Comparing The 05 and 08 Teams

This might be better suited as a discussion to have if UNC wins the title but since the N&O is comparing the 2005 championship team to the present squad I decided to toss it out there for discussion.  Especially since this stands to be a slow news day for Final Four related issues.

From the N&O:

* Both UNC editions featured similarly speedy point guards in Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson.

“Raymond really drove that team, a lot like Ty does now,” said senior point guard Quentin Thomas, who was a freshman on the 2005 team.

* Both had reliable wing shooters (Rashad McCants and Wayne Ellington) and sticky defenders (Jackie Manuel and Marcus Ginyard).

* Both feature selfless sixth men. On the ’05 team, Marvin Williams never started a game but became the second overall pick in the NBA Draft. This year, Danny Green is the sixth man, though he would start for most other teams in the country.

* Both even had a star miss time during the latter part of the season, making their teams stronger in the long run. In 2005, McCants missed the last four games of the regular season with an intestinal disorder. This year, Lawson missed six games with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return to the starting lineup until the ACC Tournament.

“That is kind of weird,” Felton said, realizing yet another similarity.

* But the key comparison, according to May, is the big men. In 2005, he averaged 17.5 points and 10.7 rebounds, and was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. This season, Tyler Hansbrough is averaging 22.8 and 10.3 rebounds, and he has already been named the Most Outstanding Player of the East Regional.

Granted this is a very general comparison of how the personnel is similar which is probably a product of it being a Roy Williams coaches team.  Based on statements he made on Tuesday the kind of team he wants has evolved over the year and I think he had decided that the makup of the 2005 team should serve as a model of sorts going forward.  If the 2008 team is similar to the 2005 team it is because Roy believes that type of team has what it takes to win the title.  So far he has been pretty spot on since these Heels are 36-2.  One marked difference is the 2005 team was more veteran than this team is right now.  Jawad Williams, Melvin Scott and Jackie Manuel were all seniors with Sean May, Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton and David Noel being juniors.  The current team has one senior and a mix of juniors and sophomores.  Not that I think this is all that important but the 2005 team was more experienced which might be one of the reasons they played better defense.

In the end, I would very much like this team to be similar to the 2005, 1993, 1982 and 1957 teams in one particular area: winning it all.


20 Responses to Comparing The 05 and 08 Teams

  1. C. Michael says:

    ’05 may have been more experienced, in terms of years, but no one on that roster had more than 2(!) NCAAT games under their belt.

    Look at the ’08 team (coming into this year):

    Q: 12 (10-2)

    Juniors: 6 (4-2)

    Sophomores: 4 (3-1)

  2. Will says:

    Interesting for the 05 and this team, basically everybody has 2 years in Roy’s system (Marvin and Q were the exception on the 05 team).

  3. 52BigGameJames says:

    the key things to really having a shot, that I’ve been hearing Roy consistently say, are defensive effort, spacing, and contributions from Deon and Alex, on the defensive and rebounding end. fwiw, Danny doesn’t have quite the same inside presence as Marvin did, but he presents more of an outside threat. Wes Miller told me he thought Lawson (when healthy) is actually ahead of Raymond, because he plays smarter at the same stage of his career. Deon, Alex, and Q’s contributions will be key imo, and of course, there’s always the chance (in my head anyway) that the light will go on for Marcus, and he will miraculously transform overnight into our version of Gerald Henderson.

  4. Johnny says:

    Sean May and Hansbrough have another trait in common–stepping up when it matters. I recall May was having a good but not great year until the season finale against Duke when he went for 26 points and 24 rebounds. He carried that dominance into the ACC tourney and the NCAA tournament. Hansbrough has done the same through Lawson’s injury and into the tourney.

  5. william says:

    I went through and compared both teams tempo and they were essentially the same, almost identical, which surprised me because it seemed to me that the 2005 pushed the pace more, but it could also be that such a fast pace was new then, although Carolina always played pretty fast, and we are used to it now.

    That team was a better outside shooting team–this team shoots free throws better. Both went 14-2 in the Regular season, although the ACC was far better that year.

  6. Johnny says:

    I hope Ginyard shoots a million 15-17 foot jumpers and threes this offseason. That would bring a whole new dimension to his game and leave teams with no one to double off of.

    Next year will be interesting with the new 3 point line, too.

  7. william says:

    I think May’s year seemed pretty great all along and then he just upped it a notch more. Historically, May’s numbers were about the best any Carolina center had ever done, until now. Look at Mitch Kupchak’s numbers, or Eric Montross’s numbers. Charlie Scott used to average well over 20 points a game, but since then very few Carolina players have even approached the 20 per game mark.

