Not a whole lot can be said about that performance. Virginia dominated us physically, and mentally, and we fell right into every defensive trap. Our offensive game plan was to create reversal and ball movement, not dribble on the strong side. For some reason, we did the opposite. I believe it was due to over-hyped emotion. Lets look at the offensive example:
- 0 Reversals – 3/19 fg, 6 turnovers
- 1 Reversal – 4/12 fg, 4 turnovers (2 fouls drawn)
- 2 Reversals – 7/15 fg, 3 turnovers (3 fouls drawn)
- 3 Reversals – 8/12 fg, 0 turnovers (4 fouls drawn)
- 4 Reversals – 1/1 fg, 0 turnovers (1 foul drawn)
So why, if that was our game plan, did we dribble so much to the strong side without reversal? Over-hyped and poor attention to detail. Nanu did not practice and had a difficult stomach bug. We came off a road victory, not knowing what Virginia was all about. Disappointing, to say the least, but this is a highly inexperienced team. They will have to fight and prepare meticulously for wins in February.
Stay optimistic. They are young with many flaws but are willing to learn. North Carolina is a different team than Virginia. They are the best transition squad in college basketball.
* North Carolina is ranked #1 in points in the paint at 46 per game among the power five conferences.
* Almost 20% of their points come from transition.
* They shoot 60% on the break
* Brice Johnson is ranked 6th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage. Also, he is the third most efficient player in the country statistically according to Ken Pomeroy.
* Marcus Paige is the career leader in Carolina history in three-point field goals made at 254.
* 61% of their offense come from two-pointers (third in the country)
Obviously we have our work cut out for us. I can’t explain the Virginia game. We have to get Nanu back in peak form, Trey and Damion more focused, and we have to become a much more defensively reliable team.
I believe the Final Four teams this year will be the ones that have experience. If we can survive February, we will have gained plenty of that.