilities who will get better defensively.”


Jackson Named ACC Freshman of the Week

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke guard Frank Jackson was rewarded on Monday for his big opening weekend, earning ACC Freshman of the Week honors in a vote by media members who cover the league.

The Alpine, Utah, native averaged 19.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 25.0 minutes per game as Duke defeated Marist on Friday and Grand Canyon on Saturday to open the 2016-17 season. Jackson finished the first weekend of the season ranked second on the team in scoring and tied for the team lead in steals.

He was also efficient on the offensive end, shooting .520 (13-of-25) from the floor, .500 (5-of-10) from the arc and .800 (8-of-10) from the free throw line.

Jackson debuted with a team-high 18 points, a team-high four assists and a game-high four steals in Duke’s win over Marist on Friday night. Roughly 20 hours later, he put up 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a 4-of-6 performance from long distance, in the Blue Devils’ defeat of Grand Canyon.

Top-ranked Duke is set for a Champions Classic clash with No. 7 Kansas on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. ESPN will televise the event with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor on the call.  The Blue Devil IMG Sports Network will carry the game on the radio waves.


UNC Awarded #9 Seed For NCAA Championship

CHAPEL HILL - North Carolina earned the No. 9 seed in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, and will host a second round match on Sunday, Nov. 20 at Fetzer Field beginning at 7 p.m.

Carolina will open its 24th NCAA postseason appearance against the winner of Thursday’s first-round match between USF and Florida Gulf Coast.

Tickets are available for purchase at, and are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, and $3 for groups.

UNC and USF are tied 3-3-1 in the all-time series between the two programs. The last matchup with the Bulls was a 1-0 Tar Heel victory in the 2013 NCAA Championship first round. UNC has never faced FGCU.

Carolina is a top-16 national seed for the seventh time in the last nine years, and will be making its 17th postseason appearance in the last 18 seasons. The Tar Heels have hosted one postseason match at Fetzer Field every year since 2000.

UNC, 34-19-7 in NCAA Championship action, has won the national title in 2001 and 2011, appeared in six College Cups - including four straight from 2008-2011 - and made 10 trips to the NCAA quarterfinals, most recently in 2014.

Other national seeds in UNC’s quarter of the postseason bracket include #1 Maryland, #8 Syracuse and #16 Kentucky.

Carolina is 11-3-3 this season, winning the ACC Coastal Division with a 5-1-2 conference mark, and earned the top seed in the ACC Championship. The Tar Heels placed a league high six players on the postseason All-ACC teams, led by ACC Freshman of the Year Cam Lindley, the only freshman listed on the All-ACC first team.

The second team consisted of senior defender Colton Storm and junior forwards Alan Winn andZach Wright, the clubs leading scorer with five goals and six assists. Senior defender Walker Humeand sophomore keeper James Pyle earned a place on the All-ACC third team, and Mauricio Pinedajoined Lindley on the All-Freshman Team.

North Carolina is one of an NCAA record nine ACC clubs in the 48-team field - Wake Forest (2), Clemson (3), Louisville (4), Syracuse (8), North Carolina (9), Virginia (12) and Notre Dame (13) all earned national seeds. Boston College and Virginia Tech earned at-large bids and will play first round games on Thursday.


Giles-Harris, Jones Earn ACC Weekly Honors

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A pair of Duke redshirt freshmen – linebacker Joe Giles-Harris and quarterback Daniel Jones – earned weekly honors from the ACC following their performances against North Carolina last Thursday night. 

Giles-Harris was named the league’s Co-Linebacker of the Week along with Pitt’s Matt Galambos while Jones picked up his third conference Rookie of the Week citation.

In Duke’s 28-27 win over No. 15 North Carolina, Giles-Harris registered a season-high 16 tackles including one stop for lost yardage.  The Nyack, N.Y., native spearheaded a Blue Devil defensive unit that held the Tar Heels to second half totals of six points, 147 total yards and one third down conversion in four attempts.

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Jones completed 22-of-34 (.647) passes for 240 yards and one touchdown while rushing 16 times for 94 yards and two additional scores.  He directed a Duke offense that amassed 27 first downs and 467 total yards, held possession for 37:39 and converted 10-of-17 (.588) third down opportunities without committing a turnover.

