UNC Basketball: Despite 9-3 Record, Everything Hasn’t Gone Wrong


UNC is unranked this week after not just their third loss of the season but their third embarrassing loss this season.  It’s easy to understand why North Carolina analyst and fans alike are spending most of their time these days breaking down what is wrong with the team and obsessing over the possibility of Andrew Wiggins riding into Chapel Hill and saving the day.  But not everything has gone wrong this season Tar Heel fans.

Dec 22, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) scores in the first half at the Dean E Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

I agree 100% that many things that have transpired this season are unfortunate but the reality is we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.

Roy Williams health: If you think things are bad now just imagine how horrible it would have been if Roy wouldn’t have been able to go on coaching in Carolina.  Just as Dean Smith was during his tenure, Roy Williams is Carolina basketball right now, players come and go, Roy is the fixture and without him things would not have been the same.

Brice Johnson and Joel James: Remember everyone griping about these four star big men Roy brought in that just weren’t going to cut it?  They might not be stars yet but it’s obvious where they are heading.

JP Tokoto: What a surprise JP has been this year.  While everybody focused on his athleticism and his inability hit a jumper he came in and has become a ball of energy off the bench who plays hard, hits the boards and plays stellar defense and oh yeah can play multiple positions.

Early Season Success of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller in the NBA: Don’t discount this Tar Heel fans, recruits pay attention to how coaches develop their players for the next level and the better UNC alumni play in the league the better it is for the program.

Healthy returns of Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald: ACL injuries are hard to come back from and it’s never a given when a player has injuries as severe as these two had that the player will be able to return and play at the same type of level they did before the injury.  While both players have a little ways to go still, both are playing good basketball and it’s great to see them back on the court wearing Carolina Blue.

The improvement of PJ Hairston: Hairston was terrible as a freshman and he took a huge hit mentally that some players cannot come back from.  PJ still has a little ways to go in rounding out his game and becoming an the all around player he has the potential to be but the difference in his game this year is vast.  UNC needs Hairston and his improvement is a great thing to watch.

Reggie Bullocks improved shooting: Bullock has improved his game tremendously as a shooter.  His points per game is up to 13.1 per game from 8.8 last year, his FG% is up 49.1% from 42.8% and his three point shooting has improved 47.5% compared to 38.2% last year.  He still needs to get better at creating his own offense and at times he isn’t aggressive enough but that shouldn’t cloud the fact that his game has improved immensely