Two tries, two wins for Tar Heels in ACC play | Sports | Indy Week
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two tries, two wins for Tar Heels in ACC play

Posted by on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Marshall is uncannily poised for a freshman
  • UNC Athletic Communications
  • Marshall is uncannily poised for a freshman
ESPN — Whatever else you might say, North Carolina has shown a lot of fight this season. The Tar Heels fell behind for the second consecutive game against Virginia Tech at home last night, yet despite poor offensive execution they managed to scratch out their second straight ACC victory 64-61 over the Hokies.

Carolina began the contest in extremely sloppy fashion, falling behind by 16 points; for a team that struggles to score, that’s a massive deficit. But thanks largely to the efforts of freshman point guard Kendall Marshall — who notched nine points, nine assists and no turnovers — the Heels were able to surge late and make the most of late second half possessions.

The 24-hour period following the game largely pertained to the point guard issue. Starter Larry Drew was pulled in the second half in Marshall’s favor, a move that was considered overdue almost unanimously among the fanbase and national analysts. The statistical evidence is mounting increasingly in Marshall’s favor as the season proceeds, and his play is likely to make Roy Williams’ life that much more difficult.

For his part, after the game Williams again was hesitant to stress the point guard switch as a predictor of his future actions. Williams has said repeatedly over the years that he prefers to set a starting lineup at the beginning of the season and maintain that group if at all possible, but the gap between Marshall and Drew is getting wider, not narrower. Unlike the Texas game last month, when with Drew in the game the Heels blew a late lead and suffered a very damaging loss, this time he played the hot hand (Marshall) owing to the importance of the club’s conference home opener.

Freshman Harrison Barnes also provided late heroics, after playing one of his worst games of the season prior to the closing minutes. He finished with 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting and committed six turnovers, but he knocked in a couple of late threes to push UNC over the top.

John Henson also was a key factor. He amassed 17 points on a hot 8-for-10 shooting and eight rebounds, along with four blocks. Tyler Zeller enjoyed another solid outing, going for 16 points and nine boards. The frontcourt dynamic has become clear; Zeller provides the consistency, while Henson is the spark capable of igniting a run.

The Tar Heels hit the road again on Sunday evening, traveling to woeful Georgia Tech for a winnable conference road game. As I mentioned last weekend, if Carolina can finish at least 3-3 in its ACC contests and 6-2 at home, the club’s entrance into the NCAA Tournament will be assured.

To view the UNC/Virginia Tech box score, click here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

wwe is too violate, if some can fix it that will be okay.

by heartnecklace on Should North Carolina State try to suplex the WWE? (Sports)

I find myself not caring about any of this. Amazing how such a "strong, proud, powerful people" could lose the …

by 10yearwalk on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

Comments

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation