Mandy Mitchell

The Mitchell Report: Tar Heel Surprise and an honest coach

Posted November 24, 2013
Updated December 9, 2013

North Carolina's Marcus Paige during the Tar Heels' 87-77 title game loss to Miami in the 60th ACC Tournament on Sunday, March 17, 2013 in Greensboro, NC (Photo by Jack Morton).

Thoughts on the sports world I can't share in a 5 minute sportscast. Some Triangle news. Some not.

Good Coaching

I saw a tweet from a national basketball columnist on Sunday saying he was hoping UNC would make it a watchable game with Louisville. Who among us thought the Tar Heels would win that game? Louisville is stacked with talent, North Carolina's best player is on the bench and the Heels are one week removed from losing to Belmont. So much for expert analysis! Roy Williams deserves loads of credit for this one. Marcus Paige talked after the game about how the team watched the Belmont tape "for hours". He said Williams pointed out lack of effort, not missed shots, was the reason they lost that game. He coached his guys to play better and it showed against one of the best teams in the country. Yes, the Tar Heels could use PJ Hairston but they showed it is possible to play good basketball without him.

FCS games. Good or not?

I've written before that I am really tired of FBS schools playing FCS schools simply to get the schedule filled. I thought the South Carolina vs Coastal Carolina game provided a good example of why this is a bad idea. The Gamecocks won that one 70-10. What I find interesting is that Coastal wasn't all that committed to giving its best in this one. They won the Big South and will begin the playoffs next week. "We've got one of the toughest parts of our schedule coming up," said CCU head coach Joe Moglia. He hinted repeatedly this week this game wasn't coming at a good time for his program pointing out that South Carolina is clearly a better team with better resources. I really appreciated the honesty there. It's not all about the big time programs playing in "boring games". Sometimes it hurts the smaller schools too. Yeah, they get a check, but I think you'll see the better teams taking a pass as we move forward.

**One note before you guys start yelling at me in the comment section. Yes, my Gators did lose to an FCS school. I am aware of this. Good for Georgia Southern's program. It's a rare exception to the rule.

Derrick Rose

I always feel sorry for athletes who are injured, but I can't remember a time I felt worse than when I heard Derrick Rose tore up his other knee. He will need surgery for a medial meniscus tear. The guy sat out all of last season recovering from and ACL tear. He caught a lot of criticism from people who didn't feel he came back to the lineup fast enough. Now he gets to do that all again. He will have the surgery, the rehab, the sitting on the bench and the waiting. What a shame for a guy with so much talent who is so fun to watch. I really hope he is able to get back to his old ways after all of this.

Quick Hits

** Brian McCann is headed to the Yankees for an $85 million deal. I watched him come up through the minor leagues with the Braves. I always hoped he would stay with the franchise. This once again shows us how rare it is to have a guy like Chipper Jones.

**Terrible way for a career to end for Georgia QB Aaron Murray. He tore his acl and will miss the final game, bowl game and any opportunity at an All-Star game. He's a class kid. I hope he is able to come back and make some money in the NFL.

Worth Reading

I wrote two weeks ago that I find Jimmie Johnson boring. A few of you objected to me calling him that. As I tried to convey, I really like Johnson and I love his excellence. I just don't think he's been good for the sport. As Jared Turner points out , that could be changing.

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  • StunGunn Nov 26, 2013

    To be honest, I didn't think the Heels had much of a chance to beat the defending National Champs, L'Ville. Paige had a terrific game, and the Heels played good TEAM ball. Very happy for the Heels, especially after the embarrassing loss to Belmont.

    I'm not a fan of FBS teams playing FCS teams either, re: the 80-20 UNC/ODU game. FCS teams get to play on a bigger stage and FBS teams can become bowl eligible with a cupcake game here and there.

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