The 2013-2014 college basketball season has tipped off and the North Carolina Tar Heels kicked it off with an impressive 84-61 victory versus the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Carolina was flat-out dominate in the first half, but after halftime the inability to close out games seemed to rear its ugly head.
For Carolina, the first half went just as it was supposed to. Junior forward James Michael McAdoo was the best player on the court and looked much more comfortable playing the “4”. Sophomore point guard Marcus Paige continued to show his growth as a player as well as a leader, fellow sophomore, wing J.P. Tokoto looked like a totally different guy. He played with confidence, even making a couple of jump shots including a three pointer. Combine that with more strong play from freshman center Kennedy Meeks and the Tar Heels cruised into halftime with a 58-21 lead.
After the break, it seemed as if the Heels were playing the score and not the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. UNC began to turn the ball over carelessly and didn’t play with intensity and passion, as they did in the opening 20 minutes.
On the offensive end Carolina looked totally out of sync. Their shot selection wasn’t the best, they had the aforementioned turnover issues and at certain points during the second half, the Heels just looked like the inferior team. Defensively they weren’t much better. Shooters were left open, assignments were missed and as a result Oakland nearly doubled their scoring output from the first half. I don’t care how “good” of a team the Golden Grizzlies are , that shouldn’t happen especially in the Smith Center.
I believe the team just relaxed after a great half of ball, however it still should be something to learn from for Coach Williams and this relatively young squad. Overall it was a good night for UNC basketball. There were more good things than bad, but whether this team has a killer instinct or not is something to keep an eye on!