For those in the Triangle area of North Carolina today has been a very wet day and downright dreary. Here is hoping none of that is reflecting in the way the Heels play tonight. Live blogging after the jump.
7:25 PM: Something tells me we are going to get to Chapel Hill late since FSU-GT on FSN has two minutes left and it is a four point game.
7:31 PM: FSU has a chance to take the lead late here and if they win, I think GT will have blown a key game given the personnel troubles for FSU.
7:35 PM: So help me if this goes to overtime.
7:38 PM: FSU steals one from GT and that hurts the Jackets in ways that I will get into later.
7:43 PM: Oh dear. According to IC, Quentin Thomas is out for tonight after tweaking his ankle leaving Marcus Ginyard as the backup PG.
7:46 PM: Nice job FSN, go to commercials for three minutes and make us miss the first 1.5 minutes of the game in which UNC goes up 2-0.
7:47 PM: Heels a bit sloppy but Valpo is ice cold from three which is a good thing. Deon has four of the first six.
7:49 PM: Deon looks like he finally got the memo on what was expected of him. Valpo cannot buy on right now.
7:50 PM: There is no way on earth Roy is happy with a pull up 19 footer on the break with only one Tar Heel under the hoop.
7:51 PM: Tyler whipping the double team and putting UNC up 10-0. Valpo could not hit the broadside of a barn with a sawed off shotgun right now. If they don't get something cooking soon, they will be down big before the second TV timeout.
7:52 PM: Man I love Danny Green. I love that every time he enters the game good things happen like a steal that leads to a layup for Ellington and after we come back from the TV timeout, the nearly 90% FT shooter should put UNC up 13-0.
7:55 PM: Roy on Frasor's loss: "I know my team and this is a major, major loss."
7:56 PM: I think Bobby should stick with the warmups while on the bench like he did last season when he had a foot problem.
7:57 PM: Valpo finally decides to get on the board.
7:58 PM: Deon showed up to play tonight. UNC 15 Valpo 2.
8:01 PM: If there is a silver lining to the injuries, at least they are happening now.
8:02 PM: Ginyard now running the point which actually might work out pretty well.
8:03 PM: Deon Thompson has gone completely nuts here. UNC 19 Valpo 2
8:04 PM: I know Ellington's shooting percentages are good but it seems like he should hit shots off skip passes across the zone.
8:05 PM: Dan Bonner(who I like) says that at least when Valpo turns the ball over it prevents UNC from running the break. I guess that is one way of looking at it but something tells me Homer Drew would rather score points.
8:06 PM: FSN also sucks when it comes to camera angles. Baseline angles are worthless to me.
8:08 PM: I know Roy has said he wants to see Tyler take a three at least once during the first half but that one might not have been the best choice. Valpo looks like they are finding the range a bit and UNC is has been caught out of defensive position a couple of times off the penetration. UNC 24 Valpo 12.
8:12 PM: Might want to step up the perimeter defense since Valpo has cut the lead down to eight by hitting threes.
8:13 PM: Did I mention that I love Danny Green. Once again, UNC needed something and Green has provided it with five straight points to push the lead from eight to 13.
8:15 PM: How about letting Danny Green run the point, he seems to be doing everything else right. I will agree with Bonner that Hansbrough does have some decision making issues when it comes to passing the ball and trying to create offense for others.
8:19 PM: I will have to check for the postgame writeup but Deon looks like he is starting to find his form here and beginning to look very much like he did this past summer.
8:21 PM: UNC has been living fat and happy off that 13-0 start and quite frankly have been outplayed for the past 10 minutes or so. UNC 35 Valpo 28.
8:24 PM: UNC 36 Valpo 31 at the half.
Given Valpo could not find the basket for the first seven minutes it is criminal on the part of UNC they are not up at least 15 or more here. As Roy pointed out, the Valpo shooting in the first few minutes was more a product of them being cold than it was the Heels playing good defense. Once Valpo got going, the level of UNC's defense was exposed and now they are in more of a game than they thought in the first ten minutes. The absence of Frasor and Thomas is evident in the minutes played. Lawson has played 17 minutes so far but also has been largely absent in the offense. So far it has been all Hansbrough, Thompson and Green. They need more from Ellington and Lawson but more important than that they need to step up the defense.
