Random Thoughts

Here is what I have been bouncing around my head concerning the game Saturday.

  • I encourage you to head over to ACC Now and watch this video of probably the best defensive sequence Ty Lawson has had all season. NCSU’s Javi Gonzalez is completely overmatched by Lawson’s speed and I think we are seeing signs that Lawson might be taking a serious personal interest in playing lockdown defense on opposing point guards. It is almost like his goal is to get a five second count. As for the Pack, the play tells you all you need to know about their problems. With their freshman PG being hounded to the point he nearly commits an offensive foul just to get breathing room, the rest of the NCSU players just stand around watching save one earlier half hearted screen from Gavin Grant. No one comes to help him and after he ends up having to go into the backcourt to recover the ball with the shot clock under 20 you do not see any urgency on the part of the Wolfpack players. If I were Sidney Lowe I would shot them this clip 10 times and rip them a new one for their effort and the fact they hung a teammate in trouble out to dry.
  • Apparently Roy Williams places a pretty high premium on beating NC State. Marcus Ginyard and Danny Green told the press that Roy was threatening to withhold the postgame meal if they lost saying he’d “rather beat NC State than eat.” Between that and the diatribe in which he said he was going to buy some seats off four fans that left early I am wondering how hard he hit his head.
  • I was surprised to hear Ben McCauley say that he was surprised at how well guys like Danny Green played. McCauley must be an avid reader of a certain Penn grad writing on a NY times blog.
  • As is always the case with any game, the “what happens next” is almost as important as the success or failure during the last outing. Watching a team respond to adversity is an important indicator. In this case watching how this team responds to a game that had them playing up to their potential, especially on defense, well be a critical sign of how far they can go this season. Looking at last season, UNC was fat and happy coming off a similar type win at Arizona only to lay the ostrich egg at the RBC Center the following Saturday. I think this qualifies as a similar situation and as much as teams try to learn from losses, UNC should be just as eager to build on this win. The goal should be to maintain the high level of play and continue to push the envelope. UNC needs to stay “locked in” and I will be interested to see if they can raise the level of play against a Georgia Tech team that is easily a bottom tier ACC team this season. No one received a trophy at the Dean Dome on Saturday. There is still plenty of season left and the challenge for the Heels is to not make the NC State game an isolated effort but a clear notice to the rest of the ACC as to how it will be from here on.
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19 Responses to Random Thoughts

  1. JPH says:

    I agree that whats important is that UNC makes this the way they play from here on out. This can’t be a fluke – just a good showing against a mediocre team (at best). Coming off a win like that, I would think, as a player, it would be easy to be complacent and think you’re top dog and that the worst is over… and thats not the case for UNC. We’re a long way from the NCAA Championship game and we still have a mess of good ACC games yet to play. If they stay hungry, and play up to their potential, I think we can really accomplish a lot with this squad and this coaching staff… if they stall out, it’ll be all for not.

  2. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Suffocating defense is the key – when the Heels force bad shots that’s just fuel for the UNC fast break. Also was impressed by team defensive effort, plus individual efforts by Green and Thomas (playing with confidence – it showed). Only worry at this point is the peaking-too-soon scenario, which is why I’d prefer they lost a couple and then take off on another streak.

  3. william says:

    That is true, JPH, but don’t forget that the subjunctive mood should follow the adjective, “important.”

  4. william says:

    I thought Roy was talking about the fact that apparently some well-heeled Ram’s Club members had sold their front-row tickets to four fans who were dressed in red.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    That did not seem clear to me because it followed the question about people leaving early.

    I understand his point, especially in those seats which should have UNC fans sitting in them.

  6. william says:

    You know, with the Redskins, theoretically, you do not have the right to transfer your license to the seat. The Redskins don’t currently enforce this rule, I think, because it would be bad publicity, but you wonder if maybe the Heels might consider it for just the lower sections.

  7. Jack says:

    He wasn’t withholding anyone’s post-game meal, just forgoing his own… (And does Stub Hub let you stipulate the shirt color for buyers? I sure don’t have money for such tickets…)

  8. Jack says:

    He wasn’t withholding anyone’s post-game meal, just forgoing his own… (And does Stub Hub let you stipulate the shirt color for buyers? I sure don’t have money for such tickets…)

  9. william says:

    Theoretically, unless the ticket exchange forbids such provisos, it seems as though one could contract to only sell to people willing to wear Carolina Blue, unless somehow this would be a restraint on alienation.

