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UNC 74 College of Charleston 69

Well, it was a win that required copious amounts of toughness and players who kept their heads in the game when it seemed like an opposing guard was set to take the game over. Outside of that, a solid defensive effort and the play of John Henson, who is an offensive force after all, many of the same concerns and issues arose that have been there. The offense is haphazard at best lacking any semblance of a flow or a go to scorer when times get tough. Larry Drew continues to be unimpressive running the show whereas the shifts we saw Kendall Marshall on the floor a discernible improvement in the way the Heels look. I don’t know how much the production is different as a team but there is a certain aesthetic quality to the offense with Marshall out there versus Drew. Harrison Barnes continues to be a mystery. Call it pressing, nerves, succumbing to pressure or just a funk he is in, the fact a player everyone said was a can’t miss #1 NBA pick in 2011 cannot take a game over much less find a semblance of himself offensively is a tad disturbing. It has a reached a point where you have to wonder if maybe there is a hidden injury no one is talking about. I keep thinking “this will be the game” only to be disappointed. There is a sign here and a play there which indicates Barnes is all that but until it clicks in for him, the doubts will persist, possibly more so for him than the rest of us.

There is probably not enough that can be said Henson’s offensive work in this game, mainly because he was the only Tar Heel to reach double figures. Henson was 8-11 from the floor while collecting seven boards and two blocks. The impressive part is Henson’s ability to score in the post but also create some shots for himself. While everyone else struggled, particularly Tyler Zeller despite going against a lineup that lacked a player over 6-8. Henson came to play. UNC also got spot contributions from Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall who were a combined 9-12 from the floor for 22 points. None of that trio played more than 15 minutes and neither Marshall or McDonald missed a shot.

Likewise Strickland was 3-5 from the floor and got some nice buckets in transition while also playing tough defense on the Cougars’ star guard Andrew Goudelock. For a stretch in the 2nd half it looked like Goudelock was going to go Harold Arcineaux on UNC before running out of gas. The Tar Heel defense gets credit for causing that to happen and keeping Goudelock in check. Yes, 28 shots is a lot for one guy but it is important to remember Goudelock was taking shots with a man on him. He was also pulling up from Efland at times and hit a few of them. In the end Goudelock did end up with 28 points but he earned ever last one of them and shot poorly to do it. The fact Charleston shot 35% from the floor as a team is a better gauge of how the defense played than one player’s point total.

I would like to think this is a game UNC can build on. The Heels could have easily wet the bed when they fell behind by five in the 2nd half. UNC outscored the Cougars 29-19 over the final 12 minutes of the game when it could have unraveled in the worst possible way. There were also periods of solid contribution from multiple Tar Heels like McDonald, Bullock, Strickland, Marshall and of course Henson. We know the parts are there. We know the potential is also there. It really seems like a question of getting the correct combination of players on the court all performing at a relatively consistent level. For example, imagine what this game would have been like if Zeller and Barnes are 8-12 and 7-12 from the floor respectively alongside the play of Henson. Or if you flesh McDonald or Bullock or Marshall’s stat lines out with more minutes. Then again, we are not simply talking about all cylinders firing but say three. I think the pieces are there. I think there are enough players on this team capable of contributing to the offense to make it significantly better than it is. Part of that is up to the players and part of it is up to Roy Williams getting the correct personnel on the floor. Oh, and hitting better than 59% from the free throw line and not getting run off the backboards would help too.

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78 comments to UNC 74 College of Charleston 69

  • faustus1500

    I know I have been one of the people out there who has lamented that Harrison Barnes should go into to the lane more often but I have to ask myself how? How would he do that? You would have to clear out Henson and Zeller out of the paint. I think that it is something Barnes has to make an adjustment. When Zeller is out of the game and Henson and Knox are in, Barnes should be more aggressive because neither are real offensive threats in the post.

  • SouthernTarHeel

    …we should be embarrassed allowed CoC to even stay close on the boards…Fundamentals are what kill this team:

    1 - AWFUL BOXING OUT…the main reason teams like CoC are sticking with us are because we give up O-Rebounds because we refuse to box out.

    2 - Free Throw Shooting - How can we be this awful at free throws? It literally takes no talent to be good at shooting free throws. Its all about concentration. This is also something that can be easily worked on.

    3 - Passing - Bone headed passes…sweet lord I’ve never seen so many stupid passes…aside from watching last years team. We just look lost passing the ball. How many games have we seen a pass that just goes straight out of bounds…not really even at someone…several already this year, which is more than we should ever have to put up with in a full season.

    These players need to go back to fundamentals…

  • BoyWilliams

    One possible scenario that makes as much sense as anything else that could possibly be going on in Roy’s head:

    #11 is, in fact, Satan. Roy, desperate for his first NCAA title, made a ‘deal’ with the Dark Lord for the ’04-’05 title in exchange for both Williams’ soul and inexplicably-unlimited playing time for the 4 years of Satan’s college career. Unfortunately for Satan, the un-matched competitiveness of God (#50) prevented Satan from ruining the ’08-’09 title. Enraged, The Dark Lord (#11), vowed to sap the skills from Roy’s next-born #1 prospect. Apparently the skill transfer isn’t instantaneous, but any day we can expect The Dark Lord to start playing with skills that should get him drafted #1.

    Again, that’s better than anybody else can come up with as to why KMarsh isn’t playing & HBarnes has got no handle or shot.

  • blueheel

    Last year the C of C game was the beginning of the end. This year, it may well be the start of the road back. I’m going optimistic and saying that I saw some light bulbs go on in the players’ heads last night, especially when Kendall Marshall was on the floor.

    The name Harold Arcineaux still gives me shivers. Please don’t say that again.

  • gregrustin

    i agree with the Satan explanation.

  • Heels Perspective

    ^ Funny BoyWilliams.

    I don’t think #11 is actually Satan, however, I would classify him as the “Anti-Felton”.

