UNC-NC A&T: The Good and the Bad

For the second consecutive game, the North Carolina Tar Heels had some fun during their 104-66 pummeling of North Carolina A&T. After perhaps bottoming out in the loss to the College of Charleston last week, the Heels are beginning to gain confidence with a more aggressive offensive approach

Here is a look at the good and bad of UNC's fourth win of the season and first ever meeting with the Aggies.


Jason Capel – Capel's attitude and desire is the heart and soul of this team. Limited athletically, he continues to produce, as was the case on Thursday. His 26 points was one shy of equaling his career high. Perhaps more encouraging was his 9-14 effort from the floor, which was easily his best shooting night of the season. The senior also grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists.

Jawad Williams – Williams is beginning to display why he was so highly recruited last year. The impressive freshman scored 20 points on 7-9 shooting and dished out three assists. His floor game is improving and he appears more comfortable with his mates on the court.

Adam Boone – This was easily Boone's best game as a Tar Heel. He scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists in just 14 minutes of playing time. The Minnesota native deserves credit for remaining positive and focused despite the significant reduction of his playing time.

Brian Bersticker – Continuing to take advantage of his extra playing time, Bersticker had 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and a surprising three assists in 21 minutes of action. He has a beautiful jump shot, especially along the baseline within 12 feet of the basket, and his athletic ability makes him a dangerous weak side offensive rebounder. With increased confidence he and Williams will make life a lot easier for Kris Lang inside.

Brian Morrison – Morrison has now had consecutive productive games after following up his 19-point effort against St. Joe's with a 13-point, five-assist performance. He played relaxed and within the framework of the team and didn't commit a turnover.

Shooting – Carolina was 37-74 (50%) from the field, including 16-33 from 3-point range. This marks the second consecutive game the Heels have been above 50% and in that span are 26-53 from behind the arc.

Ballhandling – The unselfish Tar Heels had 31 assists to go with 37 field goals. Eight players had three or more assists, including Will Johnson (5), Jackie Manuel (3) and Melvin Scott (3). Improved spacing, movement and ball rotation makes the offensive side of the game easier and more fun, as the Heels are learning.

Defense - The Heels held the Aggies to 37.9% from the field and just four assists. That's right, only four of their 22 field goals were assisted. A&T also committed 18 turnovers.

Easy win - The Heels needed to have fun and easy wins are usually fun, especially when a team has struggled as much as UNC has. The players should be feeling pretty good about themselves right now. The Tar Heels improved to 4-5 with the win.


Kris Lang - Lang missed his second consecutive game with a ligament damage in his right ankle. He is expected to play on Sunday against Texas A&M.

Starting backcourt - Melvin Scott and Jackie Manuel were a combined 4-16 from the field. Scott was just 1-8 but his floor game was solid and he had more assists than turnovers (3-1). Manuel needs plenty of work on his often flat shot in which he appears to use too much of his palm upon releasing the ball. He did manage five rebounds though.

Free throw shooting - Carolina did show a slight improvement from the past few games, but still made just 14 of 22 (63.6%) free throws. Capel hit six of eight but Williams, who is shooting 36% from the charity stripe this season, continued his struggles going just 4-8.


The Tar Heels return to action on Sunday at 8 p.m. as Texas A&M of the Big XII comes to town. This is a huge game for the Heels as they can enter ACC play with a three-game winning streak and a .500 record. The game will be televised by FoxSportsNet.

Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.

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