Three ACC games to run dwon from last night - UNC
dominated Davidson in Charlotte -and brought fans out for the first time in
a while in the Queen City, too - winning 91-68. Florida State
beat Georgetown of Kentucky 81-67, and Clemson survived High Point, 88-81.
Let's start with UNC. We got to watch part of this game, and were
struck by how much UNC now resembles Kansas. Duh, you say, but time was
Kansas was said to resemble UNC. Now, UNC doesn't resemble UNC so
much. Say what?
Well, what we mean is that Ol' Roy's style has evolved significantly from
Dean Smith's. There's more running and more offensive freedom. You don't
want to say it's a lack of discipline, because that's certainly not the case,
but Smith's system was more tightly controlled. Switching, trapping
defenses were where UNC usually started to run, and if a layup did not ensue,
then the ball went to the secondary break and then moved around for a high
It's not that Williams junked the system entirely, but his players seem much
freer to improvise within the system. Smith used to say that only the
disciplined person was free (we can't remember right now who he was quoting -
Kieerkegard?). In the Williams offense, there just seems to be less inhibition,
and since we're fans of the spontaneous aspects of the game, that's good news.
Jawad Williams had a sensational game for the Heels, scoring 28 points on
nearly perfect shooting.
The discipline thing is still evolving - Ol' Roy said he was mad at Felton,
even though he had 12 assists, and Rashad McCants went chest-to-chest with
Davidson's Matt McKillop, who had just given him a hard foul. Ol' Roy said
the woofing will stop. That'd be nice. Davidson did outrebound UNC,
with only Williams, Sean May, Jackie Manuel, and Raymond Felton getting
meaningful board action, with 7, 7, 6 and 4 respectively. This is an area
where, given UNC's size limitations, you'd expect Rashad McCants to contribute
more, and certainly David Noel when he comes back.
Let's just be upfront about this: in their darkest hour, FSU should never
trail a D-2 team at the half. Yet trail they did, 45-41. That's
22 turnovers didn't help. Statistically, Michael Joiner stunk it up, as
did Mike Mathews and Nate Johnson. Even so, how did they manage to play so
badly? Answer? They weren't that bad. And Georgetown is NAIA, not D-2.
Clemson managed to win the first and second half against High Point, but
never quite shook them, and that's probably not a great way to start the season.
At least for now, freshman Vernon Hamilton has won the point guard spot. He
started along with Olu Babalola, Chris Hobbs, Sharrod Ford, and Chey
Christie. Clemson only got 44 minutes from the bench, and only 13
points. If that's what they're getting against High Point, ACC time is
going to be brutal.
On the bright side, Sharrod Ford had 17 points and 11 boards and shot
8-12. Chris Hobbs shot 6-9 and hit for 15.
Just out of curiosity, UNC got 52 bench minutes, and 11 points. Of those,
Jackie Manuel had 21 minutes and 8 points. It's probably smart to use him
off the bench since he has a lot of versatility. It's somewhat similar to
how Mike Dunleavy was used as a freshman.
Tomorrow, George Mason plays Maryland and Howard travels to N.C. State.
In a bit of other news, UVa's
Gary Forbes was named ACC Rookie Of The Week, and Tech's Jarret
Jack was named Player Of The Week.
here's an update of former Wake star Josh Howard, who is not getting a lot
of minutes, but is getting raves from Don and Donn Nelson. By the way,
does it weird anyone else out that the kid refers to his dad as