Welcome to another edition of the Morning Heel, a daily feature here at Keeping It Heel. Along with The Hub we want to bring you not only our original content but a collection of all the best UNC news. Have a link to suggest? Senditkeepingitheel@gmail.com
UNC watches Malachi Richardson
It’s been an interesting few weeks for Malachi Richardson. The 6-foot-4 sophomore shooting guard from Roselle Catholic had North Carolina assistant coach Hubert Davis in to see him when he scored nine points as the Lions were routed by national power Montverde (Fla.) Academy, 77-51 Thursday. When discussing North Carolina and what interests him about playing there Richardson said, “It’s all the tradition they have down there.” (Zags Blog)
Williams expects Bullock back in UNC’s lineup
North Carolina expects to have its full complement of players when it opens conference play Sunday at Virginia. Starting small forward Reggie Bullock was cleared to practice Friday for the first time since he collided with power forward James Michael McAdoo on Dec. 27 and suffered a concussion, and Williams said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the junior would play against the Cavaliers. (Durham Herald-Sun)
Five questions to ponder before tipoff
How dangerous of a conference opener is North Carolina’s game at Virginia? The Tar Heels couldn’t have drawn a more a more challenging first ACC test. Not only are they on the road at an arena in which they’ve never lost, but they’ll be facing a Cavaliers team that will take them out of their comfort zone by forcing them to play an unnaturally slow tempo. (Wilmington Star News)
Match-up to watch: James Michael McAdoo vs. Akil Mitchell McAdoo was on a lot of people’s short list for preseason ACC Player of the Year and hasn’t done much to have his name taken off those lists (14.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG). Mitchell (13.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG) leads the Cavaliers in rebounding and should be focused on extensively by the Tar Heels in rebounding situations. (Tar Heel Illustrated)
Tar Heels hope to raise level of play
Everything reaches a higher volume with the arrival of ACC play. So as senior guard Dexter Strickland has informed North Carolina’s four freshmen, especially point guard Marcus Paige, expect a turned-up Roy Williams throughout the coming weeks and months. “You’ll see the change in Coach, in his attitude, as our conferences games come along,” Strickland said. (Gaston Gazette)
Forbes.com piece about Martin Report pulled after Twitter firestorm
The piece fairly obviously relied solely on reports by the News and Observer and substituted using big words (Look at me, I’m a lawyer, I know “mitigated”!) for actual insight. Unfortunately for Heitner, his lone original thought was accusing a former governor of the State of North Carolina, Jim Martin, of “borderline fraudulent statements.” Whoops. (Storify by Tar Heel Monthly)
UNC Basketball: Does Brice Johnson’s Offensive Explosiveness Make Up For His Defensive Lapses?
Brice Johnson is obviously a highly talented offensive player. The Tar Heels have not been noted for their defensive aptitude this season. Johnson has been a large part of that as he has had his problems on defense. So that leaves the question of is having Johnson on the floor for his offense worth playing 4 on 5 on defense? (KIH)
Shelton Mitchell Commits To Wake Forest; Does This Mean Joel Berry To UNC?
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams seems determined to start each recruiting class off with a point guard. In 2012 Roy secured the top PG in the class in freshman Marcus Paige..(KIH)