North Carolina Continues to Improve Following Rout of Georgia Tech

Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

It was only two weeks ago when North Carolina was only 10-5 and 0-2 in ACC play.  At that time, they looked like they were headed for the NIT unless they can pick up their intensity on the court.

Carolina had gone on a two-game winning streak after beating Florida State and Maryland heading into last nights contest against Georgia Tech.  A game in which North Carolina had to make a statement against arguably the worst team in the conference.

Reggie Bullock, James Michael McAdoo, and P.J. Hairston shined for the Tar Heels, as they easily beat the Yellow Jackets by 19 points.  The Tar Heels put up 79 points on only 43% shooting and 35% from behind the arc.

On offense, the Tar Heels have done what they have done all year and that is moving the ball and finding the open man.  Also a major part to their offensive success has been getting to the free throw line.  They got their 22 times, but only made 13 which needs to improve.  The Tar Heels were able to rack up 19 assists which is right around their average that ranks top 10 in the country.

Offense wasn’t the problem in their losses this year though.  The defensive intensity has really picked up in the last 3 wins for the Tar Heels and yesterday was no different.  They were able to hold Georgia Tech to 36% shooting by limiting the amount of open shots they gave up.  They were also able to close out on the outside shot more effectively, only letting up 4 three’s on 15 attempts.

North Carolina’s on ball defense was spectacular and that allowed them to do what they do best, and get out in transition for easy baskets.  As a team Carolina was able to record 9 steals and 10 blocked shots.  That is playing with defensive intensity, and it pays off.  Also, UNC forced Georgia Tech into a total of 19 turnovers which limits the amount of chances the other team has to score.

Right now, it seems like everyone is doing their job.  Dexter Strickland, a great on ball defender racked up 3 steals and 6 assists.  Desmond Hubert, a long, lanky defender was able to record 5 blocked shots.  Marcus Paige was able to rack up 6 assists and Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto, and Joel James all came off the bench and played well.

Hairston, Bullock, and McAdoo are the teams main scorers and did just that.  They all scored in double figures and combined for 46 points and also 17 rebounds.

Everyone is finding their role and with that, Carolina looks like a whole new team.  They are becoming a dangerous team to play now.

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