Yeah, that went about like we thought it would.
And yes, 26 turnovers is a horrifically high number, especially since UNC was playing a clearly inferior team which basically means the wounds were largely self inflicted. 22 of the turnovers came before Roy Williams emptied the bench placing a still frightening number on the regulars. There are several factors that probably go into UNC having that much trouble taking care of the basketball. Inexperience, first game jitters, general lack of practice and the fact this is a brand new team that is going to need some time to properly acclimate to each other. In short, the turnover situation will improve as the on the court chemistry improves and players like Dexter Strickland improve to the point they don't commit five TOs in one game.
In terms of impressions, Larry Drew was good with seven points, six assists and only two turnovers. Drew did hit a three and did everything that was asked of him. Deon Thompson has been told by Roy to be himself and not try to be Tyler Hansbrough. Apparently Deon did not listen because 20 points and 10 boards looks Hansbrough-like to me, especially considering he only played 22 minutes. Ed Davis put up the kind of numbers we expected: 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Likewise Zeller rounded out the scoring from the interior spots with 12 points of his own. 45 of UNC's 88 points came from Thompson-Zeller-Davis. As expected the frontline did the heavy lifting.
Marcus Ginyard played well at the SG spot hitting a pair of threes and scoring 12. No one else really made a huge impact scoring wise. That being said, Will Graves and Justin Watts both put in solid minutes scoring six and five respectively. Watts really looked improved over last season and showed some tremendous athleticism at times. The freshmen were largely quiet with none of the rookies seeing more than 12 minutes. John Henson showed some flashes of the freak athleticism we have heard about. The Wear Twins both put in a good 10 minutes playing sound basketball especially David Wear who chalked up a three pointer and three assists. Strickland and Leslie McDonald have work to do. Of course they all have work to do.
Overall the defense was good forcing 10 steals and eight blocked shots. The offense still needs work though it appears to interior scoring is working despite some early issues with holding onto the basketball in traffic. That too will improve as the season progresses and UNC can offer more perimeter scoring to balance out the post points.
Heels get NC Central next and I imagine it will take a very similar tact as this one.