Three Things

Three Things: UNC Hoops Notebook

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1. Remember way back in November, when one of the season’s big storylines was the dominant role James Michael McAdoo was playing in the Carolina offense? Entire stories were written about the historic proportion of Tar Heel shots he was getting. That’s changed significantly, and so has McAdoo’s offensive load. Through the first three games, the Tar Heel sophomore took 54 shots, averaging 18 field goal attempts per game. In the six games since then, he’s taken 63 shots, averaging 10.5 field goal attempts per game. So if McAdoo’s shots are going down, ther…

Three Things: Carolina 102, UAB 84

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1. Dexter Strickland was thrust into the role of starting point guard at the last minute Saturday. He missed the pregame shootaround due to a class project. When he called a team manager to nail down what time he needed to be at the Smith Center, Strickland was told that Marcus Paige would be unavailable for the game. Strickland answered the bell with 11 points and a career-high nine assists. Despite playing 29 minutes at point guard, the senior assessed his game with a scorer's mentality: "I think I did pretty well. Scored 11 points . . . " 2. Reggie Bullock likes the smaller lineup…

Three Things: UNC-Indiana

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1. James Michael McAdoo is a thinker, something he has admitted--and Roy Williams confirmed--hampered him at times during his rough early transition to college basketball as a freshman. As an interview subject, it's great that he's willing to be thoughtful, because it means he can often generate some very interesting responses when he's handed interesting questions. As a player, of course, overthinking can sometimes be a problem. It's not just that McAdoo has struggled at times early in his sophomore season, it's that he knows he's struggling, which makes him think about ways to fix th…

Three Things: Carolina 45, Maryland 38

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1. One of the biggest offseason storylines will be how Larry Fedora plans to shore up the Carolina defense, which looked alternately average and leaky over the final month of the season. But don’t let that overshadow the other side of the ball, where the Tar Heels just finished the most prolific season in school history by almost any measure.  Carolina shattered the single-season points per game record that was set by the 1993 club that featured Leon Johnson and Jason Stanicek. That group averaged 35.1 points per game; the 2012 Tar Heels put up a startling 487 points for an…

Three Things: Georgia Tech 68, UNC 50

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1. Allowing 68 points at home means only one thing: it's time for the inevitable "is it the coaches or the players?" conversation. The short answer: yes. Despite Butch Davis's reputation as a masterful recruiter, he appears to have left the Tar Heels woefully thin on defense. Right now, Carolina needs more of everything on defense--more speed, more tacklers, more size and more competitiveness. That can only be solved with recruiting. At the same time, it's also the responsibility of the Carolina coaches to put the pieces they do have in the right places. Especially with two weeks to p…

Three Things: UNC 43, NC State 35

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1. One of the most fun things about sports are those days when you go to a game and get to hug a stranger. You sit through everything else--losses at Duke, rainy days against Idaho, blistering hot season openers against Elon--just for the chance that you might have one of those days. Those other games, you forget soon after they happen, but you know that the next time you go to the game, it might be one that you'll remember forever. Saturday, thanks to Giovani Bernard, was one of those days. His 74-yard punt return with less than 30 seconds to play was instantly one of the biggest pla…

Three Things: Duke 33, Carolina 30

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1. Because of the frenetic final quarter, it’s unlikely that much attention will be paid to what really cost Carolina the game: a dismal first half. The Tar Heels trailed 20-6 after two quarters and looked listless against an energized Duke squad. Unfortunately, it was reminiscent of the first half against Louisville. And in both games, Carolina put together a much better second-half effort, but was left wondering what might have happened if they’d been more competitive in the first half. “Our energy level was there,” Larry Fedora told Jones Angell after the ga…

Three Things: Basketball Media Day

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1. The Roy Williams press conference portion of media day kind of slumbered along. The first 14 minutes were devoted to his health, and then a reporter from a local paper (who weirdly began his questioning with an, “I’m happy to see you are back on your feet”) spent about five minutes asking the same academics question in different ways, eventually eliciting a groan from the room. But then, in the final five minutes of the session, the head coach dropped the news that, “I expect Marcus (Paige) to be there” as the starting point guard. He even threw in a Ty…

Three Things: Media Day Storylines

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This afternoon, Carolina will hold its annual basketball media day. That means a bevy of stories about the Tar Heels in various media outlets. However, some of them will be built around the same general premises. Here's a look at three storylines you'll be reading a lot about in the next 24 hours 1. Players who were important to the Tar Heels last year are no longer on the team. This is going to be the standard, go-to storyline for Carolina basketball games until this year’s team establishes an identity. So during early-season games, you can expect to see plenty of highlights of…

Three Things: UNC 48, Virginia Tech 34

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1. Carolina is scoring points at an historic clip. The Tar Heels now have four 40+ scoring games this season, the first time since 1996—when Mack Brown’s club ended the season in the top-10—that they’ve compiled four such games in the same year. The difference is that that UNC team did it in 12 games, and this one has done it in just six. It’s one thing to put up 66 points against an outmanned Idaho club. It’s quite another to score 48 against a Hokie defense that was chewing nails this week after being challenged by coordinator Bud Foster. The Tar …