Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Sunday, November 28th, 5:30 PM
TV: Fox Sports
Records: UNC 3-2; CofC 4-2
So, it is commonly held that way back January 4th when UNC lost to Charleston it was the first domino on the now fully functional Year of Hell in UNC Athletics. Since that is the case if we apply a little Star Trek solution du jour of the week I assume should UNC defeat Charleston in this game it will close the inter-dimensional rift through which UNC passed last year into this bizzaro world of NIT appearances and NCAA investigations. Right? RIGHT?!?!
The only rift we ought to be worried about here is a growing one between this team and their confidence in general. UNC has not put together a solid team effort since whipping Hofstra. Since that game it has been some piss-poor offensive outings which included poor ball handling and even worse shooting. The offensive woes which are a seeming continuation from last season has everyone clamoring for major lineup changes in the backcourt. For the most part, it would appear most UNC fans are done with Larry Drew and are so taken with Reggie Bullock that starting all three freshmen alongside Tyler Zeller and John Henson is gaining in popularity. The question is whether Roy Williams will do what everyone is convinced he won't do and that is pull the trigger on some serious personnel changes.
If I had to bet, I would bet on a partial answer to that with Bullock's availability being a key factor. Based on the latest reports, Bullock is being called questionable despite practicing for two days. That could be precautionary and I am inclined to think that is the case. If Bullock is available, what everyone wants to know is whether Roy follows-up on a statement least week in which he indicated Bullock may start. Given how much stock Roy puts in practice, there is no way to answer that question. Certainly if we are talking about players having earned PT, then I would think Bullock is there. Yes, his defense is a tad suspect but the last I checked UNC the offense is still putrid enough that kitchen sink type moves might be in order at some point.
Given the question marks, the last thing UNC needs is a string of tough games. Unfortunately that is what UNC is getting beginning with Charleston. The Cougars almost beat Maryland to open the season and is a senior laden team coached by Bobby Cremins whose reputation precedes him. Charleston shoots the ball very well, especially from three to the tune of 37% as a team. The player to watch is Andrew Goudelock, Charleston's leading scorer at 23.0 ppg. Goudelock shoots 42% from beyond the arc on average. Needless to say Goudelock has the potential to make life difficult for UNC given he propensity of opposing guards to blow up vs the Heels. On the flipside, UNC should enjoy a significant edge on the boards and also from a depth perspective since Charleston only goes seven deep.
It is simplistic to say UNC needs to shoot the ball well to win, but that is pretty much it outside of the turnovers issue. In other words, UNC needs to find their offense. A low turnover, high shooting percentage affair for UNC should result in a nice Tar Heel win. With Illinois and Kentucky looming this week, using this game as a springboard into improved performances as the Heels go up against some schools smart people say are pretty good.
UNC 87 CofC 74