As with most of the players of UNC basketball, I have slept through the first half of this season. But with a critical ACC home game coming up, I figured now would be a good time to come out of retirement.
UNC is off to a mediocre 11-5 start. For all of those that know anything about UNC basketball, this start is devastating to the fans. Now is when you see who are the true fans and who were just riding that bandwagon.
As for the players, now we will see who is playing for pride and for their school, and who is playing for their draft stock.
Having said all that, there is hope people!
This team is YOUNG. It takes some embarrassing losses (I wish there weren’t 3 of them) to learn that just because it says North Carolina on your chest, it doesn’t mean the other team is going to bow down to you. I think this team is slowly learning this lesson and will result in harder work in the second half of this season.
Rebounding. This team is third in the COUNTRY in rebounding. Not bad for having inconsistent play from the Center position. 3 of the games they lost, they were out-rebounded, so this stat is important for the Tar Heels.
3 point shooting (sometimes). This team seems to have taken a page out of d00ks playbook. Live and Die by the 3. It is very unlike UNC basketball but it is what it is. When it’s raining threes, this team looks dominate. When they aren’t falling, they can look like a high school team.
Post play. What? UNC doesn’t have a post player? Well they’re developing. McAdoo is better in the open space. With his back to the basket…it’s not going to happen. Brice Johnson has shown offensive talent with his quick release but his defense competes with Tre Boston for worst defensive player at UNC. And big boy Joel James is just a little rusty on both sides of the ball
Consistency. This team can literally go from scoring 100 in a game to 50 the next game. This in large part has to do with the 3 point shooting.
Defense rotation. Holy Moly. A team can run the same play (drive and kick) around 5 times in a row before the Heels realize that maybe this time they shouldn’t collapse 3 guys on the driver and perhaps “stay at home” and deny the three.
How to fix the problems:
Lineups. UNC seems to play really well with a small lineup. Spacing out the floor with P.J. Hairston, Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald and Marcus Paige in at the same time. Unfortunately, this lineup is rarely used.
Timeouts. This is a joke obviously. Good ‘Ol Roy saves his timeouts for a barrage of them at the end of the game, but I can’t help but think that if he sees how the defense isnt rotating properly, a timeout would probably be necessary for these guys.
Stop the turnovers. James Michael McAdoo. The man has talent. But he’s weak with the ball. His ripped arms are good for lifting but when it comes to finishing at the rim and holding the ball on the dribble he might as well be playing with noodles. His 3 turnovers a game as a big guy is just too much for this team.
HUSTLE. This key part of any sport is lacking at times for this team. A UNC team that is “going through the motions” is unacceptable and they need to remember that they represent the cream of the crop.
Having finished writing this article, I think to myself, “Wow. I miss last year’s team.” But hey, there is hope in this one. The young boys need to just man up and play angry. Because it’s all about getting hot at the right time. If they can string together a good win streak and make the tourney anything is possible. Especially with the perimeter players that this team features. At the end of the day…it’s all about how you finish.