As UNC fans, we've been spoiled for the latter half of the past decade. First came a national championship, and then when a mass exodus looked to leave UNC struggling for a year or two, Tyler Hansbrough and the rest of his class came in and kept the achievement level high. Better still, Hansbrough stayed for four years, encouraged many of his teammates to do likewise, and it culminated in a second national championship four years later. Now UNC is faced with a second rebuilding year, and despite what would appear to be a reasonable 11-4 record going into conference play, I at least am getting a little frustrated.
Hansbrough, of course, came to Chapel Hill, started competing immediately, and steadily improved over his four years, putting together a pretty impressive set of numbers:
Obviously, you can't expect anyone to come in and put up those kind of numbers, especially considering Hansbrough started out in the deep end, playing on a very shallow frontcourt with only Reyshawn Terry and Byron Sanders joining him his freshman year. But here's a question: should we expect someone in the paint to put up the same numbers in an individual game? Let's round off the numbers of Hansbrough's sophomore year, when he was playing along side Brandan Wright, and thus not the sole threat. How many times this season has a Tar Heel player put up 18 points and 8 rebounds?
Ed Davis has done so four times, all recently; he went 20/10 against Presbyterian, 21/9 at Texas, 19/10 against Marshall and 19/16 versus Charleston. Deon Thompson has done the same, but much earlier in the season. (20/10 vs. Florida International, 20/8 vs. Valparaiso, 22/10 vs. Gardner Webb, 23/8 vs. Nevada) Is it just me, or has Thompson faded by the time every ACC conference season runs around?
Tyler Zeller hasn't had eight rebounds in a game, but he also hasn't played more than 20 minutes. None of the freshmen have come close. So does the large number of big men UNC is rotating through explain the lack of a take-charge player? (Although keep in mind, Henson and at least one of the Wear brothers are almost always on the wing, which could be to their detriment.) Or does Carolina have some trouble in the paint? Is this really an unreasonable standard?