Tar Heel Hoops: Examining UNCs Perimeter Defense Part II


Tar Heel Nation we’ve identified the real problems surrounding UNCs perimeter defense.  Now it’s time to break down the solutions.  If you haven’t read it yet, for Part I click HERE.

Assign Kendall Marshall to the worst perimeter player ever single game:  Let’s be real about this, we all love Kendall Marshall.  He’s the best passer in college basketball and has a chance in my opinion to become one of the best of all time if he stays in school.  He’s even getting better as a scorer.  The kid sucks on defense, plain and simple.  He’s very bad at keeping his man in front of him and constantly gets beat off the dribble.  He doesn’t move through screens well and I were a coach that had some good shooters, I’d run a pick through Marshall every time down the floor.  It’s not that he can’t develop into a good defender, I believe he can and if he stays four years he will.  Right now, Marshall’s defense is by far the worst on the team.  He needs to defend the worst offensive player, every single game for the rest of the season.

Players failing to close out on the shooter or who leave their man all by themselves on an island get benched immediately:  How many times have we seen a player get the ball and almost anticipate a defender coming, then in a delayed reaction put up the shot uncontested?  It’s stunning to me and even to the opposing team sometimes how wide open these shooters are.  The perimeter needs accountability, you don’t close out, you sit down.  Teams are running a ton of screens on UNC for a couple reasons.  As a team UNC has bad technique fighting through screens, they take the wrong angles far more often than the right ones.  And the Heels don’t help out or close out on the shooter well at all.  Until this is fixed, shooters will continue to get wide open looks against Carolina.

Two of the following four players must be on the court at all times: With such an inconsistent defense, UNC cannot take out more than two of its top defenders.  The Heels need to keep either Tyler Zeller or John Henson down low at all times.  And more importantly, either Reggie Bullock or Harrison Barnes must be on the floor also.  Barnes has played much better individual defense since Dexter Strickland went down.  Bullocks strong individual defense has also been a pleasant surprise.  Roy Williams cannot afford to leave the Heels without one of their top defenders in the front court or back court.

Players who dog it on the defensive end need to be punished: Accountability once again, sometimes in life, you need to be taught a hard lesson.  The lesson here, if you dog it on defense, your sitting down and getting yelled at on national TV.  At film study, your getting singled out and yelled out in front of the entire team.  And I hope you like running because suicides are your new best friend.  My parents used to work me to death as punishment, and then send me to my room when I was done.  A weekend of yard work, cleaning and grooming the dog was extremely effective in getting my attention.  Getting beat, missing your assignment, making a mistake, even a bone headed mistake happens, especially at the college level.  But there should be no excuse for not playing hard.

Make defensive adjustments before HalftimeRoy Williams did a great job of adjusting the defense halftime against Duke.  I still wonder if Roy knows he is allotted timeouts in each half and cannot save them for the 2nd half.  I would love to see the Tar Heel coaching staff make some changes during the first half.  UNC has struggled throughout the season and lately have failed to do anything different the entire half.  I get the let them play and figure it out, you learn by doing thing.  But players need coaching, strategy is a huge part of sports, otherwise the University could just hire recruiters.

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