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NCAA: UNC-UK Game Thread

A few months ago…

That dunk capped off a seven point run by Harrison Barnes. This was the first glimpses of the player so hyped in the preseason. As the season progressed, Barnes had more stretches like this and if he plays like that in the regional final, UNC might just find a way to Houston.

Comments if you have ‘em.

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276 comments to NCAA: UNC-UK Game Thread

  • Fromthenorth

    The good news: Both Henson and Barnes showed why they’re not ready for the pros yet. I think we’ll see them both back next year.

    Dex showed us why he belongs out there tonight. And Z: Hats off. Thought for much of last year he was an average Joe taking up space in the paint. Not the case any more, I’ll take him over just about any center in CBB.

    This group, plus Hairston, McAdoo, and a healed Reggie Bullock would be downright terrifying next year… Hope I’m right and we get to see it. Great season.

  • DoctorB

    Kentucky was lights-out from three, contested or not. It was just one of those games. Calipari’s professionals won this time. I don’t think they will get past UConn though.

  • scl11

    Still have a hard time believing Harrellson had only one foul, watch out NBA evidently this guy is the second coming of Bill Russell on D………

  • faustus1500

    scl11, I think the entire Buckeye nation is in agreement with you.

  • I really love this team. Sad to see us lose like that. This is why they play 7 game series in the NBA. Kentucky played over their heads, got the right guys in foul trouble, and hit 12 three pointers. It’s a real testament of our team that we stayed in the game. We had a real shot at the end. Marshall missed on that drive to the basket. Kentucky followed with another three and Barnes gunned up a really poor shot.

  • marcus62660

    “…and then UNC decided to force things for Barnes down the stretch instead of scoring in the post and extending the game…”

    Bingo. The operative phrase being “extending the game.” I don’t even know how many time-outs a team gets for the game, but Roy left the court with all of them in his pocket. When you fight back and tie it and actually have a chance to take the lead, and you NEVER use a time-out, how is that even remotely close to giving your kids every chance to win?

  • BuonRotto

    Henson, Barnes, Zeller, Strickland and Marshall made tremendous progress at various times this season. Hopefully when they catch their breathe, they see what they can become, where it can happen and what they could win together.

  • scl11

    Marshall needs to work on layups with his right hand, cost UNC the go ahead basket because he doesn’t know how to score with his off hand. Still have a hard time figuring out why this team decided to jack 3′s once Knight hit the go ahead jumper, bad time for this team to show their youth…….

  • polonium

    I’m disappointed, but I love our group of guys. I expect everyone to come back, and for next year to be even better. GO HEELS.

  • BuonRotto

    Is there any free (and legal) way of hearing these post game press conferences after the fact? Only thing I know of is paying IC.

  • LarryS

    UNC: 52% to 44% 2PFG, plus 5 rebounding, more FT’s, fewer TO’s.

    I guess it was only fitting that their weakest areas, outside offense and defense, cost them the game.

    Here’s hoping everyone comes back, and brings better shooting with them. ( Perimeter D might be a little too much to ask for)

    Thanks, Heels, for a fun and exciting year!

  • Heel in Purple

    THF, can you post the press conference after the game. I always appreciate Roy’s emotion after these types of games.

  • lviveiros

    Ya I watched the post game Roy emotional and Z like someone posted was very sad little boy…ITA
    IMO everyone is back because I think as it was posted makes them hungry .Addition of Hairston and McAdoo( big body) will be huge and that team will be one special team as well.
    Healthy Reggie and more experience under thier belts.
    KM running the show from day one ….I loved this season but will be looking foward to next season as well..
    I say WATCHOUT

  • lviveiros

    ncaa.com carries them live on the computer.. That is how i watched it..

  • BoyWilliams

    KButta / DStrick2
    DStrick1 / PJHair / LMac
    HBarnes / RBullock
    JHenson / JMcAdoo

    Final Four 2012 bound!!