  10. Black Mountain Sophomore says:

    I took the family to the Kent State game (Santa left a ticket in each stocking…) and the kids were shocked by all the empty seats and early departures. I tried to explain it was a mid-week, early season game, but they were having none of it. My oldest pointed out that the tickets are scanned at the door, so it’s possible to track who actually shows up. She suggested a penalty for the no-shows. Actually, she suggested that their tickets for the next game be given to HER, but a slightly less draconian measure would be to dock the absent Rams Clubber a few points. Don’t know what we could do about the early departures or wardrobe errors.
    Those early season, post-Christmas games are always fun because there are so many folks there who don’t get to go often. The upper reaches of the Smith Center were filled with families and fans who are not jaded by having snoozed through years of games in the theater seats downstairs. None of us left early, either.

  11. Joe says:

    My wife and I made the trip from Toronto for our first Carolina game and it was the Kent State game as well. It was a great trip and we had a blast but we were also shocked at the number of people leaving early. I did ask someone in front of me if this was always the case, and they replied during ACC games, everyone stayed till the end. Naturally I told my wife that we’ll just have to come back to an ACC game now lol!!!! GO HEELS.

  12. Josh Bowling says:

    Why not offer some kind of credits for wearing Carolina blue attire? Maybe a free drink at the consession or something of that nature. It really ticks me off that people go to the game in everyday appearal. It reduces the intimidation factor of visiting teams as well. Funny that State, Duke, Maryland, Clemson do not have such problem. When you enter their arena, you know who your playing & dealing with. THE DAMN DEAN DOME is more blue when it is empty than when it is full. That is a shame!

  13. william says:

    To be contrarian, I have often thought that one of the benefits of being king of the hill is that you don’t have to alway engage in some of the tacky fan support schemes that other schools engage in.

    You will never, ever see me naked from the waste up, painted in Carolina Blue at a game and I was disappointed to see some of our students do that against State. I am sorry, but that is not exactly gentlemanly or ladylike behavior. If my kids did that, I would be very disappointed.

    I absolutely hate it when players lift their hands as though they were at a prayer meeting, exhorting the crowd to make noise. Why don’t you guys concentrate on playing better and then maybe we will make some more noise?

    I also dispise that ubiquitous screaming music that I associate with Wake Forest but hear all over that goes:

    DaDaDaDaDaDumDumDaDaDaDaDumDumDumDum, along with the tacky John 3:16 wigs and whatnot.

    I also do not recall Coach Smith wearing tacky Carolina Blue blazers on the sideline. Coach Smith also did not generally allow trying to distract opposing players who were shooting free throws or allow gross or coarse language on the sideline, and I believe that he also opposed taking time outs solely for the purpose of “icing” a free throw shooter.

    Maybe I am an old grump but in spite of the fact that I believe that Coach Williams is the best overall coach we have ever had, I am not comfortable with the way he criticizes his players in the media, as he did about Danny Green this week-end. I understand that coaches have different styles but Coach Smith did not do that and I preferred Coach Smith’s policy.

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I know Roy is a perfectionist but I thought that was a little off based to complain about something Green did wrong when he had a sensational stat line. I guess he wants to keep the fire burning under these guys by not giving a hint that he is satisfied with the way they played.

  15. Black Mountain Sophomore says:

    I think Coach Williams uses the same sort of psychology Coach Smith used to employ: the better a player performs, the more he can take the criticism, and the guys who are really not doing so well will have the ONE thing they do right pointed out. Remember how Dean would always talk about Dudley Bradley’s defense when he went 0 for the week? He talked that guy into being the best defensive player of a generation!

    I agree with William about the arm waving by players and the general decorum of the crowd. (I guess that makes me an old grump, too, and I for one don’t want to see William stripped to the waist and painted ANY color …) I was at a game when Dean took the microphone and told students behind the basket, waving their arms at a foul shooter, “We don’t do that here.” Nowadays, it appears, we do. But at least the kids are down low where they should be, and they stay until the buzzer.

  16. william says:

    Not even a private showing, Black Mountain, lol….?

  17. Josh Bowling says:

    I was not referring to all of the arm waving, bad language and such. It is just the fact that I wish the place would reflect that Carolina Blue as much when it is filled as it is when it is empty. The crowd looks more intimitading when it reflects team colors, especially when one has been historically as dominate as Carolina. Also, young basketball players out there looking for a college to go to might want to see this as being part of the school spirit/support. Not that we have had a problem with that as of yet. I would rather play a Duke when its fans are not as spirited as when they are. I would rather play a Clemson when their fan colors are white and moca, as opposed to that blinding orange. We make the Dean Dome a more comfortable place for opposing teams to visit when we do not reflect team color, attitude, and spirit.

  18. william says:

    I understood you weren’t saying all that. I was just sort of making a semi-related point about how sometimes teams may be less ra-ra when they are on top, a little bit like the Patriots who try not to act to excited because they expect to win. Such an attitude can obviously easily transform into a laid back wine and cheese atmosphere if one is not careful….

  19. Josh Bowling says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Although it’s so easy when you’re beating teams by …

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