UNC Basketball: Unpress the Panic Button

Ever since March of last season it has been a roller coaster ride for fans of the North Carolina Tar Heels.  First we had to deal with the injury to John Henson in the ACC Tournament, which led to the surprise of then freshman James Michael McAdoo.  And then the injury to Kendall Marshall which crushed the teams chances of cutting down the nets.

Dec 22, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward J.P. Tokoto (25) dribbles. The Tar Heels defeated McNeese State 97-63 at the Dean E Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Then in what seems like an annual event we held our breath to see who would go pro.  We expected to see John Henson and Harrison Barnes but were surprised by the departure of Marshall who played the best basketball of his career in the month of March before his wrist injury prematurely ended his season.

And although most tempered their expectations for the upcoming season it’s hard not to read too much into the Heels top 15 preseason ranking.  After starting the season 5-0 (if you include the exhibition against Shaw) UNC in which the Heels blew out the teams they should blowout behind stronger than expected performances from the freshman class, big time performances from McAdoo and the healthy returns of Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald the preseason ranking felt justified.

Then came the loss to Butler in which the Tar Heels score just 18 first-half points, then the embarrassment to Indiana in the most lopsided non-conference loss of Roy Williams’ career at UNC.  Then the waters calmed a bit as Carolina took care of UAB and East Tennessee State before nearly giving away a victory to East Carolina.  Then the debacle in Texas in which the Tar Heels were destroyed by the unranked Longhorns causing many around Tar Heel Nation to question everything, throw out logic and not just press but slam down the panic button.

I have to admit that I actually took the next day off from producing any content for this site for fear that my emotional side would get the better of me and I wouldn’t be able to set aside my personal feelings and produce anything other than irrational rants.  The win Saturday over McNeese State proved that this team can put together a complete 40 minute game, the question remains, can they do it consistently?

That’s a question that nobody can answer right now, one thing is for sure, we have seen how bad it can be we just haven’t seen how good it can be, yet.  And yet is the keyword here and to every Tar Heel fan that pressed that panic button I have one simple message, be patient, I know it’s hard and I know it feels like the right thing to do but I promise you when things get settled and this team figures things out you will be glad you kept the faith and you will be glad you didn’t jump overboard.

Topics: North Carolina Tar Heels

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