Tuesday, February 3, 2009


With 1.9 seconds remaining in Saturday’s UNC win over N.C. State, Carolina reserve forward Mike Copeland was driving for a layup/dunk after a long pass from Bobby Frasor when N.C. State center Ben McCauley knocked Copeland to the floor with an intentional foul.

Copeland got back up and shoved McCauley before referee Les Jones separated them.
The referees called double technical fouls on the play, and Heels’ coach Roy Williams sent Copeland to the locker room early.

There was no flagrant foul and no ejection, so neither player should face disciplinary action for the next game.

Here's what the players had to say about it:

MICHAEL COPELAND - "He hit me in my head. It was a hard foul, Bobby gave me a pass and I wanted to score - just like anybody, I hadn't played and I wanted to score… Definitely, I regret doing it. It was a bad mistake on my part, and I should have just let it go and shot my free throws… Bobby, he probably shouldn't have made the pass; he probably should have just taken the ball out and let time run out.

BEN MCCAULEY - “ I was a little disappointed that he was even going up for it. I thought that was a little disrespectful at that point. The game was over. I wish it didn't happen the way it did, but I didn't want him to get an easy dunk. To me, I thought it just was a little unnecessary…. I told Coach Williams afterward, I'm sorry. He said he was sorry, too, he didn't mean for that to happen. No one really wants stuff like that to happen. It's unfortunate, but it happened and we have to move on from there.

BOBBY FRASOR - “ I probably should have taken the high road and just dribbled the ball out, but I came in with him, I wanted him to score, I wanted him to get some memories. But if I had known that was going to happen, I probably would have thought twice about it…We don't really like State, and State doesn't really like us. It's known. Fans, they know it to. My guess is that if we had been playing some small school, he wouldn't have done that, but since it's State…

(Editor's note: We're gonna pin this one on Frasor for poor judgement. Yeah, everybody wants to score, and everybody is supposed to play hard to the buzzer, but this play got started with just over six seconds left in a blowout. We are paranoid about injuries to players in meaningless moments - see Tyler Zeller who was lost for the season late in a big win over Kentucky - so packing it in for the final ten seconds seems reasonable. So if we're gonna point fingers, point at Frasor. It's OK, he's a big boy, he can take it. We doubt he does it again.)

(Photos from AP Photo by Jim R. Bounds)

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