A Basketball Report Card

North Carolina has not had  a typical season to this point. Their current record is  only 12-6 which  sounds ok but is made worse by an early 1-2 conference record and  a couple of recent ugly losses. My take was that they would take some early season lumps due to their youth and then hit their stride.That has  not occurred  and unfortunately for Heels fans, the improvement  has yet to materialize.

I wold expect their national ranking to take  a big hit when this week’s polls are released and so it did, all the way to #24. Their ranking is dropping faster than Obama in the polls, sorry, kinda. Some “experts” are speculating that  their NCAA tournament chances may even be in jeopardy. That is probably a premature opinion but could prove correct if things continue as they are going.

So, from  a strictly layman’s point of view, and  a biased  one at that. what has gone awry? Injuries have certainly played a part and even that has gotten worse lately.

Reading the conference statistics, their overall number don’t look so bad but there are some indicators that are particularly telling. The  team’s 3 point shooting is dismal as is their assist to turnover ratio. Both indicate a pronounced weakness in guard play, where the youth is concentrated. That is not the only thing that bothers me . I had thought there was enough senior leadership in place to tide the young guys over. Alas, Marcus Ginyard is himself struggling, perhaps as a result of injury, who knows.

No doubt Coach Williams is extremely frustrated. He has  a talented team and by now, the youthfulness is not a real valid defense. It seems that Coach Smith’s mantra has not registered. ” Play hard, play smart, and play together.” That works no matter the talent or experience level.

If that lesson fails to take hold, those of us who see sports through  a Carolina blue filter have  a looong season ahead of us.

Oh, midseason grade, “C” at best, subject to change.


January 18, 2010 - Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , ,

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