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UNLV 90 UNC 80

Boy is CBS going to be pissed.

There are a couple of sides to this loss.

On one side you have the “one of those games” aspect of it. UNC got a poor offensive performance out of its frontline. Tyler Zeller never got on track and quite honestly it seemed like he could never get the ball up to even shoot it. John Henson simply missed shots, even easy putbacks at the rim. Harrison Barnes simply did not shoot well, took some challenged shots and also tweaked his ankle. Since UNC’s offense is wrapped up in the frontline the play of Dexter Strickland and P.J. Hairston was simply not enough to produce points. There was foul trouble, a weird officiated game and UNLV hitting everything they put up or so it seemed. Balls bounced the wrong way and in the opening minutes of the second half UNC could not make a shot while UNLV scored at will. It was one of those odd games you get in the mix. Sometimes players have bad games. Sometimes the other team plays over their head. You also have games where the match-up is unfavorable which this may have been. Since this is November, losing a game like this is not really much to be worried about.

On the flip side there are some parts of this game that do spark concerns. The rebounding or lack thereof is first and foremost on the list. UNC was outrebounded for the third time in six games despite having a seven footer and a power forward with a 7-4 wingspan. UNC was outrebounded 46-37 by a UNLV team that played smaller lineups in general. Mike Moser had 18 rebounds alone which was more than Zeller and Henson combined. Obviously this is a problem and at this point looks like something that needs to be addressed. Is is positioning? Is it merely getting boxed out by more physical players? Balls bouncing the wrong way? UNC players thinking just because they are tall the ball will fall into their hands? Whatever the case it stands to be addressed since it shouldn’t be happening given the talent on the frontline.

In addition to the rebounding, a hard look has to be given to the defense in light of Kendall Marshall’s inability to keep a faster PG in front of him. This was a known issue coming into the season and a weakness in Marshall’s game you have to account for amid all his positives. UNC defensive scheme which calls for rotations when a player is beaten off the dribble is susceptible to drive and kick teams. Always has been under Roy Williams always will be assuming he doesn’t change it and chances are he won’t. However if penetration is something opposing teams are going to get consistently then the defense probably should be tweaked or this won’t be the last time you see this movie. Granted, UNC teams seem to be perpetual victims of hot three point shooting and maybe this belongs more in the first category than this one but the defense could stand to be adjusted in Marshall struggles to keep guards in front of him. I would bring up the free throw shooting but I am not sure anything new can be said about it other than it will hopefully improve as the season move along so when the games are really important the shooting is up to par.

On the positive side Hairston hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Strickland was effective at the two and played a nice stretch at PG in the first half that saw UNC go on a 7-0 run. The perimeter shooting appears to be coming along which was the chief concern coming into the season. Who would have thought UNC would lose its first game this season because of rebounding and not poor perimeter shooting.

Overall this is a meaningless loss and if you don’t believe me take a look at all the hand wringing we did last year after losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Illinois for a team that ended up winning the regular season and going to the Elite Eight. The bugaboo here is I think we all assumed this team would pick up where it left off in March and there would not be much in the way of growing pains. That is apparently not the case and what I would love to know is what kind of development curve Roy Williams has for this team and where this team is on it? There is obviously some maturation that needs to happen and UNC is operating more on potential than realized achievement at this juncture. And while losing is never acceptable nor do we subscribe to the notion of “good losses” a loss like this is part of the maturation and development of a team. It exposes weaknesses and provides a standard by which to judge if the effort and execution is sufficient. UNLV is a good team so this is not a bad loss by any stretch. It is ultimately a bump on the road to what should end up being a wildly successful season like Boston College or Maryland in 2009.

One clear point remains and that is losing now and working through the development issues is much more desirable at this stage. Better to be tested, even burned a bit and build from that than cruise along believing you don’t have any real issues. Now we look to the next game and how this team bounces back which may tell you more about this team than one loss does.

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86 comments to UNLV 90 UNC 80

  • faustus1500

    What I don’t understand is why doesn’t Marshall defend the other team’s 2 and have Strick defend the starting point.

    Another thing I didn’t understand was why it took Roy so long to get Hairston of the bench in the second half. I felt UNC should have went to a smaller line up with Barnes at the 4 and Hairston at the 3. Neither Henson nor Zeller were effective, and if UNLV wanted to be physical well the Heels could have outquicked them.

  • gjc3hy

    -i think one of the main concerns on offense was the lack of space. the halfcourt offense was terribly crowded. this caused problems everywhere. contested shocks and most obviously the inability for the bigs to finish moves or get the ball ready for a shot.
    considering that they did hit deeper shots today i dont know what else would cause a problem like this other than something schematic.
    -also bothersome is the lack of driving guardplay, aside from strickland slashing, there is few or no one getting to the rim from the arc.
    i’m not sure these are joint problems, i cant think of a connection

  • keithunc

    We just played a hit you in the mouth tough team and didn’t respond well. Their interior play was strong and agressive. Their defensive pressure was in your face and they shot lights out. Like THF said it’s early and I truly belive we were a bit over ranked. Tough Loss.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    We need to learn how to handle physical teams. This has been a problem ever since the 2010 season. Nobody on on this team can man up the way Hansbrough did in ’09 or Sean May did in ’05 (heck, Henson and Zeller even let Duke push them around in two out of three games last year…). Also, despite how uninterested he appeared to be in playing defense during the regular season, Ty Lawson played great defense in the tournament. Lastly, the free throw shooting is just embarrassing. This team needs to improve in a lot of areas.

