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.