In a press conference after the Tar Heels got crushed by an unranked Texas team, UNC Head Coach, Roy Williams, said, “I’ve got to do a heck of a lot better job and they’ve got to buy in.” If Williams is admitting that he is not doing a great job of coaching them, then what is it exactly that he would like them to buy into?
As history has shown, just because a team has superior athletes in baby blue uniforms, does not guarantee a final four contending team. (Please see 2009-2010 NIT runner-up season) Maybe Williams would like them to buy into the senior leadership on the team? There has been none of that either. Junior Reggie Bullock has been the only player that has been vocal about the Heels’ problems thus far. Bullock’s main rip to the team has been that certain unnamed players are selfish and worried more about individual statistics. The “Blame Game” never got a team anywhere. Maybe Williams just plays the team a video of their game against Mississippi State where they shot 15-32 from 3-point range and just hopes the team will buy into better shooting.
This year’s North Carolina Tar Heels have no identity, poor shot selection and no “go-to” guy. James Michael McAdoo was supposed to be that guy this year but he has been incredibly inconsistent. Brice Johnson seems to be a better option in the paint right now. One thing that it seems that UNC has bought into is turnovers. They had 18 turnovers against Texas, many of which were simple mental mistakes. The biggest thing that the Heels are missing this year is defense and hustle.
The Tar Heels need to stop worrying so much about the offensive end and work on their defense. Defense is what they need to buy into. UNC has been leaving shooters wide open, not moving their feet and their transition defense has been abysmal. A lot of defense is pure hustle which Carolina has not been displaying any of lately. This goes against Williams’ “run and gun, we’re just going to outscore you” offense, but Williams need to realize this team does not have the offensive punch of years past. They are lucky they beat ECU since UNC gave up 61 second half points!
Defense. Williams needs to get the team to buy into defense and that will improve the team dramatically. The offense will come with time and more player development. If the Tar Heels buy into hustling and giving it everything they have on defense, it will open up fast breaks and enthusiasm on the offensive end. They only have two games left before ACC play. Luckily, hustle is something you can fix quickly, normally with a bench.