Archive for January, 2007

Heels Cruise Into Regular Season

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

The Heels have been feasting on borderline cupcake teams, however they look extremely sharp and ready to play the ACC regular season. Against Florida State tonight the Heels were razor sharp from the start. Seemingly ever Heel from the plethora of players made significant contributions. Quinten Thomas was stellar in his seven minutes of play. Marcus Ginyard added a great spark, and Wes Miller took a charge. For a team playing too many players (in the classical sense), the Heels are clicking like clockwork.

Tyler Hansbrough was tonight’s player of the game. His strong handle on the ball still makes him one of the toughest big men in the nation. If he can learn to catch and explode to the basket, he will have even more success against bigger players. Too many times he brings the ball down and pump fakes more times than Jason Capel. Thankfully he still is one of the best players I’ve ever seen at keeping his head up and pushing through the opponent’s foul.

The Heels are posting an incredible 1.6 assist to turnover ratio. In fact, that number has exceeded 2.0 in 4 of the last 5 games. To put this in perspective, the National Champs from 2005 averaged a season long 1.2 assist:turnover ratio.

One reason the team has such a high ratio is that they are getting the ball inside. The combination of Brandan Wright and Tyler Hansbrough is one of the toughest frontcourts in the nation to defend. In fact, the Heels are only taking 28% of their shots from behind the arc.

This leads me to this teams glaring weakness: outside shooting. To this point we’ve seen some streaky shooting from Wayne Ellington and a three here and their from Wes Miller and Bobby Frasor, however there is no consistent scoring threat from outside to date. Opposing teams should pack in a zone and dare use to shoot over them. This backfired on a few teams as of late, however it is an opponent’s best bet.

Up next is UVA in the Smith Center. Look for this one to get ugly in the second half. UVA had a decent start to the season, but have looked really lackluster over the last month.


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