  • scl11

    I guess when you lose you start looking toward next season, but nothing is a given that is why siezing the moment is so important. This NCAAT was there for the taking just like last year was for Duke and Carolina blew it. Yes this was a great run that exceeded our December expectations, but again the 2 best teams left in the tournament lost today because the teams they played were unconscious from 3 and UNC & Kansas could not have thrown it in the ocean from deep. This is why the tournament is so great and cruel all in one, the best team doesn’t always win.

    Does anyone actually think that if either OSU or UNC played Kentucky in a best of 5 or 7 series that Kentucky would be heading to the final four? Again, this is way the NCAAT is both the most thrilling and cruel event in sports, today we get to experience the cruel part.

    And that is why even if all return next year isn’t a given either because one bad game or 5 or 10 minute stretch can end your season.

  • lviveiros

    No cool greys…..J/K sorry was just thinking of when they run into MJ

  • Kentucky lost to an inferior West Virginia team last season. It happens. UK was due. I think they had lost 4 straight regional finals.

  • tarheel502

    Story of our season, we don’t defend the 3. Really bit us in the a** this time. Oh, and I hope we make good use of those timeouts back in Chapel Hill.

  • Heel To The End

    i wouldnt say UK shot unconscious from 3 at all.
    wide open is wide open.

    number of times UK made 12 3s this year? 3 times.
    November 12, East Tennessee St, won by 23.
    Decmeber 22, Winthrop, a 37 pt beatdown.
    today, The University of North Carolina.

    not coincidence, Roy.

    back in December, vs UNC, UK shot…21 threes.

    does anyone do any scouting?

    Knight, 38%.
    Liggins, 40%.
    Miller, 44%.
    Lamb, 47%.
    those are season numbers.

    does anyone do any scouting?

    to help a 7 footer, and to help the #2 shot blocker in UNC history, defend guys they dont need any help defending.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    I don’t know how you can look at these kids and be disappointed. They left it all out on the floor. Ultimately the things that we all knew would come back to bite them at some point came to fruition….those things being a lack of depth and perimeter shooting. Leslie McDonald was MIA for the entire tournament and that was killer. I think Dexter really stepped it up. He was really being the aggressor in the last 2 games and it was great to see. I hope that Barnes, Henson and Z all have the hunger to come back and finish what they started. And how about Harrison? He really knows when to take over.

    My only negative would be the final minute tonight. Roy should have taken a TO when it got to 73-69 and simply told the guys to get to the rim and take the easy 2 and then hope you get a missed FT and a chance to tie at the end. I thought Roy let the final minute get away with him. Those last couple possessions were hideous.

    Alas, this team exceeded my expectations and gained some valuable experience while doing so. Already can’t wait for next season.

  • tarheel girl

    I still LOVE me some TAR HEELS, see ya in November.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @tarheel502…I guess Roy thinks that the TOs can carry over to next season. Really poor form.

  • marcus62660

    All of my expectations for this team were surpassed in a big way. I can’t put my finger on exactly how they improved so dramatically, so I will settle for it simply being a great group of youngsters who figured things out.

  • scl11

    I don’t get the bitching about the timeouts, it my not be what you have done, but didn’t seem to determine the outcome. Carolina tied the game at 67, cut it to one with a minute to go, and Marshall got an open driving layup blocked. I don’t see where a time out would have changed anything and gotten UNC a better shot. Maybe a timeout when Liggins hit the big 3 was warranted to remind the guys that they did not need to force a 3, but they tried to go fast and get a basket in transition, and I don’t think Roy thought his team would go brain dead in the finally 30 seconds either.

    The only purpose a timeout would have served in this game would be for Roy to show the officials the slap marks on Zeller’s arms and to rip into them like the dude in Durham. Otherwise, I don’t think you can complain that Roy didn’t call a timeout considering his boys tied the game and had possession with a chance to lead without those timeouts.

  • marcus62660

    ^^ I will never understand the thought process regarding the time-outs.

  • logic

    Heel To the End, spot on. I don’t have the words to say how confused I really am about the help defense. And the Timeouts? These coaching decisions are really inexplicable. Their is no justification period.

