UNC vs. Duke: Beyond the Box

Well that was somewhat foreseeable. UNC had played with fire in their previous 2 games and yesterday they finally got burned. I also think some of yesterday's loss is owed to the way the Heels played in the first half of each of their first two ACCT games. Making back-to-back second-half comebacks takes a lot more out of a team than winning two games relatively smoothly, and UNC, and especially Kendall Marshall, definitely looked like they had far less in the tank than did Duke. That being said, UNC has responded very well to their 3 preceding losses (winning at least 5 in a row, including 10-in-a-row after their last loss to Duke), so it is entirely possible that this team will regroup and string a few more wins together before this season ultimately comes to an end.

Four Factors

You can talk about fouls all you want, but the bottom line is, Duke shot the heck out of the ball.  What makes Duke's shooting performance even more impressive is the fact that the only two Duke players to have an eFG% under 50 were Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler.  The book on Duke coming into this game was that if you can force the rest of the Duke team to beat you, than you will have a decent shot at winning.  Yesterday, that was not the case.

Looking at what Carolina did, it pretty ugly. While UNC did rebound better in this game (OR%: 41.3, DR%: 73.5) than they had in either of their previous matchups with Duke, it was nowhere near enough to make up for the fact that they could not get a shot to fall (eFG%: 35.5), nor could they hold on to the ball (TO%: 23.5).

Statistical Highlights

  • After doing so in only 2 of their previous 13 games, UNC had a TO% over 20.0 in all 3 ACC Tournament games.  Hopefully this is more an artifact of the unique scenario of playing 3-games-in-3-days against familiar foes than anything.  If not, UNC's 2nd-round (I don't care what anyone says, the games on Tuesday/Wednesday are play-ins) could be its last.
  • John Henson recorded his 6th straight double-double (career best, 18 rebounds) and if 11th straight game with 10+ rebounds.  He is now averaging a double-double for the season and if he can maintain that average, he would only be the 15th player in UNC history (22nd time) to do so.
  • More on John Henson.  He now has 103 blocks on the season.  Given his current average of 3.1 BPG, he would need to play 6 more games to break Brendan Haywood's school record of 120.  Hmmm...

Beyond the Box Player of the Game

Before getting to the POG, let’s first take a look at the top five ORtgs for the Tar Heels (minimum possession percentage: 10% or minimum minutes percentage: 80.0):

[table id=102 /]

Tyler Hansbrough?  Actually, no player of the game will be named, but a hearty congratulations to the former Tar Heel legend on a career-high 29 points against the Knicks last night.  As for the current Heels, Harrison Barnes led the team in scoring and was the only Tar Heel to have an ORtg over 100 (122.0), but he really did not do much else (OR%: 2.3, DR% 3.1; no steals, no blocks).  And John Henson had the aforementioned double-double, and was a monster on the defensive boards (DR%: 39.2), but he also had a terrible eFG% (26.6) and ORtg (79.3).  But in general, I just don't think that there should be a POG when the team losses a game that was really never competitive.

Beyond the Box Player of the Year

The BTB POY is based on a points system in which a player gets 10 points for being named the POG and 3 points for having a top five ORtg, with a 2 point bonus for having the top ORtg.

[table id=103 /]

Note: For reference, a full stats glossary can be found at StatSheet.com.

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