    I specifically watched Marshall on defense and my uneducated opinion is that he hustles, and has the size to bother people. Is there really that much difference between Drew and Marshall on defense to not give Marshall the 25 minutes? The offense is so much better with him in control. The two times he took it the length of the floor were impressive, one time he went left, the other with the right.

    I was impressed with Henson being able to put the ball on the floor and for the first time; did I actually witness a little “touch” on the ball around the rim?

    I am encouraged by the second half. Keep it up!

  • ed geth lives

    Folks, the ugliness to Larry Drew just has to stop. He is a Tar Heel, and correct me if I’m wrong but one of the first commandments of Dean is that every player who puts on the Carolina uniform is deserving of our gratitude. I don’t mind the criticism of his play, but equating him with Satan (when we all know Satan lives in a tower in Durham) even in jest or the past accusations of him being a cancer are just beyond the pale. If you think he shouldn’t be playing, fine. But he is trying and I guarantee you that Roy will sit him down if he thinks it is best for the team. (And frankly right now, I think if you asked Roy why he is playing Larry instead of KM it would be completely because of defense. LD played quite well defensively in the 2nd half)

    Ask Marcus Ginyard 06 or Wes Miller or 07 if Roy is afraid to change starters. Larry will win some games for us this year, but fundamentally, let’s keep the attacks to a minimum and if you must criticize make it about basketball. Larry won a national championship with us, the lack of gratitude on this board is appalling and frankly makes me not want to read this site as much.

    Finally, I suggest we read, the cmomenting rules on this board again: 3. Name calling, insults and disrespect directed at UNC players, coaches and the administration is not allowed.

    4. Do not write anything in the heat of the moment, that you might regret when calm or that would get you beat up on an Oakland city bus.


  • gregrustin

    ed…………i think we are mostly frustrated with having to deal with the other side of Roys persona….( the stubborness) we are trying to find a way to relay to Roy that we appreciate him and desire him to be our coach. however, he is just a man like 4 billion other humans are and like men, we sometimes get lost in our own ego and cant see the forest for the trees. so we go on trying to find that magic way to relate to him what we see as well as alot of the basketball public without bruising his ego or diminishing his rule as head coach

  • dsteele23

    Ok Drew is not terrible he’s just not what UNC needs or shoulda ever recruited! Nothing i mean NOTHING about him since day 1 looks like he fits what Roy wants to run! Honestly he is becoming useless! look at last nights box score! Played nearly 30 damn mins and put up 1 point, NO ASSISTS?? WTF? Marshall played half that and look at his stats! Um its not rocket science! PLAY THESE GUYS AND LET ROLE PLAYERS BE JUST THAT…ROLE players! Stop trying to make McDonald and watts all stars with all this PT. Bullock is known as a big time shooter and scorer! LET HIM PLAY and run offense thru him and the big guys…same with Barnes!

  • gregrustin

    ldII 30 minutes 1 point no assist as a junior UNC pg??

    kyrie irvin as a freshman does this before tip off.

  • scl11

    LD2′s play has been atrocious, but he is not the only problem (but he is definitely a major problem), reducing LD2′s minutes will not fix:

    1) Defensive Rebounding
    2) Free Throw Shooting
    3) Toughness in the Post
    4) A Consensus #1 overall NBA Draft Pick whose game and performance currently looks like Travis Wear from the 2009-10 season.

    Yes, Marshall and especially Bullock need more minutes, but let’s not make it seem like that is the only flaw with this team.

  • BoyWilliams

    For those doubters among you (concerning ‘Satan’ theory above), take a look at the photo on top of this blog page. Just look at how God is staring down The Dark Lord in defiance of his mischief!

  • ed geth lives

    gregrustin, again my problem is not saying that Larry Drew should not play as much as he does, that’s fine. It is the criticism as his worth as a human being that needs to stop. (Note in many ways I’m reacting to the thread I read in the UNCA game I believe in which much of it was focused not on his play but on things like his desire and frankly, just his general life force).

    And dsteele23, my guess is that you said the same things about QT that you are saying about LDII, that he should have never been recruited. The last half of 2008, showed that to be a good decision-see Clemson game at home as well as several others when Ty Lawson was out.

  • gregrustin

    here is the kicker. for years carolinas best DEFENSE has been its {{{{OFFENSE}}}}}}. we simply outscored you and put so much pressure on you to score that attrition took care of you. DREW?STRICK puts no OFFENSIVE pressure on annybody and if we are to runsRoys system of high possessions and scoring….and remember Roy said when recruiting the killer BEES that “I have some scorers coming in this year”. ……well let them score and put COC out of their misery cause COC only had one guy scoring agqainst our newly vaunted DEFENSE?????

  • gregrustin

    boywilliams…….awesome observation!!!!!!

  • makeitWayne22

    Larry Drew is terrible *Charles Barkley Voice. Check his stat line, 27 minutes against a mid major and that what you produce.

  • faustus1500

    Here is your stat line for Larry Drew II:

    1 pt 2 rbds 1 ast 0-3 FG 0-2 3FG 1-2 FTs in 27 minutes. If this was an anamoly, I would agree that Roy is doing simply what is right for the team but this is how Drew played this season so far. The thing is that we know he is better than this…even if he doesn’t believe in himself. At least for the time being, Drew should be benched. The biggest issue right now is that UNC is entering a five game stretch including three Top 25 teams. If there was a time for transition, it should have started in the UNC-Asheville game. That is why people are annoyed. I agree calling Drew Satan is childish, but we this is simply frustrating.

  • makeitWayne22

    Kendall is not the answer to all the problems, but he can be the answer to 2 key problems. Scoring and getting Barnes going. Barnes never gets to play with Kendall, and thats the guy that helped get Barnes here. Kendall just has a feel getting all the players involved. Kendall also helps with the overall team scoring and offensive effectiveness. For as slow as they say kendall is, he sure knows how to get to the basketball, and has shown that over several games.

  • “The thing is that we know he is better than this…even if he doesn’t believe in himself.”

