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Additional Thoughts; UPDATE: UNC Moves Up In Both Polls

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UPDATE: New polls! UNC is ranked 20th in the AP poll, 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Heels are now ranked ahead of four of the five teams that beat them and ranked behind Kentucky who they did beat. Lesson? Polls are funky.

These will be Larry Drew- free I promise.

  • Kendall Marshall set a UNC record for most assists by a freshman in a single game with 16 assists. It was also the most assists by a Tar Heel player versus an ACC team. The freshman record was previously held by Raymond Felton who had 14 assists versus Wyoming in the 2003 NIT. Phil Ford and Ed Cota previously held the record for assists in an ACC game with 14. Ironincally, Cota's 14 also came against Florida St. Marshall 16 assist game is the fourth best in UNC history behind Raymond Felton's 18 assist performance versus George Mason in the 2004 season and a pair of 17 assist outings from Jeff Lebo and Ed Cota. It should also be noted, Marshall set his record playing the #2 defensive team in the country and currently a team in the top half of the league. Most of the assists marks often come versus weaker teams.
  • On the season Marshall has 110 assists. The record for assists in a season is 284 by Ed Cota in 2000. The freshman record is 236 held by Raymond Felton. Since Marshall split playing time with...um....the other guy(see I told you) it certainly hurt his overall assist numbers. Just for fun I looked up the stats for Felton and Cota's record seasons. Felton had 236 assists in 2003 while playing 35 mpg or 7.61 assists per 40 minutes. Ed Cota's record setting season of 284 assists happened while he was averaging 36.8 mpg or 8.8 assists per 40 minutes. At present Marshall has 110 assists while averaging only 17.7 mpg. His assists per 40 minutes? 11.28. I imagine there would be some degradation in those numbers if he played the same number of minutes as the other two. Still, it puts Marshall in elite company.
  • Offensively speaking UNC is trending upwards. Per C.Michael, who will have more on this later in the BTB post, UNC has an offensive efficiency rating of 124.8 during the past four games. That is enough to move UNC from an offensive efficiency ranking in the low 70s to 39th nationally. UNC has been able to maintain roughly the same defensive rating during that span, now 8th overall. UNC's performance against FSU was enough to drop the Seminoles down two slots from #2 to #4 in defensive efficiency.
  • Barring some massive collapse, UNC is a likely lock for the NCAA Tournament. From this point forward, what the Heels do will have more bearing on seeding than whether or not they get into the Dance. Looking at the computers, UNC is currently ranked 15th in the RPI according to Jerry Palm. Ken Pomeroy has UNC ranked 11th overall. Pomeroy is currently projecting UNC to finish 22-8 and 12-4 in the ACC. He has UNC losing both times to Duke, gives them a 50/50 chance at beating Clemson on the road and a 60% chance of beating FSU in Tallahassee.
  • There is a good chance Kendall Marshall wins the ACC Rookie of the Week award later today. I cannot say for certain since I have not looked at other ACC freshmen and Barnes also had two very good games. If Marshall does win, it will mean all three UNC freshman will have won the award in as many weeks. If that is not a record, it is at least very rare.