If you had the fourth game of the season as the one where UNC would really click on offense you win the pool. Heels come up huge on offense and throttle Tennessee St. 102-69.
That was fun basketball to watch, especially in the second half when the Heels turned up the defensive intensity and got multiple transition baskets off missed threes and steals. The defense in the first half was not very good, something Roy Williams brought to the team's attention at halftime hence the clear improvement on that end. However, as was the case with the 2007-09, the sheer tempo UNC had going also wore on the Tigers. It was textbook transition offense and outstanding shooting with the Heels hitting 62% of its shots and 11-18 from three point range. If that happens consistently then there won't be many losses.
So which individual performance did you like best in this one? There was John Henson with the all around performance of 16 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and four blocks. It is becoming increasingly difficult not to see Henson as the best player on the team. I know Harrison Barnes gets that label, mostly from the media and Tyler Zeller's consistency earns him some consideration but Henson is now impacting both ends of the floor in a major way. If he keeps this level of play up he will end up on some people's list for POY or All-America ahead of Barnes.
You had Kendall Marshall and his third 15+ assist game of his UNC career. When Marshall came out he told Roy he was only three off Raymond Felton's single game assists record of 18. I find it interesting Marshall knows his total and the records he is chasing[Correction: According to Marshall he doesn't keep track of his assists but John Henson does for him. Why? Because Henson knows how much the record means to Marshall and wants to help him get it. Man I love the chemistry these guys have.] However the player everyone will talk about is Reggie Bullock who hit 6-7 three pointers and scored 23 points. This is the Reggie Bullock we have all been clamoring to see since last year. There were glimpses of this versus Clemson and Boston College a year ago. Bullock fully delivered by giving UNC the shot in the arm on the perimeter they really need.
The Heels got solid efforts from Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller with the impressive part about Zeller's game is the number of times he went for the dunk instead of the layup. Overall the Heels were aggressive offensively and shot the ball extremely well. The first half defense was not great but gave way to a much better results in the second half. In other words little to complain about and fun to watch.
Next up for the Heels is South Carolina in Las Vegas, that is assuming they can pull Roy away from the craps table.