On Sunday night, the North Carolina Tar Heels had another one of those horrendous games. The Heels dropped their ACC opener 73-67 at Wake Forest, and for a change it wasn’t due to poor free throw shooting. The latest loss to a seemingly inferior team was the result of turnovers, sloppy shot selections and some terrible “D”.
No matter if they played man to man defense or if they played a zone defense, Carolina could not guard anyone. Wake shot 48 percent from the field (a season high for a UNC opponent) continuously scoring on back door cuts. We also can’t forget how much damage the Demon Deacons did on the pick and roll. Basically, they got clean looks all night, and made the Tar Heels pay. If this team has any plans on making noise in the ACC, they must tighten up the defense and do it ASAP.
For most of the season, Carolina has been above average defensively, but for some unknown reason they have stretches where they just don’t show any defensive effort. Even when UNC is playing good defense, the communication on the court is horrible! This team doesn’t talk to each other, screens are rarely called out and it leads to open jump shots ,easy lay-ups and fouls called against them. An opponents dribble penetration has been an issue for this team all season, and it sure did rear its ugly head in Winston-Salem. This is something that absolutely has to get fixed because the ACC is full of guards who can attack the basket.
As this squad has shown us, they can really go cold shooting the rock… so the Tar Heels are going to have to get back to the “D” they played, when they knocked of Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky. In those games Carolina played defense as a unit, actually trusting the scouting reports – and what do you know, none of those teams shot over 40 percent from the field. UNC has great athletes up and down its roster, however it’s mind-blowing when you watch these guys play like they did at Wake Forest. Flat out, this team has to get tougher and take pride on the defensive end. If they can do that, good things are still ahead.