    Hey, this team was great and Roy is a great coach - I would take him over most other major coaches. But he does not change. His unwillingness to change cost us several games this year (including when he stuck with SOK).

    Now, if everyone stays, maybe we will be so good next year that Roy’s unwillingness to change won’t matter (see 2005 and 2009).

  • MakhtarsMusings

    I just wanted a TO at 73-69. Draw up a solid isolation play to get Barnes to the rim to cut it to 73-71. Hell if he wanted to let them play at first then fine but once he saw Kendall ice skating by the baseline he should have definitely gotten a TO then. It doesn’t matter because it wasn’t why they lost I’m just pointing it out.

  • scl11

    What is amazing in this game is that Harrellson’s performance needs to be archived and shown at even basketball camp for future generations, so everyone can see the perfect way to play post defense without fouling.

    Harrellson being allowed to play much more aggressive defense than John Henson in the opening 15 minutes was the biggest turning point in this game, and eliminated the Tar Heels frontcourt advantage. I don’t mind a loose whistle or a tight whistle, what I can’t stand is an inconsistent whistle.

  • faustus1500


    How about calling a time out to remind the young Heels that Zeller was having a very good game?

  • BuonRotto

    Yeah, Roy’s fault. I keep forgetting how piss poor he really is. ;-) <- (get it now?)

    I must be stupid (and not just for the comment directly above) because I can't find these videos on the NCAA site.

  • marcus62660

    sci11…taking a time-out can help in lots of ways. 1) It can calm everybody down and give them a clearer perspective for what’s next; 2) you can actually DRAW UP some sort of offensive play that may work; 3) the players can REST for a minute or two, etc. etc.

    As young as this team is, I believe it is imperative to get everybody on the same page at the most critical time of the game. Marshall’s drive was defended by THREE Ky. players. I would like to think that Roy could come up with something better than we got.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    This team needs depth badly. I played on rec league teams that were deeper. Tonight it was painfully obvious that they were 1-2 steps too slow when getting out on shooters because these guys log 35 minutes a night. He can’t bring in any more stiffs like the Wear brothers. I need to see legit bench players who can play in the up and down system.

  • logic

    scl11 - you do know timeouts are an important aspect of coaching and the game of basketball. I mean, why have practice? Timeouts allow a coach an opportunity to coach. Why would you not use more of them, at least sometimes…just sometimes.

  • tarheel502

    Absolutely. If you’re not going to use them at the end of a close game, then why not burn them in the first half when we’re getting beat down? Roy really needs to reevaluate his use of the timeout. It is so frustrating.

  • BuonRotto

    Deep teams take time. Most college bball teams don’t have players stay long enough. Some players get injured. Some players quit.

  • Heel To The End

    Harrellson can guard Sullinger without help, but we need to help on Harrellson?

    this “style” requires the talent level of an 05 or 09, so that an opponent’s 3s are from behind, not ahead, and they are out of desperation.

    we forced 14 turnovers. how many were as a result of helping?
    sure wasnt 14.
    how did that work out?

  • scl11

    “Now, if everyone stays, maybe we will be so good next year that Roy’s unwillingness to change won’t matter (see 2005 and 2009).”

    Wow, I find that statement in bad taste and really ignorant. Maybe you should start following K and Dukies.

  • lviveiros

    We just did not come out and play agressive from the start we did in the second half. Z and Dex pretty much said that in post game press conferences. Actually think one of them said we were standing around and tentative..
    but no matter …
    It was a great season this team was fun to watch and took us on a fun ride. They can and should hold their heads high.Do you want it to end of course not…
    it hurts to lose especially when get this far..
    GO HEELS before we know it midnight maddnes will be here..

  • MakhtarsMusings

    Did UK miss any shots tonight? I mean unreal. When they tied it at 67 I thought…”This is basically a miracle since UK is shooting 88% from the field.”

  • I’m good for next year, the team out performed my expectations at almost every turn after the GT game. I’m just hopeful that everyone realizes they need at least one more year. We should be a juggernaut next year with the incoming freshmen.

