UNC 89 Wake Forest 73

wake-unc01.jpg
Photo Credit: Zeke Smith

Just in case any of you went insane and thought UNC was not missing Ty Lawson, I give you this game tonight which was a sloppy effort from the Heels rife with turnovers. And yet, UNC still wins the game by 16 and were never threatened at any point in the second half against a Wake Forest team that came in playing extremely well. The defense had some issues on the perimeter allowing Wake to shoot at will from three in the first half. The second half was much better in this regard but you have to be impressed with what Jeff Teague and Ish Smith bring to the court. These two in combo with the rest of this young team will be a bear come next season.

As for the present season, UNC shot the ball extremely well and got the standard Tyler Hansbrough game with 29 points but only five rebounds which probably should garner an investigation of some sort. Wayne Ellington had a better game than the box score indicates simply because he hit big shots when needed such as a three at the buzzer to effectively kill any momentum Wake had after cutting the lead to six. Danny Green reemerged in that jack of all trades role and went for 15 and nine. Quetin Thomas was solid despite three turnovers and Alex Stepheson also put in some productive minutes. And Will Graves made the most of his six minutes hitting two threes.

Two players who did not have the best time out there on Sunday were Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard. Thompson looked a little tentative in getting back into action playing only 14 minutes. Ginyard on the other hand just looked bad with seven assists and six turnovers. His play had been so much better coming into this game, especially on offense. More or less this was just a bad game for Ginyard and he should bounce back when the Heels take the court again in six days.

So another win which puts UNC ahead in the win column. More importantly it was another win sans Lawson and the even money is that this will be the last one without him. UNC has weathered an incredibly different period on the strength of multiple players finding their roles and compensating for the loss of the starting PG. Now the Heels get another week off which came at a great spot looking at two road games down the stretch. Time now to get healthy and win the regular season.

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12 Responses to UNC 89 Wake Forest 73

  1. jman91 says:

    While sloppy at times, this was a good game for the Tarheels. I thought Stepheson played with an intensity not shown in previous games. Wake’s style of play might of had something to do with this, but I thought UNC’s offense was the quickest it’s been since Lawson went out. Still, it’ll be nice to see him back in the line up. You’re right about Wake’s young team. They will be tough next year.

  2. MinnyTarHeelFan says:

    I thought the difference was not so many open looks from three in the second half. We were sloppy in the first half, but once the three stopped dropping for WF we were fine. One thing I’d like to point that (that Roy also referenced in his postgame comments) was the fact that Q had only one turnover until two late, so again a very solid game for him.

    One big worry for me is how Lawson will be in his return. Obviously, this injury was about 10x worse than we were led to believe (and Roy might be included in this group with us) and I just have to wonder how his strength will be in the joint. Hopefully he can get a good, full week of practice be be ready to roll at Chestnut Hill next weekend.

    One positive of this ankle injury is I think there is little chance Lawson jumps to the Association next year.

  3. Josh Bowling says:

    Excellent recollection William! In this team I truly see every piece to the puzzle. Decent depth, good sixth-man, good defense, great interior play, good outside shooting, and a few intangibles, including gutsy close game performances and a strong desire to dominate. Are we missing anything? Oh I know, Donald Williams. Graves has stepped up to the three however.

  4. Josh Bowling says:

    I just responded to William’s post. How did William’s post just dissapear?

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I turned it into a post and removed it from the comments section. Sorry!

  6. Josh Bowling says:

    Oh no that’s fine. I thought to myself, I must be daydreaming or my blood sugar is low because I know I just read that post by William and I must have thought it instead of read it.

    Thanks!!

  7. […] traveling to Boston on Saturday. Hopefully Tywon and Deon can get healthy for March. Tar Heel Fan didn’t like the turnovers. Andrew Jones notices the […]

  8. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    One of the announcers for yesterday’s game said that UNC’s half-court offense was actually better in Lawson’s absence, which I feel is misleading. I believe what happened is that without Lawson’s blazing speed on the court that the Heels were forced into a more deliberate style of play, and because of that their half-court execution has improved, Q has done an excellent job of playing under control and some of his passes into the post have been excellent. What a difference – I used to be nervous when Q was in games; now with Lawson out I’m nervous when he’s not in games.

  9. Chris says:

    Excellent game for the Tarheels. Tyler Hansbrough best college player on the court. Best future NBA player on the court was James Johnson. 6’8″ can play the guard position if necessary, yet defend against opponents inside men. Looks like the rein-
    carnation of Magic Johnson to me, just like Duke’s Singler plays like Larry Bird.

  10. rbl says:

    Good point, Tar heel alum and fan, about the nervousness. Q has shown great strides, and has transformed himself into a valuable cog in this team’s wheel. I can think of no other player in the league I would rather have as a replacement for Lawson. I know Sean Singletary and various others receive more accolades, but would the chemistry be the same? Without Q this team would be in the tank right now. His transformation, whether the credit goes to his hard work and loyalty, to Roy’s coaching, or some combination of the two, which is most likely, is a huge story. This comment ages me, but I have followed Carolina basketball for 50 years, and recall nothing quite like this.

  11. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Q’s contributions have probably already had an effect on Carolina’s potential seeding in the NCAAs because without him raising his level of play we could easily have lost a couple more games. I also can think of no other example to match Q’s transformation. It’s one of the top stories for UNC this season.

  12. william says:

    Maybe Mike Pepper back in 1981, who went from a freshman sarcastic chant to a starter and hero in the ACC tourney that year….

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