* Former Tar Heel Vasco Evtimov has reached Euroleague's Top 16 with Adecco Asvel (France - Pro A). Evtimov grabbed 6.5 rebounds and scored nine points per game during the regular season, while averaging less than 19 minutes per outing.
Based on his skills and experience in European baketball, Euroleague.net asked Evtimov to be their Group G 'Inside Analyst.' Evtimov considers Barcelona (Spain-ACB) as the favorite. "The Barcelona frontline will be tough, but I hope to be able to outrun them and keep them outside the lane," said Evtimov in his Group G preview.
Read Evtimov's complete commentary by clicking here.
COTA COMMENTS ON EUROLEAGUE, GROUP E
* Ed Cota's Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) did not reach the Top 16 phase of Euroleague, but since Cota competed against two teams in Group E during the regular season, Panathinaikos (Greece) and Montepaschi (Italy), Euroleague.net made him the Group E 'Outside Analyst.'
"Personally, I felt I had a good year, but not as good as I expected. We're not qualified for the Top 16, so I'm not satisfied," Cota explained to about his Euroleague season with Zalgaris.
Cota is very high on Panathinaikos, the defending champs, and named them as the group favorite and his pick to advance to the Final Four. "I just feel right now they are the best defensive team I have seen," Cota said.
Read Cota's entire expert opinion on Group E by clicking here.
SHAMMOND SENT TO DENVER
* Back in his high school days in Greenville, S.C., Shammond Williams would watch Chris Whitney play point guard for Clemson. Williams even had thoughts about taking over for Whitney. "I would see Whit play all the time. I was a Clemson fan," Williams told the Rocky Mountain News, after being traded last week to Denver, where he is now Chris Whitney's teammate. "If Clemson had offered me a scholarship out of high school, I would have gone."
There is a crunch on minutes at the Nuggets' point guard spot now with Williams joining Chris Whitney and Junior Harrington. Whitney has fallen out of favor recently and is looking to be released and picked up by a playoff contender.
That would clear the way for Williams. "I feel I'm in a position where I can be the basketball player I am. I can lead. I can help develop players and make my teammates better," he said.
In his first game as a Nugget on Friday, Williams came off the bench for 13 points and 6 assists in 29 minutes. Denver lost, 99-89, at Utah.
CAPEL ON ESPN2 TODAY
* On Saturday night Jason Capel tossed in 15 points (6-11 FG, 3-3 FT), in only 18 minutes, to help the Fayetteville Patriots (NBDL) to a 94-87 win over Columbus. The victory was the Patriot's ninth in a row. That game will be shown today by ESPN2 at 3 p.m. (ET).
During the week Capel had a season-high 12 rebounds against Greenville and missed Thursday's game due to illness. Yesterday the Patriots 9-game win streak came to an end, leaving them at 26-14, in first-place with a four-game lead, with 10 games left on the schedule.
After going 12-for-12 at the free throw line Capel is back as the NBDL's best free throw shooter at 90.4% (150-166).
TRADE GETS FORTE OFF THE BENCH
* With Gary Payton and Desmond Mason traded by Seattle to Milwaukee, and the newly acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Ollie unavailable for Friday's SuperSonics-Bucks matchup there was finally some playing time available in the Seattle backcourt. Little-used, second-year pro Joseph Forte was called on by short-handed Seattle for 24 minutes during an 88-58 rout of Milwaukee.
Forte chipped in with a career-high of seven points (2-7 FG, 3-4 FT). Forte had previously played just 42 minutes in 10 games, with 27 minutes coming in five games since January 3.
With Ray Allen and Kevin Ollie in the Seattle lineup last night against the Lakers, Forte was back in his familiar "DNP" (Did Not Play) role.
NEWBY CLAIMS 'MBA' TITLE
* After starting out in January in Huron, South Dakota with the Dakota Lightning of the X-treme Basketball Association (XBA), Terrence Newby ended the season last week winning the championship game of the Midwestern Basketball Association with the Dakota Lightning Boltz.
Newby scored 13 points as Dakota won the title game, 119-103, over the Buffalo City (Jamestown, North Dakota) Thunder.