    I remember when we lost in 2008, I saved the paper and threw it out the next year. I’ll be getting my hands on the sports page tomorrow and placing it in my hope chest.

  • LarryS

    “This team needs depth badly. I played on rec league teams that were deeper”

    Come on , Makhtar, you don’t want people to think you have been asleep and just woke up today.

    Two bench players quit last April, after all the recruiting was done, one quit in Feb., and one was injured just a few weeks ago. Heck, they were lucky to get Knox to fill in. I really don’t know what could be expected unless Roy turns into a magician and starts pulling top-notch backups out of a hat.

  • logic

    scl11 - I am a UNC grad and love the place…always have. Wow is right…a little touchy aren’t we?

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    Still wish we had come out attacking the basket in the first half the way we did in the 2nd half. Despite all the lights out shooting by KY, if we had been the aggressor in both halves we still might have won.

    Now on to the most unpleasant part of every season: NBA Draft Watch…

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @Larry….you are right. I try not to even remember Drew and the Bullock injury really hurts in retrospect to tonight’s game. He could have very well hit a 3 or two and they end up winning. Knox really gave some solid minutes tonight and I was down on him for a while. I’m just frustrated.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @850…I’m praying for a lockout.

  • marcus62660

    All of us, obviously, hope that everybody comes back next year. Adding Hairston, McAdoo and Bullock into the mix makes us nine-deep and once again, Roy will have to orchestrate a rotation that works and allows for a cohesive flow. I guess that’s a good problem to have to deal with, but I’m not sure.

  • Heel To The End

    ^^^^and the aggressor starts getting calls, too.

  • amateur

    An intense and intriguing season. Felt like two or three seasons’ worth of events. As a fan I understood empathically the tired-seeming performance in the ACC tournament-I was tired too. I found it almost unbelievable that there was still an entire post-season that remained to play. The team exceeded the expectations of most of us in the NCAAT. This season was a classic and a return to form for UNC basketball.

  • tarheel502

    ” I really don’t know what could be expected unless Roy turns into a magician and starts pulling top-notch backups out of a hat.”

    That’s what Calipari does, isn’t it? LOL.

  • Stratplans

    As someone said on the broadcast, we are not a good shooting team. Take away the other sources of points and we have problems.

    Proud of this team and proud to be a Tarheel!

  • unc steph

    2012-Everyone comes back and Roy continues not to call time-outs.

  • scl11

    “scl11 – you do know timeouts are an important aspect of coaching and the game of basketball. I mean, why have practice?”

    Why do you need to practice if you have all those timeouts to do your brilliant coaching during the game? Some coaches actually coach prior to the game, and don’t need to hand hold on every possession or opponents run, and some like the guy in Durham just use them to abuse officials. I mean how did Duke lose by 16 to Arizona, didn’t you see all the timeouts that K called, we all know that a timeout leads to guaranteed success on the following possession. How about Arizona’s Sean Miller’s timeout in the final seconds, I guess he said guys let’s jack up some contested 3′s even though we are down only 2. Players make plays and the coach’s job is put players in the best position to make plays, and from my point of view Roy did that without having to use a timeout.

    Yes, 20/20 hindsight maybe Roy should have called a timeout, to settle his guys down and remind them that they didn’t need to force a 3 point shot in the final 30 seconds after the Liggins basket, but there have been plenty of other times when Roy’s team (including this one) found something quick in transition without using a timeout, and I’m sure everyone was praising him then for not calling a timeout right?

    It is funny when UNC wins it had to be talented players that made plays, but when UNC loses it always comes back to Roy not calling timeouts and playing help defense. I sure hope talent can overcome that bubbling idiot on the sideline next year. To me that sounds like an absolutely ridiculous train of thought to have about one of the best and winningest coaches in the history of basketball, but to each his own, whatever helps you sleep at night.

  • Heel To The End

    Cheatapari actually paid attention to the stat that Ohio St can make 3s, and had Harrellson guard Sullinger 1on1, freeing up the other 4 guys to guard THEIR men.
    OSU shoots 6/16 from 3.

