Friday, December 29, 2006

What we've learned: UNC

Now that most of the teams in the ACC have played a league game and are getting ready to start their conference schedules it is a good time to access each team and see what we've learned so far. I'll have a series of short reviews for each team over the next week. We'll start with North Carolina.

North Carolina
What we've learned so far:
This is a powerful, deep and multifaceted team. Like most Roy Williams' squads they are athletic and have speed to burn but are also prone to defensive lapses. The new backcourt players have yet to jell with the hold overs from last years' squad and Williams hasn't found a rotation that seems to work. The reduced roles of Reyshawn Terry and Bobby Frasor have resulted in a decline in the perimeter defense for Carolina. Freshman Ty Lawson is too short to be a very effective perimeter defender. Scary as it may be freshman forward Brandan Wright may be even better than Tyler Hansbrough by the end of the season. He can score and rebound but is also a far superior defensive presence than Hansbrough. Wright already leads Carolina with 21 blocks compared to Hansbrough's 4. Even with all the talent this Carolina team has significant weaknesses and is at least another season away from being a national champion caliber team. They should be favored to win the ACC with relative ease but their loss to Gonzaga showed that the Tarheels can be an inconsistent bunch. Unless Roy Williams can find a better recipe for rotations Carolina will not play up to their talent level.

Key Wins:
Tennessee, Ohio State, Kentucky

Bad Losses:

Prediction: 1st place (13-3)

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