UNC Basketball: Joel Berry delivers message to teammates


Senior Joel Berry delivers a message to his teammates following Saturday’s win over Notre Dame

Saturday’s win was the first on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the North Carolina Tar Heels but it wasn’t easy.

The win could have very well been a loss for the Tar Heels as Notre Dame missed a game-winning attempt with no time left after the ball bounced off the rim. The Fighting Irish’s second attempt came off an offensive rebound, a story that was way too familiar for the Tar Heels on Saturday night.

Notre Dame entered the game without their two best players in Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell but they managed to keep it close throughout and even had a six-point lead late.

The Fighting Irish were able to stay in the game by dominating the glass.

Notre Dame outrebounded the Tar Heels 45-37 and controlled the edge on the offensive glass 20-13.

It was another all-around uninspiring performance by the Tar Heels on the road, something that happened in their previous two road contests in the ACC.

Following the game, senior Joel Berry decided it was time to speak up and make a statement to the team at a critical point in their season.

During Roy Williams’ postgame speech, the head coach was discouraged and took the blame for the team’s poor performance in the win.

But right in the middle, Berry stepped up and said that the team needs to change.

Here’s what Berry said via Inside Carolina:

"“I said, ‘no, Coach, you’ve got to stop blaming it on yourself. It’s us. We’ve got to change. We’ve got to buy in to what you want us to do,’” Berry said. “Out of respect, I just let him talk, but I felt like at that time it was time for me to say something because he says it each and every game whenever we have a game like this. And we’ve had a lot of games like this lately.”"

Berry didn’t have his best game but did drain two free throws with 11 seconds left to give UNC the lead.

The leadership move was something big from Berry as he knew this was an important time in the Tar Heels season.

After losing two-straight on the road, UNC has now won two-straight games beating Boston College at home and then Notre Dame on the road. The ACC is tough this year but if UNC can start rolling off some wins, they have a chance to win the conference.

The Tar Heels will next be in action on Tuesday as they host Clemson who is 0-58 all-time at Chapel Hill.

Clemson enters the game at 15-2 overall and 4-1 in ACC play, currently second in the standings.

Next: UNC survives at Notre Dame

Let’s see if UNC responds to Berry’s challenge.