UNC-UConn: The Good & the Bad

The North Carolina Tar Heels continued their astounding slide as they were demolished by the Connecticut Huskies, 86-54, at Storrs, Conn. on Saturday. The Heels dropped to 5-10 on the season and must win nine of their final 12 games just to guarantee a spot in the NIT.

Here is a look at UNC's ugly loss, which did not include Jason Capel, who missed the game due to a concussion suffered in practice earlier in the week:


Grasping for straws – Despite being destroyed, nobody got seriously hurt!!! … After sitting on the end of the bench for three and a half years Orlando Melendez (seven points and three rebounds in 16 minutes) is seeing some action and has been better than many expected. He provides athleticism and has a great attitude. … Jawad Williams (14 points and eight rebounds) showed some spunk – at least early - around the glass but remains way too soft, especially on defense.


Will Johnson –Once again he didn't take a shot and had just one assist. One must wonder why a team so offensively challenged has a player not willing to shoot on the floor for 25 minutes, as was the case on Saturday. In the last four games Johnson is 0-3 from the floor in 83 minutes of action.

Kris Lang – Lang had a lot of nice looks but had perhaps his worst shooting game as a Tar Heel. He was 6-21 (15 points) from the floor with just two rebounds in 30 minutes.

Rebounding – The Heels were pounded on the glass again, this time to the tune of 41-29.

DEFENSE – Where was it?

Personnel decisions – It's not as if this matters in a 40-point game, but Johnson and Jackie Manuel get way too many minutes and Morrison doesn't get nearly enough. Manuel appears to have a longer leash when making mistakes than Morrison. As awful as the Heels are, especially at the point, maybe it is time for Morrison to get the call at the point. What do the Heels have to lose at this point?

Long faces – Matt Doherty said he saw long faces on his players late in the game. Once UConn went on its run after UNC's solid start most of the players performed as if a blowout was inevitable. Doherty's toughest task is keeping the team unified because a lot of damage can be done in the next seven weeks before this season mercifully ends. Few envy Doherty's job right now.


The Heels return home on Wednesday to take on rival N.C. State at 9 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on Raycom JP Sports. This might be the first time State is favored in Chapel Hill since 1974.

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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