First order of business: Tyler Hansbrough’s collision with the basket support. Roy said in his postgame that it was a concussion. He also said that it was the first concussion in the history of basketball to not have a fouled called with it. In fact, Roy was apparently so pissed off by the lack of a foul call on the play that he later got a technical foul with UNC leading 18 which is something I have never seen before. Teams leading by close to 20 and in full control of the game generally don’t have their coach get a technical unless said coach was out to make a point about the officiating. As for Tyler, I would think given the rich creamy middle found in the Heels’ Wednesday opponent Nichols State that he might sit or he might play and eat someone whole. Neither would surprise me. Whatever the case, we hope the concussion proves to not be serious and Tyler recovers quickly.
Second order of business: The textbook definition of stupidity as illustrated by Rutgers JR Inman who said this prior to the game:
“Honestly, I’m not a conceited dude, but I really don’t think he can guard me,” Inman said. “He’s really strong, and he’s a really talented player, don’t get it twisted. He’s a threat to get a double-double every night. But from what I notice defensively, he really hasn’t been challenged this year by a guy who has my ability and skills. Somebody his size with athleticism, reach and all that stuff, but who can also step out to 20 feet.
“That’s pretty hard for anybody, even myself. If I had to guard myself, it would be pretty hard.”
Tyler’s line: 31 mins, 6-15 FG, 8-8 FT, 20 points, 11 rebounds
Inman’s line: 36 mins, 3-14 FG, 3-4 FT, 10 points, 3 rebounds
A small word of advice to the Scarlet Knight junior. When you face the #1 team in the country the very last thing you want to do is say something like this.
Third order of business: I don’t know if Ty Lawson has sent his Christmas cards yet but when he does he should include Stephen Danley with his line from this game since Danley is convinced “Lawson is still too inconsistent a shooter to be consistently effective in the half court.” Lawson set a new career high with 26 points surpassing the 23 he put up against Old Dominion. This also was Lawson’s most complete effort of the season. Aside from the 26 points, Lawson has six rebounds, five assists and only two turnovers. Defensively I thought he was outstanding with four of UNC’s 14 steals. If he plays anywhere close to this level going forward, UNC will be tough to beat.
Other orders of business: Danny Green was Danny Green. Wayne Ellington started out hot but later cooled to end up with 13. The big stat for Ellington was four offensive rebounds as part of the seven boards he had. Deon Thompson did a lot of rebounding but not much else. Overall team defense was good holding Rutgers to 38% shooting and forcing 20 turnovers. UNC hit 19 of 21 free throws which is always a good thing to get them freebie points. Offensively UNC was a tad rusty from the layoff shooting 42% but nothing overtly alarming. UNC was up close to 30 at one point and went on cruise control to end up winning by 22.
And thus ends the Tar Heel Road Show. UNC returns home Wednesday night to begin the Little Debbie portion of the schedule in earnest.