NCAA Tournament Notebook: Lawson has visions of playing
Published 12:00 am Friday, March 20, 2009
By Bret Strelow
The ACC notebook …
GREENSBORO ó A shoeless Ty Lawson wore black, horn-rimmed glasses as he sat atop a trainers table in North Carolina’s locker room Friday afternoon.
The accessory enhanced his appearance, not his vision.
“They’re my personality glasses,” he said.
Lawson acted in an outgoing manner, but the identity of UNC’s starting point guard remains a mystery.
A jammed right big toe has caused Lawson to sit out three consecutive games, and he said he expects to play today against LSU in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Lawson spoke to reporters prior to a closed practice that was scheduled to begin at 3:10 p.m. and run until 4:40. UNC coach Roy Williams said he planned to check with Lawson at around 11:30 p.m. to see if there was swelling in the toe.
North Carolina officials released no update on Lawson’s status.
“The fear for me is, No. 1, we have to play well or it doesn’t make no difference how Ty’s toe feels,” Williams said. “If I’m in Wilmington at Wrightsville Beach, I don’t give a darn about Ty’s toe at that point.”
LASTING LEGACY: LSU is North Carolina’s concern, not Duke’s, but the Tigers ended the Blue Devils’ last deep run in the NCAAs.
A 62-54 loss to LSU during the Sweet 16 in 2006 capped the careers of seniors J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams.
Garrett Temple and Tasmin Mitchell, who each played 40 minutes in that game, are in position to also end Tyler Hansbrough’s career.
“That would be a good footnote, something to think about and reflect on a lot later on in my life,” Temple said.
Temple is widely credited with shutting down Redick, who scored 11 points on 3-for-18 shooting on a Thursday night in Atlanta three years ago.
Mitchell said he was riding an elevator after LSU’s first-round win against Butler on Thursday when someone in a Hansbrough jersey spotted him and said, “Good game today, but you know I’m a Tar Heel fan.”
Temple said he was eating at a small diner in Baton Rouge, La., about two months ago when a family friend from North Carolina praised him for his effort against Duke.
“He said, ‘I’m a Carolina guy, and I just love what y’all did to Duke and what y’all did to Redick.’ ”
PAYING RESPECT: Hansbrough, who became the ACC’s career scoring leader early in a first-round win against Radford, said he received a phone call from Redick, the previous record holder, on Thursday.
“He wished me the best of luck,” Hansbrough said. “He told me it was a big deal for him when he broke it, and he thought I’d break it before the year started. He just congratulated me.
“The Duke thing, everybody kind of talks about that, but I respect the guy.”
CLEAR LINES OF COMMUNICATION: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, after learning that President Barack Obama didn’t pick the Blue Devils to reach the Final Four, joked that Obama should worry more about fixing the economy than filling out brackets.
Some news outlets took Krzyzewski’s words as a serious statement.
“People want, at some times, to create news,” Krzyzewski said. “They don’t want to report news. And in their zest to create, they tell quarter stories or a tenth of stories or 25 percent of stories instead of telling the whole thing.”
Krzyzewski’s wife, Mickie, sent a text message to former Duke player Reggie Love, Obama’s body man, to clarify the comment.
Love responded by saying Obama wasn’t offended.
HOT SHOTS: Duke and North Carolina will have to contend with high-scoring guards today.
The Blue Devils face Texas, which beat Minnesota in the first round behind a 26-point showing from A.J. Abrams. He hit eight 3-pointers, including five during one six-minute stretch of the second half.
SEC Player of the Year Marcus Thornton had 30 points in LSU’s win against Butler.