UNC beat Virginia Tech, but there are wins and there are wins, and this wasn't a great win for the Heels, according to coach Roy Williams, who made one of his periodic references to mental health and/or suicide (this was really a mental health reference, unlike previous comments about wanting to jump out of an airplane, for instance).
|Monday's ACC Action|
|Pitt @ Duke||7:00||ESPN|
|Florida State @ Clemson||9:00||ESPNU|
|UNC 68 Virginia Tech 53|
Williams had planned to skip practice to let his battered team rest. But not now:
"Trying to cut back practice for everybody, and that's my fault. We've tried to cut back practice to take care of our health. But now I want to take care of my health — mentally. That'll be the concern during practice [tonight]."
We know these are meant to be humorous, self-deprecating attempts at humor, but humor on some level always points to truth, so you have to wonder what he's feeling when he says stuff like this. We're pretty sure he's not jumping out of a plane or checking into a clinic, but it's just an odd window. Most people would rather walk by without looking in.
He's right though, it wasn't a great game for the Heels.
UNC had 17 turnovers and didn't get to the line at all in the first half. Ol' Roy wanted more inside play against Buzz Williams' small and thin roster.
Still, there were bright spots. Justin Jackson perked up, scoring 16 and hitting two three pointers. Brice Johnson had a double-double (12 points, 11 boards), and Isaiah Hicks had a pretty good game.
All in all though it wasn't satisfactory, so injuries and all be damned. Coach's mental health is on the line.
We know there's more to Williams than this one weird tic. But it is...one weird tic.
Jim Larranaga did a nice thing before the Duke game, calling an old Miami basketball player who was near death.
Once a 'Cane, always a 'Cane, Larranaga said.
Jim Palma's son, Larry, said his dad was thrilled. It was also the last phone call he ever took; he died Sunday.
Aside from playing ball for Miami, Palma was one of a dwindling number of World War II vets.
If you get to DC anytime soon, you should make it a point of honor to stop by the World War II memorial. Every day, busloads of veterans pull up. Many of them are in wheelchairs or on walkers, making their last trip. Even now they're half-forgotten.
If you get a chance, if you're near it, stop by. Just seeing them is moving and talking to some amazing.
It reminds us of watching the elder George Bush talk about Pearl Harbor on the 50th anniversary and breaking down in tears.
Our comfort rests on their pain. It was a nice thing for Larranaga to do and clearly it meant a lot.
We were reasonably confident that Clemson would tie Syracuse in knots in Littlejohn, but we also expected a few things from Jim Boeheim, specifically restaurant complaints/jabs and press conference crankiness.
We didn't see the rude food comments, but Boeheim did get testy about a question he got.