“I have no answers right now”. That was the most important quote from the head coach of the Tar Heels after the Tar Heels 74-49 defeat at the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes on Wednesday night. You never want to hear the head coach of your basketball team say this, but at this point, it’s as if he has no choice but to.
The biggest issue for the Tar Heels on Wednesday night wasn’t the shooting. It wasn’t the rebounding. It all came down to the lack of effort. In the second half, this team gave up. Plain and simple. That’s what was so frustrating. This team has talent. It’s there. However, talent is meaningless without effort.
This team showed so many positive things in the final game of their trip to the Bahamas this past Friday. While that games best player, Armando Bacot, went down with an injury, leaving a big hole to fill down low, that was no excuse for why this Tar Heel team was -16 on the glass and had almost zero presence on the block all night. The Tar Heels settled for way too many mid range and deep shots that haven’t been falling most of the season and didn’t fall once again tonight. This offense needs to look to push the tempo like we’ve seen Carolina team’s do in the past, because, right now, this half court isn’t getting it done.
Defensively, the biggest concern is simply the lack of communication. Multiple times tonight, this team looked lost on switches and doubles, something that all starts with communication. For most of the season, Carolina has been able to get away with those mistakes, but in a game like tonight, that came back to haunt them.
The biggest question is, how will this team respond? The responded well against Oregon last Friday after the loss to Michigan, but the matchup in Charlottesville against a Virginia team that will be motivated to prove themselves after a 29-point loss to Purdue won’t be easy.
-One area that the Tar Heels have dominated all season, thus far, has been on the glass, but that wasn’t the case at all on Wednesday night. The Tar Heels were out-rebounded 48-32 on the glass by the Buckeyes, a team that came into the game averaging just 41.6 rebounds per game.
-The Tar Heels have not been a good shooting team this season, Wednesday night was a new low. The Tar Heels shot just 27.4% from the field, including just 25.9% in the second half. Shot selection has a lot to do with this, but it’s starting to become obvious that this team is not a great shooting team:
-Only three Tar Heels scored more than 5 points on Wednesday night. Cole Anthony led the team in scoring, but shot just 4-15 from the field. Anthony is definitely forcing a lot of shots, but at this point, it makes sense why seeing as no one around him has proved to be a consistent enough scorer yet.
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