Carrier Classic UNC vs. Michigan St. Game Review


UNC 67 Michigan State 55 FINAL

Box Score

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Wow what a great scene with the game starting while it’s still light out, the president’s speech, the military crowd, the skylight was amazing and after seeing it I can say I would gladly fork over a couple mortgage payments to have gone to this game if given the chance.

The game started out with a strange opening as Michigan St dominated the glass; Justin Watts was the first player off the bench for UNC?  Carolina looked like the young team early on in the game, missing free throws, not boxing out and getting out hustled.   Tyler Zeller looked awful offensively to begin the game with the exception of taking a couple of nice charges he couldn’t finish down low, looked weak with his post moves and finishes not to mention whiffing at the line.  Not what most would have expected to see out of UNC to say the least.

The comeback was quick as the Heels closed the half on a 22-6 run leading by 11 at the half.  As I wrote in the preview, the talent on this UNC team is just too much for Michigan State.  I’m sure State coach Tom Izzo didn’t think all these players would still be on UNCs roster this year when he signed up to play this game.  On a side note, what is Izzo thinking scheduling his first 2 games against UNC and Duke?  If his goal was to get his young team beat down twice in a row and bruise their confidence then good job Tom.

The effect of playing outdoors really didn’t seem to make any difference in the game. The court had its problems as several players slipped either on the stupid stickers at center court or wet spots.

Page 2: The 2nd half as well as player reviews and my player of the game

It was great seeing Tyler Hansbrough, the NBA lockout sure has brought the Tar Heels a lot of fortune this year.  “Big Game” James Worthy also participated in a charity shooting contest, his jumper still looks smooth.  What a flashback seeing big #52 wearing UNC colors shooting the rock around again.

The second half the Tar Heels opened it up like expected and dominated Michigan State putting the game away rather early into the half.  Or so they thought….leading by as much as 20 UNC seemed to revert back to the team that started the game and allowed State to get back into the game by allowing offensive rebounds and getting flat out, out hustled.  The second half, just like the first swayed back and forth like the ocean the carrier rests on.  Eventually UNC settled down again and put the game away, while this game was more about the festivities for underdog Michigan State a loss here would have been very bad for UNC.

Page 3: Player reviews, my player of the game revealed and the box score

James McAdoo looks terrific on both ends of the floor, he’s aggressive with the ball and an athletic defender that plays well within the system, obviously a high basketball IQ with this kid.  Reggie Bullock looked pretty good, he didn’t seem to have any ill effects of the nasty injury he suffered as  a freshman.  He has some rust but showed he can knock down the outside shot and played with some nice defensive aggression.

Harrison Barnes didn’t assert himself enough offensively as I would have liked to see.  For this team to win it all they need Barnes to be the best player.  A team full of stars like the Heels are still needs a leader and Barnes has by far the most talent on this team.  Barnes didn’t play poorly by any measure but he wasn’t the best player on the floor and he will need to be on a regular basis this season.

John Henson was easily the player of the game for UNC with 8 blocked shots a career high while shooting a great percentage on the offensive end of the floor.  Henson looks like he could really be a dominate force all season long for Carolina this year.  He’s my sleeper pick to make the All American team.

The offense has a very noticeable drop off with Dexter Strickland at the point when Kendall Marshall goes to the bench.  Strickland is not a natural point and lacks the instincts that Marshall possesses to drive UNCs offense.  Strickland has showed the ability to run and finish on the break but isn’t as adapt to facilitating the break, often he looks hesitant seeming stuck between attacking the basket himself and passing the ball.  Based on the brief stint given to freshman PG Stillman White it looks like Strickland will in fact have to log minutes on a regular basis at the point.  White looked good at the foul line but doesn’t look polished enough to run the team during a competitive game.

Page 4: Box Score and a quick look at UNCs next game

UNC was presented with a huge 82 pound trophy that I can’t wait to get to the Dean Dome to see  Directly after the game the Tar Heels will fly immediately all night to North Carolina to play their second game of the season on Sunday at UNC Asheville, it will be the first game at UNCAs new stadium.  Coming off the high emotion of this kind of game and the long flight from coast to coast Carolina will have to guard against becoming complacent Sunday.

Box Score















*3818 (7/11)26-191-30-2405013


*357 (4/3)14-102-20-1122210


*221 (0/1)13-90-01-410007


*190 (0/0)02-70-01-450415


*113 (2/1)03-34-60-0200010


243 (1/2)10-70-00-511200


201 (0/1)31-82-20-443104


179 (5/4)03-70-00-040106


120 (0/0)00-20-00-031000


20 (0/0)00-00-00-000000TOTAL042 (19/23)822-729-132-202571535530.6%69.2%10.0%* Starters















*332 (1/1)54-72-30-0121010


*334 (0/4)52-62-20-331506


*315 (2/3)25-115-72-5001117


*317 (2/5)26-100-10-0302912


*316 (1/5)03-83-60-012309

Michael McAdoo

173 (0/3)02-40-00-040214


121 (0/1)01-30-01-301003


93 (0/3)01-10-01-110003


10 (0/0)00-03-40-000003


10 (0/0)00-00-00-000000


10 (0/0)00-00-00-010000


00 (0/0)00-10-00-000000TOTAL031 (6/25)1424-5115-234-1214614116747.1%65.2%33.3%* Starters

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