UNC Archive


For local TV viewers, just another frustrating ESPN game

espnantiAh, my kingdom for the days of C.D. Chesley or Rick Ray. For area TV viewers, UNC’s Hall of Fame Classic win over Kansas State was another frustrating game to watch. With no pre-game show, the game started on another of ESPN’s stations and switched back to ESPN2 after the first TV timeout, due to an overtime game.

ESPN really should do better planning. They could have put the other game from the Hall of Fame Classic on ESPN2 so that there would be no chance of a game running long. Of course there may be 15-20 minutes they’d have to account for, God forbid, in between the two games. This sort of thing has already happened at least twice on UNC games alone in this young season.

When people are away from the TV and recording the game, their DVR doesn’t know that the first few minutes are going to be on another station. Plus, less tech savvy and older people just don’t get the switching around. They sit there and watch an overtime game they care nothing about waiting for the Tar Heels to come on.

Then, at the end of the game, ESPN immediately switches to some program talking about Johnny Manziel’s drinking problem. Before ESPN, viewers would have been able to hear interviews with the players and would have been able to see the all-tournament team presentation. And there would have been little to no talking about other teams and other games coming up throughout the broadcast.

You’d think with more channels, you’d be able to see those kinds of things but ESPN, which should be called ADHD, can’t stay focused on one thing for very long. They seem to believe that we all care about all sports and that as soon as something is over, you’ve got to go to something else. They already run continuous scrolls along the bottom of the screen about everything, including soccer scores from England, and they do it over and over and over and over again, to the point that when I’m watching, I put painters’ tape over the bottom two or three inches of the screen. I don’t need to be reminded over and over that Josh McCown is going to start for the Browns this weekend.

I’d prefer for ESPN to allow the ACC Network to air any game it wants so that the local folks can actually see a game from start to finish with commentary about that game before and after it. ESPN has way too much power and way too little interest in pleasing the fans of the teams involved in a game.


UNC executes classic comeback win

jacksonkansasstateNorth Carolina rallied from eight down in the last four minutes to win going away at 80-70 over Kansas State in the finals of the Hall of Fame Classic.

Trailing 67-59 with just over four minutes left, the Tar Heels turned up the pressure on defense and aggressiveness on offense and outscored Kansas State 21-3. A Joel Berry three with three minutes to go put the Heels within a basket at 68-66 before Justin Jackson, the tournament’s most valuable player, tied it with a floater crossing through the lane.

A Kennedy Meeks steal near midcourt resulted in a dunk to give Carolina the lead at 70-68 with 2:01 left. Kansas State freshman Kamau Stokes, who led his team in scoring with 24 points, lost the ball out of bounds and the Tar Heels took advantage with a big three by Joel Pinson that put the Heels up 73-68 with 1:21 to go.

The Tar Heels got the ball back when it went out simultaneously for a jumpball, arrow to Carolina. UNC hit four of five free throws down the stretch and Nate Britt took advantage of a Brice Johnson block to go in for a layup with 10 seconds left for the final tally.

“It was a weird game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “They outplayed us for 36 minutes but we were still around.”

Coach Williams said the team works a lot in practice on coming back from six down with three minutes to go. At the 3:28 TV timeout, with the Heels still down five, he told his team that they had a chance.

Jackson, on the way out onto the court after the timeout, told his teammates that they had gone over this multiple times in practice and that it was time to do this together as a team. “When we get stops, we can play with anybody,” Jackson said.

For more on the game plus a box score, please click here.


Heels buckle down for rebound win

justinjacksonactionnwNorth Carolina, which fell from No. 1 in the country to No. 9 after losing to Northern Iowa, rebounded with a solid but not easy 80-69 win over Northwestern in the Hall of Fame Classic.

UNC’s Justin Jackson, who finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, got the first double-double of his career and was aggressive, especially on the offensive end where he got six rebounds.