    Henson wet the bed, pretty much. what was he doing 44 ft from the basket on that 2nd foul? he was too overamped. thats why his FT% declined in the NCAAt, after finally calming down the back half of the ACC season.
    he isnt mature enough to play in the NBA. NBA starters are too experienced. theyll easily muscle him or go around him or draw a foul.
    not saying he wont decide to go anyway, and he isnt as injury bugged as Brandan Wright, but i dont see Henson playing significant NBA minutes til his 3rd NBA season.

  • marcus62660

    “…Players make plays and the coach’s job is put players in the best position to make plays, …”

    Thanks for completely making my point. The coach absolutely, IMO, did not put his players in the best position to have a chance at winning the game.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    In respect to the timeout stuff. I heard Calipari in his postgame presser saying that he didn’t want to call timeouts because he didn’t want his kids to think he didn’t believe in them. Interesting take and a psychological side I never really took into account.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @HTTE…while I agree with what you are saying about Henson it won’t matter when it comes to the NBA. All the NBA cares about is upside and the draft based off that. You don’t have to necessarily be “ready” to make the jump. If he does make the jump his performance today may have been worse than Forte’s final game when he left.

  • marcus62660

    ^ How in the world can calling a time-out in a one or two point game with under two minutes to go be considered scaring your team into not believing in them? Am I losing my mind?

  • Heel To The End

    oh, i totally agree, Makhtar.
    all that matters is the draw of money.

    my feeling on timeouts again boils down to it can help younger players simplify their thoughts at a stressful time. give them a chance to breathe, and think.
    they are in the top 5 youngest teams in the NCAA, after all.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @marcus…not saying I subscribe to Calipari’s line of thinking, rather just pointing it out.

  • scl11

    Marcus, Good we can agree to disagree, Carolina had possession down 1, Marshall read that the play to get Zeller the ball in the post was covered and took it to the basket and would have scored if he used his right hand on the lay up. In my view the coach did a pretty damn good job putting his players in position to make a play to win the game. Calling a timeout so that the other coach can set or adjust his defense may not have lead to the same opportunity. But if you call a timeout it makes the fans and armchair quarterbacks with 20/20 hindsight “think” that you are doing something brilliant, even though you would have ran the exact same play out of the timeout. So it doesn’t matter what opportunity that you set up for your players, what really matters is that you call a timeout before you provide that opportunity, got it.

  • logic

    scl11 - you are giving me some laughs after a tough loss - thanks. Roy’s a “bubbling idiot” - you are the only one to write that. I wrote, “Hey, this team was great and Roy is a great coach – I would take him over most other major coaches. But he does not change.”

    There are many reasons why we lost. But timeouts and help defense decisions may have been particularly costly…at least in my ridiculous train of thought. There is n o need to write a book on why that might be true.

    I think you are right scl11 - it’s the refs…always the refs. Hope that helps you sleep at night…

  • Andy In Omaha

    Didn’t get to watch the game due to my daughter’s first communion, but the box score tells the story. Kentucky shot 12/22 from the three point line, which means they were either just out of their league because we were defending them tightly, or we were getting screened, not switching, and leaving the shooter wide open. Something tells me it was the latter. I’m also pretty shocked with how nearly Dook-like Kentucky plays defense (dirty), no one was in foul trouble.
    This team needed three-point shooting something fierce. It’s how VCU has been able to advance, and as good as Henson, Zeller, and Barnes have been the past month, not having a consistent scorer from the outside has killed us all year. Still, this team made drastic improvements after Marshall took over the starting job, and I think having “that guy” to hit the outside shots would have had this team cutting down the nets.
    Now, I’m just hoping that everyone comes back and gives the NBA one more year to drool over them, and Hairston and McAdoo complete the puzzle. Oh, and one more thing….any side bets on how long before this final four appearance from Cal is vacated due to NCAA violations?

