There were few if any Georgia Tech fans in the building, but one of their favorite sons was received warmly Saturday.
Yellow Jackets great Mark Price received hearty applause when he was introduced at halftime of the Miami-N.C. State game as part of the ACC’s newest legends class. Price’s induction has been delayed as he previously had not been able to attend because of his schedule.
Said Price, one of four players to be named All-ACC four times, “It’s nice to be remembered.”
Price lives in Orlando, Fla., with his family and is taking the year off from coaching. Last season, he was the Orlando Magic’s player-development coach, but was not retained in a staff purge. However, Price was under contract for another season, “so it gave me the freedom to do some dad stuff, so that’s been kind of cool,” he said.
Price came to the tournament with his seventh-grade son, Josh, whose school team he coached this season. He also has been able to see his elder son, Hudson, play his senior season. Hudson is weighing scholarship offers from TCU, Saint Louis and Air Force.
“He’s a real versatile player; he’s got a lot of size,” Price said of his 6-foot-6 son. “He can shoot the ball outside, play inside, defend different positions, so he’s got a chance to have a really good college career.”
Price said the family may return to Atlanta and that he’ll probably look for another coaching job for the coming season, but doesn’t have specific plans. In recent years, he has worked with the Memphis Grizzlies, Hawks and Golden State Warriors.
“Just kind of waiting to see what opens up,” he said.
Being seen: Atlanta Sports Council executive director Dan Corso led a contingent of Philips Arena and Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau officials to Greensboro, primarily to reinforce the city’s interest in hosting the ACC tournament in the future. The tournaments for 2016 through at least 2021 are up for bidding and likely will be awarded in April or May. Atlanta’s competition reportedly includes Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington. No arena in New York submitted a bid, but the league has interest in the area.
The sports council also is seeking championship events for other ACC sports, including men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and men’s and women’s soccer.
Playing tough: North Carolina coach Roy Williams singled out guard P.J. Hairston for playing with a cut in his left (non-shooting) hand that required eight stitches after it opened during the Tar Heels’ quarterfinal win over Florida State on Friday. Hairston played with a heavily bandaged hand and contributed 36 minutes and 13 points Saturday.
“He was one tough sucker,” Williams said.
It is not praise Hairston receives often, evidently. After the injury, he said that “I thought I was going to die, honestly” and revealed how, when he was getting treated, his mother held his hand and “I kind of screamed for my life” when the cut was cleaned with alcohol.
NCAA bound? Maryland’s upset of Duke and its close loss against North Carolina will help its NCAA tournament candidacy. The Terrapins, though, appear to be a bubble team going into Sunday, when the bracket will be revealed.
On Saturday evening, Maryland was 22-12, No. 71 in RPI with a 3-5 record against RPI top-50 teams and 5-5 in its past 10 games, according to warrennolan.com. By comparison, Kentucky, another bubble team, was 21-11, 56th in RPI with a 3-4 record against top-50 teams and 5-5 in its past 10 games.
“A month ago, I’m not sure I wanted this season to go keep going, these guys were tough to coach,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Now I’m having a blast coaching them.”