For a game coming off the Christmas break, which included some insane travel arrangements and one starter missing both practices I thought that went pretty well. Sure it was Rutgers. Sure, there were a few runs of turnovers but that was not unexpected. And the point guard play continues to underwhelm while the interior game was bottled up a bit. However UNC got great perimeter shooting, nice ball movement and some decent transition offense to turn this into a laugher early. In fact that should be considered a point of encouragement that UNC came out, stuck it to Rutgers early to take a 20 point halftime lead and mostly kept it in that range for the rest of the game.
There was one peculiar aspect of this game when it came to points distribution. UNC only had two players in double figures. Leslie McDonald was one with 14 points and four threes. The other was Justin Watts. After those two it was a lot of 6-9 point performances from nine of the regular ten players with Kendall Marshall going scoreless. On the defensive side, the Heels played well but Rutgers is also not a very good team and missed tons of open shots badly.
If you are looking for things not to love, Harrison Barnes continues to struggle despite showing some flashes of brilliance and looking more aggressive on the offensive end. The point guard position scored seven points(all Drew's) dished out 10 assists(six by Marshall) and committed five turnovers(four of those Drew's.) What does it all means? It would be nice to see Marshall score more and Drew turn the ball over less. I did notice the minutes were nearly even with Drew playing 20 minutes and Marshall 18. Also of note, Roy Williams not pulling Marshall after a risky alley-oop pass that did not pan out. It remains to be seen if Marshall's minutes are trending upward or not.
Heels get another few days off before taking on St. Francis(PA) in Chapel Hill.