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North Carolina’s 10 best candidates to replace Roy Williams after his retirement

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North Carolina's 10 best candidates to replace Roy Williams after his retirement

Roy Williams retired Thursday after 33 years as a head coach.  

Williams, 70, spent 15 seasons at Kansas before an 18-year stint with North Carolina. He finished with 903 wins, nine Final Four appearances and three national championships. He’s one of the most decorated coaches of all time. This is not an April Fools’ Day joke. 

Williams’ successor will face huge expectations at North Carolina. That said, this is arguably the best job in college basketball and should attract an array of names from the college and NBA ranks. 

Who are those potential replacements at North Carolina? Sporting News takes a closer look.

MORE: Ranking the Final Four teams’ chances to win it all

North Carolina head coaching candidates

Hubert Davis, UNC assistant coach    

North Carolina’s past three coaches — Williams, Matt Doherty and Bill Guthridge — either played or served as an assistant coach for Dean Smith. Davis checks both boxes. He played for Smith, and he’s served as an assistant for Williams since 2012. Davis also played in the NBA from 1992 to 2004, and he makes for the easiest transition if some of the flashy candidates are not interested in the job. If the Tar Heels were going to do this, however, then why not just make the announcement now?  

Wes Miller, UNC-Greensboro coach   

Miller is another interesting potential successor, and with good reason. He played for Williams at North Carolina from 2004 to 2007, and the Greensboro native has spent his entire coaching career in the state with Elon, High Point and UNC-Greensboro. The Spartans have enjoyed five straight seasons with 20-plus wins, and that includes two NCAA tournament appearances. Miller, 38, is bound to land a major conference coaching job soon enough. This could turn out to be the perfect fit. 

Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls coach    

Brad Stevens is always the first name that comes up from the NBA ranks — think, Indiana a few weeks ago — but inevitably he always stays with the Boston Celtics. The next name is Donovan, who spent five seasons with the Oklahoma City before taking the job in Chicago. Donovan had more success at the college level with two national championships at Florida, and at 55 year old he is not much older than Williams was when he took the North Carolina job in 2003. Donovan could thrive at North Carolina.  

John Beilein, Big Ten Network analyst  

Would North Carolina consider the 68-year-old coach? Beilein’s stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers did not work out, but he has a proven track record of success with Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan. The Wolverines went to the Final Four in 2013 and 2018. Beilein can coach in any conference and be successful. SN’s Mike DeCourcy wrote, “There is little doubt he has turned down other opportunities waiting for the right one to re-enter coaching. This would be one he could not decline” when the Texas job opened up. Could this be that job? 

Porter Moser, Loyola coach    

Moser’s stock will never be higher, and this would be the time for North Carolina to strike. He’s led Loyola to a Final Four appearance and a Sweet 16, and the Ramblers have four seasons with 20 or more victories. Moser is an Illinois native, however, and his overall coaching record is 239-241. That would stick out for a fan base that expects to contend for national championships every year.  

Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt coach  

Stackhouse is another recognizable alum who completed his second season as Vanderbilt’s head coach. The past two seasons have produced a 20-37 record and a 6-28 record in SEC play. There is no doubt that Stackhouse would be able to use his NBA experience — he was an assistant coach at Toronto and Memphis — to keep the recruiting pipeline open, but that record might make some Tar Heels nervous about a potential hire.  

Kenny Smith, TNT analyst   

Smith played at North Carolina from 1983 to 1987 and was a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets. He is most recognized now for his work on “Inside the NBA,” and there is no doubt that is he is still invested in the North Carolina program. Smith knows the game, but he has no coaching experience.  

LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central coach  

Moton, 46, is one of the best in-state candidates on the list. He played high school and college ball in North Carolina, and he’s enjoyed a steady run of success with North Carolina Central in the MEAC. The Eagles have made four tournament appearances since 2014, and they have a 110-41 record in the MEAC since 2012. It is a big step up, but Moton deserves consideration based on that track record.  

Chris Holtmann, Ohio State coach   

Holtmann is another candidate who will come up for openings, and it’s based on his immediate impact at Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won 20-plus games each of the past four seasons, and Holtmann does have in-state experience with his stint at Gardner-Webb. Holtmann is one of the better major-conference candidates worth taking a look at.  

Jerod Haase, Stanford coach  

Hasse is not a flashy candidate, but he was an assistant for Williams at North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. He took UAB to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, but he has not pushed Stanford to the Big Dance in the past five seasons. Haase is a member of that North Carolina coaching fraternity, but he might not have enough success to land the job.

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White Sox’s Carlos Rodon completes no-hitter after losing perfect game in 9th to HBP

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White Sox's Carlos Rodon completes no-hitter after losing perfect game in 9th to HBP

Carlos Rodon went through elbow surgery two years ago and shoulder issues last year. The White Sox non-tendered him last offseason and then re-signed him about two weeks before the start of spring training.

He was perfectly healthy for his second start of 2021, to the point he almost made history.

Rodon on Wednesday threw a no-hitter against Cleveland, beating the Tribe 8-0 on a 45-degree night in Chicago. He was two outs away from becoming the 24th MLB pitcher to throw a nine-inning perfect game.

MORE: Teams’ most recent no-hitters

Unfortunately for him, he lost the perfecto when he hit Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez on the foot with a breaking ball with one out in the ninth. Perez did not make much of an effort to avoid the pitch but there was no argument from the White Sox.

