Editors Note: The title to this review was supposed to read UNC Basketball: Texas Longhorns Crush Uninspired Tar Heels. For some reason the Un was cut off after the post was already published.
The North Carolina Tar Heels traveled down to Texas to face the Longhorns. The Tar Heels crushed the Longhorns this time last season and looked to put together a full 40 minute game for the first time this season after a frustrating win over East Carolina in their last contest.
James Michael McAdoo played despite a bruised hip that left him questionable before the contest. Beside him inside Joel James again started the game at center for UNC making it his third consecutive start at the position that remains unsettled in Roy Williams starting rotation.
UNC was extremely sluggish in the first half on both ends of the floor. The Heels were once again out hustled on the glass and failed to get back on defense giving up several easy second chance buckets. As much as the offense struggled their defense was almost nonexistent as they gave up open shot after open shot and easy transition baskets.
On several possessions it looked like UNC just didn’t care defensively on the perimeter as the Longhorns seemed to pick and choose whatever type of shot they wanted on the perimeter or choosing to get the ball to the basket at will. During a 12-1 run late in the first half this game looked like a national powerhouse against a Division II program.
UNC committed 12 first half turnovers including eight from his starting post players in the first eight minutes of the game in a sloppy first half, if not for a strong finish over the last two minutes of the half the Longhorns 13 point lead could have been a whole lot more.
Score at the Half: UNC 33 Texas 46
Freshman JP Tokoto started the second half in place of Joel James as the Heels went small to start the second half of play. UNC started the half with a concerted effort to get the ball to James Michael McAdoo inside the post and opened the half with a 9-2 run to close the lead to six at the first timeout.
After that initial run it was business as usual for Carolina who reverted back to their casual, sloppy ways committing unforced turnovers and failing to get back on defense as the theme of the evening.
Just like several games this season Texas just seemed to want it more than the Tar Heels. The Longhorns aggressively pursued every single pass in the half court and nothing was easy for Carolina. On offense Texas imposed their will and pushed the ball and selflessly found the open shooter and capitalized on their opportunities whereas Carolina just seemed to think they would get by on their talent alone.
Marcus Paige struggled all night long fouling out with five points and seven assists. UNC struggled from beyond the arc going just 3 of 19 from the long distance. PJ Hairston failed to play aggressive basketball and did not show up offensively when his outside shot wasn’t falling. Reggie Bullock played well but did not step up and take the basketball when the team needed him to be a leader and seems to only get his shot when he’s left alone on the perimeter.
With this loss the Tar Heels are proving with each game that their uninspired play for long stretches in games against lesser opponents is no fluke and has caused losses in two games against teams that have enough talent to take advantage.
Final Score: UNC 67 Texas 85