Jeff Goodman caught up with UNC assistant Jerod Haase who gave a nice run down of the Heels' trip to the Bahamas.
Including three freshmen that should all make a significant impact this season: Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall.
Two of them will make a huge difference in what was a major weakness a year ago: perimeter shooting.
"We definitely have more firepower on the perimeter," Haase admitted. "Harrison and Reggie can really shoot it and Larry can knock down shots – and Dexter has really improved his shot."
But more than anything, Tar Heels coach Roy Williams and his staff were hoping to see a different mindset than what they witnessed at times last year when North Carolina went to the NIT.
"We wanted to get everyone to play hard – and they did," Haase said.
Among the list of things that needed to be fixed from last season, game intensity and perimeter shooting are probably in the top three. Over the course of two games we see those two issues being addressed and yes Harrison Barnes has a lot to do with both of those. Because the teams UNC faced were so small it is difficult to draw conclusions on the post play plus UNC only had two true post players available since Justin Knox did not make the trip. Since Larry Drew was injured and Kendall Marshall spent time in foul trouble the point guard question still hangs out there. However, the indications from the trip is at least UNC is ahead of the curve on some of the major obstacles that ultimately led to the nightmare of 2009-10
Also, Haase said Harrison Barnes was good. I mean really good. In case you hadn't heard.