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LCC at No. 1 in final regular season NJCAA D-II poll of 2008

For the third straight season, the Lenoir Community College basketball baseball (thanks, Devil27!) team is ranked atop the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II poll. This is the final poll of the regular season.

Place College Location Record Points 1st Pl Votes Last Week
1 Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC 42-9 86 6 3
2 Louisiana State University-Eunice Eunice, LA 40-10 85 1 1
3 Redlands Community College El Reno, OK 35-8 83 0 2
4 Western Oklahoma State College Altus, OK 45-10 74 1 4
5 Itawamba Community College Fulton, MS 34-11 55 0 6
6 Glendale Community College Glendale, AZ 35-21 44 0 8
7 Springfield College in Illinois Springfield, IL 33-9 36 0 13
8 University of Connecticut at Avery Point Groton, CT 32-8 28 0 7
9 Owens Community College Toledo, OH 30-2 27 0 99
10 Monroe Community College Rochester, NY 31-12 25 0 12
11 Des Moines Area Community College Boone, IA 35-13 23 0 14
12 Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge, IA 28-12 20 0 5
13 St. Catharine College St. Catharine, KY 31-12 13 0 10
14 Muskegon Community College Muskegon, MI 26-10 5 0 11
15 Cecil College North East, MD 28-11-1 4 0 NR
15 Miles Community College Miles City, MT 34-15-1 4 0 99

Congratulations to LCC coach Stony Wine and the boys, who have won 14 straight and 26 of their last 27 games. They play their final games in Lenoir County this season when they host Brunswick CC for a DH on Friday (at 1 p.m.) and a single game at noon on Saturday. 

For the complete poll, visit the NJCAA site here.

LIVE from NCHSAA meeting in Chapel Hill

Updated: this is how the area conferences will look for the academic years 2009-13 (for the complete APPROVED realignment plan for all conferences in the state, click here):

3A

Conference 5 (likely the Eastern Carolina 3A)

C.B. Aycock

Eastern Wayne

North Lenoir

Southern Wayne

South Johnston

Triton

2A

Conference 2 (likely the East Central 2A)

Clinton 

Croatan

East Duplin

Jacksonville Northside

Richlands

South Lenoir

Swansboro

Topsail

Conference 3 (likely the Eastern Plains 2A)

Farmville Central

Greene Central

Kinston

North Pitt

SW Edgecombe

Tarboro

Wilson Beddingfield

1A

Conference 4 (likely the Coastal Plains 1A)

Dixon

East Carteret

Jones Senior

Lejeune

Pamlico

SW Onslow

Conference 5 (likely the Carolina 1A)

Ayden-Grifton

Goldsboro

Goldsboro Rosewood

North Duplin

Princeton

Spring Creek

A couple of notable Tuesday scores and NCHSAA update

Congratulations to South Lenoir, which clinched its fourth straight league title with a 6-3 win against Clinton on Tuesday. The Blue Devils improved to 18-2, 12-1 in the East Central 2A with the win.

Also, many congratulations to our friend Jason Wade and the Kinston baseball team, which won at Wilson Beddingfield, 5-2. Jason coached the game and the Vikings were behind 2-0 but rallied for the victory on the same day that JWade’s mom passed away. Congratulations, dude.

Lastly, I’ll be in Chapel Hill on Wednesday for the NCHSAA annual meeting, where the association is going to have the final vote on realignment. I’ll be blogging live from the association’s HQ (if possible) to give you the final conference alignments.

THE GAME will take place on May 6

The North Lenoir-South Lenoir baseball game will finally, finally take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6 in Wheat Swamp. It’s been postponed several times but it is officially going to be played a week from today.

Unless it rains.

I’ll post a smack post later this week for you Hawks and Devils fans to share your feelings and what-not.

Also, the NL-SL softball game will be played in Deep Run on Wednesday, May 7 at 7 p.m.

Prayers for JWade and his family — with update

Kinston baseball coach Jason Wade just sent me an e-mail letting me know that his mother had passed at around 11:30 a.m. today. He said he didn’t mind me posting it on the blog here so we could pass along our condolences to him and his family.

Coach — as I said in my e-mail, you and your family are in my prayers. I’m sure all the other folks in our little blog family here feel the same way. If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.

Update at 11:15 p.m. on April 29: Jason sent me an e-mail stating that there won’t be a public viewing or funeral, per his mother’s wishes. However, in lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the Lenoir County SPCA in her memory.

Jones Senior fires basketball coach — updated

Jones Senior fired basketball coach Kenny Brown. According to a story written by New Bern Sun Journal Sports Editor Jess Huffman, Brown said he was told by JS AD William Franklin that a faculty member was pursuing the job.

Because of an NCHSAA rule that specifies that faculty members should be given first opportunity at a job (and Brown is not on the JS faculty), he was dismissed.

Brown was 70-28 in three seasons at JS, including a trip to the 1A Eastern Regional championship game this season.

