Wrap-up: FSU dismantles hapless Heels
UNC 57, FSU 90
For one half of basketball Saturday, it looked like UNC would get a nice road test. Yeah, at the close of half the Heels were down, but Tyler Zeller was playing great and Deividas Dulkys was shooting lights out. Surely FSU wouldn’t be able to keep this up for another 20 minutes right?
Oh, how wrong.
Dulkys himself continued the destruction going 8-10 from 3-point range on the day, notching a career high. I know it seems like Tar Heel fans are always complaining about someone going off for a career game against them, but COME ON! It happens EVERY year! I digress.
Anyway, if you watched you know what happened. Carolina never put it together, and actually played worse in the second half, while Florida State couldn’t miss and scored a season-high 90 points. The questions about UNC’s toughness since Saturday are certainly warranted. What team with national title talent goes out and loses by 33 to an unranked team?
There have also been many questions surrounding Roy’s decision to take his team off the court with 15 seconds left in the game before FSU students stormed the court. It’s the perfect fuel for a seasoned Roy hater like Pat Forde, but I think Stephen Schramm at the Fayetteville Observer takes a better line. Yeah, storming the court is part of college basketball, but as a coach who’s seen his share of court stormings — including this year at UNLV — Roy was thinking about the fact that it only takes one over-zealous fan or one slip-up before the narrative changes. It was unfortunate that the five players were left on the floor, and it you want to get mad at Roy, I guess I can’t argue why you shouldn’t. But him leaving his subs on the floor on purpose? It doesn’t add up. Even Forde admits that “Generally speaking, he has valued his subs and role players.” It was an honest mistake made in the heat of the moment.
- UNC’s 3-point shooting woes have continued since the Miami game. The Heels shot a miserable 4-21 for a 19 percent clip. If you are reading this blog you have a pretty good chance of being able to hit 19 percent of your threes. The fact that they took so many was probably driven by the game score, but there is no reason for Kendall Marshall to take five treys. At least he hit one of them, though, as P.J. Hairston went 0-7.
- Reggie Bullock got a huge minutes spike. Bullock played 23 minutes to Dexter Strickland’s 21, but I wouldn’t read too much into that. Bullock is a better shooter than Strick, and is a better defender than Hairston, so the jump was probably due to the game’s flow.
- Tyler Zeller had some intensity. Z came to play and seemed he wasn’t going to let the Heels get routed by himself. Then the second half started. He still ended up with a good line for the game, and he fought well on the boards especially.
- Maybe that nine-game homestand wasn’t such a good idea. It had to be concerting when players said in December that they sometimes struggled to stay focused against lesser competition. The long homestand couldn’t have helped set up the game Saturday.
- Kendall Marshall had seven turnovers. For the first time in forever, Marshall had more turnovers than assists (4). When his players aren’t hitting their shots it’s going to affect that ratio, but seven turnovers is too many even if he had notched seven assists. The Heels need Marshall to have a cool head on the road, so this is a little troubling.
- This was probably one of the worst Carolina games in recent memory. The complete lack of intensity by the Heels was disturbing. Carolina just doesn’t — read: shouldn’t — lose by 30. There was an unbelievable performance by Dulkys, yes, but say you reduce his 3-pointers to a typical 40 percent and it only reduced the Carolina deficit to 21 — still a blowout.
Player of the Game and Stat Stuffer: Tyler Zeller (14 pts, 14 rebs, 4 blks, 1 stl) For much of the game he seemed to be the only one that gave a damn. He was out of his mind on blocks and rebounds. It’s too bad none of that carried over to the team.