UNC got their first signature win of the season when they defeated the then 20th ranked UNLV Runnin’ Rebels behind their strongest defensive performance of the season. The victory comes at the perfect time as the Tar Heels really needed the confidence boosting win as the team prepares for ACC play.
UNC will face off with the Cavaliers on January sixth in Virginia to kick off conference play. After starting out the season with a busy schedule in which they played seven games in 18 days UNC has played just six games in the last month and will have had a week off between the UNLV victory and the contest against VA.
But the extended breaks the team has grown used to are about to end. The Tar Heels will play seven games in a 23 day span from the 6th through the 29th of this month and things will only get more hectic in February and especially (hopefully) March.
This weeks practices are vital, it’s extremely important that this team stays sharp both mentally and physically. All season long this team has been plagued by inconsistent energy and a lack of passion on the floor, especially on the defensive end. The UNLV game showed that the team has the ability to play together on both ends of the court and finish out games without giving back the lead they have built.
Head coach Roy Williams obviously understands the importance and has been putting the team through two a days which drew this tweet from freshman point guard Marcus Paige.
— Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) January 1, 2013
The biggest question surrounding the Tar Heels right now is have they turned the corner or will they fall back on their old ways? Right now with no way to tell the only thing to do is work hard and continue to instill the Carolina principles with this young team and hope for the best.