8:37 PM: BTW, this announcing team is one of the few I actually like. UNC needs to come out hot as they have during the past few games. The worst thing they can do here is give Valpo any reason to believe they are in the game.
8:42 PM: Let me just say the only time I want Ginyard to be offensive minded is when it is a clear path to the basket. Valpo is within three so this is a pretty dangerous point in the game.
8:43 PM: Okay, I don't think the Valpo defender had position there and UNC played good defense but had the ball bounce the wrong way.
8:44 PM: Ellington is getting ripped on the bench and yes I think having Frasor in a game like this would be immensely helpful. Valpo ties the game and has a chance to take the lead.
8:47 PM: It would better if UNC never surrendered the lead here. Deon Thompson is hitting free throws and Lawson is missing them. Talk about your bizzaro game.
8:48 PM: Danny Green with another clutch basket and block. UNC up five at the 1st TV timeout of the second half.
8:51 PM: Given Valpo's perimeter propensity and the fact Ellington is playing poorly on defense, having Frasor could be a balance tipper getting out there and guarding some of these Valpo shooters.
8:53 PM: Danny Freaking Green.
8:54 PM: Well it only took them 20 minutes of game time to wake back up and starting playing quality basketball again. UNC up 11.
8:56 PM: Danny obviously knows that if you are going to dance on the sideline before the game you better show up and play during the game.
8:57 PM: Danny Green with another three. No one pays attention to him and then he goes out there and hurts you.
9:00 PM: UNC now in control thanks in large part to the fact Danny Green has been the offense for most of this half. UNC has basically shutdown the three point shooting with only one attempt for Valpo but in doing so is given up some penetration. However considering Valpo hits 41% of their threes this is not necessarily a bad thing assuming you can contest those shots.
9:03 PM: Danny Green enough said. Marcus Ginyard with the dunk that it looks like he nearly misjudged his takeoff for.
9:04 PM: Great hustle by Thompson. Valpo gets an open look from three and Thompson does not give up on it, runs out and blocks the shot.
9:05 PM: We have a Will Graves sighting. It has been speculated he might get more playing time with the injuries. That has not been the case so far.
9:06 PM: Five blocks for Thompson. He is looking like Brandan Wright out there using his length to get his hand on some shots.
9:07 PM: It was 37 all early in the second half and now UNC is up 20 at 59-39.
9:08 PM: Will Graves making the most of his time in the game with a three and now a two to put UNC up by 25. If this kid can get some confidence and do that going forward, UNC just added another dimension on the perimeter off the bench.
9:11 PM: Hansbrough with a spectacular move off the head fake and drive down the baseline for the slam. UNC up 25 now. One quick note about Graves, despite how well he shot those two baskets he hit, he is doing a great job not forcing his shot and working within the offense, looking for open players and not just chucking it up. That shows me he has a good head on his shoulders. I have seen so many players get hot and then try to shoot as soon as they touch the ball on the offensive end without staying within the offense.
9:17 PM: Hansbrough took a week off following the Georgetown loss. They must have posted guards at the weight room door to keep him out.
9:19 PM: I am beginning to wonder what what the record for number of intentional fouls received in UNC history is. In that case, the Valpo player did go for the ball but followed that up by pushing Hansbrough outright. And all of sudden Hansbrough has 23 points.
9:21 PM: Incredible steal by Lawson with Valpo heading the other way. UNC now up 30.
9:23 PM: Hansbrough is done for tonight. With a 31 point lead, a Greg Little sighting is in our future. Green has a career high with 20.
9:25 PM: Will Graves with another three. I don't know if that is an isolated streak of good shooting or something we will see more of but I am really, really, hoping it is the latter. Lawson is done for tonight. We will get lots of Ginyard at point now building experience out there.
9:28 PM: 45-11. That is the score since it was tied at 37. What an unbelievable run by the Heels after playing in a fairly pedestrian manner for most of the first half into the early part of the second.
9:30 PM: Graves with another three for 11 on the night. I had a game like that in church league once.
9:31 PM: Sweet Georgia Brown. Graves is flaming white hot. He has 14 points in eight minutes of playing time.
9:34 PM: Greg Little likes to shoot. In fact Little has not seen a shot he does not like.
9:35 PM: Valpo tacks on a three as UNC wins 90-58. Your final second half score: UNC 54 Valpo 27.