    Spot on, faustus. Its frustrating because if Drew was doing nothing more than playing to the level he did last season (out of conference), we wouldn’t be having this discussion; or if we were, it would be a lot easier (read: possible) for those who were so inclined to argue that Drew should remain the starter. The problem is, his numbers aren’t even close.

  • gregrustin

    faustus hit it spot on. if there was ever a time to dabble with the lineup and see what the “scorers” as Roy said it could do, it was these previous 3 games. but Roy didnt even give it ANY chance…wth.

  • blueheel

    ^ ed geth

    I agree with you 100%. I also agree with Dean’s commandment that every player who puts on the Carolina uniform is deserving of our gratitude. It is possible to criticize someone’s game, while respecting the person. Last year, I stopped reading this board for a while because of the player abuse. I hope that doesn’t happen again.

  • gregrustin

    i just hope Roy doesnt ruin the psyche of these freshmen by continuing the weird other worldly substitution patterns. i know yall dont want to talk about it or admit it, but there are times that I feel as though Drew is ignoring Barnes…….i’m sorry to bring it up, but the last two games I have noticed it.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    I agree with SCL11. The team has a lot more problems then just Larry Drew:

    Right now the team’s assist to turnover ratio is 1:1 That is the worst it has ever been with Roy as our coach (heck, I’m not sure it was even that bad when DOH was the coach?). I think giving Marshall more minutes would help that ratio a bit, however, if we really want to improve that ratio then taking … gulp… Harrison Barnes out of the starting lineup is the way to do it.

    Our other persistent problems are 1)lack of rebounding and 2)poor shooting (from everywhere - not just the free throw line). Problem #1, frankly, is not Larry’s problem. As for problem #2, Larry is not any worse then all the other options, in fact replacing either … gulp… Harrison Barnes, or Dexter Strickland with Reggie Bullock would probably be the easiest way to fix that one.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    who was the last Heels player to be reviled as deeply as it seems Drew is now (rightly) reviled?

    for me, it’s either Forte or Hacktar.

    Gotta give it to Hacktar, since he (along with Coach Gut’s inexplicably asinine ‘rotating starter’ idea) cost us the ’98 title.

  • dsteele23

    I’m just saying i’m sick of defending Drew when in 3 years he’s still not much better! I’m not saying its all his fault but heck if the QB of the team is not leading by words and example or atleast 1 of the 2 what good is he? He played nearly 30 freakin mins again and did NOTHING!! This is not even again top tier teams or other guards yet! He’s just not the guy! What qualities does he show that makes him a starting point guard for an ELITE program? (UNC,Duke,UK,KU,etc) Not a great passer, no real jumper hopefully yet that is, doesn’t control the breaks or offense at all! What’s his purpose

  • makeitWayne22

    I dont think anyone has be as reviled as Larry Drew. Forte still could hoop but had a horrible attitude. He still could get the job done on the court. Larry’s problem, is that both his attitude and game are terrible, and yet still gets 29-30 minutes a game. Its time to move on, cut the loses, and not sacrifice another season thinking Ld11 is the answer.

  • gregrustin

    can anyone name another ELITE program in these United State of Merika that has a pg with this production?

  • There might be an issue here where Roy thinks that he is in danger of losing Drew altogether whether via his confidence or his own attitude turning sour should he bench him. The problem is UNC is not getting much from him now so having him come off the bench for 10-15 mins per game and doing very little is better than him doing it for 25-30 mpg. To quote Admiral Adama, “Sometimes you have to roll the hard six.”

    I am also a big believer in players finding roles where they can comfortably execute. There is also the element of how a player reacts coming off the bench vs being a starter. In 2008 we saw two examples of this. One was Danny Freaking Green who relished coming off the bench and sticking a dagger in the opposing team’s heart by igniting a 11-0 run which made a two possession game and blowout midway through the first half. The other was Quentin Thomas who was six kinds of terrible for three years coming off the bench but when he was put into the starter’s role he did the job. He wasn’t Lawson but we were all shocked at how well Thomas played.

    Another aspect is I think people get wrapped up in the who is starting bit more than may be necessary though I will say starters do tend to play more minutes in general. The distribution of minutes should be based on putting the best options on the floor at the most crucial times. That did not happen last night with Drew/Marshall because Drew basically played the final stretch of the game.

    At some point, Roy has to wake up and smell what Kendall is cooking. What is also interesting about this is according to every rumor I have heard, Roy and Drew do not like each other. Why Roy would feel obligated to continue to prop up a player he apparently does not like is also a mystery. Of course none of that should matter in the face of numbers and the eyeball test which all seem to indicate Marshall is the better option.

  • gregrustin

    simply weird

  • makeitWayne22

    My ? to you THF, is at what point does Roy put the teams overall success above Larry confidence issues. Larry can get his PPG avg in 5 minutes per game, the way his playing. Time to move on.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    I’ll take QT over Larry any day.

    My wife got upset with me last night for me calling Drew a ‘spoiled rich kid with an entitlement problem’.

    I think we’re both right.

  • partsman5521

    I believe that in Roy’s thinking, that somehow, Drew will finally start playing up to his best potentual. I think in Roys mind, Drew is going to turn it around. Keep thinking, the next game it will happen. It has not. I quess it’s like when your only kid keeps getting in trouble, You teach him the difference in right and wrong, and hopes he learns his leason only to find out that he keeps getting in trouble. Since this is your only son, where do you draw the line? He can kick him out of the house but will this help the kid? Roy’s playing daddy to the kids instead of doing the right thing to do, which is coach basketball and give his employer the best chance of winning……

  • gregrustin

    how many times did QT need Roy to beg him to run the ball up the court?

