College roundup: UNC’s Rolle drafted by Minnesota
BRISTOL, Conn. — North Carolina center Waltiea Rolle was selected by Minnesota with the 36th and final pick of Monday’s WNBA Draft.
The 6-6 native of the Bahamas averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks for the Tar Heels this season.
While Rolle’s selection ended the night, Phoenix started the draft by taking Baylor center Brittney Griner with the first pick. The two-time AP Player of the Year finished as the second all-time scorer in women’s NCAA history and shattered both the men’s and women’s college record with 748 blocks.
The next two picks helped eliminate the local teams from the NCAA Tournament. Elena Delle Donne of Delaware, which ended UNC’s season in the second round, went second to Chicago. Guard Sylar Diggins of Notre Dame, which beat Duke in the Elite Eight, was picked third by Tulsa.
Moton to address sports club
DURHAM — N.C. Central men’s basketball coach LeVelle Moton will be the guest speaker at Wednesday’s meeting of the Durham Sports Club at Croasdaile Country Club.
The meeting begins at noon, and guests are welcome at a cost of $25.
FIU hires Evans away from Norfolk State
MIAMI — Anthony Evans was a finalist for the Florida International job a year ago, before the school decided to give Richard Pitino his first opportunity to be a head coach.
Apparently, the Panthers kept Evans’ resume on file.
Evans got the job this time around, arriving in Miami on Monday night to replace Pitino. He takes over a program that is coming off its first winning season since 1999-2000, but will likely face a postseason ban next season over academic problems that began during Isiah Thomas’ three-year stint on the Panthers’ sideline.
“I thought last year would have been a great opportunity,” Evans said after his arrival in South Florida. “Richard came in and did a great job. But now ... this opportunity, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to be honest for me and my family. It’s huge.”
Evans resigned from Norfolk State — where he spent the past six seasons — earlier Monday, hopped on a plane, landed in Miami in the evening and met his new team for the first time. He will be formally introduced to the FIU community today.
In just one year, Pitino turned the long-struggling Panthers into winners, going 18-14 and ending up just a 3-pointer away from reaching the NCAA tournament. FIU made a surprising run to the Sun Belt championship game, falling to Western Kentucky 65-63. The Panthers will be moving into Conference USA this coming season.
Players leaving for NBA
GEORGETOWN’S PORTER — All-American Otto Porter Jr. is leaving Georgetown after his sophomore season and declaring himself eligible for the NBA draft.
“The toughest part was knowing you’re going to leave a great place like this,” Porter said Monday at a news conference on campus alongside Hoyas coach John Thompson III. “I love this place.”
Porter was the Big East player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan’s Trey Burke for The Associated Press player of the year award.
Helping a team that was unranked in the preseason reach as high as No. 5 in the AP poll, Porter averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, both highs for Georgetown.
MARYLAND’S LEN — Maryland sophomore center Alex Len has decided to enter the NBA draft.
After an uneven freshman season with the Terrapins, the 7-foot-1 player averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2012-13. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 78 blocked shots.
The Ukraine native is expected to be a top-10 pick in the June 27 draft.
KENTUCKY’S NOEL — Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel will enter the NBA draft as he continues recovering from a torn ACL.
The 6-10 freshman is projected to be a lottery pick despite sustaining his season-ending knee injury on Feb. 12. He led the nation with 4.4 blocks per game, and averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Noel also had 50 steals for Kentucky (21-12), earning Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year honors, along with first team all-conference and freshman team selections.
GEORGIA’S CALDWELL-POPE — Georgia sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will enter the NBA draft.
Coach Mark Fox announced Monday that Caldwell-Pope has hired an agent, ending his college career. Several draft analysts have projected him to go around the middle of the first round.
Caldwell-Pope decided to turn pro after finishing second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 18.5 points a game. He also swept the player of the year awards handed out by The Associated Press and the league coaches.
Source: 76ers, Collins discuss coach’s future
PHILADELPHIA — Doug Collins is on his way out as Philadelphia 76ers’ coach.
It remains to be seen if he’ll stick with the organization in some other role.
A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Collins, father of former Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, and the Sixers are trying to resolve their relationship after the coach told them he would not return for a fourth season.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the issue has not been settled. The person said both sides spent the day working toward an agreement that would keep Collins in the organization in some capacity or free him from the club.
Two people with knowledge of the situation said Collins told the Sixers on Sunday night he would not return next season.
All three people who spoke to the AP say management wanted Collins to return and he was under no pressure to step down. Collins is owed $4.5 million in the last year of his contract.