On the surface, this UNC team is a confusing one to try to break down. They really are following the arc of a young team.
Young is not an excuse. It’s a term for a growing, maturing team. Young can play better. Young can win the ACC and NCAA championship (can. not should.) Most young teams don’t though. Most young teams struggle on the road. It’s hard to hear. Communication is so important on a young team. It’s very important on any team, but the teams with more time and experience can get away with non-verbal cues and a collective understanding of who is going to do what. On the road, there are fans that delight in the fact that they know they can get you out of what you want to do and even potentially shake your confidence. Its like throwing blood in the water with sharks.
Young SHOULD play better at home. Their home crowd should be the welcoming, supportive place they can actually show what they are made of. We have to be the safety zone for these young men. We have to do our part.
The last young team, I mean REALLY young team, was they year McCants, Felton, May and company went to the NIT. That year, the crowd was really impressive. I remember playing Minnesota (or some such college from a place that was really cold most of the time). It may have been the loudest I’ve ever heard the Smith Center. The snow game was another example of how a crowd can lift a team, but that was an older team.
And if you are currently saying that we would be lucky to make the NIT, please stop. It may be true, but this team still has 2 months to grow into what it can be. Maybe in a month I’ll listen. But not now. This team has a lot of potential. Maybe it only needs our help. Maybe it needs more. Maybe it needs time. Let’s do our part when they’re home to try to give them the lift to carry them through the season. Let’s contribute.