A lot of good things to take from UNC’s win over Belmont Abbey. Unfortunately I did not make it out because I was out doing hoodrat stuff with my friends, but I’m well-read, so, that counts.
Deon Thompson goes 11-12 from the field and finishes with 23 points in only 17 minutes. It’s great to see Deon putting up numbers like that to pick up some of that huge scoring void that was left by last year’s departures. Just hoping that Deon doesn’t put up big offensives numbers at the beginning of the season that start trailing off by the end of the season like what happened this year.
Even after a year, save three games, off the court, Marcus Ginyard was back in the starting lineup and was a box score filler: 9 points, 6 assists and 4 steals in 18 minutes. The 6 assists is what stands out to me. Obviously the back court has been a topic of discussion about this year’s team, but knowing we’ll have Ginyard as an if-needed backup at the point calms me a bit. I know Ginyard has played at the point some in the past and he played last night against a much over-matched opponent, but I still really like that 6 assist line.
Also back in form, Mr. Ed Davis. Ed continued his offensive blossoming and threw in 13 points. Add that to his 6 rebounds and 4 big blocks and there you have a reason why Ed is considered one of the best big men in the nation. Also, Ed dished out 5 assists. That’s not something Carolina fans are used to seeing from their post players, example Tyler Hansbrough.
Speaking of Ed, the nation’s best (in this blog’s opinion) 6th man last year got the start last night. He was joined by Larry Drew and Ginyard at guard and Deon and Will Graves at forward. Ed was also listed as a forward.
The last of the starters, Drew II has a decent showing. In 18 minutes Drew II had 8 assists but also had 3 turnovers. He only shot the ball 4 times, hitting once and never made it to the stripe, leaving him with 2 points on the night. That’s really unacceptable. We need more point production from the sophomore. Graves surprised me a bit with the start, but then it made sense that Roy wouldn’t be starting Henson yet. Graves finished with 6 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes but missed both his 3-point attempts.
Ah, the 3-pointer. Something that has also been mentioned in flaws of this year’s team. By far one of the dark spots in last night’s exhibition. The team shot 25% from behind the arc, hitting on only 2 of 8 shots, one coming from Ginyard the other from David Wear. At least they weren’t out there jacking them all night.
The other downside from last night, the free throw shooting was atrocious. 13-24 for 54% as a team. Seeing right now that we can’t hit 3s or FTs consistently worries me about games that will be decided in crunch time. Don’t know if we have that right now.
Quick round-up and the rest of the bunch:
- Tyler Zeller scored 17 points off the bench and had 6 rebounds and only 2 fouls, pretty good for Tyler. Need him to keep up the scoring, because if he continues coming off the bench that would be a huge lift. Don’t like his 4 TOs.
- Freshman David Wear had 9 points and 3 rebounds while twin Travis had 7 points and 4 rebounds.
- John Henson only had 5 points, which I’m sure underwhelms a lot of people because his expectations are so high, but also pulled down 8 rebounds and had 4 blocks. Not the columns in the box score I thought he’d be filling, but I’ll take it.
- Freshman Dexter Strickland was 4-5 from the field and finished with 8 points and 3 steals. Have to cut back on the 4 TOs.
- Last Freshman Leslie McDonald took an 0-fer in the points column but grabbed a couple rebounds, an assist, steal and block letting me know he was at least out there hustling.
- Sophomore Justin Watts contributed 4 rebounds and 4 points in 13 minutes
Read the whole article and see the box score