  • dsteele23

    Roy needs to sit Marshall down in his office and look dead in his eyes and say can u and r u ready to lead this team! I truely get the sense that he is a natual floor general! ever notice he doesn’t seem really rattled? Its like in football, rarely does a team excel if he struggles and the team is not being made better if not by his play then atleast by his words, desire, and leadership! to be honest all of these guys need a kick in the @#$ and show some fire for gods sake! They are on the court and i still never seen talking or any communication at all. they only yell and get hyped aft they finally make like 2 good plays in a row! they never slap each other around chest bump or nothing when things go bad to fire each other up! I just dont get it

  • gregrustin

    so Carolina wants to make money, the fans want the best product on the floor…….hmmmm its not hard to see where this is headed. this is called accountability. it works in sports and the office

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    Please don’t forget that when Lawson got injured, QT came in and had a 6-1 record and helped hold things together until Lawson came back. Also, as far as I can tell he was a very humble and mature person who got along well with his coaches and teammates and who didn’t have any of the attitude problems LDII is rumored to have, so lets not disparage QT just because we are upset with LDII

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    I love Marshall’s game, Knox’s game, and Zeller’s game, when he remembers that he’s 7 feet tall and not 5’10″.

    Barnes will either shake out of this self induced slump or be the biggest bust since Jayne Mansfield.

    but these things abide as the most fundamental (in every way) problems, and are problems not of talent or ability, but of will, desire, and hard work:

    -Boxing out
    -playing defense
    -free throw shooting

    When I maturely yell at the TV, it’s for the above, and not for missing jumpers.

  • gregrustin

    I am praising QT for being a fighter even if limited athletically. Roy didnt have to prod him to push the ball is my point!!!!!!

  • makeitWayne22

    ^agree, QT like Yates really worked hard, and changed their overall preceptions fans had of them their final year. That is two prime example Larry can look at, to help his maturation process. QT lack some ability, but always played with heart and pride. LD plays with zero passion

  • blueheel

    I’d take QT over LDII also. QT played with pure heart, played for his team, not himself, and did a tremendous job for the Heels in his final year. QT will always have a special place in my heart.

    But it is discouraging to compare box scores game after game and see KM hovering around 15 minutes +/- and LDII in the 25 range.

  • gregrustin

    lets be honest, some kids will read all the opposition against them and decide to fight like crazed dogs to prove to everyone that “that is not who I am” “I am gonna show yall”…while other kids will wither away into the fog. I am sorry that this happens but it is a reality of this environment.up to now, it looks like larry has pursued the latter approach. as coach and mentor Roy has to decide if tough love or enabling is needed. up to now its been enabling.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^greg - sorry - I should have clarified. my comment wasn’t directed at anything you posted.

    I have soft spot for QT because, during a newspaper interview the summer following the ’05 championship run he was asked how winning that championship made him feel. His answer, in effect, was that it made him want to work harder because he didn’t feel like he had contributed. What are the chances that LDII will ever do that kind of honest, humble and accurate introspection?

  • Please stop the personal attacks on Drew. His father or his father’s money or how he grew up has nothing to do with this discussion. In fact if you walked up to Larry Drew and said that to his face I imagine he would break your nose so dispense with the keyboard commando act and focus on the basketball facts and observations. Do not make this about Drew, his father or how he was raised because I guarantee you know far less about it than you think.

    Carry on.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    Drew won’t expend the energy to break anyone’s nose.

    Most certainly not mine.

    It ain’t about ‘hiding behind a keyboard’.

    I brought up my point about what I said during the game and my wife’s reaction to emphasize that she was right to shut me down.

    My critique of Drew should have 0% to do with his background (though being a spoiled brat might explain his entitled attitude, it certainly didn’t cause it: Hansbrough’s dad is a surgeon), and 100% to do with his laziness.

    I’d be glad to say that to anyone’s face: Larry, his daddy, or Roy (who reminds me a lot of my daddy).

    The truth is what we thought it was, to channel Denny Green.

    And yes, I do respect QT’s heart, hustle, and attitude. Much love.

  • JohnBrownsBooty

    Q: Which UNC PG got as many assists as Wanda last night?

  • Heel in Purple

    Would getting destroyed by Illinois give Roy “justifiable” cause to make some “drastic” lineup changes? It’s very “CIA killed Kennedy-ish,” but do you think he wants to see how his experienced guard plays on the road in a big game, and if nothing good happens (or if his play holds steady at 1ppg, 1apg, 1tpg, etc), Roy can say with good conscious that Marshall is a better option and he hopes Larry can turn it around through practice?

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^Could be… but I would have thought that the trip to Puerto Rico would give him all the justification he needed if he really wanted to do that.

  • One thing that will help UNC this year: after Duke, the rest of the ACC might be as weak as it has been in years. Duke is the only team ranked in the AP T25 and only UNC (29th) and VaTech (32nd) received votes.

  • gregrustin

    i hope heel in purple is right cause otherwise our coach has some “splaining” to do

  • 52bgJ

    HiP: it’s also possible that Roy wants to see how Marshall handles playing second fiddle to Drew when he is obviously better. So far, he’s staying above the fray imo, which is a sure sign of a leader. Hell, anything’s possible-a thousand things go through a coach’s mind when making decisions, which we are not privy to. fwiw, I can certainly relate to Roy, albeit on a much smaller level. In youth coaching, I overhead parents all the time spewing their opinions about the “potential” or lack thereof of certain players, when I knew full well they were FOS. A good coach identifies a players high water-mark, and then attempts to pull that type of performance out of them more consistently. I do agree the statute of limitations has expired on Drew, and Roy’s reluctance is frustrating, but I also know the “chainsaw” method of player management advocated by some on here would be an unmitigated disaster.

  • marcus62660

    “…What is also interesting about this is according to every rumor I have heard, Roy and Drew do not like each other…”

    Number eleven is not liked by several members of this team…and you can forget about that being a rumor, because it ain’t.

  • ^^Good points, 52. I also wonder if this is something unique to Roy, or is it common in all great coaches. Other than Roy inserting Lawson to the starting lineup, and K doing the same with Nolan Smith, I can’t think of too many other cases where a big time program made an in-season switch to the starting lineup. I’m sure there are some others out there, but they aren’t coming to mind.