  • lviveiros

    I agree 850, wish Z would get rough and tough like Hansborough but guess just not him. I do not know why he isn’t more physical especially against certain teams. Many times last night was thinking the same. At times see more rough and tough from HB.
    Cannot wait to see PJ playing against Duke and UK, because he has the Hansborough swagger and I remember Hansborough saying he was most impressed with PJ.

    Its one game. games like this happen and I am not panicking..they will regroup and work out the glickes.
    Hey not cpmaring but look at UCONN the otehr night against UCF.. games like this happen, just can’t happen alot.

    Just an fyi Nate Britt announcing Tuesday 11/29..Hoping he is a tarheel, thats the feeling over on IC

  • lviveiros

    Again JMO but PJ and JMM will be HUGE as season progress and HUGE come the homestretch to New Orleans, along with Reggie

  • gso_tarheel

    I feel like rebounding, free throws and closing out on defense are fixable
    for the most part. It is mostly about tenacity and focus for this team.

    I am concerned about offense. We have little athleticism. Even 2005 and 2009 had at least 2 players on each team that could break down the D. We really have only Strickland. And he has to get all the way to within 1 foot of the rim to be effective.

  • 52bgJ

    Roy said it himself in the presser last night, “I’ve got to do a better job coaching”. I don’t know whether he really believes that or not, but it’s not just hyperbole. Zeller isn’t May, or Hansbrough, and on defense KM isn’t Felton or Lawson, so when the other team figures out how to exploit your weaknesses, you’d better figure out how to give your boys some help. Might want to take a page out of K’s book concerning motivation (read:ass-chewing) as well.

  • BoyWilliams


    Lo! A blemish!
    - A pox upon
    the once pristine face
    of a season now soiled.
    Hang down, hang down
    your heads young Heels
    Verily hang down your heads
    - just look how you made me feel!

  • scl11

    Z said rebounding issues were do to being out of position on the scrambling D, really, some members of this team (e.g the starting 5 not named Strickland) need to take a hard look in the mirror and man up.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    The free throw shooting is a matter of practice and concentration. Theoretically, that can improve.

    Zeller is a Senior. At this point he is what he is and what he is is a “finesse” player. He’s not going to give us the physical presence that we’ll need against certain teams. Perhaps JMM can fill that role? Or maybe there really is to some method to the (seeming) madness of having Watts in there at power forward for a few minutes. Suffice it to say this is not something I thought we’d struggle with this year but perhaps, based upon the last two years, we should have anticipated this would be a problem.

    As for Kendal Marshall I guess I have to eat crow. I always rolled my eyes whenever Roy would tell us last year that Larry Drew had the tools to be a great on the ball defender and that was part of the reason why he was the starter. I hated Larry Drew. I was glad to see him go. But KM’s defense is so unbelievably bad that I finally see Roy’s point. We either need to have Strickland guard the opposing team’s point guard or we’re going to have to learn how to play zone defense (which I already know isn’t going to happen).

  • lviveiros

    Ya 52, I listened to post game interviews as well and as you posted coach said that. I agree Z is more of a finesse player, and not his style. Again not worried, the glickes will get worke dout. Upsets happen in these tourneys. We only play good in one tourney MAUI..lol
    (not making excuses, but this team is overall young. One senior two juniors start.)

  • 52bgJ

    I”m not sure I buy that about Zeller RAJ. It’s like I told my wife yesterday when the dogs were digging up my recent hard work on a planting bed and I asked her why she didn’t stop them, & she said they wouldn’t listen to her. I said, how would you know if you didn’t even try?

    Again, I despise Coach K, but can anyone here conceive of Zeller being able to play his “style of play” under K?? Sometimes you have to push people against their own nature/will, for their own good. Ask Jerry Kramer what Vince had to say on the subject.

    As a matter fact, someone ought to give Z a copy of Kramer’s book for Christmas…maybe even before.

    “the mighty McGloin…fish-hooked by a sprat” sums up the game perfectly, lol

  • lviveiros

    Hope Harrison will be ok and nothing major??


  • Heel To The End

    “We have to contain the ball,” Marshall said, “and not put ourselves in positions where we’re so far into help [defense] that they get wide open shots.”

    we’ve been asking for that since the 3-pt line was established. i’m not holding my breath, KM.

  • marcus62660

    Never like to lose, but early season losses to decent teams appear to be a repetitive pattern over the last few years. IMHO, it stems from a general lack of toughness with a side of “let’s just ease on in to the season and see what happens.” One can’t overrate the kill or be killed attitude. It’s either in you or it ain’t. You come out with guns blazing or you allow the other side to dictate what you’re going to do, simple as that. The first five minutes of the second half yesterday confirmed that we are very soft, which is fixable up to a point.

    I’ve never liked the way Coach Williams uses, or doesn’t use, timeouts. It was just astonishing to watch him allow the UNLV offensive spurt at the beginning of the second half and not do ANYTHING to try and stop it. Going from 4 up to 10 down in four minutes screams for a stoppage of play and, at the very least, a stern ass-chewing. So with 3 1/2 minutes to go, we’ve got a pocket full of TO’s that are essentially worthless which he decides to use after made baskets. Uhhh, it’s too late.

    Free-throws….well, simply unforgivable. In six games, we’ve missed 66 free throws. Really?

    Our opponents will continue to salivate whenever they see us go into Roy’s version of full-court pressure. I’m not sure if he simply can’t teach it or if our players simply can’t learn it, but it usually ends up as a very easy basket on the other end.