He tallied four during a 14-1 run at the end of the first half that erased a six-point Wildcat lead and put Carolina up 43-36 at the half, a lead the Heels would never relinquish.

During the run, the Tar Heels got a three by Theo Pinson that put the team up for good at 36-35 with 2:38 left in the first half. The nicest play of the run came when Joel Berry found Jackson slicing down the baseline for a bucket.

“Jackson’s cutting down the baseline and his offensive rebounding was the difference,” said Northwestern coach Chris Collins, the former Dukie.

An 8-0 run midway through the second half put Carolina up by 20 at 71-51. During that run, Jackson slashed down the baseline for an up and under then followed it with a runner in the lane. Carolina’s defensive got the Heels some easy baskets in the second half against Northwestern, which was held to 37 percent shooting in the half.

For more on the game, including a boxscore, please click here.


Lot of Tar Heel fans may have missed basketball’s first loss

noiowaThe 71-67 loss to Northern Iowa was a game that a lot of North Carolina fans may have missed. They may have been happy they did but with the UNC football team playing for a division title and with the basketball game on ESPN3, which is available online only, it’s understandable.

Here’s what you missed. No. 1 North Carolina blew a 16-point second-half lead as homestanding Northern Iowa used the long ball to come from behind to win.

UNC’s Justin Jackson, who finished with 25 points, led the Heels to a 50-34 lead early in the second half. But Northern Iowa went on a 22-4 run that included three straight three-pointers to take a 56-54 lead in the last nine minutes.

Meeks started the game with eight quick points but went more than 30 minutes of game time without another bucket and ended with just 10 points. Defensively, Northern Iowa was able to double team the big men when they got close to the basket. Offensively, the Panthers were able to penetrate the lane and then push it back out for open threes. The tide seemed to turn a bit when Northern Iowa was able to bottle up Kennedy Meeks and the Tar Heels settled for jump shots. Even big men were taking mid-range jumpers.

If Carolina is going to live up to a No. 1 ranking, the big men are going to have to dominate, regardless of whether Marcus Paige is in the game or not.

It was to be a homecoming game for Paige, who is from Iowa, but he sat out once again with a broken bone in his hand.

“If you had told me (Marcus) was going to break his hand and not be able to play, I wouldn’t have scheduled this game,” Williams said.

For more on the game, please click here.


Strong 2nd half propels Heels to victory

Joel Berry playing defense against Wofford.

Joel Berry playing defense against Wofford.

North Carolina shot 57 percent in the second half while holding Southern Conference preseason favorite Wofford to 35 percent to break open a close game and win going away 78-58. (11/18)

The Tar Heels led just 34-29 at the half and with 15 minutes left the lead was down to three at 50-47 with 13:30 to go. Over the next five minutes Carolina went on a 14-3 run with five different players scoring. But back-to-back steals and buckets by Nate Britt put UNC in firm control up 64-50 with eight minutes to play.

Carolina controlled the game inside outrebounding the Terriers 42-25 and outscoring them 50-18 in the paint. Brice Johnson scored 16 points in the paint and hauled down 14 rebounds while Kennedy Meeks scored 16 points inside and pulled in eight boards. Isaiah Hicks added 12 points off the bench.

“In the second half, we took the ball to the basket a lot better,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We gave a better effort defensively than we did Sunday (against Fairfield).”

Carolina forced contested shots, blocked six shots and came up with 11 steals.

Guard Joel Berry, who had four of those steals, also scored a career-high 16 points. “I was just trying to get the ball down in transitioin as quickly as possible,” Berry said.

The backcourt, even without the injured Marcus Paige, was solid. Carolina outscored Wofford in transition 24-2. “I’m trying to step up and take a leadership role with Marcus out,” Berry said.

A driving layup late in the game gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of the game for the final 20-point margin.

Wofford, who got 15 points from Jalen Allen, stayed in the game by sinking nine of 24 three-point shots. Meanwhile the Tar Heels could only manage one of nine from beyond the arc.

