Last night, North Carolina and Georgia Tech faced off in snowy Atlanta Georgia. The Tar Heels came home with the victory, and improved their ACC record to 3-4 on the season. I took some notes on Wednesday nights ACC action. Here are some UNC v. Georgia Tech game notes.
-On the first possession of the game, the Tar Heels established McAdoo in the post. His revival over the last two games has been great to watch. He is being more aggressive offensively and getting to the line more. Now if only he could convert all those chances! UNC needs McAdoo to show up when Marcus Paige is off, and its good to see him aggressively attacking the basket and not settling for mid range jumpers.
However, McAdoo fully realizing his potential means not only attacking but playing within the team and smartly. Check out this possession below. McAdoo gets the ball on the block and Georgia Tech’s number 24 rushes over to double team him. McAdoo here has to see the open man, Leslie McDonald, and whip a pass over to him for three. Instead here JMM launches up his signature fade-away jumper for a miss. I like McAdoo’s aggressive game, but he needs to draw double teams and kick out to the open man more often.
-This GT game was one of the first games in a while UNC tried to get out and run, and Tech ran right back. The fast paced half didn’t really translate for good shooting for either team, but Carolina got some nice looks in transition.
-Kennedy Meeks is talented offensively, and shows great flashes passing the ball, but can’t put solid stretches of 4-5 minutes of consistent good play together. Coach Roy has to play him in bits and pieces right now, but next season, he is going to be really good.
-UNC did a little more trapping early in this one, and it helped around the 14 minute mark. It disturbed the less athletic Georgia Tech team, and I think the Heels should have pressed more and trapped on more screens.
-Quentin Stephens- Number 12 on Georgia tech, with the mask on- is super skinny. Like skinnier than Brice Johnson last year. He is talented for a freshman, but needs to add like 50 pounds before he can battle with the Joel James types in the ACC. He played 16 minutes and had five personal fouls called against him. That alone showed how overmatched the skinny freshman was.
-It was good to see McDonald putting things together a little bit in this game with his shooting. In 34 minutes, he had 15 points, four boards and four assists. Hopefully McDonald keep shooting well after a slow start after his suspension in the first nine games of this season.
-Lots of crazy stories about the weather in Atlanta. GT radio analyst couldn’t get into the game because of the weather, and UNC’s journey was also very treacherous. I’m sure the team will never forget the time they took the MARTA to get to the hotel before an ACC conference game.
-Isaiah Hicks just isn’t ready this season to play big time minutes. In seven minutes against GT, he had a turnover, missed a three pointer badly, and got lost on defense leading to a Trey Golden three pointer. He was a highly touted freshman recruit, but needs another year or maybe two before being able to contribute in significant minutes.
– I want to give some credit to senior guard Trae Golden for Georgia Tech. The transfer played a really good basketball game, finishing with 21 points and keeping GT in it. Yes, he looks like he is 30, but he represents the element of real heart and desire to win that UNC has been missing all season long.
– JMM played overall a good game offensively, but he had a couple of mental defensive mistakes. He gambled for a steal in the first half and whiffed, leading to an easy basket for GT. McAdoo loves gambling for those high risk, high reward steals. This time, it ended not in a breakaway dunk but a defensive breakdown. Also, McAdoo’s fouls were mental mistakes and the third and fourth happened too quickly on back to back possessions.
-Georgia Tech was closing in on UNC’s lead and forced Carolina to make their free throw down the stretch of the game. This game, North Carolina delivered and closed out the win without incident. The Heels overall shot 17-23, over 70%, from the charity stripe, one of their best performances of the season. The ability to convert from the line was a big reason why UNC took home the victory.