North Carolina began the ACC portion of its season at Wake Forest tonight, and the Tar Heels suffered a 73-67 loss.
Here’s the story. And some thoughts.
1. Another game, another inconsistent performance. More than anything, Roy Williams has been troubled by his team’s inconsistency. The Tar Heels were the very definition of it tonight. They were such a good rebounding team – a great rebounding team, at times – but then they often did nothing with those rebounds. Twenty-four offensive rebounds for the Tar Heels. And just 17 second-chance points.
2. UNC has to get tougher. I liked what Marcus Paige, the sophomore point guard, had to say tonight. Here’s Paige, talking in the locker room with some of us hacks, about the lessons UNC learned tonight: “That’s something that’s a wake up call for some of our guys. You have to go strong in our league. … The intensity level, you can’t just get it and go back up soft and expect to get a basket. It’s disappointing to rebound as well as we did and not get much out of it.” Yeah. Pretty much.
3. The Tar Heels didn’t play well and there’s reason for disappointment – but this wasn’t really an upset. Wake Forest is a better team than it has been. An NCAA tournament team? I don’t know about that. But the Demon Deacons have enough players and enough experience to be competitive. And beating them at home probably won’t be easy for anyone. Is it possible that Jeff Bzdelik is starting to get things going at Wake, in his fourth year? I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be true. I’m sure that means a lot to him.
Comes from Williams tonight. We’ll keep a running tally of this new little feature.
Quoth Roy: “We weren’t tough enough, physical enough, strong enough, explosive enough.”
UNC hosts Miami at home. The Hurricanes lost just about everyone of significance from a team that beat UNC in the ACC tournament championship game a season ago.