  8. Tar Heel Fan says:

    May finished his three year career averaging a double-double.

    Hansbrough on the other hand is very close to Billy Cunningham’s record for most double-doubles(pts and rebs) in a season but will not catch him because he does not have enough games left. Cunningham had 22 in one season, Hansbrough has 19 this season. One caveat is Cunningham did it in 22 of UNC’s 24 games in 1963-64. Hansbrough has done it in 19 of 38. Cunningham also had 40 consecutive double-double games at one point.

  9. C. Michael says:

    I’m not sure if anyone saw this pearl from Jason Whitlock, but it is brilliant…

    “Try this analogy: I have two friends who love to chase women. They’re both former basketball players. One — we’ll call him Tyler — is 6-foot-3, has put on a good 75 pounds since his playing days and looks like a retired NFL lineman. The other — we’ll call him Beasley — is 6-7, stays in the gym and looks like Rick Fox’s brother.

    Beasley goes in a bar, sits at a table, buys a drink or two and holds polite conversation with one or two select women. Tyler wears the biggest, friendliest smile at all times, talks to everyone in the bar, drinks until he’s bubbly and might smoke a cigarette or two. Beasley will close a deal by midnight and leave no later than 1 a.m. with an absolute superstar. Tyler will leave at closing time with a 40-year-old divorcee and the 25-year-old waitress who served him drinks all night.

    Who is the playa of the year, Beasley or Tyler? It all depends on your perspective.”

  10. william says:

    I am a huge Billy Cunningham fan but it is fruitless to compare across the decades. The games were often played faster then in terms of tempo and there were far more missed shots to rebound, due to that and poorer shooting. The free throw rules were also completely different. Until 1972, a team got a free throw each and every time they were fouled. After the seventh foul, they got a bonus free throw if they made the first one. This is why Lenny Rosenbluth’s free throw numbers were so off the board.

  11. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Interesting about the FTs. Hansbrough gets fouled so often shooting the ball it is almost a return to the old rule for him. This explains why he smoked Rosenbluth’s mark by the middle of his junior year.

  12. william says:

    That’s true but Rosenbluth only played 3 years of course as well, plus far fewer games per season. That is another reason why total points is misleading. Cunningham had very few games a couple of those years.

  13. Tar Heel Fan says:

    The scoring and rebounding averages tell an interesting story which is one reason I like Hansbrough’s body of work is he has done so much in a three year span.

  14. william says:

    I am still sort of disappointed that we didn’t get his brother as well.

  15. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    I hope officials call games tight. That would put Hansbrough at the line and he is very smart about not picking up fouls (and as someone – THF I believe – previously pointed out he does not go for a lot of blocks so therefore is not at the mercy of an official’s guess on foul vs block).

  16. TxTarheel says:

    I hope the officials let em play. Last thing we need is a repeat of the 2004 semi-final between UCONN / Dook. Officiating in that game was just horrendous, and UNC can ill-afford key players have 3-4 fouls in last 5 minutes Saturday night.
    Not Big East or Big Ten, of course, but just let em play it out.

    My recall might be shaky, but I thought Jawad Williams really showed up with his jumper those final 2 games in 2005. When he was on Jawad had a smooth shot. Maybe it’ll be Green filling that role this weekend.

  17. TxTarheel says:

    I was moderately close. Jawad was very quiet in the 2 regional wins over Villanova & Wisconsin, then just exploded against the Spartans. His stat line in the title win over Illinois was 3-4 from long range, total of 9 points.

    “Sean May scored 22 points – all but four after halftime. Jawad Williams added 20, keeping the Tar Heels in the game when just about everyone else was struggling in the first half. Rashad McCants chipped in with 17 points. And Raymond Felton contributed 16 while running the point.”

  18. I can’t believe the final four is finally here.
    Here’s a surprise. I was working out at the gym (not that) but I caught ESPN talking to Doug Gottleib and someone else about final four predictions. Should I have been surprised about Gottleib picking KU to beat UNC? The other talking head picked Memphis to win it all.
    You know, I get sick and tired of all the “false hype” Memphis plays about no one giving them any type of respect, us versus the world, etc, etc. I haven’t seen very many prominent commentators pick UNC to beat KU, let alone with the national title.
    That’s something else pretty similar going back to the 2005 team; it seemed everyone had their money on Illinois, and there were quite a few people that picked Michigan State to beat us in the final four.

  19. Josh Bowling says:

    William, to some it’s better to get some pt on a losing team than to sit on a winning one.

  20. uncgirl50 says:

    Stupid. I see a few similarities but this is completley different. Leave it alone.

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