Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, December 11th, 7:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports South
Records: UNC 6-3; LBSU 5-5
Now comes the routine.
Now that UNC has gotten past tournaments and conference challenges, the season falls into a steady diet of games rather than a bunching of them. The rest of December constitutes a crucial stretch in which UNC game build a winning streak ahead of conference play but also nurse any minor injuries with only four games in the next three weeks. During that span UNC will have a pair of one week breaks which ought to serve the team well as they look to improve on certain aspects of the offense in particular.
First up on the slate is Long Beach State. I can only assume there is a return trip in the future to play the 49ers as part of someone's homecoming. Maybe Larry Drew? Or maybe this one would have been for the Wears. Who knows. At any rate, they come to Chapel Hill for a game UNC should win easily. The question that will occupy us here is whether they find some freaking offense or will we be looking at another game of missed threes and wondering why the backcourt is not producing more points. Not that it appears to be as big a problem as it would be were the Heels completely mailing it in on defense. However, you would like to see UNC put on an offensive display similar to the Hofstra game to convince us that was not a fluke. The value of playing weaker competition is learning to do the right things in an effective and consistent manner. There is no hope of playing well against the upper half of the ACC if a team struggles against a team like LBSU. Plus, winning is important and with UNC playing Texas next Saturday, a little momentum in terms of playing well cannot possibly hurt.
In terms of getting the offensive ball rolling, LBSU might be as good a team as any considering they averaged about 70 possessions per game which is above the national average. The big shortfalls for the 49ers are poor shooting in general and a defense against which opposing teams hit their shots and turn the ball over at a rather dreamy rate of 18.8%. Let us also not forget that people want their biscuits nay need their biscuits. UNC's offensive woes have gone on long enough so I am going to foolishly predict the Heels snap out of their funk shooting from the perimeter in this one and show something on the offensive end.
UNC 101 LBSU 65