  • dsteele23

    Its trippin me out some people still don’t get it! If your pg is not contributing jack what good is doing? even if he didn’t have turnovers heck didn’t have much else! Atleast TRY! Try to pentrate and dish or pentrate and score! Make your man work to guard u! Do something for goodness sake! I can stand out there and do what he does! He doesn’t even attempt to be a playmaker heck alot of these guys don’t for the last 2 yrs! that also starts in practice! Take the chains off and let these guys loose

  • Asheville Heel

    I still miss George Lynch! Have most kids just lost toughness (#50 was a throw-back) or is it that we need to add that to our player evaluation process? I saw one UNC player dive on the floor last night that I can recall. King Rice was limited athletically but he would eat your 1st born to try to win. I’m showing my age but attitude is a big factor on a true “team”.

  • NativeMTNHeel

    Below you will find the statistics of two players from this year’s team through six games. They average about the same minutes per game. Interestingly, they are the two players with the worst FG% and worst 3PT%.

    Player 1

    MIN 28.3
    PTS 11.8
    REB 6.3
    AST 2.2
    STL 0.7
    BLK 0.7
    TO 2.0
    FG% .352
    FT% .778
    3PT% .333

    Player 2

    MIN 25.0
    PTS 3.8
    REB 3.0
    AST 2.8
    STL 0.5
    BLK 0.0
    TO 2.0
    FG% .240
    FT% .563
    3PT% .200

    These are the two players that have been talked about the most this year, and that is a troubling fact. Player 1 is Barnes and Player 2 is Drew. One of these two players has to play better.

    I have said before that I’ll wait until January and the beginning of conference play to render my final verdict on Drew, but suffice it to say I about destroyed a couch pillow when Drew missed the free throw at the end of the CoC game. Like the rest of you, my patience is wearing extremely thin.

    I’ve also expressed my concerns about Barnes on defense, but the good news is that I see Barnes improving on defense from one game to the next. His stance improves, as does how well he moves his feet. He’s a very good off-the-ball defender, but I do still have concerns about his ability to guard a player on the drive. My biggest concern is the one we all have, and that is that he looks VERY soft on offense. I really thought he was going to be the type who could take it aggressively to the basket. It’s going to take time my friends. It’s clear that if he can’t play better against a mid-major like CoC, he’s not going to improve against the stiff defense of the conference teams. As someone said, maybe he’d look much better if he’s on the court with Marshall. When he gets the ball in the right position he looks like a different player. I hope he breaks out against Illinois, but I’m not holding my breath. Also, I think I get a gray hair every time he shoots a fade-away with more than 5 seconds left on the shot clock.

    Take a look at Henson’s numbers for the three home games.
    FG% 57%, FT% 50%, PPG 13, MIN 25.3, BLK 4.7, STL 0.7, TO 2, AST 0.7, OREB 2.7, DREB 9. Granted, these are against Lipscomb, UNCA, and CoC, but suffice it to say that even the eye test says that Henson plays with more energy and more confidence at home. His FT% is still an appalling 50%, but it’s on 5/10 shooting. If he only shoots, 3 or 4 foul shots a game, that’s not too much of a loss. (He was 3 of 4 against CoC; maybe we’re seeing some improvement). I’d like to see his TOs improve, but I blame the guards in part for this number. When the bigs get doubled (or stuck) in the post, the guards do not get open — although the three freshman and L-Mac seem to be better than the rest.

    Also, Bullock’s numbers are really good. IMO, he’s good on defense. I don’t know what his detractors are looking at! However, I think coach is saving him and his bum knee until the conference play. Be patient on this one.

    Also, Strickland may have his faults (inexplicable turnovers, anemic offensive ability in the half-court), but between his frightening ability to score on the break and his ferocious defense, he is becoming a vital part of this team. I really like L-Mac coming in to give him a break as well. He’s also an excellent defender, and has better offensive numbers than Strickland.

    For a team that struggles to generate half-court offense, we REALLY NEED TO IMPROVE OUR FREE THROW SHOOTING! Even everyone’s appointed savior (Marshall) is shooting only 50% (5 of 10)!!! (Worse than Drew’s 56.3% on 9 of 16).

    I hate to say it, but the Big 10 is going to crush the ACC this year. Let’s hope our Tar Heels can get up for the big game and show us something new! Go HEELS!

  • Heel in Purple

    I say the ACC in the greatest Upsetapalooza since 2006 1st and 2nd Round. If UNC can SOMEHOW/SOMEWAY pull a true road win against an upper echelon Big Ten team, it would go a LONG way towards determining this team’s destiny.

    And if Roy is as good a coach as everyone thinks he is, he’ll figure out this Point Guard issue now/during the game/after the game. I’d like to think Harrison Barnes is gonna be bringin the largest stick he has in this game. It’s a huge game, and one of his rivals, Jereme Richmond, plays for Ill.

  • “It’s a huge game, and one of his rivals, Jereme Richmond, plays for Ill.”

    Let’s hope it turns out the same as the last time these two went head-to-head. Barnes went for 26 and 13 (plus 5 assists and 5 steals) and his team won by almost 30…

  • Larry Drew is like the head coach of an NFL team…sometimes it’s just not working and you have to let that person go. That is where we are at with Larry. Regardless of all the rumors about larry’s personality, and even ignoring his stats, it’s the eyeball test. when KM is in the game, things happen. he maximizes his abilities and minimizes his deficiencies by playing smart, attacking, aggressive basketball. Larry, just like his stat line, didnt play terribly. heck he only had one TO and only missed two shots lol. the problem is he doesn’t DO anything. that’s the nice way of putting it…time to make a change and focus on the positive.

    what i don’t get is if LD2 and Dexter are looking like in practice…are they killing KM and reggie? i mean, it would seem they have to be right? how else do they get minutes? i’m trying to not be fair weather here regarding Roy, b/c in the past it worked out perfectly, but what in the heck is going on with the lineups?

