Friday, February 5, 2010

Game Recap: UNC vs. Virginia Tech

We held Virginia Tech to 38.8% from the field and 21.1% from beyond the arc. We still lost. How is that possible? Well, we shot terribly, but amazingly we actually did shoot slightly better than Virginia Tech. If you've been following UNC this season, you can probably see the answer coming: Turnovers.

It was an error-prone mess. We also didn't do a particularly good job rebounding. As a result, we shot the ball 53 times and they got off 67 shots. They overcame our slight advantage in quality with sheer quantity.

In terms of who got the most shots, the team apparently decided to creep me out after I made a big deal about the wrong players taking way more shots than the other players. Six players took exactly seven shots apiece, with one more taking six. It was a creepily balanced attack. This is better than the wrong players taking far too many shots, but still not ideal. Ed Davis continued his ultra high efficiency onslaught, scoring 15 points off of only seven attempts from the field including two monster slams that would have blown the roof off the Dean Dome. Ed Davis should get a minimum of ten shots a game: That would go a long way towards winning.

John Henson had his coming out party, delivering, finally, on some of that super-high potential which I love so much. David Wear also delivered, coming through in ways that make me trust him a lot more. Sweet shooting and tough offensive rebounding almost make up for his other weaknesses. They both had big games and both made me excited about the future. Notably, their good minutes seemed to come at the power forward position. Roy has been trying Henson out at power forward from time to time and while it's clear that his small frame is still a liability on the defensive end, he's been way more successful on offense than at the small forward.

I think I jinxed Will Graves who took four three pointers and missed all of them. He did a much better job of playing in the flow of the offense though. Marcus Ginyard broke his shooting slump, sort of, by hitting two shots out of seven. He's up to four of twenty-four on the past four games. Marcus came off the bench in favor of Dex Strickland, who made the start and, puzzlingly, considering his past willingness to attack the rim, took only two shots for the second game in a row. Dex Strickland can have more shots once he stops turning the ball over.

A tough loss, but at least it offers an answer to the question, "What can you do when you shoot terribly, turn the ball over a lot, and fail to get the ball to your best player enough?" Just enjoy John Henson getting freaky on his way to hoop.

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