UNC vs Boston College

Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Thursday, January 31st, 7:00 PM
TV: ESPN
Records: UNC 19-1, 4-1 ACC; BC 12-6, 3-2 ACC

Have I ever mentioned that I probably dislike BC at levels that are fairly close to my disdain for Duke? Kind of amazing what one NCAA Tournament game almost 14 years ago can do to your perception of a team. BC is a member of the Inconsistency Club in the ACC winning and losing games in an alternating fashion. That kind of inconsistency probably means BC will find a way to be on and give UNC a tough game then wet the bed on the next outing.

The main concern in dealing with BC comes from Tyrese Rice the PG position. Given Rice’s scoring abilities and relative quickness, Ty Lawson will have his hands full and vice versa. In fact during the two meetings a year ago, the two players “split” the matchups.

Date Player Mins FG 3PG Pts Asst TO Rebs
2-17-07
@BC
Ty Lawson 33 4-6 1-2 13 7 3 6
Tyrese Rice 40 8-18 2-7 20 5 2 3
3-10-07
ACCT
Ty Lawson 31 4-9 0-3 10 8 1 4
Tyrese Rice 39 1-9 1-5 5 4 0 2

Rice got the best of Lawson at BC and Lawson returned the favor in the ACC Semifinals.  Of course the ACC Tournament fell in that period of time where Lawson was playing his best basketball of the season following the benching at Georgia Tech.  Rice is in the midst of the finest season of his career averaging 20 ppg and 5 apg.  It is clear the offense begins and ends with Rice which puts a lot of pressure on Lawson to bring the defensive intensity from the very start.  It also should be noted that Rice has a fairly pedestrian A/TO at 1.5 which means a solid defensive effort might be enough to turn him over  a few times.

BC also boasts a natural shot blocker in Tyrelle Blair which could put pressure in the Heels’ interior game.  Tyler Hansbrough has not generally dealt with athletic shot blockers very well.  The best option for him will be to face up some and vary his offensive production using different shots as he did versus Miami.  Concerning the rest of the Heels on offense I would very much like to see both Wayne Ellington and Danny Green come out with great games following the eight day break.  Green has been in a bit of a funk over the past few games and Ellington has been good early in games but slowly fades way down the stretch.  Needless to say we are all waiting for Deon Thompson to have a showcase game.

And the defense?  I am not going to talk about that anymore unless of course we see some improvements.

UNC 88 BC 72

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4 Responses to UNC vs Boston College

  1. geof says:

    Well between Lawson, Rice, Blair, and Hansbrough, I boldly predict this game will end in a ty …

  2. Roy said this yesterday:

    “It’s not that far from being a pretty good defensive team – it really isn’t. Coach Smith left a message after the Miami game and said, ‘I thought you were a lot better defensively, [but] they just made some shots.’ ”

    I saw the same thing. Except for a few fast break points that they admittedly should not have had, Miami made very few layups. We were making them take jump shots for the most part, and (to their credit) they hit some. Not everyone is going to be able to do that. If we’re improving in practice the way Roy says, this could be an enjoyable stretch of games.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I think that is the challenge in evaluating the defense. There is not statistical factoring for “UNC blue sets teams off” and while that is a little tongue and cheek, we all have seen it happen enough to know the defense is not always the problem, the other team playing like they are the freaking 98 Bulls is. Take for example the game last season at RBC. UNC has one of the best defenses in the country according to Pomeroy last season but that did not stop NCSU from shooting 80% in the 2nd half. Sometimes you defend for 34 seconds and someone hits a shot at the buzzer. Other times you get a perfect trap on the sideline and they make a wild pass out to an open shooter. The key is controlling the things you can control by disrupting the half court offense before it starts, grab defensive rebounds, keep the guards out of the lane and contest shots without fouling.

  4. […] will help us play better defense. Mentally. I’m an awesome defender in my mind. Tar Heel Fan has a preview. Nice […]

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