If you watched the last game of 2013 year for #19 North Carolina (10-3), which hosted and defeated NC-Wilmington (6-9), the first four minutes of the game probably will never make any highlights. At the first tv time out the Heels were leading 3-0 and the Seahawks were 0 for 11 from the floor. And while in the end UNC took care of their opposition by the final of 84 to 51, the Tar Heels went to the locker room at half time with the score 31 to 23.
If head coach Roy Williams‘ squad wanted to get rid of some of the doubters the first twenty minutes of this game surely did not help, as the team did not shoot well and compiled nine turnovers as well. The team did not come out ready to go, the shot selection was not the best and most of all, once again, it felt as North Carolina was playing down to its competition.
Coach Williams began his post game presser by saying the following…
“…In the first half our scrambles were good for them. Our double teams weren’t very good. We didn’t get a goaltender, and they made the pass to the post-up area and got good shots out of it. The first half also we didn’t shoot the ball well because we took bad shots. Three or four different times, or probably five or six different times, we had somebody shoot the ball when their teammate had a better shot. We talked about that at great length at halftime – about being more unselfish and getting a better shot and playing harder and doing a better job defensively…”
Whatever was said in the locker room it did work, since the second half Carolina looked a lot more “up to the task” on both sides of the ball. And usual much of this was sparked by the Tar Heels being able to get out in transition and getting easy baskets, including a couple of nice dunks by sophomore forward J.P. Tokoto (see below) and by the nice job from junior power forward James McAdoo (see below), who went 11 for 14 from the field and had a double double with game high 23 points and 10 rebounds. Interesting article about the third year player by FayObserver.com, saying how McAdoo is becoming a leader.
Another thing to be said, coach Williams started freshman center Kennedy Meeks, who struggled versus the Seahawks, placing sophomore forward Brice Johnson back into the role of first off the bench. Johnson was once again a lot better coming off the bench, scoring 14 points in all. Senior shooting guard Leslie McDonald also had 14 points coming off the bench, while sophomore shooting guard Marcus Paige once again started off slowly but shook it off and ended with 15 points, but best of all was the second game in a row the off guard played a lot less minutes than previously. And while freshman point guard Nate Britt did not score in double digits, he did have six assists in this one.
North Carolina finishes 2013 and the non conference part of the season with a 10-3 record, having won against a trio of ranked opponents but also having three losses to non ranked squads. And while the first two were teams they should have lost to, I believe that Texas will turn many heads as the season progresses. With the ACC games beginning in a few days UNC needs to hit their free throws and play to their potential more than up or down to their competition. If that was to happen it could be a good season overall for coach Williams and his team.