First of all let me say I am by no means pressing the panic button on the UNC season nor do I believe the loss at NC State means UNC is suddenly a horrible team. That being said, how much of this lack of intensity/focus be contributed to the absence of senior leadership like a George Lynch/David Noel type? And by no means am I directing criticism at the players on this issue but there is a certain point where a team leader can push his teammates past the motivational point established by the coaching staff. There are points in certain games where a player on the floor can either hit a big shot, grab a key rebound, or even say the right thing in the huddle to calm nerves or kick the rest of the team in butt to get them moving.
In my opinion this team really lacks that one emotional leader who can certain things to push the team over the hump when they get into a tough battle. I also do not think it is too late for that guy to step up and start carrying this team through the tough stretches of games. The only unanswerd question is who might he be?