  • MakhtarsMusings

    @scl…I’m not sure if that is addressed to me or not but I think we have a disconnect as to win I wanted a TO. I wanted it at 73-69. Not on the Marshall drive…that was a real good take by Kendall. I just wish he went with the right hand.

  • marcus62660

    sci11…we will just have to remain miles apart on our opinions. I’m guessing that 99% of college coaches in America would have used a timeout or two in the scenario we saw today with under two minutes to play. It’s pretty much basic basketball 101.

  • MakhtarsMusings

    I just hope Dexter brings that skill set he showed in the last 2 games back for 2011-2012. My man was getting to the tin!

  • scl11

    You forgot the rest of your post logic:

    “Hey, this team was great and Roy is a great coach – I would take him over most other major coaches. But he does not change. His unwillingness to change cost us several games this year (including when he stuck with SOK).”

    Now, if everyone stays, maybe we will be so good next year that Roy’s unwillingness to change won’t matter (see 2005 and 2009).”

    So basically you said Roy cost this team wins this season and that the 2005 and 2009 teams won in spite of Roy Williams. Why does Roy need enemies when his got friends like you, oh I forgot you “love the place” so its all good.

  • Heel To The End

    sorry, Andy, we werent even getting screened that often.

    even WITH better 3 pt shooters, will the strategy be to go 13/22 to overcome 12/22?

    like when Dean was the coach, the philosophy that youre playing the odds by giving up the lower % shot, doesnt work anymore. it barely worked 20 years ago.
    kids have shot 3s their ENTIRE basketball life.
    giving up the 3 will win you the majority of your games, maybe even a great majority.
    but you dont win a tournament by winning most of the games in it.

  • scl11

    ” I’m guessing that 99% of college coaches in America would have used a timeout or two in the scenario we saw today with under two minutes to play. It’s pretty much basic basketball 101.”

    Bull Shit, Cal didn’t call it in a tied game against OSU and Knight hit the game winner. I’m sure you were screaming the whole time, call a timeout you are costing your team the game.

  • logic

    scl11 - I think you need some more hobbies…

  • marcus62660

    sci11…never mind…you aint ever gonna get it.

  • scl11

    “scl11 – I think you need some more hobbies”

    Sounds good, where do you practice speaking out both sides of your mouth, I’d like to sign up.

  • Uk hit there 3s when they had to. Several of the Heels looked young, uptight and out of their grooves for most of the game. Even so, we almost came back at the end.

    These kids far exceeded my expectation for the year. I love this team. Theyll learn from this. I can’t wait or next year!

  • hpd11

    Living in KY and being a UNC fan is going to be tough for a few days for me. A few takes on the game. First UK played the game of their lives and secondly we played an avg game for our standards. Hensons foul trouble didn’t help matters either. We missed shots that we normally hit. I hate the fact we lost to coach crupt and his band of one and dones. The only silver lining is that the past two programs coach crupt took to the final four ended with banners and wins being stripped away. Looks like UK will be the first program to win 2000 games twice.

  • chapelhillfan

    Think some chilling out is in order. Looking back, a time-out at 73-69 was clearly warranted given the shot they got. And many would have called it when tied. But, nothing is guaranteed with the TO had it been called and many coaches appear to call TOs because they think it us what smart coaches do. I dont think not calling a TO was wrong (as opposed to the numerous times Roy wont call one to stop momentum). But, on the flip-side, it certainly doesn’t make Roy a coaching genius for not calling a time-out. Nor does it make anyone disloyal for questioning the decision. That’s Roy’s calling card: he will not call TOs. We all have to live with it. He gets away with far more times than not. But, like anything, it back-fires sometimes. UK have a career day from the three and Henson brain-farting into foul trouble were the reasons they lost.

  • 7YrsBlue

    It’s the help defense. Always has been..always will be. Bombs away and we’re standing there watching. It ain’t the TO or the refs. We will continue to get chewed up by really good guards until we either learn or to or decide to stop doubling and put up some reasonable defense on the perimeter. That’s it. With the help defense, part of our strategy is hoping their hot shooters go cold. Sorry, but I’ve watched game after game where this happens. It never changes.