If you have, or have had, a dog, you know that they hear everything before you, they react to the slightest change in environment and they’re jovial animals. But big or small, if you threaten their owner or surroundings in any way, there’s a protective instinct that instantly kicks in. That dog comes out.
Every good team has this type of player. Every good team needs this type of player – an enforcer who, when the squad needs it, goes into an attack mode that’s infectious.
I like to pinpoint the “dog” on each team I cover. That’s who you watch when a team is down 5 points heading into the final 2 minutes of the game, or the person(s) who your eyes immediately go to if there’s a little pushing on the court or field. They’re the catalyst.
When thinking about last year’s Tar Heel squad I can’t specifically pinpoint who the dog was – the player who brought the team an edge every Final Four bound squad must have. So heading into this season I asked Garrison Brooks and Brandon Robinson who that guy will be on this year’s team. Brooks, without hesitation, motioned to Robinson.
Robinson took a more diplomatic approach to the question, saying there are multiple dogs on this year’s squad and we’ll see that more on the court this season.
“I think we’ve got multiple dogs. We’ve got guys like Cole that’s going to get after it. Garrison, Christian, me, Armando, we all compete each and every day. So, I think you’re going to see that come out a lot this year.”
Robinson said he wouldn’t consider this a change from last year, but did say they were more quiet about it.
“I think we’re going to try to be more open with it this year, but we have to do it low key because coach doesn’t really like all that stuff, but we’re going to try to do it as best we can.”
The Tar Heels have one exhibition game against Winston Salem State Friday night, before their opening season game against Notre Dame.