    The next two games should be an indication as to whether or not we paid any attention to this wake-up call.

  • LarryS

    This was a reversion game. They reverted to the way they played early last year where there were awkward shots and shot selections on the interior, poor FT shooting, some pretty loose D, sporadic rebounding efforts (Minn. outrebounded us by the exact same margin as UNLV - 46 to 37), and loose balls and rebounds not being secured. (As in not being strong-handed with the ball)

    By the second half of the season the FT shooting was much better, Z became a tougher and stronger player, and the shot selection and offensive movement got a lot better.

    This being one game, I don’t have major concerns.

    True, Marshall’s on-ball D is always going to be his weakest area, I think moreso than his ability to get to the rim. But there are ways to compensate for this like better footwork on his part and hedging help.

    Also, the team’s not going to turn into a perimeter shut-down machine, but usually they have the front court offense and rebounding to offset perimeter-oriented teams. (Last night not much of anything worked well)

    This is a well-balanced, talented team that, yes, can still look suspect, but has shown the ability to look equally dominant. I’m looking forward to seeing how they respond - mentally, physically, and strategically - in the next couple of games.

    Oh, and FWIW, UNLV is a pretty good team.

  • jtchill84

    The Obvious has now been made obvious. UNLV took 39 threes, we took 9. They hit 40% of them, for more made threes than we attempted. This is how weaker teams beat stronger teams. It’s also how anybody beats Carolina, this is a similar statline to the elite 8 loss last year. Defending the 3 needs to be a priority. Not too many teams will break down our defense inside regularly.

    Conversely, shooting the three needs to be a more prominent part of the offense. A three on one end followed by a three on the other is (i) exciting for the fans, and (ii) lets the other team know that you’re not going gently into that good night.

    The other two obvious weaknesses were rebounding and free-throw shooting. The longer the FT fears stick around, the worse they will get; this is a psychological issue the players need to work out on their own. Roy can make them shoot 300 in practice each day but when you’re standing on the FT line near the end of the game it’s what’s in your head that matters.

    The poor rebounding is inexcusable. Rebounding is about heart. Hopefully they learned that last night, and will put a little more effort into it. Zeller looked like a Zombie out there. I even suggested during the game that he was sick or something, maybe a stomach flu. Let’s hope it was that and not…dare I say it…general wimpiness.

  • The White Ghost

    A reluctance to pull the trigger on the perimeter shot. Simply out scored on twos; moreover, only took 9 threes vs 32 threes by UNLV. So much talent… “if I miss threes, coach will replace me. Better get the ball inside for the ‘high percentage shot.’” Yet UNLV crowded the big boys under the basket. Got to take and make the outside shot to keep the game honest. Play tougher under the basket. Get the ball and slam it. Whose’s ya daddy now!

  • Frustrating loss. I believe you touched on the areas of concern that also jumped out at me. A few others which have also been mentioned above.

    1. Why bury the time outs? You’re floor general is quoted as saying “we paniked”. As the coach, that is where you call timeout and calm your team down. It had flashes of Kansas slapping around the 2008 team and Roy sitting there on timeouts. You have GOT to get the team back and not allow them to work through it.

    2. I’m concerned this team is not physical enough. We’ve seen it before. Clearly the officiating was suspect, but UNLV was enforcing their will and the front line didn’t play well. They lack mental toughness. Barnes really jumps out at me. When he finally did go into “Black Falcon” mode, it was over. He forced shots and looked frustrated. If he wants a jersey in the rafters, he needs to start being as “special” as we all think he is.

    3. Free-throws. That is all…

    4. The lack of guarding the 3 is unacceptable. You cannot rely on outscoring every team that shoots the three with transition baskets. We can point to game after game after game where some dude had a career night at the three point line. It’s unacceptable. Championship teams make free throws and play great defense. Period.

    5. I really like what I see from PJ. He looks like a sophomore out there. He’s physical and shoots the ball really well. His rebounding is strong. We got a gem. MacAdoo is progressing well too. He needs to make free throws, but they are both as good as advertised. Really wasn’t nervous with them in the game last night.

    The scary thing is that if they don’t some of these things fixed, and quick, we could be looking at a 3 game losing streak. I doubt that will happen, but it is highly possible. The book is out now. Roy has to adjust.

  • Heel To The End

    one of the more frustrating things about letting teams shoot the 3 by helping down, is that the great majority of Tar Heel teams have had a big inside presence. do you need to help that much when there are 2 7-footers in there?
    and i’m not sure these coaches who played pre-3 understand the math.
    if a team shoots 33% from 3, thats the same as 50% from 2. do you WANT 50% shooting? you do not.
    can YOU shoot 50% to counter it? not most nights.
    and shooting from 3 has become easier, and its what more teams want to do anyway, since most teams dont have one 7-footer, much less two. for most teams, the game is rarely about pounding it inside.

  • Andy In Omaha

    UNC has got to take more three’s. We’re pretty comfortable with the fact that the perimeter shooting wasn’t bad last night, but UNC took only NINE three’s spread out between four players-Barnes (0/1), Marshall (1/2), Hariston (3-5), and Bullock (0-1). I’m not saying that we need to take 30 of them in a game, but you’re not going to win very many games like this with only four made three’s.
    Marshall wasn’t the only one getting beat last night on defense, but he was exposed. Would Roy even dare think about playing a zone against Kentucky and Dook?

  • LarryS

    Speaking of not taking many 3′s:

    I usually don’t second guess substitutions, and realize that they involve more than just who’s shooting well, but I was a little puzzled / frustrated that PJ was taken out at 10:39 in the second half after being in for only a couple of minutes.

