Ken Medlin

Senior Night a month early for Smith

Posted February 10, 2011

If felt like Senior Night for Nolan Smith.

That was the only thing missing from Smith's virtuoso performance against North Carolina. Smith scored 22 of his career-high 34 points in the second half as the Blue Devils came from 14 points down at halftime to win by six.

Going in to this game, the most glaring weakness for Carolina was perimeter defense -- a shortcoming made even more short when Larry Drew, II skipped town for parts unknown. Smith exploited that weakness with precision; just look at the foul totals for Carolina's backcourt.

But Smith's dominance earned him something much more lasting. In a series like this one, great performances are remembered for years to come. This will be the "Nolan Smith Game," just as other games over the years have come to be known for great individual performances.

Just as there was an "Art Heyman Game" remembered for his 40 points, and a "Gene Banks Game" in which he hit two buzzer beaters and threw roses to the crowd, there is now a "Nolan Smith Game."

And it was impressive.

For Carolina, this team proved it has returned to prominence. The frontcourt combo of Henson and Zeller was much more than Duke could handle --  as evidenced by their combined totals of 38 points and 25 rebounds. And while Kendall Marshall still has some work to do defensively, his playmaking ability continues to impress -- 6 assists, 1 turnover.

Had the Tar Heels hit a few more free throws (they shot 13-for-22) or three-point shots (2-of-14), there might not be a "Nolan Smith Game" to remember.

But there is, and the only thing missing was Senior Night.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Premier League Soccer: Crystal Palace vs. Burnley

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL Playoffs: Teams TBD

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL Playoffs: Teams TBD

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NBA Basketball Playoffs Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers

    Tonight at 9:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL Draft Coverage

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL Draft Coverage

    Friday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL Hockey Playoffs

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

1C. Kerr-20F
2tI. Chun-17F
2tS. Jang-17F
2tL. Ko-17F
5A. Sharp-16F
6S. Ryu-15F
7tA. Jutanugarn-14F
7tS. Lewis-14F
9tC. Clanton-13F
9tD. Kang-13F
View Full Leaderboard
Shenzhen Intl (EURO)
1B. Wiesberger - z-16F
2T. Fleetwood - y-16F
3tG. Bourdy-15F
3tR. Fisher-15F
5tD. Frittelli-14F
5tD. Lipsky-14F
5tF. Zanotti-14F
8tT. Jaidee-13F
8tA. Levy-13F
8tT. Olesen-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
ATP Scoreboard
Sunday, Apr. 23
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (ATP)
(4) R. Nadal6 6    
(15) A. Ramos-Vino1 3