Bring on Duke.
There really isn't much to say about this one outside the performance of Tyler Zeller and Kendall Marshall breaking Ed Cota's assist mark. Zeller decided he was going out big in his final game at the Dean Dome. Zeller scored 30 points to go along with eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Zeller was also 20-23 from the free throw line which is just an insane number of free throws for one player to take. No doubt the local ABC chapter is going nuts over this one. If there were any questions about Zeller for ACC Player of the Year there are far fewer now. In fact most of the media commentary I saw during the game pointed to Zeller being a near lock for the award.
John Henson was also really good in this game in concert with Zeller. Henson had 19 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Zeller and Henson combined for 49 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks and four steals. Harrison Barnes was quiet though he did chip in three assists to go with his 10 points. He also only took eight shots but considering the kind of work Zeller and Henson were doing, Barnes doing more is not as necessary as it might be for teams playing with fewer options. Marshall had eight assists versus one turnover and now holds the UNC single season assist record at 289 passing Ed Cota's 12 year old mark of 284.
And we would be remiss if Patrick Crouch and David DuPont's three point shooting exhibition went unmentioned. This is the fun part of Senior Night, especially when the game is salted away. The senior walk-ons get plenty of time on the court and in the case of Crouch and DuPont, both hit three pointers which drew a huge reaction from the crowd. For guys who rarely play, it was a dream way of ending their last home game as Tar Heels.
Overall it was a slow start mainly because the Heels continue to miss a ton of shots it seems like they should hit. The lack of consistency in this area is a concern except UNC continues to win games, most of them handily with these struggles in play. The hope is the offense will be there when it counts most and the game on Saturday vs Duke certainly qualifies.
Less than 72 hours until UNC plays for all the marbles.