UNC vs Mississippi Valley State Rapid Reactions


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 UNC (3-0) 101 MVSU (0-3) 75 FINAL

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The number one ranked Tar Heels FINALLY returned home to the Dean Smith center to face Mississippi Valley State.  After yet another slow start the Heels buried MVSU 101 to 75 moving to 3-0 on the season.   North Carolina eclipsed the 100 point mark for the first time this season, UNC moves to 1-0 all time in the series against MVSU.  Here are my rapid reactions from the game.

Kendall Marshall leads the nation in assists per game with 8.7 per night since last February 6th Heels dominating the boards early and often as their size advantage against MVSU proves too much time after time John Henson is showing a lot of improvement as a post up player today.  If he can become a consistent post threat he will undoubtedly be an All American candidate.

UNCs problem early in the season is putting it together and dominating teams they should dominate from the opening whistle.  Poor free throw shooting and lapses in execution early contributed to MVSU staying in this game for way too long.  Early in this game the team was doing everything you would think it would normally need to do in order to put away MVSU.  Getting offensive rebounds, getting to the foul line, taking good open shots from the perimeter and getting our big men the ball inside.  Still MVSU stayed around because UNC couldn’t convert from the line nor were they making many of the point blank open shots they took.  The rust is still very much there for the Heels.

Tons more reactions after the jump

Free Throw shooting looking rough for Carolina early this season.  Dexter Strickland is just 3 of 10 so far this year, FT shooting is one thing that kept Michigan State around for too long in the Carrier Classic and could prove to be a problem for UNC if they can’t get it under control.

Harrison Barnes looks like his summer’s #1 priority to improve his dribble penetration and ball handling skills went well.   Barnes is playing more agressive on the offensive end of the floor, getting to the rim and shooting a higher percentage.  Never afraid to pull up or shoot the three Barnes is looking to attack more often this season and it is working as Barnes has averaged 7 free throw attempts per game this year and is shooting a higher field goal percentage compared to his freshman season. Freshman James McAdoo seems a little out of place playing in the post primarily.  In high school McAdoo played the power forward position but had more freedom to roam around the perimeter and handled the ball more.  Learning to move without the ball, set screens, and learning when to roll to the basket hard when a Heel ball handler has the ball on the perimeter will be key to McAdoo’s development.

Fellow freshman PJ Hairston looks smooth both shooting the rock and moving without the basketball.  Hairston may surprise some people this year and become just as if not more important than top recruit McAdoo.  The biggest “battle” on the roster for big time minutes this season is between Hairston and sophomore Reggie Bullock.  Though Hairston looks the better of the 2 now don’t expect coach Roy Williams to rush to any judgements just yet.  Bullock coming off a knee injury was a 5 star recruit himself last year and the Heels will need him to be one of the programs stars next season.   Finding them both enough minutes may be a challenge, more on that in a future post.

This game followed the theme of the Tar Heels season thus far.  Slow start, dominate inside, slight improvement versus the game before, awful free throw shooting especially early only to settle down in the second half and put the inferior team down.  The potential of this team is obvious, Roy Williams’ job from here on out is to try and get this mostly young team to put it all together.  Boys, you’ve got until March.

Keep It Heel!

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