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UNC Basketball Q & A with Carolina March

unc basketball by sbm147.

The folks over at Carolina March have been gracious enough to answer a few of our questions about the UNC team that Clemson will face Wednesday night.  We all know the Tarheels are coming off of one of their best seasons in school history, but we want to know how that team will fare in 2010 as ACC play begins.

First off, let me thank T.H. over at for taking the time to give us this insight on their squad.

Q:  Tyler Hansbrough was one of the most decorated players in school history.  What are the Tarheels doing to replace him?  What current players, if any, are capable of filling his void?  (note, these guys wrote extensively about Hansbrough here and what to expect after his departure).

A;  Two words: cloning vats. We expect results on or about 2015.  In the interim, Ed Davis is the player most likely to step up and fill that role. He's been hesitant to do so, so far this season, but tallied his first 20/10 game against Virginia Tech this weekend. He'll start living up to his preseason hype soon. John Henson may be a year or two away from being that type of player as well, once he grows into his frame and has more of an opportunity to play the four or five.


Q:  North Carolina lost a shocker to College of Charleston last week.  Was this a function of the Heels overlooking the small college or does UNC have some fundamental weaknesses?  Please explain.  (check out their column on why losing to C of C was not as far fetched as everyone thought for more on this particular game).

A:  It was more a function of a young team with a lot of weaknesses meeting a more experienced one on their own floor. I don't know if any of their weaknesses are fundamental – ignore what you may have read about the backcourt, it's no worse than the rest of the team – but the team has a lot to learn. I'd expect at least a couple more surprising losses to less-talented teams before the season's out.


Q:  What are UNC's biggest strengths and weaknesses?

A:  The greatest strength is their height when they put it to good use. With five players over 6'10" they have the ability to dominate almost every other team on the boards. The fact that they haven't is a great mystery to most fans. The primary weakness is the team's youth and the mistakes that entails. They turn the ball over prodigiously, are still missing defensive assignments, and in general making infuriating, exasperating mistakes. As a fan I'd rather they not do that.


Q:  Is UNC good enought to gain another ACC regular season crown this year?  If not, what will limit this team (i.e., depth, talent, experience, etc...)?

A:  It's no so much is UNC good enough, but is any team good enough? The ACC is pretty evenly balanced this year, and it could very well turn into another 2007 season, where five and six loss-teams were battling it out in March. If UNC is going to end up on top though, they'll have to settle down and play smarter. Turnovers and poor shot selection are the Achilles heel's of this team; they're young, but they'll have to come up to speed quickly or the conference slate will overwhelm them. 


Q:  North Carolina has been bitten by the injury bug so far.  Please comment on how the absence of Marcus Ginyard, Will Graves, and Leslie McDonald effects this team.nought to gain another ACC regular season crown this year?  If not, what will limit this team (i.e., depth, talent, experience, etc...)?

A:  At the moment, not at all – all three played on Sunday. In general though, Ginyard's absence, and to a lesser extent Graves, was most felt on defense. Leslie McDonald actually benefited from their absence before his own injury; he worked his way into an increase in playing time, and it's given him the chance to get into a rhythm in his time on the court. You'll see more from him as the season rolls along.