The ACC’s other weekly honors included Georgia Tech’s Lawrence Austin (Defensive Back) and Parker Braun (Offensive Lineman), Clemson’s Mike Williams (Receiver), Louisville’s Devonte Fields (Defensive Lineman), Pitt’s Nathan Peterman (Offensive Back) and Chris Blewitt (Specialist).

Duke stands at 4-6 overall and 1-5 in ACC action and travels to face Pittsburgh on Saturady at 3 p.m., on Regional Sports Networks. 


Berry Named Co-ACC Player Of The Week

North Carolina’s Joel Berry II and Pitt’s Michael Young have been named the first Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Co-Players of the Week of the 2016-17 season, while Duke’s Frank Jackson earned Freshman of the Week honors.

Berry averaged 20.5 points, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals in the Tar Heels’ wins at Tulane and at home versus Chattanooga. The junior guard from Apopka, Florida, scored a career-high 23 points with four assists and six rebounds in UNC’s win at Tulane and had game highs in scoring (18) and assists (5) in the home win over Chattanooga. Berry made 11 of 20 (.550) shots from the floor, including 6 of 11 (.545) from 3-point range, and was 13-of-15 (.867) from the free throw line in the two games.

Young delivered 26 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a block in a 93-90 double-overtime win over Eastern Michigan as Pitt won its season opener for the 20th consecutive season. The Duquesne, Pennsylvania, native went 7-of-10 from the field and 11-of-15 from the foul line in the win. Young scored 15 points after intermission, including a team-high eight points in the overtime stanzas. He came up big in the first overtime, scoring six points over a span of 1:19 to help erase a three-point deficit.

ACC basketball weekly honors are determined by a vote of a 15-member media panel.


Tar Heels In The National Polls

Tar Heel Poll Notes

• North Carolina moved into the top five of the Associated Press poll while staying at No. 6 in the coaches rankings this week. The Tar Heels moved up one spot from No. 6 to No. 5 in the AP poll while holding steady at No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches' poll.

• Carolina won a pair of games last week to start the 2016-17 season: a 95-75 win at Tulane on Friday in New Orleans and a 97-57 home victory over 2016 NCAA Tournament team Chattanooga on Sunday afternoon.

• UNC has been in the top 10 of both polls for both weeks during the 2016-17 season.

• The Tar Heels began the 2016-17 season at No. 6 in both polls, starting the season in the AP top 10 for the 11th time in 14 seasons under head coach Roy Williams.

• Carolina finished the 2015-16 season at No. 2 in the coaches poll and No. 3 in the AP rankings.


Coming Up...

• This week, the Tar Heels will host Long Beach State on Tuesday night, then play at Hawaii late on Friday night.


ACC Teams in the Poll

• There are five Atlantic Coast Conference teams ranked in this week’s AP poll, including No. 1 Duke, No. 5 Carolina, No. 8 Virginia, No. 12 Louisville and No. 18 Syracuse.


Carolina’s Poll History

• Carolina has been ranked in 860 AP polls, more than any school in the nation. 

• The Tar Heels have been ranked in the AP Top 10 646 times, most in ACC history and second-most all-time behind Kentucky.

• The Tar Heels have achieved a Top 10 ranking in the AP poll in 54 of the poll's 68 seasons, including 48 of the last 51. 

• Carolina has finished in the AP Top 10 35 times, including 24 of the last 36 years.


Jones Named Manning Award Star of the Week

NEW ORLEANS – Redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones continued to collect honors Monday as he was named a Manning Award Star of the Week. This is Jones’ second selection from the Manning Award group as he was honored following the Notre Dame victory in September.

Earlier Monday, Jones was tabbed as the ACC Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.

Jones completed 22-of-24 passes (.647) for 240 yards and one touchdown in leading the Blue Devils to a 28-27 victory against No. 15 North Carolina last Thursday. His one scoring throw was a two-yard toss to redshirt sophomore tight end Davis Koppenhaver that provided the game-winning points with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter. Jonesfinished the contest with a 133.71 efficiency rating, good for the fourth-best rating by a Duke starting quarterback against a ranked opponent during the David Cutcliffe era.

Jones added 16 rushes for 94 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He excelled on third down, completing eight-of-10 passes (.800) for 91 yards and eight first downs. Overall, he directed a Duke offense that amassed 27 first downs and 467 total yards, held possession for 37:39 and converted 10-of-17 (.588) third downs, all without a turnover.

The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” College football fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 12 noon, the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

Photo Courtesy: Joel Berry II, UNC Athletics