Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Tuesday, November 23rd, 7:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports South
Records: UNC 2-2; UNCA 2-1
This will be UNC's fourth game in six days which is a somewhat insane clip for a team. One of these days Roy Williams is going to put together a less hectic schedule when there is a young team coming in, like say 2005-06 instead of what we have seen the past two years. That is not a complaint or an excuse but it has been a bit on the crazy side during the past week.
According to Roy Williams last night on his radio show freshman Reggie Bullock will not play in this game due to a nagging knee injury that has bothered him since high school. That's not the real news here. Roy said they were thinking about starting Bullock vs the Bulldogs. Actually that is sort of big but the real interesting part of the story is actually a question: Who was Bullock going to start in place of? Dexter Strickland? Harrison Barnes? John Henson? The answer to that question would make for a more interesting discussion than Bullock actually starting.
If you are wondering whether Larry Drew will soon be getting the hook so Kendall Marshall can spread his win as the starting PG, you may go on wondering that. It isn't happening yet, if this quote from Roy's radio show is an indication:
"I haven't been pleased with the way Larry has been playing and yet last night he was the key player in the game that got our comeback going. It was the best defense he's ever played and it set the tone and got things going. I told him today, I said 'Hey, you've got to start playing better offensively, but if you at least play defense like that it gives me something to hang my hat on.' Kendall is a little bit of the opposite because he does some nice things getting it to people on the offensive end but he's not able to provide the pressure that Larry is on the defensive end."
In other words, Drew is better on defense and at this point probably still has a better grasp of the offense(such as it is) so he is going to get the nod. This goes to prove how much more involved the decision is for the head coach than it is for the fans. The coach has to manage the relationship with the players and how the decisions fit into the system in general. I agree with Roy that during the early part of the first half, Drew brought it on defense and played hard. The issue is not many people, myself included, believe Drew is able or willing to be consistent with that type of effort. On the flipside, you have Marshall who does some nice things on offense but is not as comfortable on defense. It is also should be noted, Roy said something similar about John Henson. He said Henson's shooting from the floor and the line made him "uncomfortable" but his shot blocking and rebounding were huge. In other words, UNC has a whole slew of players with half-developed games. If we mesh Drew and Marshall together(making sure we retained Marshall's attitude) you would get a complete PG. Same is true if you could combine Justin Knox and Henson. UNC has players who do a few things well but struggle in other areas. That makes it difficult to put together a rotation when you are missing critical pieces because the players on the floor are excelling in one area but not in others. It also does not help that players who should have well rounded games like Harrison Barnes and to a lesser extent Dexter Strickland appear to be struggling.
Anyway, there is a game tonight vs UNC Asheville who were last in the Dean Dome two years ago to watch Danny Freaking Green put on a shooting exhibition. I doubt we see the same thing in this one. The Bulldogs did beat Auburn in their season opener but subsequently lost to Furman which means they are capable though it is not like Auburn is going to win the SEC or anything. Given the rush of games UNC has played and coming off two straight losses, I would be concerned that the Heels might be a little lethargic for this one. The Heels need to be careful because the last thing you need is for bad play to become the norm. A solid game, regardless of who the opponent is, would be really helpful to the team's confidence right now.
Oh, and according to the N&O's Robbi Pickeral, Bojangles has indeed brought back the two biscuits for $1 deal if the Heels score 100 points in a home game. Apparently this went away but "biscuits" has become such a part of the UNC basketball culture that Bojangles would be fools not to continue the promotion.
UNC 102 UNCA 69