And Happy New Year. Welcome to a belated Tuesday edition of the daily three.
Without further delay, three things to think about on this third day of 2012:
The ACC basketball schedule begins this weekend (more on that soon) but we start today with some football. New UNC football coach Larry Fedora will introduce his staff of assistant coaches during a 2 p.m. press conference today at the Kenan Stadium.
Vic Koenning, formerly the defensive coordinator and the interim head coach at Illinois, will be the Tar Heels’ defensive coordinator. Blake Anderson, who led Fedora’s offenses at Southern Miss, will be UNC’s offensive coordinator.
Gunter Brewer will be back. He coached at UNC in the 2000’s, and spent the 2011 season on Houston Nutt’s staff at Ole Miss. Not surprisingly, the majority of Fedora’s assistants are coming with him from Southern Miss. Fedora didn’t retain any member of the football coaching staff, outside of strength coach Tom Myslinski.
More football: UNC defensive end Donte Paige-Moss has informed the school of his intention to enter the NFL Draft, UNC announced on Monday. On the surface, at least, this appears to be somewhat of a puzzling move, especially considering that Paige-Moss suffered a torn ACL in the Tar Heels’ 41-24 loss against Missouri in the Independence Bowl.
Paige-Moss had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2010, when he had 49 tackles, seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. But his production slipped in 2011. He finished his junior season with 29 tackles, 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss.
Paige-Moss hasn’t officially filed his paperwork that will make his entry into the draft official. He has until Jan. 15 to do so. The Tar Heels were already going to be moving forward without Quinton Coples, whose eligibility has expired. Coples finished his final season with 55 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
It’s the first week of January, which means that the start of the ACC basketball schedule is near. After his team’s 102-65 victory against Monmouth on Sunday, UNC coach Roy Williams spoke of the need for the Tar Heels to raise their intensity given the start of conference play.
And that’s true. The intensity always rises when ACC games start.
Even so, the Heels’ first ACC opponent, Boston College, isn’t exactly an upgrade over the kind of competition UNC has faced lately. The Eagles, who have lost to the likes of Holy Cross and Boston University, rank 227th in the RPI, according to realtimerpi.com. UNC, meanwhile, has only played three teams (Appalachian State, Nicholls and Monmouth) that rank lower in the RPI than Boston College does right now.