Welp, that was an extremely frustrating loss. Another hot start and big lead that slowly dwindled away. You can't say the team didn't give effort, though. At no point in the game was I like, "They're not even trying." That's impressive for a noon tipoff on the road. Hopefully it wasn't just because we were playing up to Carolina, and we give that effort for the rest of the year.
Quick thoughts: Everyone is talking about how good our defense was. Honestly, I thought it was pretty similar to previous games, guys were a little more active but UNC flat out missed shots. They had plenty of wide open looks but couldn't get them to fall. I thought this was pretty interesting:
The officiating, maybe it was a little biased. I don't like complaining about refs, but Erick Green looked like he got hacked a few times. That's all I'll say.
The offense progressively got worse as the game went on. We started out sky high with a 12-0 lead facilitated by absolutely fantastic ball movement. Then as the game went on, we ended up in isolation with Erick or Robert Brown every play and the points dried up.
Maybe we got a little tired? I rarely have excuses like that, usually we just suck, but we were doing a great job alternating between man and zone. At the end of the game we strictly played zone, and UNC figured it out (especially in overtime).
Point Guards: Erick played his worst game of the year (scoring wise, at least). Like I said previously, the calls didn't go his way and he had zero free throws for the first time since March 1st of last year. He air balled the game winner and was nowhere to be found in overtime. 7-21 with 16 total points. Figures the one time Tech has a supporting cast E.G. can't get it going.
Marquis Rankin rebounded from his poor defensive performance. 'Quis had 3 steals and was around the ball for much of the day. He had a fast break layup but missed his other attempt (which was a poor shot to take).
Shooting Guards: Robert's shooting slump returned after a good game against Miami. I feel so bad for him. So many of his shots go in and out, it's got to be frustrating. He was 3-12 with 5 turnovers. Certainly was not a good outing for Rob.
Forwards: Jarell Eddie shot poorly today, especially from 3. He finished 2-7 beyond the arc, the majority of which were wide open. With his stroke, there's no excuse for missing those. He was extremely aggressive and got most of his 15 points when he drove. His shot selection wasn't the best sometimes.
The box score sure doesn't show it, but I thought C.J. Barksdale played a good game. He contained James Michael McAdoo for the entire first half but foul trouble caused him to sit. McAdoo then began to find his stroke. C.J.'s one bad play came when he foul JMM in transition and gave up an and-1.
Marshall Wood is still getting used to ACC play. It's only his third game back, but he'll figure it out. He had a nice put-back, but played limited minutes.
Centers: Cadarian was great down low. He finished in double figures and gave UNC trouble in the half court on offense. We went away from him in the second half. He had 8 points in the first and only 4 in the second. That's not his fault though.
Joey van Zegeren was CLUTCH. With around 40 seconds left he had 2 free throws to tie the game. Sank both of them! That's something even Erick struggles to do. He also had a terrific block that got us in transition. Surprisingly, no dunks today.
Stat of the Game: UNC out rebounded us 47-34, including 19 offensive rebounds. We gave them too many possessions and their talent overwhelmed us.
Mike's Player of the Game: I think Cadarian gets the award. For the first time all season, he had back to back double digit scoring games. He's playing great right now and I hope we keep seeing his effort.
After 4 games in 10 days, the Hokies get to rest until Thursday when they take on Maryland at home. It's a 9 pm tip so Cassell should be rocking.