    In those two minutes he scored 5 points ( a two and a three) and looked like the only one who was willing / able to knock down the long-range shot. Reggie had a good overall game, but didn’t seem to be looking for the 3.

    Then what do I know.

    I don’t think teams typically set out with a certain stat number in mind to try to achieve - you try to just take what the other team gives you - but there is a certain balance you’re looking for. In the case of 3-pointers I think they should be looking for at least 15 or 16 attempts per game, or about 25% of their avg. total shot attempts. The 9 three-point attempts yesterday were too few for a team with supposedly improved perimeter potential.

  • Andy In Omaha

    “and shooting from 3 has become easier, and its what more teams want to do anyway, since most teams dont have one 7-footer, much less two. for most teams, the game is rarely about pounding it inside.”

    Bingo…..and all other good points above about the lack of perimeter offense.
    UNLY doesn’t really play with what I would call a traditional PF, but I think this is getting to be the norm in the college game now. You either play small, or you get the big guy that can hit the three when needed. UNLV took 29 three’s from their starters alone (Massamba didn’t take one). Out of our starting five, the only guy that can hit a three, or will even take one, is Barnes. Our only two threats after that are Hairston and Bullock, and Bullock only attempted one.
    At least attempting more three’s will help stretch the defense. UNLV was able to crowd the lane at times because of the lack of a perimeter game.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    I’m with you 52bgj. Last year against FSU, when Marshall was finally given the start I seem to recall Roy saying that he had considered making other lineup changes and alluded to the possibility of Zeller not starting (Zeller had played soft in several of the previous games) but that idea was scratched at the last minute(?). I’d like to see JMM start against Wisconsin to see how Zeller responds. (Come to think of it, I’d be interested in seeing how JMM responds as well.)

  • 52bgJ

    ^^I’ll keep beating the drum that the 3-2 (run correctly) is PRECISELY the type of zone that prevents a quick pg penetration, and helps your big men down low when the guards drop in to harass when the bigs try to dribble. It does concede the 3 on the corners, and can be vulnerable to quick passing on the perimeter, possibly yielding 3′s, but seriously how much less effective can it be than what we saw last night. The only conceivable reason for not trying it is maybe it slows the tempo on offense, but if for no other reason than to change the look, it should be tried imho. That, or maybe the Coach “can’t coach it”.

    yep RAJ, I’d like to see JMM play more as well.

  • plibt

    the biggest problem with defensive rebounding was that unlv would drive on zeller (beating marshall off the dribble), zeller would give a half assed attempt to block the shot, leave his feet, give up rebounding position, and then another unlv player would either just get an easy rebound or the driving player could give a quick pass past zeller and the receiving player gets an easy layup. this happened as frequently as the drive and dish threes.

    it’s just lack of mental effort and discipline. Our low post defense has got to start being about more than just trying to block shots, especially against teams that can actually play

  • faustus1500

    Man….I just read an update from The Sporting News, Barnes left the Orleans Arena on crutches.

  • Heel To The End

    UNLV shot 40.6% from 3.
    if you shot 40% overall, most games, you would struggle to win.
    40.6% got them 39 pts on 32 shots. thats like shooting 62% from 2. not to mention the emotional lift a player/team gets from making a 3 vs making an 8 ft jumper. then confidence rises, the crowd gets loud, on and on. all it takes is 3 3s…in a row, out of 5, you can be down double digits, and you are entering panicville and playing with a different mindset.
    if you are going to get outrebounded, and surrender the points equivalent to 62%, and miss 40% of your FREE pts, you are going to lose.

    i hate to say it, as i hate to say it every year, but do you think that team we hate EVER allows the opponent to shoot 32 3s?
    a team that is often ahead, and ahead by double digits, which would require you to shoot more 3s to get back into the game?

  • AZACCFan

    The basic lesson from this game is that the team got beaten physically.

    The inside play was not established. Henson had a terrible inside game offensively. So did Zeller. He just hasn’t found his confidence yet this season.

    There were way too many one and done offensive plays by UNC. It seemed they were way too concerned about getting back on defense. Rather than rebounding against guys who were much smaller.

    The officials for the last two games were clearly not to the players liking. And there was plenty of pushing and shoving by the other team. Unfortunately this happens in every sport. My daughter plays competitive high school soccer and when the referee lets the girls go at it the game is totally different, much more violent, and some athletes adapt to this and some do not.

    Of course no one is shoving you at the free throw line.

    Marshall is getting beaten on the first step. He is trying to be tight on his man, but somehow he has to find a way to play off enough to react better.

    It was great to see the freshmen play as well as they did. However, they are FRESHMEN. I also liked the fire shown by Hairston. Barnes had a bit of that in the second half. He did sprain his ankle and it had to affect him to some extent.

  • AZACCFan

    Some of this is you get what you get. UNC and RW has not yielded zone defense to a significant extent ever.

    Sure they could do it. Syracuse plays great zone defense and they both live and die by it.

    RW: not so much.

    Against a team that is shooting and making lots of 3s man to man that closes down shooters is the only way to go. Launching a body from under the basket has absolutely no effect on most of these kids, puts the defender out of position for anything else and is frankly a foolish waste of time. If you want to defend, you have to stay on the man. Not collapse under the basket, where far too many of our players spend their time on defense when their defended opponent lines up for a three.

    Come on. What do you think they are doing out there? Looking for their family in the stands?

