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UNC 98 Marshall 61

Or you know what Roy could do? He could bring Will Graves off the bench and see if that is sufficient motivation to get him going.

Over the past few days here at THF we wrangled with lineup possibilities which, in most cases, included sitting Graves down and for darn sure taking him out of the starting lineup. Well, Roy did the latter and at the end of the day only had Graves in the game 18 minutes but they were easily the best 18 minutes of Graves' career His play coupled with huge scoring nights from Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller lifted UNC from a five point early 2nd half lead to a 37 point drubbing. Overall there were five Tar Heels in double figures.

Besides the play of Graves, the whole team looked very good on both ends, especially in the 2nd half. The first half was a tad ragged. UNC turned the ball over eleven times before intermission and gave up six straight points in tip-ins by Marshall to close the half. After a small four point run by the Thundering Herd, the Heels ratcheted up the defensive pressure forcing Marshall into repeated poor shot selection and numerous turnovers. The defense allowed UNC to push the ball more. Zeller ran the floor like a gazelle all night giving him so fast break points. Ed Davis, as Roy pointed out, also ran the floor extremely well, an area of improvement for him.

The general guard play for UNC was decent. Larry Drew had six assists and three turnovers to go along with four points. Dexter Strickland had four assists and only two turnovers. Ginyard, in addition to his 14 points, dished out five dimes against three miscues. The only complaint I have about these guards is their passing decisions in traffic. Oftentimes, the Tar Heel guards do a great job of getting penetration but then make some inexplicable attempt to put the ball where it has not prayer of going. Some of those passes end up going backwards away from the basket to a big man like Ed Davis who is in no way positioned to make an effective scoring move. Smarter decisions with the ball would help the offense find its legs a little more. Once again I continue to be impressed with Strickland's assertive nature on the fast break. He is definitely looking to push the basketball and if he can figure out how to that without the turnovers, it will go a long way toward solving the space problem.

And let's be clear on something. Marshall is a good team with some potential NBA talent on the roster. With that in mind UNC got a balanced offensive attack, some outstanding 2nd half defense and in many was that up-tempo liik of UNC basketball many of us have been accustomed to seeing. In other words, it was a nice step, hopefully in the right direction. Games like this are confidence builders despite the final deficit. Needless to say, UNC was able to play well which will hopefully carry over into the next few games to get things moving in the right direction.