South Boston News & Record
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UNC facing challenges
SoVaNow.com / November 14, 2012North Carolina will begin a challenging period of self discovery this week.
The Tar Heels are 2-0 following Sunday’s blowout win over Florida Atlantic, but the task gets considerably tougher for the Heels. UNC gets Long Beach State tomorrow night in California, followed by more action in the Maui Invitational. UNC starts the tropical journey with Mississippi State and then the Heels meet Butler or Marquette before the Heels’ third game in Hawaii.
Later this month UNC travels to meet Indiana in a high-octane matchup.
The Heels, who easily dismissed Florida Atlantic, 80-56, had some positives from the second outing of the season. UNC was much better in ball security, with 23 assists and 17 turnovers. UNC overwhelmed FAU on the boards, 56-36, and showcased far better marksmanship from 3-point range, finishing six of 15 from the bonusphere. Carolina had four players to finish in double figures, as James Michael McAdoo has emerged carrying the most significant leadership role for this team, as expected. McAdoo had 19 points, 11 rebounds and two steals in 29 minutes.
Freshman point Marcus Paige continued to struggle with his shooting, as he went one-for-eight overall from the field, and 0-for-4 from three-point land. Paige had a more consistent overall floor game, with six assists and three turnovers in 25 minutes.
Reggie Bullock emerged playing more aggressively, scoring 16 points, while adding four assists, three rebounds, one block and a steal, with just two turnovers, in 24 minutes.
The Heels shot 43.7 percent from the field, including 54.4 percent in the second half.
Roy Williams said the Heels improved as a team, including a better defensive focus. But UNC also had shaky first-half field goal shooting (13-for-38), and free throw consistency remains a question mark. UNC made just 12 of 27 from the foul line.
Williams said Carolina has shown tremendous consistency from the foul line in practice, and the Tar Heels have given this facet of the game serious attention there.
Paige also continued to work through his early freshman experience at Carolina and showed improvement in game two, according to Williams.
Carolina has to improve its overall toughness and attention to detail in a basketball sense. Williams noted, for instance, that so far McAdoo is taking more charges than anyone else on the team, and the coach wants to see examples of intangible toughness across the lineup.
UNC has to become smoother offensively, but, then again, with the personnel losses Carolina had in the offseason, Williams could have some significant challenges successfully molding this team together.
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