GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11: Demontez Stitt #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts as the Clemson Tiger mascot looks on while playing against the Boston College Eagles during the second half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
UNC is the matchup I wanted. I'm a competitive person and I want to play the best. The games are more exciting, the energy level is higher, and the satisfaction after a victory is inflated. UNC has beat us twice already in too highly contested games that were up for grabs in the final minutes. I want another shot at them and I hope the players are feeling the same way.
I like the way we are playing now. In 3 out of our last 4 halves dating back to the Virginia Tech game, we played the best ball I've seen us play all year. Our ball movement was crisp and we didn't let the ball die in anyone's hands. This will be key today, as we don't stand much of a chance going 1-on-1 against UNC. They have already proven they can shut us down if we try to simply dump it inside and score 1-on-1. UNC's defense can be overaggressive at times, trying to block anything in sight (i.e. - Henson). With good ball movement we can expose the interior of UNC's defense when they get out of position. Overaggressive shot blocking also leaves them vulnerable on the offensive glass, which should leave an opportunity for our weakside forward to crash the glass and follow up shots.
Can we match up with UNC man on man? No. They have a lineup full of McDonald's All-Americans. But team basketball beats 1-on-1 basketball every day. Offensively, we need to limit turnovers, share the basketball, and take good shots. It sounds simple, but we tend to take quick shots with the wrong guys far too often. UNC wants to get out and run. Quick shots and live ball turnovers are exactly what they are looking for. Defensively, we need to shut down Kendall Marshall's drives. UNC doesn't shoot the ball well from deep. That's their biggest weakness. If we can limit Marshall's ability to create easy scoring opportunities for his teammates we can force them to chuck it from the cheap seats. I wish we had bigger guards to block his vision and get into his passing lanes. For that reason, I'd rather see Stitt on Marshall and Andre Young on Dexter Strickland.
We've already proven that we can play with UNC. Now it's time to get over the hump.