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North Carolina’s Maye leads list of X-factors

By Aaron Beard The Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. North Carolina’s Luke Maye can’t go to class without getting a standing ovation nor walk across campus without getting stopped by people requesting to take a photo with him. All because of one shot one that lifted the Tar Heels past Kentucky to reach the Final Four while turning the sophomore from rotation reserve to sudden star.

“He’s big-time now,” junior Justin Jackson said. “I feel like we need some security around campus.”

Maye headlines a group of players that could emerge as X-factors in determining whether UNC, Gonzaga, Oregon or South Carolina wins the national championship. Don’t sleep on Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, Oregon’s Jordan Bell or South Carolina’s Rakym Felder.

“The entire year, (coach Roy Williams) has been putting me in the games, wanting me to make good plays,” Maye said Tuesday. “Some games I hit a shot early, in other games I’d just get a rebound or make a good pass. I’m just trying to go out there and help my team win as best I can.”

The 6-foot-9 Maye entered last weekend as a player who has had some good moments including 15 rebounds against Florida State, 13 points at rival North Carolina State but generally played to spell starters Kennedy Meeks or Isaiah Hicks up front. Yet he had shown a soft shooting touch and the ability to pull defending big men out to the perimeter. And when Hicks got in early foul trouble against Butler in the Sweet 16, Maye became much more than a sub for the Tar Heels (31-7).

The guy who came in averaging 5.1 points in 13.8 minutes per game went for 16 points and 12 rebounds in the win against the Bulldogs. Then, with Hicks struggling against the Wildcats in the Elite Eight, Maye scored 17 points the last two coming on that jumper with 0.3 seconds left for the 75-73 win. Maye made 12 of 19 shots and 5 of 8 3-pointers 63 percent in both cases during the two-game stop in Memphis, Tennessee, to lift the South Region’s No. 1 seed to a record 20th Final Four to face Oregon on Saturday.

“When he sets a screen, most of the time (defenders) are hedging long,” Jackson said. “So whenever he pops, it’s hard for them to find him. So that’s huge. And then outside of that, because he’s a stretch-4 there’s much more room inside for the guards to drive. .. So when he’s in there, I think that really helps us.”

Here’s a look at players who could emerge from the shadows this weekend in Phoenix:

GONZAGA: The West Region’s top seed has freshman Zach Collins, a 7-foot McDonald’s All-American, coming off the bench behind center Przemek Karnowski. Collins is averaging 9.9 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 65.4 percent off the bench, and he’s doing it in just 17.2 minutes per game entering the semifinals against South Carolina in a matchup of two first-time Final Four programs. OREGON: On a team led by Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, 6-9 junior Jordan Bell is averaging 10.9 points and 8.6 rebounds. But after the Ducks lost shot-blocker Chris Boucher to a knee injury during the Pac-12 Tournament, Bell proved his ability to dominate inside by finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in the Midwest Region final to help the Ducks beat No. 1 seed Kansas for their first Final Four since winning the 1939 NCAA title.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Rakym Felder is the “New York City point guard” coach Frank Martin says he wanted. The 5-foot-10 freshman has started just once all year and plays 14.5 minutes per game, but has had some key production in the NCAA Tournament most notably by tallying 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in the upset of 2-seed Duke in the East Region’s second round. Felder is shooting a team-best 43 percent from 3-point range while averaging 5.7 points entering the Gonzaga game.

Lowell Register claims Peach County arrest ‘illegal’ in Creek 100.9 burglary

After spending three hours in the Peach County jail, Lowell Register said he was wrongfully arrested on burglary [1]and criminal trespassing charges at the broadcast tower for The Creek 100.9 radio station. Peach County deputies were patrolling Aultman Road after the station was knocked off the air Friday and Saturday when the transmitter was sabotaged at the site not far off Ga. 96 and Interstate 75. About 2:30 p.m. Sunday, a deputy arrested Register, 80, after he was caught with his son-in-law, who was drilling holes in the locked door of a building that houses the transmitter for The Creek.

This arrest, that was unwarranted and uncalled for and illegal and a lot of other things I could say, Register said Monday. This is my personal land, building and tower.

Although the Peach County tax rolls show him as the owner of nearly seven acres, it also notes that Register owes nearly $3,200 in taxes for 2015 and 2016. Register s company is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy after years of legal battles and the contested sale of Radio Peach and Radio Perry to Creek Media[2]. In December, Bibb County Superior Court Judge Ed Ennis approved [3]the sale of those radio companies, which had been held in a court-ordered receivership since early 2015.

Register still contends that Register Communications and its subsidiaries were improperly placed in receivership[4], which should negate the sale.

I was not in default on any loans, he said Monday. Documents were presented in court that showed he defaulted on about $7.5 million in loans, property taxes and payroll taxes owed the Internal Revenue Service. Friday, a switch at the transmitter was turned off and Brad Evans, a co-owner of The Creek, suspected that Register was behind the outage but did not press charges.

The switch was flipped back on, and The Creek was back on the air after being off for about five hours, he said. Saturday, the station went off the air again about 10 a.m. when a circuit board was removed. Evans called the sheriff s offices in Peach and Bibb counties, thinking Register might have the board at his Macon home.

Engineers temporarily patched together a repair, and the station was back on the air about 7 p.m. Saturday. Register admits removing the mother board from the transmitter Saturday.

I just pulled it out and my son-in-law hid it, Register said. I m not stealing. Evans recovered it on the property Sunday.

Luckily he put it in a plastic bag, Evans said Monday as he examined the board.

Evans had returned to the tower, where a security guard was posted outside the gate Monday morning. Up until Saturday, Register had a key to the gate and the transmitter building.

It s my property. It s my building and land and up until (Sunday) I ve had the opportunity to come and go, Register said. Evans had the locks changed, which prompted Register to remove the gate Sunday and try to enter the building by drilling the door.

Register claims The Creek is intercepting rent payments due him from Cumulus Broadcasting to rent space on the tower and in the transmitter building. He also expects The Creek to pay rent for its use of the building and property. Evans said if they owed anybody rent, it would be Green Bull Georgia Partners LLC, which owns the loans Register Communications reportedly failed to pay.

Evans said he plans to explore pressing federal charges against Register.

It hurts. … It s already hard enough to run a radio station without someone tampering with your equipment, he said. Ultimately we re just going to keep doing what we have to do to stay on the air. Register also claims The Creek is unlawfully in possession of some Register Data Systems equipment that was removed from the studio on Forsyth Street. He wants Bibb County deputies to arrest someone for stealing my equipment, and he wants The Creek off the Peach County property.

I will have Creek Media removed because that land and that building belongs to me, Register said.

References

  1. ^ arrested on burglary (www.macon.com)
  2. ^ to Creek Media (www.macon.com)
  3. ^ Ed Ennis approved (www.macon.com)
  4. ^ placed in receivership (www.macon.com)

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