I feel fine with this.
Dayton didn't pitch a shut-out, and we managed to shoot over 40%, but we lost because of well, what was that thing I said?
One of the keys to Dayton's defense is getting the defensive rebound. They really excel at this and are one of the nation's very best at keeping the offensive rebounds out of their opponents hands. However, if there is one thing that UNC does, it's snag offensive rebounds.
Dayton won that war. This season, UNC was able to get an unbelievable 38.9% of our misses. It's been a key weapon in our somewhat limited arsenal, and it was the only reason (besides poor officiating) that we beat Rhode Island. Dayton held us to an offensive rebounding percentage of 22.9%. When ever a team can cut the thing the other team does best to half of it's normal efficacy, they stand a good chance of winning.
Besides Dayton's success at defensive rebounding, we also lost because of that hallmark of the 2009-2010 UNC Men's Basketball Offense: Pure impotence. Marcus, John, and Dexter all posted next to nothing in the scoring department, and joined the rest of the team in a half-assed defensive effort that saw the Flyers shooting 48.3% from the line. It's hard to win games when the other team shoots at a nearly 50% clip and half your rotation shows a nearly pathological aversion to scoring. So there's that.
What else? The brillance of Will Graves. He's played some terrible games in the NIT, but as we I mentioned after the UAB game:
Yeah, Graves [and McDonald] kept putting up bricks, but you know, we live with those so that we can enjoy the games where they don't miss.
This was one of those games, and arguably the finest game of Will Graves career. His scoring was unstoppable and, in Will Graves fashion, he found other ways to contribute: Mainly, by continuing his dirty streak he started with the trip in the Rhode Island game with a ridiculously hard shove against a player trying to set a pick. The player crashed into his teammate and apparently crushed a nice chunk of his buddy's groin. He lay on the floor writhing in agony while his coach yelled for Graves to get called for a foul. Real classy, Will, especially considering that this play seemed to help rally the Flyers to regroup and play with purpose against us.
On the other hand, Will did make a lot of threes. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present our senior leadership for 2010-2011.
Finally, on the Year-of-Sucking weakness tracker, I feel obliged to note that Larry Drew, our starting point guard, turned the ball over six times, and the whole team managed to shoot 53.3% from the free throw line. That's right, free throws and turnovers. Again.
Whatever. The season's over. Big UNC season retrospective and looks to the future forthcoming. Also, now that college basketball is over (as far as I really care), look for me to resume way too much NBA silliness.