Postgame: UNC – College of Charleston
(photo by N&O’s Robert Willet)
I could sit here and rant about hustle and turnovers and defense. I could complain that UNC didn’t have two of its starters — and upperclassman starters at that. I could even blame it on Roy, saying he should have had them better prepared for the game.
But that would be silly because he basically did that for me.
Maybe it’s because it’s already the next day and I’ve had time to calm down, but I think this loss will help the Heels down the road. My advice to the Heels:
Kill, baby, kill!
How did I arrive at this conclusion?
First an aside: Larry Drew’s comments after the game:
“Yeah, we talked. We always talk. There’s something with this team – we’ve got to stop talking at a point, and start playing. We’ve got to start walking the talk. … I feel like I’ve heard everything — from the players, from the coaches. It’s getting to a point where we’ve just got to start doing what we say we’re going to do.”
Coach Williams said this team was about as low as it could get right now. Do you agree with that?
“Wouldn’t you? Yeah. I don’t think right now… We’ve just got to play better.”
Is there something different going on during these road games?
“We’ve just got to play better. That’s all it comes down to. I mean, I missed a ton of shots out there. We’ve just got to make shots and make stops. [We’ve] got to manage the game better – that’s on me.”
It sounds to me like the team is feeling what the Tar Heel faithful have been feeling throughout these last few games. And frankly it’s just what LD said — they’ve got to play better.
More than that, the team needs to mature into a full-blown killing machine.
Young teams always have this problem. They manage to build a lead, then watch it slip away as they try to hold on until time expires. What Easy Ed, LD, Deon, Dex, Big Z, Will, JWatts, T. Wear, D. Wear, Marcus, Henson and Leslie McDonald need to do is go for the freaking throat. Don’t let up intensity just because you’ve got a lead. Hell, even the Dukies are beating people by 40.
Rutgers closed it down to four near the end. In the team’s best wins this season (Ohio State and Michigan State) UNC has squandered double digit leads, even being up 17 in the second half to MSU before they brought it to single digits. We’re not going to talk about that OSU game, though Larry Drew that’s when I started to love you.
So back to this loss being a good thing. All of those wins-that-could-have-easily-turned-to-losses have had us Heels fans on edge over the past several weeks. Before College of Charleston, it was easy to chalk up the “L”s to playing Top 5 talent. Now there’s no excuses. UNC needs to amp up for the conference schedule, and this loss might just be the kick in the ass they need. The potential that many saw at the beginning of the season is still there.
They’ve just simply got to play meaner.