Canada names coaches

BILL HARRIS and MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Canada Basketball will introduce Carleton Ravens coach Dave Smart and ex-national team player Greg Francis as assistant coaches for the Canadian men's team today.

A news conference will be held today in Ottawa and sources say it has been called to unveil two of the assistants who will work under new national team coach Leo Rautins.

Smart has won three consecutive Canadian university titles with Carleton, while Francis has worked with the Canadian junior programs.

At least one more assistant coach probably will be added at a later date.

HOPE AND PLAY

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is a realist. With his team 13 games under .500, Mitchell knows the Raptors' chances of making the playoffs are slim to nil.

Mitchell said earlier this season he had hoped to be within three games of a playoff spot with 10 games left, but the Raptors are 6 1/2 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot.

"I just think we've got to go out and play," Mitchell said before the Raptors played the Detroit Pistons last night at the Air Canada Centre. "It's a long shot, but we've just got to go out and play the games and see if we can win 10 games in a row ... When you're in this situation, you've got to have a collapse from people above you."

PRAISING DONYELL

Maybe Detroit is a possible destination for Raptors forward Donyell Marshall, who becomes a free agent after this season. Pistons coach Larry Brown had some nice things to say about Marshall before the game last night.

"I think (Marshall) shoots it outside as well as anybody in the league," Brown said. "(Dirk) Nowitzki, him and Rasheed (Wallace) are the three best big guys I've seen (shooting threes). If he gets it in the corner, it's almost like a lay-up."

DON'T CALL MO

Raptors forward Morris Peterson knows ex-teammate Vince Carter has bragging rights after Carter's North Carolina Tar Heels beat Mo Pete's Michigan State Spartans in an NCAA semi-final Saturday night.

"I'm not answering my phone for a couple of days," Peterson said when asked if Carter had called to celebrate.


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