  • I’ll watch the game later on the DVR, I went to bad at the half but wow, how quickly we turn on each other. The comments from last night were more depressing than the actual outcome of the game. It reminded me of Groundhog day:


    Let’s see what happens with Wisconsin and maybe we can take the number one from KY when we visit them in Rupp. That would give us the most if memory serves me correctly.

  • 52bgJ

    ^^I’m not talking about using it as the bread and butter like Boeheim does, I’m talking about using another tool in the tool-box. Who said anything about collapsing under the basket? You obviously are confusing the 2-3 with the 3-2. Part of what makes a 3 pt shooter effective is the threat of the dribble-drive (unless it’s a spot-up shooter exclusively like Dell Curry, which we hardly see anymore). You cut off the dd, and you put more pressure on hitting the 3, which with our height on the perimeter, makes the 3-2 even more attractive.

  • Heel To The End

    # of times in the last 7 games we’ve allowed 25+ 3pt attempts: 4.

    # of times in the last 7 YEARS that dook has allowed 25+ 3 pt attempts: 2.

    # of times in the last 7 games we’ve allowed 10+ made 3s: 3.

    # of times in the last 7 YEARS that dook has allowed 10+ made 3s: 0.

    “yeah, but HTTE, we have all those bigs inside. teams dont want to shoot inside on us, so they shoot 3s.”

    exactly, McFly. exactly.

    i’ll only go back to the 2008-09 year, because why bother am i right…
    since and including that year, we’ve allowed 25+ 3 attempts 39 times.
    and allowed 10+ made 3s 29 times.
    obviously, you can win playing like that, but it makes it a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be. a whole lot.

  • Andy In Omaha

    “Man….I just read an update from The Sporting News, Barnes left the Orleans Arena on crutches.”

    I’d like to say it was a precaution, but I can’t think of too many times someone walks out on crutches as a precaution.
    If Barnes can’t go against Wisconsin and Kentucky, or is out for a significant period of time, then what the hell was he doing out there? Roy should have just cut his losses and sat him the rest of the game.

  • Thrawnyboy

    In Zeller and Henson’s defense, almost every time we pounded the ball inside they got double or triple teamed. Our big guys inside can’t be expected to produce great numbers if the other team can cheat on defending the three. At the same time, our poor free throw shooting has clearly led to teams roughing up our bigs. I am a little concerned about Henson’s ball handling. This is the second game in a row where he’s seemed to have some difficulty receiving passes smoothly, and I hope he hasn’t injured a hand or something.

    There was a point nearing the end of the game where I asked my brother (we were watching the game together) why UNLV didn’t just start fouling us to get more possessions and run up the score. It really gets me down when a school just down the way is clearly superior to us in shooting the free throw.

    I’ve always felt that players need to be balanced just as teams do. I feel like right now we have a lot of players that are extremely talented in individual areas, but need to add breadth to their skills. I was really excited to see Henson show what looked like a bit of an exterior game thinking he might end up the exception, but now I’m having some doubts.

  • faustus1500

    One problem with our starting backcourt is that neither Strick or Marshall are shooters. If you are going to start Marshall, Roy needs to have a shooter play alongside him. Teams will dare the Heels to shoot from outside. Our huge will face double and triple teams. I know certain fans hearing this being said but Hairston or Bullock will have to play more minutes on the wing than Strickland. We know this will not happen. That is why I am not 100% sold on this team being the best in the country.

  • nick

    if you look at Pomeroy’s numbers, we’re now #5 by his system, considerably below the top 3 of Ohio St, Wisconsin and Kentucky. (UNLV is #14, btw-losing to them on the road dropped us only one notch.) I’d say that’s about right-we have clear weaknesses that last night were exposed….and in any case, games with two of those three teams are about to let us know where we stand.

  • BuonRotto

    The bigs just need to keep the ball high inside. When they bring it down, it gets swatted and no ref is going to call a foul, especially a shooting foul, when they come from that low. They also need to stop dropping in so quickly on D. That’s when good perimeter teams score in bunches. The free throws are a matter of focus and relaxation.

    All of this is correctable. The free throws will come. The rest is good practice. Blue Steel needs to play hack-a-shaq on them and they will figure it out.

    Oh yeah, and they need to grab rebounds, not tap at them. That’s a matter of timing their jump.

    Everything else was the effect of tiredness or frustration last night. They just need to execute better and use better technique.

  • 52bgJ

    ^^^and why some peeps over-looked LMac’s injury. Agreed, but KM also needs to keep the defense honest with occasional drives. He tried last night, but the refs weren’t calling the contact. That’s where coaching comes in, either through chewing on the refs, or setting picks, or pick & rolls…or ideally a combination of both.

  • nick

    you know, guys, this is Carolina basketball: allowing other teams to take lots of 3s is what we do.

    I wish Barnes had a 3rd mode, other than Black Falcon and Shrinking Violet….call it Everyday Swagga or something….

  • “since and including that year, we’ve allowed 25+ 3 attempts 39 times.”

    Yes, and Carolina has won 32 of those 39 games (.821).

    In the other 79 games over that stretch, in which UNC’s opponents have taken less than 25 threes, the Heels win percentage is only .709.

    “and allowed 10+ made 3s 29 times.”

    It’s actually only 27, and believe it or not, UNC’s win% when they give up 10+ threes is almost identical to when the give up less than 10 (0.741 vs. 0.747).

    The number that really matters is 40, as in UNC’s opponents shooting over 40% from 3. When the do, UNC is 18-16 (.534), when they don’t regardless of how many they actually take/make, the Heels are 70-14 (.833).

