Guess Who’s Back?


(photos by Ethan Hyman of the N&O)

Well, Ed Davis was back first of all, but more so, it was Carolina. I guess Roy makes a mean bologna sandwich, because last night the young Heels won on the road and had to come back in the second half, no less.

Mimicking the formula of  UNC teams in recent years, the Heels went back and forth with a feisty over-performing opponent in the first half, and then pulled away to a double digit win. It’s both a blessing and a curse that UNC seems to get every team’s best shot. A curse for obvious reasons, and a blessing because of the past achievements that merit every team’s best shot.

This far in the season we’ve seen more of the curse part.

But not in Raleigh last night. The boys didn’t rattle at the raucous crowd, and I’m sure it was loud in there. As I’ve said before, it’s the sole purpose in a State fan’s life to beat Carolina.

So sorry to disappoint.

The point is things are looking up if the Heels continue to play at this speed. From Deon Thompson’s slick power-step-to-jam drive to John Henson’s weak-side blocks, things were just clicking. I wanted to say the block party had returned, but it was actually only Henson doing any blocking in his seven minutes of PT. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll repeat that stat below.

Takeaways

  • The bench is getting shorter. All five starters played 28 minutes or more last night, and only Dexter Strickland and Travis Wear got double digit minutes off the bench.
  • Emergence of John Henson? Henson looked good in his limited time on the floor. He notched 2 pts, 2 rebs and 3 blocks. It’s nice watching this guy develop throughout the season. (I’m talking about his skills obviously —  kid is a beanpole.)
  • D-FENCE. UNC held NCSU scoreless for an 8-minute stretch in the second half. They did it lots of ways, too, whether it was Henson’s blocks or even Thompson creating steals at mid-court.
  • Good shots. UNC has been crushing the field-goal percentage category, including from three. Last night they shot 50.9% from the floor, 42.6% from downtown. Now if they’d only work on that 59.1% from the line.

Superlatives

  • Blockmeister – Well, the only guy who got any blocks, John Henson. But especially for his two in one defensive possession.
  • Move that made you go “OHHHHH!” – Deon Thompson for that sick drive into jam. I will try to find some video of this, or make my own. I got DVR!
  • Not superstitious, just a little stitious – Roy Williams. Roy might think that talking about his ties makes us dadgum idiots, but did you see him wearing any stripes last night? All I’m saying is that our analysis shows us to be 0-3 in the ACC when he does. Just saying.