Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Despite a slow start and a foul plagued affair, UNC rolls over Wake Forest 87-62.
Yes, the standard disclaimer applies when a team is as bad as Wake Forest. In fact, I would argue UNC's defense wasn't nearly as sharp as it was against Virginia Tech. Wake Forest is just a bad team offensively which meant UNC didn't pay for mistakes on the defensive end. There were plenty of missed rotations and fouls for that matter but the Heels capitalized on turnovers while also controlling the boards. The result was a 20 point halftime lead and a cake walk in the second half.
Offensively, UNC saw Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo both score over 20 points in the same game for the first time all season. Bullock, broke out of his four game shooting slumped hitting 4-5 from three on his way to 23 points. McAdoo got off to a horrible start going 0-3 from the floor and 1-4 from the FT line. After a little bench time, McAdoo played extremely well with aggressive drives to the basket. Following the opening minutes hiccup, McAdoo went 7-9 from the floor and 5-7 from the line. It is almost like McAdoo is pressing a bit when the game starts but after he leaves the game and reenters he finds his game. Whatever the case, it is surprising it took this long to see both Bullock and McAdoo hit 20 points in the same contest. Obviously, UNC needs to see it happen more often.
In addition to Bullock breaking his slump, UNC also got P.J. Hairston back on the court. Hairston was "doubtful" with flu-like symptoms and had yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion a week ago. According to Roy Williams, Hairston was medically cleared earlier today paving the way for him to get back on the court. In 12 minutes of work Hairston scored 11 points including 2-3 from three and showing no ill effects from the concussion. Leslie McDonald also hit a pair of threes rounding out a 9-15 shooting night from beyond the arc for the Tar Heels.
Marcus Paige and Dexter Strickland put together a nice PG stat line with a combined 9 assists and 10 rebounds. Paige was 3-6 from the floor, hit a three and scored seven but was a little turnover prone with four miscues. For the game, twelve Tar Heels scored and UNC still won by 25 despite only one FG in the final five minutes of game action.
The Heels move to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the ACC. Looking at the season so far, this is pretty much exactly where most thought this team would be give or take a loss. None of the three ACC losses are problematic however a quality win over a league opponent is conspicuously absent. Such a win would help the overall NCAA Tournament resume and be a nice shot in the arm. And it just so happens UNC will have two chances for such a win over the next week....on the road....at Miami and Duke.
No one said it would be easy right?