CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –– North Carolina’s level of preparation Tuesday night took a new low as the Tar Heels fell 80-76 to an unranked Clemson team.
After beating Duke last Saturday, they rode off post-game high for too long and ultimately, the Tigers played harder and wanted it more.
“I checked them in practice and shoot around today,” head coach Hubert Davis. “We always talk about reacting and responding when things don’t go your way and when things do go your way. We also talked about the importance of always showing up to work and when you show up to work, your job and your responsibility is to be the best you can be.”
According to head coach Hubert Davis, he and the team could tell the energy was off even before the opening tipoff.
Three players scored in double digits with Armando Bacot and RJ Davis leading with 24 and 22 points respectively. Harrison Ingram contributed 11.
In postgame, Bacot admitted that three to four players were late to warmups and that practice the day before wasn’t up to their usual standard.
UNC basically got complacent after the top-10 rivalry win, making just 36.9 percent of their shots from the field (24-of-65) and 33.3 percent of their three-pointers (9-of-27).
“There’s two things that you can do, you can whine and complain and point fingers and make excuses or you can get back up and move forward and join the fight,” Davis said. “For us it’s never a choice, it’s a requirement for us to get back up and go to work.”
Today, they’ll have a chance to redeem themselves at Miami (15-8, 6-6 ACC) at 4:00 p.m.
In a conference as tough as the ACC, North Carolina (18-5, 10-2) must play every game like it’s their last and Tuesday was their wake-up call.
The Tar Heels have faltered against the Hurricanes the past two seasons. However, Miami also lost six of their last 10 games. On Monday they didn’t show up against Virginia, scoring just 38 points in the 22-point loss to the Cavaliers.
Importantly, the Hurricanes have lost to Wake Forest, Louisville, Florida State and NC State, all teams that UNC has performed well against.
While North Carolina leads the all-time series, 26-10, they have never won under Coach Davis. Junior guard Nijel Pack supplied 23 points in the Hurricanes 80-72 win over UNC last season. He’s back this season as well averaging 14 points and 3.7 assists per game.