The Tudor Files 12.22.12


Caulton Tudor is a columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. According to his bio, he’s been writing for North Carolina papers for more than 30 years. If you’ve ever been around a sports desk, you know that the most senior guy in the room usually has his own column, and you are not allowed to question his column. Caulton is that guy at the N&O. Good thing we don’t work in newsrooms anymore! These are the Tudor Files……

Well, guys, looks like I fell asleep and totally missed more sterling, bullet-proof logic from Caulton! This column was published almost a month ago! Crazy. What could have happened since Mr. Tudor last focused on Tar Heel basketball? Did he totally disregard the most widespread recruiting rankings in the country? Maybe he’ll contradict himself in the first paragraph? Read on!

Turns out, Caulton actually did a pretty good job on this Dec. 22 piece on UNC.  He was cruising on some pretty agreeable observations about Dean Smith’s – and thus Roy Williams’ — coaching style of preferring to score inside. Then….

The Tar Heels were supposed to have any number of capable outside shooters – Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald, P.J. Hairston, Dexter Strickland and Marcus Paige.

Umm. Dexter Strickland? You mean career 22.9 % from three and now in his senior season, Dexter Strickland? Yeah, he’s a guard, but “capable outside shooter?” And P.J. was touted as a shooter coming in, but if you watched his play in the ACC last year, you couldn’t really recommend Hairston in the preseason. Hairston shot sub-20 % in his second semester as a Tar Heel.

Even with extensive inexperience inside, there was a general assumption in preseason that the outside shooters could distract opposing defenses enough to create scoring opportunities in the lane. 

Roy stubbornly likes to go inside as much as possible and has never really shown willingness to change his system up, but we all expected some unproven shooters to distract defenses enough to create some opportunities for inexperienced big men right? Well, I guess the AP and Coaches Poll did. Fair enough.

Even from 15 feet away against no defense, the Tar Heels are shooting a modest 65 percent on free throws. Unless the short-range attack improves, UNC is going to need to shoot at least 75 percent at the line to offset the inconsistent interior output.

Well, isn’t that specific?

The good news for Williams and his team is that much could change before March. 

The good news for [insert any struggling team] is that much could change before March. I just get annoyed by lazy “analysis” like that. /rant

Pretty solid! Even a hyper-critic like myself could only nitpick a couple of things in that piece. Perhaps Caulton has turned a new leaf? Maybe he was paying acute attention to basketball since it was approaching the conference season at that time? We can only hope. Until next time.
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