Payback sucks doesn’t it Hokies?
I set this game to record because I had other stuff happening and the wonders of technology did not cooperate so as it turns out I missed what may have been the best Tar Heel effort of the season. UNC dominated every facet of this game including shutting down the Hokies to the tune of 26% shooting and an absolutely gaudy rebounding differential. It was a complete effort and while Virginia Tech is young, they still were 5-5 in the ACC with a win over Maryland and this has to be considered a great win when the injuries are factored in.
Looking at this game, the two players that really jumped out at me were Will Graves and Alex Stepheson who had sensational offensive games but also gave solid defensive efforts according to Roy Williams. Graves and Stepheson both scored in double digits with the big man collecting nine boards. Roy said on Friday he was pushing these guys to step up and they responded in a big way for this game.
Among the regulars, Tyler Hansbourgh, 23 points yada yada yada. With his consistent level of production it is getting to a point where talking about him is somewhat getting redundant and we love that kind reliability. Wayne Ellington has obviously gotten back on track and did not miss much today en route to 19 points. Quentin Thomas was solid and his improvement running the point has been extremely nice to see. When Ty Lawson comes back, UNC will have a solid backup which will end up being a huge deal down the line. Danny Green also had a nice game despite battling the flu.
Let me just say it was nice to see UNC come out and dominate a game. This has not happened since Lawson went out. Given the injuries and other maladies UNC has faced I am not sure you can underestimate how much it means to have game like this. It is obviously a boost to the team’s confidence but more than that, if you look at the box score you do not see a player over 30 minutes in this one. That is nothing less than huge considering the nature of the past three games and the relative paper like quality of the Tar Heel depth. In the end it was a good game to get under the players’ collective belt and all we wait for now is to get Lawson back.
And who knows when that will be.