In what was just a disastrous New Year’s Eve for North Carolina’s Big Four schools in basketball, and a rough weekend all around for UNC sports, Carolina’s ACC opener loss in Atlanta may rank as the worst of all of them. Many people felt as though Georgia Tech would struggle to win an ACC game at all this season, much less one against a team that is expected to contend for the conference crown.
Pretty much nothing went right for the Tar Heels against Georgia Tech. Shooting was erratic and bothered by the Yellow Jackets’ 1-3-1 zone. Easy shots were missed and too many shots were lobbed up from behind the three-point line in the absence of any post player game to speak of. It was all ugly.
One silver lining in the mess that was Saturday’s loss was Nate Britt. Britt has been roughed up in the blogosphere this season, especially when he was starting in place of an injured Joel Berry. His shot has not been falling at all, but that hasn’t stopped him from shooting whatsoever. The kid can force a steal like it’s his job, but the shooting has just been painful.
Britt sank three of his four shots from three-point range on Saturday, and went 5-8 on field goals. He grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists in his 26 minutes on the court. He also pulled off five (!!) steals. In an ordinary game, no one is going to be overly complimentary of 13 points, but this was no ordinary game. This was a game in which everyone wearing Carolina blue was bad and Nate Britt happened to be pretty alright comparatively.
The best thing to do would be to move on from this game and never look back. What’s done is done and will be annoyingly brought up at all sorts of inopportune times this season. It won’t be an easy one to forget, though. Despite the outcome of this game, Britt is going to be an important component of this team in ACC play, and if this was what it took to get him out of his shooting slump then at least some good came out of the complete embarrassment that was the Heels’ performance on Saturday.