UNC Thoughts and Observations

It was not a fun one to watch for the Wildcats. North Carolina blew out the Wildcats at McKale. It was a one-sided contest by a young team that looks like it can make noise in March. Here are my thoughts and observations.

*I don't care what other people say, the Wildcats look tired. Especially Jawann McClellan, Ivan Radenovic and Chase Budinger. When the legs go three aspects of your game usually go. Jump shooting, defense and moving without the ball are all affected by tired legs and those are all things the Cats are not doing well right now.

*Hats off the Jordan Hill. He has played back-to-back solid games and deserves to move back into the starting line-up. He still has a ways to go, but the strides he has made recently are astounding. He does try to dunk every time, so adding a few more offensive moves could benefit him. Overall he is one of the few bright spots over the last week.

*McClellan is still in a funk. In fact he almost looks afraid to shoot the basketball. On Saturday he passed up a few open shots and any confidence he gained against ASU was lost in the UNC game.

*With apologies to UCLA, Carolina is the best team the Wildcats have played this season. They aren't quite as good defensively as the Bruins, but are a far better offensive team.

*Teams have figured Ivan Radenovic out. He's relying far too much on the head fake and drive to the hoop and teams are cutting him off. Several times on Saturday he got the ball with the back to the basket in good position only to turn all the way around and try to utilize his face-up game. He's better as a face-up big man but he needs to use some traditional post moves to keep the defense from setting up. He's shown in the past that he is capable of playing with his back to the basket in small doses.

He's also been real hesitant. A few weeks ago he seemed to know exactly what he was going to do with the ball as it got there. Now, especially on the perimeter, he seems to be thinking too much.

*Arizona had nine turnovers at the half. Didn't it seem like a lot more?

*Mustafa Shakur had his worst game of the year but don't call his hear into question. He played poorly, but he played hard. The hustle he showed in getting back on the break and blocking two shots shows me a player who really cares about the winning and losing.

*Marcus Williams showed great toughness and heart when he returned to the game in the second half after hurting his ankle, but he should never have stayed in past the television timeout after he came back in. It was clear he was nowhere near 100% and is too valuable for the rest of the season to lose in a game that was basically a lost cause at the at point.

*Since the New Year the three Wildcat wins have come against Washington, Oregon State and ASU, the bottom three teams in the Pac-10.

*When Jordan Hill picked up the charging foul down 13 in the second half, the game was basically over. Instead of going for a three-point play, the Tar Heels got the ball and scored. That was a five-point turnaround and gave Hill his fourth foul.

*If I told you Tyler Hansbrough would have zero field goals and just two points at the half would you have thought the Cats would have been down 20? Me neither.

*In case you missed it, the 28-point loss was the worst home loss of the Lute Olson era. The 1-23 shooting from behind the arc had to be close as well.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories