Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
The Tar Heels basketball program is in a world of hurt right
With another set of off the court issues swirling around the
university and UNC's hoops squad currently toiling in a
three-game losing streak, it's safe to say the fans in Chapel
Hill and around the state have seen better days.
UNC will have had a whole week off after their deflating loss
to the No. 2 ranked Syracuse Orange on national television last
weekend. They'll take on the Boston College Golden Eagles on
their home court this Saturday afternoon.
If any team has needed a win it's this squad. A win moves them
off the snide as the only team without an ACC victory. A win moves
them one step closer to competing for a conference title, something
that is still attainable but not for much longer. A win reminds the
team what it's like to, well, win a game.
With that, let's take a look at some of the storylines heading
into this weekend.
This is just a theory.
Before the announcement was made that P.J. Hairston
wasn't coming back, this team played like a team that had something
to prove. It almost looked like they were trying to hold it together
long enough to get their best scorer back because if they could
knock off teams like Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky without
Hairston, imagine what they could do with him.
Then he was gone for good.
Who knows exactly what kind of effect this had on the team. At
this point, it doesn't really matter. He's gone, he's not coming
back and this team has to win without him.
This team won't be a good shooting team, although they can
improve the shots they get by being smarter with their offensive
possessions. They don't have great free throw shooters, although
they can certainly do better than they have. They are not a veteran
squad, although they do have some guys with a lot of in-game
This isn't the best UNC team in the history of the program, but
it isn't the worst either. Not by a long shot.
Roy Williams keeps preaching that he doesn't feel like
he should have to coach effort but that he knows he needs to do a
better job getting his kids motivated. A home game against the team
sitting just above them at the bottom of the conference standings
might be just the thing that gets this team a win and pushes them
back into the right frame of mind to get things turned around.
Marcus Paige is the unquestioned best scorer on this UNC
team. Except, since Leslie McDonald has been back, Paige
has spent more time playing his natural position of point guard,
which, as it turns out, isn't the best spot for him and what this
team needs this year.
They need him to score and bringing the ball up more and being
asked to distribute instead of going after his own shot has
completely changed the way this team performs. The results don't
Putting Paige in more situations where he's off the ball and
looking to score would be ideal although UNC is in a tough spot
where they have to get as many shooters on the court as possible.
Having Nate Britt, Paige and McDonald on the court at
the same time isn't going to light the world on fire defensively, so
it shall be interesting to see how Williams mixes up the minutes and
line-up rotations to get the most out of his wing players going
UNC has to move on from the issues that plagued them during the
offseason. Once they do that, they have to remain focused on the
games on the court and let the drama play itself out off of it.
During his weekly radio show, Williams discussed how he thinks
his team is handling the entire ordeal of playing at UNC and
handling the expectations placed at their feet.
"I think I would probably speak to there is more stress. You know
the kids feel the pressure of North Carolina basketball, they've got
to win regardless of who their playing, they've got to do this and
they've got to do that. We have good kids. You have a choice," said
Williams. "You can take guys that are not really good kids, you
know, who don't give a blanket-blank about what everybody else says,
during the course of the game I'd like to have that kind. But the
other 21 and a half hours of the day I'd rather have the kids that
are really good kids and care about what people think. If you play
at North Carolina, you care about what people say about you."
Going forward, Williams expects his team to take it one game at a
time and remember that they were in a similar position last year
where they had to dig themselves out of a hole at the beginning of
vs. North Carolina
Boston College at a glance Location: Chestnut Hill,
Maroon & Gold Conference:
Silvio O. Conte Forum (8,606) 2012-2013 Record:
16-17 (7-11) Last Game:
BC battled #2 Syracuse before falling 69-59 on Monday night. More on the Eagles: Schedule
| Stats |
Roster Official Site |
Last starting line-up
F - Eddie Odio F - Ryan Anderson G - Lonnie Jackson
G - Olivier Hanlan G - Joe Rahon
Statistical Leaders Scoring: Olivier
PPG) Ryan Anderson (15. PPG)
Rebounding: Ryan Anderson (7.1)
Dennis Clifford (4.5 RPG)
Assists: Olivier Hanlan
APG) Joe Rahon (3.0 APG)
Points Per Game: 70.1 Rebounds Per Game: 31.1 Assist Per Game: 12.7 Field Goal Percentage: .447 3-pt Field Goal Percentage: .332
North Carolina at a glance Last starting line-up
F - Jame Michael McAdoo F - J.P. Tokoto F - Joel James
G - Marcus Paige G - Nate Britt
Statistical Leaders Scoring: Marcus Paige (17.0 PPG)
James Michael McAdoo (14.4 PPG)
Johnson (6.8 RPG) James Michael McAdoo (6.5 RPG)
(4.4 APG) Nate Britt (2.8 APG)
Points Per Game:
75.6 Rebounds Per Game: 41.6 Assist Per Game: 15.3 Field Goal Percentage: .452 3-pt Field Goal Percentage: .306
"We've got to talk to the kids about letting that stuff go, any
pressure that we put on we put it on ourselves. You know, the stress
that we feel because we want it desperately, I hate to use that word
but I'll use it, desperately want to be successful. So we try to
focus on those good things and try to understand that we are going
to get better. We have no chance to get better if we get stressed
and worry all the time," said Williams. "Put that junk behind you
and go "next play, next play and next game,' whatever it is. You've
got to learn from your mistakes. I love when kids hurt when they
lose because it means it does mean something to them. It means they
do care and so we've got to take it from that stage and learn things
from our mistakes and keep trying, keep trying. You know me, if I
get down ten times I'm going to get up 11 and we've got to get that
attitude over to the kids."