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Old 11-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #157
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Default Re: 2012/13 Observation Deck

Originally Posted by HB40TheNextStar
How do you feel?

This is my line of thinking:

1) 2010 was everything bad happening that could happen.
-Overblown expectations from the pre-season polls.
-A severe lack of leadership within the roster.
-Freshman class was a building block, not instant impact.
-Returning players didn't step up, particularly from the seniors.
-Terrible chemistry (very surprising from a Roy Williams team). There are quotes from players that said the team was divided.
-An unbelievably terrible luck with injuries.
That's pretty much all that anyone should really look at regarding 2010. The injuries, one right after another, ruined what was already going to be a down year. But all your other points are very valid. UNC wasn't a top 10 team that year (like their preseason ranking tried to indicate) even when healthy, but they were an NCAA tournament team.

And, yes, the team chemistry (from what I heard/read) sounded like a bunch of high school drama nonsense where half the team sided with "this" guy and the other half the team sided with "that" guy.

Back to 2010, I'm not sure what was the singular piece that turned that season sour--if there was one. I do believe we definitely make the NCAA Tournament with a healthy team. I realize a lot of the fallout gets pointed back to the three transfers and they're partly to blame. But (imo) most of the blame should probably fall on Ginyard and Thompson.
It was just a really, really weird season. In hindsight, why in the hell did Roy even entertain the John Henson at SF experiment, let alone go through with it? But I agree, the two seniors that year showed virtually zero leadership. Neither were NBA talents (or even NBA athletes) and, on a young team, it didn't help any that our two seniors was a below the rim 6'8" PF, and a 6'5" "defensive specialist" who wasn't even that good of a defender and couldn't shoot. Or course that's being unfair because that was post-injuries Ginyard. He was on his way to being a stud before that.

But those guys were a part of the winningest group of players in UNC history. Not a hyperbole. The 05 class is literally the golden era in terms of winning percentage and total wins in the history of the program. I expected more in the leadership department from them. Don't want to get completely sucked in to this topic again, so...
Again, I agree. It was a major disappointment from a leadership standpoint.

2) The 2013 season
-Overblown expectations?
--Overrated, sure. Most UNC fans said so when we saw the rankings. 2006 gave unreal expectations for what a rebuilding year should be, while 2010 humbled us back down to earth. General expectations seems realistic (5-6 seed first weekend NCAAs) for the mass. Put it this way: When you are rationalizing your ranking by talking about other teams instead of your own, your team is probably not that good. That seemed to be the case this off-season.[/quote]
This. Just like in 2010, people like to "laugh and point" about UNC being so overrated, when any level-headed UNC fan (then and now) would tell you they weren't worthy of their preseason ranking. I felt in 2010 they shouldn't have even been preseason top 10; and this year I thought they should've been ranked in the 20-25 range.

--This I can't comment on yet. However, McDonald and Strickland went out of their way to say that wouldn't be a problem this time around. Those two, of course, being the only remaining players from 2010.
I was disappointed in what I saw in the first half of the Butler game. We fell behind big early, and none of the guys really stepped-up. The guards (Dex, Reggie, Leslie) kept jacking up threes, and McAdoo couldn't have looked any more disinterested. The second half of that game, though, was encouraging. A completely different team came out of the locker room and trimmed a 30 point deficit to 6 or 7 and had the ball to make get it under 5.

-Freshman class: building block or instant impact?
--Thus far, I think it's a little of both. It's difficult because I had no expectations for this class, seeing as it is one of the lowest rated (lowest overall?) Roy has ever brought into this program. To this point they have overachieved. I see two legitimate freshman starters in Johnson and Paige, and James and Tokoto can obviously play right now. Problem is the competition hasn't been great, yet.
There's going to be a lot of ups-and-downs with a freshman running the point in Roy's offense. I've already made my piece with that. I'm not saying Paige will be next Felton or Lawson, but both of them struggled their freshman seasons. However, playing with a lot of passion and intensity is something I've seen in Paige's game (even when he's struggling). I wish we could make Johnson and James one player this season. Johnson is an active player with a high motor and has shown good ability to score around the basket, but he's weak and gets pushed around too easily. Meanwhile, James has shown brief flashes of being a defensive force, and is virtually immovable once he gets position.

-Returning players?
--McAdoo has clearly stepped up his game. Not sure how much after watching him in Maui... But I think a truly poor #1 option, which sounds much worse than it actually is. The other guys are about the same which is good and bad. Good in that they are steady and extremely effective in their roles. Bad in that they are no longer surrounded by 3 lottery picks. PJ is the tipping point in all of this and Bullock is already better than anyone we had on 2010.
The season will ultimately go as P.J. and Reggie go. If they both realize they can be much more than three point shooters, then UNC will be pretty good by the end of the season. Both have prototypical wing size (P.J. at 6'5" 220 and Bullock at 6'6"-6'7" 210) and have shown they can be lethal scorers when the mix up dribble drives with their three point shooting. I think P.J. is the most talented of the two, and both have much higher ceilings than perimeter player on the 2010 team.

--See the "leadership" comments. In post game interviews, the freshman are always talking about how much Bullock, Strickland, and McDonald have been helping them.
It's early, but the chemistry already seems better than it was in 2010. Obviously it won't always look that way, but at least these guys seem to fit together better.

--We shall see. We have certainly been on the short end of this stick since 2009.
Reports today that P.J. is hurt and will probably miss the Indiana game already has me (and a lot of UNC fans) in "here we go again" mode. Hopefully it's just a minor injury that will only cause him to miss one game.

This year? It will come down to 4 key points:
1) McAdoo, Bullock, and Hariston -- How many, if any, can consistently come out and play against the best teams?
2) The freshman and how they progress throughout the season.
3) Injuries.
4) Roy Williams. This is the type of team Coach Smith takes and grooms them into a legitimate top ten team by March. Roy absolutely needs to make adjustments in his game planning (which he started to do in Maui). I have ideas, but I'm no coach. He's supposed to know more about basketball in his little pinky than I do my entire self, so let's see him show why he wins nearly 80% of his games.
Agree with all of this. Like I said, this season will ultimately go as P.J. and Reggie go; McAdoo as well. However, the "x-factor" in having a good season probably ultimately hinges on Pagie's development. He was supposed to come in and be Marshall's back-up his freshman year. Instead, he's been thrown into the fire. If he continues to improve, I don't think the other freshmen's improvement is as vital. Obviously they can't stay where they are now, but Paige is the key.
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