Tennessee A Done Deal For DeShields

Sources close to WCHL confirm that Diamond DeShields is going to Tennessee.

Speculation has pointed to DeShields going with her friend from Georiga, Te’a Cooper, who is leaning toward being a Volunteer. Cooper decommitted from UNC at the start of this season.

DeShields has not said anything about her destination since UNC Athletics confirmed Thursday she was leaving. Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell said she did not know why she made this choice.

With the decision to leave UNC, DeShields has to sit out next season and will be eligible to play at the start of the 2015-16 season.

She led all Tar Heels in scoring and was named the National Freshman of the Year and the ACC’s Rookie of the Year. Carolina was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight by Stanford.


DeShields Following Friend To Tennessee?

Story originally posted April 18, 2014, 10:19 a.m.

Nearly 24 hours after news broke that Diamond DeShields is leaving Carolina, only speculation of where can be drawn at this point.

The National Freshman of the Year has not yet spoken out about where she’s going to play next year. WCHL tried to reach DeShields again Friday, but her phone was turned off and her voicemail was full.

Her Twitter account, @DDeShields23 has not been a source or information yet as to where she’s headed.

Someone with the Twitter handle @RolandMumford seemed to know something no one else has heard when he replied to that tweet with #rockytop.

espnW reporter Mechelle Voepel wrote late Thursday that she wasn’t shocked when she heard about DeShields’ decision. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if the “perfect” team and situation DeShields thought Carolina was when she was on the outside looking in as a high schooler didn’t turn out to be exactly what she expected. In an interview with DeShields later in the season, DeShields told Voepel that it was very hard leaving Atlanta after the Georgia Tech game because it was so close to home.

With college kids, especially freshmen, you always have to keep homesickness in mind.

Other speculation lends to looking where other star athletes are going. DeShields came in with the “Gang of Four” as the group was deemed (DeShields, Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga and Jessica Washington), and she certainly remained the top player of that group. However, her friend from Georgia, Te’a Cooper looks like she’s headed to Tennessee after decommitting to UNC. She said she had Carolina locked in since a visit her eighth-grade year, but before this season, she announced she opened her recruitment to all schools.

As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, that tweet was no longer on Cooper’s account.

DeShields transfer means she has to sit out one season. Cooper is a rising senior and both would hit the court for the first time in Tennessee Orange for the 2015-16 season if this is the chosen path.

DeShields’ has a connection to Tennessee as well. Her mother, Tisha, was an All-America runner for the Vols.

Another, albeit further far-fetched speculation, looks at this year’s espnW HoopGurls No. 1 prospect, A’ja Wilson. She announced Wednesday that she will play at South Carolina next year. The Columbia native said it was an easy decision to make, staying at home.

DeShields tweeted Wednesday that she, “Can’t wait to see where my dawg @_ajawilson22 decides to go to school. She’ll make ANY program more than happy! I’m tuned in.”


WBB: No. 12 Carolina Falls to No. 4 Tennessee

CHAPEL HILL — Carmichael Arena was the scene for the primetime national showdown that saw No. 12 North Carolina lose to No. 4 Tennessee 81-65.

The game was pretty sloppy from the outset with both squads clearly fired up. Turnovers were aplenty for both sides, but it was Carolina who claimed the early 6-4 lead with help from Brittany Rountree and Xylina McDaniel.

The Lady Volunteers then went on a run highlighted by a three-pointer to surge ahead 9-6 with 12:34 left in the opening half.

Stephanie Mavunga added a nice score to end a long scoring drought for the Tar Heels, but Tennessee was starting to really click on offense and held a 17-8 lead.

The threes kept flowing in for the Lady Vols as the visiting team built a 23-9 lead with 8:10 on the clock. This one was getting away from the Tar Heels in a hurry if something didn’t change on the court.

Allisha Gray knocked down both of her foul shots for the Tar Heels to try to spur her team on. There was no doubt Carolina was hustling hard and fighting for loose balls on this night.

Diamond DeShields hit a wide open jumper to ignite the Carmichael crowd and close the gap to seven points with 4:30 remaining in half.

And DeShields did it again! She popped a three to rally the Tar Heels within 25-21.

Tennessee’s Andraya Carter countered with a three of her own, but Carolina responded right back with a three from McDaniel. Both teams were shooting lights out late in the first half of play.

At halftime, Carolina was trailing 40-28. The stats sheet told the tale. Carolina was shooting a woeful 24 percent from the field while Tennessee was shooting at a solid 44 percent. Massengale for Tennessee had totaled a team-leading 12 points and McDaniel led Carolina with seven points of her own.

The second half opened up with an easy score inside for Tennessee and McDaniel missed an easy lay-up on the other end for the Tar Heels.

A three point snipe by the Lady Vols extended the lead out to 45-28. Associate Head Coach Andrew Calder called a time out to regroup his club.

The game was getting out of hand with 17:12 left in the second half. Tennessee had amassed a gigantic 47-28 cushion. Their offensive firepower was proving too much for the young Tar Heels.

Jessica Washington made a nice three-pointer for the Tar Heels, but Tennessee continued to push the ball down the court, beating Carolina to the punch. With 13: 18 left in the game, Carolina trailed 53-35.

A nice run by Allisha Gray earned her a trip to the charity stripe, but she only converted on one of the attempts.

Brittany Rountree nailed a three to close the gap to 14 points with 9:05 left in the contest. The score was at 58-44.

But it really was a case of too little too late as Carolina admirably kept fighting, but never truly threatened the Lady Vols again to fall to 1-1 on the young season.


Tar Heels Host Lady Vols in Primetime National Showdown

CHAPEL HILL– No. 12 Tar Heel women’s basketball faces the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols in a primetime showdown Monday at 9 p.m. that could very well end up being a preview of an Elite Eight or Final Four match-up later in the season.

The last time UNC hosted Tennessee in the 2006-07 season, the Tar Heels emerged victorious. Carolina opened their 2013 campaign with a comprehensive demolition of Air Force 87-26.

Freshman sensation Diamond DeShields scored 16 points in her first outing. First-year player Stephanie Mavunga put in an impressive performance with 16 points of her own to go along with 13 rebounds.

The freshman class for the Tar Heels is ranked best in the nation and Carolina will be hoping they grow up quickly as they face perennial powerhouse Tennessee in Carmichael Arena.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, all active and retired military members will receive free admission and can purchase half-price tickets for their guests.

The 9 p.m. tip-off will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and you can listen to all the action live on WCHL (97.9 FM).


Heels To Host Lady Vols In College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon

CHAPEL HILL – We’re less than three months away from the return of college basketball and the UNC Women’s basketball team, with high expectations heading into this season, will be put to the test early as one of four teams included in ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

The Tar Heels host No. 3 Tennessee on Monday, Nov. 11 at 9 p.m., on ESPN2. This will be the 19th meeting between UNC and Tennessee.

ESPN is kicking-off the opening of the college basketball season with the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon providing more than 24 hours of consecutive basketball coverage.

ESPN2 will televise both women’s games. The first features No. 1 Connecticut hosting No. 4 Stanford at 7 p.m., followed by the Tar Heels and Lady Vols.

All telecasts will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.