As I was watching the NBA Draft last night I noticed there were eight players who went up against UNC this past season at one point or another. Four players faced UNC twice during ACC play. Two players faced the Heels in the NCAA Tournament and two others played against UNC in one non-conference match-up:
4. Mike Conley, Ohio State: 8 points, 8 assists, 3 TOs in a 98-89 loss at UNC
5. Jeff Green, Georgetown: 22 points, 9 rebounds in a 96-84(OT) win over UNC in the East Regional Final
12. Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech: 22 points in a 77-61 loss at UNC; 25 points(5-6 3-pt shooting) in a 84-77 win over UNC
14. Al Thornton, Florida State: 29 points, 12 rebounds in a 84-58 loss at UNC; 12 points, 6 rebs in a 73-58 loss to UNC in the ACC Quarterfinals.
16. Nick Young, USC: 15 points, 7 rebs, 6 assists in a 74-64 loss to UNC in the East Regional Semifinal
19. Javaris Critteton, Georgia Tech: 7 points, 7 TOs in a 77-61 loss at UNC; 13 points, 11 assists in a 84-77 win over UNC.
21. Daequan Cook, Ohio State: 20 points(4-5 3-pt shooting), 5 rebs in a 98-89 loss at UNC
22. Jared Dudley, Boston College: 22 points in a 77-72 loss to UNC; 20 points, 6 rebs in a 71-56 loss to UNC in the ACC Semifinals
UNC was 7-2 against these players’ respective teams. Of course one of those losses was the infamous debacle in East Rutherford which saw Green nearly get a double-double. Based on the stats, most of these players performed really well against UNC which is either a testament of their skill or the fact UNC did not play great defense. I think it is more of the former. It is interesting to note that the Ohio State game was early in the season where Conley was a non-factor in terms of scoring but did a great job distributing the ball. Cook had a monster night and I thought he was an incredible shooter. As it turns out he declined as the season progressed but still got drafted in the first round. Critteton had a horrid game in Chapel Hill but absolutely lit UNC up in Atlanta which is evidence of his progression through the season. Al Thornton was huge in the game at Chapel Hill but was largely silent in the ACC Tournament game partly due to the fact he fouled out. And Nick Young was key to USC controlling most of the Sweet Sixteen game versus UNC prior to the Trojans running out of gas. Overall the eight first round draft picks averaged 23.8 points versus UNC.
One more quick note. Here are the second rounders UNC faced:
32. Gabe Pruitt, USC
33. Marcus Williams, Arizona
37. Josh McRoberts, Duke (twice)
59. D.J. Strawberry, Maryland