“This North Carolina team panicked”

According to Marcus Ginyard who can always be trusted to give you the unvarnished truth.

Ginyard in the post game:

That is the first time this North Carolina team panicked. It got to the point where they were just up big. We did a great job all year long of stepping up to the challenge. Tonight Kansas threw the biggest challenge at us that we have seen and it took too long for us to respond.

As quoted by Adam Lucas:

I knew something was wrong when we would foul them and then we’d huddle up and nobody would say anything. It would take four or five seconds before anyone spoke. Everyone just looked at each other like, `What the heck is going on?’ It was weird. We were just looking around like, `Whoa.’

“We’d take the ball out of bounds and no one would know the call until two or three seconds before they handed us the ball. We were just kind of out there.

This is why I love Marcus Ginyard because he tells you what the real deal is and in unafraid to express the truth.  Earlier this week I explored two lines of thought as it pertained to UNC playing in the Final Four.  The first was horrible shooting in the national semifinal game that fell in the 30% range not to mention far worse from outside the arc.  UNC seemingly “found” that shooting touch again last night.  The other thought was more focused on officiating(which did not strike me as a negative) but generally speaking I was concerned about UNC playing an unusual game where nothing went right or we saw issues crop up that had not been seen during the regular season.  That also seems to be the case in this game with the complete lack of poise on the part of the Heels being that odd aspect not seen all season.

Besides being dominated in the post, the lack of composure is the perhaps the biggest surprise from this team who was defined all season by handling all kinds of tough game situations.  I have commented at points that the way this team handled game deficits almost had me to a point that I was hard pressed to believe they could lose.  Then again, the fact this UNC team was defined this way speaks an awful lot to a tendency to first half debacles that were erased by second half superiority.  I guess in this way, the game versus Kansas was really no different except playing as badly as UNC did versus a team playing perhaps their best half of the season has the effect of placing you in a deep hole that might be too tough to climb from in the time allotted.

Now, the fact Kansas just smashed the Heels from 15 minutes without much life from UNC has many discussing whether or not Roy should have called a timeout at some point to abate the Kansas onslaught.  On one level this is a moot discussion since Roy does what Dean always did and that was to save the timeouts for the latter portions of the 2nd half when either a rally or rest required them.  Still, part of the hand wringing process, especially for the talkng heads, is to latch on some kind of simple explanation that can be pinned on the coach.  In this case the lack of a timeout between the 12 and 8 minute marks of the first half seems to be a popular cause at this point.  Since I have been a UNC fan so long I am so used to the no timeout coaching that I really find it fruitless to discuss.  No one seems to remember that nothing Roy did or said in the timeouts he did get via the media changed the direction of the game or that UNC managed to come back to within four without the benefit of a timeout.

As much as people want to pin this on the coaching I tend to think it is more about players making plays on both ends of the floor.  Yes, the coach is important when it comes to preparing his team for a game and maybe something in the way Roy approached this game set his team up for failure.  Perhaps the adjustments to the Kansas offense and defense came a little late to stop the bleeding.  Then again maybe Roy did much of what he needed to do and the players simply did not get their heads in the game properly or make the plays they physically needed to make.   And then you also get into things like the Danny Green three rimming out which would have put UNC within two and maybe changed the game dynamics for good. With so many unknowns and the gaggle of logical explanations as to what happened in San Antonio make it clear to me that one uncalled timeout probably was not going to change the game given the way Kansas was playing.

For me the conclusion is simple:  UNC played a horrible game, one not seen from them in an incredibly long time.  Whatever the causes for the complete suckitude of the Tar Heels’ play on the court, I do know it was the worst timing in the world to have it happen now.

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15 Responses to “This North Carolina team panicked”

  1. Russell says:

    Viagra vs. Valium
    or
    Lightening-Tongued Lizard Laps Up Laconic Lady Bug

    The Kansas players run the same fast-paced type of ball as UNC. They had (according to their own statements) watched the Heels all season. They saw the similarity of styles. The attraction was powerful; they coveted the chance to show the No. 1 team in the nation – and the nation – that they could play it too!

    If you’ve ever been young and on your game, you know the mind set.

    So when the opportunity came, they were ready, more than willing, and, obviously, able. Heels come into the game beating other teams, sometimes having to reach deep to do it, but having come to know they can always do it. Saturday they come in expecting more of the same. And if things get tight, hey, we can handle the crisis.

    Smack! Thwak! Heels are ambushed by amped ambition lying in wait for its chance. The chance to show We Can Too!

    Which they did.
    If you’ve ever been young and on your game, you know the mind set.

  2. Will says:

    Sitting at the game, there appeared to be plenty of breaks during Kansas’ runs. Everyone was in the huddle, and the coaching staff seemed to be very calm and explaining what needed to be done. The shots did not go in, and we were lost on defense. Amazing that we even got back into the game.

  3. C. Michael says:

    If your team is getting punked, calling a TO isn’t going to change that. For the first 15 minutes, UNC got punked, and it wasn’t until the PLAYERS decided to fight back that they got into the game. Calling a timeout to stop a run is the most pointless thing a coach can do. I believe there are also stats that prove this point.

