Erin Summers

Losses causing stress for UNC team

Posted January 10, 2013

North Carolina took a 68-59 loss to Miami Thursday night at the Smith Center and it was a tough loss to swallow for the Tar Heel squad.

"I've got some really good kids that are hurting right now and they are also feeling a little stressed," said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. 

Stressed. 

It's how Williams described the way his team felt and how he felt following the team's second consecutive loss to open ACC conference play. 

A team with four nationally touted freshmen, a sophomore who could have gone pro after last season but opted to stay and three upper classmen ready to lead wasn't supposed to go into ACC play and lose two in a row. 

That's only happened three times prior in North Carolina's basketball history. And the players are well aware of one of those times, the 2008-09 season. 

That year, North Carolina entered ACC play undefeated and took two tough losses to Boston College and Wake Forest, and that season, the team went on to win the 2009 National Championship. 

Reggie Bullock said that they were well aware of that instance and even though they didn't want to start that way they know the losses are not indicative of how their season could end up.

And yet, even with an example of hope, the word of the evening was stressed.  

"It's extremely stressful. You play the game to win, and when you have a lot of opportunities like we did and then to just see it kind of slip away gradually really hurts," said freshman Marcus Paige. "It was really an emotional locker room afterwards. We really wanted this one."

And though they didn't get this one, this team will continue to grow. It will be frustrating at times but that's because they are young. It will take them time to learn how to play smart basketball consistently, as a team.

 "Our kids have been doing some really nice things in practice, we just haven't taken it from the practice court to the game court," Williams said.

"During practice we do everything great, but when we get in the game it's just for certain spans of the game," said Bullock. "I'd probably say it's inexperience, but I don't think we should lean on that and say that's the problem."

The desire and talent is there, but don't expect a National title this season, that will take a little bit of time to develop.

 

8 Comments

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  • StunGunn Jan 12, 2:38 p.m.

    This team is under a lot of stress. They are ranked 35th in the AP Poll. When was the last time... View More

    — Posted by 22twain

    What a load of BS. Tyler Zeller says hello. Remember him? He was already in the Kenan Business School when he played last year with a GPA over 3. The "not going to class" is old, and it was never associated with the basketball team.

  • StunGunn Jan 12, 2:35 p.m.

    Virginia, Miama and FSU (next up) all play half court offense and hard nosed defense. Th scores... View More

    — Posted by PanthersFan45

    Teams playing half court have always given Carolina fits, even good Carolina teams. This team has a lot of room for improvement.

  • kennywalters Jan 12, 9:07 a.m.

    This team is under a lot of stress. They are ranked 35th in the AP Poll. When was the last time... View More

    — Posted by 22twain

    Thanks for your opinion. It is about as lame brained as can be and I'm ashamed to say you're from Roxboro.

    Anyway, this is not the 2009 team. And something cataclysmic is going to have to change for this team to make a run to the NCAA tournament.

  • Tar Heels Victory-Show No Mercer Jan 11, 5:10 p.m.

    LOL!

  • 22twain Jan 11, 12:31 p.m.

    This team is under a lot of stress. They are ranked 35th in the AP Poll. When was the last time that they were not ranked in the top 25 for this many weeks. Oh and they are stressed out having to attend classes. Something none of the former players had to do. Roy may turn pro simply because the players are no longer students.

  • Killing Time Jan 11, 8:36 a.m.

    Once again, hard-hitting journalism from the EWEnc homer known as Erin.

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 11, 7:01 a.m.

    Virginia, Miama and FSU (next up) all play half court offense and hard nosed defense. Th scores of the 2 losses reflect who owns the tempo. It seems to me the Heels are at their best when they can get out and run. I also think they need to do a betterjob on defense ........ it looks like there are guys left wide open at times. Not sure what the problem is there but Roy needs to work w/this talent and get it figured out. I do think UNC will get it turned around,it might take a little time with all of the young guys he has this year.

  • duane11 Jan 11, 4:37 a.m.

    well, thats just too bad...LOL!

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