Brown told the NBSJ: “I got fired today. I knew this was going to happen. If Mr. Franklin would’ve had his way, I would’ve been gone a long time ago.”

My take: I never like to see a coach dismissed, especially one who took his team to within a game of a state championship. But there was a feeling around Jones County that Brown had “lost” the team a couple of times, especially when Donte Moss transferred to Jacksonville Northside last year.

The coach was also hard to get up with at times, especially when the postseason awards season began. When I went to JS to take pictures for the girls’ portion of the All-Free Press team, he didn’t make nominations. Franklin and JS football coach Greg Hampton scrambled to get me nominations to include JS on the team.

I know this much: the team had a ton of talent and Brown got that talent to the Eastern Regional championship. Whoever is the coach next year is also inheriting a lot of talent and the Trojans should be a favorite for the Coastal Plains 1A title.

UPDATED APRIL 29, 5:15 P.M.: Just got off the phone with Coach Brown and he said he was never given the info to turn in his candidates for All-Free Press (or the other all-star teams).

“The AD (Franklin) and Assistant AD (Hampton) did everything they could to make me look bad,” Brown said. “The AD has been that way for the past two and a half years. I hope they accomplished what they wanted by firing me.”

Johnny Dawkins leaves Duke

Duke Associate Head Coach Johnny Dawkins is leaving the Blue Devils to become the head coach at Stanford. Here is the four-letter Web site’s story on the move.

My take: I have to admit, I never thought he would leave and would be Krzyzewski’s replacement when Coach K was put out to pasture (sort of like Bill Guthridge in Chapel Hill). It is a good fit for Dawkins, though, who is a hell of a recruiter and has dealt with high acadmic standards in his time in Durham.

I bet you this, though: Dawkins will have a clause in his contract similar to the one Roy Williams had at Kansas that stipulates that if/when K is dragged out of Durham kicking and screaming retires, he can accept the Duke job without penalty.

Think you’ll see some Duke-Stanford games in the near future?

Chris Johnson to the Titans

Congratulations to East Carolina RB Chris Johnson, who was drafted No. 24 by the Tennessee Titans. I had seen him in mock drafts going as early as the late first round, but even Mr. Hair Helmet Draft Expert Mel Kiper was surprised to see him go so quickly on Saturday.

From ESPN: This is a reach in our opinion. At 197 pounds, there are concerns about Johnson’s ability to take the kind of pounding NFL running backs endure. He’s also not great between the tackles and has had fumble issues. His biggest strengths are his speed and versatility; Johnson can line up in the backfield or motion out to the slot. His rare speed (4.24) makes him a home run threat regardless of where he lines up. Johnson can also make an impact in the kickoff return game.

My take: Good for him. He’s always been  underappreciated, mostly because of his lack of size. Maybe he’ll get in there and turn some heads. One thing is for sure: you can’t teach speed and God knows he has that.

Hansbrough staying; Lawson, Ellington testing NBA waters

From Freedom News Service’s Bob Sutton:

By Bob Sutton, Burlington Times-News

Tyler Hansbrough will play his senior season for North Carolina’s men’s basketball team, while teammates Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson will declare for the NBA Draft without hiring agents.

This means that Ellington and Lawson, both completing their sophomore years, could opt to stay in school if they withdraw their names from the draft by June 16.

The university’s athletics department announced the trio’s decisions, but the players weren’t available for comment. Statements from the players and coach Roy Williams were released by the school.

“I am pleased and most supportive of the decisions made by all three young people,” Williams said. “… We will continue to help Ty and Wayne with the draft process and give them all the support they need in making any future decisions related to staying in the draft or returning to Carolina.”

Williams said he contacted more than half of the NBA teams to seek information about the players’ draft statuses.

“I’m not dying to leave here, but playing in the NBA is another dream I have,” said Ellington, a guard and a second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference player.

Lawson, a point guard, said: “I will work out for NBA teams to get a more precise evaluation of my draft status. After I do that and get more information from the teams, I will make a decision to either stay in the draft or come back to North Carolina for my junior year. I am in good standing academically and plan on doing a great job in my final exams.”

Hansbrough, meanwhile, will be in line to shatter school and ACC records. The power forward was the National Player of the Year as a junior.

“I love playing at North Carolina and still have big dreams to realize here, including graduating,” Hansbrough said. “Of course, I look forward to playing in the NBA some day but not next year. … I am very relieved that this decision is behind us …”

Hansbrough’s 2,168 career points rank second in school history. He’s eighth all-time in NCAA history with 733 made free throws.

My take: I’m not at all surprised by any of these decisions. Hansbrough wants to break all those records and, honestly, he’s on the outside of being a lottery pick (but won’t improve it any next year, though). Lawson, though, is going to be an NBA stud, much like Chris Paul (only quicker). Ellington will fill a nice niche for an NBA team, someone like Rashad McCants.

Don’t be surprised if all three come back, though. If Lawson isn’t projected as a top-10 pick, he’ll be back. So will Ellington. Of the trio, I think Lawson will be gone, but again, I won’t be surprised if he comes back.