After that, the 28-year-old left-hander struck out Yu Chang and retired Jordan Luplow on a ground ball to third baseman Yoan Moncada to complete the no-hitter. Rodon threw 114 pitches (75 strikes), his highest pitch count since throwing 116 on July 29, 2018 (per Baseball-reference.com). 

Rodon almost lost his perfecto bid on the first batter of the ninth. Josh Naylor hit a slow bouncer to first baseman Jose Abreu, who slid into the bag to barely beat a diving Naylor. First base umpire Brian Knight, who was no Jim Joyce on this night, called Naylor out. A rapid replay review upheld the call.

“That was a hell of a play, man, hell of a play,” Rodon told the White Sox TV crew in an on-field interview.

Rodon rejoined the Sox on Feb. 1 — he said it was a “pretty easy” decision to come back, knowing that Chicago was set up to win now — and then pitched his way into the rotation in spring training. Wednesday’s start was just his fourth since suffering the elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery in May 2019. He threw 95 pitches over five innings in his 2021 debut, April 5 vs. the Mariners.

He almost became the fourth White Sox pitcher to throw a perfect game; he would have joined Philip Humber (2012), Mark Buehrle (2009) and Charlie Robertson (1922). Instead, he completed the 20th no-hitter in franchise history (rotation mate Lucas Giolito no-hit the Pirates last Aug. 25).

And he threw the second no-no in MLB in less than a week. Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history Friday night against the Rangers in Texas.

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PSG star Neymar wants to be professional poker player when he retires from football

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PSG star Neymar wants to be professional poker player when he retires from football

PSG star Neymar has expressed his desire to become a professional poker player when he retires from football.

The 29-year-old started playing poker during the 2014 World Cup and has developed a passion for the game since then. 

Neymar said he played with Gerard Pique during his time at Barcelona and now counts Keylor Navas and Leandro Paredes among his poker rivals at PSG.

What was said?

When asked by CNEWS if his goal was to be a professional poker player when he retires from football, Neymar said: “It’s true, it’s true. It’s one of the things I love to do the most. 

“I feel very comfortable and I think that after playing football I will be able to do tournaments, travel to play tournaments that I have always wanted to participate in and could not do because of my agenda and my career. 

“So when I finish my football career, that’s one of the things I’m going to do, travel to play this type of tournament.

“Among the similarities between poker and football, I think focus is one of them. The way you read your opponent and the game is also very important. 

“I think one of the most important things in football, and what I do on the pitch, is to read the game, read your opponent, and see where you can attack, where you can move to create a chance for your team. 

“And in poker it’s the same, you have to read the game, read your opponents and know the right time to attack your opponent.”

What’s next for Neymar?

The Brazilian still has plenty to accomplish on the pitch before his playing days are over, starting with his quest for a treble with PSG this season.

Neymar helped PSG past Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week, setting up a semi-final clash with Manchester City.

PSG are also three points back of first-place Lille in Ligue 1, while they have a French Cup quarter-final date with Angers later this month.

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‘Heading into one’s arm is not punishable’ – Dortmund boss Terzic slams penalty decision vs Man City

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'Heading into one's arm is not punishable' - Dortmund boss Terzic slams penalty decision vs Man City

Borussia Dortmund manager Edin Terzic hit out at a crucial penalty call that went against his side on Wednesday in their Champions League elimination against Manchester City.

With Dortmund leading 1-0 on the night and poised to advance to the semi-finals on away goals, Emre Can was whistled for a handball in the box 10 minutes into the second half. 

Can headed the ball off his outstretched arm, which Terzic insisted meant the spot kick should not have been awarded. Riyad Mahrez would convert the ensuing penalty to send City on their way to the last four.

What was said?

“To be fair, you have to congratulate Man City,” Terzic told Sky Germany. “They played brilliantly and deservedly go one round further.

“After three of four halves, however, we were through – then it’s annoying that we end up conceding two goals like this. At the referee training it is clearly stated that heading into one’s arm is not punishable.

“Let me put it this way: We weren’t very lucky with decisions in the two games. We had a big dream, it is now unfortunately over.”

What other decisions went against Dortmund?

Jude Bellingham had what appeared to be a valid goal taken away in the first leg after he stole the ball from Ederson and rolled it into an empty net.

The referee ruled the teenager had fouled Ederson and blew his whistle before Bellingham put the ball into an empty net, meaning the play could not be reviewed by VAR. 

Replays showed that Bellingham had robbed the ball in mid-air from Ederson while hardly making contact with the goalkeeper.

What happened after Mahrez’s goal?

The Algerian drew City level on the night after Bellingham’s opener for Dortmund, and his spot kick put City ahead 3-2 on aggregate. 

City would then go on to control possession as they looked to take away the Germans’ chances of equalising.

With 15 minutes to play, Phil Foden then grabbed another goal to put the tie out of reach for Dortmund as City advanced with a 4-2 aggregate win.

What’s next for both teams?

Dortmund will face Werder Bremen on Sunday as they continue their pursuit of a top-four spot in the Bundesliga, currently sitting in fifth place. 

City take on Chelsea in a FA Cup semi-final on Saturday before they face PSG in the Champions League semi-finals later in April.

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