Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tar Heels peaking but still have issues as ACC schedule looms

North Carolina seems to be peaking just as the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule is about to begin. The Heels appear to be 10 deep, especially evidenced by Leslie McDonald's 14 points and Justin Watts' 10 points in last night's 78-55 win over Rutgers.

But there are at least three troubling trends. First, the free throw shooting is poor at 64 percent. Compare that with the 2009 team that shot 75 percent and the 2008 team that shot 76 percent.

Second, Harrison Barnes has not settled in as the star Carolina needs him to be. He's shooting just 36 percent from the field, which is second worst on the team, even though he has more minutes played than any other Tar Heel. Against Rutgers he hit just three of nine shots.

Finally, John Henson seems to still be bothered by a thumb injury. He managed seven points and four blocked shots against Rutgers but he seemed limited and appeared to favor the hand.

Still, the team has survived with strong play from Tyler Zeller and Dexter Strickland, and good bench play. Against Rutgers, the Carolina bench outscored the Scarlet Knights bench 38-13.

The Heels have one more nonconference game before opening the ACC schedule at surprising Virginia, 8-4, Jan. 8.

For more on the Rutgers game, please click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment