After winning ACC opener, Tar Heels still feel unease | Sports
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Monday, January 10, 2011

After winning ACC opener, Tar Heels still feel unease

Posted by on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Williams believes his team has real potential
  • Jeremy Lange/Indy
  • Williams believes his team has real potential
RAYCOM — Roy Williams definitely is prone to coach-speak at times, but this past weekend, after his Tar Heels out-slugged Virginia 62-56 in Charlottesville, he didn't exaggerate: “It was one of the ugliest ‘Ws’ that I have ever been involved in …”

UNC came out firing before suffering through one of its coldest offensive spells of the season, losing a nine-point lead and trailing by seven at halftime to the undermanned Cavaliers. Virginia then jumped out to a double-figure margin in the second half, before the Heels methodically cut away at the deficit before finally breaking through and holding on in the closing minute.

There were no offensive stars for the Tar Heels, which shot just 37 percent on the game and 27 percent on threes. Needless to say, numbers like those will result in a lot of losses this season, and everyone associated with the team understands that.

As he has been most of the season, Tyler Zeller became a key figure late. He’s the closest thing Carolina possesses to a go-to scorer, and he was the only Heel to reach double figures. Though 4-for-10 shooting for 12 points hardly constitutes a career day, he hung in and battled even while the team’s offense sputtered.

Gloomy forecasting aside, however, three aspects of Carolina’s performance stand out as positives going forward:

1) Any conference road win is beautiful. The Heels likely need to finish at least 9-7 in league play to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament, and they figure to be favored in all but one (Duke) of their home games. If they can win half of their road contests, a 6-2 home record would get them to 10-6 overall and solidify their tournament standing.

2) The Tar Heels nailed their free throws at a time they couldn’t afford to miss them. Free throw shooting isn’t a team strength, but against both Kentucky and now Virginia, the Heels were able to knock down their freebies.

3) The team’s competitive vigor for outpaces what last year’s Tar Heels demonstrated, as they had every opportunity to become desperate when they fell behind. Carolina’s comeback wasn't facilitated by a player having a hot hand, either; the Heels simply fought hard on defense and picked up points as best they could.

UNC returns home to face to face Virginia Tech on Thursday, a club expected by many to be second-best in the ACC this season prior to getting decimated by injuries. As mentioned, the Heels need to do their best work in Chapel Hill, so getting off to a 1-0 start against a suffering club is essential.

To see the UNC/UVa 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

Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

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)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

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)

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)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation