UNC Basketball: Carolinas Two Sides


This article comes at a perfect time for the North Carolina Tar Heels. So far this season, Carolina has shown us two sides of their game. The good side, which we will call Megan Fox, and a bad side which we will call Lady Gaga.

Nov 20, 2012; Lahaina, HI, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo (43) dunks against the Butler Bulldogs during the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

So far this season, we’ve seen a lot more Megan Fox from the Tar Heels than we have Lady Gaga. Until last night, when Gaga reared her ugly side (and voice) in a Carolina loss to Butler.

Now I’m not saying when Carolina is good they are the best in the country. But their real good play compared to their real bad play is an enormous amount, and we saw that in the Butler loss.

Fresh off a dominating performance against Mississippi State in which Carolina made 15 three pointers, an embarrassing loss to Butler has Carolina fans in doubt as to which team will show up this season.

When this team is clicking, they are very good. It would take a lot for a team to beat Carolina if they are on their game. When I speak of on their game, I’m talking about their strengths. Solid defense and perimeter shooting have to be good for Carolina to make a strong run at a National Championship this season. So far early on, we have seen what Carolina can do with solid defense and perimeter shooting.

The Tar Heels don’t have the dominating inside presence they had last season, but they can be ‘good enough’ to have an impact down low. It will just take a lot of time for Carolina to develop it, the talent is there, believe me.

The good for Carolina will come with their shooting. They pose shooting threats from players like Leslie McDonald, P.J. Hairston, Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock and Marcus Paige. All are capable of being threats from the outside at any point in the game. They just have to get in a good rhythm and build momentum.

With early success so far this season, Carolinas shooting has been great. Even in the second half of the Butler loss, Carolina shot the ball well over 50% from the field in a fierce comeback that fell short. It was just Butlers night, and that’s going to happen throughout the season.

Carolinas weaknesses come on the inside and falling behind early.

In the loss to Butler, Carolina played horrible defense. Actually it was some of the worst defense we have seen from a Roy Williams team in a very long time. The rotation, switches and defensive pressure just wasn’t there for the Tar Heels and Butler took advantage.

Poor defense mixed with great shooting for Butler was a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what happened to the Tar Heels.

When the ugly side of this team shows, it gets real ugly. Good shooting teams across the country will expose Carolina by stretching out the floor and finding the weakness on defense. Now whether that’s down low or on the perimeter, Carolina will need to address those issues and make adjustments.

It could get ugly for the Tar Heels if they don’t fix their bad sides, or even fall behind early in games. Even with good shooters on the team, is this team good enough to make comebacks against better teams?

That’s one question that will certainly be asked throughout the season.

An early season test comes for Carolina when they travel to Indiana to take on the #1 ranked Hoosiers, then play a Top 20 ranked UNLV Runnin’ Rebels team that gave the Tar Heels fits all game last season. Which side will show up for the rest of the season?

Let’s hope we are watching a lot more Megan Fox.