NCSU-UNC: The Good & the Bad

For the first time in school history the North Carolina Tar Heels are six games under .500 after Wednesday's 77-59 Loss to rival N.C. State at the Dean E. Smith Center.

UNC fell to 5-11 overall with the loss and 1-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here is a look at the good and the bad of Carolina's sixth consecutive defeat:


Kris Lang - Lang connected on 11 field goals as he matched a career high 27 points while the rest of the Heels managed just nine field goals - combined! Lang played with great intensity and was a force inside. Of UNC's players, he was the one who looked like a Tar Heel from years past.

Jonathan Holmes - According to coach Matt Doherty, Holmes has been a tireless worker in practice and the day before the game continued a difficult drill despite throwing up, making it clear he will work as hard as he has to, regardless. Holmes had just one assist in seven minutes but at least faced the defense and got the ball inside as opposed to being satisfied with kicking it to the wing all the time.

Students - When the Heels left the floor after the game most of the students gave the team a loud ovation in support of their effort but more to say they know it will get better and to give the frustrated players their warmth and approval. It was rather interesting, especially considering this is all new to everyone involved.

Dance Team - The dance team made its first appearance of the year and added quite a bit to the atmosphere at the Dean Dome.


Same old struggles - It was really more of the same for the Heels. Poor ballhandling, few quality looks, little screening, few cuts to the basket, no backdoors, thin interior defense, slow perimeter defense, breakdowns defending the dribble and another lopsided defeat.

Ticket sellers - It makes no sense that so many UNC fans would bail on their team but it makes less sense that they also opted to sell or give their tickets to their rivals' fans. There were at least 5,000 red-clad N.C. State supporters in attendance and they were much louder by comparison to UNC's fans.

Personnel decisions - With the Heels attempting a comeback Brian Morrison was surprisingly on the bench. Although streaky, Morrison is one player capable of leading a comeback especially if hot from the perimeter. He missed about six consecutive minutes before re-entering the game with 3:36 left and the Heels down big.

Shots - Carolina took just 48 shots from the field and Lang had 15 of them. Williams and Morrison took nine shots each and after than no other Heel attempted more than four field goals. An already poor offense certainly isn't more difficult to defend when its players don't look for their shots.

Confidence - The Heels played hard but didn't appear to play with much confidence, especially after State's run that answered UNC cutting the margin to 50-44 early in the second half. From that point on there was little doubt, which team would win, and both teams appeared to know it.


The Tar Heels travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. Game time is 6 p.m. will be televised on 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:

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