  4. MinnyTarHeelFan says:

    I think this quote from Roy from his postgame press conference (taken from ASAP Sports) tells it all:

    “Defensively they’re really good. We talked about we can’t take quick shots. And we took quick shots. We talked about that you have to be strong with the ball. We let them take it away from us twice, just reach in and take our ball. We talked about coming to meet the pass. We threw it to one of our post players inside. He just stood there. The guy came to meet it more than he did and got the ball. We said you can’t dribble between two perimeter players because they do a great job of getting back, getting their hands involved. We did that twice and lost it. We said if you’re a post player, you have one dribble, that’s it. Second or third play of the game, we have a post player that dribbles it the second time, third time they’re taking it to the other end.”

    The guys just didn’t execute the game plan that first 15 minutes. I thought Kansas did a great job of not just spreading the floor, but bringing everyone high above the free throw line (a la Princeton offense), making it really tough/impossible to get help on the lob.

    I felt the reason we didn’t complete the comeback is twofold: we fell in love with the three, and we stopped defeating the post double team. Wayne and Danny took some quick threes once we got close, and Tyler forced it against some double and triple teams when a teammate should have cut to the rim and Tyler should have backed off a bit and opened a passing lane.

    When I saw Deon’s eyes during the starting line-up announcements, I thought we might come out tight, and we did. Kansas executed its game plan, UNC didn’t. Simple as that. Roy didn’t get out-coached. KU executed, UNC didn’t.

  5. Displaced Tarheel says:

    Is Tyler coming back? I know he wants a championship!

  6. C. Michael says:

    Updated draft projections (nbadraft.net) has them all (TH, TL, and WE) coming back.

  7. Dfrom Floirida says:

    I saw on the N & O web site that Tyler won the Naismith Award! Congratulations! Finally some good news, lets talk about that.

  8. C. Michael says:

    Hey Pot, I’d like you to meet my friend, Kettle.

  9. C. Michael says:

    Also, THF, congratulations!! The fact that your site has become so well known that it has become a destination for trolls is a huge accomplishment!! 😉

  10. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Heh…it is a pain on the admin side though which is why I will be moving the whole blog to a independent web hosting setup with my own WordPress install which will give me absolute control over the commenting process. When I get there everyone will be required to create a login and password to drop comments and then get approved by me for access. For most of you no big deal, you will create one and I will approve it and it will be same as it is now. But it will stop the trolls from commenting since most of them will not want to go through the process of creating a username and password. And if they do I will simply keep them locked out.

  11. Dan Schwind says:

    So I spent yesterday morning walking around Chapel Hill (which was like a ghost town yesterday) in a total daze, thinking about what went wrong and I came to this conclusion: I think a lot of the problem on Saturday, was a recurrence of one of last year’s biggest problems. That is to say, I think the team embraced its own hype heading into the game. They seemed to be sleepwalking for the first 10 minutes, and then panicked when Kansas didn’t just roll over as has happened a couple times this year. On the plus side, they responded, but it just came too late.

    I also wonder if there was a bit of “resting on their laurels.” This whole year was about redeeming themselves from the Georgetown debacle and getting into the Final Four. Part of me wonders if that once we got to the Final Four there was something of a mentality of “Alright, we’ve achieved our goal. Anything beyond this is just frosting on the cake.” After all, it seems like the key words this year from a lot of the guys were “final four” not “national championship.”

    That said, it’s all over and I’m prepared to move on by saying the following:

    1. We still have four NCAA titles, and only three teams can brag about more than that.
    2. We still have 17 Final Fours and only UCLA can brag about more.
    3. We still have 1,950 wins and only Kentucky can brag about more.
    4. We still have two more titles than State and one more than Dook.
    5. We have three phenom recruits coming in. (By the way Larry Drew looked amazing in the McDonald’s All-American game.
    6. Even if we all wanted a national title, we still got a final four. And that’s more than 324 other Division 1 teams can say. And as John Thompson Sr. pointed out recently, college basketball is the only sport where you can finish fourth and still say the year was a success.

  12. MinnyTarHeelFan says:

    I have to disagree with the notion the Heels “didn’t show up.” I think it would be awfully hard for an elite player to not be “up” for a championship-level game. I think the Heels took it further than needed and were too “up” and their emotions and adrenaline got the better of them. Once things went bad, each player took it upon himself to right the ship, and the team went away from the things that made them successful in their previous 35 victories. Tyler forced things inside, Wayne and Danny kept gunning from outside, Ty tried to get in the lane and make things happen, and Deon tried to work his back-down magic inside. That may work against Boston College or Clemson, but it played right into KU’s hand. Roy had tried to tell the guys as much the whole week. Once the Heels played within themselves and executed the plan the staff put in place, we saw the magic happen. But once they got within four, they went away from that again and tried to do everything themselves.

  13. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    I was concerned that after 15 straight victories there could be a down game and this one unfortunately happened at the worst possible time. Didn’t the 2005 team lose in the ACC tourney? Too bad but a great year nevertheless; and I have very much enjoyed reading this forum. Now we need to start rooting for next year’s team!

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Maybe Roy is right about the ACC Tournament

  15. Wilson says:

    Who knows, it’s looking that way recently, huh?

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