Wrap-up: Heels take the bite out of the Bulldogs


UNC 80, UNC-Asheville 69

Box Score

Last night it was the Heels that had to fight off the late surge from an opponent. Having lead since midway through the first half, the Bulldogs made a 16-2 run closing a once 20-point lead to 6 with UNC having gone cold on the offensive end. The Heels showed some grit that the have yet to do this season and fended off UNC-A’s constant barrage by guards J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey, who lived up to their respective billings. UNC did come out of the night with a win but considering it let the Bulldogs bully their way back into the game late and had its guards outplayed by those from a Big South school, these Heels aren’t going to blow anybody out and every game will be an adventure. Don’t know if this is an exciting or concerning thing.

Takeaways:

  • Turnovers are killing the team. UNC had 20 last night to UNC-A’s 10. That should never happen. Dexter Strickland and Larry Drew II, the team’s starting backcourt, had 8 turnovers to only 6 assists. Twice last night Dexter jumped and passed, turning the ball over. That is a cardinal sin in basketball. The Rafters learned that playing Junior Hornets basketball. Let’s hope it was Dex trying to show off against an over matched opponent.
  • Kendall Marshall has proven, however, that he knows how to handle the ball; he had 4 assists to only 1 turnover. Plus, you have to love how this guy moves down the court with the ball in his hand. He is completely vertical, probably the best posture ever seen on a basketbal court, head up, looking for the open pass.
  • The front court did its job, dominating in the paint. To go with Tyler Zeller’s career high 23 points, Justin Knox and John Henson both added 10 a piece. UNC also out-rebounded UNC-A 52-32, like they should have, with 17 coming on the offensive end.
  • While on the subject of the front court, UNC actually played to its advantage last night pushing the ball into the post. The team did throw the ball away several times trying to do this, but at least they knew what they were trying to do.
  • UNC also did push the ball all night. And while the tempo was right, the team doesn’t seem be in sync on the break, throwing the ball away several times.
  • Roy must have gotten onto the Boys about hustle, because on several plays some Heels earned some floor burns stats. Didn’t see much of that in those two losses.
  • Free throw percentage improved dramatically to 74.2 percent (23-31), but the 3 point shooting was still terrible. Harrison Barnes was the only Heel to hit a 3 – he was 3-3 – but the rest of the team was 0-6. At least they weren’t attempting a lot.
  • Worst thing, of a pretty bad game, the commentators at the end of the game that had at that point become fairly close saying “the guy you want to foul is Larry Drew.” You should never have someone say that about your stating point guard.

Superlatives:

  • Player of the Game: Tyler Zeller – (23 pts, 7 rebs, 2 blks) A career high, also finished 7-9 from the charity stripe.
  • Stat Stuffer (aka the Danny Green award): John Henson – (10 pts, 11 rebs, 5 blks) Rebounded after a weak performance against Vandy.
  • It’s a bit mild to be November: UNC fans didn’t even fill 15,000 seats. We realize it is almost Thanksgiving, but remember when it was a privilege to go to a Carolina game. Just because the Heels have dropped two doesn’t mean that changes anything. Don’t let the Dookies have any reason to call us fair weather.