North Carolina (3-0) travels to Northern Iowa for a 2 p.m. game Saturday. Speculation is that Paige, a native of Iowa, may be in uniform and start the game briefly. He’s not expected back to full action for two or three more weeks.



Meeks leads Heels to impressive debut

Tar Heels bench applauds play against Temple in season opener. Photo by J.D. Lyon, UNC Sports

Tar Heels bench applauds play against Temple in season opener. Photo by J.D. Lyon, UNC Sports

Despite being without playmaker Marcus Paige, the 2015-16 North Carolina Tar Heels debuted with an impressive 91-67 over Temple in the Veterans Classic in Annapolis as Kennedy Meeks scored a career-high 25 points. (11/13)

The game was close for most of the first half but the Tar Heels broke open a 34-all tie with a 13-2 run over the last three minutes of the half. A pair of threes by Nate Britt followed by a three from Theo Pinson at the buzzer gave Carolina a 47-36 halftime lead.

It never got close in the second half as Brice Johnson joined in to help Meeks on the offensive boards scoring 12 of his 16 points. UNC controlled the boards with a 42-14 scoring advantage in the paint and 49-32 rebounding edge.

Carolina guards focused on getting the ball down low throughout the game. Meeks went 10 for 14 from the floor and hit five of seven free throws. UNC coach Roy Williams was pleased with Meeks’ offense but not his defense even though he led the Heels in rebounding with 11. He said the size advantage helped.

“I wanted to get under the basket as much as I can and get easy baskets as much as I can,” Meeks said.

Britt, who scored 15 points, was ejected from the game late for leaving the bench area after Johnson was pushed down by a Temple player following a dunk. Coach Williams said he was disappointed in Britt for that, saying that it was the first time in 28 seasons as a coach that one of his players left the bench like that. “It’s a shame because Nate gave us as big a lift as anyone on the team,” he said.

Joel Berry also gave the Heels a lift with 14 points and as a leader out on the fast break. Carolina was seven of 12 from beyond the arc and shot 51 percent overall compared to 39 percent for the Owls.

With four in double figures and the Heels getting contributions from several players, the loss of Paige wasn’t as noticeable as most would think. “Other guys have to step up until we get Marcus back,” Pinson said.

The Tar Heels (1-0) return to Chapel Hill to take on Fairfield Sunday at 4 p.m.



Danny Lotz, a member of UNC’s title team in 1957, dies at age 78

RALEIGH — The son-in-law of the Rev. Billy Graham has died after being found unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Raleigh home he shared with evangelist Anne Graham Lotz. …read more

Source:: Fayetteville Observer


If you can spare 10 bucks, get this book about Dean Smith’s principles

DavidChadwickCoverHiRes (3)David Chadwick played for Dean Smith at North Carolina from 1968-71, back in the relatively early portion of Smith’s tenure at UNC. Now, more than 40 years after playing for Smith and graduating from UNC, Chadwick has written a book – “It’s How You Play the Game” – detailing 12 principles of Smith’s approach to leadership, business and life.

Chadwick, who since 1980 has been the pastor of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, is the only one of Smith’s players to have written a book about him. It’s available for $10 from Amazon… read more about the book.



Can UNC’s Bryn Renner make Ravens’ roster?

rennerWith Matt Schaub continuing an underwhelming final act of his career, there is always the possibility of him not making the final roster. If so, who would be the backup quarterback in his stead? The answer to that question is Bryn Renner, a 2nd-year player out of North Carolina… read more.

Source: Baltimore Beatdown


5-tool Connecticut star UNC bound

unccaspariusThe five tools of baseball are pillars of evaluation, and a player that can do all at a high level is rare. A 5-tool player is coveted by coaches and scouts at any level.

Enter Ben Casparius. The rising junior at Staples recently committed to the University of North Carolina due to his ability to do everything at a high level… Read more.

Source: Westport News