Updated: Jan 6, 2020
6:39. That’s how much time was left when Carolina made its first basket of tonight’s game. By the time that occurred Carolina found themselves down over 20 points, which is too big a deficit for this team to overcome. The halftime score was 47-27, and that 20 point deficit was the largest in Smith Center history. It would be unprofessional to not give the opponent credit so let’s do that here. Props to the game plan Josh Pastner put together for this game. Despite all the injuries for the Tar Heels, nobody expected to see Georgia Tech in the win column when this game went final. Games likes these are why Pastner has been thought of the young great coaches in college basketball. Jose Alvarado dropped 25 points on 8-12
shooting. He controlled the game, as he set the tone with his intensity on the defensive end, while dictating tempo on the offensive end. Moses Wright added 22 points, along with his 7 rebounds. He proved to be a mismatch problem inside, for a Carolina team that had no answers defensively. For the game, Georgia Tech shot a blistering 59%, as their penetration generated easy looks all night for a offense that’s been struggling to say the least.
Garrison Brooks did every thing in his power to will Carolina to victory tonight. The junior big man scored a career best 35 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds, the best individual performance since Brice Johnson recorded 39 points and 23 rebounds 4 years ago today. His career game wasn’t enough, as nobody else stepped up on the offensive end to give the team a lift. After back to back wins, the team had 3 straight ACC games at home allowed them to build momentum in the new year. That didn’t happen in what might be the most disappointing loss of the season, here’s what we learned:
1. Lack of Ability to Contain the Dribble: There aren't many games you've seen Roy Williams rely on a zone defense, to get stops but that happened in this game. Alvarado was able to get to any area on the floor at will, as he picked apart a Carolina defense that has improved over the month. His ability to get into the teeth of the defense, drew multiple defenders which led to easy back doors, or dumps off to Brown. As bad as Carolina's offense was tonight, their inability to get stops costed them any chance of getting back into the game.
2. Does This Team Have a Competitive Spirit?: I don't question if Garrison Brooks wants to win, but I wonder if they other guys that dressed tonight care about winning basketball games. The lack of competitive spirit was evident as their was no emotion after getting jumped 27-4 to start, or after multiple lashings from a frustrated coaching staff. They did respond in the second half with a 16-5 run, but it was too late at that point in the contest. Maybe it was a hangover following the news of Anthony Harris' injury, but it was made known in the post game their attitudes weren't in the right spot before tip-off. There's no better way to get humbled than losing at home to another inferior opponent.
3. Perimeter Depth Has Caught Up: Tonight, Carolina was without Cole Anthony, Anthony Harris and Andrew Platek. When foul trouble started becoming a issue, or when Roy Williams felt like he needed a spark he turned to Robbie O'Han a walk-on who joined the program, the week of the Notre Dame game. As Jeremiah Francis had a game where it appeared he was learning how to play at this level, there just wasn't enough to get this team over the top. With Anthony still a few weeks away from returning, Carolina needs more from Brandon Robinson, and Christian Keeling to be more specific.
Up Next: Carolina is at home again on Wednesday, as they'll host Pittsburgh at 7 pm.
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