Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game Recap: UNC vs. North Carolina Central University

Sorry this is late, but here you go:

No one expected this to be a good game, and at 89-42 it really wasn't. There are always a couple like this at the beginning of the year: warm-up games. These are the games where a few lowly teams are led to the slaughter. In the years past, this would be an opportunity for Carolina to put up over 120, pad the stats for the ESPN color guys who love to mention how many 100 point games Carolina has had in a given season. This year it's different. We haven't put up 100 this year at all. No biscuits yet. This is not a cause for alarm.

In years past, we would put up 120 and let them put up 90. Still a 30 point blow-out, but always cause for the finger-wagging sanctimony of the basketball self-righteous, aghast that a team would have so little self-respect as to give up 90 points. Well, this year may be different. This year, I think that if this team gives up 90 points, it will only be in an unwatchable, catastrophic rout. If it happens at all.

This team is really good defensively. I know it's only Central, but wow. We held them to 26% and unleashed a slew of devastatingly demoralizing blocks. This team will make an offense work and outright prevent baskets. Our offense isn't there yet, and we've yet to play a team with traditionally effective post-up big men, but so far, the defense looks good.

First things first: Marcus looked good. He shot the ball well, he ran the offense and defense well. He looked athletic, and on defense did his Shane Battier hand-in-face impression the whole game-- shooters loved it. Zeller looked good. After the Florida International game, I'd pegged New Tyler as the worst defensively of the Carolina big men, as well as maybe the teams worst passer. Now I feel bad about this. Dude had a good game: no turnovers, lots of points on perfect shooting from the field and three blocks! The worst of the main Carolina big men had three blocks. What a good year this will be.

Ed Davis didn't continue his statistical domination as strongly, but the fact remains: He's going to be ridiculously good. His heart-breaking blocks and complete and utter ability to become unstoppable in the low post were a comforting sight. Jon Henson botched a couple of big plays, including a potentially mind blowing reverse ally-oops that my roommate was sure would get him benched for show-boating, but the idea that these astonishing plays could have happened was enough. He handles the ball well, his limbs are long enough to scare people, and he has a deft passing ability I had underestimated. Even if he couldn't get it all together tonight, the potential is there and I can't wait to see it unleashed. He has some great assists.

Drew II is coming along. I'm happy.

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