    Zeller - we have to remember he’s not a two year returning starter, this year was the first time he logged over 25 minutes in ANY game in his career and he hasn’t played a full season…we’ll see marked improvements and we have already seen a big step up.

    same with Henson…remember last year he started at the 3 and then finally shifted positions. okay he is NOT the second coming of Durant (whoever said that as a scout should quit or cause bodily harm to themselves). if we start to see this type of production along with continued improvement on his and Z’s behalf, we’re going to have a productive interior presence. More loose balls, more layups, making a hook or two and being disruptive.

    Now, regarding the comments about boxing out and FT shooting and defense. I can’t argue, and i do agree it’s not all larry. b/c it’s not.

    imagine KM, Reggie, HB, Henzon and Z. Knox fills in for the post, Dex comes in for Reggie and LMac for HB. Larry sparingly at the 1.

    that is a lineup with scoring punch. defense and FT% and boxing out will just happen b/c those guys are playmakers (KM and Reggie. LMac is SOLID in the right situation i.e. not needed to be a BIG scoring threat, just chipping in and playing tough.

    i absolutely cannot fault Dexter for his performance. the kid works hard, runs fast, and gets out on transition. he just needs to be a sub b/c he doesn’t look to shoot or penetrate when he’s in the game, he’s offensively neutral unless it’s a fast break. so great, let’s put in a shooter and let dexter run wild as a sub, perfect!

    HB, the guy just needs to break out of his extremely high pressure self imposed expectations. if he gets aggressive, henson and z continue to develop and we have steady dosage of KM and Reggie to compliment HB on the perimeter, this is a COMPLETELY different ball club.

    Larry in a perfect world comes off the bench looking to shoot and attack the rim. 10-15 minutes tops. Dexter and Knox get the lion’s share of reserve minutes at 15-25 depending, LMac gets 15ish per game.

    all that being said i realize i’m focusing on what i’d like to see and ignoring the WHY behind why this is not just happening.

  • faustus1500

    Here are Drew’s averages in conference play last season:

    8.8 ppg 5.6 apg 2.5 rpg .8 spg .1 bpg 3.3 topg 37.3 FG% 34.6 3FG% 52.8 FT%

    This is his averages before UNC’s first conference game last year.

    8.4 ppg 6.2 apg 2.5 rpg 1.0 apg 0.0 blg 3.1 topg 47.8 FG% 43.8 3FG% 70.3 FT%

    These were not great numbers, but they were solid.

  • @ Native, great take on HB, i agree it will take time for him to get comfortable. someone HAS to tell him to stop shooting fadeaways. for as much as i think i know way more than the fox sports or ESPN announcers about the intricacies of our team and players and their games, (b/c i read THF all day), i do laugh whenever HB shoots another 3 and Hubert or someone says ‘well he CAN shoot, but that’s not his game, he needs to take the ball to the hole’. like hello, duh! i think he needs to realize that he’s not perfect and not every shot he takes has to be wide open or a fade away NBA jumper. just get in the lane, mix it up, look sloppy, but go put the ball in the hole. it doesn’t have to be pretty but dude, you’re 6’8 and pretty athletic and can score. just do that and less jumpers. not to make the comparison here, but think of MJ and/or Kobe. Do they / did they just float around the perimeter waiting for someone else to create so they can knock down a jumper? no, not as their main offense. they took the initiative, and open jumpers just came to them throughout the flow of play. NOT their primary weapon. force the issue young man and don’t worry about missing a shot or looking non NBA-esque!

  • NativeMTNHeel

    I think we all hope for that HeelInPurple and C. Michael.

    Jordan, I disagree about starting Reggie. I think we need Strickland out there for defense and for the break. Plus, it’s nice to have instant offense off the bench, and Reggie is the only one I trust to do that. LMac’s not bad, but he’s not even close to being as potent. Again, it appears to me Reggie’s knee isn’t going to hold up to starter minutes at this point anyway.

  • NativeMTNHeel

    @ Jordan — yeah, seriously, HB needs to work inside-out, and by that I do NOT mean fade-away jumpers. I do think he’s trying to find the flow by working hard on defense, and I do see him doing a fair bit of talking, pointing, and encouraging other players. Those are encouraging signs. I have faith he’s gonna get to a much better point at some point this season; let’s just hope it’s by year end and not season end.

  • ugatarheel

    I no longer care why Larry Drew isn’t getting it done. I’m completely tired of analyzing it. At this point the issue is academic in my opinion. He isn’t getting it done, the why’s don’t really matter as long as that is the fact.

    It’s no longer about Larry to me, it’s now about Roy Williams. Roy recruited him, Roy has coached him for 2 years now, and Roy is the one who decides if he starts and plays 25 minutes a game or if he is a back up and comes off the bench for less then 15 minutes. At some point Roy has to step in and say that this isn’t working. At this point benching Drew would be a mercy killing aimed at putting him out of his misery.

    All these other issues we are talking about come back to coaching as well IMO. It’s up to the coaches to teach their players how to box out. If they have to stop every practice and physically move the kids to the blocks then do it. If they have to get the walk-on players to just throw basketballs at the backboard and rim endlessly so the rest of the team can practice rebounding then do it. It’s up to the coaches to inspire effort, it’s up to the coaches to get their players to learn how to shoot free throws.

    One of the announcers claimed during the UNC-A game that Henson made his free throws all the time in practice. Now I don’t know whether that is true or not, but the coaches need to find a way to make him replicate that in the games. Maybe they need to blow an air horn in his ear while he practices them, maybe they need to get some fellow students to chant and waves their arms at him when he practices. Whatever the case may be that need to try something different, because the same old same old isn’t working.

