Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rebuilding?

I said before the season started that this Tar Heel team would be fun to watch. I did NOT envision them being half a game out of second place in the conference and with 18 wins under their belts with a couple of weeks of the season to go. This class was supposed to be like the Jawad Williams-Jackie Manuel-Melvin Scott class - keeping things going for a year until the really big recruiting class came in, then becoming the complimentary players surrounding those guys. I'm glad Hansbrough, Frasor, Green and Ginyard decided not to wait.

But for all the stellar play from the freshmen, it has been the emergence of former role players (or non-players) like Wes Miller, Reyshaun Terry and Byron Sanders that has really been fun to watch. I've always been a fan of Miller and was convinced that he was capable of a lot. What has been surprising has been his ball defense, which has kept Ginyard out of a starting role for now. I NEVER thought Terry would be more than a touch-and-shoot player and to see him become a damn fine rebounder and to actually pass the ball is one of the great stories of the season. And I no longer cringe every time Sanders is in the game - his emergence as a steady defender and occasional scorer from the paint has allowed Hansbrough to get a little rest in even tight games.

Three games to go - UVa and Maryland at home and Duke at Cameron. While we're capable of beating anyone, I wouldn't put money on the Pistons beating Duke on Senior Day at Cameron in Redick and Sheldon Williams' last home game. Maryland and Virginia are both at our place, but our road record is better than home this season and Virginia's already beaten us once. We SHOULD win both, but even just picking up one would give us a 10-6 conference record and almost definitely a 1st round bye in the ACC tournament. Not bad for a rebuilding year.

2 Comments:

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Lex said...

The blossoming of both the frosh and the erstwhile role players has been fun to watch AND indicative in a lot of ways that the Program that Dean Built is still around. (What other program could have turned Serge Zwikker into a quasi-legitimate NBA draft prospect?)

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous PC said...

Roy should be ACC coach of the year after last night's whupping in Raleigh. This is the team that was supposed to be 6th in the conference, after all.

And I've been impressed with Miller, too, TP--watch how he moves his feet on defense. (And you'll recall that the guy defending Redick when he pulled that regrettably sweet behind-the-back dribble to pull up for three was Ginyard.)

 

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