Carolina Basketball Recap: Tar Heels Crush Georgia Tech


The North Carolina Tar Heels put an a show tonight against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.  The win snaps a streak of four straight defeats at the hands of the yellow jackets.  Roy Williams’ Tar Heel clubs, have had a real rough time against GT, with a 8-14 record, since Williams took the helm in Chapel Hill.  Carolina absolutely dominated GT in the first half where it lead by 20 at the break.  UNC came out stroking it from three point range, nailing their first four from down town.  This after making just 20 three’s combined in ACC play this season.  I knew it was Carolinas night when the first made basket was a three by none other than Kendall Marshall.   The intensity, defensive effort and hustle was present for almost the entire 40 minutes of play.

Harrison Barnes had a phenomenal game with 23 points on 8-14 shooting including 3-3 from beyond the arc.  Barnes looked like a beast all game long showing off his complete repertoire.  He took it to the basket with confidence, finishing strong at the rim on a pretty up and under in the first half.  And a thunderous, get out of my house two handed throw down to kick off the second half.   Barnes has looked good of late and was really impressive tonight on both ends of the floor.  Reggie Bullock received the defensive player of the game honor by the coaching staff against NC State.  Obviously the staff hasn’t broken down the film quite yet but Barnes has to be the run away candidate.

John Henson moved into second place on Carolinas all time shot blocking list passing the great Sam Perkins.  What makes this more impressive, Henson wasn’t even a post player his freshman season, and he’s only a junior.  Perkins was a four year starter at Carolina, and is considered one of the all time greats.  UNC fans are watching a special player in Henson, a rare, shot blocking machine, that will go down as one of the best defensive players in Tar Heel history.

Roy Williams split the backup point guard responsibilities tonight between a freshman and a senior.  Justin Watts was called upon at the end of the second half to run the point and did a nice job.  Hubert Davis who called the game for ESPNU (thank God it wasn’t Dick Vitale tonight) thinks Watts is the better option over freshman Stillman White.  Both did a nice job with White knocking down yet another three, while also coming up with an assist and a steal in just six minutes.  Watts meanwhile grabbed two rebounds in seven minutes of action and was otherwise absent from the scoreboard.  Still, Watts is very good defender and he’s smart with the basketball.  He’s versatile and should be in the mix for minutes going forward.  More in that in a later column….

The second half wasn’t dominating like the first half but was vastly different from other games this season.  Typically when Carolina posts a +20 in one half and a -9 the next it’s because of one reason.  Lack of hustle.  That wasn’t the reason tonight.  Did the team play a full, 110%, go all out like it’s the Final Four game for 40 minutes?  No, they didn’t.  Did they fall asleep and look like a team that expects to win and doesn’t care about the rest of the game?  Nope, they didn’t do that either.

Up next: UNC travels to Wake Forest for the third game in just six days on Tuesday night.  While Georgia Tech takes on Florida State (good luck with that)

Keep It Heel!

I’m loving what I saw from Carolina tonight, Heel Nation.  What’s your take on the game?  Let us know in the comments section, if you have trouble at first for any reason, click HERE.