    Every single thing we are talking about that is wrong with this team can be corrected by good coaching. Effort, proper rebounding, free throw shooting. Any person in the world can be taught those things. A group of dwarves can be taught where to stand to box out for rebounds. A group of old women from the nursing home can be shown how to make free throws (Christ, why do they call the old style of shooting a granny shot?!?) Motivating players is all about finding out what variation of carrot and stick works for each individual. Some respond to rewards better, some respond to punishment better, but everybody responds to something at an optimal level. That’s basic management 101 stuff, as a coach it’s your job to know how to to make people respond to their potential. As Tom Landry once said, “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Right now if our team lacks effort it’s because it lacks leadership, and leadership starts with the head coach. Good leaders also know when to admit that they are wrong, and try something different. The question Roy has to answer now is, is he a STILL a good leader?

  • scl11

    Great post Native.

    As much as everyone is belly acing about LDII vs. Marshall, everyone needs to realize that along with Defensive Rebounding and Free Throw shooting, that Barnes production from the wing is just as Big of an ISSUE for this team.

    Yes, we haven’t been waiting for the light to go on with Barnes for 2 years like we have with Drew, but ‘hoping’ that the next game is the big breakout game isn’t going to help this team win basketball games. And as native mentioned, Strickland’s perimeter defense and explosiveness on the break are two of the few advantages that Carolina is sporting right now, so reducing Dexter’s minutes for Bullock is not the best solution, especially when McDonald is also being productive in his limited time on the court @ the 2 spot.

    Therefore, in my Opinion the best solutions for the team at this point of the season are:

    1) Marshall to start getting 25min a game and Drew 15min a game, that will hopefully motivate Drew and bring out some of this “potential” we keep talking about.

    2) Bullock needs to start take minutes from Barnes at the 3, to the tune of 25min+ a game. Barnes should still get 25min a game, but by taking the 10min that Watts is playing a game at the 4 spot. Maybe playing closer to the basket and being able to take bigger players away from the basket can also start to unlock some of this “potential” we keep talking about for Barnes too.

    Either way you slice it BOTH the lack of production from the 1 and 3 spots are major issues that Roy has to address, and hoping for Barnes and Drew to snap out of it is not the solution when two other viable options are sitting on the bench (which is the major difference between this team vs. last year’s team).

    Best thing for Roy to do is divide the minutes evenly in the 1st half between Marshall, Drew and Barnes, Bullock and play the hot hand in the 2nd half. Again Drew is just half of the problem in the allocation of minutes right now.

  • NativeMTNHeel

    Thanks scl11. That’s a great follow up on your part too!

    So far this year, I think Bullock has looked more like I thought Barnes would look and vice versa. Moving Barnes closer to the basket I think is a great idea! I’m not advocating that he not ever shoot from the perimeter, but I think posting him up is a good move. Plus, he’s a good passer and generally intelligent player, but he just seems lost on the wing right now. He might get pushed around a bit down in the post, but maybe that’ll bring out his fight. Also, he’s a good rebounder, so he should get some easy put-backs. Also, if he can catch and shoot off screens as he comes from the post, he should get some easier looks from the perimeter and more opportunities to drive the ball unmarked. If his potential really is as high as all the hype pre-season indicated, then he’ll find his way to help the team. Also, it seems to me that there’s another player on this team that benefited greatly by moving from the wing to the post.

    Also, as scl said, I think playing the hot hand is essential for this year’s team. Unfortunately, as most of us know, Roy sometimes has a hard time riding the hot hand.

  • @uga amen! i don’t need any more analysis to realize that we’re all preaching the truth here and roy needs to tune in lol.

    @native agreed on barnes, i think he’ll get it together

    in regards to dexter vs. reggie, that’s more of my personal opinion. trust me, dexter is one of my favorite heels this year. i loved him last year and felt he was just put in a bad spot being forced to play the 1. thus i feel bad that it’s him i’m advocating for sitting more in favor of bullock. so i just say it with a grain of salt b/c he’s making positive plays, and playing good D and getting out on the break. HOWEVER, i really think Reggie’s overall ceiling is a LOT higher and if we’re going to be a top 10 team at all this year, we need someone who can defend, has height to add for defensive rebounding, and can be an explosive scorer. Larry/KM aren’t true score first PGS(like ty), HB is a little lost but even at his best isn’t a pure scorer, Henson is NOT offensively gifted, and big Z is our best bet but still has a ways to go. I think Reg adds a layer of offense that is direly needed to take the pressure off of the PG, Z, and HB.

    i’m not ignoring the other rebounding etc…but i think adding KM and reggie to the starting lineup adds two bigger guards and more offensive fluidity which will minimize the fact that neither of our bigs are glass eaters. they will do this 1) thru additional height and size…KM is 6’3/6’4 and reggie is 6’7 versus 6′ larry and 6’2 dexter…and 2) offense…which is not directly correlated but it just makes things easier.

    @scl11 i agree about dexter i just think for this team to be top 10 this year or next we need a shooter in the ballgame and it aint HB.

    @native, this is just my opinion but i don’t buy the “DG” off hte bench argument. we just have no proof b/c ginyard was out in 2009 and our team was overall more dominant so we probably could have started Ginyard in 2009 and still won. so historically speaking i can’t say one worked more than the other…we also had ty lawson, wayne ellington, tyler, and DT who ALL had good offensive skills. we don’t need offense off the bench, we need offense on the COURT haha and we don’t have that with LD, Dex, HB (and his current struggles) and Henson. we have some with Z and that’s it.

    I also think Z, Henson and HB will improve offensively throughout the year. for the same reason i want Reg over dex in the lineup, i want to keep HB and not cut his minutes. i think his ceiling is higher. i do agree though that he should get all of watts minutes at the 4.

    so KM at the point
    Reggie at the 2
    HB at the 3
    Henson @ 4
    Z @ 5

    Dex gets a lot of minutes at the two, in place of Reggie, who can replace a big and move HB to the 4 so we would have KM, Dexter, Reggie, HB and Z/Henson/Knox all in the game at one time.

