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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tangled Up In (Carolina) Blue.

Posted by AR

From the start I had faith. I could only see one team cutting down the nets of the AlamoDome. That team was North Carolina. After last year's crushing defeat to Jeff Green's Georgetown Hoya's,the players down Chapel Hill way were hurt and seeking retribution. Players who could have easily made the jump to the pros stayed put,with only one thing on their mind-revenge. They returned all but one starter from last year and the loss of Brandan Wright was quickly forgotten as the manic intensity and rebounding of one Tyler Hansbrough left UNC wondering whether or not this Wright guy had ever existed at all.

Desire to win or not,the season didn't start smoothly for the Tar Heels. I mere four point win against Davidson which in retrospect seems a little more respectable was seen as embarrassing at the time. After that,the Heels were winning big but winning big against nobodies. Their toughest non conference games coming against an at the time poor Kentucky team and a serviceable BYU team. Their strength of schedule never looked hugely impressive but their players sure did. Hansbrough was having a monster POY type season,Wayne Ellington was showing his untapped potential to NBA scouts,Danny Green was proving that in any other team in the country he would be a starter. But still, people were unconvinced of UNC's chances because of the teams they were playing,but Roy Williams is no fool. He knew he had the best pool of players in the country,there was no need to prove anything at the start of the season. He knew his place in March was guaranteed,why bother giving his team too much too soon. For him,it was merely a case of perfecting their style of play so that they would be at their best come March and what has happened? Carolina are peaking while other teams are getting tired and sloppy.

What's more impressive to me about this team is their resilience. They have not had it easy. First the season ending injury to back-up point guard Bobby Frasor-who was instrumental to Carolina as both a distributor and a 3 point shooter and then the injury to Ty Lawson. These blows would have easily made another team think about giving up and start planning for next year. But not this team,enter Quentin Thomas. UNC's third string point guard. Thomas,who already had a championship ring to his name played some inspired ball and lead the Heels to some impressive ACC blowouts and only one defeat during his tenure.

It is the play of guys like Thomas that make Carolina the team that it is.They have truly effective and workman-like bigs in Deon Thompson and Alex Stevenson who can contribute big in both the scoring and rebounding columns. They have the perfect blend of intense overachievers and genuine NBA talent. This blend is what in my opinion makes this team truly scary,they're a team that goes to work with their lunch pale and hard hats while wearing a Gucci sweater and a Rolex. Combine this with the experienced coaching of Roy Williams and the recent clutch performances of Hansbrough it's easy to see a banner hanging ceremony in the Dean Dome's not too distant future,and you know they don't hang a banner for anything less than a chip.


Eboy said...

I like the prediction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW, you need to title yourself, because you are anonymous at this point and we need to know what to refer to you as!!