A Big Step Backwards
Just when it looked like Carolina was hitting their mid-season stride, they faced their first conference road opponent. It was ugly, in fact it was the worst defeat for Roy Williams since returning to North Carolina. The Tar Heels fell to Florida State 90-57.
North Carolina came off of a decent conference win against Miami earlier in the week in a workmanlike effort. On Saturday, they did just about everything bad that could have been done. The Tar Heels shot a season low percentage from the field, from the line and it was the lowest number of assists that they have dished out this season.
On top of that, their defense yielded 12 three points and allowed Deividas Dulkys to score 32 points on the game.
The Tar Heels went 22-59 from the floor, 4-21 from behind the three point arch and 9-20 from the free throw line. It was just plain ugly. Roy Williams took the bulk of the blame, "I did the worst job of coaching a team that I've ever done, and I did the worst job of preparing a team that I've ever done...There is no facet of the game we don't need to work on...From free throws to box outs to guarding the ball to help side defense to not turning the ball over." Williams said.
Carolina was simply out played, out hustled and lacked the energy to over come the large second half Florida State lead that built from a halftime deficit of 8. It simply could not have been worse.
To make matters even more difficult for this team, they head to Blacksburg next for another tough road game, one that now appears huge for momentum purposes. I suspect this team will show a much greater effort in that game but Virginia Tech is always tough at home.
Harrison Barnes led the Tar Heels with 15 points while Tyler Zeller had 14 points and 14 rebounds on the day.
Carolina falls to 15-3, 2-1 in conference play and will certainly take a tumble in the national rankings this week.
(Photo by STEVE CANNON — AP)