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College Basketball

No. 4 Tar Heels ready to prove themselves in ACCs

Posted March 5, 2012
Updated March 6, 2012

— North Carolina didn't look much like a preseason No. 1 when it lost by 33 at Florida State or blew a big lead to lose at home to Duke.

The question now is whether a dominant performance against the Blue Devils to clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title was just one game or the start of something more.

When the All-ACC teams were announced Monday, the Tar Heels led the way by getting three first-team honorees. Notably left off that first team was guard Kendall Marshall who missed out to teammate Harrison Barnes by a mere two points. Head coach Roy Williams insists that Marshall, on the verge of setting the all-time ACC assists in a single season record, is one of the programs best.

“I’ve never felt as comfortable with the guy making decisions, as I am with Kendall making decisions," Williams said. "I nit-pick him all the time and pick on him if he makes one bad decision. But he makes better decisions with the basketball than any point guard I’ve ever had.”

Roy Williams Williams: We need to play better when we get there

Williams doesn't throw out that kind of praise often and Marshall knows it. He does however, hold reciprocal feelings.

“First of all, I’ve never been more comfortable with a coach on the sidelines as I am with Coach Williams,” Marshall said.

But UNC is not nearly as comfortable when Marshall’s on the bench which is why he’s averaging more than 35 minutes per game in conference play. By his own admission, Marshall wore down at this point last season - especially when playing three games in three days at the ACC Tournament.

“I was just out there playing, I wasn’t thinking," Marshall said. "I’m a lot more mature when I’m on the court this year (with) just little things such as breathing technique. Coach does a great job of utilizing time outs to get me extra rest.”

Kendall Marshall Marshall: This time of year is about heart

UNC's starting five are all playing big minutes again this year. Managing their time and avoiding fatigue are now top priorities for Williams.

“Our practices have been cut back really short," Williams said. "It’s for all the guys, but Kendall probably more so than the rest. I would say for the last three or four weeks our practices have been cut back maybe shorter than at any time I can ever remember.”

Williams said his players didn't have a great practice Monday, though that was "human nature" after the emotional win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Still, big man Tyler Zeller says the players have gone from just expecting to win to increasing their intensity and concentration to get it done.

The fourth-ranked Tar Heels begin play in the ACC tournament in Atlanta on Friday against the Wake Forest-Maryland winner.

Tyler Zeller Zeller: This is what we play for

69 Comments

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  • keeblerth Mar 6, 11:04 p.m.

    I would agree if all teams in the acc had the same schedule
    some teams have a lot tougher... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    LOL, "The Tournament is the only way to give every team a fair shot at title"

    yes, lets... View More

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    with that said then the NCAA tourney is not much better of a system
    to determine a champion
    View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    that's correct bad boy and the reason UCONN is the defending champ and d00k got number 4. It is... View More

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    +1 Very well said Ligg.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 6, 4:30 p.m.

    I hope a team that's not in the Big Dance wins the ACC so they can go (only if the Heels lose).... View More

    — Posted by Boot-the-DC-Tyrant

    I know what you mean. While winning the ACCT is a respectable accomplishment, it would be kind... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    Please stop pretending to be a Tar Heel fan. You aren't fooling anyone. "It would be kind... View More

    — Posted by TarHeels 23

    Dude! JGunn is, indeed, a Tarheel fan. She, however, is a class act, where some on here are... View More

    — Posted by ed taylor

    Thanks, Ed. Tarheel23 is nothing but a poor sport. Maybe he's just a kid, or doesn't have kids. I do, and they competed in sports, and I can attest to all the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed at the competitive level. I'd rather appreciate an athlete for their accomplishments, regardless of their school. I'll always pull for the Heels, but I also appreciate good athletes and good sportsmanship.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 6, 4:28 p.m.

    I hope a team that's not in the Big Dance wins the ACC so they can go (only if the Heels lose).... View More

    — Posted by Boot-the-DC-Tyrant

    I know what you mean. While winning the ACCT is a respectable accomplishment, it would be kind... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    Please stop pretending to be a Tar Heel fan. You aren't fooling anyone. "It would be kind... View More

    — Posted by TarHeels 23

    Please do us ALL a favor and skip past my posts since they're so "painful" for you to read. Thankfully, not everyone is a poor sport like you are; people like you give Tar Heels fans a bad name. And who the hell are you to determine who is and who isn't a true fan. You're nothing but a poor sport.

  • heelsforever Mar 6, 3:45 p.m.

    A 16 game schedule is not meaningless, and will have far greater value than a three day... View More

    — Posted by Tarheel True

    I would agree if all teams in the acc had the same schedule
    some teams have a lot tougher... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    Respectfully disagree. Even if you don't play every team home and home, a 16-game (soon to be... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    Really ? then Do you guys also think UConn @ # 6 seed was better than all the 1 through 5 seeds... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    Now you are talking about two entirely different things. In a conference the regular season should carry more weight because 16 games tells you more than 3 or 4. On the national scene you cannot possibly play every team out there, so the NCAAT is necessary to crown a champion...unless you want the hot mess that BCS Football uses.

  • The Gooch Mar 6, 3:41 p.m.

    A 16 game schedule is not meaningless, and will have far greater value than a three day... View More

    — Posted by Tarheel True

    I would agree if all teams in the acc had the same schedule
    some teams have a lot tougher... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    Respectfully disagree. Even if you don't play every team home and home, a 16-game (soon to be... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    Really ? then Do you guys also think UConn @ # 6 seed was better than all the 1 through 5 seeds... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    Valid question(s) still awaiting an answer.

  • BeastOnTheHill Mar 6, 2:23 p.m.

    Cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor27886

    Thanks for finally conceding that the UNC Basketball team are not cheaters! They definitely are... View More

    — Posted by Turheel

    don't respone to that tool. he is another worthless d00k fan without the ability to think.

  • BeastOnTheHill Mar 6, 2:21 p.m.

    A 16 game schedule is not meaningless, and will have far greater value than a three day... View More

    — Posted by Tarheel True

    I would agree if all teams in the acc had the same schedule
    some teams have a lot tougher... View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    LOL, "The Tournament is the only way to give every team a fair shot at title"

    yes, lets... View More

    — Posted by BeastOnTheHill

    with that said then the NCAA tourney is not much better of a system
    to determine a champion
    View More

    — Posted by badcompany1023

    that's correct bad boy and the reason UCONN is the defending champ and d00k got number 4. It is not a perfect system to decide the NT but is is very exciting. Sometimes the best team in the country wins it.

    The NBA/NHL/MLB series system is the best to settle the best team question.

  • Tarheel born Mar 6, 1:13 p.m.

    Cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor27886

    Thanks for finally conceding that the UNC Basketball team are not cheaters! They definitely are... View More

    — Posted by Turheel

    And one for the old fashion 3 point play........

    GO HEELS!!

  • Turheel Mar 6, 1:06 p.m.

    Cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor27886

    Thanks for finally conceding that the UNC Basketball team are not cheaters! They definitely are "winners", so by your own quote, they can't be cheaters. You're finally coming around kmor!

  • Tarheel born Mar 6, 12:53 p.m.

    That's the extent of his vocabulary.....and he's just a tad bit jealous.

    GO HEELS!!

    — Posted by Tarheel born

    im just real honest.....your welcome.

    — Posted by kmor27886

    I know it's hard for some people to type, but at least get the correct word. It's... View More

    — Posted by ed taylor

    you know this is just a sports forum right?

    — Posted by kmor27886

    And we continue to wonder why "you're" here..

    GO HEELS!!

More...

 

 

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