UNC 92 Virginia Tech 53

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.

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19 Responses to UNC 92 Virginia Tech 53

  1. ericomac says:

    A good win. Let’s hope they can keep this streak up against the Wolffies on Wednesday.

  2. You realize that you’re not allowed to watch anymore right? 😉

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    What is worse than that, I apparently caught the team’s injury bug when I slipped down my stairs yesterday holding THD #2 and hurt the back of my knee/calf and my big toe.

  4. 52BigGameJames says:

    THF’s not been hurt much, so he might be a little reluctant to push himself. It will benefit the rest of the THF household for everyone else to pick up the slack.

    jmho–it’s unlikely, but I think they ought to sit Marcus for a game or two to get him ready for the stretch. He’s been going at 50-75% for 4 or 5 games now.

  5. william says:

    This was by far our best defensive performance of the year, coupled with one of our better offensive outings as well. We have moved all the way up to number 19 in Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive ratings.

    Of course, Pomeroy had a bit of a problem until yesterday in that he had a team with a 23-2 record, from the best conference in American, ranked 11th. Now, he has us at number 7 overall. Not having Lawson drags us down some, but I also think his new rating system is flawed and is no longer as good as Sagrin’s.

    Yes, we have won a couple of close ones, but we also lost a game that could have gone either way at Maryland and who knows what would have happened on Feb. 6th, had Lawson played.

  6. Josh Bowling says:

    As well as we played, I still have some bad feelings about a game like this. For starters, we got some hell of a home court advantage in this game. We were allowed to play defense like we were Duke or something. Often times playing defense like that will get us in a quick foul defecit, allowing teams to be in a 1 & 1. It also gives us a false confidence we can go out and play defense like that on any outing, which is not the case, as there will be games that if we come out of the gate like that, could put a few of our key players in foul trouble and limit their affectiveness. Duke is notorious for this, only paying the price in tournament play. I am happy to have it, as it allowed us to blow a team away and put fear into teams that we will face in the future. I just don’t want us to get used to it and pay for it like Duke does in the tournament. Great job heels!!

  7. nathan says:

    Somebody’s got to say it: Marcus Ginyard is now a legitimate threat from the three point line. I never thought I’d utter those words, but when he’s open he’s hitting them, and that could be really big at some point down the road.

  8. 52BigGameJames says:

    Marcus could be an offensive STUD if he set his mind to it!

  9. Josh Bowling says:

    The absence of Lawson has shown each player how good they can be. Hopefull they can continue to ride this wave of confidence throughout the tournament.

  10. ericomac says:

    Marcus Ginyard is making Jawad Williams like improvement at the 3 point line, make no mistake about it.

  11. william says:

    Ray Felton was the amazing one in terms of improvement at the 3-point line. He went from mediocre to leading the conference his last year, hitting close to 45%.

    This team cannot compare to that team, in general, except for having essentially the same record at this point. 2005, however, was arguably the greatest season in the history of the ACC at the top, with 3 teams in the top five throughout the season….

  12. william says:

    Wake is looking pretty good here at the half…. Is it possible?

  13. Tar Heel Fan says:

    As one of my seminary professors used to say: “It’s possible, but is it probable.”

    That 2005 season was something else. The 3rd place team, Duke, was 11-5 in the conference but won the ACCT and got a #1 seed along with UNC. Wake was a #2 after finishing second but losing to NCSU in the ACCT quarterfinals.

  14. william says:

    In 2005, at the conclusion of the season, Pomeroy had Illinois #1, even after losing to us, UNC # 2, Duke #3 and Wake #7, and that was after Wake lost a few places for their crushing early loss to WVU. NC State and GIT weren’t bad that year either.

    Pomeroy said that UNC would have probably been number one had we not lost McCants for four games, but he has no way to exclude those games, unlike the AP and UPI polls, which is one way that humans still have an advantage over computers….

  15. william says:

    I don’t know. Wake looks like they are exposing Duke tonight….

  16. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Wake forced turnovers, Duke was cold(which some people said was not possible because they had so many guys that could shoot) and they got them into foul trouble. Duke traditionally swoons a bit in February, recovers to play well enough in the ACCT and first weekend in the NCAAs then have problems in the second weekend. Could this be the start of that? Duke has to travel to Miami in three days and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back.

  17. william says:

    Yeah, the Duke legs problem, which has traditionally been blamed on their not subbing enough, but I thought they were playing more guys this year. I haven’t looked at the boxscore, but Wake seemed to be dominating down low, even without Chas Smith.

    Duke was getting all the calls the first ten minutes of the second half, but then the refs evened things out. It was interesting how Wake seemed to only let Teague handle the ball towards the end, which normally would figure to hurt them more, but they didn’t seem to need Smith too much. Duke was ice cold outside, reminding me of another team I saw on Feb. 6th.

  18. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Paulus-Scheyer-Henderson were 4-21 for 13 points. Scheyer was 0-8 and did not score. That really sounds like a team we saw on Feb 6th. Duke was 28% from three and 40% overall. The foul calling was interesting. I checked the box score midway through the second and Duke had 19 fouls, Wake had 18. It ended up Duke with 31 and Wake with 20. Some of that was desperation fouling by the Devils but I quite enjoyed watching the parade of DQed Devils to the bench.

  19. Tardy Turtle says:

    If you’re Duke, having a lot of guys who can shoot ALSO means having a lot of guys who can miss.

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