There is no way to sugarcoat this. UNC was awful in every phase of the game. Even during the first 16 minutes of hanging tough with the #1 ranked Hoosiers, UNC was getting outrebounded and getting the business end of a Zeller running the floor(and yes that really does suck.) Still, a nice half from Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson and ten points from James Michael McAdoo had the Heels in position to head into the break with the game in a manageable place. Then came an intentional foul call on Dexter Strickland which was the point it really seemed to go downhill. UNC trailed by nine at the break and waited five minutes into the second half before actually scoring. In the end, UNC was undone by a 49-12 run that pushed the deficit to 31 with five minutes left in the game. It was all academic after that ending with a 24-point loss.
Since this was such a complete debacle time and space do permit a complete detailing of all that went wrong. Nor do I think it would be all that useful. Some of what UNC is dealing with flows from the lack of experience and the various parts still trying to work together. That being said, Paige and Johnson had solid games with 10 and 11 points respectively. Dexter Strickland led the team with 14 but much of that came late in the contest when Indiana seemed less interested in defending his drives to the basket.
While there might be some fundamental issues hurting this team and some general development milestones that simply must be passed, the biggest problem in this game was the play of Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo. Quite simply, McAdoo is not acquitting himself all that well against bigger and better teams. UNC's overall offensive flow as a team is partly to blame but McAdoo at times either tries to do too much on his own or struggles to hold onto the basketball and make efficient scoring moves. McAdoo's ten first half points ended up being his game total as the sophomore went 0-5 in the second half and 2-6 from the line for the game. There is no way around the fact that McAdoo has to be better.
The same is true of Bullock who did grab nine rebounds to lead the team but was 2-9 from the floor and did not score a point in the first half. On one hand, Indiana should be credited for playing some tough defense on Bullock however there is a case to be made that Bullock did not do enough to push back against that defense. This gets into the great dilemma for Bullock who as a role player with four NBA first rounders could afford to play the game that way. On a team where he needs to be the first or second offensive option, allowing the defense to dictate your game is not going to help the team win.
As for how this all fits into where the season is going, I will reserve that for another post when a night of sleep and our better angels rule the hour. The best thing, for now anyway, is to delete the game from your DVR and forget it happened.