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Tags: 2012, ACC, ACC Basketball, ACC Football, basketball, final four, NCAA, Roy Williams, tar heels, Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC, Wayne Ellington
Tags: Florida State basketball, Kendall Marshall, Tarheels
After searching for hours trying to find some type of highlights or recap of the North Carolina/ Florida State game yesterday I finally gave up. Yesterday the Tarheels put on yet another virtuoso performance that was capped off by none other than freshman point guard Kendall Marshall playing so well that he broke a long standing Carolina record in the process. The Heels dominated the Seminoles with the game having a final score of 89-69. The Heels played a marvelous game even though many of the so-called experts had created a sense of doom of the remainder of the season after Larry Drew abruptly left the team.
Most of the Carolina fans already knew how good Kendall Marshall could be, but I’m sure that no one person in their right mind expected for a freshman point guard to run the offense with such effortless efficiency. I would compare Marshall’s conducting skills with Ed Cota from UNC’s past teams. Marshall like Cota is not the fastest, most athletic, or the biggest scoring threat we have ever seen, but his ability to run the offense in such an unselfish manner is unparalleled.
Sunday’s game saw the Tarheel big men get more easy baskets than at any point this season or last season, and the scary thought is that Marshall will only improve. Marshall’s game is a far cry from Larry Drew II, who seemed indecisive and never really was a feared penetrator, scorer, or passer. Drew’s passing usually left Carolina’s post players in uncomfortable positions where they were not used to scoring the basketball, and the offense as a whole suffered.
Now that Marshall is at the helm all is well in Carolina. Only I wish that fans would realize that their critical remarks and harsh treatment of Drew led were probably the leading causes of his early departure. Marshall may be the better option as a starter, but Drew played very well coming off the bench. Now Carolina fans are left to wonder whether or not Dexter Strickland can be the secondary ball-handler that the Heels so desperately need.
Either way the Heels appear to be more confident than ever leading into their colossal matchup with rival Duke. Marshall’s court vision and his unlimited number of scoring options should pose real problems for the Blue Devils. I can only hope that he can carry his record breaking 16 assist performance eight miles down the road to Durham on Wednesday, and prove to the rest of the country that the state of North Carolina is under “Marshall Law.”
Tags: ACC Basketball, Boston College, Florida State basketball, Harrison Barnes, NBA, North Carolina Tar Heels, Reggie Bullock, Roy Williams
Abysmal has been the most common chosen word used to describe Tar Heels performance so far this season, but their play last night against Boston College brought other adjectives to mind. I once heard an ESPN announcer describe the Heels as relentless, and at another point in the game the word juggernaut was used. Now that the horrific performance against Georgia Tech has seemingly been forgotten, the Tar Heels appear to be poised for a strong late season push that will have them playing in the “field of 65” instead of the N.I.T.
Right now the Heels are riding a wave of confidence. Finally many fans are getting the pleasure of watching the team that everyone expected to see at the beginning of the season. The Heels are transforming into a well-balanced team that plays great defense and forces the ball quickly up-court in the transition offense.
For the second straight game the Heels dominated their opponents with an heir of dominance and flair that no one has seen this year. This Tar Heel team is the team that the Associated Press expected to see, and no other teams around the country must take notice. Carolina lost some very winnable games early in the season, but they are now on a four game winning streak and have won nine of their last ten contests.
Opposing coaches around the ACC are definitely losing sleep over the thought of having to prepare for this Carolina team. When you look at the roster from the very top to the very bottom, it should become painfully obvious that Roy Williams has miraculously constructed a ten player rotation that runs opposing teams ragged for forty minutes. I choose to use the word miraculous simply because the Heels have lost over ten players to graduation transfers and early declarations to the NBA since the ’09 championship season.
Roy Williams has mastered the art of puzzle building, and it shows with how well this team has gelled at the midpoint of the season. The Heels played so well against Boston College last night in snowy Massachusetts that the fans in attendance had to wonder if the roof had collapsed, because Carolina brought the blizzard inside with their surprisingly effective three-point shooting. Freshman Reggie Bullock provided the best example of how well the Heels were performing by scoring 18 points off the bench. He scorched the nets for four threes in the first-half alone.
Now the Heels have to guard against complacency after two virtuoso performances in their last two conference games. Harrison Barnes cracked the 20 point barrier for the first and second time in his career in both contests respectively, but the Heels are such a balanced team that a scoring outburst can come from any player at any time. The next two games for the Heels are a home game against Florida State and a trip to Durham for the game of all games against the Duke Blue Devils. The team appears to be confident. The fans are confident. And the upcoming teams on the schedule are probably having trouble sleeping. Go Heels!!!