On Saturday, North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams became the fifth head coach in Division I college basketball history to reach 900 wins. Williams was able to do it in front of a limited attendance at the Dean E. Smith Center, the first time the Tar Heel athletic program allowed fans to attend games this season. After being down by as many as sixteen points to ACC leading 11.Florida State in the first half, the Tar Heels used freshman big man Walker Kessler’s 20 points to get Coach Williams to the big milestone. Williams joins Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and retired Jim Calhoun (most famously known for his time at Connecticut), and Bob Knight (most famously known for his time at Indiana) in the 900 win club. Williams is the fastest to reach 900 wins, doing it in just his 1,161st game as a head coach. The former Tar Heel assistant began his head coaching career at Kansas in 2003 before returning to Chapel Hill in 2007.
Sierra Canyon Sophomore Guard Bronny James tore his meniscus in a practice earlier this month in preparation for California high school basketball’s spring season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The son of Los Angeles Lakers Forward LeBron James underwent surgery this past week. James averaged just 4.1 points in 15 minutes a game for the high school power during his freshman season. Bronny is ranked number 25 in the 2023 247Sports Composite.
It was announced on Thursday that the 2021 ACC men’s and women’s conference tournaments will allow fans. Then, “The league announced its decision Thursday, a day after Gov. Roy Cooper eased restrictions to allow attendance of up to 15% at indoor arenas seating more than 5,000 and 30% at outdoor venues” according to ESPN. The women’s tournament will occur March 3-7 and the men’s tournament will go from March 9-13.
It was announced on Friday that Indianapolis would “relax coronavirus restrictions on the city’s bars and restaurants starting next week ahead of the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA men’s basketball tournaments” per ESPN. The Big Ten tournament like other major conference tournaments will occur from March 10-14.
As I said in my college basketball weekend preview, potential All-American point guard Ayo Dosunmo is out indefinitely with a broken nose. The Illinois talent was injured in Tuesday’s loss to Michigan State. Illinois got back in the win column in their first game without him on Thursday in a game versus Nebraska. They beat Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon to make it a two game winning streak.
The NCAA announced its policies for how it will handle potential coronavirus-related withdrawals from the Division I men’s basketball tournament. ESPN confirmed that “There will be no reseedings or bracket changes once the bracket is released on Selection Sunday, and replacement teams will only be introduced within 48 hours of the field’s release. Potential at-large teams unable to meet the medical protocols by the first game of the NCAA tournament must notify the selection committee on the Saturday night before the field is announced”.
The NCAA announced also last Wednesday that it would extend its recruiting dead period again. According to multiple sources including oregonlive.com, the NCAA released a statement, saying “After careful consideration of all available information, the Council agreed that an extension of the dead period through May 31 (2021) was necessary,” Council chair M. Grace Calhoun said. “However, there is a strong commitment to use the next several weeks to outline the transition plan back to recruiting activities post June 1 and to provide those plans to prospective student-athletes, their families and the NCAA membership no later than April 15”. Full details on the dead period can be found on the official NCAA website, but in short, “During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period”.