  • Heel To The End

    oh, well if its only 27…
    “obviously, you can win playing like that, but it makes it a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be. a whole lot.”

    you may have missed that^

    we have 2 NCAA titles. i’m not saying it makes us an awful team. i’m saying it makes winning harder, and trips you up when you least desire it. and maybe it gets taken out of the opponents’ gameplan.
    you dont think the UNLV coach watched film and confidently told his guys “you will get open looks, and you will knock em down”?
    dont think Calipari said that?
    maybe you lose a couple fewer games and get a 1-seed every year, the cakewalk bracket, instead of the tougher 2 or 3-seed. why not help yourself?
    i’m also saying, by comparing with dook, thats its an unnecessary predicament to find yourself in.
    totally unnecessary.
    both programs, i think we’d agree, have pretty much equal success. so it isnt all about the opponent trying to catch up when they are down.
    its how you lose when rebounds are virtually even, FTs made are virtually even, total FGs are virtually even..but you are -27pts in 3pt differential (i.e. Kentucky 3/27/11)
    why WOULDNT you want to take away the one serious equalizer from a team that has a grossly inferior interior game?

  • gregrustin

    “It’s not that Dex is a problem, it’s Dex and Kendall at the same time while Bullock and Hairston sit is a problem”

    the starters need balance. km runs the show,barnes anchors wings, bigs down low……now all you need is a shooter (threat). sorry guys, its true. tooooo much firepower on bench. when pj,reg,mac came in, we were more physical and deadly and mounted a run. i CRINGED when the TV time out came cause I knew what was about to happen. SUBSTITUtions killed the comeback.

  • faustus1500

    It appears to me that we are also seeing less of Zeller at the top of the key. He has a decent jumper. It teams are playing man why not play high low with Barnes.

    I think Barnes should sit out against Wisconsin even if it is a mild sprain. A couple of days rest will make a world of difference. If UNLV was physical with UNC, I can guarantee that Wisconsin will be every bit as physical or more so. Also, the Badgers lack real post play so guess what? They are going to be hoisting outside shots. Turnovers will be hard to come by because Jordan Taylor simply does not make mistakes when handling the ball.

  • BoyWilliams

    While the fans bicker,
    argue, and stew
    Roy’s in the film-room
    figgerin’ out what to do

  • HTTE,

    I didn’t miss what you said, but the fact that UNC’s record is significantly better when they allow 25+ 3PA does argue pretty strongly against the idea that it makes it harder to win. The issue yesterday was that UNC did not contest the 3s well, which is why UNLV shot better than 40%.

    And yes, there was a -27 point differential in threes, but UNC also made 6 more 2 point field goals (+12) and had 15 extra FTAs, which even at 60%, is another 9 points, so effective advantage was really only 6 points, with UNC shooting pretty poorly from both the field and the line.

  • gso_tarheel

    C Michael - good work. Of course, this makes the point about changing up the defense. Running some 3-2 zone would help to lower opponents 3 pt %, as would switching on occasion. We know man to man will be the staple for RW (which is fine - he does know a little about b-ball), but switching up the D would not only help our liabilities but also keep the opponent from getting in rhythm.

  • Heel To The End

    SOME of why the record is better is because we’re already ahead.
    we beat BC by 32 and they went 13/33 from 3.
    but we also squeaked by Miami 74-71 when they went 13/28.
    how bout we limit them to 8/20 (40%) and cruise on into a victory? take 15 pts off, and maybe they get 8 on 2s instead.
    and maybe the game doesnt go down to the wire like it did.

    please tell me what we’re so awful at with interior shot defense that we have to have a philosophy, not guys making mistakes, but a philosophy, of helping guys who dont need help, and leaving shooters, often known good shooters, open.
    i love 95% of what Roy does, but what is the problem? our bigs are too short? they arent good shot blockers? we have a thin bench?
    “please leave your 40%-on-the-season-3 pt shooter open because if you dont help ________ will happen.”
    whats in the blank?

  • lviveiros

    Harrison probably will be day to day Will not be surprised if HB does not play on Wed

  • ^^The blank is that there are very few 40% 3 point shooters in college basketball. Last season there were only 189 players in DI who shot 35% or better (far less than 1 per team). So the blank is that in most cases, you are going to be forcing a pass to a player who is less than a good 3-point shooter and who will be enticed to a take a low percentage shot with, at the least, a player running at him. Perhaps there should be certain players for which their is a “no leave” policy, but overall, the numbers favor helping, even if you ignore the fact that the helping also increases the likelihood that a TO will be forced.

  • lviveiros

    Just read on espn blog when team left Vegas this morning Harrison was not on crutches..
    Good to hear but sure he will still be day to day

  • faustus1500

    ^C. Michael,

    I think the issue is how many players had career days from outside against Carolina. Wisconsin’s Ben Briefs just had a game where he made 7 three pointers. I would like to hope that the defensive game plan includes shutting him down because if it doesn’t, well Carolina is fuct.

  • 52bgJ

    all to the good, but I agree with HTTE’s point about Roy’s “formula”. If those “wild-card shooters” outside of the 40 percenter’s, have career days against us (as they often do), then why not have a strategy to try to counter-act that rather than just playing formula/percentage. Hate to say it, but this is one of the few leftover bad habits that Dean apparently passed down to Roy.

    Oh, and CM, Jets/Jets/Jets!! ;-)

  • Heel To The End

    some teams have no 35% shooters.
    Kentucky had 2? no. 3? no.
    Kentucky had 4 guys, that played 28/min or more a game, that shot 37% or better.
    i think we all know what happened there.

