The analysis of this one is fairly simple. The Heels got a tremendous performance on the offensive end of the court but had a sub-standard effort when it came to defense. UNC was on fire with the fast break working and getting a huge game from Ty Lawson in the scoring department. Lawson outran everyone on the floor on several occasions to get easy baskets and hit some key perimeter shots. Lawson had been erratic leading up this game but tonight he seemed to shake that in a huge way. Wayne Ellington has found his jumper just in case you had not heard. His decisionmaking is much improved as is his ability to find a good shot. Danny Green has become a legitimate offensive threat and not just by grabbing rebounds for for put backs but with solid offensive moves and a fairly accurate perimeter shot. Green is very much the X factor off the bench in the same way Marvin Williams was in 2005. And then there is Tyler Hansbrough. What can you really say to another huge performance that included various hustle plays that did not show up on the stat sheet?
The big bugaboo in the game was the defense. ODU shot 54%, hit 10-22 threes and had 12 offensive rebounds while also outrebounding UNC 27-22. The Heels simply gave up too many open shots and in the first half did a poor job of attacking the boards when ODU shot the ball giving the Monarchs second chance points. The second half was better in terms of the overall energy the Heels showed on defense as well as the turnovers that were created. ODU still shot the ball well and added four offensive rebounds to the eight they had in the first. It appeared to me to be a lack of focus/intensity on the defensive end and everyone who pays attention to UNC basketball knows Roy will deal with this particular failure in short order. Overall it was a good win even if it was tougher than it should have been due to the lack of a great defensive effort.
UNC will come back at 10:30 EST on Saturday to face BYU in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitiational.