Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
The last Saturday of college football came and went this past
weekend and the focus of the college sporting world will now
slowly turn its collective head over to the hardwood.
The head turn won't be completely complete until the BCS
National Championship game concludes on January 6 but this past
weekend saw a couple of marquee match-ups signal the oncoming
onslaught of huge college basketball games to come.
The Tar Heels continued their "Escape from the Dean Dome" ways
against another supposedly inferior non-conference foe in Northern
Kentucky. Few could probably tell you what a Norse is and even fewer
would have predicted that the game would have been as difficult as
it was for the Tar Heels. But at this point, any game involving UNC
should have predictions thrown out the window as soon as they're
Let's take a look at some storylines heading into UNC's next game
against UNC Wilmington on Tuesday night.
Keeping It Close
In fairness, UNC has played some pretty decent competition in
their non-conference slate this season.
They've taken on the likes of big time programs such as
Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky and Texas without even stepping
foot on the court against an ACC opponent.
However, they've also faced schools like Belmont, UAB, UNC
Greensboro and Northern Kentucky. In 12 games so far, UNC has beaten
their opponents on average by less than 10 points per game.
This was evident in their game against Northern Kentucky when
they were up just five at halftime. Roy Williams was so
upset with that first half performance that he was quoted as saying
he wished he could have had his team running wind sprints during the
"We were not very sharp, to say the least. I probably gave them
too much time at Christmas. We played Saturday, let them go and
didn't bring them back until 7:00 pm (Thursday) night," said
Williams. "We were not sharp, to say the least. And that was a huge
part of the game. But at the same time, I don't think we had any
intensity and the concentration level that we needed to have. When
you added both of those together it makes you miss easy shots or
throw the ball who knows? A couple of times we were passing it to
each other instead of shooting it, and then all of a sudden it goes
out of bounds."
The Heels haven't had a double-digit lead against an opponent in
any of their last four games, the last time it happened being
against UNC Greensboro.
Getting out to a big lead early can help the Tar Heels put their
stamp on the current opponent and remind future foes that they
aren't in the midst of a down year, waiting to allow another team to
make their name on them.
Never one to get shy about pulling an entire starting line-up at
a time, the message was clear to his players: Give the effort or
ride the pine.
"I was ticked off," Williams said. "I just wanted to try somebody
different. I didn't know what it was.
The assistants on my staff did a great job because what I wanted
to do was stay out at halftime and run sprints the entire freaking
half. They thought it was not the right thing to do. But, God, I
wanted to do that so badly."
Leslie McDonald added three 3-pointers in addition to
Paige's three 3-pointers from deep and has added a much-needed
element to the Tar Heels offense when he's on the court. If Williams
is looking to make another switch, swapping McDonald out for
Nate Britt would create driving lanes for other guys on the
court and make them more multi-dimensional than their current
James Michael McAdoo
If James Michael McAdoo could hit free throws like
Tyler Hansbrough he would stand a very good chance of leading
the ACC in scoring at the end of the season.
The game against the Norse was the first one in three contests
that he didn't get to the line at least 10 times. He still led the
team in scoring but it makes the mind go in crazy places to think
how dangerous he could be by having the ability to take on an extra
four points per game from the charity stripe.
McAdoo sported a brand new haircut and has been in a brand new
role all season. But he hasn't adapted to playing on the wing that
quickly and it remains to be seen if that's where he'll remain all
vs. #19/19 North Carolina
UNC Wilmington at a glance Location: Wilmington, NC Nickname:
Teal, Navy & Gold Conference:
Trask Coliseum (6,100) 2012-2013 Record:
10-20 (5-13) Last Game:
Lost 75-61 to UNC Asheville on December 28. More on the Seahawks: Schedule
| Stats |
Roster Official Site |
Last starting line-up
F - Dylan Sherwood C - Shane Reybold G - Freddie Jackson
G - Ben Eblen G - Addison Spuill
With McDonald coming back and getting his legs under him, if they can
find ways to keep the senior on the court with McAdoo, they can find
more ways to keep McAdoo in his comfort zone and playing at an optimal