UNC-FSU: The Good & the Bad

The North Carolina Tar Heels overcame a large deficit without their best player and almost pulled off an impressive victory before falling at Florida State, 81-71, at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

The loss dropped the Heels to an astonishing 5-9 overall and 1-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here is a look at the good and bad of UNC's loss:


Kris Lang – Lang was a horse and devoured FSU inside. He had three conventional three-point plays and kept the Heels in the game, often lifting them with his powerful moves, sending a notice that the Heels weren't going to quit. He also did a decent job defensively and showed the kind of leadership that was necessary considering classmate Jason Capel was missing. For the game Lang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Adam Boone – Boone, who scored 12 points, turned the ball over four times compared to just two assists but he showed the kind of grit this team needs and gave signs of leadership. He penetrated well on a few occasions and used his body well to get some tough shots off. His defense lapsed at times and his physical limitations were obvious, but he did enough nice things to help put the team in position to win until a couple of late mistakes. At this point, his play was positive enough to be recognized.

Orlando Melendez – Melendez gave the Heels a huge lift on both ends of the floor. He, like the others, made some ugly mistakes, but he did contribute six points, had three rebounds and had a beautiful blocked shot. If anything, he brought energy to the floor.

Jawad Williams – Williams hit five of 10 field goals for 11 points. He is an excellent shooter, especially from the perimeter, but UNC needs him to be much more of a force inside. He does have a sweet stroke and should shoot more when open.

Comeback – The Heels trailed 28-10 and showed a lot of grit by coming back and eventually taking the lead at 50-49. Carolina went through a stretch where it showed resilience and the players made quality decisions with the ball. The comeback, however, was engineered by stepped up play on the defensive end. Considering the losses, this is something UNC can build on.


Brian Morrison – Morrison, who scored just seven points, spent another game seemingly lost much of the time. He didn't shoot for the first 11 minutes of the game although he didn't miss any of the time. He made just two of seven field goals and appeared too tentative with the ball. For a player with his skills and potential, this has to be mental.

Jawad Williams – Other than Williams' shooting he had a tough night. He continues to shy away from physical play and was beaten on the glass too often. On a few occasions, he didn't even raise his hands when "defending" shots within 10 feet of the basket. He has extraordinary potential but plays way too soft. Until he toughens up, he will be nothing more than a mediocre player on a poor team.

Will Johnson – Johnson played 24 minutes and didn't take a shot. He leads the Heels in 3-point shooting percentage and has a nice stroke but just won't shoot. He does a lot of little things well on the floor but when a team is as offensively challenged as the Heels, they need a fifth player on the floor much more aggressive with the ball than Johnson.

Jason Capel – Had Capel played the Heels would have likely won the game. They missed his tenacity in the paint defensively, floor leadership and rebounding, especially in crucial situations.

Late game – The Heels trailed 61-60 with less than six minutes left but were outscored 20-11 the rest of the way, and it wasn't even that close. The Heels did not take smart shots, showed little patience and appeared unprepared to close out a tight game. Their confidence in close games must be very low at this point.


The Heels travel to Storrs, Conn., to take on the UConn Huskies on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.

Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He 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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