    Chace Stanbeck was taking 4 3s a game prior to last night’s 11.
    Bellfield wasnt a 35% 3pt shooter on the season til last night. he was taking 2 3s a game prior to last night’s 8.
    Marshall wasnt a 35% 3pt shooter on the season til last night.
    Moser wasnt even trying 2 a game prior to last night’s 7.
    this is going to be a pattern for everyone trying to gameplan us.

    there’s being a 35% 3pt shooter, and there’s being a 3pt shooter when youre wide open.
    UNLV had season high 3pointers made and attempted against the #1 team in the country, a team with Grade A talent at all 5 positions and 5 more off the bench.
    look at it either way…they like to shoot 3s, as they did against the likes of Grand Canyon (who?), Canisius, and Morgan St, so GUARD the 3…OR…they didnt even make 13 or attempt 32 against the likes of Grand Canyon (who?), Canisius, or Morgan St.
    oh, and to the TO bit..we forced all of 13. although forced may not be accurate. we had 6 steals.
    and surrendered 32 3s. not seeing the payoff.

    either way, its supremely annoying. and i’ll say again, unnecessary.

  • ^^I agree with that. In general, I like the strategy, but if it is obvious that a player/team is going off, then institute a “no help” policy. (Or no screen switching, like they did against Duke in 2008).

    As for the Jets… no comment. ;)

  • AZACCFan

    3-2, 2-3, man to man, 1-3-1, whatever.

    Wide open 3 point shooting when you are standing in the spot for 15+ seconds is what we are really talking about. Running at those shooters does not work in modern basketball.

    Clearly the made threes by UNLV were also a huge momentum lift for them, especially in the second half.

    Again it is easy to bemoan the start of halves with UNC routinely falling behind. This was a theme for much of last season and it seems to be reasserting itself again.

  • Heel To The End

    ^thats the thing. why give an opponent any feeling that it can stay in the game?
    can i PLEASE get a Carolina team that truly has a killer instinct.
    step on the throat, crush their spirits, all that.

  • 52bgJ

    I respectfully disagree AZ. I have seen it work before. It’s about cutting off options, and the one key option it cuts off is the drive. And in the 3-2, you aren’t chasing the shooter (except in the corners) as you infer. You are usually one or two steps closer than the sloppy man that we play. If we are able to play in your face man like Duke (or UNLV last night) than I’m all for it, but the game now is about breaking your man down, and like referenced before, we don’t have a good enough defender to stop the penetration..few teams do actually against a good pg.

  • AZACCFan

    Some of it has to come from the players. Clearly these guys have been hyped. But they haven’t proven it.

    Still if you look back 1.5 seasons, they have come a long way.

    Do succeed at anything in life you have to really want it and work hard. Because there are plenty of other people who will take it away.

    A nice start would be to dominate the start of each 20 minute period. NOT the end of each.

    After all, why are they out there?

    Every game is also different in what the opposition will give you. Clearly the last two games are going to lead everyone else playing UNC to do more of this.

    So yes HTTE, I hope they will start really thinking about what this is all about.

    Because it is not going to be easy.

    It is not going to be all pretty passes and assisted baskets or secondary breaks.

    It is going to take a lot more concentration and the attitude that Hairston clearly brings. Do not drop the ball below your shoulder under the basket. Do not dribble there. Do not let anyone else get a rebound. Stay with your man on the perimeter. Not fancy. But it will work.

  • Heel To The End

    from another angle:
    you say there are fewer than 1 players per team that shoot 35% from 3.
    vs Asheville, we made 2 guys into 35% shooters.
    vs Miss Valley, we made a guy into a 75% shooter!
    vs Mid Tenn, we made a guy into a 67% shooter. not even counting the other 2 guys who went 2/2 and 1/1.
    vs SC, we made 3 guys 35% shooters.
    vs UNLV, 3 more.
    thats conservatively 10 guys, in 6 games. 15 in the last 7 games.

    but there are less than 1 per team.

  • AZACCFan

    I am only concerned with a decent effort to keep wide open three point shots from happening at the current rate. Each zone has it’s weak point.

    Screens are way too easy against UNC now, whatever variety.

    This team is not currently prepared to take on close guarding when they are on offense. Which is crazy.

    Those guys they were playing against this summer are pro players who should know how to guard.

    Mostly, I think this is about having the attitude that you are not going to let anyone dominate you like this. So far there has been precious little of that.

  • 52bgJ

    Look, no argument about any of that. If a team is able to keep up the defensive intensity of a good man defense for the duration of the game, then it does work frequently..case in point Dook. But few can keep up that intensity. The 3-2 takes some of the pressure off your defense, and puts more pressure on the opposing offense, that’s all. All things in moderation…

  • AZACCFan

    So the real question is:

    What are the players going to do about this?

    Are they going to step up and make the effort to do a lot of obvious things or not?

    There is plenty of season to go for sure. So ultimately it is up to them. It would be nice for the coaches to mix in a reasonable amount of zone, 3-2 or 2-3. The 1-3-1 classic UNC defense requires players to really work on the perimeter and allows too many of these deadly standing wide open 3s.

    I know the team can be better.

    I would really like to see them play consistently better.

  • harrisonbarnes11

    Dropping to #3 in the polls. Maybe duke beats osu and we win in rupp? back to #1. chill out everyone.

