Was there ever a question that UNC was going to win today? As former UNC player, David Noel III put it, it was a matter of how much UNC was going to unleash. There’s no question that the Tar Heels suffered a heart-breaking loss to Michigan, but with the toughest schedule in the nation you have to bounce back…and bounce back strong.
UNC defeated UNCW 97-69, but it wasn’t easy. North Carolina has yet to define themselves as a team; looking as if they are trying to find their fit and Coach Williams is included as he continues to try different lineups to find the most effective bunch to go for the kill. But that doesn’t change the fact that this UNC team is lacking something UNC fans have grown comfortable watching…effort and hustle to win.
When watching UNC it almost seems as if you want the win more than them. Their secret sauce is missing. For years, Williams has run the same scheme, so one would think the returning players would find it fairly easy and the newcomers would be the only ones adjusting, but no one seems to know their role. During his radio show this week, Roy stated that he never thought he would have to coach effort, but unfortunately, he is. Was that effort there tonight?
“Better, but not where we needed to be”
Coach Williams isn’t the only one feeling like the team is lacking effort. Senior Guard Kenny Williams stated it’s the missing piece to their success.
“I don’t like the fact that he has to coach effort or even had to mention he has to do it. I believe that’s the only thing we are missing, making sure we have the effort to compete every night. We haven’t put together 40 minutes yet of consistent effort. So, once we get that it will be hard to stop us on both ends.”
UNC clicked by 17:04 in the second half – going on an 25-3 run and showing glimpses of what they could be… if they pushed consistently. But the star of the game who received their overdue praise was Seventh Woods. Woods started tonight due to Coby White resting a slight pain in his ankle and Woods didn’t disappoint. He sparked in the second half, giving the team the aggression to move and claim rebounds. Williams stated that this is the Woods everyone was looking for and if consistent, he could be dangerous.
“I’m so happy Seventh was aggressive during the second half. If we can get that 6-10 points every night; no telling what that could do for us”
On Dec. 15, UNC faces off with Gonzaga at home. And even with a 10-day break, UNC players are looking at only about three practices and a tough school schedule with exam week.