Wake 84, UNC 62: The Good and Bad

In just four minutes, the North Carolina Tar Heels went from a confident bunch to an unsure and tight group as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons stormed into the Dean Smith Center and pounded UNC, 84-62.

Here is a look at the good and the bad of UNC's loss that ended a three-game winning streak and dropped the Heels below .500 to 5-6 and 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Brian Morrison – Morrison (12 points and two assists) is the only player on the team capable of consistently putting the ball on the floor and taking it to the basket. Other players usually get tied up or lose the ball. Morrison, who has 13 assists and no turnovers in the last three games, is the team's most creative passer, most lethal perimeter shooter and is capable of pulling up in the lane and dropping in an eight-footer. His defense is also better than many realize. He should start and play 32-35 minutes a game, not get the paltry 19 he got on Saturday, of which, only four came in the second half. He was also on the bench during both of Wake's key runs, which were gift wrapped because of UNC's horrid ball handling and inability to score. Considering UNC's obvious weakness at point guard, maybe Morrison is the answer for 20 minutes a night.

Adam Boone – Boone (10 points, four assists and three turnovers) made some things happen but after a while, began to revert to his usual ways. He was more aggressive and converted some nice runners, displaying newfound confidence. He is a smart player and clearly knows what to do, but his limited athletic ability hampers his intent too often – on both ends of the floor. He can be a decent backup, but isn't the answer as the regular point.

Jason Capel – Capel led the Heels with 13 points and nine rebounds but wasn't as sharp as he has been of late His effort, however, was at maximum level once again and for that the senior will always draw praise.

Broken clip board – When Matt Doherty slammed a clipboard to the ground in the second half - breaking it into many pieces - he displayed the necessary fire it may take to get this team on track again. With conference play in full swing now, there is no time for tenderness, despite the team's youth and inexperience.


Press offense – Unable to handle Wake's pressure defense, the Heels turned the ball over six times in the first three minutes allowing the Deacons to take a quick 10-2 lead. UNC appeared unprepared for Wake's approach, and if they were the players did an awful job executing. The spacing was poor, nobody helped out the ballhandlers and the Heels struggled dribbling to break the pressure. In the process, Carolina turned the ball over a season-high 21 times. Even when the Heels didn't turn the ball over, they used eight and nine seconds to get the ball across the midcourt line. And even then they were unsettled and had difficulty in getting a flow going.

Point guards – Melvin Scott turned the ball over six times to go along with one assist in just nine minutes of action. Scott, who played a lot of "2" in high school, is a hard worker and has a great attitude but he isn't getting the job done. He is averaging 2.7 turnovers to 2.1 assists per game. Matt Doherty needs to make a change.

Jackie Manuel – Manuel continues to struggle with his flat shot (2-11, six points) as well as all forms of ballhandling. He is averaging 1.8 turnovers and assists per game and can't dribble by defenders. In time, he will be a fine player but right now his limited offensive game adds little to the offense and his role should be reduced. Compared to Morrison, well, there is no comparison.

Matt Doherty – The Heels didn't appear prepared for Wake's pressure defense. If they were, Doherty can't take full responsibility for how awful his team handled it. He can, however, take responsibility for not playing Morrison enough and continuing to start freshmen Scott and Manuel in the backcourt. Morrison gives the Heels a better chance of winning than either Manuel or Scott. UNC's problems are a lot more on the offensive end than defensive. Giving Morrison more minutes will make the Heels a more aggressive and capable offensive team and take some pressure off the defense.

Empty stretch – Carolina went 11:42 without a field goal in the second half as Wake extended a 52-43 advantage to 73-46.

Kris Lang – Somehow Lang managed to play 21 minutes despite constant pain in his knee. He had just four points but grabbed six rebounds during his time even though he probably shouldn't have been on the floor, especially after the dunk on the break that aggravated an already uncomfortable knee. As long as he can't contribute regular minutes his injury will land him in the "bad" section. His absence is too huge to ignore against conference foes.

Shooting – The Heels were just 24-66 (36.4%) from the field and 7-12 (58.3%) from the free throw line. The 12 free throw attempts are nearly as disturbing as the shooting percentages. Carolina must get to the line more often if it is going to beat quality teams such as Wake.


The Tar Heels travel to College Park, Md., to take on Maryland on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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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