UNC 79 Duke 73

It was ugly, I’ll take it but it was ugly.

The most important aspect of this game is the degree to which it answered the criticism of UNC for it’s lack of toughness in a road game.  Cameron is as hostile as it gets and the knock on UNC against NC State was that when the opposing team was hot and things were going poorly for the Tar Heels the players were at a loss in how to respond.  This game unfolded much the same way the NC State game did with Duke coming out shooting the ball really well and UNC lacking the necessary intensity on defense.  On the other end of the court Duke’s defense frustrated the Heels and Duke opened up a 10 point lead.  Into the second half Duke once again opened up a 10 point lead but whatever Roy said in the locker room at halftime it made a difference as UNC ramped up the defense and the depth finally took a toll on Duke in the final seven minutes.  In short it was a tough, ugly, gritty win when more went wrong than went right and in the end the superior depth and talent won out.

Other thoughts:

  • I am still confused about the rotation.  It seemed like Frasor was in for Lawson for an extensive period which did not make sense unless, like Miller being in for Ellington, it was totally a defensive move.
  • Brandan Wright had the quietest 19 points I have ever seen.  He also need to focus on his effort out there.  He could stand to be more aggressive on the defense than he is now.
  • Reyshawn Terry came to play.  He had 10 points and 10 rebounds.  There were some brain lock moments but I think it was Terry’s play that kept UNC afloat early on.
  • John Scheyer is the next annoying-because-he-hits-every-three-he-shoots guard at Duke.
  • Hansbrough ended up with 15 points and he worked for every last one of them.
  • The play of Lawson late was incredible.  As quick as he is, how much quicker do you think he is when the opposing guards have lead in their feet from being tired?
  • Duke has lost three straight, two straight at home, and is now in very real danger of a .500 or worse finish with so many games on the road the rest of the way.
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5 Responses to UNC 79 Duke 73

  1. MDHeelfan says:

    It was great to see the Heels overcome the 10 pts and win the game. Winning a close game in hostile territory will help in the future. Great game for Lawson. He has really stepped up lately and we need more of his slashing drives to the hoop. Terry had some key rebounds but needs to overcome his bonehead mistakes. Dook got some cheap calls but overall the refs let both teams play. Terrible coaching job by K. Why he chose to go toe to toe with the Heels without burning out his team doesn’t make sense. With Dook up by 10 in the second half and McRoberts with 3 fouls he should have slowed the tempo and went into zone on defense. That would have protected McRoberts and rested the Dook players. What’s up with Danny Green? He looks like he has lost his confidence. Packer pointed out everything Dook did right and everything the Heels did wrong, better than Dickie V in my opinion.

  2. Josh Bowling says:

    I really enjoyed that game! It is frustrating to me to see Hansbrough get hit on the arm on jump shots (while making them somehow) and watching Scheyer go to the free-throw line on a three point play for what seems to be much less contact than Hansbrough sees every possesion down the floor. I think a lack of free-throw opportunities that he should have is beginning to really take a toll on his temperment and agitation is setting in. Do you see it that way?

    Thanks

  3. william says:

    Yeah. If it had not been an ugly close win, we would have been back to “we have only had blowouts and losses. Why can’t we win close games?” Well, we won a close game on the road. Hooray. Now, if we want to have a chance to win it all, we have to get Ellington back to playing well. He did not look good yesterday, nor recently.

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Ellington has to find his rhythm within the offense. He is trying to hard to either create his own shot independent of the called play or he takes an ill advised shot without being set to take it. He plays out of the flow of the offense way too much and last night on at least one play he dribble from one side to the other towards the hoop and did not pay attention to the fact he a defender coming up from behind which led to a turnover. His defense is not that good either which is why(to the chagrin of many Heels fans) Wes Miller is seeing so many minutes.

  5. BC says:

    What struck me more than anything else about this game was the number of times Hansbrough was fouled hard, primarily by McRoberts. I hae TiVo so I was able to review the game while it was being played. I could not get over the number of times Hansbrough lost the handle on a rebound or pass. When I reviewed it though I saw why. McRoberts was slapping or poking Hansbrough in the face. It was so blatant when you had a chance to review it. I am amazed the refs weren’t all over that. I am not a die hard UNC fan by any stretch of the imagination, except when they play Duke. Duke gets more favorable calls than any team I have ever watched. They need to do an overhaul on the refs for the league because clearly they are favoring Duke.

    I saw Lawson play HS ball last year when he was in Cincinnati. That guy can flat out play. He is one of the best guards I have seen in years. As Vitale would say, “he is special.”

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