So this game is rolling along with NC Central hanging right in there at 19-17 following a pair of Eagle three pointers. Then UNC spent the next 12 minutes crushing the life out of the Eagles to take a 51-20 lead at the half. In case you forgot basic math, that is a 32-3 run by the Heels. UNC dominated every aspect of this game despite another high turnover affair. Overall, the Heels looked more comfortable in their own skin versus the opener against FIU. The offense seemed more efficient and the fast break was better. On the defensive side of the ball, UNC completely destroyed NCCU which was as much a matter of being so much bigger than anything else.
Among the individual performances that stood out, obviously Marcus Ginyard 17 point performance is encouraging. Ginyard also chipped in three assists, three rebounds(all offensive) and two steals. Tyler Zeller was perfect from the field on his way to a 12 point, five rebound night. Deon Thompson was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 13 points and six board. The rest of the scoring was filled out by nine other Heels which leads to the inevitable conclusion that this team is searching for an identity on offense. Obviously the lack of established scorers alongside inexperienced players equates to an offense in development. UNC has 29 assists on 35 field goals and seeming everyone on the court scoring at some point. The nature of the offense appears to be predicated on spreading things around to multiple players. At some point a few players, probably Thompson, Ginyard, Zeller and Ed Davis will emerge as the preferred options with Larry Drew, John Henson and possibly Dexter Strickland contributing as well. Speaking of Strickland, the freshman looked much better committing only two turnovers versus three assists and scoring nine points. Strickland showcased his long range jumper and knocked down some perimeter shots. Likewise Leslie McDonald and Justin Watts made some waves offensively scoring seven apiece.
The other slightly troublesome issue I saw was with John Henson. The much ballyhooed freshman continues to be an enigma. I will say this, his freakish athleticism was not exaggerated. Henson is everything Ginyard said he was in terms of the "wow" factor. He was blocking shots, sometimes coming out of nowhere and the near reverse dunk on the alley-oop would have been absoultely nasty had he thrown it down. Still, I think we all expected more from Henson it has not panned out. At some point you hope the light just goes on and Henson steps up his game. No sign that will happen any time soon. However, I think Henson was better tonight than Monday and hopefully that progression will continue.
In short, UNC looked better on offense and the defense was solid albeit against a team that never stood a chance of challenging the Heels. That will not be the case Sunday against Valpo. Fortunately UNC has a chance to get two full practices in before that game and as Roy pointed out postgame, having some game film to look at will aid in the learning process for the players since it will afford them a visual of what the coaches want. What happens on Sunday will constituted the first real test this team has faced since Valpo is well coached and easily more talented than the first two opponents.