Well look what we have here. A nice team effort, some promising play from the freshman and that familiar feeling of winning they we have all been missing.
I am going to be honest. UNC winning this game and getting quality performances out of multiple underclassmen gets me excited about next season more so than the rest of this one. Now, if this is start of a nice run, then obviously that will be something to hang your hat on but until then I will take the fact we saw some good things from a combination of players, all of whom should be back next season.
Leslie McDonald and John Henson gave us a glimpse of what we can possible expect from them(hopefully on a consistent basis) come next season. McDonald rolled off the bench for 16 points in 23 minutes. McDonald could also be seen diving on the floor after the ball and bringing a level of intensity missing from the UNC lineup. Likewise, Henson's nine points, 12 rebounds and five blocks set an early tone which I think ultimately affected the play of the Wake Forest interior players. Henson also plays with a ton of energy and a great attitude that hopefully will spur his teammates on.
Overall this was great team performance though UNC still needs to shoot the ball better from the floor and the free throw line. While McDonald and Henson collect most of the attention it is notable that Marcus Ginyard had 13 rebounds and was lauded by Roy Williams as being very good on defense. Tyler Zeller had a decent game in limited minutes scoring eight points and blocking two shots. Larry Drew and Will Graves both his crucial threes late. Graves also tapped a missed free throw clear of the lane to a teammate to extend a possession and consume some clock. Drew had a 10 point, eight assists versus three turnovers day. The biggest complaint about Drew was the horrific FT shooting which nearly cost UNC the game. The Heels could have salted the game away much sooner had Drew hit even half this free throws. This should be an obvious point of emphasis.
I would write about Deon Thompson and Dexter Strickland but neither really did anything. Thompson did contribute some in the first half but seemingly did not come out of the locker room. Strickland appears to have had a bad game missing all five FG attempts. There will be days like that thought Thompson seems to have them more than others.
Now that UNC has a win over a good team, you have to believe that a small run of wins is possible starting with Miami on Tuesday. In general, excitement for this team should be held in check until we see if they can win two straight.