  • HTTE,

    And yet, UNC held those first four opponents to 33% from three and won all four by an average of 25 points. And while I understand that 33% from three is equal to 50% from 2, that is only part of the equation, because you also have to take into account that when a team shoots 33% from three, they obviously miss 67% of the time, which allows UNC 40-50% more opportunities to get out in transition off of a miss.

  • teddyjackeddy

    The lack of rebounding really irks me. We got out rebounded by a weak USC team and a Pac-10 reject pulls down 18 against us (Pac 10 or 12 what ever the ‘F”). This cannot continue and we need Reggie to score he put up a “0″ last night. The 3 point defense is a lost cause , I have cried about it for years and we just refuse to defend it. You gotta adjust to who you are playing and/or the way the game turns. The TO’s see previous sentence.

  • Heel To The End


  • faustus1500

    Carolina will drop further than 3. They will probably be around 7. I can’t imagine Duke beating Ohio State unless they bring their refs from Maui. I can’t see this Carolina team pulling out a win in Rupp. I think they will lose a close one because of free throw shooting. I see UNC going into the ACC with at least two losses.

  • AZACCFan

    I would prefer to see the team win.

    I would prefer if they were coached exactly as I would want to do it.

    But by far I want to see the team try hard to win. To do their best and keep it up.

    Regardless of statistics, unless the entire team is making good decisions and putting forth maximum effort, it is really hard to watch them.

    Zeller admitted in his post game comments that he started poorly. That is just not acceptable.

    All the players spoke about UNLV having more intensity and wanting to win more. That is just not acceptable.

    Williams admitted that UNLV wanted to win more. Not acceptable.

    Sure they can turn some of this around. One of the continuing themes in all sports is will it happen?

    There is no question about the talent level of this team. But there is a definite question about the consistent level of effort.

    There is probably not going to be a major coaching change, zone defense or a new attitude about defending threes.

    So ultimately most of this is down to this group of fairly experienced players having the pride and heart to not lose like this. It isn’t going to be one player, because there is no one superstar. It is going to be the entire team.

  • AZACCFan


    I would be glad for them to drop like a rock if it get’s their attention.

    The UNLV game was an eye opener.

    The next several games are going to prove likewise.

    They are going to have to work through realizing that teams will foul to take advantage of poor FT shooting. JMM had a rim grazing near air ball. He has to realize that he will now have to prove himself from the line.

  • gregrustin

    just try something…anything…defensively different when opposing teams are going off……….insanity?????

  • AZACCFan

    PJ Hairston was the player of this game.

    I predict he will do this plenty more while at UNC!

  • Heel To The End

    Hairston made the all-tourney team, playing limited minutes.

  • Andy In Omaha

    “just try something…anything…defensively different when opposing teams are going off……….insanity?????”

    Something tells me there’s not a lot of different things on defense outside of man in practice. Working the 3-2 or even switching on screens would have been better than seeing wide open shooters last night.

  • AZACCFan

    For Hairston it wasn’t just his scoring. It was his defense and more important, his attitude.

  • 52bgJ

    ^^agreed Andy, and something tells me that Zeller (and Henson) aren’t seeing the same physical challenge in practice that they saw last night. Maybe Roy ought to send them over to Durham for a few sessions?

  • Dude

    Does Justin Knox have any eligibility left?

  • Heel To The End


  • Dave Ball

    long-time UK fan (bloodlines)…have the utmost respect for UNC’s tradition and fanbase…absolutely loathe Duke (for obvious reasons too many to mention here)…always find the UNC-UK series to be entertaining…win or lose (of course, always prefer UK to win)…but like many in Big Blue Nation one loss can send a good many fans into a nervous wreck tailspin…relax…UNC has a great team and will be there during the final weekend in March (unless Ol’ Roy decides to pass on coaching during the elite 8)…UNLV was severely underrated before the season…and basically was playing a home game…I think UNC may have been thinking about Wisconsin and Kentucky next week and seemed to become lax after the first half…again…do not fret…this will serve as a wake-up call and barring another loss in Rupp, should run the table (had to throw that in there)…good luck the rest of the year Heel fans (except Dec. 3rd of course)…we are the blue bloods (and Kansas)…hope that UK meets UNC in the title game in 2012…that would be special

  • harrisonbarnes11

    In all honestly I think this loss was needed. We were cocky and out of sorts and this should really open their eyes. We win at Kentucky saturday and I don’t see another game on the schedule that we won’t win. 30-1 regular season? Very possible.

  • faustus1500

    I felt there were going to be five losses going into the NCAA Tourney. Unfortunately, I thought the first one would be at Rupp. I felt Florida would be UNC at Tallahassee for the very same reason as what happened yesterday. Miami would some upset Carolina in Miami with Reggie Johnson returned. A loss at Durham, because the Heel guards and Henson forget that the only thing that Curious George(Curry) and A Beard is not a Substitute for a Jawline(Kelly) can do is shoot three pointers. Finally, I expected loss in the ACC tourney.

  • Stratplans

    Last night was disappointing, but it should be a good wake up call.

    As for the defense, when a team gets into a rhythm with outside shots, why not change up the D to give them a different look. Slow down the ball movement, make the smaller guard shoot over a taller defender, whatever. It doesn’t require a change of philosophy - we can easily do it long enough to change the flow of the game. That’s all it would take.

  • faustus1500

    Justin Watts isn’t eating into Hairston’s or McAdoo’s playing time. Watts only averages 5 minutes a game. Of course, I wish Roy didn’t bring him to play in the post.

  • BuonRotto

    Watts is often the only guys who boxes out. Until everyone shows his effort, he will get a few minutes to make an example.