UNC-TX A&M: The Good & The Bad

With three consecutive wins, the North Carolina Tar Heels have evened their record at 5-5 after routing Texas A&M, 96-62, on Sunday at the Dean Dome.

Here is the good and the bad from UNC's fifth win in ten games: 


Jason Capel – Capel's shooting continues to improve. He was 8-11 from the floor, grabbed 16 rebounds and handed out four assists to along with another excellent floor game. 

Brian Morrison – Morrison, who played just 18 minutes, put on a clinic scoring 13 points and handing out six assists without committing a turnover for the second consecutive game. He also drained three of six 3-pointers and provided a spark to the Heels' flow. 

Brian Bersticker – The sweet shooting big man continues to play with increased confidence at both ends of the floor. He finished with eight points and eight rebounds, ran the floor well and altered at least four shots to go with a block. In time, the Heels might have a nice trio inside of Bersticker, Kris Lang and Jawad Williams, which will allow Capel to spend more time at his natural No. 3 spot.  

Jawad Williams – Williams scored 15 points on 7-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in 20 athletic minutes. He even hit another 3-pointer, displaying his overall ability. The Ohio freshman has elevated his game significantly in the last two weeks.  

Kris Lang – In his first game back after missing the wins over St. Joe's and N.C. A&T, Lang scored 13 points and had five rebounds in only 15 minutes of action. 

Matt Doherty – Doherty pushed the right buttons after the Charleston loss dropped the Heels to 2-5. He appears to be learning from coaching mistakes and player capabilities and is molding the team to fit his vision. Sunday was a snapshot of what UNC hoops will probably look like in the future. 

Bench/depth – UNC's bench scored 36 points but more importantly is beginning to provide Doherty capable options. Nine Heels played 15 or more minutes 

Shooting – The Heels were 37-68 (54.4%) from the field including a respectable 9-22 (40.9%) from behind the arc and have been above 50% overall in each of the last three wins. UNC has averaged 98 points during the three-game winning streak after averaging 64.6 in the first seven games. 

Unselfishness/execution – The Heels had 26 assists on 37 field goals and only 11 turnovers. Melvin Scott, who has averaged more turnovers than assists, didn't give the ball away while Jackie Manuel had four dishes. The Heels' movement and cutting compliments a more alert yet relaxed approach and they are making sound decisions. The spacing was excellent on Sunday and the team is filling the lanes well on the break.  

Rebounding – The Tar Heels dominated the Aggies on the glass, 50-34. The Heels had 15 offensive boards. Credit desire, more consistent boxing out, hustle and more confident hands for UNC's improved board work.  

Defense – A&M was a lousy 27-77 (35.1%) from the field, including a wretched 1-20 from 3-point range. The Heels did a nice job defending the perimeter and held A&M ‘s leading scorer Bernard King to just 4-14 from the floor and eight points. 


Jackie Manuel's shooting – Manuel's ballhandling has improved over the last few games but his shooting (3-9 against A&M) remains a concern. He shoots a flat jump shot with little rotation on the ball. Most of his jumpers and free throws appear to come off the top of his palm, which limits lift and rotation on the shot.  

Competition – Considering their overall performance over the firsts even games, it would be wise to judge them more on how they are currently playing, not against whom they are playing. Yet it can't be forgotten that St. Joe's (overrated even with Marvin O'Connor), and especially A&T and A&M are not near the level of teams the Heels will need to beat to reach the postseason.

Defensive boards – Considering UNC's overall dominance on the glass, but A&M had 14 offensive rebounds. Carolina needs to cut this number down to a maximum between 8-10 per game. 


The Heels host ACC rival and nationally ranked Wake Forest on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. In its next three contests, UNC will also travel to Maryland and entertain Virginia.


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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