    LMac still gets 10-15 but it’s less of a key primary reserve than now. LD is spot minutes until he starts hitting 3′s, then he can go to 10-15 mpg.

    i truly think we would look like a MUCH different team with that lineup. it would make us a) better now, and b)more optimistic about the future.

    looking at our starting lineups with LMac as the first off the bench, and Watts playing a lot of minutes, i just wonder what the heck we’re trying to do or who we’re trying to be. we can’t be a great team this year or next with that happening.

  • scl11

    If Watts is still playing 10min a game @ the 4 by ACC season, Carolina is in HUGE trouble.

  • hey, i know DOh’s system was considerably different than Roy’s, but in 2003 we used to post up Rashad McCants a lot and it was very effective. I would love to see HB and Reggie in the post and move Henson to the wing and Z on the high post. posting them as the 2 or 3 makes it a big time mismatch in most cases.

    I also agree with the hot hand but at the same time i don’t want that to backfire one game when larry and leslie have good shooting games and now they’re the guy, which would sacrifice the PT and development of our younger guys.

  • NativeMTNHeel

    @Jordan - I like your idea of posting HB and Reggie (and LMac for that matter). If we can rotate the bigs to the wing (Henson, maybe Z if Henson’s not in) and the high post (Z or Knox) to clear it out, that might work well. Also, if the play is covered, all of our bigs roll well to the basket, and if HB, Reggie, or LMac can set a good screen on the way back to the perimeter, the bigs could get some easy stuff.

  • william

    It is interesting how sometimes you see things on the commercial boards that you do not see here. I don’t know the truth of any of those rumors. I think it is unquestioned that Drew comes from a family that has some influence in basketball, but probably still not as much as Roy has. I still think a Roy or K is more influential than any but the top, top tier of NBA coaches.

    Nevertheless, sometimes you have to replace people. Remember Pete Budko? Coach Williams does not seem to have the same type of gift at making this changes that Coach Smith did. Why, who knows? Maybe it has to do with the fact that Smith was the guy on the bench trying to get into the game, instead of demoted, while Roy wasn’t good enough to even play varsity basketball. Regardless, this is a weakness that needs to be addressed. If Donovan McNabb can be jettisoned, why not Larry Drewll.

  • 52bgJ

    ^or, maybe Roy -thought- he was good enough to play Varsity, and thinks he sees some of the same things in Drew? either way, I agree, he needs to let the kid work his way back in, or transfer out ala Brian Morrison. I’d be good with Strickland as the #2 if it came to that.

  • “Coach Williams does not seem to have the same type of gift at making this changes that Coach Smith did.”

    I’m still not convinced that this is an issue that is Roy’s alone and would be surprised if at some point every bigtime coach has had to deal with having one player playing more than the general fanbase would like, and I’d be curious to see how often the switch get made. Smith did it with Budko/Perkins (but didn’t do it with Salvadori/Reese over Stackhouse Wallace), K did it with Paulus/Smith, Roy did it with Lawson/Frasor (but didn’t do it for Ellington/Ginyard or Ginyard/whoever), and Steve Fischer did it with Ray Jackson (completing the Fab 5). But other than that, I have a hard time thinking of any other times where a major program made an in-season switch, though I’m sure there are others.

  • Heel in Purple

    It’s very simple what Roy tells Larry, at least to me:
    I know everyone rode you hard (and somewhat unfairly) for last season’s debacle, and YOU know I have defended you in public from a lot of this backlash. But you HAVE GOT to be more productive/aggressive on the offensive end or I need to you be a backup.

    You can start the Illinois game, but if you can’t show some marked improvement, I’m gonna need you to focus, take one for the team, and earn your way back onto the court as Marshall’s replacement.

  • Heel in Purple

    Roy knows Larry better than any of us, so I would think he would know how to say something to Larry without completely shattering his confidence. And if he can’t…maybe Larry Drew wasn’t meant to be a starting point guard for an elite program.

  • ^Well said, HiP.

    BTW, this passage from “Blue Blood” is pretty funny considering the current conversation:

    “After another Durham reporter had written a column in 1981 saying that freshman Perkins should be starting over journeyman senior Pete Budko at center, Smith snapped at the scribe one night, ‘Budko plays much better defense!’”

    Gee, where have we heard that before? ;)

    I guess the adage about apples not falling far from the tree applies to coaching trees, too…

  • rathskellar68

    This team easily has enough talent to be playing better. It’s up to Roy to put it together. How he does this is up to him, but it obviously needs doing. We struggle to beat small time competition. Two years ago, these games were known as “tune-ups.” Now they’re nail biters. This is not the Carolina I know.

    Others have covered the ground: Drew is not getting it done (something many of us noticed last year); our ballyhooed No. 1 recruit was overrated; we have no toughness to speak of, no leader, no go-to scorer; elementary stuff like free throws and passes often look to be at the 10th grade level; and Zeller plays weak and small.

    Some of this is not Roy’s fault but the bulk of it is. Just how many McD’s AAs do you need to make the AP top 25? This team still has legitimate hope, but we can’t just repeat last year’s wishful thinking that things will take care of themselves with time. Time helps, but time without determination and the knowledge that change is needed is a prescription for disaster, as we learned all too well.

    We are just scraping by, if that; there’s no other honest way to put it. It would really, really help if we could WIN a freakin’ game against a big-time team. The Illinois game would not be too soon to start.

    Let’s just put it like it is. The way for this team to get confidence is by earning it. Out-toughing Illinois could be a marker for us. If we can’t have Hansbrough, at least we can remember what he brought, game in and game out. Remember it, then do it.

  • william

    Minnesota and Vanderbilt may be better than people think, but the real issue is what takes place out on the court, just like last year where we stunk but the reaction was generally much more positive until the CoC game.

  • 40yrheel

    i keep reading about “all these McD’s AA”, what’s roy’s problem? look, some players make McD’s based on who’s recruiting them (unc, duke, etc.).
    remember how we laughed at some of the failed dookie recruits?
    well, payback is…….