Monday (Carolina) Blues

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The first public scrimmage is in the books, and eerily it’s quite the same as last year’s results. Barry Jacobs at TarHeelBlue pointed out recently how similar this season has begun compared to last season, and the connections keep on coming. Last year, Carolina toppled Belmont Abbey by 48 in exhibition before the roller coaster began. This year? Barton by 41.  Twilight Zoneish right? Not really. In the 2008-’09 championship season, UNC’s exhibition victory over UNC-Pembroke was 40 points. It happens every year. Now, more about that scrimage:

  • Justin Watts played well, even when stepping into the Four position. It appears Watts will be relied on to spell Zeller and Henson, while giving up eight and six inches to them respectively. His athleticism and strength are allowing him to step into this role. I like this development. With Watts in there playing small, he could draw his potentially (much) bigger defenders out of the lane to create space, or even to create a mismatch with his speed. Jury is still out on his driving capability, though. And as Adam Lucas points out, Watts played well in the exhibition game last year.
  • Harrison Barnes didn’t quite perform at a preseason AP All-America level, but hey, he’s still a freshman (human). Playing in front of thousands in the Dean Dome has got to rattle your nerves a bit. His low point total, seven, wasn’t as much of a concern as the turnovers, six, but again as Roy expressed after the game, Barnes’ work ethic is notoriously Hansbrough-esque, and this game might just have been an anomaly.
  • Now, enough criticism, how about some highlights?
  • This seems odd. Can anybody explain to me the abnormal number of positive posts on this Duke message board regarding the Tar Heels?
  • Departing from the exhibition coverage, Bleacher Report (in its typical annoying slideshow format) lists the Tar Heels as one of the teams most likely to beat Duke this year, but we already knew that.
  • Another from the desk of Captain Obvious, but AP listed Barnes as one of its six freshman to watch.
  • The Daily Tar Heel’s basketball preview, in all its attempting-to-remain-objective glory. Not knocking the DTH, they do a great job, but c’mon, how can they pretend they’re not UNC fans? I worked at the DTH, and I never tried to get on the sports desk for that very reason. Predictably, I started writing for a blog where I can say whatever I want. Go J-School diploma!!
  • Some more DTH-ness, UNC will be selling basketball tickets on StubHub this year.

Lastly, there are only four days until all is right with the world again and the argyle is flying up and down the hardwood in Chapel Hill. It’s been too long. Carolina’s opponent, Lipscomb, was so nice as to make this quick facts sheet on their team. A more comprehensive preview will be coming.