Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Guest Blogger: Heels Blog

BC takes on the defending National Champs Wednesday. But the faces won't be familiar as most of the stars of last season's Tar Heel team are now in the NBA. To get BC fans ready, I asked Turner from Heels Blog to return as a guest blogger. Here are my questions and his thoughts on BC's first trip to the Dean Dome.

1. Barely winning after two loses. Is the team turning the corner or will it struggle all year?

I don't know that there is really a corner for this team to turn, unless it's a learning curve. People who follow the program expected this to be a 'down year,' but it doesn't make it any easier to watch. Heck, anything less than a repeat would be a down year, I guess. But there are good signs for the future in this young team. I'm not ready to write off this season, but it's clear that Roy is building for down the road. So it will be up and down. The Heels have all the classic signs of a young team: inconsistency, winning games they have no business winning and losing games they shouldn't be losing. It's fun to watch them grow, but it can be frustrating when you can see the potential is there. The maturity is not yet. Struggling all year? I just think you're going to see ups and downs. That experience is valuable for the near future.

2. Tyler Hansbrough is a force offensively. What is his defense like. Do you see him getting the Craig Smith assignment?

So far, Tyler has done well staying out of foul trouble. He goes after the boards like crazy, but he's been good at playing straight-up defense to not commit touch fouls. I don't know if he'll guard Smith or Dudley; I'm sure he'll see them both at some point. But it will be Tyler and David Noel on the BC bigs.

3. It seems like this team lives by the 3? Perimeter defense is BC's weakness. Who should we focus on?

The Florida State win was pretty unorthodox by Carolina's standards this season. The tendency had been to play from the inside-out, with Tyler the driving force behind how the offense works. Wes Miller's defense won him the start Sunday, and he hit the open shots he was given. Prior to that, the 3 pt percentage had been lower than we'd like. As far as perimeter D, if you force Wes, Danny Green and Reyshawn Terry into challenged shots, they'll miss. Don't let them get their feet set, or the percentage goes up. Make them take the difficult ones, and you'll stop the perimeter attack.

4. What is UNC's biggest weakness this season? How should BC attack?

The biggest weakness I've seen by far is the half-court slowdown offense, ESPECIALLY if Hansbrough is on the bench. The offense runs through him - he is option #1. Carolina knows it, the opponents know it, and yet he's been unstoppable. Stop him, deny, or whatever you have to do, and the vehicle breaks down. The Heels are fine in the open floor, but I'm still not confident in the half-court. If you extend the defense and make the Heels play out of the paint, you've thrown a serious wrench in the gears.

Read more about UNC sports at Heels Blog.

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